Iraqi children: Picking garbage, killed dismantling ordnance, or sold into brothels
I started to translate the news from Arabic late this afternoon - I do have other things to do, and this was the first report to hit my screen. Increasingly frequently I want to scream as I do this and I'm not publishing anything else tonight I'm simply too revolted.
1. Maysan: A Teenager and Two Children Die Scavenging For Copper
Five people were killed today by exploding ordinance from previous wars in two separate incidents.
In the first incident in West Amarah three brothers Hussein Sabri Matanch (Aged 18) and Rafael Qasim (Aged 12) and Jasim (Aged 9) were trying to dismantle a mortar shell to get at the copper inside it so that they could sell it to scrap dealers. Here's how eyewitnesses to their deaths describe what happened:
"they were trying to dismantle a mortar shell to get at the copper to sell it to scrap dealers when it exploded in their hands and they died on the spot"
In the second incident this one 45 Km west of Amarah two people were killed extracting the contents of a mortar shell again to sell the copper inside to scrap dealers. It exploded. They died. Source: Aswat al Iraq [Arabic]
The report on Aswat al Iraq concludes by pointing out that there are many such incidents in Maysan every year. This is because it borders Iran and there's lots and lots of unexploded ordinance littering the landscape just waiting for poverty stricken desperate people to try their luck at earning a few cents from scrap dealers.
2. Iraqi children picking garbage
Every time I've been to Iraq since the Americans invaded I've seen something I never saw before - children scavenging in garbage dumps for food. I get reports like this every week from Iraq, sometimes I get several reports a day. Most often they come from the border provinces. Erdla and myself have written here and published photographs like the one you see now time and time and again.
We've written about the desperate plight of the people of Iraq. We've written repeatedly about children living in garbage dumps scavenging for food. Every time I go to Iraq I see children risk their lives by doing what as a former felix I can tell you is one of the most difficult and dangerous things you can do - defuse, by hand, corroded ordinance. That's why you mostly don't try to do it by hand. You get a sharpshooter, like Declan or Anto or Smurph* to shoot the damned thing from a very safe distance and explode it that way. Only if that can't be done do you go in and try to defuse it by hand.
3. Iraqi children sold into paedophile brothels
There is now a thriving trade of children being kidnapped, sold, and exported to paedophile brothels. My last few trips I've seen something that I've never ever ever seen before in Iraq. Children with the tell-tale red rash around their mouths. That's not even the worst of it.
Once they arrive in her camp Maryam routinely now has to lock up some of the kids that Ali manages to talk off the streets and into one of her refugee convoys. She locks them in the Mosque basement while they undergo withdrawal symptoms. Several of them have died in convulsions because they're simply too weakened to survive cold turkey.
I find it impossible to describe how I feel getting mails from Maryam telling me about that. I find it impossible to describe what goes through my mind and through my heart when I see a child pick up a piece of rotted food in a garbage dump and eat it. I simply have no words for how I feel when I see that.
On my son Dubhaltach's last trip to Iraq he was approached no less than 5 times by young parents asking him to take their children. Not even selling the poor kids. They'd been driven beyond and below even that level of desperation. No, all they wanted for him to just "please take them so that they can eat." I find it impossible to describe how Erdla and myself felt as Dubhaltach broke down helplessly describing how he wished he could have done what they wanted. As he tried to tell us how he felt when he was approached by a recently widowed young woman offfering him her eight year old daughter and seven year old son:
"They are good children. Very beautiful.
"They are good children. Very obedient.
"Take them, feed them, they are very obedient. They will do anything you want
Significant Pause and then in a whisper:
4. But what about Civility?
When Dubhaltach tried politely and gently to describe what it was he had seen, and heard, and smelt in Iraq, on a leading so-called "liberal" American site he was told by its denizens that he was being "Shrill" and "rude" and that they didn't like his "tone."
This was was said to him by people who knew that he risks his life daily as a bomb disposal officer in Afghanistan. But God forbid that anyone who isn't one of the master race puncture their self-satisfied delusion that their country is still a force for good when it manifestly has become a force for evil.
Even under Saddam and sanctions there was enough to eat. To succeed in a three year period in behaving worse than that bloodsoaked monster, to succed in a three year period in reducing vast swathes of the population to dependency on miserably inadequate food handouts, to succeed in reducing enormous numbers to the level of hunger where their children die trying to get food to eat and where parents try to sell their children is a uniquely shameful and barbaric accomplishment.
As I repeatedly point out if you want to see the real values of a society you only have to look at how their soldiers and their police behave. Behold the new American flag. It represents the true values of the government and complacent self-satisfied citizenry of America. The true values of the country that coined the phrase: "People get the government they deserve," the values of a people who once had a basically decent government in a basically decent republic. Not any more. America is an empire now and it can make its own reality. This flag replaces the old one and is to be displayed "with pride" in windows throughout the land.
5. A Letter to Americans
Dear Average Ordinary John and Jane Doe American Citizens:
I hope you like your new flag. I hope you enjoy your unearned sense of entitlement as you squander your inheritance of freedom and wealth. The inheritance earned for you by preceding generations who really did love their country, who really did have something to be proud of, who really did value freedom, and who really did want to see it spread. They made many mistakes but at root their intentions were benevolent and they were prepared to sacrifice and die to bring their benevolent intentions to fruition.
I hope you like your new flag. You wiped your arse with the old one right after you guzzled the "your takeout meal." (Genesis 25:31)
Hussein Sabri Matanch (Aged 18) and his brothers Rafael Qasim (Aged 12) and Jasim (Aged 9) lived lives of misery and starvation so that you could enjoy your sense of superiority. Their deaths today are on your country's hands.
I hope you're fucking proud of yourselves. Have a nice day.
NOTE Kinda gives a new perspective on that foolish flap about Condi not having children. She does have children. These are her children.--Lambert