Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Malkin-stalkin Ahaip’s colon

[Editor’s note: Following her unprecedented attempts to have the state of Maryland medically re-induce 12-year-old Graeme Frost’s coma, Michelle Malkin has now turned her attention to the inordinate amount of time, money, and medical resources devoted by US troops to arrange for a young Iraqi boy, Ahaip, to have his colon surgically reintroduced into his body. Once again, Malkin, along with like-minded conservatives and some unemployed freepers, casts a wary eye on a seemingly prosperous family crying poverty to defraud US taxpayers.]

Ahaip and the Perils of Iraqi Poster Child Abuse
By Michelle Malkin

I just returned from a visit to Ahaip’s father’s commercial property near Hollendia in Iraq. It’s a modest place. Talked to one of the tenants, Mohammed Abu Reilly, a hard-working welder who produces an astonishing variety of disk-shaped objects he says are used as septic tank caps.

Abu Reilly says he has known Ahaip’s family for 10 years. Business is brisk. Ahaip’s father creates simple, what I would call Shaker-style, handmade coffins. But Abu Reilly characterized Ahaip’s dad as “struggling” since the end of Hussein-era subsidies of pine lumber.

Abu Reilly clearly was an outspoken advocate for socialized health care without any means-testing whatsoever and an insistent critic of the Iraq war (“the cursed illegal occupation,” he kept calling it). Despite all that, he did agree with me that going without health insurance is often a matter of choice and a matter of priorities. Or maybe we were just speaking two different languages.

I also passed by Ahaip’s family’s house. There was a 12-12-00 bumper sticker plastered on the door, and a newer model GMC Suburban was parked on the street (see photo).

Donkey truck

I’ve seen guesstimates of the house’s worth in the 246,600-plus dinar range.* Neighbors also helpfully pointed out that the house was extensively remodeled last spring when an errant mortar converted a dark second-floor bedroom into a sunny terrace.

On the issue of Ahaip’s attending the 20,000 dinar/year** An Najaf Madrassa, some people think they once heard some relatives of Ahaip claim that the boy has a near-full tuition discount. Still, it’s not clear why the family doesn’t send Ahaip to the free public school, which, locals proudly pointed out, has been repainted 10 times in the last 4 years.

For the record, Abu Reilly told me it was his neighbor’s wife’s brother-in-law’s understanding that Ahaip’s grandparents paid the tuition bill each year by slaughtering and selling one or two goats.

Don Surber says: “Interesting that a public school isn’t good enough for this kid -- I don’t care if he does trip on his colon when he walks.”

Glenn Reynolds says:: “If coffin makers with palm tree-landscaped homes with rustic second-floor terraces and kids in private madrassas now count as ‘working families,’ does this mean they’ll get tax cuts?”

Rick Moran says: “I have received several anonymous emails from independent Iraqi coffin makers currently living in Jordan who say they used to have excellent health insurance coverage for their entire family by purchasing it through group plans available from the Iraqi Association of Independent and Tribal Casketeers (IAITC)."

*Roughly $200.
**Roughly $16.25/yr.

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