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'IRAQ - SUFFERING BEYOND DESCRIPTION - 2 MAY 2003'


11th September 2001
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FROM: http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=25796

Iraqis Warn US Killings Will Breed Terror

Reuters

FALLUJA, Iraq, 2 May 2003 — Twenty bullet holes in the windscreen, another eight in the roof and at least four more in the blood-soaked driver’s seat of the rusty taxi fuel the hatred in 14-year-old Ahmed Muthana’s dark brown eyes. The Iraqi schoolboy with short-cropped hair and an unblinking stare stands erect by the car and clutches a tunic red all over from the dried blood of his uncle, shot dead by US troops at an anti-American demonstration in Falluja.

“I hate Americans,” he said. “I want revenge. I will wait, I will join a group, and, one day, I will kill Americans,” Muthanna said yesterday. On Monday, his father was wounded in the leg as he shepherded his seven children inside their home in front of the demonstration. Muthana’s uncle was trying to reach the house to drive the boy’s father to hospital when the bullets raked his orange and white cab.

Muthanna said he now wanted to join Al-Qaeda because he admired Osama Bin Laden, the network’s leader and alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks on America. The United States invaded Iraq to eliminate what it called the direct threat of Saddam Hussein but its first pre-emptive war worried many governments around the world that it would stoke anti-American anger in the Middle East.

Many residents of Falluja, a Sunni Muslim city of about 270,000 people, said they would turn their anger into revenge attacks against the US soldiers who have killed at least 15 people at demonstrations this week. Late on Wednesday, seven US soldiers were wounded in a grenade attack at their base in the city which had seen little violence in the three-week war.

Like most residents, Hinda Majid, a 29-year-old housewife, said she was glad Saddam was gone after decades of brutal repression. But now the US “occupation” had led to her neighbors’ deaths she felt like a Palestinian under Israeli rule. Sitting in her living room where two bullets had pierced the window and flown above the cot of her seven-day-old niece, she vowed to become a suicide bomber. “I will strap explosives to my chest to get rid of them,” she said.

US automatic rifle and machine-gun fire pot-marked the homes of five other families in the street, where demonstrators demanded the US troops vacate a school they had occupied as part of their takeover of the city. Thirteen Iraqis were killed on Monday. Two days later, two Iraqis were killed when US soldiers opened fire in a similar incident in Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad.

The US military said its troops were shot at first in both incidents but Iraqi witnesses said the shootings were unprovoked. “Everyone here was happy at first that the Americans threw out Saddam,” Ibrahim Hamad a retired soldier said. “But these killings will make all our children go off with Bin Laden.”

And in Mosul, after using its Black Hawk helicopters cautiously in the war against Iraq, the US Army is now flying them in and out of cramped urban areas to restore order. It is not a risk-free strategy. The UH-60 Black Hawks are quick and agile but they are also vulnerable to attack from the ground, as the US military discovered to its cost in Somalia a decade ago.

The Black Hawks buzzed low over the northern city of Mosul this week, dropping ground troops into densely populated areas and at main intersections to break up black market fuel operations. The powerful rotor wash throws up dirt and debris as the helicopters land, sending civilians, donkeys and goats scurrying away. Black marketers also ran away, only to be chased down and forced to stop by the Black Hawks within a few hundred yards.

“Anyone on the ground who is doing something illegal is going to be thinking ‘...I can’t get away from them’,” says Capt. Daniel Morgan, a company commander of the 101st Airborne Division. With a bird’s eye view of the city, the Black Hawks can spot black market operations over large areas and swoop in quickly onto nearby fields or patches of wasteland. The troops jump off and fan out to dismantle the black market and check IDs of traders, warning them they will be arrested if caught again.

The Black Hawks circle overhead, providing fire support to the soldiers, and drop down again to pick them up and fly on. “I don’t want to say ‘intimidation’, but it is a sight to see two Black Hawks hovering over you,” said Staff Sgt. William Clark, who led his platoon in a series of the raids in Mosul. For some, it was a wonderful sight too. As children ran around heavily armed US soldiers, one boy of about eight years old stood still, his mouth wide open in awe as the Black Hawks circled low overhead.

Until now, the Black Hawks have had a limited role in the Iraq campaign while AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and OH-58 Kiowa Warriors made decisive contributions in some battles. The Black Hawks transported troops around the country but were used carefully in dropping soldiers into combat, leaving them well outside urban areas and away from enemy positions.

[TVOTW Video Insert - 11 Jul 2004 - Compare The Blair Rhetoric Now - Be Warned Of The Implications For Prosecution Against Bush & Blair For Actions And Conduct At The Worst End Of The Criminal Spectrum!! - A Most Feeble Attempt To Perpetuate A Pack Of The Most Monstrous Lies - 218kb - 6 Jul 2004. And this from Bush - On Saddam - 'What We Don't Know Yet - Is What We Thought' - 3 Feb 2004.]

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