In the emotional disconnect of war, they saw another solution.
"You should have just shot her," one platoon sergeant told Morgan.
It's a thought that might shock those who gave Noor the gift of life, among them another woman who, for a time, acted as her mother. I promised Noor's family I would go see her after my trip to Baghdad.
I'd last seen Nancy Turner just days before she boarded a flight bound for Kuwait, with Noor in her arms. Nancy cried the entire way back to Atlanta. How could she not? She'd cared for Noor as though she were her own daughter.
She welcomes me into her home in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta. She is eager to see the photos and video of Noor I've brought. It is as though a long lost child has finally returned home.
She reaches for tissues as images of Noor flash before her, as she hears Noor talk and sing and sees her in a classroom.
"Those eyes, that smile," Nancy says, glad to learn that Noor can read and write and that she appears to be loved by her family.
Nancy remembers when the baby fussed, she'd stand with her in front of a mirror.
"She could see herself and see me and she would laugh and that's a memory I will always hold dear," Nancy says.
"She changed me. I don't think of myself as a patient person ... but Noor required patience because of the care she needed and it was in providing that care and taking the time instead of rushing through that I learned something about myself."
In her house, Nancy displays a portrait of herself and her husband with Noor, Haider and Soad.
There are other reminders as well.
She wears a gold necklace bearing four lockets -- a heart for love, a cross for her Christian faith, a sand dollar for her fondness of the beach and an eye to ward off evil. Soad gave her the eye when she met her in Kuwait to take Noor back to Baghdad. On Nancy's silver charm bracelet, there's a pair of baby shoes that a friend gave her when she became Noor's temporary mother.
In her kitchen, the cream-colored Corian counter by the stove has a deep crack. She says it was because of the weight of the heavy pots Soad liked to use. I remember Noor's grandmother loved to cook. Soad and I had many conversations about the similarities between Iraqi and Indian cuisine, and I brought Indian-style biryani to a dinner Nancy hosted for Soad to taste.
Even though the rest of her house is in immaculate condition, Nancy never fixed the countertop. She's never stopped thinking about the life Noor is leading in Iraq.
It was never anyone else's duty to take over parenting of that child, she says. Noor has a father, a family.
But the ties that were forged cannot be severed.
Nancy tells me she is glad I was able to reconnect with the family. She says she will get in touch with Childspring about possibly helping Noor again.
I always saw Noor's story as a reflection of the larger issues at stake in Iraq. American military involvement is over, but what is our connection now with a people struggling to stand up on their own?
As I drive back home, Nancy's words about Noor and her family repeat in my head: "Our responsibility was and is to walk beside them."
* * *
How this story was reported
CNN's Moni Basu first met Noor and her family in December 2005 when U.S. soldiers came upon them during a routine raid. Basu was embedded with the Army unit to which those soldiers belonged and told the story of Baby Noor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In February, she returned to Iraq with CNN's David S. Holloway to document Noor's life now, more than seven years after the child was shuttled to the United States for life-saving surgery.
Basu and Holloway spent time with Noor and her family in southwest Baghdad over five days. The family had previously paid a price for its association with Americans, and CNN could not photograph certain scenes in the story for security reasons.