Monday, April 12, 2004

Eyes Wide Open

There are things going on we will never hear about from the American and European press. Read an eye witness report of what is going on in Iraq: Destroying a Town in Order to Save It.

From the report;

A gentle, urbane man who spoke fluent English, Al-Nazzal was beside himself with fury at the Americans' actions (when I asked him if it was all right to use his full name, he said, "It's ok. It's all ok now. Let the bastards do what they want.") With the "ceasefire," large-scale bombing was rare. With a halt in major bombing, the Americans were attacking with heavy artillery but primarily with snipers.

Al-Nazzal told us about ambulances being hit by snipers, women and children being shot. Describing the horror that the siege of Fallujah had become, he said, "I have been a fool for 47 years. I used to believe in European and American civilization."

I had heard these claims at third-hand before coming into Fallujah, but was skeptical. It's very difficult to find the real story here. But this I saw for myself. An ambulance with two neat, precise bullet-holes in the windshield on the driver's side, pointing down at an angle that indicated they would have hit the driver's chest (the snipers were on rooftops, and are trained to aim for the chest). Another ambulance again with a single, neat bullet-hole in the windshield. There's no way this was due to panicked spraying of fire. These were deliberate shots designed to kill the drivers.

The ambulances go around with red, blue, or green lights flashing and sirens blaring; in the pitch-dark of blacked-out city streets there is no way they can be missed or mistaken for something else. An ambulance that some of our compatriots were going around in, trading on their whiteness to get the snipers to let them through to pick up the wounded was also shot at while we were there.
More examples of murder by American troops are included in the report. And we wonder why these people hate us?

Keep in mind this "attack" is in response to the brutal murder of 4 American "contractors" ( a funny choice of words; they were mercenaries, hired guns). We are not told what kind of terror these "contractors" brought to Fallujah. One can only imagine, since they were not held accountable by the code of military justice.

Was their brutal murder atrocious? Absolutely. Should we now destroy the entire city because a few decided to take matters in their own hands? How are we justifying the assassination of ambulance drivers? What in God's name is going on in the minds of our military leaders?

I think that part of the answer to that last question is found in a recent quote from an anonymous senior British army officer;

My view and the view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing. They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as untermenschen [the Nazi expression for "sub-humans"]. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are.
The Americans have shifted from conducting a war of liberation to "teaching the untermenschen a lesson." Humanity has been here before. Have we learned nothing?


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