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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] I had to go and witness the CNN party for myself. Toget there meant walking two hundred yards to thePalestine hotel, past the kids sleeping on a patch ofgrass next to my hotel. They have been there for morethan a week now. A group of ten or so youngteenagers, the youngest are girls. They are dyingslowly. In the chaos of the war the US troops liberated theorphanages, so I have been told. These kids haduniforms, and the logic was they were prisoners ofSaddam’s regime. Now they are dying on a patch of grass while CNNparties on. Just nearby is the Magic carpet ofSinbad, a large bronze sculpture of every child’sfantasy story of flying carpets. Somewhere these kidshave learnt to sniff glue, their escape.Each day you see them holding their stomachs in pain,their eyes glazed, they harass anyone who walks past. They are starving. One young boy has broken leg, it’sin plaster, but he has no crutches, so his friendshelp him move around. I was surprised one day to seea US soldier walk into the middle of the group, but itwas only to sort out who had been stealing.It’s easier if you can imagine that the great NGOs arehere and starting to help. Maybe they are, but Ican’t see where. I visited the Al Kindy hospital withSalem; he was investigating stories of rape. As westood the yard five ambulances pulled in, they hadjust driven five serious burns victims in from a townnear the Jordanian border 600 miles away, an explosionof some kind. It had left two of them with 100% burns, a sight Iwill never forget, charred bodies, where you can stillonly just guess at age, a seventeen year old boy,maybe. There is really no hope for them people seemedto be saying. The doctor would not even come andlook, we asked why. “We now have 10 to 15 serious buncases a day, our specialist rooms for them are full,they will have to go to another hospital”. They hadalready been turned away from one hospital for thesame reason; we went to the next, ahead of theambulances. No space there either, these ambulancemen were destined to spend the night roaming Baghdad. As they ambulances didn’t appear at this hospital wedrove back and found one had been stopped by the USarmy. Two men were sitting next to it with theirhands tied back. One of the soldiers spotted mefilming and Salem panicked, “we can’t stop, we can’task, they will arrest me and confiscate your camera,trust me I know the Americans”. We decided to carry on with the investigation intorape; there is a specialist hospital for these caseswe were told. We arrived at what used to be Saddammedical city. The buildings gates were shut, a posteron the wall showed the photo of a girl who had beenabducted. Eventually a guard came out, the buildingis closed, he told us, it is being used as a morguefor all the bodies that do not yet have deathcertificates. It’s full.It’s all about finding implementers one funding groupfrom the states told us, we have the cash to fund lifesaving projects but we need people who can actuallycarry this out. Occasionally you can see the roughlypainted banners of the Islamic relief agency, oneimplementer in action. I asked in the Aliwiyahmaternity hospital if they had seen any of the NGO’s. No one was the reply, we see journalists, three mencame from ORHA came a few weeks ago, but they didn’tcome back. We have supplies left for another sixweeks; these were given to us before the war by thegovernment.Raed a friend from CIVIC showed me a satellite photoof the hospitals in Baghdad that NGOs are being given. I could help thinking is that as close as they havegot? During the bombing Medicine Sans Frontieres wereoccupying the Al Kindy hospital, now there was onlytwo Iraqi doctors, in the causality department, whohad the air of being beyond compassion, they wereexhausted. In the space of an hour I saw the fiveburns patients, three children with injuries fromplaying with munitions and one near fatal gun shotinjury in the unit. Outside of Baghdad is different; Raed assured me thereare NGOs sometimes different groups all in the samehospital. In Nassariya I remember the doctorscomplaining, in a place where they had the heaviestinjuries from fighting, their first consignment of Aidfrom Kuwait was shampoo and bandages out of date byten years.Basra is rapidly regaining its confidence, a bustlingport and market. People are walking in the street,eating ice cream and looking relaxed. And here theNGO’s are getting started, although one told me, yourestock the hospitals and within a day the stock isbeing sold on the black market. One human rightsworker told us, the alcohol shop owners are beingkilled, one now has four armed guards outside hishome. Co-ordination of Aid is being discussed at the Canalhotel in Baghdad; the UN building it still functionsand has set up a great centralising point for NGOaction. So I am going to make an effort to spot themin Baghdad from now on, I saw two from Aide Medicalcollecting Pizza from a restaurant, that’s a start. --------------------------------- Yahoo! Plus - For a better Internet experience _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk