Friday, July 15, 2005

Horror Story

I get bored from the fruitless discussion about politics in general and the hopeless situation in Iraq in particular.
Waldschrat is (up to my knowledge) the only one who take positive steps to help.
I copied his last post here. I hope it will encourages the other for similar positive action

"Lets talk about horror stories. One of the worst I can think of is a cancer hospital with a total lack of chemotherapy drugs. Here is a list of chemotherapy drugs and a description of the shortages at the hospital in Mosul:

===============================================================
Mosul Oncology & Nuclear Medicine Hospital
Mosul, Iraq

Anticancer Drugs Urgently Needed (Not Available)
July 2005
Priority Generic Name Formulation
1. Vincristine inj. 0.5 mg. vials.
2. 5- Fluorouracil inj. 10 mg and 50mg vial
3. Adriamycin inj 15 mg amp.
4. Carmustine vials 100 mg vials
5. Procarbazine Hydrochloride 10 mg. and 50 mg. vials
6. Actinomycin-D inj. 20 mg. vials
7. Bleomycin inj. 100 mg. amp.
8. Cisplatin inj. 250 mg/ amp.
9. Etoposide inj. 1gm and 2 gm. Vials
10. Oxaliplatin inj. 50mg and 100mg vials
11. Gemcitabine inj. 50 mg caps
12. Docitaxel (Taxotere) inj. 1 mg and 2 mg. vials


N.B.
1. This hospital gives medical care for cancer patients living in Mosul (2.55 million population) and nearby northern provinces (Erbil, Duhok & Kirkuk - approximately 2.85 million population )
2. In 2004 the hospital treated 2115 new cancer patients ( Mosul : 1175 patients, nearby provinces : 940 patients )
===============================================================

I'm told by the hospital contact that Truth Teller put me in touch with that requisitions are submitted but supplies never arrive. I'm beating the bushes bigtime over the phone and the internet trying to figure out how to resolve these shortages but neither Truth Teller's contact nor I fully understand the best way to do this yet. The shortages seem totally believable considering the pathetic state of the Kimadia website (link) which is full of broken links and has apparently been penetrated by a hacker who replaced the organizations news releases with a list of online games.

My trial shipment of ostomy supplies to the hospital was stuck in Dubai for a few days waiting for a flight but seems to have begun to move again according to FedEx tracking.

If anybody out there knows how to lay hands on even limited quantities of those drugs, post here or email truth teller!

That's all for now. Go back to your nice discussion, folks."

Waldschrat


All what can I say is THANK YOU WALDSCHRAT we will never forget you.

131 comments:

A Free Writer said...

Dear Truth Teller , Waldschart :

We must be thakful for your efforts to support our community and needy people for urgent assistance.I spent this morning searching for every possible ways for shipping Drugs to Iraq
safely and Thanks God I had found a company named (Iraq Shipping)
In facts I knew nothing about them but you can invistigate by writing to then directly :
http://www.iraqshipping.com/services.html
I wish you good luck in helping poor and sick Iraqis, God bless you for your efforts

Moron99 said...

I'm just waiting for Wald to post the confirmation details. Sorry, but with all the stories of corruption that are making the news - I have my doubts and will wait until the channel is vetted before donating. I still think the bags and rings should be routed through US troops since it avoids shipping problems, reduces shipping expense, and bypasses potentially corrupted channels. However, anything that works is okay. Once WS confirms it, I'll call the company and donate my pledge.

John said...

Well said Moron, what could possibly be less a corrupt channel than routing supplies through the occupier given their obvious high moral ground, steadfastness and spiritualism. You hang on untill you're convinced WS has cleared passage. I remember one ill advised American occupation when medical supplies were black markated to the highest bidder, but perhaps this generation has less materialistic ambitions. Freedom is clearly all they're about and perhaps a pay check and getting out alive!!

waldschrat said...

My contact has the same name as physician quoted in international news stories where he was described as being the head of a Mosul hospital. He answers at a Mosul phone number where a nice lady is somewhat confused by callers unexpectedly speaking English but recognizes his name. In conversations he is well spoken, pesponsive and concerned. He provides me with contact information for highly placed people in the American Caner SOciety and elsewhere with whom he has had previous contact. I have every reason to believe what he says. I have no evidence that suggestss that shortages of critical medical supplies in Iraq are not hideously real.

Kimadia is clearly a key part of the Iraqi supply chain for medical supplies. Their website is tragically defective. Their reputation is poor in almost every reference I have found to the organization. While there may be honest people at Kimadia doing the best they can, that "best" is not getting the job done from every report I have obtained from various sources. Shortages of medical supplies in Iraq seem to be due to causes on the supply-chain end, not the hospital end.

The advice I have recieved from folks who have previously shipped medical supplies to third-world countries is "ship to the hospital". I consider that the best route. Hospitals everywhere routinely maintain secure supply rooms and drug accounting systems of necessity. Mosul is no exception so far as I can tell.

To be fair to Kimadia, there are a thousand problems to be overcome in getting chemotherapy drugs to Iraq. Shipments to Iraq have never been routine, nobody has experience, many US companies and organizations think only of doing business in the US, and nobody trusts anybody. I am trying hard to find solutions but I can guarantee absolutely nothing at this point. I wish I could find an American oncologist to advise me - I have requests out but no advice so far. I will keep trying.

waldschrat said...

For some perspective on the problem I am passing along an email message I received from a US physician:

Dear Pete,
These medications are exclusively used by the oncologists and are totally
outside my sphere of experience as a rheumatologist. A place to start
talking would be with the pharmacists at a large medical center that has an
oncology unit. These medications are usually managed, compounded and
prepared separatelly from the more generally used medications. Usually it
is a specialized staff that deals with them. These are the people who may
have some idea about how to deal with the manufacturers and distributors.
Remember that these are generally highly lethal cell poisons that are
tightly controlled. You will need someone in the oncology community to act
as an intermediary because it is an absolute certainty that they cannot be
released to you as an intermediary with the Iraqi oncologists.

David


I knew this going in. The side effects warnings on this stuff read something like "If you receive an injection of this stuff your arm may fall off." Doctors use this stuff only because the consequences of NOT it using are worse. Reviewing Reviewing my experience of the last few days it seems the best reception I have recieved in my search has been from pharmacists. Receptionists at medical offices in the US seem to be trained to shield doctors from being bothered by patients. Pharmacists seem more helpful. I need to somehow establish a rlationship of trust between a pharmacy and the hospital in Mosul and stuff needs to be shipped directly from the pharmacy to the hospital in Mosul, I think.

I continue to pursue all avenues of search.

waldschrat said...

I continue to learn as I go, in this search.

One possibility is that drug manufacturers might be solicited for donations or samples so I am trying to identify manufacturers.

A problem (relatively minor) is that nomenclature varies and common names of drugs used in the US do not correspond perfectly to the names on the "shopping list".

Another problem which needs to be considered is the need for refrigeration during shipment and storage. Although my contact expressed optimism regarding this, Carmustine (also known as BiCNU) on-line label information says "BiCNU has a low melting point (30.5° to 32. 0° C or 86. 9° to 89.6° F). Exposure of the drug to this temperature or above will cause the drug to liquefy and appear as an oil film on the vials. This is a sign of decomposition and vials should be discarded." It sounds like it could be rendered valueless by exposure to Iraqi summer heat!

Some excellent information on US drugs can be found at the following URL's which I discovered only last night:
http://www.fda.gov/search/databases.html Link: Databases at FDA
( see, particularly, at that FDA website
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/ Link: "Drugs@FDA "Catalog of FDA Approved Drug Products' )

and

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/index.htmlLink: US NIH "National Library of Medicine"

My search continues.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Waldschrat,

You are a good man with a generous heart.

I fear the corruption in Iraq or simple theft in the pipeline may be a big part of the problems in receiving any drugs through normal channels. I left a message on Ali's blog asking him if they have problems like this in Baghdad that he is aware of.

Do you read Michael Yon's blog? He had a post a few days back about a doctor organizing a medical text book drive for Iraq. I think it was on July 11. Anyway, there is an e-mail address for him at the end of the post. Maybe he might have some ideas for you. I will put the link at the bottom of this as I seem to have problems with them on this blog.

Michael Yon

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Waldschrat,

I almost forgot. You mentioned something awhile back about organizations that had sent supplies before. Are they still active? If so can we not send them contributions?

jemyr said...

I can't believe I just signed up with blogger to post here.

Alright, waldschract, truthteller, can you give me more info?

Is the Mosul hospital capable of paying for these drugs in the long term? The list of drugs that are needed, is that a monthly supply, yearly supply? How does procurement in Iraqi hospitals operate? Are drugs supposed to be provided free from the government, or do hospitals pay privately for their drugs?

For instance, the hospitals my family works for are all private. They purchase their drugs directly from the manafucturers, who ships the drugs directly to the hospitals.

I can't tell, waldschraft, if you are saying that the Mosul procurement guy tries to purchase these drugs through kimadia, and Kimadia botches it. Or, if the hospital has no money to purchase drugs, and so submits paperworks to governmental authorities, who don't have enough money to purchase drugs, and therefore never send them any drugs (presumedly because they are lower priority), or perhaps because the government procurement system is incompetent.

If I understood the root of the problem, then I would know that we are addressing the long term AND short term issues. I have friends who have personally flown medications to Haiti and areas of South Africa, and can contact them for advice, but that kind of solution is effective when there is just a short term disruption in supply.

So, is the problem one of procurement (administration problems), AND finances (hospital does not have money to purchase drugs) ? Where does the hospitals annual budget come from? Where does the money come from for salaries and drugs and equipment?

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

jemyr,

It is my understanding that the drugs are normally supplied by the government. Under Saddam it was not really a free market type of system. Except for the black market, of course.


Yes, I think it is both short term and long term issues. There is obviously something wrong in the normal government supply chain. Whether it is a combination of no finances, theft, safe delivery issues I don't know. Probably a little of each.

They mentioned something about there having been help from other organizations, but I don't think they mentioned specific names.

I tried to find current information about Red Cross/Red Crescent activities before, but was unable to find any beyond 2003.

For more detail you will have to wait for Waldschrat as he has actually contacted people in Mosul.

Pebble said...

Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I can't help but wonder how easy/difficult for items to get in and out of Iraq :^(

Pebble

ChrisWoznitza said...

Nice page!!! Greatings from Germany!!!

Moron99 said...

I am not understanding something.
I thought that TT had stated two needs - one for bags/rings and another for drugs. Does TT no longer need the bags and rings? It seems to me that these would be on par with sending soccer balls, toys, clothes, and books. Something that is already widely done throughout Iraq. Is there a reason that we have abandoned trying to get these non-prescription goods to TruthTeller? If he still needs them, then would it be okay for me to send Michael Yon an email and see what he thinks? Truth - do you still need these non-drug supplies? If they go through the soccer-ball pipeline, is there a safe way for US medics to get them to your clinic? Or would recieving US deliveries place your clinic in danger?

Dan said...

Perfect timing. I was just now stopping by to recommend Michael Yon's read for July 16 at:

http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/

He is back in Mosul and offers a nice true story from "the American side." He could look into this and post some pics along with it.

---Dan

Truth teller said...

jemyr

"Is the Mosul hospital capable of paying for these drugs in the long term?"

