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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 house. 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 http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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