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War Traumatizes Iraqis
by IOL (reposted)
Wednesday Mar 21st, 2007 6:27 AM
CAIRO — Four years since the US-led invasion, endless scenes of blood and violence are having severe mental toll on Iraqis, particularly young children, The Washington Times reported on Tuesday, March 20.
"Whenever I remember seeing his body at the morgue, I start to cry," Fanzia Jaafer, 65, said of her 29-year-old as she sat in a psychiatrist clinic.

The Iraqi housewife has been suffering depression and suicidal thoughts since the head of her son was torn off by gunfire in late 2003.

Jaafer's case is one of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, Iraqi mental health professionals insist.

"Iraqis are being traumatized every day," asserted Said Al-Hashimi, a psychiatrist who runs a private clinic and teaches at Mustansiriya Medical School in Baghdad.

He warned that the psychological trauma of the war may echo through Iraqi society for years to come.

"No one knows what will result from living through this continuous trauma on a daily basis."

In the government-run Ibn Rushd psychiatric center in Baghdad, the queues of Iraqis looking for help are almost endless.

There has been no large-scale study of mental health in Iraq since the invasion but experts insist that the number of untreated or undertreated people nationwide is in the millions.

"There is little interest from the government. We ask for training and assistance but get nothing," lamented Dr. Haider Adel Ali.

US President George Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003 on the grounds that it had weapons of mass destruction, a claim later refuted by a US presidential report.

by reposted
Wednesday Mar 21st, 2007 6:50 AM
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi insurgents used two children as cover to get through a checkpoint in Baghdad and then blew up the car while the kids were still inside, a U.S. general said Tuesday.

The car went through a checkpoint Sunday and parked by a market across the street from a school, said Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Two adults jumped from the car, leaving the children in the back. Moments later, the car exploded, witnesses said.

by BBC (reposted)
Wednesday Mar 21st, 2007 6:51 AM
The vice-president of Iraq, Tareq al-Hashemi, has called for talks to be opened with the country's insurgents in an attempt to bring peace.

"I do believe that there is no way but to talk to everybody" with the exception of al-Qaeda, he said.

He told the BBC that militants were "just part of the Iraqi communities".

Mr Hashemi, a Sunni, has personal experience of Iraq's violence. Last year Shia militias murdered his sister and two of his brothers.

But he told the BBC that the only way for Iraq to make progress is for negotiations to take place.

Apart from al-Qaeda, which he said was "not very much willing in fact to talk to anybody", all parties "should be invited, should be called to sit down around the table to discuss their fears, their reservations".

Sectarian government

A multitude of different groups are reckoned to be behind the violence in Iraq, which claims the lives of hundreds of people every month.