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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #177 - 5 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. [Peace&Justice] Postpone Iraq Elections | How to End U.S. Occupation (IRC Communications)
   2. Ein Tamor Refugee Camp: Sad Stories of the Falluja Continuing Tragedy (Dirk Adriaensens)
   3. Fear stalks city where the police hide behind masks (The Iraq Solidarity Campaign)
   4. Americans spreading freedom and democracy (
   5. The Horrors of Uday's Boudoir (tom young)


Message: 1
From: "IRC Communications" <>
Organization: Interhemispheric Resource Center
Subject: [Peace&Justice] Postpone Iraq Elections | How to End U.S. Occupation
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 13:12:20 -0700

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Peace and Justice News from FPIF

January 14, 2005

Introducing new analysis from Foreign Policy In Focus

Postpone Iraq=92s Elections
By Anas Shallal

The elections in Iraqscheduled to take place this month need to be postpone=
Elections are needed, but the timing is wrong, with the insurgency growing
with every passing moment and Iraqis bracing themselves for the worst. Few
Iraqis feel safe enough to cast a vote and fewer still know who the candida=
are or what they stand for.

When I speak to relatives in Iraq, they seem far more concerned about the s=
of their families than the elections. They say the situation is quickly spi=
into chaos. Election officials are being killed, threatened, and kidnapped
daily and the entire Electoral Commission in Anbar province west and north
of the capital has resigned.

Anas Shallal is an Iraqi-American and the founder of Iraqi Americans for Pe=
Alternatives. He lives in Northern Virginia and is an analyst for Foreign P=
In Focus (

See new FPIF commentary online at:

With printer-friendly pdf version at:

Ending the U.S. War in Iraq: How to Bring the Troops Home and International=
the Peace
By Phyllis Bennis and Erik Leaver

The Iraq War has, like the Vietnam War of a generation ago, sorely divided
the people of the United States. The invasion, occupation, and continuing w=
have brought about the death of over 1,300 young women and men serving in t=
U.S. military. Over 10,000 have been seriously injured. Thousands are retur=
home with grievous mental and emotional damage. Civil rights, particularly
those of Arab immigrants and Arab-Americans, have been shredded. The $151 b=
in U.S. tax dollars spent on the war, not to mention the $100 billion more
Congress will soon be asked to allocate, has wrought havoc on the economy a=
dramatically escalated the deficit.

Those who advocate =93staying the course=94 or =93internationalizing the wa=
r=94 are
too busy digging deeper. A real solution to the Iraq War must start with en=
the U.S.occupation. Then, and only then, we can talk about internationalizi=
the peace.

But this raises serious questions. How should the occupation end and the pe=
be internationalized? Even if the war is wrong, will it make things worse i=
the U.S. pulls out? Having invaded and occupied Iraq, what are our responsi=
to the Iraqi people? How can the chances for civil war be minimized? Phylli=
Bennis and Erik Leaver offer steps that follow progressive principles while
offering realistic steps to help put the U.S. back on the side of the rule
of law, and gives the people of Iraq the best chance of rebuilding their de=
country and moving toward peace, justice, and security.

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (http://www.=
in Washington, DC. Erik Leaver is the policy outreach director for the Fore=
Policy In Focus project ( at the Institute for Policy S=

See new FPIF Discussion Paper online at:

With printer-friendly pdf version at:

For More Analysis from Foreign Policy In Focus:

A Failed "Transition": The Mounting Costs of the IraqWar
By the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus (September

A Secure Americain a Secure World
By the FPIF Task Force on Terrorism (September 2004)
Interhemispheric Resource Center is proud to announce that, in conjunction
with our 25th anniversary, we have changed our name to InternationalRelatio=
Please visit our website at to see our new logo and chec=
back in the coming months as we begin the integration and improvement of al=
of our program and project websites. As InternationalRelationsCenter we rem=
IRC and committed to our mission of: working to make the U.S. a more respon=
member of the global community by promoting progressive strategic dialogues
that lead to new citizen-based agendas.

Produced and distributed by FPIF:=93A Think Tank Without Walls,=94 a joint =
of International Relations Center (IRC) and Institute for Policy Studies (I=

For more information, visit If you would like to add a
name to the =93What=92s New At FPIF=94 specific region or topic list, pleas=
e email:
communications@irc-online.orgwith =93subscribe=94 and giving your area of i=

To add your name to this list, send a blank email to: peaceandjustice-subsc=

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to: peaceandjustice-unsubscribe@lists.ri=


InternationalRelationsCenter (IRC)
(formerly InterhemisphericResourceCenter)
Siri D. Khalsa
Outreach Coordinator


Siri D. Khalsa
Communications Coordinator
Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC)

IRC Projects Online:
Americas Program (
Self-Determination In Focus (
Project Against the Present Danger (


Message: 2
From: "Dirk Adriaensens" <>
To: <>, <>
Subject: Ein Tamor Refugee Camp: Sad Stories of the Falluja Continuing Tragedy
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 00:20:27 +0100

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Dear all,

this article has been sent to me by Eman Ahmed Kmammas, a journalist with, =
and co-director of Occupation Watch, a translator, and adviser of the Code =
Pink delegation on Iraqi women's issues during January 24 - February 4, 200=
4. You've already published several articles from her. Could you also publi=
sh this one? It's an eye-witness account of the dreadful situation of Fallu=
jan refugees.

