COMMENTS: Misfortunes of War

Where wars are still being waged, all three networks examined the plight of civilians. ABC focused on Afghanistan, where President Hamid Karzai refuses to accept the level of civilian casualties: "It is not understandable any more." In early March, Jonathan Karl (subscription required) reported, a Marine Corps patrol "allegedly opened fire into a crowded bazaar," killing 19 and now the US military has apologized profusely. Col John Nicholson used the phrase "deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry." Karl commented that the apology is unusual because it comes before the military has concluded its investigation at Camp Lejeune and "before anybody has been charged."

In Baghdad, CBS' Mark Strassmann surveyed the cramped orphanages of Baghdad where "some facilities crowd ten kids to a small bedroom." There are so many orphans because so many parents are being killed. "For complicated religious and cultural reasons, Iraqi orphans are mostly scorned and seldom adopted." Strassmann warned they may grown up to be the "next generation of insurgents and terrorists." After all, Red Crescent caretakers pointed out, "Saddam Hussein was raised as an orphan." Many Iraqi war refugees have fled to Damascus, where Ann Curry of Today filed an In Depth feature for NBC on their plight. Syria does not allow them to work legally so they face rising rents, soaring food prices and a lack of basic healthcare. "Nothing. No Money. No home. No everything," refugee Ihab al-Jumaini shrugged.


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