Unfortunatly NO. The hospital can't buy any thing. All the medicine and medical appliances were supplied through the MOH.

"The list of drugs that are needed, is that a monthly supply, yearly supply? How does procurement in Iraqi hospitals operate? Are drugs supposed to be provided free from the government, or do hospitals pay privately for their drugs?"

The drugs and all medical appliances were provided freely from the government, the responsibility of the hospital is to make a list of the needs for the next year. (this is only applied to the governmental hospital, the private hospital has to buy their needs from the private sector.)

"and therefore never send them any drugs (presumedly because they are lower priority), or perhaps because the government procurement system is incompetent."

Although this question is directed to waldschrat, but I will answer it, the both reasons are correct.

"is the problem one of procurement (administration problems), AND finances (hospital does not have money to purchase drugs) ? Where does the hospitals annual budget come from? Where does the money come from for salaries and drugs and equipment?"

It is a procurement problem, the hospital annual budget come from the government (the Ministry of Finance), which also pay the salaries and for drugs and equipments.

Truth teller said...

moron99

"Does TT no longer need the bags and rings?"

No WE still need the sags and rings. The drugs is a different issue.

"do you still need these non-drug supplies? "

Yse I do.

"Or would recieving US deliveries place your clinic in danger?"

Probably yes. Delivering these supplies to the hospital is more save and secure.

waldschrat said...

Lynette, Moron99 -
One reason I have been concentrating on the problem of chemotherapy drugs recently is that I did have some luck identifying the charity that contributed previously and found that they were quite interested in shipping some supplies. Beyond this, the problem of Ostomy supplies is a simple one - all that is really required is money and the will to act, there is no need for a prescription, materials will not deteriorate in transit or storage, people are willing to ship them anywhere, and shipping by multiple channels is apparently available at varying costs.

Chemotherapy drugs are a much harder problem. They can not and should not be administered except by very knowledgeable doctors because they are very dangerous. No sensible pharmacist would give them to a customer who was not a doctor or hospital employee. They can not be obtained without a doctor's prescription, and this normally means a LOCAL doctor in the same city as the pharmacy. Most pharmacies do not even carry them because their use is so specialized. At least some of them normally require refrigerated storage.

Today I talked to a pharmacist at the local Walmart pharmacy. He immediately recognized them as chemotherapy drugs and explained why I couldn't possibly get them at Walmart and why they didn't carry them in stock and that I didn't have a prescription and that they didn't mail drugs and that any hopes I had of getting them from Walmart were totally misguided and etc etc blah blah blah. After many minutes of persuasion I talked him into giving me some price information regardless of all these problems and despite the absolute certainty that I could never purchase the drugs from Walmart. It took him many more minutes of substantial effort to identify several of the drugs, some of which he had to guess at, and give me price quotes on 6 out of 10:
2ea Vincristine 1mg/Ml Inj $13.32
1ea Bleomycin 30U Inj $331.72
10ea Fluorouracil 50 mg/ml Inj $5.32
5ea Adriamyc PFS 10mg Inj $37.54
50ea Cisplatin 50mg Inj $83.72
5ea Etoposide 20mg/ml $45.32
These results were generated by the computer and may contain misspellings and confused units of measurement attributable to some computer programer somewhere, but they should represent approximate, competitive low-end prices for individual packages or doses of these drugs on the American market. I asked the pharmacist for "unit prices" and the data above is what was on the computer printout he handed me. The printout had columns for "quantity", "prescribed drug" and "price"; only numbers appeared in the first column but I have added "ea" because I can't do columns here. Drugs ordered in large quantity might be cheaper, but beating Walmart's price has proved impossible for many businesses in the USA.

So far this poor pharmacist at Walmart has provided me with more useful information than I was able to obtain from about a dozen very highly placed people at the American Cancer Society, U.S.A.I.D., the U.O.P. School of Pharmacy, Eli Lily, McKesson Corporation, and the US Embassy in Baghdad, plus two cancer hospital pharmacies and an oncology clinic in Sacramento.

I am losing count of the people who have ignored my email or sent me away to someplace that proved a blind alley. Idiots around the world send me spam email every day offering drugs to make my genitalia longer and stronger or help me miraculously lose weight. Pathetically I am now forced to read these messages carefully before discarding them because I do not want to miss any legitimate offer of help for Mosul from the people I have asked for advice.

It is beginning to look like the problem of getting chemotherapy drugs to Mosul is not so much one of price but more one of regulations and bureaucracy. I have the greatest respect for the quality of American drugs. I am placing highest priority on finding a method to ship from the USA, but at MINIMUM I need to find a pharmacy that can ship chemotherapy drugs internationally and I need to find an American oncologist or other authority acceptable to that pharmacy to authorize that shipment.

There are other possible avenues. Just across the California/Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico there are dozens of pharmacies that sell drugs which could not be purchased in the USA without a prescription. They exist because they are profitable, and they are profitable because some people want or NEED to circumvent the medical bureaucracy that makes obtaining drugs in the USA inconvenient. Sometimes what they sell is of good quality, sometimes it it is not. It might be possible to find what Mosul needs there, but there would necessarily be legitimate doubts about the quality of what was available.

Some avenues of search are not available to me. This includes web sites in Arabic and other non-English languages. There are cancer hospitals in Jordan and Turkey that have chemotherapy drugs, I think. If we could find out how they get them and where, that might help.

One thing bothers me. The Health Ministry and Kimadia are the usual source of drugs and supplies in Iraq as I understand it. I assume that the hospital in Mosul has done everything possible to get what they need through the official, approved supply channels. However, because of the war there are various reasons (all unknown to me) why procedures for ordering drugs may have changed and messages or shipments may have been lost or misdirected. It is unlikely but just barely possible that somewhere in Iraq the drugs Mosul needs exist and could be delivered if the need were understood and the proper forms filled out. If I were a hospital clerk and knew that some drugs had been unavailable for years, I might stop sending requests I knew would never be filled. It might be worth investigating. Miracles happen sometimes. The hospital should definitely double-check periodically to see if what they need has become available. I assume they know that and do that, but sometimes obvious things are forgotten or overlooked.

The search continues. I need a pharmacy that can ship chemotherapy drugs internationally. I think I need an American oncologist to advise me and authorize such shipments.

Moron99 said...

I just sent the following email to Michael Yon. I think it is accurate. If someone here sees an error or has a better idea, please speak up. Don't be bashful. The worst idea is one that doesn't get heard. No such thing as a "bad idea" because even a bad idea opens new doors. So speak up, chip in, make yourself heard.


****************************************

Hello Michael,

I need your help. Specifically I need your advice on the
best and most productive way to connect gras-roots
donations (specialty plastic bags for medical use) from
US citizens to a hospital in Mosul.

There is a doctor in Mosul who runs a blog. He works in a
cancer clinic and has been unable to get the poop bags for
people who have had intestinal bypass. I have read
repeatedly about soldiers handing out toys, soccer balls,
teddy bears, books, clothes, etc. Recently you ran an
article about mnedical textbooks. It seems that you are
uniquely qualified to offer guidance and advice. Is the
delivery of these plastic pouches to a Mosul hospital
something that soldiers or medics who would (or could) be
willing to help with? Here is a brief history of what has
transpired to date. You can read the original dialougues
starting from June 19 in the comment section of the blog
"A Citizen of Mosul"
http://moslawi.blogspot.com/


The doctor identified the "appliances" that he needs:
ConvaTec SUR-FIT Natura, SUR-FIT AutoLock
Esteem Synergy Two-Piece Ostomy Systems.
ConvaTec Active Life One-Piece Ostomy Systems.

An American commentor, Waldschrat, has contacted the bag
manufacturer and established a point of contact
Cynthia Hacherl at OstomyCareSupply.com,
(866)207-5909, cynthia@ostomycaresupply.com

The doctor in Mosul has identified a destination address:
Ostomy Clinic
Mosul Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Hospital
aka - Hazim Al Hafid Oncology And Nuclear Medicine Hospital
36.33333333 LAT, 43.13338333 LONG

Waldschrat has sent a trial shipment via Fedex
Tracking # 791129723852


--
Thanks for your help,
Moron99

Dan said...

Well, that ought to get his attention. Michael Yon is pretty popular and well-known. Perhaps he will also run an article about TT's clinic.

---Dan

Dan said...

"Lets talk about horror stories. One of the worst I can think of is a cancer hospital with a total lack of chemotherapy drugs." So goes Truth Teller's quote of Waldschrat.

I must opine here that a WORSE horror story is a cancer hospital WITH chemotherapy drugs. I have seen first hand what cancer doctors do. They do not speak of the various possible vitamin and nutritional ways to prevent cancer. Then, they DO NOT inform the patient of the natural vitamin and nutritional ways to treat cancer and stop its spread after diagnosis and/or surgery. The doctors give them chemotherapy which, at best, gives them a Bell Curve's chance of survival. Most likely, it will cost them much money, cause them much pain and suffering, give them false hope, and leave them just as prematurely dead as if they had NEVER TAKEN CHEMOTHERAPY. I have seen this in my own family and found out that else can be done to prevent and treat cancer. While I am FOR helping Truth Teller get medical supplies, I DO NOT consider chemotherapy as anything more than controlled death...but then again, I am NOT "a trained medical professional."

Rots of Ruck!

---Dan

TJS said...

I live in the Seattle/Tacoma area. It's my understanding that a Stryker Brigade from Fort Lewis is in the Mosul area. If so, the hospital might fall under their patrol zone. I will try to go through the channels there to find out what Army Medical units are in the area and whether they're willing to assist. It might require you, Truth Teller, or a doctor from your clinic, willing to travel to an American base to pick up the supplies (unless you'd prefer an American convoy driving up to the hospital, with the risks).

If any of you already know anyone at Fort Lewis who I can contact, I'm going to start off like Walds did, and try random people until someone answers me. Wish me luck!

Ann said...

I'm wondering if this group would help out:

http://www.takeaswing.org/

Maybe TT could think of a cancer related research project he could put together, given that there are so many patients. With a grant and possible connections, who knows. THis group gives money to people who have cancer and to organizations studying cancer. It would also be easier to make donations thru a 3rd party such as this, because it can be done thru paypal.

strykeraunt said...

TJS, I already contacted the rear detachment of the Stryker Brigade currently serving in the Mosul area. Their policy does not allow shipments from their base. I stopped working on this issue at that point because a post from Truthteller right after that point indicated to me that he really did not want help from "the stryker family." I am still willing to help but will not contribute if it cannot run through the U.S. military.

Moron99, I hope you will be able to post any response that you may receive from Michael Yon (if my experience is and indication, he will most likely respond one way or another). Working through him or one of his sources is something that I would be VERY supportive of. I actually had considered contacting him in the past but knew he was on the road until recently returning to the Mosul area.

Ann said...

I bet these guys could help coordinate:

http://www.isradiology.org/About/presidential

International Society of Radiology

I bet that group would be able to define the problems faced by this hospital in Mosul and their patients - things like transportation to the centers, lack of prescription drugs, inability to store those drugs, inability to maintain security on the drugs and equipment -- all that stuff. They work with developing countries where such considerations exist. [Not to suggest Iraq is a developing country, simply to say that it might currently share some of the same transportation, storage, and security problems at this time.]

Also online are some study results including one from France that suggests combining chemotherapy drugs is fatally toxic.

