By Baghdad Burning
04 October, 2004
last few days have been tense and stressful. Watching the military attacks
on Samarra and hearing the stories from displaced families or people
from around the area is like reliving the frustration and anger of the
war. It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, seeing the corpses pile
up and watching people drag their loved ones from under the bricks and
steel of what was once a home.
To top it off, we
have to watch American military spokespersons and our new Iraqi politicians
justify the attacks and talk about 'insurgents' and 'terrorists' like
they actually believe what they are saying... like hundreds of civilians
aren't being massacred on a daily basis by the worlds most advanced
As if Allawi's gloating
and Bush's inane debates aren't enough, we have to listen to people
like Powell and Rumsfeld talk about "precision attacks". What
exactly are precision attacks?! How can you be precise in a city like
Samarra or in the slums of Sadir City on the outskirts of Baghdad? Many
of the areas under attack are small, heavily populated, with shabby
homes several decades old. In Sadir City, many of the houses are close
together and the streets are narrow. Just how precise can you be with
missiles and tanks? We got a first-hand view of America's "smart
weapons". They were smart enough to kill over 10,000 Iraqis in
the first few months of the occupation.
The explosions in
Baghdad aren't any better. A few days ago, some 40 children were blown
to pieces while they were gathering candy from American soldiers at
the opening of a sewage treatment plant. (Side note: That's how bad
things have gotten- we have to celebrate the reconstruction of our sewage
treatment plants). I don't know who to be more angry with- the idiots
and PR people who thought it would be a good idea to have children running
around during a celebration involving troops or the parents for letting
their children attend. I the people who arranged the explosions burn
within the far-reaches of hell.
One wonders who
is behind the explosions and the car bombs. Bin Laden? Zarqawi? Possibly...
but it's just too easy. It's too perfect. Bin Laden hit the WTC and
Afghanistan was attacked. Iraq was occupied. At first, any explosion
or attack on troops was quickly blamed on "loyalists" and
"Baathists" and EVERYTHING was being coordinated by Saddam.
As soon as he was caught, it became the work of "Islamic extremists"
and Al-Qaida and Zarqawi suddenly made his debut. One wonders who it
will be after it is discovered that Zarqawi has been dead for several
months or that he never even existed. Whoever it is, you can bet his
name will three syllables or less because that is Bush's limit.
A week ago, four
men were caught by Iraqi security in the area of A'adhamiya in Baghdad.
No one covered this on television or on the internet, as far as I know-
we heard it from a friend involved in the whole thing. The four men
were caught trying to set up some explosives in a residential area by
some of the residents themselves. One of the four men got away, one
of them was killed on the spot and two were detained and interrogated.
They turned out to be a part of Badir's Brigade (Faylaq Badir), the
militia belonging to the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in
Iraq. Should the culprits never have been caught, and should the explosives
have gone off, would Zarqawi have been blamed? Of course.
I'm very relieved
the Italian hostages have been set free... and I hope the other innocent
people are also freed. Thousands of Iraqis are being abducted and some
are killed, while others are returned... but it is distressing to see
so many foreigners being abducted. It's like having a guest attacked
in your own home by the neighbor's pit bull- you feel a sense of responsibility
even though you know there was no way you could have prevented it.
I wasn't very sympathetic
though, when that Islamic group came down from London to negotiate releasing
Kenneth Bigley. I do hope he is returned alive, but where are all these
Islamic groups while Falluja, Samarra, Sadir City and other places are
being bombed? Why are they so concerned with a single British citizen
when hundreds of Iraqis are dying by the month? Why is it 'terrorism'
when foreigners set off bombs in London or Washington or New York and
it's a 'liberation' or 'operation' when foreigners bomb whole cities
in Iraq? Are we that much less important?