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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

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In Baghdad, the story hits home

In this past week I have seen a lot of horrific wounds and heroic attempts to save lives. I've been with the 28th Combat Support Hospital, the military's trauma center in Baghdad's Green Zone. But yesterday a case almost overwhelmed me emotionally. In the afternoon, two mortar rounds fell a few hundred yards away near the U.S. embassy. Loud speakers and sirens announce "a lockdown" of the heavily fortified area. People are not allowed to leave buildings. It proved a good call; a third round came in minutes later. Then a huge car bomb exploded just outside the Green Zone's gates. The tension level in the hospital rises immediately. Will there be casualties arriving? Within minutes a U.S. Army Humvee speeds to the gate and soldiers carry in a bloody and mangled Iraqi girl. I would guess her age to be 6 or 7 years. The doctors, nurses and technicians immediately start working on her with the same furious intensity they summon when a U.S. soldier arrives. "Two amputations and chest perforations," one of the doctors shouts. They rush her immediately from the emergency room to surgery.

Seeing the girl rushed in, I could not help thinking of my own children at her age. Tears welled up in my eyes. Later, when I talked to some of the nurses and doctors they said it is the same for them. They choke up with every child, even though, as one nurse told me, "we have seen 25 just like this in the last few months."

Very few Iraqis get care from the U.S. military, proportional to the number who are injured everyday in the sectarian violence. Usually it is those who are political connected, or those picked up in a moment's decision by a unit on patrol. It is hard to get the story of the girl straight. She was not hurt by the mortars in the Green Zone. It was either the car bomb or a separate IED. After dropping her off, the soldiers in the Humvee sped back to duty. The most likely reason she was picked up is that some soldier, possibly a medic, just thought of his own kids and could not leave her on the street.

Even though the girl was close to death, the surgeons and other staff in the operating room kept her alive. And though they need to amputate one leg, they worked for hours to save her arm that had been mangled.

What will happen to the girl? The hospital staff will keep her as long as they can, but they have few beds for long stays. The U.S. causalities who cannot return to duty in a day or two are flown to the U.S. Army Hospital in Germany and then on to hospitals in the U.S. for care. Eventually the girl will have to be transferred to "medical city" -- the Iraqi civilian hospital across the Tigris which is understaffed, overcrowded and short  of supplies as it takes in most of those who are wounded on the streets here daily.

Nn_bazell_cash_070123standardEditor's note: If you missed Robert's report from the CASH hospital that aired on Tuesday's broadcast, click here or on the image to watch.

Read more from Robert Bazell, Robert Bazell in Iraq

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COMMENTS

Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foregin and domestic. That's what the men and women, of the US military raised there hand to do. You might not agree with it that's okay, you might not like the fight but that's okay, you might not even have voted for Bush but that's okay. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. This is why the men and women of the United States Armied Forces fight. It's for you and me. So, bicker and complain, like it or not, we stand together or we fall apart.

As I listen to the News and read differant articles about this conflict in Iraq, it takes me back to my time in Viet Nam and how the Media supported the NVA with all the negative comments about our being there in the first place. We can look at Korea and Mogadesu and see how the negative comments about the USA supported the enemies. I spent my time in Viet Nam and saw first hand how the Political machine hindered the troops. I lost a lot of friends over there because of the politics that had to be played. We have the same thing here in Iraq. I am no longer a young man, but I would gladly take the place of one of the young family men over there and try to do his job. I pray for our fighting men and their families and for our Government, be it right or wrong. If we don't support our Government, then we support the enemy. Thank you and God bless.

We are bickering amoung ourselves about the war and the attrocieties that are happening to our troops and innocent civilians. Why are we there !!! there is no just cause, no weapons of mass destruction. the world now hates us we are on the brink of bankruptcy lets put the blame where it belongs to the one that pushed so hard for this war. If we were attacked by Iraq then it would have been justified. I could go on and on but you got my drift.

the longer we stay in Iraq the worse its going to get.
the carnage and destruction in Iraq is a diect result of us being there. It is making jihadist of even the moderate muslims around the world.

