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Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Women Amputees: Toll of War, "Sorrowing Lies My Land"

They are the ones we don't read much about. Women combat amputees. The Post article by Donna St. George describes the experience of a few of them."Their numbers are small, 11 in three years of war, compared with more than 350 men. They are not quite a band of sisters, but more a chain of women linked by history and experience and fate -- one extending herself to another who then might offer something for the next."
  • They have discovered, at various points of their recovery, that gender has made a difference -- "not better or worse," as Halfaker put it, "just different."
  • For Halfaker, an athlete with a strong sense of her physical self, the world was transformed June 19, 2004, on a night patrol through Baqubah, Iraq. Out of nowhere had come the rocket-propelled grenade, exploding behind her head.
  • Another soldier's arm was sheared off. Blood was everywhere.
  • "Get us out of the kill zone!" she yelled to the Humvee driver. She was a 24-year-old first lieutenant, a platoon leader who two months earlier had led her unit in repulsing a six-hour attack on a police station in Diyala province. As medics worked to stabilize her, she warned: "You bastards better not cut my arm off."
Latest data from Iraq Coalition Casualties:
In March 2006: 50
Total since beginning of the war: 2378 (Female fatalities 57)
Injured (not returned to duty): 8058
Injured (returned to duty): 9491

Civilians killed by military intervention in Iraq: 34,511 (Minimum) 38,660 (Maximum)
Source: Iraq Body Count

"War hath no fury like a noncombatant"
---C.E. Montague (1867-1928), British soldier,author,journalist

Note: "Sorrowing Lies My Land" is the title of a book by the Goan author Lambert Mascarenhas. It was written long before the unjustified war in Iraq.

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