Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Iraq Dispatch--Thursday

Prayers for Vengeance, More Death…

Today Abu Talat meets me and he is in a somber mood.

He’s down because last night after the curfew began at 9:30pm, US
military helicopters were circling his neighborhood until 3am.

“How can we live like this,” he asks while holding up his hands, “We are
trapped in our own country.”

He tells me, “You know Dahr, everyone is praying for God to take revenge
on the Americans. Everyone!” He went on to tell me that even while
people are praying in their homes, they are praying for God to take
vengeance on the Americans for what they are doing in Falluja.

“Everyone I’ve talked to the last couple of nights, 80 or 90 people, is
telling me they are doing this,” he says somberly.

Later that night Salam shows up with a wild look in his eyes, sweat
beading on his forehead. “My friend has just been killed, and he was one
of my best friends,” he tells me, “I can’t imagine that he is dead,
really, but I guess it is ok.”

He talks to me about his friends’ family. “They are so poor, they live
21 people in a house with three bedrooms, and they are good people,” he
says, before going on to explain more about his dead friends’ situation.

He was working as a translator for the military because he had to earn
money for his family. Unfortunately, he was working with TITAN, a
private security company. It was either starve to death, or work with
the coalition.

He was on a military patrol in Baghdad when it came under attack near
the Taji airbase and his friend was shot by the resistance.

This isn’t all. A relative of Salam had been missing for six days.
Today, his body was brought to his family by someone who found it on the
road. The body, which had been shot twice in the chest and twice in the
head, was dropped off to the family. There were visible signs of torture
on the body, and the four bullet shells which were used to kill him had
been placed in his pants pocket.

This is life in Baghdad today.

“I am crazy today with this news Dahr,” exclaims Salam while holding his
hands up in the air, “The number of people killed here is growing so
fast everyday, it is shit.” He hangs his head back and takes a deep
breath, then exhales slowly.

He explains how it has been this way in Iraq his whole life, but not
ever has it been like this. “When I was a child, it was common to have
some family member who was killed in the war with Iraq,” he says, “But
now, everyone is dying everyday.”

I can feel the tenseness of being in Baghdad-the relentless threat of
being kidnapped or car bombed, or simply robbed, grinding on me
already…and I’ve been here less than a week. Sleep is oftentimes
interrupted by mortars exploding in the “Green Zone,” helicopters
rumbling low overhead, fighter jets roaring towards Fallujah, or gunfire
which is sporadic, yet persistent, in the streets of Baghdad.

Yet my friends, who are living here, how do they do it? It saddens me to
see them so increasingly somber, withdrawn and angry than they were a
year ago when we first met, as their hope for peace, resolution and true
sovereignty in Iraq dims a little more with each passing day.


Post a Comment

<< Home