Keep us posted. A letter writing campaign to an organization that fully understands the problem of treating cancer patients might be more effective in the long run, than a handful of concerned peoples donating what they can - not that we won't contribute funds - many of do regularly.

Moron99 said...

Strykeraunt,

I am hoping that it can take a form simlar to one of the many soccer-ball, books, school supplies, and clothing drives that troops are already engaged in. I am under the assumption that such shipments to troops will significantly reduce shipping costs and delays and therefore significantly increase the amount of delivered product. I read Truth's comments to indicate that he would not personally accept them, but if delivered to the hospital then they would end up in his hands anyway. Reading soldiers blogs I have come to the conclusion that trips to a hospital are not uncommon. So, let us hope that these various components can come together.

strykeraunt said...

Your assumption is correct regarding the shipment to U.S. military personnel in Iraq. All packages are shipped to an address inside the U.S. and the postage paid is for that destination. However, if we were to do it this way then, ideally, we would want the items shipped from the East Coast. I am on the West Coast and therefore pay a lot more for shipping care packages than those in the East Coast.

If we can figure out how to get an APO address to a medical supply company who would be willing to take donations then I think we would be in pretty good shape. However, I would not want to make the APO address available on this or any other site (or even to distribute by email) for security reasons.

Good luck Moron99, I believe you are on the right track :D

shahla said...

Hi TT - did you read the article by New York Times about how the Sunnis of Qabr Abed are working with the Americans?
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2002386093&zsection_id=2002107549&slug=sunnis17&date=20050717

Qabr Abed is 15 kilometers south of Mosul. The Sunni Baathists and Old Army officers have gotten together and kicked out the terrorists and are now in charge of the city and receiving their salary from the Americans and the central government. There is peace in Qabr Abed and people are free from intimidation and murder of the terrorists.

I wonder if TT would reconsider his anti-American stance?

TT, for each Sunni there is 4 Shia and Kurds. You are outnumbered. Sunnis are in grave danger if the terrorists manage to start a civil war. IT is best if the Sunnis and Saddamites and Baathists make peace with the Americans and consider them your friends.

What do you think of this article TT?

waldschrat said...

Dan -

I am married to a breast cancer survivor. Cancer patients are the most courageous people I know. They stare death in the face, grit their teeth, and willingly(!) undergo any necessary treatment, whether it be injection of near-lethal drugs, disfiguring and debilitating surgery, or radiation burns, to fight death to a standstill and make it retreat. Everybody dies eventually. Cancer patients and their doctors wage truly heroic battles before they go. Vitamins and a healthful lifestyle are good, nobody denies that, but when prevention fails and death comes knocking and you decide to do battle, you use the most powerful weapons available.

Truth teller said...

strykeraunt

"I stopped working on this issue at that point because a post from Truthteller right after that point indicated to me that he really did not want help from "the stryker family."

Truth Teller did not want help from any body to him self.
What is going on here is a help to cancer patients, nothing personal.
If you want to help, you are welcome.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Waldschrat,

Have you contacted or thought about contacting Chief Wiggles? He already has a delivery and distribution line set up for his Toys for Joy program. He may have some ideas as well or be able to help in some way.

Here is his link:
Chief Wiggles

Truth teller said...

moron99

I am ready to meet Michael yon if he can visit the Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Hospital, I am available there every Wednesday after 10:00 PM

Truth teller said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jemyr said...

Truthteller,

This is very enlightening.

I'm working through the WHO, USAID, IRRFI right now, and waiting back to hear from friend in Africa. Unfortunately, my family includes neurosurgeons, obstetericians, and internal medicine people, so they're no help. They're trying to track down an oncologist friend for me.

But, in the meantime, I think understanding these long term issues is extremely helpful. So the hospital's budget is approved by the Ministry of Finance, and the hospital procures things through the Ministry of Health?

Do the doctor's salaries get paid on time? Does anything come through in a proper manner? If so, what things seem to be procured efficiently, and what things are not procured efficiently?

Specifically, drugs were disbursed through this entity "Kimadia"? Is that correct? Before the war, was this who disbursed the drugs? Were they any good then?

This stuff is the nuts and bolts of Iraq. I think it gives me a far greater understanding of the difficulties and problems you face than anything else I've learned so far.

Thanks for educating me!

Jonathan said...

I'm looking into it but I think the best people to work with are the US Army Civil Affairs guys in Mosul. I'll get the contact info for the CMOC (Civil Military Operations Center) in Mosul. Usually several people are assigned to work with the ministry of health in an area. If someone can come up with the supplies, they or someone they know can most likely fly them directly to the airfield in Mosul from either Kuwait or one of the large bases in Iraq. Either fly the supplies in on a military transport or ship it via DHL or FEDEX, both of which fly their cargo planes into various locations in Iraq. I someone can come up with the supplies getting it to Mosul is not going to be a huge problem.

Contact me directly for further coordination.

Jonathan Trouern-Trend
jtrend@earthlink.net

jemyr said...

Here is a private medical procurement company in Iraq:

http://www.alassad.biz/contactus.html

I'll email him and see what he says.

It may be possible to have the Mosul hospital place an order directly with these guys (if they are not corrupt), and then we pay for the items.

If this works, it could be the beginning of a long term solution, we'd just have to figure out how to have the MOH reimburse this private organization instead of Kamidia. But the issue could be that the MOH doesn't have enough money to procure the supplies. I wish I knew if the problem is that there isn't enough money available for health, or if the money is being siphoned off. I wonder how we could figure that out?

Moron99 said...

TruthTeller,

I haven't heard from Michael yet. It really doesn't matter to me who delivers the
stuff to your hospital - or even that you personally recieve it. We wouldn't want
you to take any risk of being labelled as a collaborator. From what I can gather,
a box full of bags delivered to the hospital is going to end up on your desk no
matter what route it takes. Is this a fair assumption?

I'm just trying to figure out what is the cheapest and most reliable method of
shipping that can be repeated whenever needed. Once the shipping gets set up,
then we have a few commentors here that have pledged to call OstomyCareSupply
with a donation. But that's a short-term one-time fix. What we need to do is
get a "donations" button on your blog (and maybe some other blogs) and try to
set up an ongoing trickle of bags to you.

strykerdad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
strykeraunt said...

Strykerdad, the APO address obviously won't work for the prescription medicine that the hospitial needs, however, it may be a solution for the non-drug supplies. The medicine is going to take a little bit more creativity.

Jemyr, I personnelly will have nothing to do with going through a private medical procurement company in Iraq. Truthteller mentioned in a previous post that the hospitals receive medical supplies through the ministry of health.

J, thank you so much for jumping on the bandwagon!! You can obviously get further than I did in my attempt to contact Rear-D. Let's just say that my history with any Rear-D has not been real positive :D I figured that civil affairs was the way to go but couldn't even get to that point with my limited access.

TT, I understand if may be a safety issue in regards to meeting Michael Yon. However, if there isn't and the opportunity arises I hope you would still be willing to meet with him. I suspect that you visited his online magazine. It seems he has been everywhere except in the mainstream media.

waldschrat said...

The US branch of the Canadian charity which shipped some ostomy supplies to Musul in the mid 1990's sent me a list of questions related to the hospital's needs and other matters related to delivery of the supplies and I forwarded it to the agreed hospital contact. These folks really want to make sure the supplies get to the patients. They have had experiences in other countries where supplies were instead intercepted and sold on the black market. I'm going to omit mentioning their name here to make sure they are not confused by getting messages from multiple correspondents. The text of their message was as follows:

========================================================================
We will be glad to consider your request.

FOW-USA is a totally volunteer organization. None of our workers are paid. We use our home computers for all email correspondence. All products are donated to us by ostomates and pharmacies in the USA. We try our best to select and send ostomy products that will be useful to you.

If there are any problems with shipping or with customs, we need to hear from you immediately.

We need stories (and if possible pictures) telling how this shipment helps you and the people you are helping.

Please send us the following information

1. What ostomy services does your organization provide?

2. How do you decide who will receive supplies from this donation?

3. Is there cost to the people who get supplies?

4. Is there a doctor or nurse who will choose the correct type and size?

5. How many people does your organization serve?

6. Is there a contact person who reads & writes in English who can correspond by email with FOW-USA?

7. What is the email address, phone number, FAX number for this person?

8. Do you know if import documents / stamps / seals needed? If so, what?

9. Please type the name and address as you want it on the shipping label.

10. Please give us the name, telephone number and email of the person responsible for receiving the shipment in your country. This name and telephone number will be on the shipping information as the person to contact when the shipment arrives.

11. What ostomy equipment do you need?

Size range of stomas?
Size range of wafers/flanges?
Can you use urostomy equipment?
Can you use irrigation equipment?

We always have excess wafers/flanges (ConvaTec and Hollister.) Can you use wafers/flanges with no matching pouches?

12. Can you use ostomy care information in English (pamphlets, videos.)

This is a lot of questions. We need this information to send the right supplies to you.

Sincerely,

etc etc etc
Shipping Coordinator

========================================================================

I'm going to email truth teller the same info I sent the agreed contact, because he has better internet access and to keep him in the loop.

If Michael Yon were to do a story on the hospital it might help verify the hospital's legitimacy and need and assist this charity in understanding that they could truly benefit patients in Iraq by sending supplies to the hospital.

waldschrat said...

Truth Teller, the Hospital contact attempted to answer the list of questions but the file format of his response is all messed up and almost totlly impossible to read (some kind of deffective rtf code pasted into an email, I think). The charity volunteers sent the questions in rtf format when they should have sent plain text or almost anythinng but rtf. I can't reach him on the phone and will be busy tomorrow. Please try to help straighten things out. ANother day or so will not matter, but communications need to be clear and what got sent seems badly garbled, largely due to file format problems I think.

Moron99 said...

Strykerdad,

I can barely spell ostomotry. However, I did recognize from the OstomyCareSupply website that these ConvaTec SUR-FIT things are essentially just plastic bags and that no prescription was required. As TruthTeller initially said when this started - there's no sense that these should find any kind of delay or be in shortage. It bears testament to a government and distribution system that is struggling to meet even the simplest and most basic level of performance (damn those terrorists). We can't fix the government, they've got bigger fish to fry and can't even repair the basic utilities as fast as they break. Darining the swamp and all that.

Waldschrat is incredible. The guy is obviously a dynamo when it comes to tracking things down and finding information. So .. let us simpletons do the simple things. Find an economical, reliable way to ship plastic bags to Mosul. I know from experience that when I ship stuff to Europe via FedEx it comes out to around $50 per pound. I also know that plastic bags costs about $0.50 per pound. Even a medical plastic bag couldn't possibly cost $50 per pound. So, my immediate goal is to find a way - any way - to get more money into bags and less money into fedex's bank account. My long term goal would be an open, transparent, accoutable, and traceable flow of bags. No assumptions and no presumptions beyond the fact that it needs to bypass Iraqi beuracracy until their government is no longer under siege.

Would any of you StyrkerFamily please send an email to your sons & daughters near Mosul? Maybe they know somebody who is already running a toy or book drive.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Jemyr,

If you can get USAID involved that would be an excellent solution for all of the needs. Obviously, the best solution would be for the Iraqi government to get it's act together. But, with things the way they are, that might take awhile.

