Iraq

Red Cross: Iraq Situation Is "Ever-Worsening"

|

The situation for civilians in Iraq is "ever-worsening," even though security in some places has improved as a result of stepped-up efforts by U.S.-led multinational forces, the international Red Cross said Wednesday.

Thousands of bodies lie unclaimed in mortuaries, with family members either unaware that they are there or too afraid to go to recover them, according to a key official with the neutral agency. Medical professionals also have been fleeing the country after cases where their colleagues were killed or abducted, the group said.

"Whatever operation that is today under way, and that may be taken tomorrow and in the weeks after, to improve the security of civilians on the ground may have an effect in the medium term," said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC.

"We're certainly not seeing an immediate effect in terms of stabilization for civilians currently. That is not our reading," he said.

Read whole AP story here.

NEXT: The Right to Hunt in Montana

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. what, no rusty old intact ambulances destroyed by Israeli missles? can’t be all that bad.

  2. Wait for it; Wait for it. I sense a “give the surge time to work” comment on the way.

  3. Let’s just jump ahead a bit:

    1. The Red Cross says things are bad in Iraq.

    2. We should ignore the Red Cross, because they are biased and anti-American.

    1. Why do you say they’re biased and anti-American?

    2. Didn’t you see? They said things are bad in Iraq.

  4. this is the icrc, not the red cross that we think of. it’s a very, very politicized organization. things may or may not be worse, but the icrc would not be a reliable source of info in either case.

  5. Ah, the perils of ripping the lid off Pandora’s box. I suspect the body count will soar immensely, to the Red Cross’ chagrin, should the U.S. trooops pull out and the Iraqis
    be totally free to have at each other. But at least they won’t be U.S. bodies.

  6. SPORTS BAR POLL: 5 Bud light swilling Doodz with Bosox caps askew agree that Red Cross is evil and anti American

    Newsflash, dateline Binghamton, NY: It’s settled. Americans believe the Red Cross is anti American. So says a poll at a sports bar.

    This roving reporter, acting on a tip from Mr. Steven Crane, discovered that these shrewd gentlemen (except for the one who fell for the “loose cap on the salt shaker” trick) never believed that “Al Kayda” was Da-rock. Mr. Salt Shaker was quickly corrected by his moussed up buddy (his satin shirt, a shiny button down with vertical stripes and eye-pleasing pastel colors was untucked) called “What A” by his friends, corrected Mr. Salty:

    “Dude. I-rack. speakin’ of racks. check out that honey. I like her politics!

    So we have uncovered what Americans have believed: 1) I-rack is da bomb. 2) The Red Cross must have been burning for a while to become embers.

    we report. you regurgitate.

  7. The ICRC is so untrustworthy and anti-American that they reported abuses at Abu Ghraib months before the pictures came out.

    And, of course, they were denounced as a highly politicized, anti-American organization for their trouble.

  8. son of a bitch man i was just pouring myself a little glass of brita-filtered water when i read this article see about a poll at a sports bar and then i fell and broke my other hip.

    the lake looks terrible today, high-number. be glad you’re in sunny oak park.

  9. joe-

    Yeah, the Red Cross was right, but they were right too early. Which means that they are partisan. See also: Warming, Global and WMD, Iraqi.

  10. joe,

    Don’t act like the Red Cross doesn’t have blood on their hands (especially after I fidget while donating).

  11. Well, damn.

    Even if all I do today is set up that joke, it was worth getting out of bed.

  12. The best way to assess conditions on the ground in Iraq is to look at the refugee situation. Whatever can be said about Iraqi elections and purple thumbs, the way folks are voting with their feet is likely a more accurate poll.

  13. Ah, the perils of ripping the lid off Pandora’s box. I suspect the body count will soar immensely, to the Red Cross’ chagrin, should the U.S. trooops pull out and the Iraqis be totally free to have at each other. But at least they won’t be U.S. bodies.

    Huh? So your point is … what? That the Red Cross should have never ripped the lid off Pandora’s box by deciding to invade Iraq?

  14. “Pandora’s Box” = “Those people have been killing each other for centuries” = “A-rabs can’t live like civilized people.” It’s racist bullshit, by the same people who got us into this mess in the first place.

    There were two years when there was no civil war. Al Qaeda was doing everything they could to provoke one, but people lile Ali Sistani were holding the country together with their fingernails, imploring their people not to take the bait.

    We should have left then, but the “Pandora’s Box” people had a Really Big Idea. Thanks, folks.

  15. joe, one can refer to our adventure in Iraq as Pandora’s Box without thinking Arabs are inherently unsuited for a free society. If the endeavor is doomed to fail, and guaranteed to produce hellish outcomes, then Pandora’s Box is an apt description.

    I think Arabs are perfectly capable of living in a free society, but I also think that trying to impose it by force, while creating a security nightmare that reinforces tribal loyalties, is a mission doomed to failure.

