News from Fallujah General Hospital

No, I really don’t have any “news”.  It’s kind of hard to have a blog on an issue that just sits there, getting worse – or worse, just sitting there.  I understand, really. Too much sadness and too many things to be outraged over and it’s hard to keep up with it all, especially something that seems so overwhelming and so far away, and basically kind of hopeless.  I get it, I do. Since I’ve started my blog  all that I’ve done in terms of doing something, is, well, start my blog.  I’ve shared lots of links and background info on what’s been done and what’s been written and at this point that’s really about all I can do.

So, for this last post before I go away for a couple of weeks to recharge my batteries and get geared up for more action, I decided to post these images from the facebook page called the Birth Defects of Fallujah (here is the link, please “like” it, knowing that like really isn’t the right word…https://www.facebook.com/fallujahhospital2012  and of course definitely please like the Justice for Fallujah Project facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Remember-Fallujah-Project/148687775148374?hc_location=stream

I so admire Dr. Ala’ani and the staff of the Fallujah General Hospital, dealing with this,  with limited $ and no real support.  Really no words. All of these babies were born in Fallujah:

This is afemale born today in Fallujah MCH with Microcephaly , Encephalocele , Cleft lip & palate , her brother born 4 years ago with the same defects & died 5 days after birth , 2 normal two years & 11 months old sisters , the parents are young & healthy & have no previous family history of any anomaly

This is afemale born today in Fallujah MCH with Microcephaly , Encephalocele , Cleft lip & palate , her brother born 4 years ago with the same defects & died 5 days after birth , 2 normal two years & 11 months old sisters , the parents are young & healthy & have no previous family history of any anomaly

This boy born today by Cs in FMCH & died shortly after birth , he has Microphthalmia + abnormalities in his trachea & esophagus , the family have no previous anomaly

This boy born by Cs in FMCH & died shortly after birth , he has Microphthalmia + abnormalities in his trachea & esophagus , the family have no previous anomaly

 From Alshuhada'a district , Fallujah , born with chest & hand deformity , his sister married few years ago & gave birth to 3 successive babies with fatal congenital anomalies, the family have no previous history of any congenital anomaly .


From Alshuhada’a district , Fallujah , born with chest & hand deformity , his sister married few years ago & gave birth to 3 successive babies with fatal congenital anomalies, the family have no previous history of any congenital anomaly .

Hiba Sayf with Arythrogryposis & claft , female born in FGH in the 11th of february 2013 , no previous family history of any anomaly .the family live in Saglaweya , their neighbours also have ababy born few days ago with spina bifida

Hiba Sayf with Arythrogryposis & claft , female born in FGH in the 11th of february 2013 , no previous family history of any anomaly .the family live in Saglaweya , their neighbours also have ababy born few days ago with spina bifida

Male born yesterday 6-4-2013 with Hydrocephaly to ayoung healthy parents , there was no previous family history of any anomaly before .

Male born  6-4-2013 with Hydrocephaly to a young healthy parents , there was no previous family history of any anomaly before .

baby with left big toe giantism

baby with left big toe giantism

Female born yesterday in Fallujah MCH with Microcephaly & dysmorphic features , she is the 1st baby to a 2nd degree relatives healthy young parents , the family live in Jumhooreya district , Fallujah & have no previous family history of any anomaly

Female born in Fallujah MCH with Microcephaly & dysmorphic features , she is the 1st baby to a 2nd degree relatives healthy young parents , the family live in Jumhooreya district , Fallujah & have no previous family history of any anomaly

Another male born in FGH 2 days ago with multiple gross congenital anomalies in addition to CHD , he is the 1st baby to 2 young healthy couples with no previous history of any anomaly

Another male born in FGH with multiple gross congenital anomalies in addition to CHD , he is the 1st baby to 2 young healthy couples with no previous history of any anomaly

The pictures are hard to look at and the stories are hard to read…to be 100% honest, I didn’t even post some of the worst. (Like some of these, all born in January 2013: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.379635948800603.82796.179904905440376&type=1)  Can you imagine?