I have carefully read every post here this morning. One unsigned post states that we have been in Iraq for 4 years and nothing has changed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sadaam's brutal, murderous regime has been toppled, that was a major success. Iraqi's were dancing in the streets in the days following our defeat of Sadaam's army. The situation has no doubt deteriorated since then, and the story of this poor little girl and other tragic victims of violence there show that in a painful way, but is that the fault of Bush? No. Our Islamo-facist enemy, seeing our initial success in Iraq, knew that they could not allow a clear-cut US victory. In response they began sending radical jihadists to attack not only our troops, but innocent citizens such as this child. They strirred up sectarian violence, and created chaos. In doing so the extremists knew they could turn US public sentiment against the war. They knew the American public didn't have the stomach for a long war, or for large numbers of US casualties. They knew they could turn our victory into defeat by continuing the violence and holding out long enough for the US public's support to wane. Their leaders may be radical, even insane, but not completely stupid. By blaming Bush and American policy, we are falling right into the hands of the enemy. We make ourselves of part of their strategy for victory. By saying that our president lied to start an illegal war, by saying it is unwinnable, by demanding immediate withdrawal of our troops, you aid them in their quest to defeat us, you encourage them to continue to attack innocent victims such as this Iraqi girls. You prove to them this strategy is working. We are in the fight of our lifetime, this is the call of our generation, it would be prudent to side with our brave men and women who are there fighting for freedom and justice and show our bloodthirsty enemy that we will not be swayed, we will never surrender, that we love and worship freedom and justice more than they do death. This, more than anything, will end the violence and propel us to victory. Artificial deadlines for withdrawal, exit strategies, and calls for the impeachment of our president only embolden them, lenghten the war, and ensure the death and maiming of many more innocents. United We Stand, Divided We Fall! If these maniacs saw us putting these words into practice, if they saw us united in a way they never imagined, we would win this "unwinnable" war, and our troops would be able to come home much sooner. By protesting against our own nation, you ensure the opposite. A long, drawn out conflict with no end in sight. It is not Bush's fault. No. It is the fault of the extremist madmen who kill soldier and citizen, men and women, adult and child, with equal fervor, and the fault of those who give them aid and comfort.

dear sir: victory,winning,freedom ,the consequenses of losing will be horrific, Have i not heard these words before?was it vietnam??
For a 1000 years the losers in Iraq whoever they be shiite,sunny,arabor Persian will hate our guts and remember us like they do the imperial British Military of the 1930's.
We have increased the radical elements in the region.Our intelligence tells us that we are recruiting more jihadist than we are killing.
we have gotten ourselfs in one hell of a mess.Its call catch 22. We cant leave and we cant stay.

It has always hit home for many of us and if we feel anything for any humans other than our own why are we just noticing the carnage going on? We see little children being blown to peices and just because they are not our countrymen we feel less sensitive for them. How sick and ignorant have we become? We adults are to blame for this mess of killing one another, the Iraqis for their hard core ideology and us Americans for starting a war we can't finish, we really did it this time. We can't blame Bush because the majority elected him back into office so many of us should be blaming ourselfs for our own beliefs and values...

K - virtually every country that enjoys freedom has embraced it on their own, it cannot be imposed throught the end of a weapon. No, freedom is not free, but it is not a cliche either. If we are so concerned about the freedom of others, how come we don't lift a finger to help countries in Africa or Asia. Our leaders couldn't care less about Iraqi freedom, it's the oil under their feet that counts.

Bill- 'gracious' is not a word i would describe our militarys historical treatment of others-
Sue- soldiers do not volunteer their time- it is their occupation they are being paid to fight and it is their obligation to repay the debt the governement has invested in them.

I read a lot of comments about the USA is fighting for freedom, and in this war, our brave soldiers are doing exactly that and deserve all our respect and support for their bravery. My problem is why is America fighting for freedom for Iraq's people? There are dozens of countries throughout the world, that are suffering under dictatorship, Cuba, N. Korea; etc, so why Iraq. In my generation, we were "literally" fighting for our freedom against Hitler and the Japanese, who definitely would have taken our freedom away, had they won. That was a justified war, but why do our leaders send our wonderful Soldiers, Airman, Marines and Sailors into harms way to die in a country that has never fought for its own freedom?
Bud in Illinois

So where was I the last 5 years? I did not know Iraq bombed the United States. When did this happen? Pardon me, but whose freedom are we fighting for? Tell me again, why are we in Iraq?

Bill, North Carolina:
Your first sentence would be completely laughable if it hadn't come from a voting American Citizen. So now we are the most gracious Invader/Occupier in History? We are supposed to be proud of that? How wonderful of us to patch up the holes, i'm sorry let me re-phrase that, the collateral holes that end up in the citizens of a another country where we don't speak the language but where our troops are busy with the work of spreading democracy and freedom one kicked down door at a time.
Just war?!! Bill, for the love of God, back away from the kool-aid!

"Very few Iraqis get care from the U.S. military"
That line alone says enough. We should be giving them care. None of this was happening before we got there.

It cracks me up when people say: "There are certain types of cultures/people of the world that don't know what to do with FREEDOM." They say, "At least Saddam kept them under control and there was no civil war."

What would our Thomas Jefferson and George Washington think of this war? How about John Adams or Patrick Henry? I know what they would say. They would exclaim the same words that are written in our own Declaration of Independence.

For those of you who haven't read it, please note the following:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Were those word written just for future Americans? or were those words written for all of Mankind? I believe that it was a declaration for the latter. You may disagree with me and thank every American Veteran, that's your right.

Some people might say: "If its so great, you should enlist".... I say to them, I DID.. and so did my both my grandfathers, my father, my oldest brother, 4 of my uncles, my father-in-law, two of my brother-in-laws, and a very good friend of mine.

This war is not about who serves or doesn't serve, its about what is RIGHT and what is WRONG.... GOOD -vs- EVIL. Plain and simple...lets support FREEDOM for all.

