The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Difficult Days... from Riverbend

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Difficult Days...

They've been bombing houses in Tikrit and other areas!
Unbelievable… I'm so angry it makes me want to break
something!!!! What the hell is going on?! What do the
Americans think Tikrit is?! Some sort of city of
monsters or beasts? The people there are simple
people. Most of them make a living off of their land
and their livestock- the rest are teachers, professors
and merchants- they have lives and families… Tikrit is
nothing more than a bunch of low buildings and a
palace that was as inaccessible to the Tikritis as it
was to everyone else!

People in Al Awja suffered as much as anyone, if not
more- they weren't all related to Saddam and even
those who were, suffered under his direct relatives.
Granted, his bodyguards and others close to him were
from Tikrit, but they aren't currently in Tikrit- the
majority have struck up deals with the CPA and are
bargaining for their safety and the safety of their
families with information. The people currently in
Tikrit are just ordinary people whose homes and
children are as precious to them as American homes and
children are precious to Americans! This is
contemptible and everyone thinks so- Sunnis and Shi'a
alike are shaking their heads incredulously.

And NO- I'm not Tikriti- I'm not even from the
'triangle'- but I know simple, decent people who ARE
from there and just the thought that this is being
done is so outrageous it makes me want to scream. How
can that ass of a president say things are getting
better in Iraq when his troops have stooped to
destroying homes?! Is that a sign that things are
getting better? When you destroy someone's home and
detain their family, why would they want to go on with
life? Why wouldn't they want to lob a bomb at some
19-year-old soldier from Missouri?!

The troops were pushing women and children shivering
with fear out the door in the middle of the night.
What do you think these children think to themselves-
being dragged out of their homes, having their
possessions and houses damaged and burned?! Who do you
think is creating the 'terrorists'?!! Do you think
these kids think to themselves, "Oh well- we learned
our lesson. That's that. Yay troops!" It's like a
vicious, moronic circle and people are outraged...

The troops are claiming that the attacks originate
from these areas- the people in the areas claim the
attacks are coming from somewhere else… I really am
frightened of what this is going to turn into. People
seem to think that Iraq is broken into zones and
areas- ethnically and religiously divided. That's just
not true- the majority of people have relatives all
over Iraq. My relatives extend from Mosul, all the way
down to Basrah- we all feel for each other and it
makes decent people crazy to see this happening.

There have also been a string of raids all over
Baghdad, but especially in Al-A'adhamiya. They've
detained dozens of people with the excuse that they
own more than one weapon. Who owns less than two
weapons? Everyone has at least one Klashnikov and a
couple of guns. Every male in the house is usually
armed and sometimes the females are too. It's not
because we love turning our homes into arsenals, but
because the situation was so dangerous (and in some
areas still is) that no one wants to take any risks.
Imagine the scene: a blue mini-van pulls up… 10 dirty,
long-haired men clamber out with Klashnikovs, pistols
and grenades and demand all the gold and the kids (for
ransom). Now imagine trying to face them all with a
single handgun… if Baghdad were SECURE people would
give up their weapons. I hate having weapons in the

I'm so tired. These last few days have been a strain
on every single nerve in my body. The electricity has
been out for the last three days and while the weather
is pleasant, it really is depressing.

No one knows why the electricity is out- there are
murmurings of storms and damage to generators and
sabotage and punishment… no one knows exactly what's
going on. There are explosions everywhere. Yesterday
it was especially heavy. Today there was a huge
explosion that felt like it was nearby but we can't
really tell. How do you define a war? This sure as
hell feels like war to me... no electricity, water at
a trickle, planes, helicopters and explosions.

We didn't send the kids to school today. My cousin's
wife spent last night talking about horrible
premonitions and it didn't take much to convince my
cousin that they would be better off at home.

It's hard for adults without electricity, but it's a
torment for the kids. They refuse to leave the little
pool of light provided by the kerosene lamps. We watch
them nervously as they flit from candlelight to
lamplight, trying to avoid the dark as much as
possible. I have flashes of the children knocking down
a candle, hot, burning wax, flames... I asked the
7-year-old the other night if she was afraid of
'monsters' when she shied away from a dark room. She
looked at me like I was crazy- monsters are for losers
who don't need to fear war, abductions and explosions.

We (5 houses in the neighborhood) all chipped in and
bought a generator immediately after the war. What we
do now is 2 houses get enough electricity for some
neon lights, a television, a refrigerator and a
freezer. We asked them to 'save our electricity up'
and give us a couple of hours after futtoor and that's
how I'm typing now. But my time is almost up and I'm
afraid if the electricity goes off suddenly, it'll
damage my computer.

E. and I hang out on the roof after futtoor and only
duck inside when the helicopters begin hovering above.
We watch the main street from the roof. One of the
merchants has a little generator and he sets up chairs
outside of his shop, in front of a small black and
white tv. The guys in the neighborhood all stream
towards the lights like ants towards a sticky spot.
They sit around drinking tea, and chatting.

You really can't appreciate light until you look down
upon a blackened city and your eyes are automatically
drawn to the pinpoints of brightness provided by
generators… it looks like the heavens have fallen and
the stars are wandering the streets of Baghdad, lost
and alone.

I have to go now. Hope the electricity is back
tomorrow, at least.

- posted by river @ 10:52 PM

Do you Yahoo!?
Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]