Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Tip of the Iceberg

The BBC on Thursday informed of yet another atrocity committed by US forces against Iraqi civilians. The video evidence contradicts the initial US account of the events of March 15, 2006 in the village of Ishaqi, in the Abu Sifa district near Balad, some 60 miles north of Baghdad.

The Americans deny it. When you hear about how the 24 Haditha deaths were covered up, and how the Iraqi families were offered compensation for their dead relatives, this does not give credibility to the American version.

It is, however, interesting to hear the Iraqi Prime Minister tell that atrocities against Iraqi civilians are committed on a daily basis. What else could you expect? The American army consists of professional soldiers. Many of them have been recruited in poor parts of the southern USA with lots of unemployment. Robert Fisk has called it the "army of the slums" in the Independent, young Americans, many of them from ethnic backgrounds, many with low educations, who have been looking for the fairly well-paid steady job that could give them some kind of a tolerable life. How do they react when put in a seemingly hopeless situation i the Iraqi desert and in run-down towns? Are they educated well enough for the complexities of this job? Probably not, it's a very sad story.

The Iraqi PM is probably right. What we see is only the tip of the iceberg.

We have written about the atrocities before on this blog, when we quoted the Iraqi blogger Citizen of Mosul who had two versions of events on his blog in March:

news item now reported by the Associated Press:
"An unidentified relative mourns over the bodies of children, reportedly killed during a U.S. raid, as they arrive in a hospital in Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, March 15, 2006. Eleven people, most of them women and children were killed when a house was bombed during a U.S. raid north of Baghdad early Wednesday, police and relatives said. The U.S. military acknowledged four deaths in the raid that they said netted an insurgent suspect (emphasis added) in the rural Isahaqi area, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the capital. (AP Photo/Bassim Daham)Iraqis Say U.S. Raid Kills 11 People March 15, 2006This news item has a picture gallery of this massacre. Can the U.S. military count? or are they in their usual low level mode of 'counting' killed U.S. soldiers, instead of declaring the true figures of dead soldiers?.يـُعرض مع هذا الخبر بالإنكليزية عدة صور للضحايا الأطفال. يقول الجيش الأمريكي بأن عدد الضحايا هو أربعة فقط، بضمنهم "المشتبه" فيه. ألا تستطيع قوات الإحتلال الأمريكية العــدّ بالنظر المـُجرّد الى هذه الصور؟ أم أنها على سجيتها في "التقليل" من العدد المـُعلن لضحايا جنودها الذين يـُقتلون على أيدي المقاومة؟"ـ.


The Iraqi version:"Amer Fiadh, the Councillor of Al-Ishaqi (pronounced Al Is-haqi) District in Salah Al-Din province said that the American forces have executed eleven people belonging to one family, including a six-months old baby and four children who were less than eleven years old.Fiadh further stated today that these people were executed in front of their home, after having their hands tied behind their back and summarily shot. After their execution, American helicopters then strafed the family's home levelling it to the ground."The Councillor of Al-Ishaqi District claims that the American forces have executed eleven members of one family (In Arabic) March 15, 2006

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