mercredi 16 janvier 2008

All Well in Basra???

Effects of Depleted Uranium

Letter of an Iraqi civilian to the editor of the Independent newspaper

Dr. Jawad Al Ali a well known health expert from Basra, warns that the health system there is in a catastrophic state, due to lack of medicines and medical equipment. It talks of the resurgence of diseases that was long extinguished in Iraq, such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, Bilharzia and Rabies. Dr. Al Ali's report mentions a 45% increase in incidences of cancer. Most of the cancer patients end up dead. It blames this increase on the Depleted Uranium munitions used during the 2003 invasion and 1991 war, on the increased pollution and on the unregulated use of pesticides in the province of Basra.

Dr. Ali is quoted as saying that 70% of the cancer patients could be saved but are not due to the lack of medicines and proper equipment.

The mood of optimism and self congratulations for a 'job well done' in Basra, cannot be squared with the 14th December 2007, BBC report quoting the results of a poll carried out in Basra for the Newsnight program. The report starts as follows: “More than 85% of the residents of Basra believe British troops have had a negative effect on the Iraqi province since 2003, an opinion poll suggests.”

It is fascinating how the British goal posts in Basra have become so narrow. I find it odd, that everyone has conveniently forgot Mr. Blair's pledge (it is available on YouTube website) when the British public became uneasy as the Basra battle raged in 2003, further damaging the already weak infrastructure and water and sanitation systems. Mr. Blair in his effort to ease their guilt stood there and said, " We will help them rebuild the infrastructure, their hospitals, their schools...".
The fact that the British political system has failed to take Mr. Blair to task on this issue is a testimony to the erosion of the democracy in the UK.

Aucun commentaire: