Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shoe thrower shot by US troops dies

A man who lived through the "cleansing" of Fallujah by occupation forces. Two battles - not one.
He saw his city burn, his friends killed, his neighbours maimed.
His mind broke, and he became imbalanced.
He roamed the streets with long unkempt hair, disheveled clothes and a wild look in his eyes.
Whenever he saw an American military convoy pass, he would shake his fists in the air and raise his voice and swear at them. He would sometimes pick up a pebble and hurl it at them.

The above is from an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy in "This Time a shoe thrower was shot" (Inside Iraq). This week the journalist who threw two shoes at Bush (and called him out for lying -- which we applaud in foreign countries but not in the US apparently) was released. On Wednesday Ahmed Abdul Latif was shot by US forces in Falluja after he threw a shoe at the US military. Nawaf Jabbar and Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) reported that Latif fell to the ground after being shot according to eye witness Ahmed Mukhlif who says that then "the four U.S. Humvees stopped and a man stepped out, his rifle pointing toward the wounded Iraqi, and a policeman intervened and prevented the American from firing again." Today an Iraqi correspondent for McClatchy reports that Ahmed Abdul Latif died in the hospital Thursay and quotes his brother stating, "Maybe now he is at peace."

Meanwhile in today's New York Times, Brian Knowlton reports on those in DC demonstrating in support of the residents at Camp Ashraf. Camp Ashraf is composed of the MEK, Iranian dissidents. July 28th they were attacked by Nouri al-Maliki. Eleven people were killed, thirty-six were hauled off. Knowlton quotes 26-year-old Iranian-American Hamid Goudarzi who is on a hunger strike, "I'm getting weaker every day. But I'm here to the end." Knowlton observes:

The protesters are calling for the resumption of American protection of the camp until a United Nations presence can be arranged and for the release of 36 members who have been detained since the clash at Camp Ashraf, which is home to about 3,400 people.

The following community sites updated since yesterday morning:

Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BIG BONED!" is up and went up when Cedric's post did (top of the above list). It's not being read for whatever reason. But it's up.

We'll note this from the KRG:

US Vice President Biden meets President Barzani in Erbil

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq ( – United States Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Erbil yesterday and met President Masoud Barzani, on his first visit to the Kurdistan Region since taking office.

Vice President Biden also met outgoing Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister designate Barham Salih and other senior KRG officials.

Mr Biden and President Barzani discussed bilateral relations between the US and Iraq in general, and the US and the Kurdistan Region in particular.

Vice President Biden said at a press conference after the meeting, “The United States understands that the Kurdish people, like so many other Iraqis, suffered terribly - suffered terribly under the rule and the regime of Saddam Hussein. And the United States and the rest of the world will never forget that. The transformation and the economic development of this region since 2003 - indeed, since the 1990s - has been a truly remarkable transformation and a success story.”

The discussions focused on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s relations with Baghdad, the unresolved status of Kirkuk and Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution. The pending hydrocarbons law, the governance system in Iraq and the commitment to the Constitution were also discussed. Both sides emphasised the importance of the outcome of Iraqi elections in January.

President Barzani said, “We reiterate our commitment to the constitution of Iraq and to solving outstanding problems through dialogue and peaceful negotiations with Baghdad.”

President Barzani expressed thanks on behalf of the people of Kurdistan to the men and women of the US for liberating the people of Iraq from dictatorship. Mr Biden said on a personal note that he is mindful of the suffering of the Kurdish people and is an admirer of the courage that President Barzani showed in his leadership during Saddam’s era and today.

Senior KRG and US officials attended the meeting. This was the second visit by Vice President Biden following a visit in December 2002. He also met Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Erbil.

See also photos of Vice President Biden's visit.

We'll note more of the visit in the next entry.

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