Perusing some headlines about Iraq and the deplorable conditions there, I was becoming more and more disgusted. We have turned a once modern city (and country) into a 3rd world cesspool. What lack of vision and leadership allowed this to happen?
At the same time, I was getting this creeping feeling of familiarity. All at once it struck me - Atlanta is creeping towards a microcosm of the situation in Iraq! Allow me to explain:Medical Care Problems:
This was the Iraq headline, and the quotes: Iraqi Medical System Wrecked by War
Already a troubled system, Iraqi medical care has fallen to the brink of collapse since the U.S.-led invasion five years ago..... Specialists are hard to find. At one point, Baghdad — a city of more than 5 million — had no neurosurgeon, said Dr. Hussein al-Hilli, director of the Ibn Albitar Hospital in Baghdad.... Like so many areas of life in Iraq, the health care crisis is vast and complex, and there is no quick solution to improve conditions for doctors and patients.
This was the Atlanta headline, and the quotes: Grady near bankruptcy
The state's largest public hospital is near bankruptcy, struggling to pay its bills and overrun with faulty budget strategies.... Grady treats the lion's share of metro Atlanta's poor. In 2000 alone indigent care cost Grady $172.9 million, according to Agwunobi's report....
Not the same thing? True, although the end result could well be the same. Okay, let's try...How We Treat The Poor:
Iraq: Iraq police to round up street beggars
The Iraqi Interior Ministry has ordered police to round up beggars, homeless and mentally disabled people from Baghdad's streets so insurgents can't use them as suicide bombers.... The people detained in the Baghdad sweep will be taken to social welfare institutions and psychiatric hospitals that can provide shelter and care for them, Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.
Atlanta: Atlanta Lawmakers Approve Panhandling Ban
ATLANTA — A ban on panhandling near downtown Atlanta's (search) tourist attractions was approved by the City Council (search) on Monday, despite hundreds of protesters who called the measure an attack on the poor.... the plan — approved 12-3 — sparked opposition from activists for the poor and civil rights groups, who complained the ban would unfairly affect black males....
Hmmm... in this case, it actually seems like Baghdad is doing better than Atlanta... One more:The Water Supply:
Iraq: Half of Baghdad without water
Power failures and maintenance have disrupted running water supplies to almost half of the capital, Baghdad, home to nearly 6 million people.... A Baghdad Municipality source said the project supplying drinking water to Rasafa, the eastern half of Baghdad, was temporarily idle.... The source, refusing to be named, said running water supplies may not resume for a few days.
Atlanta: Do I need to even bother posting a link? We all know about Atlanta's water woes.
As a disclaimer, I am not trying to trivialize the suffering in Baghdad. Certainly it's in its own league that NO American city can ever understand. Rather, I am trying to raise points in the hopes that they will provoke thought. What are the similarities?... What are the differences? The biggest that stand out to me are that GA is run by Republicans (like the Administration that invaded Iraq)... and Atlanta didn't get to where it is by being bombed.
We have the option of voting the bums out on election day. What are the Iraqis' options?