This article has been published originally today at www.brusselstribunal.or=


Dirk Adriaensens

organising committee BRussells Tribunal and World Tribunal on Iraq.

Ein Tamor Refugee Camp: Sad Stories of the Falluja Continuing Tragedy

Eman Ahmed Khammas


Ein Tamor (Spring of Dates) is a small picturesque spot in the western Iraq=
i desert, 90 kilometers to the west of the sacred Karbala. It is part of a =
bigger oasis that contains the Razzazah Lake, many smaller towns, date palm=
 and fruit thick orchards surrounding the lake, and a very important histor=
ical fortress called Al-Ekheider Castle. In the seventies, this area was de=
veloped as a resort; a tourist complex was built in Ein Tamor.

The tourist complex was fifty small flats surrounding the lake and the colo=
rful natural springs. After the 1991 war, and during the UN economic sancti=
ons against Iraq through the nineties until 2003, this tourist area was neg=
lected, like many other similar places all over Iraq. During this period, w=
hen tourism was not a priority in Iraq, the complex was mainly visited by n=
ewly wed couples who spent their honey moon there. In April 2003, after the=
 occupation of Iraq, the complex was looted and damaged, nothing remained e=
xcept the walls.

Now it is a refugee camp for more than 50 Fallujan families, who fled the b=
ombing and killings last October. It is like Habbaniya, another refugee cam=
p, which was a tourist complex 40 kilometers to the north, near the Habbani=
ya Lake.

Obviously, Fallujans fled to these places because there were walls and roof=
s which can be used as better shelters than tents in the cold season. Ein T=
amor, once one of the most beautiful areas of Iraq where picnics were made =
especially in winter, is now one of the saddest places. To go there, one ha=
s to go through the Triangle of death south of Baghdad, where many attacks =
against the occupying troops take place daily.

Usually it takes an hour to go to Karbalaa. It took us 3 hours, because of =
the check points, a bombed car that was still on fire, and traffic jam due =
to fuel (kilometers-long) queues. The roads are not the same. I used to go =
there to visit my grand mother. These are not the roads I used to go throug=
h; they are not roads at all, nothing is straight, just snake-like curves i=
n the dusty wilderness. Paradoxically, the way from Karbalaa to Ein Tamor w=
as calmer, better, and easier to go through, although the Iraqi Human Right=
s Watch members who accompanied us to the refugee camp warned us of looters=

The refugee camp was a club of sadness. Every one there had a story, even t=
he children.

"No one visited us, except these people" said Sabiha Hashim, pointing to th=
e Iraqi HRW members who accompanied us. She is a crippled widow in her fift=
ies, and a mother of two young boys. She was burnt two years ago, and was h=
andicapped since. Wrapped in a blanket, she was sitting in the middle of he=
r miserable properties. Few dirty dishes, a blackened broken oil lamp that =
has not been cleaned ever, small primitive oil stove.etc. There was a new e=
lectric heater donated by some generous donor, but there was no electricity=
. Sabiha was silent," why do not you talk to this lady" Sami of the Iraqi H=
RW asked her, pointing to me," she came from Baghdad to see you".

 "She did not ask" replied Sabiha.

"How did you come here?" I asked looking for some thing to say, after I saw=
 her inhuman, totally unacceptable situation.

"The neighbors brought me when the bombing began"

" She promised to give me a dinar for every joke I tell her" said Sami,  tr=
ying to lighten the very gloomy atmosphere " she is my fianc=E9e now"

  "poor Sami" I said, "now you have to look for 1000 jokes to get 1000 dina=
rs" ($ 0.7)

"What do you need", I asked Sabiha

"My medicine"

"What is it?"

"I do not know, I did not bring the doctor's receipt, there was no time. It=
 is unfair" that was the only thing Sabiha said about her tragedy.

I looked for my friend Dr. Intisar, she is a pharmacist who is working with=
 me and other Iraqi doctors to help Falluja refugees with medicines and sup=
plies. I could not see her any where, but I could see a big crowd of women =
and children near the gate.

"Your friend, Dr. Intisar, is examining the children and giving medicines",=
 said Ismael Chali, a man in his fifties who is helping in running the camp=

It was not raining that day, Ein Tamor was sunny and warm. The gardens are =
no more than dusty yards now, few dry trees scattered, the once beautiful t=
ourist flats are just walls, with hanging sheets of cloths serving as doors=
 and windows. Falluja women did amazing job keeping the whole place clean.

