Humanitarian activist Basma al-Khateeb will tell you that Iraq doesn’t need any more reconstruction projects or development programs now. International donor funds are better spent, she says, on emergency aid like food, water and medicine. “We are facing a huge humanitarian catastrophe,” says al-Khateeb, who works for the Iraq al-Amal Association, an Iraqi NGO. “No one is acknowledging how big the humanitarian catastrophe is.”

Khateeb offers a number of grim statistics showing that Iraq is quickly becoming a disaster zone. Violence in recent years has left roughly 3 million women widows and created about 5 million orphans, she said. Unemployment for much of the country is as high as 60%. Tent cities are springing up in Baghdad to house the estimated 2 million internally displaced people adrift in Iraq.

Just one chunk of the statistics. Yeah, I know it’s meaningless to people who care nothing about who “we” kill to get “our” way:

About one in three people in Iraq now is desperate for the basics of life. Four million Iraqis (about 15% of the population) regularly cannot buy enough to eat. And 28% of children are malnourished now, compared to 19% before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. As summer heat reaches its annual highs here, 70% of Iraqis go without adequate water supplies, a figure up 20% since 2003.

In an interview with an ordinary Iraqi in extraordinary circumstances, Younis Mahmoud, the captain of Iraq’s Cinderella football team: “I want America to go out,” he said. “Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn’t invade Iraq and hopefully it will be over soon.”

  1. RTaylor says:

    Assuming this is true, and considering the shape the country is in I don’t’ doubt it, why isn’t the mainstream press covering this more? What has happened to journalism in this country? Do they have to crunch the numbers and use focus groups prior to every report?

  2. Nth of the 49th says:

    Well if the numbers are even 30% correct, the US has created a veritable training schoolyard for extremists to pick and chose from.

    Congratulations. You’ve made the world so much safer.

  3. Steve says:

    I’d like to see America out as well Mr Mahmoud and I’m sure you would like to see Uday back in charge of the soccer team.

  4. grog says:

    well from my comfortable cubicle stateside, it’s easy to pontificate, but i feel that our brave solidiers were sent into battle on trumped-up charges with a piss-poor plan based on unbelievably naive suppositions and have been suffering from a complete lack of quality leadership long enough.

    and let’s not forget our other brave men and women in afganistan who are actually fighting bin laden’s minions.

    our misguided endeavor in iraq has killed more innocent iraqis than saddam hussein ever did, and has completely destroyed their nation — god only knows how long it’s going to take to rebuild.

    AND AND AND — according to the bush administration’s own people al queda is just as strong as it was 6 years ago.

    all this after spending more money than an average joe like me can even conceive.

    someone please explain to me what success could bush & co possibly claim?

  5. bobbo says:

    If we thought things were actually going to get better, we could rest easy on the claim of “rough transition” but that doens’t look realistic. We need to get out of the way so that they can have their civil war and get on with getting on?

    We shouldn’t forget that the Taliban is reclaiming Afghanistan all over the countryside.

    China and India eating our lunch when it comes to basic materials manufacturing and outsourceable services.

    No moves for energy independence or carbon neutrality.

    Dollar value declining.

    Military worn out and recruiting from jail eligible and illegal immigrants. Equipment needing replacement. National Guard abused and trashed.

    Yes, theres even more. Quite a track record for 6 short years.

  6. Mr. Fusion says:

    I’m waiting to read mxpwr03’s spew about the success stories we don’t see and how the Iraqi Army is controlling the insurrection in Bumfuck Province.

    The sooner America gets out of Iraq the better for all.

  7. mxpwr03 says:

    I’m prying myself off of commenting on foreign affairs and military matters on this blog. The numerous mil-blogs tend to foster a greater discussion that utilizes current events and recent historical trends. Also there tends to be less mindless phrases, such as “Bumfuck Province,” as the commentators know several, if not all, of the provinces by name.

  8. Michael Mansel says:

    From an outside point of view, I am an Australian and am proud to defend our sovereignty and I personally feel the sentiment that personal freedom should be protected. That is the fundamental rule that I believe drives the modern day US person. I applaud that. I stand for that. I think that the USA has had a hard battle, and have had to do self searching to sustain that position, and I believe as a whole it is a strong nation and with support of other “free nations” will continue to grow better and stronger.