Waldschrat,

As the Canadian group found out, it doesn't always work to just send stuff. You need someone trustworthy on the end to get it to the people in need. Which is why I think Strykeraunt would prefer to work through the US military. Even then it doesn't always work out. I keep seeing all those police uniforms that ended up in the markets. But at least they are people WE trust. You may trust TT and the other gentleman you have been e-mailing implicitly, but I do not. TT has given me no reason to. His and his families friendship with people like the Jarrars does not help. But if you can get Michael Yon or someone in our military to check them out than that would help a great deal. Their credentials might also help with some of those people you have been e-mailing and not getting a response from.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I would never just send money to anyone without some kind of assurance that it could not be used in some way to harm any of our troops or innocent civilians in Iraq.

Hurria said...

Truth Teller, by all means meet with Michael Yon or anyone else who can help. But be sure to look at his website and read the kinds of things he writes before meeting with him so you know with whom you are meeting because he looks certain to be writing mostly pro-occupation propaganda.

Hurria said...

"I would never just send money to anyone without some kind of assurance that it could not be used in some way to harm any of our troops or innocent civilians in Iraq."

You certainly don't seem to mind sending money to your government for it to use to harm innocent civilians in Iraq.

strykerdad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rachel in London said...

Truthteller, a medical friend of mine has kindly agreed to find out what these cancer drugs cost in the UK (and if there are any "special offers" going).

Many years ago, I used to work for a company that assembled and exported language laboratory equipment. I remember that the total cost of an order of this equipment destined for anywhere in Africa or the Middle East had to include a 7-10 per cent "commission" for every "middle man". I hope that we will be able to get the drugs to you *and* use as few "middle men" as possible.

I am a breast cancer survivor (caught early, I was very lucky).

Rachel in London said...

Strykerdad said,

a couple of snipers in Mosul this week---I would hate for one of them to be treated using anything I helped provide

You are forgetting - or perhaps have never heard of - the Hippocratic Oath.

Dan said...

"Truth Teller, by all means meet with Michael Yon or anyone else who can help.

Inasmuch as even Hurriah thinks this might be a good idea, I think it is worth a try. Also, from a personal perspective, I am curious to know what Truth Teller and Michael Yon might think of each other if they actually ever meet.

"You certainly don't seem to mind sending money to your government for it to use to harm innocent civilians in Iraq."

Hurriah, this is NOT the POLICY of the American government. While you may argue from now until the end of time whether the MNF was correct to liberate Iraq, you KNOW that the US DOES NOT target civillians.

Having said that, the main point is to get medical supplies to TT.

---Dan

Lynnette in Minnesota said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynnette in Minnesota said...

I was going to comment on Hurria's comment regarding sending money to the U.S. government, but I liked Dan's response better. So that deletion was me.

Moron99 said...

strykerdad -

m2¢
being an insurgent might be a dangerous, if not suicidal, job. However, I don't think you can catch cancer from it. I also have a hard time imagining how a poop-bag could be misused. Plus, I trust the slowly turning wheels of our military bearaucracy to be free from corruption and bribery. If it's a controlled substance, they will let us know. I guess what I'm trying to say is that patients shouldn't suffer because the doctors have political differences.

strykerdad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moron99 said...

Trust has to start somewhere and it will never be free of risk. Hopefully, we can send the supplies through our soldiers and trust them to carry out honorable deeds. I know that I trust their judgement and I trust their ability to evaluate the hospital and clinic. We can't fix the world but that is no excuse for doing nothing.

But it may all be for naught. No word yet from anyone in Mosul. Maybe you could drop an email to your StrykerKid and ask him what he thinks?

Dan said...

So, what do YOU have to say, "Truth Teller?"

strykerdad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dan said...

"Dan said...
So, what do YOU have to say, "Truth Teller?""

---Dan

waldschrat said...

I have been contacting drug wholesalers and identified two US companies which definitely ship chemtherapy drugs internationally and 4 possibles. I sent email messages to all 6 asking for information about the availabiity and price of chemotherapy drugs for Mosul. I will put the Mosul contact in touch with any company that responds with encouraging information and let him know which companies I have contacted.

Knowing that Israel trades with Turkey and Mosul is close to the Turkish border I also asked for advice from one Israeli company. I would ask for information and assistance from the devil himself if I thought it might help Mosul.
I am concentrating on companies in the US because what they ship should be of known, good quality and I am better able to contact them and assist in payment.

At least one company representative mentioned over the phone that they had decided not to do try to do business with Kimadia after investigating them - I do not know the exact reasons.

Ultimately, all concerned must recognize that charitable donations will not be able to fill all Mosul's needs in the years to come. Iraq and it's hospitals are going to have to solve the problem somehow. I suspect that Kimadia is either going to have to be replaced or somehow assisted in learning to provide the doctors and hospitals of Iraq with what they need.

It is unlikely that any US pharmaceutical supplier will ship to anyone unless they are certain that the recipient is legitimately entitled to recieve and use the materials shipped. They will probably want information about the licenses and credentials of the recipient. Photographic evidence of such documents may be requested.

Photographs of the hospital would also be valuable for helping the charity which is interested in shipping ostomy supplies understand the hospital and it's patients.

Najma has posted photos taken with a digital camera in her blog occaisionally. Any photos which may compromise the security of the hospital or it's doctors and patients should not be published in any blog, of course.

The file formt problem mentioned previously in connection with Mosul's response to a charity's questionaire has been resolved beautifully by the hospital contact.

Truth teller said...

Hi every body

Sorry for the delay in response. I am very busy right now. I will try to comment this night if I got time.

Lani said...

Waldschrat-
Apparently there is a new sister city program pairing Mosul and Philadelphia. The commitees will be focusing on political, judicial, and humanitarian concerns. At the bottom of this article there is a contact name/number for Nancy Gilboy. Perhaps she would have the clout that could help you.
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050628/phtu051.html?.v=9

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Moron99,

My only concern was that these things could be sold on the black market and the money used for other purposes. All I was looking for was for someone that I know I can trust, like the US military civil affairs people or an established NGO to basically OK it.

jemyr said...

Still waiting to hear back from the phone calls I've made. I'm certain I'm on some FBI watch list now. Here's what I learned:

Back in 2003 there was a Col named Scott Svabek who was associated with the White Plains procurement group. I called them and chatted with a guy for a while. He said Scott finished his tour and is back home with his family. Scott was in charge of coordinating the CPA and Kamidia, and said he was going to privatize the services Kamidia offered, because Iraqis had consistent problems with Kamidia that had to deal with corruption and incompetence. He was starting this privatiziation process supposedly in 2003, and so there is supposed to be a few private Iraqi drug procurement countries now operating so the government doesn't rely on one government owned procurement company.

Anyway, I tried to discuss this with the White Plains group and they had no idea what I was talking about. When the CPA dissolved,, all the responsibility for this went back over to the Ministry of Health.

Now, Doctors without borders was really concerned about the procurement process and they took up a large portion of disbursement in Iraq until some of their members were killed, and they decided it was too dangerous to work there anymore. That was last year.

I called them up, and they're supposed to tell me who is actively working on drug distrubition now.

I find all this fascinating. This kind of stuff is the reason a country will succeed or fail. How can you get anything done if there is no organization in place to get anything done? No wonder so many people are so frustrated.

The White Plains office has a fantastic organizational structure set up to make certain that the American traige units in Iraq are running efficiently, and that the drugs they ask for are purchased and distributed.

I asked them who distributed drugs to the Iraq government hospitals themselves, and they had no idea. I asked them if private groups could procure drugs from them and then use their structure to disseminate drugs to government run hospitals in Iraq, and you can imagine my response to that.

The old structure, of course, was Kamidia, but Kamidia went through a major upheavel, and many employees operated through under-the-table corrupt deals which are no longer viable under occupation.

Obviously, an organized distribution system is a priority, but who is working on it? Who is in charge? Is it the MOH? Should the U.S. be responsible for setting up an efficient and organized drug procurement program? Even if it shouldn't be responsible, is it possible to have a good quality of life in a country where doctors have no stable system to procure medicines for emergency procedures?

While it may be easy to demonize the MOH as a bunch of incompetents, how difficult would it be to set up an organized request and drug distribution system when you start out 1) with a war 2) shut down for 6 months 3) responsibilities transferred to the UN and a U.S. general 4) responsibilities overtaken by a Col Scott Svabek who decides to transform the system from scratch 5) responsibilities given back to you, but with no clear understanding of how the new funding system is going to work (because the budget has to be approved by a new government, and no one is certain what international money is coming in and when, and then who does it go to and in what priority) 6) Many of you are fired for abusing your position from before the war.

Now, on the flip-side, how easy would it be for the U.S. to set up an organized system when: 1) the MOH resents them butting in on their business and wants them to stop confusing the issue and leave them alone 2) the army doesn't have any organizational structure or personnel in place who have set up a drug procurement system from scratch. And they never thought they would need to do so. 3) The bureacracy to create a new organization that would effectively do this is so convoluted, it's uncertain whether or not the army could be more timely with a solution than the MOH anyway.

So that gives us all a taste of why, at the end of the day, pre-planning for the boring mundane aspects of things is much more vital than preparing for the spectaculur things. The mundane things take far more organization and leadership than the rest.

Anyway, still working on it, although I think waldschrat will have this all done before I can. Amazing work, by the way.

Moron99 said...

lynnette,
I hear ya. Me too. One step at a time.

jemyr said...

Alright, the new U.S. guy appears to be James Haveman
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story.php?f=1-213079-2174059.php

And he says:
The toughest challenge for health care in Iraq, Haveman said, is creating a delivery system for services.

“The infrastructure of the 240 hospitals is extremely poor,” he said. “To revitalize that, to get things online, to get basic services has been a challenge.”

Iraq’s health system was one of that country’s most corrupt agencies, he said.

It also was significantly under funded. Saddam Hussein spent the equivalent of $23 million in the United States on 23 million people, Haveman said. The country has been isolated from medical schools for 15 years, and up to 70 percent of hospital equipment doesn’t work, he said.

madtom said...

This all sounds like the mythical Free Cuban health care system which is touted world wide as the 9th wonder of the world. Of course non of it's world wide supporters would have a hang nail treated in Cuba but they are certain that what's there now is what's best for Cubans.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Jemyr,

Thank you for that update. Your info is fascinating. It doesn't help to try and set all these things up when you are being attacked constantly.

Truth teller said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Truth teller said...

jemyr

Sorry to be late in response.
"So the hospital's budget is approved by the Ministry of Finance, and the hospital procures things through the Ministry of Health?"
-That is right.

"Do the doctor's salaries get paid on time?"
-Yes the salary paid at time, but one thing is astonishing, during the last 2 years, every month we received diffirtent salary from the previous month!!.

"Does anything come through in a proper manner?"
-There is no fixed manner any more, every day a new thing is emerging.

"If so, what things seem to be procured efficiently, and what things are not procured efficiently?"
-To be honest, only painting and decorating the building are done efficiently. All other thing including Drugs supply, tools, and medical appliences are all in very bad status.

"Specifically, drugs were disbursed through this entity "Kimadia"? Is that correct? Before the war, was this who disbursed the drugs? Were they any good then?"
-Kimadia, is the organization responsible for importing and distributing the drugs. It was not good from the start, but now it is much warse.
________________________

"I wish I knew if the problem is that there isn't enough money available for health, or if the money is being siphoned off. I wonder how we could figure that out?"
-I think it is a mixture of both. It is not possible to figure it out now!. May be in the future.

