Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"'Hadithas' Happen Every Day in Iraq"

On Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman asked journalists stationed in Iraq what the reaction of the Iraqi people is to the current inquiries and interest in the U.S. about the massacre at Haditha seven months ago:
AMY GOODMAN: Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist based for more than eight months in Iraq. Your response to this latest news?

DAHR JAMAIL: Well, two responses really. First is that this type of situation, like Haditha, is happening on almost a daily basis on one level or another in Iraq, whether it's civilian cars being shot up at U.S. checkpoints and families being killed or, on the other hand, to the level of, for example, the second siege of Fallujah, where between 4,000 and 6,000 people were killed, which I think qualifies as a massacre, as well. But even that number hasn't gotten the attention that this Haditha story has.

And the other really aspect of that, I think is important to note on this, is the media coverage, again, surrounding what has happened around Haditha simply because Time magazine covered it, and thank heavens that they did, but this has gotten so much media coverage, and in comparison, so many of these types of incidents are happening every single week in Iraq. And I think that's astounding and important for people to remember, as well.

Today's Haditha:U.S. Troops Kill Pregnant Woman in Iraq:
U.S. forces killed two Iraqi women (one of them about to give birth) when the troops shot at a car that failed to stop at an observation post in a city north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials and relatives said Wednesday. Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, was being raced to the maternity hospital in Samarra by her brother when the shooting occurred Tuesday.

Jassim, the mother of two children, and her 57-year-old cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, were killed by the U.S. forces, according to police Capt. Laith Mohammed and witnesses.

Mother-in-law Rabia Mohammed Hussein grieves the loss of Nabiya Nassayef, 35, who was pregnant and her cousin who were both killed as they were driving to a maternity hospital in Samarra, Iraq Tuesday, May 30, 2006, according to Iraqi police. When asked if they knew about the incident, the U.S. military had no immediate comment.

The U.S. military said coalition troops fired at a car after it entered a clearly marked prohibited area near an observation post but failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory warnings.

"Shots were fired to disable the vehicle," the military said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. "Coalition forces later received reports from Iraqi police that two women had died from gunshot wounds ... and one of the females may have been pregnant."

Jassim's brother, who was wounded by broken glass, said he did not see any warnings as he sped his sister to the hospital. Her husband was waiting for her there.

"I was driving my car at full speed because I did not see any sign or warning from the Americans. It was not until they shot the two bullets that killed my sister and cousin that I stopped," he said. "God take revenge on the Americans and those who brought them here. They have no regard for our lives."

He said doctors tried but failed to save the baby after his sister was brought to the hospital.

It's over. It's time, long past the time, for Americans to leave Iraq.

The Iraqis will NEVER trust us, as well they shouldn't. We can never make amends. Can even the most resolute of Bush's supporters say that if they were Iraqis they would trust American soldiers? If you were in an Iraqi's place, wouldn't YOU pick up a weapon to protect yourself and your family when you saw American soldiers barging into your home?

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