Buthaina Al-Nasiri is a well-known and prolific Iraqi writer and journalist living in Cairo. In response to my last article (on American killings in Iraq), she offers these thoughts on the wholesale slaughter of Iraqis by American forces, and on the routine and deceptive mis-identification of those killed (males) as "members of Al Qaeda":
You may remember that the Iraqi resistance has called by the US spinners by different names at different stages of invasion and occupation:
1. First they were "dead enders" and "Saddam's hunchmen," etc. That was before arresting Saddam Hussein.Ofcourse, calling the Iraqi resistance Al Qaeda fits well with the permanent "war on terror". Bush can now have his "legal" justification for the war on Iraq: it is part of his war on terror.
2. Next they were called insurgents, after the puppet government was installed . Insurgency means revolting against a legal, recognized government.
3. At last they are being called Al Qaeda terrorists. Every anti-occupation group is now referred to as Al Qaeda. Every man killed by the troops is an Al Qaeda leader.
The recent slaughter of innocents is not the first. It has become a pattern.
The US army is becoming more dependant on air strikes — massive airstrikes on civilians — as part of an intimidation campaign.
Last week, they slaughtered from the air a large group of men and children who gathered one Ramadan (the Fasting month in Islam) evening to play a traditional game which needs two groups of men sitting facing each other. A ring is hidden in the hand of a member of one group, the others in the facing group have to guess where the ring is hidden. Usually this game attracts bystanders .
The US Army said, ofcourse, that they had killed Al Qaeda terrorists.
Before that, men , women and children were sleeping on the roof of a house , which is an Iraqi habit in summer. They were airstruck and accused of being Al Qaeda terrorists. Of course, there were other slughters of wedding gatherings, of funeral gatherings. Any gathering is hit from the air.
When women and children are killed, the US army announces that he regrets but it is the fault of the terrorists who hide behind civillians.
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