Lisa Renee said...

I just contacted a physician who specializes in Oncology who used to work at the hospital at Mosul, he is now at Wayne State University. His name is Anwar N. Mohamed, M.D. I have asked for any help he can give in assistance or information.

He has the information to contact you via email, TT, hope this will help. If I find out any other sources or information will advise.

Truth teller said...

moron99

"From what I can gather, a box full of bags delivered to the hospital is going to end up on your desk no
matter what route it takes. Is this a fair assumption?"

-You are right, but every thing have to registered and to supplied to the patients who need it according to a well organized and registered file system.

"What we need to do is get a "donations" button on your blog (and maybe some other blogs) and try to set up an ongoing trickle of bags to you."
-That's may work perfectly, but I don't want to be involved in any financial or money collecting system if possible.

"what I'm trying to say is that patients shouldn't suffer because the doctors have political differences."
-You are right again moron, but the warmongers have different opinions than yours.

Truth teller said...

strykerdad

"only nonperichable items are allowed"
-The bags(pouches) and the rings(flanges) are plastic materials, {Nonperishable}. Isn't it?

"And if those who are on the recieving end don't find him trustworthy or a propagandist."(Michael Yon)
-Even if he is a propogandist, the truth is evident, no body, even a propogandist can't conceal it.

"and from what I've read about TT's attitude, he might proudly provide a sniper with aid. He does seem to oppose efforts of the current Iraqi government, and US troops and then blames them for the lack of supplies."
-A very good excuse not to provide a help.

Truth teller said...

strykeraunt

"TT, I understand if may be a safety issue in regards to meeting Michael Yon. However, if there isn't and the opportunity arises I hope you would still be willing to meet with him."
-If he manage to visit the Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Hospital, It is not a problem to meet him there.
It will be an apportunity for him to write a report about the cancer patients suffering in the city.

Truth teller said...

lynnette

"You may trust TT and the other gentleman you have been e-mailing implicitly, but I do not."

"My only concern was that these things could be sold on the black market and the money used for other purposes."
-These are good excuse not to help.
Thank you any .way

Truth teller said...

hurria

thank you for your concern. I looked at his website and ready to meet him, if he will.

Truth teller said...

dan

" So, what do YOU have to say, "Truth Teller?""
- I think, I said enough. But in short:
"To those who don't want to help, just say it, no need to find excuses for that."

Truth teller said...

jemyr

We appreciate your efforts. Thank you a lot.
You and waldschrat are a good examples of the goodness that still in the hearts of man kind

strykerdad said...

TT, you seem to understand Emglish pretty well unless it feeds your biases not to. I need no excuse to help or not--I've said repeatedly I do elsewhere and will in this case if certain it will not aid the enemy. It sounds like a worthy cause, though there are many others which seek to aid healthy children, which is where I prefer to concentrate my meager offerings. Who are the 'warmongers' who think patients should suffer because of political differences? That statement was originally directed to me and I agreed with it completely--so who are the 'warmongers'?

I know pouches are not Perishable-it was a typo, not a spelling error, but thanks for correcting me. Would you like the same courtesy? I seem to notice your english improves with each post, so perhaps your blog has contributed to that, at least. May it serve to aid your patients as well in other ways. Though you are being dragged into it by others without making any real apparent effort yourself other than to antagonize a majority of those who expressed a wish to help. I was responding to a question about individual troops being used as a conduit to provide the requested drugs as well as the pouches. The drugs seemed to be your prime concern and the biggest stumbling block. In response to a question directed to the Stryker*, I was merely pointing out the impossibility of shipping such things to individual soldiers. I have made inquiries to the command in Mosul, but there are underlying reasons why that is unlikely to bear fruit at this time as there is a scheduled command and troop rotation not too far in the future. Hooray!

Initiative isn't a strong point of non-Kurdich Iraqi society is it? Or so I've been told, and see that reinforced here. Why wait for Mr Yon to visit you? Write to the man yourself. If I were him I wouldn't bother with a person unwilling to make even that tiny step on his own. I would hope he doesn't come here and read some of the silly slanderous propaganda you have offered and remains despite being shown to be lies--maybe he has which may explain why he hasn't responded already. Why not make some effort to ally yourself with a charity to which you can link on this blog and raise funds to do what you claim is your desire? What is YOUR excuse?

You have the greatest ability to contibute to the cause taken up so admirably by others here. I've yet to read one thing you've written which would indicate any effort to improve anything except for cleaning a drainage opening in your street--and even that could have been interpreted as a criticism of US soldiers for not doing it for you. I'm unsure if that was your point with that post, but it sounded like you resented them coming to your neighborhood looking for weapons or combatants while you had a clogged drain needing attention and had to do it yourself. Now you do much the same while someone is trying to help your patients and your city. Read Yon's post today--there are some Iraqis and Americans saving lives and protecting the innocent and putting their asses on the line every day. You will also read why Mr Yon is unlikely to set up a meeting with you--it has been tried by others in an effort to kidnap or kill him. You know, those honorable resistance fighters who also have a bounty on female American Army medics?

My way of writing is irritating, isn't it? Another thing we have in common.

Bruno said...

Waldschrat –

You have expended considerable time and effort in your endeavour to help Truth Teller; for that you must be commended. Thank you. I’ll try to bear in mind that you put your money where your mouth is when commenting to you in future.


Moron99 –

[m99] “I guess what I'm trying to say is that patients shouldn't suffer because the doctors have political differences.”

That’s the first decent thing I’ve heard you say. I thought I’d point it out and focus on that rather than all the *other* points that I’d like to, um, belabour.


Strykerdad –

[strykerdad] “After writing to a frontline troop on this subject, I got word of our troops wounding, hopefully killing, a couple of snipers in Mosul this week---I would hate for one of them to be treated using anything I helped provide, and from what I've read about TT's attitude, he might proudly provide a sniper with aid.”

Mm. I’m sure that you speak the truth. We all witnessed how US troops care for wounded, captured enemies in Fallujah. This also fits in with US trends of bombing hospitals and shooting ambulances because they are providing aid to the enemy. Gotta maximise those body counts, eh?


Dan –

[dan] “Hurriah [sic] , this is NOT the POLICY of the American government. While you may argue from now until the end of time whether the MNF was correct to liberate Iraq, you KNOW that the US DOES NOT target civilians [sic].”

I refer you to:


The “Salvador option” For Iraq
By Bill Van Auken - 14 January 2005 - World Socialist Web
“The article cited the little-reported assessment given by General Muhammad Abdallah al-Shahwani, director of the Iraqi puppet regime’s intelligence service, that the resistance is 200,000-strong and enjoys broad sympathy, particularly in Sunni areas.
A US military official, who agreed with this assessment, told Newsweek: “The Sunni population is paying no price for the support it is giving to the terrorists. From their point of view, it is cost-free. We have to change that equation.”
As the occupation authorities see it, those who choose to collaborate with them are paying a very heavy and visible price in the form of assassination of political leaders, bombings of police stations and wholesale killing of militiamen. The purpose of the plan is to exact a similar price from those who oppose the occupation.” //end extract
Does this seem far fetched? Yet it is true that Negroponte, a man with bloody hands, has been assigned to Iraq, and that Steele, the coordinator of the US terror in El Salvador has been despatched to get the death squads up and running. The Special Police Commandos are a result of these efforts. Yes, the same people who let nine bricklayers suffocate to death in a metal van a week ago.
In other words, the aim is to crush the populace itself, and make them fear the government to such an extent that they will hand over their own brothers and sisters. All dissent must be eliminated. Look at the arrest of blogger Khalid Jarrar for example – arrested without charge because he said something against either the Iraqi ‘government’ or the US. He is currently still in jail, without charge, incommunicado.

Of course, these broader, more indirect efforts are supported by direct collective punishment of civilians by the US, as well as the direct targeting of the said civilians. To whit:


Ambulance torn apart in Fallujah as US launches 'precision' strikes
From Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad - 14 September 2004

“A plume of grey smoke billowed above Fallujah yesterday as the US military claimed they were making precision air strikes against insurgents in the city and local doctors said that civilians were being killed and wounded. The US army said its warplanes had bombed houses because it had intelligence about the presence of fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whom the US sees as the guiding hand behind many attacks on its forces. Dr Adel Khamis of the Fallujah General Hospital said at least 16 people were killed, including women and children, and 12 others were wounded. Video film showed a Red Crescent ambulance torn apart by an explosion. A hospital official said the driver, a paramedic and five patients had been killed by the blast.” //end excerpt


Oh dear, ‘collateral damage’. Gosh, who could have imagined that dropping 2000 lb bombs on civilian areas might produce civilian casualties? I mean, hey, Al Qaeda didn’t target civilians on 9-11, they were actually trying to kill some cops in the Towers. The rest of the people happened to get in the way. So sorry for the collateral damage.

And also:


Empire Notes 2004 – Rahul Mahajan

“After initial instances in which people were prevented from leaving, U.S. forces began allowing everyone to leave – except for what they called “military age males,” men usually between 15 and 60. Keeping noncombatants from leaving a place under bombardment is a violation of the laws of war. Of course, if you assume that every military age male is an enemy, there can be no better sign that you are in the wrong country, and that, in fact, your war is on the people, not on their oppressors,, not a war of liberation.
[…]
In addition to the artillery and the warplanes dropping 500, 1000, and 2000-pound bombs, and the murderous AC-130 Spectre gunships that can demolish a whole city block in less than a minute, the Marines had snipers criss-crossing the whole town. For weeks, Fallujah was a series of sometimes mutually inaccessible pockets, divided by the no-man’s-lands of sniper fire paths. Snipers fired indiscriminately, usually at whatever moved. Of 20 people I saw come into the clinic I observed in a few hours, only five were “military-age males.” I saw old women, old men, a child of 10 shot through the head; terminal, the doctors told me, although in Baghdad they might have been able to save him.

One thing that snipers were very discriminating about – every single ambulance I saw had bullet holes in it. Two I inspected bore clear evidence of specific, deliberate sniping. Friends of mine who went out to gather in wounded people were shot at. When we first reported this fact, we came in for near-universal execration. Many just refused to believe it. Some asked me how I knew that it wasn’t the mujaheddin. Interesting question. Had, say, Brownsville, Texas, been encircled by the Vietnamese and bombarded (which, of course, Mr. Bush courageously protected us from during the Vietnam war era) and Brownsville ambulances been shot up, the question of whether the residents were shooting at their own ambulances, I somehow guess, would not have come up. Later, our reports were confirmed by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and even by the U.S. military.” //end excerpt


And this demonstrates that these trends have not stopped :


Iraqi government worried about civilian killings by US fire
AFP 3 July 2005

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The Iraqi government said it was worried about the rise in incidents of civilian deaths by US fire and that Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari will raise the issue with US officials. "The prime minister will take up this matter at the highest level," spokesman Leith Kubba told reporters, citing the case of Yasser al-Salihy, an employee of US media group Knight Ridder. Salihy, 30, was killed June 24 near his home in Baghdad's western Ameriyah district by purported US sniper fire, one of his colleagues said, adding that the US military has promised to investigate the incident. He was a physician by training who had been working as a translator and fixer with Knight Ridder for about a year.

Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed by US fire especially on highways given the US military rule of keeping Iraqi motorists at least 100 meters (330 feet) at bay from their convoys due to the threat of car bomb attacks.” //end excerpt


Sure it’s not POLICY to kill Iraqi civilians, except if they happen to be driving on Iraqi roads, or if they look ‘suspicious’ or if they are out late, or take a wrong turn or if their car has shifty headlights .... of course, if the Russian Army was poncing about on US roads wiping out families who happen to get ‘too close’ or take a wrong turn, I suspect your attitude to this would be quite different.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...
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Lynnette in Minnesota said...

I don't know if I could add anything to Srykerdads comment. He has been very thorough.

"These are good excuse not to help"

I will add this. If my intention were not to help, I would simply remain silent. Like you. When the conversation turns to the actions of the so called insurgents in Iraq.

jemyr said...

Can we stay on the topic of the issue with well functioning hospitals in Iraq?

In terms of what expertise Truthteller has, this is his area of expertise. We can debate about insurgents and the motivations of people who murder civilians, and whether or not the army functions correctly, but truthteller is not in a position to enlighten us on any of those issues. He is an a position to enlighten us about a key aspect of "nation building", namely, the suffering of patients and the origins of that suffering. Corruption in health care. Incompetence in health care organization. The roots of those issues, and who is responsible for the problem, and what solutions need to be worked on to rectify the problem.

For instance, I think it is important that the people who have said that they are concerned about helping, have aired their concerns. This lack of trust is a great example of the reasons why we aren't seeing improvement in Iraq. How do you provide help, when you don't trust the people you are helping?

Can we learn from the past? In other cases were we have not been able to trust someone enough to help them, has that inability to take a leap of faith been the main reason, or a smaller reason, for not creating positive change?

This is all important stuff.

I'm not saying I know the answers, because I don't. But we are stepping, first hand, through the issues that present themselves when a nation riddled with corruption is transformed through the tool of war. We are in the reconstruction phase now. The issues and problems we face are rooted in the sins of the people who have come before us. What has caused the most damage? Corruption from the previous group? Lack of trust by the populace toward their armed "benefactors"? Lack of trust by the armed benefactors to the untrusting populace? Lack of organization by the lower ranking citizens whose history is riddled with active programs to prevent them from correctly organizing, and no guidance or leadership to provide them with any sort of way to organize now? Lack of organization from the indviduals who were in power before but used that power for corruption, and can't be trusted not to use that power for corruption again? The new Iraqis placed in power who have never organized something on this scale and are just testing out what authority they do and do not have (and are continually being replaced with new people and new systems as the politics flux day by day)?

The armed benefactors who trade out jobs and positions, and also don't have clear authority on what they are and are not allowed to do, and have not ever been responsible for creating a system like this in their lives, and so continually recreate new "solutions", while at the same time being threatend with murder (as James Haveman has almost been killed a few times)?

What is the central organization structure here? Who is coming up with it? Who is in charge? These are the first things we have to know, in my opinion. Otherwise, how is any of this going to change?

Iraqis and Americans have to take responsibility for THIS issue. How can truthteller be expected to think that things are going to get better, if I (an American) am not even certain if there is someone in place to make sure his hospital is capable of functioning. Why is his salary changing every week? (Truthteller, do you know why that is?) Why is the building getting painted, but the drugs aren't getting procured? Who is making decisions? What are we moving towards?

This is complicated, big stuff. And there's plenty to talk about. So let's talk about this, and leave other topics for later.

Dan said...

Truth Teller:

Thank you for responding to my comment. I am not making excuses nor do I need any excuse. I am simply poor and cannot afford to help. I may go offline for a month because of this.

Bruno:

I am regurgitating your word salad. You hide your sinister intentions behind the realities of war. Are you Hurriah's husband?

---Dan

strykerdad said...

but truthteller is not in a position to enlighten us on any of those issues

True enough Jemyr, but let us not kid ourselves. The whole subject of providing aid arose out of TT's claim that US soldiers were wantonly killing civilians, destroyed a hospital and all medicines in western Iraq, etc. It's still there along with the documented 'proof' of spiders attacking US troops. That is what his blog has most often been about . That has been about the extent of his efforts to 'enlighten' the rest of us on the subject of the state of medicine in Iraq and any solutions to the problems. That and his reference to 'warmongers' as he has described me and others more than once, leads me to believe that is the direction he wishes to take. I have stayed away from other subjects since the subect and tone has changed unless comments are directed at me. All the rest has come about from the efforts and direct questions of well meaning and resourceful contributers, you among them. You and all others are free to ignore those other subjects--and me--and I wish you great success in your efforts - should the opportunity arise, I would add to them. Bottom line, the only chance of a solution to Iraq's current problems is an end to hostilities, and it looks like that may not come until a civil war has been fought, sadly. My concern is for US troops staying long enough for a majority of Iraqis to form an elected government, and let them have at it to succeed or fail, to progress or regress, as their abilities and desires lead them. All the talk of who is running what and how well is up to them, and they have shown little ability to do much of anything except kill one another and argue over who will get to suppress who when its all done (and it doesn't sound good for women at the moment--something about Islamic Law). I have been hearing and wanting to believe how Iraq is the 'Cradle of civilisation" with a majority of educated, hard working people hungry for freedom, and 'Islam is a religion of peace'--but I'm not seeing much to support that. We overestimated Iraq's weapons programs, but we underestimated the backwardness of its society and culture even more. I hope they find some leaders among them. But mostly I hope someone takes control and runs things in such a way that we can ignore them as they deserve for the most part. But that's just me.

Bruno! Once again you do not disappoint. What can anyone say about your informed opinion? Should I listen to you and the World Socialist Web on the subject of treatment of captured combatants, or should I believe my own daughter and her friends who treat them almost daily in a Mosul Army hospital? I do wish you and the like would volunteer to go to Iraq and advise the troops on how they should react to real-time combat conditions. Keep barking --hum the tune if you know it--'...and the Army goes rolling along.....'

Mad Canuck said...

Strykerdad,

I'm a bit confused about something. You've expressed a lot of concern about ostomy supplies being used to "aid the enemy", and yet what would your daughter do with a wounded insurgent who showed up on a stretcher? I'm guessing she'd probably do the same as any medical professional: she'd treat him to the best of her medical ability. You mentioned in your last post she does this "almost daily" at Mosul Army Hospital.

Raed Jarrar published a few interesting pictures a while back. Interestingly, Raed didn't realize what was going on and called it a "war crime", but if you look at the pictures, you can clearly recognize what's happening: army medics are removing the clothing and bandaging the wounds of two insurgents who they'd just wounded in a firefight.

If the US Army provides treatment to wounded insurgents, how could you expect Truth Teller to act differently? Not that it's likely that a wounded insurgent would show up at a cancer clinic for treatment, but in the remote chance that one did, I would hope that Truth Teller would honor the Hippocratic Oath and provide medical care to the guy, just like I'd hope he'd do the same for a US Soldier.

If we were talking about shipping supplies of bullets or clothing or boots, the whole "aiding the enemy" concept would be much more relevant, but I don't see what the big concern is with plastic bags and chemotherapy drugs.

Lisa Renee said...

I don't visit often and it's because to read the comments you have to wade thru all of the various stryker stuff.

However, TT there are alot of us out there that do care and are trying to do what we can to help.

When I come here and I read some of the things written I am reminded of an old saying "If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem".

I also add my thanks to Waldschrat because he has not only acted but inspired some of us to try to act as well.

Lisa Renee said...

Also, thank you to free writer for your information, I am waiting for information back from the shipping company you listed.

So far? They appear very helpful.

strykerdad said...

When my daughter or other medics treat combatants, they don't turn them loose to fight again, obviously. I would expect TT or any able person to treat wounded, but TT would no doubt allow that person to continue on with what he has described as an honorable thing--killing American soldiers. And if he treated an American soldier, would he deliver them for a fully videotaped beheading for the viewing enjoyment of those who see it as an act glorifying some perverse god? I can't help but wonder. I do doubt he would make an effort to prevent it even if he found such things personally distasteful, but I admit I really can't know that for certain. That is a pretty big difference from my point of view. I didn't mean to express a lot of concern about ostomy supplies aiding the enemy, just pointed out that they could be used to treat combatants with injuries requiring such devices and might enable them to carry out some unimaginably final brutal act--or I should say once unimaginable. Driving an explosive laden car into a crowd of children because they are accepting school supplies and candy from Americans is about as despicable as anything I could ever imagine. But as I've said, I know that ostomy supplies are unlikely to contribute to such things, though they could certainly be sold for things that could. If this blog were dedicated to the relief efforts or the edification of its readers on the subject of the state of the healthcare system in Iraq and had not been used for slanderous propaganda at times, it wouldn't occur to me to even bring it up. The motivation behind this blog was not to aid needy patients, that just happened because of others. But, whatever inspired the attempt to deliver aid, I truly wish it success and admire those who have made the effort.

strykerdad said...
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Lisa Renee said...

Of course, it is somehow my fault for not wanting to scroll thru the various rants that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

I'm sure all of you strykers have other places to gather so asking you to not bog down a thread that is important to some of us should not be a large request. From a professional courtesy level when you are trying to provide this site as a verification of real need posts like yours do add nothing to this. While you may feel your thoughts are so important, there are others with more important immediate needs which bogging down this thread serves no purpose.

As I stated, but will clarify, if you do not desire to help? Please step aside so those of us who are trying to do something do not have to deal with trying to explain to humanitarian sources, please excuse the yahoos, there is a real need for assistance.

Lisa Renee said...

Let me also add strykerdad that I have had and still have contact with soldiers in Iraq so I'd say your assumptions are wrong.

All you do here is bash, there is much work to be done and if your really do support what your children are attempting in Iraq? You do not come across that way.

You only want to help healthy children? Well then jump in because children in Iraq are starving. There has been no baby formula available to those who relied on UN aid in Baghdad since January.

Conditions in Iraq are worse now than they were under Saddam so please, use your stryker powers and do something, or continue to slam TT for trying to help. You may fool some here, but not anyone who actually has a clue as to what real life conditions are for the average Iraqi.

strykerdad said...
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strykerdad said...
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jemyr said...

*sigh* Might I suggest we put off-topic arguments on hold until truthteller puts up his next post? Is that too much to ask?

Tracked down James Haveman's email address and sent a message. His tour was up in 2004. I'm hoping he can tell me who's in charge now.

jemyr said...

Here's interesting info about organization for the Health Ministry back from 2003.

http://www.cpa-iraq.org/factsheets/05222003_Health.html

jemyr said...

And here's an article on the handover. This is where James Haveman stepped down, and the MOH took over fully.

http://www.tricare.osd.mil/eenews/downloads/moh040104.doc

It's short on details but interesting. It says: The reorganization, as approved by Dr. Abbas, will: reduce centralization and encourage collaboration across divisions and governorates; create new systems for the procurement and distribution of pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment;

I wonder what the new system is?

jemyr said...

A comprehensive study done by a NGO, and published in 2005. A far bleaker view:

http://www.medpeace.org/news/mfp-report-civilian-health-in-iraq.htm

Moron99 said...

