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Dr. Miles Schuman (The Nation): Dying in Falluja

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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 10:13 PM
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Dr. Miles Schuman (The Nation): Dying in Falluja
From The Nation
Posted Wednesday November 24

Falluja`s Health Damage
By Miles Schuman

While the North American news media have focused on the military triumph of US Marines in Falluja, little attention has been paid to reports that US armed forces killed scores of patients in an attack on a Falluja health center and have deprived civilians of medical care, food and water.

Although the US military has dismissed accounts of the health center bombing as "unsubstantiated," in fact they are credible and come from multiple sources. Dr. Sami al-Jumaili described how US warplanes bombed the Central Health Centre in which he was working at 5:30 am on November 9. The clinic had been treating many of the city's sick and wounded after US forces took over the main hospital at the start of the invasion. According to Dr. al-Jumaili, US warplanes dropped three bombs on the clinic, where approximately sixty patients--many of whom had serious injuries from US aerial bombings and attacks--were being treated . . . .

US and allied Iraqi military forces stormed the Falluja General Hospital, which is on the perimeter of the city, at the beginning of the assault, claiming it was under insurgent control and was a center of propaganda about civilian casualties during last April's attack on the city. The soldiers encountered no resistance. Dr. Rafe Chiad, the hospital's director, reached by phone, stated emphatically that it is a neutral institution, providing humanitarian aid. According to Dr. Chiad, the US military has prevented hospital physicians, including a team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists and general practitioners, from entering Falluja. US authorities have denied all requests to send doctors, ambulances, medical equipment and supplies from the hospital into the city to tend to the wounded, he said. Now the city's only health facility is a small Iraqi military clinic, which is inaccessible to most of the city's remaining population because of its distance from many neighborhoods and the dangers posed by US snipers and crossfire . . . .

The Iraqi Red Crescent Society has called the health conditions in and around Falluja "catastrophic." One hospital staff member who recently left the city reports that there were severe outbreaks of diarrheal infections among the population, with children and the elderly dying from infectious disease, starvation and dehydration in greater numbers each day. Dr. al-Jumaili, Dr. al-Ani and journalist Badrani each stated that the wounded and children are dying because of lack of medical attention and water. In one case, according to Dr. al-Jumaili, three children died of dehydration when their father was unable to find water for them. The US forces cut off the city's water supply before launching their assault.

Read more.

Miles Schuman is a family physician and member of the medical network of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture.




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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-30-04 01:16 AM
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1. sometime my own country disgusts me . . .
bombing hospitals, using napalm and depleted uranium weapons, killing civilians . . . US actions in Iraq are disgraceful, illegal, immoral, and unforgivable . . .
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