Sunday, February 25, 2007

Losing the minds of the next generation

By killing them in the halls of learning:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A suicide bomber triggered a ball bearing-packed charge Sunday, killing at least 41 people at a mostly Shiite college whose main gate was left littered with blood-soaked student notebooks and papers amid the bodies.

Witnesses said a woman carried out the attack at the business school annex to Mustansiriyah University, but Interior Ministry officials said they were still investigating those reports. The school's main campus was hit by a string of bombings last month that killed 70 people.
And chasing away doctors:

According to a December 2006 report by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, 34,000 physicians were registered in Iraq before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Since then, about 12,000 have fled and 2,000 have been killed, it said.

At al-Jarrah, two doctors have been kidnapped and killed. Two were kidnapped and released. Three have left Baghdad. Thirteen remain on staff.

"It's a campaign to drain the country," said Aviad Najeed, a surgeon at al-Jarrah. "A very, very well-organized one. We don't know who's behind it."

Sitting in their lounge, a windowless room with lockers and leather chairs, four doctors at al-Jarrah talked about the hope they had after the invasion. They recalled buying oranges and flowers to greet U.S. troops. They thought the Americans would bring the best technology and medicines.

And professionals:

(01-16) 04:00 PST Washington -- Iraq is in the throes of the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the Palestinian exodus from Israel in 1948, a mass flight out of and within the country that is ravaging basic services and commerce, swamping neighboring nations with nearly 2 million refugees and building intense pressure for emigration to Europe and the United States, according to the United Nations and refugee experts.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which appealed for $60 million in emergency aid last week, believes 1.7 million Iraqis are displaced inside Iraq, whose prewar population was 21 million. About 50,000 Iraqis are fleeing inside Iraq each month, the United Nations said, and 500,000 have been displaced since last February's bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra. These figures are as of January 2007.

The Bush administration and the governments of Jordan and Syria, the nations that accept the bulk of the refugees, have been reluctant to acknowledge the humanitarian crisis, experts said.

"I think everyone at this point is in denial about the human consequences of the war," said Kathleen Newland, director of the Migration Policy Institute, who is familiar with the State Department's views.

The Iraqi health-care system was once considered one of the best in the Middle East, with the most up-to-date equipment and well-educated doctors. Iraqis could get basic health care free, and each town had at least one hospital. That changed when the U.N. Security Council imposed an embargo after Iraq invaded Kuwait, leading to the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Medical instruments and drugs used to be shipped from Germany, France, Japan and Switzerland. Now, hospitals buy cheaper supplies from Egypt, Jordan and India, the doctors said.
One good way to ruin a secular country right in the middle of the Middle East and Asia is to gut it of the people who love it enough to try and save it. Nice job, Bush.

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