These are the images and these are the stories that move me, in sadness and in anger, at what the war did to these innocent babies. Do you feel it?  It’s what motivates me to keep going in this endeavor, and I hope that everyone who happens upon my blog – whether you are my dear friends or strangers that found it by chance – I hope that you can keep them in your mind as well, and help us, in whatever way you can, to find some justice. Please send ideas, suggestions, thoughts on how we can get the word out so that they can get some help.

And, I will see you on the other side of my vacation, fired up and ready to go…

Where is the WHO?

fallujah-21.jpg

Here’s a link to an op-ed:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/06/201365101540408281.html by Dr.  Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, (from the op-ed: Dr Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, a native of Iran, is an environmental toxicologist based in Michigan. She is the author of over two dozen peer reviewed articles and the book, Pollution and Reproductive Damage.

In the op-ed she asks why an extensive  joint World Health Organization/Iraqi Ministry of Health study on birth defects in Iraq has not been released.  The study began in May-June 2012 and was completed in early October 2012.  The study was supposed to have been released in November 2012…it has yet to be released.  I wonder too.

From the article:

“In response to this costly delay in releasing the WHO report, 58 scientists, health professionals and human rights advocates recently wrote to the WHO and the Iraqi Health Ministry, asking for the immediate release of their report. We requested that this globally significant report be released at once. We received no response to this letter. ”

and there’s this:

“We are still waiting for an answer from the WHO. Why is this important report being held up?  One possible answer was suggested on May 26 by the Guardian. It reported the recent comments of Hans von Sponeck, the former assistant secretary general of the United Nations: “The US government sought to prevent WHO from surveying ares in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers.”

Why indeed? The people of Fallujah and other Iraqi cities who are dealing with the major health crisis deserve to know the truth.  Too much secrecy in so many areas these days.

Will keep you posted. And, if you have the time, PLEASE watch the embedded video, link here:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2012/08/2012815458859755.html

It is heartbreaking, and I hope,it explains my interest in seeing that justice is done in Fallujah.

More than Zero

I’ve been thinking a lot about Daniel Ellsberg’s speech at the Free Bradley Manning rally that I attended this past Saturday. I am honored to have been there (although honestly I had no excuse since I live 20 minutes away). I think that Bradley Manning is a truthteller, and brave whistleblower, and not a traitor/spy, as the other side has portrayed him. In any event, at one point Daniel Ellsberg was talking about one of the many crimes that Bradley Manning exposed (if anyone is interested, here it is, it’s called “Collateral Murder”, and it’s footage of  U.S. military crew on an Army Apache helicopter shooting at Iraqi civilians and a Reuters journalist. Collateral “Damage”. Word.  And more on Bradley Manning, here)

Anyway, Daniel Ellsberg, that famous Vietnam era whistleblower, said that for a while, at least for the  past decade,  “Americans have been acting as if the lives of foreigners meant NOTHING.  Not just less than Americans, nothing. A concern that amounts to zero.”  He then went on to argue that Bradley Manning’s video had the potential for showing Americans the truth.

It saddened me to hear that. I understand that he was making a point. And in my dark times I think that perhaps he’s right…people are so busy and there is so much pain and suffering right here in our own backyard, it’s almost too much to think about the babies in Iraq (and Syria and the Congo…and on and on).  It’s human nature to feel the things that are closest to home.  I almost lost the faith, thinking about that.

But as Daniel Ellsberg also (rightly) pointed out, if you show people the pictures and you give them the facts, they become informed, and when they know, well, maybe some of them will care, and maybe some would care enough to do something. People need to see the pictures and they need to see the data (I work with economists and they taught me the importance of, and a respect for, data).  We need to get the word out in this country. And we can start by demanding to know why more studies aren’t being done, and why a  World Health Organization study on congenital birth defects in Iraq that was completed in 2012 has not been released. (Here is a link to a letter calling for the WHO to release the study).  And there is this heartbreaking video from Voice of America (!). (Note that the US Dept of Defense denies responsibility but says that “more studies need to be done”). hmmmm

I  agree with an article that recently appeared in Counterpunch titled “the Iniquities of the Iraq War”. We need more stories like that. And we need to remember that we are all Bradley Manning.

Peace,
Dawn

fallujah-62.jpg