The story every American should know – The barbaric legacy of the US invasion of Iraq

Middle East
on 16 Comments

Dahr Jamail reports for Al Jazeera English from Iraq:

While the US military has formally withdrawn from Iraq, doctors and residents of Fallujah are blaming weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorous used during two devastating US attacks on Fallujah in 2004 for what are being described as “catastrophic” levels of birth defects and abnormalities.

Dr Samira Alani, a paediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, has taken a personal interest in investigating an explosion of congenital abnormalities that have mushroomed in the wake of the US sieges since 2005.

“We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine,” Alani told Al Jazeera at her office in the hospital, while showing countless photos of shocking birth defects.

As of December 21, Alani, who has worked at the hospital since 1997, told Al Jazeera she had personally logged 677 cases of birth defects since October 2009. Just eight days later when Al Jazeera visited the city on December 29, that number had already risen to 699.

“There are not even medical terms to describe some of these conditions because we’ve never seen them until now,” she said. “So when I describe it all I can do is describe the physical defects, but I’m unable to provide a medical term.”

‘Incompatible with life’

Most of these babies in Fallujah die within 20 to 30 minutes after being born, but not all.

Four-year-old Abdul Jaleel Mohammed was born in October 2007. His clinical diagnosis includes dilation of two heart ventricles, and a growth on his lower back that doctors have not been able to remove.

Abdul has trouble controlling his muscles, struggles to walk, cannot control his bladder, and weakens easily. Doctors told his father, Mohamed Jaleel Abdul Rahim, that his son has severe nervous system problems, and could develop fluid build-up in his brain as he ages, which could prove fatal.

“This is the first instance of something like this in all our family,” Rahim told Al Jazeera. “We lived in an area that was heavily bombed by the Americans in 2004, and a missile landed right in front of our home. What else could cause these health problems besides this?”

Dr Alani told Al Jazeera that in the vast majority of cases she has documented, the family had no prior history of congenital abnormalities.

Alani showed Al Jazeera hundreds of photos of babies born with cleft palates, elongated heads, a baby born with one eye in the centre of its face, overgrown limbs, short limbs, and malformed ears, noses and spines.

She told Al Jazeera of cases of “thanatophoric dysplasia”, an abnormality in bones and the thoracic cage that “render the newborn incompatible with life”.

Rahim said many of his relatives that have had babies after 2004 are having problems as well.

“One of them was born and looks like a fish,” Rahim said. “I also personally know of at least three other families who live near us who have these problems also.”

Read the rest of the story here.

16 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    January 6, 2012, 2:42 pm

    “incompatible with life” Stories we will not be seeing on the front of Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Newsweek or on Hardball, CNN or RAchel Maddows. So so sad. Americans should be ashamed…but they are not. …So disturbing…and now the I lobby and Israel have the US headed for the next stop…..Iran

    • Froggy
      January 6, 2012, 6:28 pm

      As bad as WW2 was, and is (in the form of unexploded ordnance that keep turning up under our houses and city streets), we never had to contend with anything like this. Not even close.

      If God exists, the judgement on all of us who did less than our best to prevent/end these atrocities will be terrible, and deservedly so.

    • Citizen
      January 6, 2012, 8:42 pm

      Most Americans would love to turn Persians into little fishies.

  2. Kathleen
    January 6, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Where is Iraq’s Simon Wiesenthal? Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rice, Judy Miller etc should be on trial at the Hague

    • pabelmont
      January 7, 2012, 12:09 pm

      “Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rice, Judy Miller etc should be on trial at the Hague” .Agreed. But they did not necessarily choose the weapons that the USA decided to use. Depleted Uranium was used in 1st Gulf War and efforts have been made to outlaw it, but USA persists as it also does with cluster bombs and land-mines.

      The USA’s top generals and presidents are the ones who (formally) take responsibility for the choice of weapons that the USA uses. Perhaps (and I wish) they would be on trial for those horrible choices.

  3. Bumblebye
    January 6, 2012, 2:55 pm

    This documentary is about the attempts of one elderly German doctor to uncover and bring to world attention the terrible radiation problems of depleted uranium in Iraq (and the attempts to thwart him). It’s very well worth watching:
    link to

  4. Dan Crowther
    January 6, 2012, 3:02 pm

    From Jerry Slater’s post today:

    “Final comment: all wars cause civilian casualties, which by themselves is not enough to condemn them.”