I think what is patently obvious is that the new government is up to its ass in alligators and has not been able to build the logistical beauracracy needed. Internally they are fighting a tribal mentality that seeks to divide the various ministries as "spoils of war" and run them to benefit their tribe rather than their nation. Externally, the insurgents blow up or sabatauge things as fast as the government can build them. However, there is still hope on this front. almost 90% of the insurgent activity is in just four governates. The other governates are quietly rebuilding and their tribal politics are slowly giving way to broader concerns. There's still seven miles of rough road ahead no matter which direction you look, but there's also three miles of rough road behind.

Bruno said...

Dan, Strykerdad –

So basically you’re resorting to the old “its all propaganda” routine. Well, here’s some more for you:


Turk.US Daily News
Friday, July 15 2005

“US snipers killed two Iraqi suspects as they passed by the governorate of the Iraqi town of Ramadi, carrying bags on their way home from the mall, on Friday. US troops took away the bodies two hours after the incident and sealed off the area. Some Iraqis at the scene claimed US troops kicked the bodies. Iraqi Ahmed Sadun said, “Two teenagers were coming from the mall. They were carrying bags. US soldiers suspected them of being suicide bombers and shot the two down in front of the Ramadi governorate. It is unacceptable. We waited for two hours. US soldiers opened fire on us when we approached to carry away the bodies". //end


The problem is, there seems to be SO MUCH of this propaganda, independently corroborated by different sources time and time again. Yup, it’s a world conspiracy by the evil socialists and the Iraqis to spread rumours JUST to make you look bad. Why, I bet those two ‘suspects’ acted suspiciously JUST so that US snipers would shoot them and thereby besmirch the good name of the US armed forces. I mean, the gall of them to carry bags down the street. Obviously criminals.

And I just love the way the war groupies manage to spin any incident into a justified reaction. A bunch of kids killed in Buhriz? No problem, they were actually six teenage ‘insurgents’ that (supposedly) attacked dozens of heavily armed US soldiers with (allegedly) a *single* RPG amongst them.

Sounds likely, huh?

But look! The soldiers are providing ‘medical attention’. Well, that’s all right then.

And a wounded POW murdered in cold blood in a mosque in Fallujah? No problem, given that the Geneva Conventions no longer apply, no crime was actually committed. It’s just US soldiers treating their prisoners with compassion as usual.

Grrr.

Look, whatever.

I’m going to give this blog a break, because I suspect that these rants from both sides are derailing the discussion from Truth Teller’s problems, and Waldschrat’s efforts.

I’ll return later some time.

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

Quit peddling your deceptions. The statistics are out and published. The evidence for the last year and current situation overwhelmingly shows that the insurgents are the cause. When these statistics are further compared to US casualties, it is clear that the insurgents are intentionally targeting civillians on a regular basis. The bombing of children and explosion of fuel tankers are not isolated atrocities. They are just bigger versions of what the so called "insurgents" have been doing for the last two years. Words are cheap. The evidence is clear. You need a new set of lies to peddle.
Link

civillians killed by US forces
06/04 - 33
07/04 - 59
08/04 - 171
09/04 - 197
10/04 - 97
11/04 - 775
12/04 - 15
01/05 - 25
02/05 - 11
03/05 - 7


civillians killed by crime, unknown agents and anti-occupation forces
06/04 - 753
07/04 - 660
08/04 - 675
09/04 - 611
10/04 - 695
11/04 - 691
12/04 - 824
01/05 - 848
02/05 - 981
03/05 - 405



Total including Fallujah
(16%) US - 1390
(84%) Insurgent/crime - 7143

Total without Fallujah
(8%) US - 615
(92%) Insurgent/crime - 7143

Moron99 said...

Truth,

If you want to meet Michael Yon, I think you will have to go to him. In his last post, he mentioned that insurgents in Mosul wish to assasinate a journalist. It would be a sad loss. Whether you wish to accept it or not, most of the world believes his to be the voice of truth.

Link

Truth teller said...

moron99

"If you want to meet Michael Yon, I think you will have to go to him."

This is impossible at the current situation. If he, with the US troop guarding him feel it is unsafe for him. I have no guard to protect me, so it is unsafe for me too.

" Whether you wish to accept it or not, most of the world believes his to be the voice of truth."

I would like very much to listen to this voice, and let him hear my voice. What I read in his blog is only the military point of view, which is not unbiased.

In my point of view, I consider This link and this link as the voice of truth.

Every body believes what seems to be truth to him.

Rachel in London said...

moron99 said

Michael Yon, I think you will have to go to him. ... Whether you wish to accept it or not, most of the world believes his to be the voice of truth.

What a ludicrously unfounded and exagerated statement this is. I think that you are trying to set a trap for TruthTeller.

Moron99 said...
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Moron99 said...

Truth,

the articles you link make valid points as does the World Tribunal (despite their misleading name). but they never bother to ask the most important questions.

What do the majority of Iraqis today want?
How do they get there from here?


The truth is that the majority of Iraqis do not want the baathi back and they are willing to tolerate MNF - for now - in order to insure that the baathi don't come back. The worst kept secret in the world is that the baathi are funding and organizing the insurgency. The really unfortunate truth is that there are no sunni in the military. The insurgents have kept them away. Which means that in one year the governemnt will have a shia/kurd army of about 130,000 troops capable of fighting to western standards. Currently they have 60,000 troops but no officers trained to western standards. Next year they will add both troops and officers. Soon, the Iraqi government will have the most powerful military the arabs have ever possessed. On top of this, almost 90% of insurgent attacks occur within four districts. Reconstruction is proceeding in the others.

IMO, the insurgency is killing whatever future the sunni arab may have had.

Twenty years from now the sunni arab can look out of their mud huts, watch the wealthy shia drive by in their shiny cars, and blame the americans. They can tell their children how they used to live in mansions and all about the evil americans. Just don't ask them why they never voted or why they kept blowing things up.

Moron99 said...

I didn't say that he presented all sides Rachel. Just the truth. You may disagree with his opinions, but he does not tell lies. You will never find Michael trying to pass off brown recluse spider bites as those of a camel spider.

Dan said...

Moron99:

1st: Thanks for fending off "Bruno" for me. I wrote a post but, the connection broke and it did not post. I will post to him later and, probably, will have a message for all.

Yes, I think it would be a very good idea for Michael Yon to meet with "Truth."
And...though I am torn about this in my mind, I think that TT deserves the benefit of the doubt. TT has already posted when and where(?) he may be contacted on his job in Mosul. Michael, whom I do not know anymore than TT, except for principles on the Internet, boasts of being the author of a book called "Danger Close." He also is, presumably, in very good physical condition per his workouts in the world class military gymnasium in Mosul.

I think that Michael should take the initiative and go to TT. As TT has laid the responsibility for Michael's safety on the United States military, I suggest that TT allow a squad (platoon? company?) of soldiers in a stryker to accompany him on this (ad)venture. The whole thing should be video taped.

What do ya'll think?

PS
FYI to all reading this, Khalid Jarrar, who is a blogger from Bagdad, and who's brother Raed hates America, has been seized by the government and should be set free. TT may be wary of this if American troops show up escorting Michael.

---Dan

John said...

Moron, thats pretty high praise for Michael Yon, "Whether you wish to accept it or not, most of the world believes his to be the voice of truth."

An entirely ludicrous statement, now Moron claims to make statements on behalf of the world or perhaps he can link to the survey which provides substantive proof Michael has most of the worlds support or perhaps he's referring to the majority of war apologists and supporters! I think I'll vote as not being a supporter of Michael Yon! The whole issue of a meeting is ill advised Truth Teller, the Michael Yons of the world spin American crusader death in such puritanical and righteous terms! Why bother associating yourself with the occupier and their propogandists!

Dan said...

Can we argue some more? Doesn't "john" have anything better to do on a Friday night? Suppose that we all lived on the same street and we we were all neighbors. I think that we would all get along even if some of us hated each other. Obviuosly we all care and want to respond to each others' opinions. Suppose, just suppose, that we all did live on the same street (in a peaceful country, of course); what would we all do? Maybe meet down at the corner coffee shop to discuss our differences? Much more information would certainly be exchanged if that were the case. We might argue and argue all night. We probably would. But I don't think that anyone would get physical and "bitch slap" anyone else. Would they?

Hey, folks, let us keep trying to bring peace on Earth.

---Dan
PS
Isn't the Internet great?
---D.

Dan said...

And not to be out done or to let it go at that...Is there a Harley-Davidson dealership in Mosul yet? Is there ANY motorcycle dealership there yet?

When there is one, you truly know that "America" has left its mark on your society. Perhaps you, TT, should start one.

I can just see Michael Yon tearing through the streets of Mosul, way too fast for anyone to get a shot at him, wearing a black T-shirt and a red head scarf while coming to see you...but, then again, as you told me, I have an imagination.

strykeraunt said...

Michael Yon rides along on missions chosen by the U.S. military (not the other way around). While his truth (and mine) is in support of the U.S. military, he is not an employee of theirs. In my opinion, Moron99 decided to contact Michael Yon because he has the direct contact with the U.S. military that is needed to get the message through about the needs at this particular hospital.

If the whole idea is to get medical supplies to cancer patients in need, then who cares which road each individual or group takes. I would want anything I contribute to go through the U.S. military. Some here don't trust the U.S. military and want their contribution to go through a different source; fine whatever works.

Truthteller, may I make a suggestion? Perhaps you can have a post that limits discussion to the medical supplies, and provide another post for all of the other "fruitless discussions of politics."

Lisa Renee,

Your comment, "I don't visit often and it's because to read the comments you have to wade thru all of the various stryker stuff," is just as biased, distracting and fruitless as all of the other discussions regarding politics. I do agree that there is a lot of fruitless discussion here, but even Bruno acknowledges that the rants are coming from both sides.

jemyr said...

Might I suggest that the "fruitless discussion" posts be posted in the "Searching" July 4th post, and the medical procurement discussion continue here?

No new information on my end.

strykeraunt said...

waldschrat, I see your test package is now sitting in Baghdad (on July 20 it cleared regulatory agency(s) after the air craft departed).

moron99, have you heard anything whatsoever from Michael Yon?

Moron99 said...

"Did you email the Army about this? I am just a writer. The civil affairs folks might be able to help you.
"


I have been googling and trying to find a pointer to an active civil affairs battalion in Mosul. But, frankly, it is as if they fell off the map after Oct. 2004. They were doing all kinds of stuff before then. If found links to school projects, fire-stations, police stations, civil organizations, utilities, etc. - and now? I can't find any current projects. I'll keep searching.

strykeraunt said...

Moron99, Thanks for the update. Your information helped me to determine my next step. I currently have a call into the (or a) Civil Affairs Battalion that is based at Fort Lewis. I am not sure if Mosul is their current deployment area, but if not, perhaps they can provide me with a contact (if they return my call).

Moron99 said...

So far, all I've been able to figure out is that 426th Civil Affairs is the unit in Mosul. I'm going to have to call it quits for now, maybe someone else will to search for links and leads.

However, some interesting links to other things:

In 2003 Bechtel awarded contracts to Iraqi companies for refurbishment of Mosul water and sewer including electrical generators to be completed in 2005. The projects should have finished by spring 2005 and Mosul should have 24 hour water and the annual flooding won't be as bad.
Link

I guess this explains why the hospital got painted. There was an engineering battalion in Mosul whose job was to refurbish schools and other essential structures plus roads and bridges.
Link

Dan said...

