jeudi 31 mai 2007

While Iraqis are left without medical care...

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty
Jalal Talabani at the White House on 31st May 2007
read transcript below
While Iraqis are left without medical care the "President of Iraq" is continuing his slimming treatment in the U.S.

Cancer on the Rise in the South
Roughly 20% Increase in Breast Cancer, Child Leukemia Since 2005

BASRA, 31 May 2007 (IRIN) - Recent studies by medical colleges, and statistics from local morgues and hospitals, have shown a higher than expected number of cancer-related deaths in Iraq's southern provinces. According to specialists, the main causes are the increased use of unsafe products in agriculture and the long-term effects of war on health.

Psychological stresses and strains engendered by years of conflict, violence, displacement and uncertainty have weakened people's natural resistance to disease. This has been compounded by the lack of skilled medical staff and poor facilities and equipment.

"Lack of treatment for cancer patients and outdated radiotherapy and chemotherapy techniques have led to lower survival rates of patients. The shortage of oncologists, who have fled to neighbouring countries, has worsened the situation," said Hussein Abdel-Kareem, an oncologist and senior official in the Basra Health Secretariat.

"Exposure to radiation from old cluster bombs, the high use of chemicals in agriculture as well as water contamination is having a serious impact on the health of local people, since these factors are important promoters of cancer related diseases. Many of the patients could have been treated but they died because of lack of facilities," Abdel-Kareem added.


According to a study entitled The Increase in Cancer Cases as Result of War Debris - published in early May by Basra University Medical College with input from researchers at the Ministry of Health - cancer-related diseases are now one of the main causes of a large percentage of deaths in the southern provinces.

"At least 45 percent of deaths in the southern provinces are caused by cancer. Some patients develop related diseases which worsen their condition, leading to a faster death. The statistics are having a serious impact on the health system and urgent funds are needed," said Imad Hassan, a health specialist and member of the commission which produced the study.

"Southern governorates have been seriously affected by wars, especially in the past 20 years and it is a region in which chemicals and pesticides are used in fishing and agriculture," Hassan said.

He added that in Basra, Muthana, Dhi Qar and Missan governorates, the drinking water has been found to be unsafe and in some places, especially in and near rural areas, the water was highly contaminated, including with pesticide residues.

Leukemia, breast cancer

More cancer-related deaths among women and children have been found in Basra and Missan governorates, where leukemia among children has increased substantially by 22 percent compared to 2005, and where a lot of women have developed breast cancer, with the figures showing an increase of 19 percent compared to 2005, the study said.

"Over the years the local population has been exposed to the most serious radiation and chemical factors resulting from war, including the use of unsafe and cheap pesticides, and now we see the results," Abdel-Kareem said.

A number of children - some say at least three per day - are born in hospitals in the southern provinces without limbs or without organs. The phenomenon, specialists say, is a result of years of war. "We have had cases of children who showed cancer-related diseases after only four weeks of life," he added.

Specialists and the provincial heath secretary have called on the central government to provide funds to improve health services in the southern provinces.

"We need funds, new equipment and availability of medicines to try to save the lives of hundreds of innocent indirect victims of the war," Abdel-Kareem said.

