Thursday, June 01, 2006

No Right to Life in Iraq (UPDATE)

NOTE: Rick Moran pointed out in Comments that, since Haditha has a population of 90,000, it was not "a village full of women and children" who were "executed in cold blood," as I had written. In fact, 24 civilians, most of them women and children, were executed in cold blood. One of the 24 was actually an 89-year-old man confined to a wheelchair because he was an amputee.

I thank Rick for his eagle eyes; and I also thank him for his implicit agreement that everything else about my piece was accurate.

In the U.S., if you are pregnant, in labor, on your way to the hospital, and you get stopped for speeding, you'll probably get a squadron of police cars escorting you to the delivery room.

In liberated Iraq, if you are about to give birth, you better damn well make sure you pick a hospital that's nowhere near a U.S. checkpoint:

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.

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."

Right. A "prohibited area." In Iraq. Prohibited to Iraqis by Americans. In liberated Iraq. Iraqis are liberated, but Americans can "prohibit" any area they please and shoot to kill any Iraqi who dares to enter.

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."

Good going, dubya, shrub, whackjob. Congratulations on putting American men and women in a position where they can be such effective ambassadors of good will.

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

The shooting deaths occurred in the wake of an investigation into allegations that U.S. Marines killed unarmed civilians in the western city of Haditha.

The U.S. military said the incident in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, was being investigated. The city is in the heart of the so-called Sunni Triangle and has in the past seen heavy insurgent activity.

"The loss of life is regrettable and coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them," the military said.

That's the same prefabbed, tape-recorded, deadhead robot line the military always gives us after murdering innocent women and children. A village full of women and children, executed in cold blood? [See update at the top.] The loss of life is regrettable and coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them. A pregnant woman, the mother of two, about to give birth to her third child, shot and killed, along with her cousin and her unborn baby -- because Iraqi lives are just not important enough to use caution? The loss of life is regrettable and coalition forces go to great lengths to prevent them. Cut and paste, cut and paste, cut and paste. Why say anything at all to two men who lost a sister and a niece or nephew; a wife and a son or daughter, if the only words you can come up with are the same ones you would use for the death of a sheep or a goat?

The women's bodies were wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital before being taken to the morgue, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat.

Khalid Nisaif Jassim, the pregnant woman's brother, said American forces had blocked off the side road only two weeks ago and news about the observation post had been slow to filter out to rural areas.

He said the killings, like those in Haditha, were examples of random killings faced by Iraqis every day.

Cross-posted at Blanton's and Ashton's.

1 comment:

Rick Moran said...

A village full of women and children executed in cold blood?

Um...90,000 people live in Haditha. It's not a village and needless to say they didn't kill 90,000 people

Get your facts right.