Friday, March 23, 2007

Lest in my enthusiasm for Nicaragua,
I forget Iraq...

2003 © European Commision/ECHO/Javier Menendez Bonilla

This was the news for yesterday, World Water Day, from that suffering country:

March 22 (Reuters) - United Nations agencies working in Iraq warned on Thursday a chronic shortage of safe drinking water risks causing more child deaths and an outbreak of waterborne disease such as cholera during the summer.

Four years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, millions of Iraqi children still find that safe water is no easier to access, said a statement issued by leading U.N. aid agencies operating in Iraq. ...

"Latest reports suggest we are already seeing an increase in diarrhoea, even before the usual onset of the diarrhoea season in June," said Roger Wright, UNICEF representative in Iraq.

During the 1990s, perhaps half a million Iraqi children died because of the international embargo on Saddam Hussein's government which deprived Iraq of clean water (no parts of those pumps!) and medicines. As the occupying power, the United States is now directly responsible for continuing Iraqi misery, even apart from the civil war and the insurgency. And for those of us who are U.S. citizens, that means you and me, as well as George W. Bush.

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