Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Baghdad ER

This week marked the 4th anniversary of the war in Iraq with many T.V channels giving extra coverage to the war. One of the most touching and shocking documentaries I viewed this week was that entitled Baghdad ER, shown last night on BBC 2 at 11:25pm.

The film was only allowed to be made because the maker was an Iraqi doctor and when the head of security at the Al-Yarmouk hospital, who had granted the permission, was shot dead the filming also had to stop.

The film was a graphic illustration of the injuries and fatalities occurring every day on the streets of Iraq. Illustrating how overstretched doctors who are not trained to work in a war zone are performing surgery everyday on bomb and gunshot victims.

One women as she was transported to hospital after becoming one of the only surviving victims of a roadside bomb shouted: "Bring back Saddam. It wasn't like this under him!" An Iraqi view that the British and American government don't let us see. The women was referring to the fact that although living under an oppressive dictatorship was not good at least it had order and control. Whereas now Iraqi's live in a constant state of fear and random terror.

But the part of the film that really upset me the most and the part that relates to this blog was the amount of child deaths i saw and learnt of in the space of just this short piece of filming in a Baghdad hospital.

One eyewitness of a bomb attack said: " There were no police or Americans there, just children, and they exploded a bomb in the middle of them."

Ambulance workers have the most dangerous jobs, often arriving at scenes of suspicion and where people are seeking revenge. Ambulances have been stolen and implanted with bombs then blown up purely to cause civilian deaths. Responding to an emergency call an ambulance worker said: "Lots of kids where playing there and they think most of them are killed."

I learnt of a two year old boy who had his face blown off, a seven year old who witnessed all his friends die as he played in the street, a six year old hit by shrapnel whilst his dad and brother died. This last boy was treated with what little resources where left in the Baghdad ER, meaning holes were made in the side of his chest to drain his lungs of blood and a respiratory tube designed for an adult was put up his tiny nose.

The doctor said: "there are 28 million people in Iraq and the only people who are happy are psychopaths."

What i think this film highlighted most and what people in the West are most ignorant of is that just as we cant understand why the Iraqi's are killing each other neither can the innocent Iraqi people. It's only the extremists that are trying to create a divide, the majority of Iraqi people are happy and friendly with Shias if they're Sunni or Sunni's if they are Shia.

There is a dramatic lack of hope amongst the Iraqi people. Dr Ali optimises this sentiment when saying "it will never end".

Read another review of the programme here from a different angle:


vega said...

It is disgusting. I think humans are reaching the peak of madness in Iraq.
Is there a way how to get the documentary?
I would love to watch it.
Anyway, do you know searching stuff for my blog I found out that depleted uranium is used both in Afghanistan and Iraq.
They use white phosphorus, u perhaps might know.
They used it in Falluja, I have a friend from there.
Children are born deformed....
maybe you could do some researches too about Iraq because the problems in those 2 countries are just about to begin.
They will continue dying for years and years because of this chemical weapons...
It is, to me, the saddest thing ever.
Keep going :)

Sarah Dean said...

you can watch it online i think on the bbc website this is the link to where you should be able to search for it
It was really intresting although shocking. Thanks for the tip on the uranium story, i will do some research into it!