Poverty, hunger and public health continue to worsen in Iraq, according to a report released today from Oxfam International, which demands more humanitarian aid from abroad and calls on the Iraqi government to immediately decentralize the distribution of food and medical supplies.
[. . .]
The report states that as many as four million Iraqis are in dire need of help getting food, many of them children; 70 percent of the country now lacks access to adequate water supplies, up from 50 percent in 2003, and 90 percent of the country’s hospitals lack basic medical and surgical supplies.
One survey cited in the report, completed in May by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, found that 43 percent of Iraqis live in "absolute poverty," on less than $1 a day.
The above is from Damien Cave's "Report Finds Dire Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq" in this morning's New York Times. We noted it yesterday in the snapshot. Today it makes it into print (A8) but where are the photos -- front page photos -- of cheering males? Where are the reports of the males whipping off their shirts and running through the streets of Iraq screaming "We're number one!" With, of course, the headlines that present Iraqi males as all Iraqis?
I guess this is one 'win,' one 'championship,' that can't be sold as 'turned corner'? Lucky for Bully Boy and Gordon Blair their big meeting that crapped out and resulted in nothing but the usual nonsense has wound down. But wasn't the rah-rah wonderful while it lasted? Give their meeting a backdrop of promise and that maybe -- presumably if Iraq could next begin training for an international spelling bee or mahjong competition -- there was good news to be found in an illegal war that has destroyed a country?
Martha highlights Megan Greenwell's "A Dismal Picture of Life in Iraq" (Washington Post):
The numbers in the report offer a contrast to the picture of steadily improving conditions painted by the Iraqi government and the U.S. military over the past several months. Seventy percent of Iraqi residents lack adequate water supplies, compared with 50 percent in 2003, while more than 4 million people have been displaced during that time. Yet funding for humanitarian assistance in Iraq has declined precipitously, from $453 million in 2005 to $95 million in 2006.
And you learn that David Petraeus told Good Morning America yesterday that mid-2009 is the target date for 'success' in Iraq. Almost two years from now and six years after the illegal 'cakewalk' began.
Some Americans still buy that nonsense of a 'turned corner' being just around the corner. A small number, granted, less than 30%, but some do buy it. All this time and all the lies later, they still buy into the idea that a 'win' is coming and that what the US has broken can be fixed by the US despite the fact that Iraqis want the US out of their country, despite the fact that what couldn't be 'fixed' in four years plus won't be 'fixed' by the US by tacking on another two years.
The illegal war should never have started. But the lies didn't just get us into war and then stop. The lies continue to this day and keep pushing the myth that if the US stays longer, somehow, magically, everything will finally turn around.
More damage is done, two more years may accomplish lowering the figure of a dollar day to fifty cents for some Iraqis.
There's really no excuse to continue to push the myth of a 'win'. The illegal war should have never started but just as damaging has been the 'turned corner' nonsense that has repeatedly allowed things to get even worse.
In two years time the current problems will be even greater. That's the only thing 'staying' will accomplish. The numbers calling for withdrawal then may top 90% among of the American public. But already you have approximately 70% of the American public who've wised up to reality. It's only the White House and Congress that refuse to wise up. (And some members of the press.) Democratic leadership is more interested in shell games that they sell to the public as "Troops Home Now" but really translate as, at best, some troops home in a little while and, at worst, no one's coming home.
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