Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Doctor Is Haunted by Those He Couldn't Save

The LA Times reports on the experiences of an Iraqi Doctor in Fallujah.

What a horrible mess. How can you attack a city of a quarter million (largely by bombing from air, even with precision munitions) , and not harm or kill many civilians?

You can't.
"I was doing amputations for many patients. But I am an orthopedic surgeon. If a patient came to me with an abdominal injury, I could do nothing," he said, eyes cast down, close to tears. "We would bring the patient in and we would have to let him die."

Electricity was cut off to the city. There was no water, no food, no fluids for the patients, Ghanim said. But the patients just kept coming.

"We were treating everyone. There were women, children, mujaheds. I don't ask someone if they are a fighter before I treat them. I just take care of them," he said.

Late Tuesday, a bomb struck one side of the makeshift medical center. Ghanim ran out.

A second bomb hit, crashing through the roof and destroying most of the facility. Ghanim believes it killed at least two of the young resident doctors working there and most of the patients.

"At that moment I wished to die," he said. "It was a catastrophe."
Of course, there's more, if you have the stomach.

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