Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Commentary: War-caused Humanitarian Disasters

Among reports on the Iraq War, many TV media have repeatedly broadcast the following picture: A missile-wounded Iraqi boy, his head bound with thick bandage and sitting on a hospital bed, was crying bitterly, his grievous cry seems to be a tearful accusation of the war...


Among reports on the Iraq War, many TV media have repeatedly broadcast the following picture: A missile-wounded Iraqi boy, his head bound with thick bandage and sitting on a hospital bed, was crying bitterly, his grievous cry seems to be a tearful accusation of the war. This tragic scene is not only an aside note explaining the war, it is all the more a concise and comprehensive portrayal exposing the humanitarian disasters brought about by the war.

Before the war broke out, the United States and Britain repeatedly declared that they would use accurately guided "intelligent" bombs against Iraqi military targets, so as to avoid, as far as possible, accidents hurting the civilians, and tried their utmost to spread the myth that the Iraq War would create the wonder in human history about "the use of accurate guide weapons to avoid humanitarian disasters". However, the stark reality has broken this mythology. Tragedies concerning casualties of civilians have kept occurring since the outbreak of the Iraq War; on March 28, a market in the capital city of Baghdad was hit by missiles of the US-UK coalition forces, which took a toll of 62 deaths and over 50 wounded, most of whom were women and children; on March 31, in Najaf, a southern city of Iraq, an Iraqi civilian truck packed with women and children was strafed indiscriminately by firearms of the coalition forces, killing seven women and children right on the spot; on April 2, the courtyard of a Baghdad medical establishment was bombarded, of which the headquarters of the Iraqi Red Crescent Societies, a hospital for gynaecology and obstetrics and a surgical hospital were seriously damaged, causing three deaths and 27 injuries. This was the fourth event that an Iraqi medical establishment was attacked since the eruption of the war.

The frequently occurred events of civilian casualties prove that the US-UK coalition forces' "intelligent" bombs are not "intelligent" at all, they have time and again "wrongly hit" civilian targets and civilian facilities. Statistics show that so far more than a thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed by the coalition forces' "intelligent" bombs or shot dead, and over 6,000 civilians have been wounded. Meanwhile, the war has also brought misfortune and fright to soldiers of the coalition forces and their families, these soldiers were not only killed or injured in their fight with the Iraqi troops, but also lost their lives due to the indiscriminate bombing of the coalition forces. . It is proved by the United States and Britain that the number of the deaths of the coalition forces has exceeded one hundred people, and 200 people have been wounded or missing. Along with the further development of the war, the figure of casualties will rise steadily. Given this, the world people can hardly believe in the "theory" that so-called accurate guide war can avoid humanitarian disasters.

The World Food Program Executive Secretary James Maurice recently said he estimated that the war would lead to the departure of 2 million refugees from their hometowns,

Turkish Red Crescent Societies declared that 500,000 refugees dodging the war flames had gathered in Iraq's northern border areas near Turkey. This indicates that along with the progress of the war, humanitarian disasters in Iraq will inevitably be further aggravated, of which the condition of Iraqi children is especially worrisome. A recent survey shows that affected by long-term sanctions, the health condition of Iraqi children is more feeble and dangerous than ever before, experts foretell that the war will cause 1.3 million Iraqi children to face serious threat of famine, disease and death, the number of deaths and injuries is likely to reach as high as hundreds of thousands. Thousands upon thousands of weak, innocent lives in the war flames are showing the world: what is burned in the war flames is not only their frail physiques, but also their young, tender hearts longing for a peaceful life and safe growth.

Ancient Chinese philosophy admonishes that "peace should be valued", stressing that "man is valuable under heaven; and popular feelings are important in the world". The bitter cries of Iraqi children, the wailing of women and the grief of senior citizens have aroused the sympathy and sorrow of the world's peace-loving people. Regarding this, it is the bounden duty of the international community to provide Iraq with long-term humanitarian aid. China is one of the countries, which was the first to announce providing humanitarian relief to Iraq. Recently, the United Nations has also issued an urgent appeal various countries, hoping that they would provide donations totaling 2.2 billion US dollars and purchase food, medicine and other aid materials for the Iraqi people. The humanitarian calamities triggered by the war started by the United States and Britain have also aroused the grave concerns of the international community. The world is duty bound, the United States and Britain all the more have the bounden duty, to adopt all necessary measures to reduce the humanitarian disasters suffered by the Iraqi people. But to put these disasters under effective control, it is imperative to stop this war as early as possible and to bring the Iraq issue back to the path of a political solution.

By People's Daily Online

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