Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Another Hidden Horror In Iraq : Five Million Children Already Orphaned ...

16 December 2007

Another Hidden Horror In Iraq : Five Million Children Already Orphaned ...

Our regular, and highly regarded Mid-East correspondent, Duhbaltach, has asked for our assistance in alerting the wider world to the current - ever worsening - sickening state of affairs affecting the (still serially suffering), civilian citizens and orphaned children in Iraq.

And we're more than happy to help.

5 Million Orphans

By Khalil Ibn Hussein,

20 hours and 40 minutes ago

This is Aswat Al Iraq's English language version of this report هيئة النزاهة تكشف عن وجود خمسة ملايين طفل عراقي يتي which I posted immediately below. That's 5 million orphans created by the war America deliberately, cynically, and viciously, waged and continues to wage in Irak.

That is 5 million children both of whose parents are dead. That is the figure the green zone government admits to, the real figure is a lot higher as many orphans are taken in by relatives and not registered, nor does the figure include the children with «only» one parent dead.

There will be no further postings tonight.


5 million Iraqi orphans, anti-corruption board reveals

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Saturday , 15 /12 /2007 Time 6:32:11

Baghdad, Dec 15, (VOI) – Iraq's anti-corruption board revealed on Saturday that there were five million Iraqi orphans as reported by official government statistics, urging the government, parliament, and NGOs to be in constant contact with Iraq's parentless children.

The government should set up an institutional or legislative program to help the Iraqi orphans. Iraqi is an oil-rich country and it is not acceptable that its orphans remain groaning in this tragedy, the anti-corruption board chief, Moussa Faraj, said during a conference in Baghdad dedicated to orphans in Iraq.

The board on its own cannot meet the Iraqi orphans' needs, but there should be an organization or even a ministry to provide care for orphans,» he said.

The Iraqi parliament's women & family committee had proposed a draft law to set up a fund for the orphans.

During the conference, Wijdan Salem Mikhail, the Iraqi minister of human rights, said in a speech that the phenomenon «is one of the most passive things that grew immensely during the past few years due to destructive wars and unbridled violence in the country to unprecedented heights.

These factors have logically caused the number of widows and orphans to greatly increase, she said.

Aswat Aliraq

You can read the original report right here.

*(Crossposted at Appletree)

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Anonymous Tazmanian said...

I'm sure these orphans will have nothing but enduring gratitude for the for the forces, US Uk etc that have visited this evil upon them. So there's no danger they may grow up to become anti West and will only wish the West all that is good.

4:01 pm  
Anonymous bootlean said...

I'm overwhelmed with disgust and anger. This should be plastered across every newspaper on both sides of the Atlantic, and even further afield. All over TV and radio too.

Of course we all know damned well that it will not happen.

Richard, you and your brave friends deserve medals for the information service you provide.

5:33 pm  
Blogger RJ Adams said...

Staggering figures, Richard. I've blogged on this and linked to you. As bootlean says, the media will try and suppress it, though I believe it was 'mentioned' in Time magazine. I've been unable to find any reference myself.

5:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I'm sure that most of this is due to so called Christians, I'm equaly certain that some evil zealot Muslims have contributed.

I spit in the faces of ALL so called "devout religious" fundamentalists and extremists. I just hope against hope that there is such a place as HELL. And that all these monsters finish up stuck there together to spend eternity inflicting never ending pain and suffering on each other.

5:59 pm  
Blogger Dubhaltach said...


Thanks for this. To give some idea of the scale. We reckon - on a very conservative estimate - that it’s at least ½ million more and more likely to be a bit more than a million.

Just to give some examples from a few of the people who write on our site:

* Khalil (who posted that) is one together with his 2 sisters and 3 brothers.

* Mohammed Ibn Laith who also writes on our site is another together with his younger brother and his sister.

* Omar Khdhayyir and his family have taken in 8 children none of them older than 5 all of them cousins of theirs all of them orphaned.

* Nur Hussein Ghazali has taken in 12 children, 8 of them orphans and related, together with her widowed sister and her 4 children.

* Maryam runs several refugee camps for some just for children - the last time I looked which admittedly was a month ago about 90% them were orphans the remaining 10% the family was headed by their widowed mother.

* Um Thalit is a widow with children last year she took in her widowed sister and her three children.

I could go on but you get the idea…..

In case any of you were wondering about the photo in the original posting that Richard has linked to above.

