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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] > > > -----Original Message----- > From: Ramzi Kysia [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] > Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 06:52 PM > To: email@example.com > Subject: U.S. Clueless in Iraq Humanitarian Work > > ***please distribute widely*** > > Heavy-handed & Hopeless, > The U.S. Military Doesn?t Know What It?s Doing In > Iraq > > BAGHDAD (16 April, 2003) ? Voices in the Wilderness > representatives met today with the U.S. Military's > Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC) in their > headquarters at the Palestine Hotel to discuss the > emergency, humanitarian crisis facing Baghdad. Trash > removal has not occurred for a month. Electricity, > Sanitation and Communications were all seriously > damaged during the U.S. war, and have yet to be > restored in Baghdad. Cholera outbreaks have been > reported in Basra, and rumored to have been found in > the central Iraqi city of Hilla. Some of the local > clinics are up and running, but medications for > conditions such as hypertension and diabetes are no > longer available. Quality control equipment and > systems are also unavailable, and the lack of > quality > control could lead to serious problems in treatment, > as well as creating the potential for epidemics due > to > contaminated blood products. > > The previous distribution system set up under the > ?Oil-for-Food? program is in total collapse, and - > unless essential services are immediately restored - > Iraq faces a humanitarian catastrophe. > > Prior to the war, the Pentagon set up Humanitarian > Operations Coordination Centers (the HOC in Qatar > and > Kuwait, and the HAC in Jordan), as well as disaster > assistance response teams (DART), to coordinate > relief > efforts between the U.S. military and United Nations > and non-governmental organizations. Not only are > HOC, > HAC, and DART personnel not in Baghdad yet, CMOC was > not even aware of the existence of these other > military-humanitarian coordinating bodies. > > CMOC reported that they did not yet have a plan for > how to restore essential services in Baghdad, but > are > working on creating such a plan today. However, that > information will not be publicly available for > review, > and will only be shared with organizations that > agree > to work with the U.S. military in Baghdad - cutting > out any humanitarian agency that insists on > maintaining neutrality. > > CMOC also reported that they spent several days > locating hospitals, power plants, and water & > sanitation plants in order to do needs assessments. > Apparently no one in the U.S. military thought to > ask > the United Nations, or other international > organizations working in Iraq, for any of this > information prior to, or even after, the fall of > Baghdad. The World Health Organization and the Red > Cross have been working in Iraq for years. The > United > Nations Development program has been working to > assist > Iraq in restoring electricity since 1996. Locations > and assessments of civilian infrastructures are not > secret information - except in the Pentagon?s world. > Why didn?t anyone ask for this information? Why > wasn?t > a plan for rehabilitation developed prior to the > war? > > When told that of rumors of a cholera outbreak in > Hilla, CMOC even asked Voices in the Wilderness > where > that neighborhood was located in Baghdad - unaware > that Hilla is a major Iraqi city located > approximately > 1 hour south of Baghdad! > > The biggest problem CMOC reported is the lack of > local > workers needed to get civilian systems up and > running. > However, CMOC seemed unaware that the mostly > unmanned > roadblocks put up throughout the city are making it > difficult for anyone to get to work, as is the lack > of > a coordinating body responsible for organizing these > efforts. > > > PROBLEMS THAT NEED TO BE IMMEDIATELY ADDRESSED: > - A coordinating body, not associated with any > military organization, needs to be created to direct > humanitarian assessment and relief efforts by all of > the agencies working, or seeking to work, in Iraq. > Previously, this was the corrupt, but functional, > Iraqi Red Crescent Society. > > - Senior-level administrators at hospitals and other > civilian centers fled with the collapse of the > previous regime. This has led to chaotic conditions > where lower-level staff are unsure who, if anyone, > has > the authority to make urgent decisions. This ?power > vacuum? must be immediately filled by creating new, > decision-making-structures, not corrupted by the > previous regime. > > - The U.S. military has demonstrated that it is > neither prepared, nor interested in becoming > prepared, > to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by their > war. The international community must exert itself, > and return UN control to dealing with this crisis, > until Iraqis can form a government of their own to > deal with the problems created by 12 years of > sanctions and war. > > Time is short. > > ### > > __________________________________________________ > Do you Yahoo!? > The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo > http://search.yahoo.com > > > __________________________________________________ Yahoo! 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