Tuesday, June 19, 2007


"Having leveled my palace, don't erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home."
~ Emily Bronte.

Nineteen years ago, the world stood by uselessly while Saddam murdered Kurds with chemical weapons, most infamously at Helebçe. For eighty-four years, the world has stood by uselessly while the Ankara regime has genocided Kurds in North Kurdistan. Since at least 1979, the world stood by uselessly while the dirty mullah regime in Teheran lined up Kurds for imprisonment or execution.

But for some, hope springs eternal and I guess that's why the Minister of Health for the Kurdistan Regional Government has published a plea to the world for medical assistance. Stolen from IraqSlogger:

To: International Community

From: Dr. A.O. Yones, MBChB, IMD, MRCP (UK)
Minister of Health
Kurdistan Regional Government
Erbil, Iraq

Subj: Request for Help

As the Minister of Health for the Kurdistan Region it is my responsibility to ensure that my people have the best health care possible. With the current situations in the South of Iraq, and particularly in Baghdad, it is very hard for us to get the materials, equipment, and pharmaceuticals that we need. For this I am putting out a request to the International Populace for help in our situation.

Kurdistan is a bright spot in the present and future of Iraq. We have our own government and we are at peace with our neighbors. Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldian, Turkmen, and Persians live inside of our borders and are all given equal treatment under our laws. Foreign investors are flooding to Kurdistan to invest in our developing infrastructure and help us build a vibrant society. Yet with all of these advancements our medical institutions need a lot of work.

Currently we have 48 hospitals and 672 PHCs in Kurdistan. Many of our hospitals lack the basic medicines and supplies needed to treat wounds or provide basic urgent care. Our children suffer from one of the world's highest rates of heart disease or childhood leukemia and we lack the facilities to treat them here in Kurdistan. Our doctors and nurses do what they can bua a lack of educational services for nursing staff, medical technicians, and specialty training for our doctors is of paramount concern.

I am asking for help from the international community to assist us with our needs. We already work with several NGO's to assist us but our needs are greater than we can currently supply.

Your help is very much appreciated.



Dr. A.O. Yones, MBChB, IMD, MRCP (UK)
Minister of Health
Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq

Read more at IraqSlogger.

Lest anyone think that Kurds are doing nothing for themselves--only because we know that the smarmy right-wing überfascist crowd will imply such a thing about majority-Muslim Kurdish untermenschen--let's remember that back in February I posted another plea, that time for medical textbooks for Kurdistan. The textbook project is one started by a young Kurd in Diaspora, another example of a Kurd working for Kurds.

The situation must be dire for the KRG health minister to beg for such assistance, and I remember two years ago friends had to take a family member from South Kurdistan to Baghdad for medical treatment. Although the trip was dangerous and the family had to disguise themselves as Arabs for the duration of the trip, travel then through Arab Iraq was not as bad as it is now.

As deep as I am in my own black cynicism, I doubt very much that the compassion of the international community will extend to Dr. Yones and the Kurdish people, but you never know. It's possible to beat the house odds if you're playing the right game. However, a more certain means of acquiring the necessary medical supplies would be to shake down some of the Kurdish billionaires about whom certain quarters are so fond of bragging.

And while we're at it, all of those foreign "investors" who are enjoying enormous tax breaks from now until the next ice age should be forced to cough up, too. They should be taught the joys of charity.

Whoever doesn't want to fork it over, make their lives miserable so that they do pay . . . one way or another.

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