The Christian Science Monitor confirms that seven weeks of fighting in Sadr City has left over 1,000 Iraqis dead. That is according to Iraqi health officials. The NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq editorial this afternoon addresses the broader legal and ethical issues with wire stories reporting on humanitarian crisis that has been created by the siege and curfews. AP documents
“Entire sections of Baghdad's Sadr City district have been left nearly abandoned by civilians fleeing a U.S.-led showdown with Shiite militias and seeking aid after facing shortages of food and medicine, humanitarian groups said yesterday.
The reports by the agencies, including the U.N. children's fund, added to the individual accounts of civilians pouring out of the Sadr City area as clashes intensify.
U.S. forces have increased their use of air power and armored patrols in an attempt to cripple Shiite militia influence in Sadr City, a slum of 2.5 million people that serves as the Baghdad base for the Mahdi Army….”
The Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives will push back the war funding vote to next week. Sadly it is not the humanitarian crisis or crisis of conscience that delayed the vote, but procedural concerns. Erik Leaver has an article that helps explain what is happening behind closed doors. That means there is still time to act on our action alert call your representatives.
Editorial: Lethal ghettoes - Ignored legally and ethically
NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq, 8 May 2008
“The citizens of the sealed off areas of Sadr city, in East Baghdad are isolated from the rest of the world, secluded with most probably no access to basic facilities and goods such as food and water for seven long and agonizing weeks. Under curfew, partial or total, under siege and sealed off, enwalled and banned from movement for seven weeks. Official forces, MNF-I and non state armed groups are celebrating the freedom of movement in Sadr City.”
Baghdad’s Sadr City Residents Fear Intensifying Fight
Howard LaFranci, Christian Science Monitor (9 May 2008)
Aid Groups: Sadr City Devastated by Fighting
Bradley Brooks, Associated Press (8 May 2008)
Residents Told to Leave Sadr City
Associated Press, 8 May 2008
The Iraq Supplemental: A Three Ring Circus
Erik Leaver, 8 May 2008