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Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Body count, Iraq

Not to be confused with Iraq Body Count, with its "media and politician-friendly" undercount of Iraqi fatalities, requiring "confirmation" by publication in two different English-language sources. Leila Fadel reports on one of those uncounted deaths, a report which as far as I can determine appears only on her blog despite the fact that she is the Baghdad bureau chief for a major newspaper chain:
Suheila Hammad held her daughter in her arms before dawn on Tuesday. Outside she heard the U.S. Special Forces and the Iraqi Army in her area just south of Fallujah.

First they raided a home two doors down, blew the doors out and went in looking for their target. The soldiers pulled the family out of the home and the second floor was destroyed, the family said. A picture shows a burned out room and shattered glass.

The soldiers progressed to the second house, searching for their target, an Al Qaida in Iraq member who was believed responsible for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces.

At the second house in this place, once an Al Qaida bastion, they blew the doors off and pulled the residents from the house. The Iraqi soldiers toyed with them, telling them to raise their arms up, drop their arms and raise them again.

A few soldiers walked away speaking a language the families didn't understand. It was then that a bullet pierced the window where Suheila held her daughter Hadil. The bullet pierced Hadil's neck and passed through her, embedding in the wall of the room. No one came into the house and Suheila was too afraid to call out for help, she said.

Hadil bled to death in her mother’s arms. Three men were detained, two were later released. The U.S. military said the man detained is an Al Qaida in Iraq member. There were no reports of Hadil's death, they said.
Having just watched (see post below) "Black and Tans" performing exactly the same kind of brutal assault on civilians in "The Wind that Shakes the Barley," the picture painted by Fadel of this raid was all too vivid in my mind.

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