Let's try to keep this thread on the topic of Iraq updates...
Iraqi Children Refused Treatment by Army Doctors
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 @ 21:42:06 CDT
Topic: News from the Front
WASHINGTON (NFTF.org) -- Three children severely burned after setting fire to a bag of explosives they discovered near a military base were refused aid by U.S. Army doctors.
"I have never seen in almost 14 years of Army experience anything that callous," Sgt. David J. Borell told the Associated Press. "I cannot imagine the heartlessness required to look into the eyes of a child in horrid pain and suffering and, with medical resources only a brief trip up the road, ignore their plight as though they are insignificant."
Borrell, serving at an Army airfield in Balad (approximately 60 miles north of Baghdad), summoned doctors when approached by Falah Mutlaq, the children's desperate father, who had been unable to get them treatment at a local hospital.
The U.S. Army defended the doctors' inaction. Public affairs officer, Maj. David Accetta from the 3rd Corps Support Command, stated the children's injuries failed to meet the criteria for Army aid, namely loss of life, limb or eyesight resulting from non-chronic illnesses or infliction by U.S. forces.
"Our goal is for the Iraqis to use their own existing infrastructure and become self-sufficient, not dependent on U.S. forces for medical care,'' Accetta told the AP via e-mail.
Mutlaq's two daughters received extensive superficial burns. His son has been unable to use his left fingers and right leg because of the extreme pain.
Borrell, a father of two young girls himself, said he felt betrayed by the Army, where he's served for over 10 years.
"After today, I wonder if I will still be able to carry the title 'soldier' with any pride at all."
Coalition forces have not kept statistics on the number of suspected Iraqis injured or killed by loose munition scattered throughout the country, though thousands of such casualties are suspected.
YellowTimes.org correspondent Lisa Ashkenaz Croke drafted this report.