I know that a hawk will just say that the hospital was bombed because Saddam was making WMD's in there, but man, these are real people who are really there seeing things first hand, not "embedded journalists". Who has a bigger motive to be telling lies?? This war is about justice and freedom and the primary concern is for the civilians? If you believe that... well, you must really love your country.
...they were able to open the doors on the top side of the vehicle and eventually were able to pull everyone out. Everyone was bruised, badly shaken, but all were conscious though it was clear that Weldon was badly injured, and Cliff was bleeding badly from a large gash in his head. The car was totaled, and the other two cars in the convoy were well out of sight down the road toward the Jordanian border and no one in the delegation had a satellite phone. Because of to the intensive US/British bombing, with very good reason, there were very few vehicles on the road between Baghdad and the Jordanian.
The group was just beginning to panic, when an Iraqi civilian car approached, pulled over and asked if he could help. Without a second thought, the driver packed the 5 additional passengers into his car and drove to the closest Iraqi town, Rutba, about 6 km from the site of the accident. Rutba is a city of about 20,000 people located 140 km east of the Jordanian Border. The group was astounded to see that this civilian town, with no apparent military structures had been devastated by US/British bombing three days earlier.
Much of the town was destroyed including the children's hospital in which two children were killed in the bombing. The group was taken to the only remaining functioning medical facility in town, a 20-foot X 20-foot four-bed clinic. The people of the town quickly gathered to inspect their uninvited foreign guests.
The group hastily offered everyone a copy the CPT hand-out, a description of the Christian Peacemakers Team's mission and work in Iraq, with English on one side of the page and Arabic on the other. Introduction in hand, the people of Rutba warmly welcomed the wounded stranded American refugees, just three days after their town had been destroyed by American/British Aircraft.
The next morning, Shane asked, "How do you think Americans would respond to Iraqi civilians accidentally stranded in their community three days after Iraqi aircraft had destroyed their town?"
When the doctor arrived, the group was in for an even bigger surprise. In this town of 20,000 in the middle of the Iraqi desert, the doctor who would treat them spoke perfect English, and without delay, he started his examinations.
Everyone in the vehicle was badly bruised, but Weldon Nisly had a broken thumb, several broken ribs and other possible fractures, while Ciff Kindy had a very bad gash in his head. The doctor was professionally embarrassed. Because of the embargo, and the Allied attack on their primary hospital three days earlier, many medications were unavailable. Some painkillers were on hand, but Cliff Kindy would have to get the 10 stitches he needed to close the gash in his head without anesthesia.
Under normal circumstances, the doctor explained, they would gladly have offered to take the wounded of group by ambulance to Jordan. But, he could not make that offer in the current situation. As was obvious from the bombed out ambulance not far down the road, it appears that even ambulances are at times considered legitimate targets of American/British bombing.
By the time everyone in the group had been treated, about two hours after they had arrived, the two other cars in the convoy had returned and found them. The group warmly thanked the people of Rutba for their hospitality, and tried unsuccessfully to pay the clinic and doctor for their services. "We treat everyone in our clinic: Muslim, Christian, Iraqi or American. We all are part of the same family you know," the doctor said.