Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"Terrified Soldiers Terrifying People" (Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily)

Ten-year-old Yassir aimed a plastic gun at a passing U.S. armoured patrol in Fallujah, and shouted "Bang! Bang!"
Yassir did not know what was coming. "I yelled for everyone to run, because the Americans were turning back," 12-year-old Ahmed who was with Yassir told IPS.
The soldiers followed Yassir to his house and smashed almost everything in it. "They did this after beating Yassir and his uncle hard, and they spoke the nastiest words," Ahmed said.
It is not just the children, or the people of Fallujah who are frightened.
"Those soldiers are terrified here," Dr. Salim al-Dyni, a psychotherapist visiting Fallujah told IPS. Dr Dyni said he had seen professional reports of psychologically disturbed soldiers "while serving in hot areas, and Fallujah is the hottest and most terrifying for them."
Dr. Dyni said disturbed soldiers were behind the worst atrocities. "Most murders committed by U.S. soldiers resulted from the soldiers' fears."
Local Iraqi police estimate that at least five attacks are being carried out against U.S. troops in Fallujah each day, and about as many against Iraqi government security forces. The city in the restive al-Anabar province to the west of Baghdad has been under some form of siege since April 2004.
That has meant punishment for the people. "American officers asked me a hundred times how the fighters obtain weapons," a 35-year-old resident who was detained together with dozens of others during a U.S. military raid at their houses in the Muallimin Quarter last month told IPS.
"They (American soldiers) called me the worst of names that I could understand, and many that I could not. I heard younger detainees screaming under torture repeating 'I do not know, I do not know', apparently replying to the same question I was asked."
U.S. soldiers have been reacting wildly to attacks on them.
Several areas of Fallujah recently went without electricity for two weeks after U.S. soldiers attacked the power station following a sniper attack.
Thubbat, Muhandiseen, Muallimeen, Jughaifi and most western parts of the city were affected. "They are punishing civilians for their failure to protect themselves," a resident of Thubbat quarter told IPS. "I defy them to capture a single sniper who kills their soldiers."

The above is from Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily's "Terrified Soldiers Terrifying People" (IPS) and Brenda noted it this morning and wondered if it there'd be time for it? We always try to make time for Dahr but if you'ver ead the nonsense in the New York Times this morning, it's more of a case of needing to note it. The paper of little record is all over the show death again. Apparently nothing really happens in the world unless it happens to an official. It's a special kind of celebrity journalism that allows a country of 20-plus million to be reduced to nothing (or reduced to rubble by the US military, but to nothing by the Times) and their daily lives likewise because they apparently don't have some "name" value.

We will note Jeff Zeleny's "Democrats Split Over Iraq Approach" from this New York Times for two reasons -- first a few Democrats are standing up to the illegal war:

In the most aggressive of the new tactics, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, has said he will introduce legislation on Tuesday to require the president to gain new Congressional authority before sending more troops to Iraq. The bill is the first proposal in the Senate that would prohibit paying for an increase in American troops over their level on Jan. 1.
"Is there any American in this country who thinks the United States Senate would vote to support sending American troops into a civil war in Iraq today?" Mr. Kennedy said Monday in an interview. "Is there any American that believes this? I don’t think so, but that is what's happening, and we have to do everything we can to insist on accountability."
The Kennedy plan is intended to provide Democrats with a road map for how to proceed in Iraq. Mr. Kennedy, as he begins his 45th year in the Senate, recalled that Congress interceded during conflicts in Vietnam and Lebanon, and he said Democrats should not hesitate to do so in Iraq.

Russ Feingold also *notes* what will happen if Democrats refuse to lead right now. The second reason to note is that, unlike Michael Gordon (see yesterday's entry on the Times), Zeleny either paid attention in history and government classes or someone quickly tutered him yesterday because, unlike Gordo, he grasps what the Congress can and cannot do:

By law, Congress can limit the nature of troop deployments, cap the size of military deployments and cut financing for existing or prospective deployments.

Possibly, Zeleny can block out some time to tutor Gordo?

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.