Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Other Items

Two days ago, I was going back home. I took a taxi. I almost need 30 or 40 minutes to reach home which is a long time. The usual conversation about the daily suffering of Iraqis, we talked about electricity, water and above all, the security situation. Then the man started talking about things I heard for the first time. his suffering was that kind of suffering we see only in the Indian movies. His 4 years old sweet daughter cannot neither talk not hear because of an explosion happened during Baghdad invasion operations. He said that an Iraqi missile exploded near his house when his daughter was only two or three months old. The explosion caused this sickness. the doctors in Iraq told him that they didn't have the needed equipments for such conditions and he must take her to one of the neighbor countries which would cost him more than 2000 $ which is a fortune for the poor taxi driver. That was not the end. During the sectarian violence, the man lost his three brothers. he said that they were killed one night when the militia attacked their neighborhood south east Baghdad. He said "I was defending our neighborhood with other young men in another street. I wasn't at home. I saw big light and I heard the voice of huge explosion near my house. I tried to call my brothers but they didn't answer. I called my wife but she didn't say a word, I run quickly with some men to my house and I saw found out that some terrorists are about to break my family house. we killed them all and I entered my house, I found my wife, my mother and my father in a small room. they were really afraid. My wife said that she couldn't say a word because she was scared to death because the terrorists were shouting and swearing at them. After the fight and loosing my three sons, my parents got seriously sick and this is another suffering added to my continuous one. Now I live in a rented house because we had to leave our house after the insurgents dominated our neighborhood. [. . .]"

The above is from Inside Iraq's "One Question" (McClatchy Newspapers). The story the cab driver shares isn't as 'flashy' as some stories in that it does not involve mass fatalities of a number that would result in headlines and modest coverage (don't kid that we get anything more than modest coverage from most outlets when it comes to Iraq). But it's a story that, in various forms, is repeated by most Iraqis and it is the reality of the illegal war. It's the story that's not told at any level to really get across to many Americans -- at least not the less than 30% that still think there's a win to be found in Iraq. Although, at this late date, there may be nothing to reach that portion. They may just hold on to their illusions, feed them, and await the time when they can rewrite reality and offer revisionary nonsense about how the illegal war was fought with "hands tied behind the back" and there could have, really could have, been a "win" if that hadn't happened.

They did the same thing post-Vietnam, they'll do the same thing here. Senator Crazy, John McCain, is already making similar remarks currently. But those are the daily realities and it is in the telling of those stories that today's media has most failed because they don't get told very often. The reason is that the reporters aren't roaming the country for the most part. The majority are holed up in the Green Zone waiting for the military to issue statements and then on the phone to stringers in an attempt to flesh out details (while running with the US military's narrative).

Turning to the New York Times and the sort of mass violence that does get a little more attention, this is from Alissa J. Rubin's "Attackers Kill 39 in Iraq; Massacre Details Emerge:"

In Diyala, police officials said the attack on the hamlet of Dulayiya, a Shiite community, came during the late afternoon Monday as people who had generators gathered to watch the Iraqi soccer team face off against the sultanate of Oman in the Asian Games.
A village of 30 to 35 houses, Dulayiya, referred to in earlier military reports as Adwala, is in an isolated area in the countryside north of Baquba, the provincial capital. It is populated by members of the Bawi tribe, a large tribe in Diyala Province.
Gunmen wearing Iraqi Army uniforms and driving civilian pickup trucks surrounded several houses on one side of the village, the police said. It was not clear if they shot at the houses or dragged people out of them and then executed them, but police officers who reached the area on Tuesday said mostly young men were killed and that the gunmen later mutilated 10 of the bodies.

Rubin goes with "civilian pickup trucks" when most reports note the fact that they were the type used by Iraqi forces. You'll find that detail in Lloyd's highlight, from Megan Greenwell's "An Iraqi Village's Deadly Nightmare: Gunmen in Uniform Kill 30, Including 4 Children, in Diyala Province" (Washington Post):

They arrived early Tuesday morning in a straight line of official-looking vehicles, about 125 men dressed in Iraqi army fatigues and carrying standard-issue weapons. Aziza Abdul Jabbar and her relatives ran out of her home, believing the military had arrived to protect their tiny village in Diyala province.
Then the men opened fire in the darkness, shooting indiscriminately. Abdul Jabbar, 65, told a relative that she watched as they killed her son, daughter and 7-year-old grandson. The men cursed at her to go indoors, which she did, cowering in her mud-walled home as the shots continued. She thought the men might not ever stop shooting.

By the time the sun rose over the village, 30 of its people -- including four children -- were dead.
The attack in Duwailiya, a village of several hundred people, served as a reminder of how volatile Diyala remains despite a massive U.S. military presence. The massacre occurred just a few hours before Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a visit to Iraq that he is optimistic about U.S. and Iraqi efforts to stem violence in Baghdad and other parts of the country.

The e-mail address for this site is