Friday, June 22, 2007
Visiting neglected orphans in Baghdad

The children were neglected and abused

I tap 14-year-old Saddam on the leg.


He doesn’t move, he doesn’t even blink, no reaction at all. Saddam just sits on his bed.

Saddam is one of 24 disabled children that U.S. soldiers saved from a Baghdad orphanage. The children were neglected and abused. Some of them were forced to lie on the floor with no clothes on, others were simply tied to bedposts.

Now they are recovering at a different branch of the same orphanage and all of Baghdad is asking how could this happen?

One staff member tries to explain, that the orphanage was understaffed, that they had no electricity, and that they had to tie the mentally disabled children to a bed post to keep them from moving around and hurting themselves.

All this may be true. Simply existing in Baghdad is dangerous. Working here and trying to run an orphanage is a massive challenge, especially with insufficient funding and staffing.

But the fact is that these children were malnourished, some of them too weak to even move and lift their heads as U.S. troops raided the house to save them. Sure these children are difficult to deal with. They scream, they cry and moan. But even under the worst circumstances there can never be a justification for tying children to bedposts and denying them food, water and clothing.

As I talk to the staff member, little Saddam simply topples over and falls into his bed. He's just lying on the bed, just looking at the ceiling. My producer Mohammed whispers in my ear: "My God I feel so sorry for them."

From CNN Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen in Baghdad
it is unbelivable. There is so many needy people in this world and so few eager to help. it breaks your heart seeing these kids and you can not help but wonder how people of any religous or political views allow such things to happen. What has happened to the world and to the people who live in it? It is kids who end up paying the higher price for the wrong choices made by adults.
its got nothing to do with where it is. if you read the news on a daily basis you hear about this all the time. how many stories about abused kids in north america do we have to read or hear about before we become desensitized. it breaks my heart.
I would like to assume most of us in the developing or third world are reluctant to take such articles as fact because we take this in the context of the west trying to win our hearts and souls thru propaganda materials.So our automatic reaction is skepticim.Sorry for the kids if its true because they have done nothing wrong
Isn't this the same Iraqi government that the U.S administration has put in place?
It would behove of a superpower, instead of flexing it's muscles and spending trillion dollars to desecrate, ruin nations into a cauldron of bloodshed of sectarian violence, warfare, airstrikes, homeraids etc. to spend all this money on humanitarian efforts to re-build nations. This one discovery and subsequent assistance is an exception to all the rules of warfare and killing which has been going on so long. Why did not US exit out of Iraq after the capture and assasination of Saddam Hussein and his sons and all their cronies. This effort is paltry compared to what Iraq has been reduced to. US news stations like CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS never show the carnage and the grim reality of all the Iraqi people maimed, killed indiscriminately due to this sanctioned, organized terrorism which is being perpetuated by United States war mongers in the Congress and the White House starting with the President of U.States George W. Bush. This orphanage rescue is just a meager effort by U.S to try to salvage it's images in a very opportune moment.
Is there an established fund that people can contribute to to help these children?
There are agencies world wide that work with children and adults with developmental disabilities. What are they going to do to help this situation? Are there trained professionals in Iraq for working with children with special needs? Is there an agency stepping up to the plate at this time, besides the military, to assist the caregivers of these children with education for what these children need and how to care for them to give them a fulfilled life? Who can I contact to help? Jan P.
Everyone is making a big deal deal over the neglected and the abused and the abandoned. Why don't we thank the one person who is responsible for all this. Thank you BUSH! For all your war mongering ways thank you Bush for taking us to a place we never should have been. Thank you Bush for killing our husbands and brothers all for oil. Thank you for ripping apart other countries.
it would seem to me this is an iraqi govt problem. there is no excuse for this kind of neglect.
if they need supplies they need to tell the govt. if they cant care for the children they need to find someone who can.
This should be given some air time. Why this little note, lost among all the other pieces of "news?" It's a sad story. What does the Red Cross do? What has happened to the children? Do you have more photos??? I've read about this in a UE newspaper...
Thank you for sharing a glimpse into the life of innocents in a war-torn country. (You don't have to print this, I just couldn't move on to another article without saying something)
what's going on? what is wrong with this world! Something is twisted!Thousands of kids in Baghdad and Darfur, Darfur refugees are being neglected, and Paris Hilton gets $1M for just a stupid talk show about her stay in prison!!!!!!!!!!?????? People's priorities are surely headed to dumps!!
This is heartbreaking....what can we do to help?
What happens to these children now?
As someone who works with students with learning disabilities, I am horrified to read of this treatment of children with any sort of disabilities (not sure of the nature of these children's disabilities as the article isn't very specific). It's so appalling. At the same time, I will be horrified if the administration seizes on this as an opportunity to look like the good guys-after all, how many civilian deaths in Iraq have been children, healthy or disabled?
This is what WAR Brings- Misery and tiranny of another kind.
No Money no Food , Miamed and killed people etc.

I am sure vthat Iraq was better off before US decided to go in and create WAR !
Frederik, thank you for visiting the orphanage and checking on the children. Being a special education teacher, this story breaks my heart. Even more, that there are no comments on it or reaction, or action to help the children. What can be done? Thank you for introducing the children and the need.

- Special education teacher in Arizona
What is being done to help these children? This report does not give much information.
I don't care if it is war, this is inhuman. Again, how can we help? With the US occupying Iraq, what organizations are aiding these children? Are these children a result of the civil war in Iraq or do you think these children would have been considered "outcasts" in Iraq anyway? Either way, the US soldier may have saved their lives when they found them.
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