"May be you want to see this old man" Sami said and pointed to a man sittin=
g in the sun, two crunches in his hands. Hussein Abdul Nabbi, had an accide=
nt and broke his thighs. He is the father of a family of 18; two of them ar=
e young and very healthy looking men.

"What are you doing here?" I asked them, in a rather criticizing tone.

"Waiting for God's mercy" one of them replied," we are cotton carders, our =
shop was burnt, three electric sewing machines, cotton and cloths that wort=
h 2 million dinars, and other equipments ,all are gone"

"But staying here does not help, does it" I insisted

"We went to Falluja a week ago; we waited the whole day but could not pass =
through the check points. Next day we went at 3 am, it was not before 3 pm =
that we could pass through the third sonar check point. Our house was destr=
oyed, there is a huge hole in the ceiling, the fence is totally ruined, and=
 the furniture damaged. The soldiers told us not to move out side the house=
 or open the door after 6 pm. We are not supposed to make any noise; there =
is no electricity, no water, no shops, no hospitals, and no schools. How ar=
e we supposed to live there with our families? There are no families there,=
 only men, those who can not live in tents any longer."

Other Fallujans told us that burning houses, bombing and looting are still =
going on until now.

Mustapha, 20 years, a student, said that he found his house, the furniture,=
 the door, and the car destroyed and burnt. But the American soldiers told =
him not to use any thing from Falluja, not to use the sheets and blankets f=
or example, not to drink water, and that if he does, it is his own decision=
 and he has to take the responsibility for that.

"What does that mean?"

It means that everything in Falluja is contaminated" "

Ahmad Hashim, a guard in the Falluja sewage station, and a father of 3 chil=
dren, found his house, which was no more than a room under the water tank, =
burnt." If a child gets ill, he simply dies, it is suicide to decide to go =
back to Falluja now"

Alahin Jalil, a young beautiful wife and a mother of 4 children, decided to=
 go back home , no matter what. She was too tired of difficulties in the re=
fugee camp, "I have to go to Karbalaa for medicines, there is no water here=
, no fuel, no money" . When she went to Falluja, she found out that her hou=
se which was in Nazzal district, one of the most bombed areas in Falluja, w=
as totally destroyed. She decided to return back to the refugee camp, but i=
t was not a better option. "For the whole family we get half a sheet of amp=
iciline (anti-biotic)

 Money was the most difficult problem in the camp. These families consumed =
all their savings, if they had any. Food is given according to the food rat=
ion ID. Many of them fled Falluja without bringing their documents. Those g=
et no food.

"What about the 150.000 dinars that are given to each Falluja family that w=
e read about in the newspapers this week?"

"We never heard about them" every body replied. Where is UN, the Iraqi gove=
rnment, the humanitarian orgs, the Red Crescent, the Red Cross.they asked.

Darawsha is a small village 5 kilometers to the west of Ein Tamor. The Iraq=
i HRW in Karbalaa told us that its villagers share their houses with Falluj=
a refugees. When we entered Darawsha, I remembered what James Baker said be=
fore the 1991 American attack on Iraq. "We will return Iraq to the middle a=
ges" he said. This is not even the middle ages. The narrow muddy streets, s=
mall clay huts were dark, cold and crowded with big families. The smoky bur=
ning wet branches are not giving warmth to the damp cottages, more than the=
 thick suffocating smoke .

 Sheikh Farhan Al-Duleimi, the local council head, said" my name is Farhan =
(happy), but I am very sad for what happened to Falluja. at the same time t=
his is a good example of the Shiite-Sunni unity in Iraq. Darawsha families =
are all Shiite, but they are welcoming Sunnis from Falluja as if they are o=
ne family, despite the fact that they are poor, and already in need of much=
 help themselves.

We decided to stop in the middle of the village, and to donate the medicine=
s and financial help to the families, promising them and ourselves to come =
back again to listen to their stories. It was already 4 pm, we need to hurr=
y back because it is too dangerous to be on the highway after sunset. There=
 are at least 85 Falluja families here. Dr. Intisar opened the car box and =
began to donate medicines. A young, shy girl approached her and said "do yo=
u need help, I am a pharmacist". We asked the villagers to form a committee=
 with at least one woman in it, to receive the money and distribute it on t=
he Falluja refugees.

"You need to go to Rahaliya and Ahmad bin Hashim villages" said Abbass, fro=
m the Iraqi HRW, who was accompanying us all the time," the situation in th=
ose refugee camps are much more difficult, and they rarely get any help, be=
cause they are too far away"

"Then we need to come back again soon", I replied

"Yes, you have also to visit refugees from Basra, Amara and the marshes"

"What are you talking about?"

