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4/15/03 - HELPING IRAQIS - 2003-04-15


The Iraqi people are celebrating the end of the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. Iraq is being liberated.

In its military campaign, the U.S.-led coalition has been going to great lengths to avoid unnecessary loss of life in Iraq. Care is taken to protect Iraqi neighborhoods, hospitals, and religious sites.

And U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Torie Clarke said that the coalition is caring for Iraqi civilians who get hurt:

“The children are often the ones who can touch your hearts the most. An Iraqi baby was badly burned in a domestic house fire unrelated to any fighting. Our coalition partner, Great Britain, flew the six-month old girl from Iraq to a hospital in Liverpool, England.”

Nearly three-hundred wounded Iraqi soldiers and civilians are being cared for in coalition hospitals. Many more have been treated by medics on the battlefield. Torie Clarke says that coalition forces are committed to treating Iraqi prisoners-of-war humanely:

“On the Hospital Ship Comfort in the Northern Arabian Gulf, we are treating seventy-five Iraqi prisoners-of-war for broken bones, gunshot and shrapnel wounds. One of the medical teams said, quote, ‘As doctors, we do not differentiate between patients, whether they are friends or foes’. End quote. The Iraqi prisoners of war are treated with the same expert care as the wounded coalition forces and Iraqi civilians.”

As the coalition cares for the Iraqi people, the world is learning more about the brutal treatment Iraqis received under the Saddam Hussein regime. One nine-year-old boy from Nasiriyah told coalition medical personnel that he was scared of Saddam Hussein. The boy’s uncle had told him that if a child said anything bad about the Iraqi dictator, Iraqi police would kill the whole family.

As President George W. Bush said, “We are bringing aid to the long-suffering people of Iraq, and we are bringing something more: We are bringing hope.”

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