The photo was taken at Baquabah morgue on October 18 2006 the crying boy is holding the feet of his father who was murdered that day by a death squad.

Anonymous - I completely agree with you. As Richard knows I'm a bomb disposal officer and have served both in Irak and in Afghanistan. I did a lot of my growing up in Southern Lebanon and also in Southern Irak - I had plenty of opportunity to see what bombs and mines and artillery shells do to people. A suicide bomber attacked the local council's education building in Baqubah today if you check this posting جرح ثلاثة مدنيين بتفجير انتحاري في بعقوبة you'll see what a bomb does. Be warned it's more than a bit unpleasant. The corpse in question is the bomber - fortunately he didn't manage to kill anyone, he "only" wounded 3 people so badly that they required hospitalisation.

I make no apology for hoping that his last moments were agonising and that they were a foretaste of what he'll get for the rest of eternity - and that goes for anyone in uniform or out of it who targets civilians.


6:47 pm  
Anonymous kiwi said...

God forgive them, for mankind never shall.

11:18 pm  
Anonymous claire c said...

O.M.G. What have we done?!

12:00 am  
Anonymous Patism said...

Sad. Bush is an idiot. This was completely unnecessary.


1:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if your average yank was presented by MSM with this scandal most of them would just do a great impression of an ostrich.

Whe the truth hurts too much it's either denied or ignored. Your avarage yank still believes the US is one of the good guys.

4:58 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


We're trying to find out what's going on here.

Our link to the original report has suddenly become inoperable. Moreover, our own longtime blogroll link to Gorilla's Guides won't work either.

More when we know what's happening/happened.

11:01 am  
Blogger Richard said...


Now, Duhbaltach's 'profile' can't even be accessed at blogger.

11:05 am  
Anonymous phil said...

Rick, I don't doubt for a minute that the situation is pitiful but out of a population of just 27 million those numbers are hard to swallow.

5:02 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Phil, a few queries similar to your own [via several emails] are being addressed right now.

8:25 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

LATEST UPDATE re: Gorilla's and 'Duhbaltach's' blogger profile.

Recent e-mail to us from Duh, reads:

** We're coming under massive attack on our server for the last few weeks. Last night they succeeded. So "guides" will look a bit funny for a while until the hosting company and I can be sure we've plugged the gap. For a while (less than 30 seconds) they even managed to alter our front page. Quite a few of the wordpress blogs have been experiencing this. We hope to be up again by tommorrow.


8:29 pm  
Blogger dubhaltach said...

Your link to that our site as a whole will only work intermittently for today and possibly tomorrow also - we are taking it up and down as we check the restores. We literally had to wipe the whole site and are restoring from the database in sections. As there are more than 2400 posts to check that takes time. I was working with others until shortly after 02:00 this morning, was working 'til 04:00 the day before and expect to have to do so again tonight.

There has been a lot of this sort of thing recently (and not just with us.) To the matter you wrote to me about:

So that it's accessible - This is the relevant piece of the original posting:

"This is Aswat Al Iraq's English language version of this report هيئة النزاهة تكشف عن وجود خمسة ملايين طفل عراقي يتي which I posted immediately below. That's 5 million orphans created by the war America deliberately, cynically, and viciously, waged and continues to wage in Irak. That is 5 million children both of whose parents are dead. That is the figure the green zone government admits to, the real figure is a lot higher as many orphans are taken in by relatives and not registered, nor does the figure include all the children with "only" one parent dead."

With links to the original Arabic and to VOI's English version of the article.

OY! paranoia is MY job! :-) I don't use blogger and never bothered to make my profile accessible as I log in via google. If you check around you'll come across quite a lot of profiles that are inaccessible. However it is accessible now.

To answer the point about the figures. We didn't believe it either when we got word they were going to go public With them. Apart from anything else politically that figure is not good for them. It's important to note that it was the Integrity Commission and not a ministry that announced it.

But we believe it now having done some checking and a lot of internal discussions.

The article in Aswat al Iraq does not specify how the figures are arrived at.

For very obvious reasons the figure refers to the ALL the orphans in Irak. NOT just to those orphaned in the invasion and post invasion violent incidents though they account for the greatest proportion.

It is an aggregate therefore of all under 18 year olds* and is made up as follows:

- Children orphaned as a result of the 1991 war. (Desert storm)
- Children orphaned as a result of the sanctions.
- Children orphaned as a result of the invasion (mostly by bombing from the air and artillery.)
- Children orphaned as a result of post invasion violence.