"There are refugees from the south, fleeing from the worsening security sit=

The way back to Baghdad was the most difficult part of the trip. At 5.30 it=
 was deep dark. No lights on the way, no moon and too much dust. Some of th=
e check points were already deserted by security men. The highway was almos=
t empty except of us. "If you were men I would not worry "Ahmad, our driver=
 said. We could tell that he was very tense, reading lines of the Holy Qura=
n all the time, and smoking too much. "Those  looters are the worst of crim=

Dr. Intisar was very calm and exhausted "I love you" she suddenly said.

I was too tired to ask what made her say so. Surprisingly, we were not afra=
id at all, of any thing.

To be continued

Eman Ahmed Kmammas is a journalist with, and co-director of Occupation Watc=
h, a translator, and advised the Code Pink Delegation on Iraqi women's issu=
es during January 24 - February 4, 2004.


Message: 3
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 23:31:55 +0000 (GMT)
From: The Iraq Solidarity Campaign <>
Subject: Fear stalks city where the police hide behind masks

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Fear stalks city where the police hide behind masks
By Robert Fisk in Baghdad
The Independent

12 January 2005

Journalism yields a world of clich=E9s but here, for once, the first clich=
=E9 that comes to mind is true. Baghdad is a city of fear. Fearful Iraqis, =
fearful militiamen, fearful American soldiers, fearful journalists.

That day upon which the blessings of democracy will shower upon us, 30 Janu=
ary, is approaching with all the certainty and speed of doomsday. The lates=
t Zarqawi video shows the killing of six Iraqi policemen. Each is shot in t=
he back of the head, one by one. A survivor plays dead. Then a gunman walks=
 up behind him and blows his head apart with bullets. These images haunt ev=
eryone. At the al-Hurriya intersection yesterday morning, four truckloads o=
f Iraqi national guardsmen - the future saviours of Iraq, according to Geor=
ge Bush - are passing my car.

Their rifles are porcupine quills, pointing at every motorist, every Iraqi =
on the pavement, the Iraqi army pointing their weapons at their own people.=
 And they are all wearing masks - black hoods or ski-masks or keffiyahs tha=
t leave only slits for frightened eyes. Just before it collapsed finally in=
to the hands of the insurgents last summer, I saw exactly the same scene in=
 the streets of Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad. Now I am watching them in the=

At Kamal Jumblatt Square beside the Tigris, two American Humvees approach t=
he roundabout. Their machine-gunners are shouting at drivers to keep away f=
rom them. A big sign in Arabic on the rear of each vehicle says: "Forbidden=
. Do not overtake this convoy. Stay 50 metres away from it."

The drivers behind obey; they know the meaning of the "deadly force" which =
the Americans have written on to their checkpoint signs. But the two Humvee=
s drive into a massive traffic jam, the gunners now screaming at us to move=

When a taxi which does not notice the US troops blocks their path, the Amer=
ican in the lead vehicle hurls a plastic bottle full of water on to its roo=
f and the driver mounts the grass traffic circle. A truck receives the same=
 treatment from the lead Humvee. "Go back," shouts the rear gunner, staring=
 at us through shades. We try desperately to turn into the jam.

Yes, the Russians would probably have chucked hand grenades in Kabul. But h=
ere were the terrified "liberators" of Baghdad throwing bottles of water at=
 the Iraqis who are supposed to enjoy an American-imposed democracy on 30 J=

The rear Humvee has "Specialist Carrol" written on the windscreen. Speciali=
st Carrol, I am sure, regards every damn one of us as a potential suicide b=
omber - and I can't blame him. One such bomber had just driven up to the po=
lice station in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, and destroyed himself and the liv=
es of at least six policemen.

Round the corner, I discover the reason for the jam: Iraqi cops are fightin=
g off hundreds of motorists desperate for petrol, the drivers refusing to q=
ueue any longer for the one thing which Iraq possesses in Croesus-like amou=
nts - petrol.

I drop by the Ramaya restaurant for lunch. Closed. They are building a 20-f=
loor security wall around the premises. So I drive to the Rif for a pizza, =
occasionally tinkling the restaurant's piano while I watch the entrance for=
 people I don't want to see. The waiters are nervous. They are happy to bri=
ng my pizza in 10 minutes. There is no one else in the restaurant, you see,=
 and they watch the road outside like friendly rabbits. They are waiting fo=
r The Car.

I call on an old Iraqi friend who used to publish a literary magazine durin=
g Saddam's reign. "They want me to vote, but they can't protect me," he say=
s. "Maybe there will be no suicide bomber at the polling station. But I wil=
l be watched. And what if I get a hand-grenade in my home three days' later=
? The Americans will say they did their best, Allawi's people will say I am=
 a 'martyr for democracy'. So, do you think I'm going to vote?"

At Mustansiriya university - one of Iraq's best - students of English liter=
ature are to face their end-of-term exam. January marks the end of the Iraq=
i semester. But one of the students tells me that his fellow students had t=
old their teacher that - so fraught are the times - they were not yet prepa=
red for the examination. Rather than giving them all zeros, the teacher mee=
kly postpones the exam.