    Slater would condemn this, because he thinks that Iraq was a immoral war – conversely, he would NOT condemn this if he thought the war aims were moral. Or so the logic goes……

    There are no words to describe this outrage. War is Evil.

  5. MRW
    January 6, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Barbaric is the right word. And the rest of your title says it all, Adam.

  6. Kathleen
    January 6, 2012, 3:30 pm

    In the documentary “No End in Sight” many of the individuals (Paul Pillar being one of them) that the alleged mistakes (too few troops, protecting oil sites, while allowing looting of Iraqi treasures, Bremer disbanding the Iraqi army putting thousands of men without jobs out on the streets, etc etc) in the run up to Iraq and after the invasion were not “mistakes” but well thought out strategies to create chaos, destabilize Iraq and that part of the world. CPT witness Peggy Gish has shared with many of us that during her six years in Iraq (before and after the invasion) that many Iraqi people believe this. The US took the lid (Saddam Hussein) off or secular hatred and made sure that there were not enough troops to maintain any type of peace. Allowing the Sunni/Shiite hatred to explode and that infighting would kill hundreds of thousands as well as those Iraqi people killed and injured by American soldiers. Hillary Mann Leverett has also written about these possibilities over at Race for Iran.

    Feith, Cheney ,Wolfowitz are not idiots…but they are I believe psychopaths. With no regard for human life (well except for those that they deem valuable). Remember when General Tommy Franks called Feith “The stupidest fucking guy on the face of the earth” I think the neo cons accomplished much of what they wanted in Iraq. I don’t think they give one flying —-k about the people of Iraq

    • Citizen
      January 6, 2012, 8:48 pm

      I cannot even imagine a single neocon giving a fuck about an Arab. I don’t think the neocons planned the Iraqi factional war after the regime went down; I think they just did not think about it at all except they believed the Street would welcome them there. They don’t even have a clue about the Street here in the USA. Why should they? The Street has no power.

      • Sumud
        January 8, 2012, 6:04 am

        I don’t think the neocons planned the Iraqi factional war after the regime went down;

        Why else would they have de-commisoned the Iraqi Army, Citizen? The goal was to destroy Iraq and the most efficient way was divide and conquer: let the factions destroy the country themselves by just keep pumping in money and weapons to this and then that group.

      • seafoid
        January 9, 2012, 4:19 am

        what did the Yanks get out of it in the end, Sumud? the Iraq war reminds me of those Byzantine wars with the Persians where both sides lost and the long term cost for the 2 sides was economic decline

  7. Kathleen
    January 6, 2012, 3:35 pm

    A barbaric team of psychopaths lied this nation into Iraq and they created a “barbaric” legacy. I hope and pray there is a hell so that the Iraq war criminals burn in hell for ever lasting eternity. Would be better to witness them held accountable while they are alive. Instead we are subjected to listening to them tell more poisonous lies about Iran on the MSM.

    Where is the Iraqi Simon Wiesenthal? Where is the international community demanding that those who led the US into Iraq be held accountable…since most Americans are asleep and basically do not give a rats ass about the people of Iraq…or Iran

  8. Kathleen
    January 6, 2012, 3:40 pm

    This one by Juan Cole having to do with the Sunni/Shiite fighting, Turkey, Bahrain ec…important read
    link to

  9. dumvitaestspesest
    January 7, 2012, 8:13 am

    People in Power don’t give a hoot about well being of a regular person on a street. They just don’t care.
    We have people in the global Power that are inter-connected, inter-depended in carrying on their own, very shady businesses.
    They feel unpunishable because, “they are the gods, they are the law”.
    Mafia style operations.
    Global mafia that tries to preserve a pretense/veneer of legality by making an impression that some of its most public, visual members are “democratically” chosen. They are the ones who deal with “the crowds/the public”, so they try to pretend like they CARE. They don’t. They are pulled by many invisible strings of those who hide in the shadow and are much more powerful.
    To make cracks in this global wicked ,yet very sturdy, fortress will be very difficult , I hope not impossble.

    Here, on this video is an example how the Power cares about the plight of an average person.
    They are all smiles, shaking hands, congratulating each other while children are being killed, parents wail and despair and the whole place is turned into inferno.
    link to

  10. thetumta
    February 1, 2012, 10:24 pm

    As I remember, 2 or 3 NCOs and a Captain gave war crime depositions about what went on in Fallujah. When I was in the Division, this would have been worse than suicide. Better to have just slit your own wrists and get it over with. What happened to them?

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