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.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Slash and Burn (By UNembedded and INDEPENDENT Reporter Dahr Jamail)

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **

November 17, 2004

Slash and Burn

To see photos for this entry, click here:

See the photos

She lays dazed in the crowded hospital room, languidly waving her
bruised arm at the flies. Her shins, shattered by bullets from US
soldiers when they fired through the front door of her house, are both
covered by casts. Small plastic drainage backs filled with red fluid sit
upon her abdomen, where she took shrapnel from another bullet.

Fatima Harouz, 12 years old, lives in Latifiya, a city just south of
Baghdad. Just three days ago soldiers attacked her home. Her mother,
standing with us says, “They attacked our home and there weren’t even
any resistance fighters in our area.” Her brother was shot and killed,
and his wife was wounded as their home was ransacked by soldiers.
“Before they left, they killed all of our chickens,” added Fatima’s
mother, her eyes a mixture of fear, shock and rage.

A doctor standing with us, after listening to Fatima’s mother tell their
story, looks at me and sternly asks, “This is the freedom…in their
Disney Land are there kids just like this?”

Another young woman, Rana Obeidy, was walking home with her brother two
nights ago. She assumes the soldiers shot her and her brother because he
was carrying a bottle of soda. This happened in Baghdad. She has a chest
wound where a bullet grazed her, unlike her little brother who is dead.

Laying in a bed near Rana is Hanna, 14 years old. She has a gash on her
right leg from the bullet of a US soldier. Her family was in a taxi in
Baghdad this morning which was driving near a US patrol when a soldier
opened fire on the car.

Her father’s shirt is spotted with blood from his head which was wounded
when the taxi crashed.

In another room a small boy from Fallujah lays on his stomach. Shrapnel
from a grenade thrown into their home by a US soldier entered his body
through his back, and implanted near his kidney.

An operation successfully removed the shrapnel. His father was killed by
what his mother called, “the haphazard shooting of the Americans.” The
boy, Amin, lies in his bed vacillating between crying with pain and
playing with is toy car.

It’s one case after another of people from Baghdad, Fallujah, Latifiya,
Balad, Ramadi, Samarra, Baquba…from all over Iraq, who have been injured
by the heavy-handed tactics of American soldiers fighting a no-win
guerilla war spawned from an illegal invasion based on lies. Their
barbaric acts of retaliation have become the daily reality for Iraqis,
who continue to take the brunt of the frustration and rage of the soldiers.

Out in front of the hospital three Humvees pull up as soldiers alert the
hospital staff that some of the wounded from outside of Fallujah will be
brought there. One of the staff begins to yell at the soldier who is
doing the talking, while a soldier manning a machine gun atop a Humvee
with his face completely covered by an olive balaclava and goggles looks on.

“We don’t need you here! Get the fuck out of here! Bring back Saddam!
Even he was better than you animals! We don’t want to die by your hands,
so get out of here! We can take care of our own people!”

The translator with the soldiers does not translate this. Instead he
watches with a face of stone.

The survivors of those killed and wounded by the US military in Iraq, as
well as those who care for them, are left with feelings of bitter
anguish, grief, rage and vengeance.

This afternoon at a small, but busy supply center set up in Baghdad to
distribute goods to refugees from Fallujah, the stories the haggard
survivors are telling are nearly unimaginable.

“They kicked all the journalists out of Fallujah so they could do
whatever they want,” says Kassem Mohammed Ahmed, who just escaped from
Fallujah three days ago, “The first thing they did is they bombed the
hospitals because that is where the wounded have to go. Now we see that
wounded people are in the street and the soldiers are rolling over them
with tanks. This happened so many times. What you see on the TV is
nothing-that is just one camera. What you cannot see is so much.”

While Kassem speaks of the television footage, there are also stories of
soldiers not discriminating between civilians and resistance fighters.

Another man, Abdul Razaq Ismail arrived from Fallujah last week.

While distributing supplies to other refugees he says, “There are dead
bodies on the ground and nobody can bury them. The Americans are
dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates River near Fallujah. They
are pulling the bodies with tanks and leaving them at the soccer stadium.”

Nearby is another man in tears as he listens, nodding his head. He can’t
stop crying, but after a little while says he wants to talk to us.

“They bombed my neighborhood and we used car jacks to raise the blocks
of concrete to get dead children out from under them.”

Another refugee, Abu Sabah, an older man wearing a torn shirt and dusty
pants tells of how he escaped with his family while soldiers shot
bullets over their heads, but killed his cousin.

“They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud,”
he said, having just arrived yesterday, “Then small pieces fell from the
air with long tails of smoke behind them. These exploded on the ground
with large fires that burnt for half an hour. They used these near the
train tracks. You could hear these dropped from a large airplane and the
bombs were the size of a tank. When anyone touched those fires, their
body burned for hours.”

The comparison of Iraq to Vietnam is becoming more valid by the day here.


Post a Comment

<< Home