I drive back through the al-Hurriya intersection beside the "Green Zone" an=
d suddenly there is a big black 4x4, filled with ski-masked gunmen. "Get ba=
ck!" they scream at every motorist as they try to cut across the median. I =
roll the window down. The rear door of the 4x4 whacks open. A ski-masked We=
sterner - blond hair, blue eyes - is pointing a Kalashnikov at my car. "Get=
 back!" he shrieks in ghastly Arabic. Then he clears the median, followed b=
y three armoured pick-ups, windows blacked, tyres skidding on the road surf=
ace, carrying the sacred Westerners inside to the dubious safety of the "Gr=
een Zone", the hermetically-sealed compound from which Iraq is supposedly g=

I glance at the Iraqi press. Colin Powell is warning of "civil war" in Iraq=
. Why do we Westerners keep threatening civil war in a country whose societ=
y is tribal rather than sectarian? Of all papers, it is the Kurdish Al Takh=
ri, loyal to Mustafa Barzani, which asks the same question. "There has neve=
r been a civil war in Iraq," the editorial thunders. And it is right.

So, "full ahead both" for the dreaded 30 January elections and democracy. T=
he American generals - with a unique mixture of mendacity and hope amid the=
 insurgency - are now saying that only four of Iraq's 18 provinces may not =
be able to "fully" participate in the elections.

Good news. Until you sit down with the population statistics and realise - =
as the generals all know - that those four provinces contain more than half=
 of the population of Iraq.

The Iraq Solidarity Campaign

 How much mail storage do you get for free? Yahoo! Mail gives you 250MB! Ge=
t Yahoo! Mail


Message: 4
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 09:07:35 EST
Subject: Americans spreading freedom and democracy

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]


January 14, 2005
Collective Punishment
It=E2=80=99s not a new tactic here in Iraq. The US military has been doing =
it for
well over a year now. Last January 3rd, in the Al-Dora rural region on the
outskirts of Baghdad, where beautiful farms of date palms and orange trees =
the banks of the Tigris, I visited a farm where occupation forces had lobbe=
several mortars.

