Alas...tears....but there are so many similar Alis in Iraq today, even if his case is the most internationally-known and the most egragious:
You've broken your word, says Baghdad boy who lost his arms
By David Blair in Baghdad
[The Telegraph, UK - 15 April]:
Ali Ismail Abbas, the 12-year-old Baghdad boy who lost his arms in a US air strike, yesterday accused the media of letting him down.
He does not want sympathy. Speaking with fluent indignation, in his grimy ward in Chewader hospital, he demanded to know why numerous promises that he would be treated in the West had not been kept.
Ali Ismail Abbas: 'Please take me out of Iraq to be cured'
"The journalists always promise to evacuate me - why don't they do it now?" he asked, his brow furrowed with pain and glistening with sweat. "Please take me out of Iraq to be safe and cured."
An American bomb destroyed his home in the suburb of Zafaranea three weeks ago. He lost his mother, father, brother and two sisters.
The family were asleep when their home was turned into an inferno. Ali received second and third degree burns on his abdomen when his bedsheets caught fire. Shrapnel riddled his arms and both had to be amputated.
Day after day he has had to endure a bewildering succession of visitors from the international media. His wounds have been uncovered for cameramen and all have offered kind words.
Some have gone further and made specific promises. The Mirror launched an appeal on Ali's behalf and the London Evening Standard used his face to launch their Red Cross "victims of war" appeal. But the highly-intelligent articulate boy now has his doubts.
"You are coming to make fun of me because I have lost my arms?" he asked. "Doctor, doctor, no more journalists please."
Ali's condition is described as "critical but stable". The greatest danger would be septicaemia. If he is to be evacuated from Chewader hospital, this must be before infection takes hold. Dr Mowafak Gorea, the hospital's director, said: "We need realities, not dreams."
Ali has already been moved once, after looters ransacked one hospital. If he is to be moved again, Dr Gorea said air transport must be used and the swiftest route worked out. Thought must also be given to his six surviving sisters.
A doctor with the US marines in Baghdad said the American military was willing to evacuate Ali by air to Kuwait but no firm agreement had been reached with the hospital.
The immense pressure of work on Chewader hospital might help explain this. Of the six general hospitals in Baghdad, it is the only one still fully functioning.
Yesterday in the Commons, Tony Blair said: "We will do whatever we can to help him."
Two Iraqi children had already been flown to Britain for treatment, he said, adding that they were in an area under British control.