All jokes, "spew," et cetra aside folks, the Fisrt Amendment to the United States Constitution GUARANTEES FREE SPEECH. What are our (US) soldiers fighting for?

Somebody PLEASE let/get Khalid Jarrar out of jail.

---Dan

Dan said...

At the very least, arraign him and formally charge him with something in a public forum. That's the American way.

---Dan

Truth teller said...

strykeraunt

"Truthteller, may I make a suggestion? Perhaps you can have a post that limits discussion to the medical supplies, and provide another post for all of the other "fruitless discussions of politics."
-This is a good idea, I agree with you.
let's limit this post just for medical supplies. The political discussions will have enough space in the future.
BTW I will post a story about terrorist action in my family blog

jemyr said...

Aha!

The lovely U.N. WHO does it again. I should have remembered to go here first. I did a report in high school, and I called the U.N. to get background on the forgiveness of debt to Brazil, and they were fantastic. I was 15, and they sent me 5 packets of information and talked to me for hours. Ah... so organized.

So here is the WHO Health Systems Profile report for Iraq:
http://www.emro.who.int/iraq/pdf/HealthSystemsProfile.pdf

The section of interest is Pharmaceuticals which starts on page 45. It's fascinating reading.

49/61 Iraq HSP working doc 11 May 05 edited june 121
8.7.7 Planned reforms

MOH has indicated that it will embark in a series of reforms of the pharmaceutical sector including the restructuring and re-definition of responsibilities and roles of Kimadia. MOH is also planning to review and update current strategy and policy texts regarding the pharmaceutical sector. Work has started with the development of the National Medicines Policy (NMP) which in its final stage. The concept of essential Medicines List is reaffirmed in the texts.

At this stage, it is premature to indicate which directions the planned reform will take with regard to private sector versus public sector.
---------------

If you compare this to the rest of the report (which goes into great detail on plans), you'll see that it indicates that no one knows what the plan is. They're talking about moving towards a plan, but no plan. That's a bad sign.

jemyr said...

"Before the 2003 war, there was also plans for Kimadia to improve its computerized medical supply management system (Microdrug) which was used at the main central
medical warehouses in Kimadia and in each one of governorate Department of Health (DOH) warehouses. Each warehouse was using the system at the facility level, there was no networking or possibility of data transfer from one warehouse to the other. This was to be done through floppy disks."

Floppy disks?!?!?!?!? Truthteller, tell me it ain't so!

jemyr said...

I think I just emailed the Director of the International Health Department of the Iraqi Ministry of Health. Does anyone know what the heck that title means?

John said...

TruthTeller, the Stryker Clan are dictating Comments content on your Blog and you agree:

"Truthteller, may I make a suggestion? Perhaps you can have a post that limits discussion to the medical supplies, and provide another post for all of the other "fruitless discussions of politics."
-This is a good idea, I agree with you.
let's limit this post just for medical supplies. The political discussions will have enough space in the future.

Truth, whats up with that????? you consider that to be a good idea???? the shortage of medical supplies is in direct correspondence to America's invasion! american occupiers are only concerned with provisioning their own facilities!! The abysmal lack of ease to direct shipments of supplies into your hospital is directly a consequence of the Strykers patrolling your streets!

waldscraps tokenism, another mongerer of America's war is embraced as if it in someway reflected an heroic effort. truth, never feel you should have to sacrifice your principals to engage people who are mostly devoid of any sense of morality!!

I'm somewhat surprised really?? Lets redirect this campaign to an international agency that doesn't suffer from America's bankrupt ethical position. I will gladly support any relief effort that doesn't include the Americans!!! and would actively canvass friends and colleagues to do the same!! at least anyone other than those associated with the evil Stryker acronymn!! It only stands for intimidation and murder!!

waldschrat said...

Well, I've been encouraged by a few things recently and very worn out by several things, so I figured I'd break my silence and try to report what I've learned for those who may be curious.

Mysearch continues for chemotherapy drugs. I had one positive response from 7 inquiries to pharmaceutical wholesalers - they are definitely the right people to go to, although proving that the hospital in Mosul is a legitimate place to which such drugs may be delivered is a problem that will take some work.

I also learned that ostomycaresupply.com has a wholesale pharmacy license - although they do not normally handle the needed drugs they can if necessary (they would have to figure out the required formalities and be sure to comply with all regulations) and have show some willingness to do so. Cynthia Hacherl there is a very kind person!

I need to do some follow-up on the phone withthe wholesaler who responded - the contact is gone until Monday, so I am doing other things.

When I am not trying to do the impossible to make things better in Iraq (sometimes I feel I am tilting at windmills, solid steel windmills of enormous proportions) I fix houses. Spent much of the last few days trying to plaster up some big holes in a cieling, getting dust and wet plaster in my face, trying to get the place ready to rent out ASAP for folks who want to move in Aug. 2. If working late on that wasn't enough, I started trying to riga wireless network between a new laptop and an old PC, and that chewed up more time.

TT emailed that the trial shipment of ostomy supplies seemed stuck in Baghdad. I told him I was pretty sure it just had to wait fo the next plane, and FedEx confirms that is correct - perhaps it will arrive Sunday.

Some folks have worried about supplies donated to the hospital possibly being misdirected. I think that is much less likely than many othe things. Medical supplies may have substantial value, but hospitals are aware of this and normally maintain careful records and secure storage rooms for stuf that might be an atractive target for theives. I've been assured that this is the case in Mosul, and I believe it. Beyond that, one has to realize that the market for chemotherapy drugs and ostomy supplies is not large - they are NOT party supplies an recreational drugs, there are very very few places they could be sold. It's much more likely that supplies or the money to buy them with would be diverted by a government agency than by a hospital. Delivery of medical supplies to a hospital is a fairly safe chance to take compared to a lot of things.

I discovered tht the Kimadia website looks better viewed from Windows IE than Netscape, although better does not mean good.

I need some sleep, can't focus on what to write.

The search for chemotherapy drugs for Mosul continues.

Moron99 said...

"Lets redirect this campaign to an international agency that doesn't suffer from America's bankrupt ethical position. I will gladly support any relief effort that doesn't include the Americans!!! and would actively canvass friends and colleagues to do the same!! at least anyone other than those associated with the evil Stryker acronymn!!"

That is a great idea John. Keep us posted of your progress. When you find contacts and information that may be of help, post it here so that others may build upon your efforts.

jemyr said...

I got a response from James Havemen. I'm going to delete out the contact info, but here is what he said:

...thanks for your note...and for getting supplies to iraq..i would work with ****...she has connections for logistics...her number is ****...her e mail is *****.
or have someone visiting the usa take it back with them...kimadia under the former regime...just brought a two year supply of drugs to the 240 hospitals and 1200 clinics...there was no ordering and processing and records of what was sent and used...kimadia was very corrupt and it has improved since the liberation... however given the insurgent activity its very difficult to get drugs around the country and get an orderly formulary in place...there are 3500 private pharmacies in iraq and they do have some distribution of the newer drugs...iraq still tests all medications coming in to the country and has a very suspicious view of drugs from some developed countries...plus in some hospitals the drugs in the front door go out the back...however this to slowed since the war of liberation.
iraqs are smart and understand how to do it right... however it will take some time to change the distribution and ordering system... to assure proper drugs for the people of iraq. your doctor friend should talk to the minister of health about his needs and it can be added to the tender..if the minister so orders.

----------

So that's it. I'll contact this new person and let you know how it goes.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Still out here waiting to see the outcome of this. I have nothing concrete to add right now so have not commented.

John,

Buzz off!

jemyr said...

Just wanted to say that I read over the comments in the last 4 posts, and I apologize for re-asking the same questions on this thread. I hate it when I ask questions that have alraedy been answered.

waldschrat said...

The trial shipment of ostomy spupplies has reached Mosul according to the contact at the hospital who I spoke to over the phone.

I am gradually identifying some pharmaceuticals wholesalers who can ship chemotherapy drugs to Iraq. Pain relief drugs (classifiable as narcotics) aremuch much much mor difficult and I am hesitant toeve mention them to these suppliers at this point.

One problem facing delivry of chemotherapy drugs to Mosul is shipping them through Iraq's summer heat. In the US and elsewhere these drugs ar typically shipped in an insulated container with ice, but transit time is only ~ 2 or 3 days. FedEx, famous the world over for incredibly fast delivries, too 3 weeks to deliver a package from the US to Mosul. There is some hope that FedEx can be persuaded to keep perishable stuff refrigerated while is sitting in a warehouse for a flight or whatever it is that caused the delays in shipping that simple box of ostomy supplies, but it is abundently clear that the usual precautions and methods will not be assured of success when perishable drugs are shipped to Mosul.

Another possible problem is that the drugs might be diverted by Kimadia once they reach Mosul because the hospital as a government organization is bound to work within the rules of the government and the rules have always been that Kimadia decides on the acceptability of drugs and arranges their distribution. There seems to be an Iraqi NGO of sorts that may be able to take custody of the drugs and distribute them to cancer patients directly, effectively bypassing the bureaucracy of Kimadia. I am not a foe of bureaucracies, I used to be a bureaucrat myelf, but if Kimadia can not deliver what is needed in Mosul I must be sure it does not interfere with what little I can deliver. Quality control testing is a good thing, commandeering an entire shipment instead of a sample thereof is not. I have heard few good reports regarding Kimadia but have learned from my contact that they have, in fact, managed to deliver substantial quantities of some drugs even in these chaotic times. Even though there apparently are very serious shortages of many drugs and a total lack of some critically needed chemtherapy drugs, the fact that Kimadia has managed to function and deliver anything at all in the current chaos strikes me as a meritorious accomplishment.

At this point I have seriously exhausted myself pursuing this search. I need to take a couple days off and do other things, urgent things that I have put off to pursue this search. US suppliers will be closed over the weekend. There wil be time to take up the search again Monday.

Jonathan said...

I think using Fedex to ship perishible supplies will have to involve using US military transport. Perishible supplies can be shipped in overnight from Europe to Baghdad by Fedex. Military transport Planes fly directly to Mosul Airfield daily. No cold chain will last the 2 to 3 weeks required for Fedex to get supplies to Mosul on its own. An alternative is to go by refrigerated truck from Turkey through the border crossing at Harbur Bridge.

Jonathan

strykerdad said...

waldschrat, I wish you luck. My meager sources with the US military have all been unable to give much hope as there are many needs and countless complications. Also, I have come to learn a lot from the process of going through the little effort I did expend. The Iraqi society is corrupt, selfish, and criminal--the part that isn't is largely disinterested in trying to change it as it is just the way it is and they lack hope and courage neccesary to effect change. Corruption IS the system in the Arab world. I for one have come to the conclusion that perhaps the old policy of supporting the most effective criminal may be distasteful, but may be the only way for there to be any stability in nations like Iraq.

I encourage you to read this blog
http://spencepublishing.typepad.com/in_the_red_zone/2005/07/the_naive_ameri.html

There is a lot of insight as to the state of reconstruction and business practices in the country. Its author, who was kind enough to respond to me a few times on this subject and related questions, was murdered by some of these animals today. I'll not send another dime to that hell hole. Except for those dimes confiscated by the IRS. The Iraq people will get the government they deserve eventually. Too bad.

Barb said...

AMEN.

慢慢來 said...

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