Iraq's neglected wounded

Conditions in some U.S. military hospitals are bad, but Iraqi soldiers have no military hospitals at all.

Published May 7, 2007 1:27PM (EDT)

Here in the U.S., controversy has been raging about the poor treatment given to wounded U.S. soldiers, some of it exposed by Salon.

But what about in Iraq? What's happening to soldiers in the Iraqi army?

Sunday's Washington Post had the answer: Iraqi soldiers have no military hospitals at all. The Post's Karin Brulliard reports that "because there are no Iraqi military hospitals, thousands have been left to the mercy of overtaxed and corrupt civilian hospitals and a military compensation system paralyzed by red tape and disorganization."

According to Brulliard, there were military hospitals under Saddam Hussein's regime, but they ceased to exist after the U.S. invasion because of looting and the lack of doctors, many of whom fled. Iraq's private hospital system is in dire straits as well, still trying to recover from the effects of a decade of U.N. sanctions imposed after the first Gulf War. Conditions are improving, Brulliard reports, but in the meantime "there is one military prosthetics clinic in the country, little in the way of mental health services and no burn center."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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