    Sure there are times of self doubt or introspecitve pause, but it is the self belief that has driven the US and ultimately the world. The US stands as a bastion for many to strive for greater things and will remain so.

    All I say is keep going and your strength will prevail. What am I but a single voice, but collectively it makes a difference. As a conservsative voice, I just wanted to make the point that existence but also betterment is the goal, and we can sustain these objectives regardless of the outcomes of battles. We are learners after all (humans that is)…..

    It may be that Iraq is a battle that cant be one, but that is not a reason to despair. You have always been and will remain a nation of hope and prosperity.

    I’m just saying you are not alone, so don’t feel that way….

  9. bobbo says:

    7—Dont you think “Bumfuck Provence” captures perfectly the notion that we should not be in foreign lands most could not even find on a map?

    So, yes, if you prefer to sing with the choir, other sites are better suited.

  10. bac says:

    The players: Shi’ites, Sunnis, US Military and terrorists.

    In order for there to be a winner all but one of the players must surrender or stop fighting.

    1) US aligns with Shi’ites then fights Sunnis and Terrorists.
    2) US aligns with Sunnis then fights Shi’ites and Terrorists.
    3) US aligns with no one then fights Shi’ites, Sunnis and Terrorists.
    4) Shi’ites align with Sunnis then fight the US and Terrorists.
    5) Shi’ites align with Sunnis and the US then fight the Terrorists.

    I will assume no one wants to align with the Terrorists. Of course, assumptions can be wrong.

    This administration is trying for number 5 but the news media makes it seem like number 3 is at play. If the situation really is bad for Shi’ite and Sunni, number 4 might become a reality.

    Another aspect of this is if the US aligns with Shi’ite then the US might enhance its ties with Iran. If the US aligns with the Sunnis then this might enhance the ties with Saudi Arabia and bin Laden.

    Does anyone know where the Kurds fit in?

  11. Mr. Fusion says:

    The numerous mil-blogs tend to foster a greater discussion

    In other words, you prefer to associate with the other chicken hawks that are too busy with their lives to join the Army and take a chance on getting killed. It is so much safer to criticize from the safety of your mother’s basement. With a warm glass of milk and some cookies.

    Maybe if the IRS treated joining the military as a tax write off more chicken hawks might be tempted to join.

  12. Mister Mustard says:

    >>someone please explain to me what success could
    >>bush & co possibly claim?

    You’re sweating the small stuff, grog.

    Halliburton stock is kicking me serious war-profiteering ass (, crude oil is at an all-time high, President Cheney will be able to upgrade his retirement real estate holdings from “his own personal island” to “his own personal country”.

    So what if Iraq is destroyed, almost 3,000 American dead, 25,000 American wounded, 75,000 civilian casualties, and al Qaeda is now the dominant force in Iraq (instead of a scattered band of rag-tag camel fuckers, like they were before King Dumbya ACCOMPLISHED his MISSION. Halliburton stock is doing great, damn it!

    Get your priorities straight, or they may ship you off to Gitmo!

  13. traaxx says:

    Don’t worry, we’ll be importing the ROP agents to the US pretty soon, we just can’t get enough of the kinda of trash that won’t fight for their own country, so naturally the Neocomms and Commie/Demoncrats will be bringing them in a refugees. Just wait for all Christians to sponsor a Muslim and set them up in America, like the Vietnamese.

    And they’ll be real grateful when their children grow up and become ROP holy warriors blowing up things here, kidnapping(sorry honor killing), rapping( sorry honor rapping) all in the name of Mohammad.

  14. Mister Mustard says:

    >>we just can’t get enough of the kinda of trash that won’t
    >>fight for their own country

    Hey! Are you talking about the Bush Twins?? Or Dumbay? Or President Heart Attack Cheney, Loofah Pad O’Reilly, Anal Cyst Limbaugh, and the rest of the neocon chickenhawks?

    >>rapping (sorry honor rapping)

    I’d rather have Snoop Dogg fighting to defend my freedom than one of the chickenhawks. At least he’s got some balls.

  15. Mr. Fusion says:


    rapping( sorry honor rapping) all in the name of Mohammad.

    (snicker, snicker)

    sorry traxx, but damn, that is funny.


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