Magog: Unguarded
Magog: Unguarded
Swarming Around... cats living with dogs... total chaos.

Monday, April 07, 2003

I didn't know about this:

On the barren patch of scraped desert grit that Umm Qasr calls a sports field, the British and U.S. civil affairs units have managed to re-open the soccer field, and the first game was played on Sunday afternoon. U.S. Marines in their green camouflage smocks, body armor and helmets and guns at the ready, stood guard and smiled despite the fierce heat of the day.

Behind the soccer field, there was a sudden splash of color, neon pinks and greens and bright royal blue amid the dull, mud-brown uniformity of the Arab town. It was a plastic playground for children, with swings and slides and rockers. The Marines had brought it in, sunk the railway sleeps around it, shipped in soft sand, and installed the first and brightest colored playground the children of Umm Qasr had ever seen.

The article goes on to say that there doesn't seem to be quite the humanitarian crisis that we're hearing about here.

The fact is that apart from the casualties of war and overburdened hospitals there is no real humanitarian crisis in Iraq, at least in the traditional sense of famine or epidemic. The country was dependent on the U.N. food-for-oil program, but it was well organized and large stocks of food are still on hand. U.N. officials in Umm Qasr said 6-8 weeks of food stocks were on hand, and that seemed to be the case elsewhere in Iraq.

Nor have there been any great floods of refugees to neighboring countries. People left the cities of Baghdad and Basra when the bombing became heavy, and regional cities that saw serious fighting like An Najaf and An Nasiriyah. But when the fighting died down and people saw that the damage was limited, the British civil affairs staff say, they went home.

What they really seem to need over there is medicine. Hopefully, as things get under better control, the shipments of anesthetic, antibiotics, and the like will start to get through.

posted by Max Power | 5:51 PM
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