"Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs"...Iraqirabita, Oct 2009 [We decided not to include the photographs with this story.]
We first heard about the sudden rise in birth defects in Fallujah a couple of years ago, but put it down to outrageous exaggeration. Unable to find corroboration we filed it away with other anecdotal material. After digging around a bit I feel justified in adding my voice to the those who are speaking out about this particular horror the U.S. visited upon innocent Iraqi civilians.
Lisa Holland, of SKYNews UK made a video report of the situation in May of 2008. I believe she should be credited with this latest round of concern. She interviews family members, physicians, and human rights workers directly involved.
Dahr Jamail spoke of the birth defects in Fallujah on TalkRadio in July of 2008.
Subsequent reporting has included statistical data gathered by pediatrician, Samira Abdul Ghani. Birth records were relatively sketchy since the invasion, and rare during Sadaam's reign, but are back on track. The comparisons are staggering.
[Iraqirabita, Oct 2009]Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs...young children in Fallujah are experiencing hideous cancers and leukemias. These deformities are now well documented, for example in television documentaries on SKY UK on September 1 2009, and on SKY UK June 2008.
...In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed...compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.
[UPI Nov 2009] Birth defects and early childhood cancers have soared in Fallujah, site of two major battles after the invasion of Iraq, doctors say.
Doctors say they are unsure what is behind the spike in birth defects, The Guardian reported, but suggest it might be chemicals used during the two periods of intense fighting.
"We are seeing a very significant increase in central nervous system anomalies," said Dr. Ayman Qais. "Before 2003 I was seeing sporadic numbers of deformities in babies. Now the frequency of deformities has increased dramatically." Studies suggest the rate of birth defects is about 15 times higher than elsewhere in Iraq. Clusters of congenital defects have also been found in Basra and Najaf, also racked by violence after the 2003 invasion.
[The Guardian/UK Nov 2009] reports that British and Iraqi medical personnel and officials have petitioned the U.N. to investigate and help with the cleanup of toxic materials resulting from the U.S. invasion and occupation.
There is still no conclusive link between American weapons, especially white phosphorous and depleted uranium, and the rise in birth defects. No scientific study of the linkage has yet been done.
We hope the U.N. will hear the cries of Fallujah and initiate a thorough investigation. The Obama administration should also support these efforts at finding the truth.