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Cholera Outbreak in Iraq as Thousands Flee Their Homes

The Independent has the story on a cholera outbreak in northern Iraq:

Lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation has led to 5,000 people in northern Iraq contracting cholera.

The outbreak is among the most serious signs yet that Iraqi health and social services are breaking down as the number of those living in camps and poor housing increases after people flee their homes.

A few days ago I posted about how the surge has led to a significant increase in the number of internally displaced people in Iraq (the surge is responsible for everything that happens in Iraq isn't it?). This cholera outbreak is a clear manifestation of the massive dislocation of Iraqi people that is currently underway. It's symptomatic of the systemic breakdown that is occurring at all levels of Iraqi society as the country lurches toward a collapsed failed state along the lines of sub-Saharan Africa.

Iraqi refugee camps are overflowing as you can see in this video by the BBC. The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes is increasing also as reported by the BBC:

Latest figures from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, show the number of Iraqis fleeing their homes is rising.

The latest figure is 60,000 per month, compared to a previous level of 50,000, a UNHCR spokeswoman said.

The body estimates 4.2m Iraqis have been displaced since the 2003 invasion. Of those, two million have gone abroad.

Syria estimates more than 1.4m Iraqis are now within its borders. Jordan says as many as 750,000 are on its territory.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Iraq has doubled and casualties among US forces are significantly higher than a year ago as reported on the Washington Monthly despite nonsensical White House spin that the surge has reduced fatalities. Maliki's unity government has collapsed and his government is paralyzed, there has been no substantial progress on political reconciliation, and the Iraqi parliament is on vacation while the country burns.

The American people have seen enough of this disaster and we don't really need to hear Petraeus' predictable spin that the surge is "working" and will be successful if we only give it another 6 months (at least). We need to send a clear message to Petraeus and the White House: come up with a plan to start bringing our troops home now and put an end to this. You've had 4 years to fix Iraq and it just keeps getting worse. Stop sacrificing our finest young men and women for this nationbuilding misadventure. Enough is enough.

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Comments (1)

Lee Ward:

The already fragile infrastructure of Iraq, which had been taxed heavily already by years of neglect, is now being taxed further through these massive relocations.

And our great country made a solemn promise to the Iraqi lined up to vote in favor of a democracy -- that we would help them rebuild and improve this infrastructure with safe and efficient schools, hospitals, sanitation facilities, etc.

"Purple-fingered majesty" indeed -- but as long as the defense industry, contractors, and lobbyists are raking in their millions, who in this administration cares?

And who among the Republican candidates for President cares? They are all lined up and committed to to prolong this disease, not cure it.


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