Friday, April 25, 2003

Iraq, we keep hearing, is "getting back to normal." Here's what "getting back to normal" means in one Baghdad neighborhood, according to a reporter from The Guardian:

It was not a bad day for Saddam City, so far as it goes. A neighbourly dispute sent a bullet tearing through the gut and pelvic bones of a 12-year-old. A junior Shia cleric with a whisp of a beard roamed a hospital, hectoring female nurses and doctors to wear hijab while the director tried to find his way through an emergency that never came up at Baghdad Medical College -- should he use his last remaining cylinder of oxygen to operate on an eight-year-old boy, or wait to see what other miseries the morning would bring?

Outside, goats fed on mounds of rubbish, and gunfire crackled in the alleys between the low, mean houses. "Maybe they are celebrating because the electricity came back on," said a passer-by. "Maybe this is good shooting."

Good shooting, or bad shooting, it continues.

Two weeks after American troops took control of Baghdad and the world thought the war had ended, the gunfire goes on, and Iraqis get killed and injured at the rate of several dozen every day. When the lights came back to Saddam City for the first time in more than a fortnight, the hospital received seven gunshot victims. A woman in her late teens died from a bullet in the neck; a boy, about 12, and a girl, about 10, still had bullets lodged in their brains. Nobody recorded their names.

Somehow I think the fact that we're making our way through that frigging deck of evildoer cards is not going to help these people much.

(Link from the Rational Enquirer.)

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