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Unanswered Questions

Reported by Nancy - November 22, 2004 -

This morning (11/22) on FNL, one particular story stuck out like a sore thumb: an Iraqi baby who had to come to the US for life-saving surgery. It was hawked as a feel-good story (including Brigitte Quinn advising everyone to "get out the hankies") but it shouldn't be seen only through that narrow prism.

Jamie Colby reported this exclusive story at 11:36am (ET). Briefly, a 9-month-old Iraqi girl, named Tabby, with a massive hemangioma came to the US for life-saving surgery, some of which has already been performed at the Medical University of South Carolina (she has at least one more operation awaiting her). Colby said that Iraqi doctors told Tabby's family that they "could not operate" (but didn't explore that any further). Colby said that Marines at Abu Ghraib prison had facilitated Tabby's trip to the US with her dad (although she didn't explain why or how Tabby's family was connecte to Marines at Abu Ghraib or why those Marines got involved), & said that she had been told not to identify the dad so that he wouldn't appear to be cooperating with the US. There were before & after images of Tabby & brief clips of various members of her medical care team explaining various aspects of her treatment plan. Colby got to stand in an operating room, gowned, gloved & masked, while delivering some of her report. It is, in fact, a real "feel-good" story -- it's always uplifting to see a baby pull through some horrible experience. But ...

Left unanswered were many questions:
Why couldn't Iraqi doctors perform the needed surgery? Was it because of lack of skill or competence? Or because we've bombed Iraq into rubble, including their health care system?
What about all the other Iraqi children who can't get treatment for serious medical conditions?
Hell, what about children right here in the US who can't get treatment for serious medical conditions?
Is this one feel-good story supposed to make us ignore the approx 40,000 other Iraqi children killed (based on figures reported in The Lancet) as a direct result of our war in Iraq?
Will the rest of Tabby's family be alive to welcome her home when her treatment is complete? Or will they join the other 100,000 Iraqis we've already killed?
Why doesn't FNL ever use any of these "happy Iraq" stories to explore deeper issues?

I'm sure readers can think of many more questions that this story raises, & which were ignored by the Fox "feel-good" story of "happy Tabby".