Globe Trot: Obama administration mute as Iraq unravels

by Mindy Belz
Posted 1/27/14, 09:30 am

IRAQ: Anbar Province, and particularly Fallujah, is experiencing its worst cycle of violence in years. At Fallujah Hospital, a nurse told me a reduced staff is working round the clock to treat injured from both sides. “We are tensed and in fear,” she said. The hospital has food and medical supplies, but electricity is intermittent, and fuel for generators is growing scarce. The UN says 14,000 families have been displaced by the fighting—with militants aligned with al Qaeda in charge of the city—and most are Sunnis so desperate they are fleeing to largely Shiite areas in the south.

In 2010 President Barack Obama said, “Even as we transition to an Iraqi lead and bring our troops home, our commitment to the Iraqi people endures.” But the Obama administration and many members of Congress remain mute as Iraq unravels. Kerry almost a month ago pledged “support” for Baghdad but rejected sending U.S. troops to Anbar, saying, “This is their fight.” Americans who fought in Anbar might have another idea.

EGYPT: A video shows bombers leaving a car outside police headquarters in Cairo, which later exploded on Friday, killing six and wounding over 70.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The war in this former French colony began with Muslim rebels attacking Christian sites, this good overview points out, and the “Christian” militias many in the media say are now attacking Muslims are Christian “only in the broadest sense.”

VIETNAM: Robbie Risner, a brigadier general who became an inspiration to many as he languished for 7 years as a POW in the “Hanoi Hilton,” was laid to rest on Jan. 23.

FLU: Canada is shipping out additional influenza vaccines as experts suspect that reports of H1N1 cases are spiking demand. According to this report, flu is widespread in 41 U.S. states too, and the H1N1 swine virus is causing 99 percent of the cases that are being tested (not all cases are tested). The virus last week killed a 25-year-old teacher—the third person in Santa Rosa County, Fla., to die from the virus.

Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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