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Limbs

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I’m sure the facts and quotations in this story have all been fabricated by anti-war zealots:

Iraq is facing a hidden healthcare and social crisis over the soaring number of amputations, largely of lower limbs, necessitated by the daily explosions and violence gripping the country.

In the north of Iraq, the Red Crescent Society and the director general for health services in Mosul have told US forces, there is a requirement for up to 3,000 replacement limbs a year. If that estimate is applied across the country, it suggests an acute and looming long-term health challenge that has been largely ignored by the world.

. . . The problem is the nature of the war itself, which has involved a very high incidence of blast injuries from car bombs and suicide bombers, as well as collateral injuries caused to civilians by blasts from US airstrikes, numbers of which have increased fivefold since early 2006.

This is a valuable reminder that — ground “surge” aside — there has been a surge in the air campaign over Iraq as well, with predictable consequences for civilians. In this piece, Peter Beaumont goes on to note that the prosthetics available to Iraqis are based on antiquated models at least 30 years old; private foundations, including one created in memory of Marla Ruzicka are trying to pick up the slack.

Whenever I read these kinds of stories, I can’t help but remember this classic moment from March 2003:

There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.

To those folks who claim a withdrawal of American troops will mean that we’ve “abandoned” the Iraqi people, I say this: Prove to me that we haven’t already.

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