The military claimed they had been attacked by fighters in the area, while
the locals denied any knowledge of harboring resistance fighters.
Standing in a field full of unexploded _mortar  rounds_
d=3D100_1613)  a farmer
explained, =E2=80=9CWe don=E2=80=99t know why they bomb our house and our  =
fields. We have never
resisted the Americans. There are foreign fighters who  have passed through
here, and I think this is who they want. But why are they  bombing us?=E2=
At that time U.S. Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told reporters that
Operation Iron Grip in this area sends =E2=80=9Ca very clear message to any=
body who
thinks that they can run around Baghdad without worrying about the conseque=
of firing RPG=E2=80=99s, firing mortars. There is a capability in the air t=
hat can
quickly respond against anybody who would want to harm Iraqi citizens or
coalition forces."
I counted 9 small tails of the mortar rounds sticking into the air in this
small section of the field.
I asked if the family had requested that the Americans come remove the
unexploded ordnance.
Mr. Shakr, with a very troubled look told me, =E2=80=9CWe asked them the fi=
rst time
and they said =E2=80=98OK, we=E2=80=99ll come take care of it.=E2=80=99 But=
 they never came. We asked
 them the second time and they told us they would not remove them until we
gave  them a resistance fighter. They told us, =E2=80=98If you won=E2=80=99=
t give us a
resistance  fighter, we are not coming to remove the bombs.=E2=80=99=E2=80=
He holds his hands in the air and said, =E2=80=9CBut we don=E2=80=99t know =
any resistance
Also last winter I also reported on _home  demolitions_
-Samarra&id=3D100_1464)  in
Samarra by the military. The consistent pattern then was that  anytime an
attack occurred against occupation forces, nearby  homes/buildings/fields w=
then raided or destroyed by the military, along with  complimentary electri=
cuts for the villages and/or cities.
That pattern appears to remain the same, as I found today in another visit =
 the al-Dora region of Baghdad.
Seven weeks ago, after having suffered many attacks by the Iraqi resistance
in the area, the military began plowing date palm orchards, _blasted  a gas
station with a tank_
d=3Dgas_station) , cut the electricity which is still down, and
blocking roads in the rural farming area.
As we drove deep into the rural farming area along a thin, winding road whi=
 parallels the Tigris River, a wolf trots across the road. Rounding a bend =
saw  a large swath of date palms which had been bulldozed to the ground.
_Large  piles of them_
d=3Dburnt_trees)  had been pushed together, doused with fuel, and
=E2=80=9CThe Americans were attacked from this field, then they returned an=
d started
plowing down all the trees,=E2=80=9D explains Kareem, a local mechanic, =E2=
=80=9CNone of us
knows any fighters and we all know they are coming here from other areas to
attack the Americans, but we are the people who suffer from this.=E2=80=9D
Across the way are other piles of scorched date palms.
Mohammed, a 15 year-old secondary school student stands near his home
explaining what he saw. =E2=80=9CThere is a _grave_
d=3Ddestroyed_grave)   of an old woman they
bulldozed,=E2=80=9D and then _he  points_
d=3Dmohammed15)  to the nearby road, =E2=80=9CThey destroyed
our fences, and now there are  wolves attacking our animals, they destroyed
much of our farming equipment, and  the worst is they cut our electricity.=
=E2=80=9CThey come by here every night and fire their weapons to frighten u=
s,=E2=80=9D he
explains while pointing out an _MRE_
d=3Dmre)   on the ground, left from some soldiers
who used the bulldozers.
=E2=80=9CBut we need electricity to run our pumps to irrigate our farms,=E2=
=80=9D added
Mohammed, =E2=80=9CAnd now we are carrying water in buckets from the river =
instead and
this is very difficult for us. They say they are going to make things bette=
for  us, but they are worse. Saddam was better than this, even though he
executed  three of my relatives.=E2=80=9D
His mother, _Um  Raed_
d=3Dumraed) , cannot stop talking about the electricity.
=E2=80=9CIf there are bombs why do they attack our homes,=E2=80=9D she plea=
ds, =E2=80=9CWhy don=E2=80=99t
they follow the people who attack them? Why do they come to our family? All=
 need now is electricity so we can run our water pumps. I don=E2=80=99t nee=
d my
house,  but we need water. This is our planting season.=E2=80=9D
Ihsan, a 17 year-old student, joins the conversation near the bulldozed
orchard. =E2=80=9CI was beaten by the Americans,=E2=80=9D he explains, =E2=
=80=9CThey asked me who
attacked them and I do not know. My home was raided, our furniture destroye=
d,  and
one of my uncles was arrested.=E2=80=9D
Um Raed is asking him to talk about the electricity some more, but then add=
 =E2=80=9CYesterday at 5:30pm they came here and fired their weapons for 15=
randomly before they left.=E2=80=9D
I glance at the ground and see the casing of a 50 caliber bullet while she =
 speaking, =E2=80=9CNobody attacked them. Why are they doing this? We told =
them to
come  and search but they didn=E2=80=99t. They just shot their guns and lef=
She holds her arms in the air and pleads, =E2=80=9CPlease, please, we must =
electricity. They destroyed two of our pumps and threw them in the river!=
A 20 year-old farmer sees us talking and walks up to us. =E2=80=9CFor almos=
t the last
 2 months, since they plowed these fields, we have had no electricity. =E2=
can I  irrigate my fields without pumps,=E2=80=9D asks Khalid, =E2=80=9CWit=
h no electricity
there is no  water. They come here every evening and fire their weapons, an=
d now
my house has  no glass in the windows.=E2=80=9D
I glance over at Um Raed=E2=80=99s home, which has bullet pock marks in the=
=E2=80=9CEvery night they come on their patrols and shoot everywhere,=E2=80=
=9D added
A 55 year-old _blind  farmer_
d=3DLeftehSulaiman_55yrs)  approaches us with his
cane. He listens to the conversation then  shares his experiences. =E2=80=
=9CThe problem
now is no gas for our machines, then they  _shot  our gas station with a ta=
last) ,=E2=80=9D he says while his eyes look over my shoulder,  =E2=80=9CTh=
ese trees are
hundreds of years old and they cut them. Why?=E2=80=9D
=E2=80=9CThey destroyed so many of our fences,=E2=80=9D he adds, =E2=80=9CA=
nd now we have wolves
attacking our animals. We are living on the food ration now, that is all. W=
only need to stop this hurting.=E2=80=9D
While others listening are nodding, he continues on, =E2=80=9CEvery night I=
 hear them
 come and shoot. During the beginning, when they searched our houses they d=
=E2=80=99t  steal. Now they steal from us. They didn=E2=80=99t hurt us at t=
he beginning, but
now  they are hurting us so much!=E2=80=9D
We walk a little ways down the road and Ahmed, a 38 year-old farmer talks
with us. He=E2=80=99d been detained during a home raid on August 13th, 2003=
=E2=80=9CI don=E2=80=99t know why I was arrested,=E2=80=9D he explained of =
his journey through the
military detention system for 10 months, which found him experiencing
treatment  like having mock executions, being bound and having his head cov=
ered for
days on  end, and being held at a camp near Basra in the scorching summer
=E2=80=9CAt that camp they hung a sign where we stated that said, The Zoo,=
=E2=80=9D he
explained. He claims that his home and fields were searched and no weapons =
found. His ten month detention included witnessing sexual humiliation of
prisoners, and regular beatings.
=E2=80=9CI watched black American soldiers put naked Iraqi women in a cell =
and then
enter the cell,=E2=80=9D he explains, =E2=80=9CI heard the screams as they =
soldiers raped the
Sheikh Hamed, a well dressed middle aged man approaches and suggests we mov=
off the road in case a patrol comes through and begins shooting again.
After moving off the road he says, =E2=80=9CThese are our grandfathers=E2=
=80=99 orchards.
Neither the British nor Saddam behaved like this. _This  is our history_
sein) . When they cut a tree it is like they are killing one of our  family=
He says three of his cousins were executed by Saddam Hussein=E2=80=99s regi=
me before
adding, =E2=80=9CWe don=E2=80=99t want this freedom of the Americans. They =
are raiding our
homes  and terrorizing us at anytime. We are living in terror. They shoot a=
bomb here  everyday. We have sent our families to live elsewhere.=E2=80=9D
We are told the road is blocked, so we drive a little further along the
Tigris to see four _large  concrete blocks_
d=3Droadblock)  rising out of a deep hole
blasted in the road.
One of the men with us tells us that at the same time the date palm orchard=
were destroyed the road was blocked by first the military blasting it, then
placing smaller concrete barriers.
People grew weary of _walking  to their homes_
d=3Dwalkingfrom_roadblock)  from the
roadblock, so farm tractors were used to pull the  blocks and reopen the ro=
Yesterday the military brought larger barriers and  the road is sealed yet
An _80  year old man_
d=3D80yrhajiroadblock)  carrying several bags of food gingerly
makes his way through  the barrier then shuffles on down the road towards h=
Hamoud Abid, a 50 year-old cheery farmer meets us just past the roadblock a=
 I ask him what the soldiers told him about the roadblock.
=E2=80=9CThey humiliate us when we talk to them,=E2=80=9D he says, =E2=80=
=9CThey would not tell us
when they will remove these blocks, so we are all walking now.=E2=80=9D
He says the soldiers used to come ask him to search his fields and he would
allow it, and give them oranges while they searched. =E2=80=9CThey searched=
 them 10
times and never found anything, of course,=E2=80=9D he explains, =E2=80=9CB=
ut they came last
time more recently and caused destruction to my wall. They were starting to
knock over my trees when a _tread_
d=3Dtanktreads)   fell off their bulldozer, so they
But just before leaving, they destroyed his front gate and _left  a block o=
concrete as a calling card_
d=3Dorchardsblocked) .
We begin to leave and Hamoud, despite this horrendous situation cheerily
says, =E2=80=9CYou should stay. I will grill fish, and you can stay the nig=
ht in my  home.
We decline and he insists we at least stay for lunch or chai, but we must b=
As we drive back out the small, winding road two patrols of three Humvees
each rumble past us headed towards where we=E2=80=99d just come from. Just =
after that
two helicopters rumble low overhead towards the same area.
I just phoned the military press office in Baghdad and asked them if they c=
 provide me information on why they are blocking roads, firing weapons,
plowing  down date palm groves, and cutting electricity in the Al-Arab Jubo=
Village in  Al-Dora, as several of the residents there claim.
The spokesman, who won=E2=80=99t give me his name, said he knew nothing abo=
ut such
things, but that there were ongoing security operations in the Al-Dora area=

