Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Human rights (III)

A clamor for the truth about what happened in Haditha is growing louder. First, I want to draw your attention to the number of parties slaying the Iraqis. But the best among them is the MNF. What I mean by 'the best' is the transparency of the American system. The American press plays an excellent role in tracing and revealing faults of different institutions in the society, keeps pressure to extract the truth. The world outside Haditha would never learn about what happened there if the American press didn't reveal it. Still, the same Iraqis who made use of the western media to publish the incident of Haditha, ironically, are the same people who kidnap and kill western journalists.

About four weeks ago one of my acquaintances and his son were killed by Americans. The man was in his early sixties and the son was in his early twenties. It was a raid on their home around 4:30 AM. The man was a retired and his interest was in hunting and barbecuing. His son was studying engineer at University of Technology. The man led a life of some kind of luxury since his wife works in Oman making good income. One of their two sons lives with his mother in Oman and they have three daughters. The eldest daughter is a senior dentistry student. According to her story, the American soldiers broke into the house after heavy knocking on the doors with shouts ordering them to open the door. The girl's storey says:

"It was completely dark (because of power shortage in Iraq) and we were asleep. The noise awoke us in alarm. My father hurried to open the door. As soon as he passed by the window he was shot in the abdomen and fell on the ground, which made my brother to follow him distracted between helping my father and opening the door. They gave him no time to decide and they shot my brother too. The doors blasted and a bunch of flashlights rushed into the house. I could not see faces or any sign that might reveal who were those men. My father and brother were bleeding and I asked the invaders to take them to hospital. One of them, I think he was the leader, asked me with complete frigidity 'Where did you learn to speak English?' I was in complete anger trying to make these rude men help my father and brother. The leader put a gum in his mouth and said to me 'We have our own doctor with us and he will help them'.

The soldiers dragged me and my two sisters out of the house to the street. The neighbors were helpless since laser dots were very clear in the darkness inside their houses. We heard several shots in our house then the soldiers brought out two bodies in sacks. They detained my cousin who were sleeping over the roof of the house (sleeping over roofs in summer is an old Iraqi custom). The home was turned upside down, our IDs, my collage papers, a computer, photos…and many other personal things were taken."

Hours later the man's relatives went to the police station in the district, in which there is a coordination office to organize work between Iraqi and American forces. They asked for the bodies and the astonishing answer was "There wasn't such activity in the district by the Americans" which left them in a state of confusion.

As a result they launched a campaign to look for the bodies in hospitals & morgues. Family representatives were assigned at police stations. After three days they found the bodies at a hospital. A shot in the forehead was clear on both bodies, which raised questions about killing them in cold blood. On asking the hospital about where from the bodies were received, the answer was from a police station. And the police station said that they had received the bodies from the Americans who said that they had found these two anonymous bodies in the countryside of Al-Dijail (a town 60Km. north to Baghdad).

In such milieu many people are ready to tell you different stories and rumors, among which one feels confused and unable to find answers to irrefutable details. So in the ceremony of condolence one could find many people who volunteer to tell you incredible stories which can not be verified, since the storey of the other side (the Americans) is unknown. Someone asked 'Were the raiders accompanied by Humvees and helicopters?' and the answer was 'NO', another question 'Had they used wheeled armored vehicles?' and the answer 'YES', then this 'someone' said 'These are the American death squads established by Ambassadors Bremer & Negroponte!!'

The whole event made me feel dizzy and left me with many unanswered questions. What about the cousin who had been detained? Were there any traces which led to him? Did his uncle's family know any thing about his activities? Assuming that he was wanted, why did the raiders kill the other two? And if the other two persons were wanted, what caused the raiders to kill them after injuring them? The more reasonable conclusion was to detain them and make use of the information they had.

I feel that there are obscured parties trying to cause lot of confusion, and confusion leads to suspicion & ineffective communication.


Anonymous TallDave said...

Excellent, excellent post. You really seem to grasp what 99% of observers miss: the importance of free press, transparency, and accountability.

I hope Iraqis hear your voice and heed your message. It's the only way truth and justice can be distilled from chaos and innuendo.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I am truely sorry to hear about your friends. I hope an investigation finds out what really happend to them.

11:21 PM  

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