  16. thoreau,

    I think we’re in agreement about what’s happening in Iraq, but I think you’re misunderstanding the story of Pandora’s box.

    The Pandora’s Box allusion requires that the chaos that follows be the inevitable consequence of the badness of the contents. The only thing Pandora did to those vices was remove the lid – they were bad all on their own.

    To make this comparison is to say that the terrorism and ethnic cleansing we’re seeing now in Iraq is the inherent nature of the people living there, and that the only thing we did to allow that violence to happen was to remove the “lid” preventing it. Neither of those statements is true.

  17. “Those people have been killing each other for centuries” = “A-rabs can’t live like civilized people.” It’s racist bullshit, by the same people who got us into this mess in the first place.

    No, people of different religions can’t live like civilized people.

  18. First we fix Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Somalia, then we’re going to jump on Social Security and take care of that, then we’ll be all done, unless, of course, New Zealand is acting up

  19. Did the U.S. invasion and toppling of Saddam make “good Arabs” go “bad?” Or did it rip off the totalitarian “lid” that Saddam used to keep antagonistic religious fanatics from unleashing violence on each other? If the former, then that consequence could not be foreseen as readily as the latter consequence, which should have – but didn’t – give the neocons pause to topple Saddam in the first place.

  20. Thanks for the tip, Your Holiness!
    The Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio is stunning today.
    Unity Temple is a glorious mass of concrete to behold.
    The Big Copper Jesus on top of Ascension Catholic Church, however, just flipped me the bird.
    Bad omen?

  21. creech,

    “Did the U.S. invasion and toppling of Saddam make “good Arabs” go “bad?” Or did it rip off the totalitarian “lid” that Saddam used to keep antagonistic religious fanatics from unleashing violence on each other?”

    The way you phrase the question implies that the only change in the conditions in Iraq brought about by the war was the elimination of the Saddam regime, but that isn’t true.

    We allowed thousands of foreign jihadists to enter the country. We eliminated not only the totalitarian regime, but many of the ordinary organs of government necessary for maintaining civil order and keeping the country running. We set up a new regime based on centralized majoritarianism. We armed, trained, and then fought alongside militiamen from one of the mutually-hostile sects, while pretending that they were a unifying force that transcended sectarianism.

    Sunni-Shiite hostility in Iraq was the result of centuries of history and culture, but so is the hostility between black and white people in our own country. Left to its down devices, such hostility is naturally worn down by the ordinary flow of life and commerce. Turning this sectarian divide into the mass bloodletting we see today took years of political meddling by outsiders.

  22. Fuck the Red Cross. Stop giving them press. That whole organization needs to die a slow and painful death.

  23. Tell me ^ doesn’t read like one of those man-in-the-street comments in the Onion.

  24. No, joe, it doesn’t look like a comment from the On… oh, never mind, I can’t say it with a straight face.

  25. Seriously, by what logic, reason, can you trust the AP? Especially when it comes the Iraq war?
    What do you do this? Put crap like AP articles on your website?

  26. Is that the sound of a subscription being canceled yet again?

  27. Terry, what, in your opinion, are trustworthy sources of information about the Iraq war?

  28. What’s the sound of a canceled subscription when there’s nobody there who gives a fuck?

    the world wonders.

  29. Fuck the Red Cross. Stop giving them press. That whole organization needs to die a slow and painful death.

    I feel the same way about the Hemlock Society.

  30. Les, bloggers like Michael Yon and others.

    VM if nobody gives a fuck why would the world wonder about it? That is a contradiction.

  31. FORMULA 409! BUBBLES!!!!!

  32. That’s a sound I know.

    Aaahhhhhh…

  33. TPG says: “That whole organization needs to die a slow and painful death.”

    crimethink says: “I feel the same way about the Hemlock Society.”

    crimethink, that was just plain funny!

  34. THE RED CROSS IS A PAWN OF THE LIBERAL ESTABLISHMENT THAT TRIES TO REPLACE RED AMERICAN BLOOD WITH COWARD FRENCH BURGANDY AND GET US TO JOIN THE UN IN ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT

    THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO STOP OUR SUCCESSFUL WAR AGAINST THE ARAB MENACE THAT SOMETIMES LOOKS HISPANIC HAVENT YOU SEEN RED DAWN THAT IS A HISTORICAL FILM THAT SHOWS THAT WE MUST BE FOREVER VIGILANT OR ELSE BROWN PEOPLE WILL FALL FROM THE SKY AND PUT US IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS SO WE HAVE TO DO IT FIRST

  35. In deciding who’s judgment to trust, let us ask ourselves: since March of 2003, who has been right more often, the Bush administration and supporters of the war or those who are critical of the whole enterprise? Everyone is biased, but not everyone mixes their biases with complete incompetence. For now, I’ll go with the Red Cross on this one.

  36. who’s = whose. that was bad

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.