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A life of misery

Not only did the Bush administration lack an exit strategy for the war in Iraq, they didn’t even bother to make a postwar reconstruction plan. As a result, the Iraqis are suffering greatly from the mess created by the attack on their country.

To get a sense of what life is like for the average citizen in postwar Iraq, follow these instructions by Maureen Jack of Scotland, a Christian Peacemaker Team member who is currently living in Baghdad.

“Don’t use the telephone. In most of Baghdad the telephone system doesn’t work; the telecommunications building was destroyed during the war and there is no timescale for rebuilding it.



“Don’t drink the water. It can result in infection and diarrhea. Switch off everything: lights, refrigerator, television, fans, air conditioning (and remember that the daytime temperature is approaching 120 degrees). Electricity supply is sporadic. In 24 hours we had electricity from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., 10 p.m. to midnight, and from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.”

Power failures can mean death for some. Hospital ventilators and incubators cannot function, surgeries cannot be performed, and water-purification systems don’t work. Since the “end of major combat,” hospitals have not been resupplied with equipment or medicine. Food supplies are getting low and are projected to run out in September.




Because the closely controlled American media doesn’t report what life is like for Iraqis under the occupation, most Americans are unaware of the miserable conditions they are enduring. For an inside look from international civilians in Baghdad, visit http://www.rfpeace.org (sidebar; “from Iraq”).

Sue Gray

Carbondale


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