Sunday, December 23, 2007

Iraqi Children Are Suffering

It seems to me that there has been a war going on in Iraq for as long as I can remember. We seem to hear a lot about the plights of the US troops in Iraq, the ones who have left their families behind in order to serve our country, and who sometimes don't make it back in one piece. We often hear about the children of soldiers, who wonder when their mommies and daddies will be back. Smaller kids may only understand that their parents have been gone for a long time, while older kids, who understand the dangerous situation of war, can even go through symptoms of trauma.
But there is another set of children that are suffering through this war, a set of children we don't hear a lot about... The children of Iraq.
About 75,000 children in Iraq are now living in camps or shelters, having lost their homes due to the war or been forced to evacuate because of threats of violence.
Hundreds of kids have been injured, or even died, from war-related violence. Many, many others have lost family members to the war. One twelve-year-old girl was shot repeatedly by US soldiers who burs into her home. The soldiers shot and killed the girl's uncle and injured her aunt. They even killed all of the family's chickens before they left, to lessen the family's chance of survival.
These children are no longer able to go to school, because to do so is not safe. Many do not have access to proper nutrition, safe drinking water, or health care. The rate of malnutrition among children has doubled since the US invaded Iraw. And many children there are definitely suffering from trauma... Their lives and the lives of their families are constantly in danger.
To mke matters worse, this war has already left 5 million Iraqi children orphaned. Many had to witness the brutal and violent deaths of their parents. For instance, a 9-year-old girl living in an orphanage said that she was with her parents at an open-air market when a car bomb went off. The little girl saw her parents' bodies "turn to charcoal." She and her younger brother were injured, but survived. Three sisters ages 13, 10 and 6, heard gunmen burst into their home one night and execute their parents. The children heard the gunshots, and, hiding in their beds, heard their parents die. And because adults in the country are struggling to be able to provide for their own children and keep them safe, often the war orphans are left seriously neglected. In June, a raid at an orphanage for children with special needs turned up 24 little boys tie to their beds, naked, starving, some of them dying of cholera.
This blog entry is not about whether the war is necessary. It is not about whether the war is the fault of the USA or Iraq. It is not about who has caused these children to suffer. It is about a fact. This war seems to be never-ending... and the children of Iraq are the ones sufferingn the most.

1 comment:

Casdok said...

A superb post. Especailly at this time of year.
Breaks your heart.