But three years later Iraq is a devastated country. Tens of thousands - if not hundreds of thousands -- of Iraqis have been killed and the violence is only increasing. The actual death toll among Iraqis may never be known. In 2004, the British medical journal Lancet estimated 100,000 Iraqis had died since the war began.
Many of those killed have been children. Today, to mark the beginning of the fourth year of the Iraq war, we are going to hear about two Iraqi children who suffered near life-threatening injuries.
We speak with Ahmad Sharif and his father, Jabbar Sharif. Two and a half years ago Ahmad lost his eyesight and right arm after being caught in crossfire. He first came to the United States last year and received prosthetic eyes and an arm. He was brought to this country by Elissa Montanti, founder of the Global Medical Relief Fund. Ahmad and Jabbar They are translated by Hesham El-Meligy, an advisor to the Global Medical Relief Fund
We also speak with Khalid Hamdan Abd who brought his three-year-old daughter Alaa to the United States for medical treatment. Last May a U.S. tank opened fire on their home in the town of Al Qaim near the Syrian border. Two of Khalid's sons died as did three of his cousins. The infant Alaa was seriously injured.
Thanks to the organization No More Victims, she recently had surgery in the United States to reconstruct her abdominal wall. She also underwent eye surgery to remove shrapnel and to reattach her retina. According to her surgeon she would have been blinded for life if she had not undergone the surgery. We also speak with Cole Miller a Hollywood screenwriter and founder of NoMoreVictims.org. They are also translated by Hesham El-Meligy, an advisor to the Global Medical Relief Fund.