Posted by Dahr_Jamail at January 14, 2005 07:19  PM


Message: 5
From: "tom young" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 01:01:46 -0500
Subject: The Horrors of Uday's Boudoir

A short Alexander Cockburn Op-Ed partly based around an Esquire reporter ha=
ving 2nd thoughts on an atrocity story she was fed.  My only question was w=
hy only 2nd thoughts on this one?  There are plenty other dumb Uday and Qus=
ay Hussein stories going around.  Unpleasant pieces of work as I am sure th=
ey are I doubt they fed love rivals to lions etc etc.
It is the strange fact that so many media workers seem so cheerful to suspe=
nd disbelief in their nation's or corporation's self interest.

Or like in the recent election in Ukraine when the TV journalists suddenly =
switched sides and unfurled large banners saying "We Arent Lying Anymore". =
 What an inspiring slogan and lucky old Ukraine as it trundles down the yel=
low brick road of democracy.

The Horrors of Uday's Boudoir
Say, Waiter, Where's the Blood on My Margarita Glass?

The new year promises a rich manure of hypocrisy and bad faith. Take the cu=
rrent tumult here in the US about the UN high command and the oil-for-food =
imbroglio, which right-wing columnists are gnawing on with relish. There ar=
e no good guys here, just vistas of corruption and bad faith stretching int=
o the distance.

Certainly, weep not for Kofi Annan, whose servility toward the imperatives =
of Empire was comically revealed in the very same press conference where a =
pertinacious journalist extorted from the reluctant Secretary General the g=
rudging admission that the war on Iraq was illegal. Later on, Annan offhand=
edly invoked "our allies," a term that should be alien to the lips of any U=
N Secretary General, but that accurately reflects political realities.

