Thursday, July 13, 2006

Merchants Of Death In Iraq

Dahr Jamail needs no introduction to my readers. Ali Fadhil's name might be a little less familiar he's a well known Iraqi journalist, mostly he specialises in corruption cases, I wrote about him back in January in the posting "Iraqi anti-corruption journalist arrested by Americans" and again in this posting Ali Fadhil - update it seems that being falsely arrested and having his home smashed up, an ordeal which he describes in this audio file hasn't taught Dr. Fadhil a lesson. He and Dahr Jamail published this chilling report of yet another American atrocity in Fallujah on July 11th on republished in yesterday's Asia Times.

Merchants of death in Iraq
By Dahr Jamail and Ali Fadhil

FALLUJAH - It could be called perhaps just another raid. Early in the morning on Sunday, June 18, US military helicopters landed near the home of Sinan Abdul-Ilah al-Mashadani in the al-Jughaifi district of Fallujah.

Within two minutes the doors of his home were blasted open and "a strange looking group of people" stormed inside, according to Said Walid Ahmed, a 40-year-old teacher who lives in the neighbourhood.


Sinan Abdul-Ilah al-Mashadani, who was a student at al-Mustansiriya University and the sole supporter of his mother and younger brother and sister, was killed in the raid, apparently by a special operations team supported by the US military, according to witnesses.

"Their [special forces troops'] dogs were biting everybody, including children and women in the neighbourhood," Um Amar, a 63-year-old woman who lives three houses away from Sinan told IPS. "They killed the poor boy in cold blood and arrested his little brother." She burst into tears and began to pray.

Another neighbour, Jassim al-Jumaily, said Sinan's father Najim Abdul-Ilah al-Mashhadani was killed during Operation Phantom Fury in November 2004 when his house was bombed by US warplanes.


People in the neighbourhood said they heard some of what was going on. "The screaming of Sinan's mother and sisters was frightening," Jumaily said. "All we could do was pray for their safety, trying to comfort each other that the worst possibility was that they would arrest Sinan."

After the men had been inside the house for three hours, Jumaily and other witnesses said they heard Sinan's mother wailing, and saw the men leave with Armin, her 13-year-old son who was being beaten by the men and bitten by their dogs as he was taken away. [See also this story on Gorilla's Guides - mfi]

Many of the neighbours then went to Sinan's home, and found his body, covered with sheets and mattresses. There was a pool of blood on the floor, some was splattered on the walls.

"Three days after his detention, Amin was released," said Muhammad al-Deraji, director of MHRI. "The left hand of this orphaned child was bitten three times, and is now scarred and deformed."

The US forces also raided other homes in the area, Deraji said. "One of the dogs attacked a woman who tried to protect her baby. The dog bit the mother's hand."

Deraji said the forces looted money and jewelry from several of the houses they raided.

IPS sent an email to Major Douglas Powell at the Combined Press Information Center for the Multi-National Force in Iraq to request comment on the incident. There was no reply.

Later, IPS phoned the US military spokesperson in Baghdad to request information on the incident. The spokesman, who declined to give his name, said, "We have no information confirming this event ever took place."

(Inter Press Service) [Emphasis added - mfi]

That's the same Fallujah in which there's great progress according to this story by the (embedded) Antonio Castaneda of AP and that's the same US Army which is trying not to commit any further atrocities by having a higher level of understanding and cultural sensitivity:

"I don't think it hurts us at all to take a look at it, and ask some tough questions about how we're perceived and how we act as soldiers here in Iraq," Chiarelli said in the interview. "It falls in line with what I'm trying to do in urging a higher level of understanding and cultural sensitivity."

Looks like some of those tough questions still aren't being asked. How many atrocity investigations are there so far?


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