• Why They Hate Us: We have the watch, but they have the time…

    September 3, 2011

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State, Iraq, Military

    Many good intentions floundered as military and State Department personnel departed Iraq. Most people stayed no longer than twelve months, and they usually believed history began when they first stepped onto Iraqi soil. Our memory barely extended back beyond a few months.

    The child rape-murder atrocity committed by American soldiers and chronicled in Jim Frederick’s book Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death took place in Peter’s area of responsibility just a little before his time, yet no one in all his preparatory briefings at State ever mentioned it. They might not have known about it themselves but I’m pretty sure the Iraqis he worked with remembered. The Iraqis were here for the last group and here for this one. We have the watch, but they have the time, says an old joke.

    Recent news pieces exposed another such atrocity that few in America ever even heard about, but which many Iraqis cannot forget. A letter said to be written by Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions to the US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice states:

    I would like to draw the attention of your Government to information I have received regarding a raid conducted by the Multinational Forces (MNF) on 15 March 2006 in the house of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee, a farmer living in the outskirts of Al-Iss Haqi District in Balad (Salah-El-Din Governorate).

    I have received various reports indicating that at least 10 persons, namely Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha ( aged 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 5 years old), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23) were killed during the raid.

    According to the information received, American troops approached Mr. Faiz’s home in the early hours of 15 March 2006. It would appear that when the MNF approached the house, shots were fired from it and a confrontation ensued for some 25 minutes. The MNF troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them. After the initial MNF intervention, a US air raid ensued that destroyed the house.

    Iraqi TV stations broadcast from the scene and showed bodies of the victims (i.e. five children and four women) in the morgue of Tikrit. Autopsies carries out at the Tikrit Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the head and handcuffed.

    The Iraqi government has called for an investigation, albeit five years after the sad fact. Prime Minister Malaki, of course, knew of the incident, which was widely publicized on Iraqi TV. Like so much nastiness connected with the Occupation, he was able to ignore this because there was no international pressure on him. The now-public Letter, above, changes that, and puts pressure on Malaki to at least go through the motions of pretending to bite the American hand that feeds him.

    Meanwhile, here at home it’s Labor Day weekend, and the NFL season starts next week. We forget, they remember.

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