The terrible maiming and killing of our soldiers due to roadside bombs is the real story of this war. They volunteer for this sacred duty and we look away because we do not equip them properly. Mine Protected Vehicles cost about $500,000 a piece. If our government is unable to fund them, we should. Corporations and private citizens could donate. Rumsfeld funded a lot of this war on the backs of the military family. He reduced the death benefit payments for spouses(an insurance plan) and tried to take back some of our troops'sign on bonuses when they were injured. It is our duty as a country to protect the ones who protect us. A dollar not spent today is a million in care for a soldier who has endured horrific injuries for us. Can we have George Clooney set up a fund for us to help supply our military with equipment they need to stay safe?

What other nation on earth, or in the history of the world, has ever been as gracious toward the citizens of nations it has invaded? When tsunamis and earthquakes occur, I don't recall that they ever send for the Chinese Army or the Russian Navy. It's the U.S. Military. I have lots of private criticism about the poor execution of a just war, but it's important to remember the meta-story here. The United States military, in cases like the one above, cares for wounded beyond its own troops.

I would agree with the response, “Is war hell? Yes, it is.” and the good people are the doctors, nurses, soldiers, and civilians that risk their lives every day.

But the war in Iraq is going to be a defeat. Don’t mistake what I’m saying, I’m not trying to take sides and I love this great country. We’ve been in Iraq for around 4 yrs and nothing has changed. If FREEDOM was the motive why haven’t we helped so many other countries around the world that are suffering horrific events? “Black gold” was the motive. All that oil produced in Iraq equals billions of dollars for our country and unfortunately the innocent people are the ones who pay the price of war.

Why are the insurgents the terrorist, our military leveled cities and homes with many bombings. Of course you don’t hear about that because that makes us the terrorist. Point being that we see them, the insurgents as terrorists, and they see us as terrorists.

In war there are no rules, no good vs. evil. What is bad in your opinion is right in another person’s opinion.

Of course some will continue to believe that FREEDOM was the motive.

Hey K, what exactly is "victory" in Iraq? The President doesn't seem to have an answer, so since you seem to know it all I though you might. If all you are interested in is "winning", watch a sporting event, because even if we "win" in Iraq, we have already lost so much that "victory" won't mean much. By the way, don't forget to let us know when we "win" in Iraq, because we'll probably be so busy "winning" in Iran that we might miss it. If ALL of these people (including the children) are so evil, then why do we even care, shouldn't we just leave them to their own personal hell on earth and go away. Perhaps they don't want our version freedom or democracy and what right do we have to inflict it on them.

Mr. Bazell, good job as always. Thank you for showing us the real cost of war, more people need to see it, especially our delusional leaders.

Mr. Bazell,

Why don't you report on something every person in America doesn't already know? I mean, General William T. Sherman probably said it best,"War is hell". Unfortunately, there isn't a war in the history of mankind, where innocent lives weren't tragically lost. The cost of FREEDOM (not to be confused with democracy as so many in the media like to spin it)has always been covered in blood.

Does that mean that we shouldn't pursue or encourage others to want it? This is an epic battle between good and evil. For those of you who still dont get it, the evil people are the men who fired the mortar shells, blew themselves up in a car bomb, and detonate the IED's with little regard for who may be injured or killed. These evil men don't want FREEDOM and they don't want you to have it either.

The good people are the doctors, nurses, soldiers, and civillians that risk their lives every day so that others may have FREEDOM one day, just like you and me. This war pales in comparison to so many conflicts of the past. Is war hell? Yes, it is.

I have a very good friend who served proudly in the US Army for close to 20 years. He was attached to a special forces unit that fought in parts of the world none of us will probably ever know about. Lets just say he's seen a lot of the world. Sadly, he's also seen his fair share of fellow soldiers make the ultimate sacrafice.

Last year he was seriously wounded in Iraq and has recently returned to a civillian's life, much like the majority of us. I had a long conversation with him at our 20 year high school reunion. We talked, laughed, and showed each other pictures or our kids. I asked him, is this war really a noble cause? Is the price we're paying really worth it? Do you now what he said ? The price we pay for FREEDOM is always worth it!

Why don't we hear more stories from soldiers like my friend? It's because people like Mr. Bazell would rather spend his time writing stories that encourage people to embrace defeat in Iraq, rather then celebrate the sacrafices so many have made for our FREEDOM.


These are the types of articles you'll never read about on these blogs.

And the "insurgents" wonder why they are referred to as terrorists. Indiscriminate targeting of the general populace, including small children, is one large reason. One can only wonder at the reasoning behind such despicable acts, the murder and maiming of non-combatant residents.
Not being a religious person, I wonder if I have the right to say this: May their prophet Mohammed roast these child-killers in hell for all eternity, and scatter their bones across the land, to be gnawed upon by the scavengers of war.......

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An attack in Baghdad hits home Robert Bazell, NBC News Chief Science Correspondent, is reporting from a 28th Combat Support Hospital...

Posted on Jan 26, 2007 4:10:47 PM at: WorldBlog