Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Iraqi Orphanage Nightmare

We saw this story last night on CBS news and it brought tears to our eyes. Lara Logan is an incredible reporter, and this story was one of her best.

U.S. soldiers came upon "multiple bodies laying on the floor" of a facility in central Baghdad. According to Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gibson of the 82nd Airborne Division, "They thought they were all dead, so they threw a basketball (to) try and get some attention, and actually one of the kids lifted up their head, tilted it over and just looked and then went back down. And they said, 'oh, they're alive' and so they went into the building."

"The building" was a government-run orphanage for children with special needs. In the kitchen were staffers cooking meals for themselves, surrounded by fully stocked shelves of food and clothing. But in the courtyard where the soldiers entered were 24 boys, lying naked and emaciated on the floor, tied to their cribs.

At this point, we are not surprised to see news coverage of wounded civilians, even children. But what on earth is going on when the Iraqis are treating their own people this way? And this is the government our men and women in uniform are fighting (and dying) for?

Logan very aptly stated that "This is a tough test for the Iraqi government: How a nation cares for its most vulnerable is one of the most important benchmarks for the health of any society."

The Iraqi government has failed yet another test.


Allie said...

Those poor babies :( How sickening... it makes me want to adopt a few so they'll never ever feel neglected again. The fact that PEOPLE WERE THERE is what makes it horrendous. How can you find that many people to work in one place that have absolutely no guilt? Doesn't make me very hopeful. I feel bad for the soldiers who found them. That's going to haunt them, but it's also going to be almost like a blessing... finding something to truly help with and know you're doing a great thing. Sad story :(

PookyShoehorn said...

I hope those soldiers who found them can find comfort in knowing they saved the lives of those completely helpless souls. It must be such a tough emotional thing to go through, tho, especially if they are away from their own children, to see children being treated this way.

I saw tonight that CBS.com has a link to find out how to help these boys. And apparently it made the news in Iraq, and the Iraqi people are just as furious to find out this is happening as we are. It seems to be another case of government corruption.

Sorry to be so cynical about it, but I guess we are teaching the Iraqis the American style of democracy, after all.