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Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Iraqis (heart) Americans

"I jeopardized my life every day to get low-fat yoghurt for Americans."

- Ihab Rifaat, a supply manager for USAID in Baghdad who has had to flee Iraq after repeated death threats from militants
Another comment from Rifaat sheds even more light on the role of the U.S. in Iraq:
"I can never go back to Iraq. It's like I have a tattoo on me that says, 'Worked for U.S.'"
Two other stories in the news also tell us a little more about the relationship of Americans and Iraqis. This one reports on documents released as part of an ACLU lawsuit:
New documents released Tuesday regarding crimes committed by U.S. soldiers against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan detail a troubling pattern of troops failing to understand and follow the rules that govern interrogations and deadly actions.

They show repeated examples of soldiers believing they were within the law when they killed local citizens.
Sure, how could that not be within the law? After all, they're the American occupiers; the locals are...not.

And last but not least, the the Marine awaiting court-martial for killing a fellow sentry, an Iraqi soldier. The Marine, who murdered the Iraqi with his bayonet (10 wounds), claims "self-defense" because "he thought the Iraqi, who was wearing a ski mask, smoking and talking on a cellphone, may have been signaling to an insurgent sniper." Wouldn't the best self-defense be to duck? Or use your rifle butt to knock the cell phone and cigarette out of the Iraqi soldier's hands? The truth, almost certainly, is that this soldier, who had seen three of his fellow Marines killed a few days earlier, was just seething with anger against Iraqis, and took his anger out on the nearest target.

An interesting aspect of this case is this: "Holmes told the Iraqi to put down his cigarette and cellphone and that when he refused, a fight broke out." But Holmes didn't speak Arabic and the Iraqi didn't speak English, another fact which speaks volumes about the relationship of Americans and Iraqis in Iraq.

I'm sure I don't need to mention that all indications are that this court-martial will go nowhere, and lead at best (and probably not even that) to the dismissal of the Marine from the corps. It's probably just as likely he'll get a medal.

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