The private dealings of the Annan family may well be fragrant with corrupti=
on, but it's hard to get too excited about alleged skims off the oil-for-fo=
od deals, against so vivid a backdrop as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civ=
ilians, many of them infants, being starved to death or dying for lack of s=
uitable medicines under the UN sanctions commanded by the United States.

On one calculation by Jude Wanniski, if sanctions had been lifted in 1991 I=
raq would have collected $126 billion in oil revenues in the fourteen years=
 thereafter, thus paying off its international debts and feeding its popula=
tion. PR-wise for the United States, the sanctions were dire enough in term=
s of killing defenseless Iraqis that the oil-for-food program was installed=
 in 1996, benefiting, among others, the Kurds, who have fine representation=
 in Washington and who were to get a big slice of the oil revenues.

From his side, Saddam was able to organize oil-revenue kickbacks to the Ira=
qi government from some customers which weren't filched by the program's su=
pervisors in New York. So what? Any capable leader in the same situation wo=
uld have done likewise. But of course the neocon lobby here, through such w=
illing conduits as Senator Norm Coleman, the New York Sun and that diva of =
drivel from the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, Claudia Rosett, have =
hyped the oil-for-food "scandal" as a way of somersaulting the war lobby pa=
st the great disaster of 2004, the nondiscovery of WMDs.

The second rule of propaganda is that when the first Big Lie explodes, imme=
diately make up another one. Vigilant students of last October's report fro=
m the US government's Iraq Survey Group, headed by Charles Duelfer, on the =
nonexistence of WMDs noted that Duelfer tried to shift attention from the e=
mbarrassment of nonapparent WMDs by suggesting that they were not only eter=
nally immanent but also imminent as long as Saddam Hussein led Iraq, becaus=
e he might well have used revenues from the oil-for-food program to ramp up=
 his old WMD programs. Of course, the Bush Administration pounced on this m=
orsel, and the neocon press has been chewing on it ever since.

It would take the brush of Hieronymus Bosch to do proper justice to the mor=
al darkness prevailing in the New York residence of Richard Holbrooke, as t=
he man who vied with Joseph Biden to be John Kerry's Secretary of State ass=
embled a posse to rub Annan's nose in the UN's woes, and proffer Mark Mallo=
ch Brown as the savior. Brown, whose private lobbying roster has included s=
uch clients as the ineffable and unlamented Gonzalo S=E1nchez de Lozada of =
Bolivia, will now return to UN HQ as US-designated commissar at Annan's elb=
ow, just in time to prompt the Secretary General to acclamations for whatev=
er result issues from the elections in Iraq at the end of January.

On the topic of the Beast of Baghdad, January's Esquire brings an interesti=
ng article by Sara Solovitch reporting her discovery that Jumana Hanna's ac=
counts of rape and torture at the hands of Uday Hussein don't appear to hav=
e the intimate connection to reality trumpeted by the Bush Administration a=
nd by such reporters as Peter Finn of the Washington Post, who promoted her=
 in the Post in July of 2003.

Hanna poured out her story to many eager ears belonging to Finn; Bernard Ke=
rik (surely an expert in mendacity); a New Jersey Superior Court Judge call=
ed Donald Campbell, who was the coalition's top legal adviser; Paul Wolfowi=
tz; Hanna's shrink, Paul Linde; and finally Solovitch, who was hired to co-=
write Hanna's story. Solovitch says she began to entertain some doubts when=
 pondering Hanna's claim to have received an MA in accounting from Oxford, =
but somehow put off making a simple phone call to Oxford till she had spent=
 a lengthy period of presumably well-paid toil checking other aspects of Ha=
nna's story.

I could have saved the publishers a wad of money. In atrocity stories there=
 are some things that don't ring true, even when dealing with such well-cre=
dentialed butchers as Saddam and his sons. Take the story, subsequently ide=
ntified as one concocted by a Western intelligence agency, that Uday had pu=
t some of his victims through a wood chipper. Anyone using these chippers k=
nows the damn things jam if inconvenienced by anything with a diameter larg=
er than that of a stick of asparagus, let alone an Iraqi human, however scr=
awny. Uday's chipper, whose origin can probably be traced to a scene in the=
 movie Fargo, just didn't pass muster, same as the incubator story from the=
 first Gulf War, first identified in this column as intrinsically preposter=

Among the horrors of Uday's boudoir divulged by Hanna to many, including So=
lovitch, was the following:

"She was raped for days. A virgin when she entered, she heard the guards as=
k "Master Uday" what he wanted to do with her blood. He ordered them to spr=
inkle it around the rim of his whiskey glass like salt on a margarita."

That's the point at which any person equipped with minimal power to suspend=
 willing belief should have said, "Oh, come on!" No call to Oxford would ha=
ve been necessary. But then, there's no ear more credulous than the one tha=
t yearns to believe.

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