From our own experience (see my comment above about team members) and the experience of humanitarian bodies we reckon about 1 million orphans is about right. The range is from ½ a million to 1½ million with one million being statistically the most probable.

Iraki families are typically very large by our standards. Rhetorical question coming up:

Why is that we westerners assume that tiny families of one point something or 2 point something children are the norm? It isn't not in what we in the west call the "developing world" or sometimes the "third world" large families are the norm. In Irak 6 children or more is very typical. Take a look at this posting to give you an example (warning it has 3 photos so may load slow) it was posted 1 month and 10 days ago As my wife Erdla said in the comments to this posting By: Siun on Firedoglake Sunday December 16, 2007 6:05 pm

"Every single one of them all 48 of them is an orphan. They’re all related - they’re all members of the Tamim tribe. They’re being looked after by a man who is distantly related to them. On on 24-6 -2005 their village was attacked by a death squad.

Seven people from this family:

Rahim Hussein Abdul-Hussein al-Tamimi,
Bashir Hussein Abdul-Hussein al-Tamimi,
Ahmed Abdel Hamid al-Tamimi,
Ahmad Saad Abdel-Hussein al-Tamimi,
Mohammed Ahmed Abdul-Hussein al-Tamimi,
Abdul Hussein Ahmed Abdul-Hussein al-Tamimi
and Ali Abdel - Hussein Ahmed al-Tamimi

Were murdered by having their throats slit in front of their families. Those children you see there. The attackers then took the bodies and dumped them in the fields.

At daylight the older boys. The ones in the second photo towards the left and the back starting with the boy wearing the top that says “kitkat” and next five boys along ran out into the fields and dragged the bodies inside.

They came under heavy fire as they were doing that.

This was at the time of an election campaign.

The village was attacked repeatedly and the family were forced to flee - to abandon their village and their farms (it was a farming coop).

During those attacks Shahidan, Hamdan Hussein Abdel-Majid al-Tamimi, , Ahlam Mohammad Abdel Hussein and his sons, Zeinab and Qasim, Salwa, Hazem Muthanna, Huda, Mustafa Nada, and Ayed Ali Abdel-Hussein Tamimi

were all murdered once again the children saw and heard many of those murders. All of them saw the bodies.

They were attacked again and burnt out of their homes.

Those photos were taken at the farm they now live in. Quite close to Balad Roz a few kilmetres from where they started out.

Nobody other than their relative and their tribe and a local Islamic charity has done a single damned thing for them."

That's just one example. You'll find others in our Orphans tag category or the children one etc. On balance therefore - yes we believe it.

There is a larger point about ANY figures coming from Irak. Which is that you have to at least try to check them. (Which is why we welcome people saying "what gives?") Interesting that people on this British site have said "huh?" and that (I checked with Siun) there's been no similar feedback to FDL which is a very well known site which gets a lot of traffic.

Another figures example: We have what is probably some of the most comprehensive coverage of the Cholera outbreak in Irak. We use the figures from the WHO (World Health Organisation) because those figures are verified. The current WHO figure is 127 laboratory confirmed cholera cases in Baghdad BUT WHO themselves say that the figures from Baghdad are problematic and I quote directly:

"Data provided from Baghdad are neither complete nor timely, therefore, reported cholera cases may underestimate the real situation. What is reported from Baghdad seems to be the tip of the iceberg. There is a noticeable relaxation in the surveillance system in all affected provinces including Baghdad."

Where we use WHO's figures and there is a discrepancy we note and point out that fact.

Thanks for letting me know about the questions hope this helps.

Now I need to get back to the site. This was not how I'd had planned to spend my leave.


*Some governorates in Irak only count under 16 year olds.

1:46 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Dubhaltach, thanks you so much for finding the time - what with your other problems & all - for responding so clearly, honestly and publicly - it's greatly appreciated.

Re; the queries from me & emailers (plus) the one public comment, and the lack of them from a much more widely read blog than mine - I think two main contributing factors apply.

1./ Americans in the main are much more uncurious than most other national, especially less so than we Brits. (Incidentally, In addition to the US, I have quite a varied bunch of regulars. Including Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand and various other countries in Europe & the mid east).

2./ Without going into too personal/confidential details, I know for a fact that my readers/commenters/email correspondents/etc - are members of a much smaller - shall we say niche?

4:26 pm  

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