Bush Talks Oil
Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2007-05-31 Media
Bush Holds a Joint News Conference With Iraqi President Jalal TalabaniCQ Transcripts WireSPEAKERS: PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH IRAQI PRESIDENT JALAL TALABANI
BUSH: It is my honor to welcome the president of a free Iraq back to the Oval Office.
President Talabani, thank you for coming. I admire your courage. I admire your dedication to a united Iraq. I admire the leadership you have shown, and I welcome you.
We had a good conversation today about a variety of subjects. I told the president that I'm fully committed to helping the Iraq government achieve important objectives. We call them benchmarks, political law necessary to show the Iraqi citizens that there is a unified government willing to work on the interests of all people.
The president fully understands the need for the Iraqi government to meet certain benchmarks, and he is dedicated to achieving those benchmarks. We're working very hard, for example, on getting an oil law with an oil revenue sharing code that will help unite the country, working very hard on a de-Baathification law and on reform, as well as provincial elections.
We talked about a lot of issues and I want to thank you very much for your vision, Mr. President, and your willingness to take the hard steps necessary to get the job done.
I told the president of a decision I have made. I have asked one of my top aides, Meghan O'Sullivan, to return to Baghdad. Meghan has been an integral part of our team here at the White House. She has been in Iraq before. She's going back to serve with Ambassador Crocker to help the Iraqis and to help the embassy help the Iraqis meet the benchmarks that the Congress and the president expect to get passed, and I want to thank Meghan for her dedicated service to a free Iraq.
Mr. President, it is important that you succeed. Failure in Iraq would endanger the American citizens, because failure in Iraq would embolden the enemies of a free Iraq.
BUSH: David Petraeus said public enemy number one in Iraq is Al Qaida. Al Qaida happens to be public enemy number one in America, too.
And that should say, loud and clear, to citizens who still remember the lessons of September the 11th that it's in our interests to help the Iraqis defeat Al Qaida.
We must not let Al Qaida have a safe haven in Iraq. We must not retreat in the face of the unspeakable violence that they perpetuate on your citizens. We must help you prevail.
And if all Iraqis showed the same courage you show, we will prevail. And there's a lot of courageous Iraqis there. I'm confident we can succeed, Mr. President. And I want to thank you for coming here to the White House to join me.
TALABANI: I am pleased and honored to meet our great friend, whom we consider the hero of liberating Iraq, President George Bush, who was always with the Iraqi people.
Also, I must tell you that I am committed, as the president of Iraq, to benchmarks and to do our best to achieve some progress forward for national reconciliation, for passing the new oil law, de- Baathification, investment, and other laws which are now under discussion.
And I think we are due to finish all of it and send it to parliament to be achieved.
At the same time, we are committed to do our best to train our army and our forces to replace, gradually, the American forces in taking responsibility of the security of our country.
Of course, we are very grateful to the American people.
TALABANI: And I present my condolences to the sacrifice which this glorious people, America, has always presented for liberating peoples all all over history and for Iraqi people (inaudible) people and others.
We are always expressing our desire to strengthen the (inaudible) of Iraq and the unity of the national government, and to have the collective leadership in Iraq for dealing with all problems. And I've briefed His Excellency, Mr. President about what we have done and what we have achieved for this purpose.
I'm glad to have the support of President Bush and the Congress. I am grateful to Congress. I told President Bush that I'm grateful for the Congress for the last decision and for the (inaudible) decision, which a resolution was taken by Congress, the resolution of liberating Iraq at the time of President Bill Clinton.
So we are determined to succeed. Of course, you have problems. I don't think that everything is OK. Everything is (inaudible). We have problems. We have serious problems with terrorism. The main enemy of Iraqi people is Al Qaida and terrorist cooperating with them. But there are groups who are now raising arms against us. Now we are negotiating with them to get them back to the political process of the Iraqi people. And we have good achievements also. We hope that this will lead to more steps forward to national reconciliation in Iraq.
We are also determined to improve our political and economic life in Iraq. We achieved (inaudible) unfortunately, media only concentrating on negative sides of Iraq.
They're not concentrating on big achievements in Iraq, economic achievements, raising the (inaudible) of Iraqis, improving the social life and that all universities, schools, hospitals are working well in Iraq beside the problems which we have.
TALABANI: We don't deny it. We are trying to overcome these difficulties.
But we have some achievements. Thanks to United States of America and our great friend President Bush, we achieved some good, important success.
Besides some failure in the security, we have also successes in bringing democracy for the first time to Iraq. All kind of democratic rights are now available for Iraqi people. We have free election. We have now parliament elected by people. We have authorities, presidency, prime minister chosen by the people. This is happening for the first time in the history of Iraqi people.
Also, we have some kind of success in rebuilding our country. Not all parts of Iraq are terrible areas. We have in the north in Iraq, in Kurdistan, about 4 million Iraqis living in peace, security and prosperity. And also in the south we have about nine provinces now secured. And gradually, days ago, the American forces delivered the responsibility of security to the authorities in the Iraqi Kurdistan.
So we are going forward with difficulties. I don't deny difficulties. I don't deny (inaudible). I don't deny that still we are suffering from some problems.
But we are determined to benchmarks and we are determined to go forward and to achieve, as Mr. President mentioned, now we are due to (inaudible) the oil law, which will revenue sharing for all Iraqis, due to review the de-Baathification. We have a new draft for this. We have another (inaudible) draft for investment. We are encouraging investment from outside to Iraq. And we are going to renew the local elections (inaudible) in near future for this (inaudible).
And again I am grateful to American people, to the president of the American people for what they have done for my people, for Iraq. We are now living in much better situation than we had in the past. And we are facing common enemy, which is (inaudible) Al Qaida is the enemy, not only of Iraq and America, but all people of the world.
TALABANI: Look to the Arab countries. Everywhere, Al Qaida -- in Lebanon, in Algeria, in Morocco, in Saudi Arabia, in Egypt -- Al Qaida is starting to work against all peoples of the Middle East.
So we are fighting this enemy. And as President Bush said, there must be no place for Al Qaida in Iraq or in other places. Because if they can have such a kind of basis, they will threaten Europe and the United States of America.
Again, Mr. President, thank you very much...
BUSH: Thank you, sir.
TALABANI: ... for your time...
BUSH: Thank you.
TALABANI: ... and for what you said.
Talabani, the agent, is saying exactly what Bush wants him to say.
He should not be allowed to speak in the name of the Iraqis, Iraqis are not "his people", apart from the Kurdish and Green Zone agents no Iraqi can feel gratitude towards the American invaders who only brought death and destruction to their country.

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