Jenn’s Sunday Sermon – Monsters Edition
There is not, and never will be, any reasonable justification for the massacre at Nusoor Square. None. Nor for any of the other atrocities committed by American troops – Abu Ghraib and Haditha, among others – nor those committed by
mercenaries, excuse me, “private contractors” paid outrageous amounts by the American government for doing jobs once done by our armed forces.
Those who support or excuse this kind of overkill as being the fault of the Iraqis in the square for “not moving” don’t seem to understand is that Iraqis are being told to follow contradictory rules – don’t drive too fast but don’t drive too slowly either. Don’t pull over to allow a convoy to pass or pull over to allow a convoy to pass. Stop and allow convoys to go around, or don’t stop because the convoy will plow into your vehicle in order to clear the way. They aren’t sure what to do, which rule to follow to prevent bloodshed – and then that hesitation is seen as “threatening.”
And for many, when their family member is killed, their grief and anguish solidifies into a hatred of Americans, and American-sponsored
mercenaries private contractors. Some will become active participants in the insurgency, some will help the insurgency with information, weapons, and money, and others will simply give tacit approval while doing nothing for or against the Americans.
Truthfully, I’m not surprised.
Seven out of ten Iraqis wanted our troops out, according to a Sept 2006 poll. In a March 2007 poll [pdf alert] that number rose to 78% opposing the presence of US troops. In the same poll, 51% said attacks on Coalition troops are acceptable, 66% think things are going badly for their country, 50% believe things are worse now than before the war, and 82% have little or no confidence at all in US and UK troops.
The question is, why are so many of our “leaders” telling us that things are better or getting better or going to eventually get better in Iraq?
Are they just completely ignorant of history? Are they just completely ignorant?
Once again, I remind people to change their perspective:
What you would do if the United States was suddenly invaded by a country that had good intentions – to replace a dictator (@^% (censored) #@$^%@### (redacted) ^@$#@*), to stop the torture, murder, secret detentions, rape and pillage, to prevent the use of supposed stashes of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, to bring freedom and democracy?
Imagine the US and its infrastructure bombed, its Treasury and assets looted by the “liberators,” its people shot, bombed, tortured, raped, murdered. What if the invaders put a Coalition Authority in place in DC – one which failed at nearly every goal expected of it, then was replaced by a “democratically-elected” government that said it wanted the invaders to leave, but is ignored and forced to take orders from the invaders’ leader?
What if that invading country did nothing to improve your life, and actually made everything worse – lack of electricity, clean water, employment opportunities, personal safety?
What if the soldiers of that invading country searched your home without warrants, ransacking and destroying the contents, threatening wives and daughters with weapons – or worse – and dragging husbands, fathers, and brothers away, some never to be seen again?
What if that invading country allowed – even dispatched – mercenaries who take on the powers of the military but without the restrictions on force and completely immune to both your laws and those of their home country. Mercenaries who attacked your people who drove too slowly or drove to fast or stopped to allow vehicles to pass, or didn’t stop to allow vehicles to pass?
What if stopping at an intersection was considered a threat and your car rammed, or shot at, or blown up, but not stopping was also seen as a threat, and your car was rammed, or shot at, or blown up?
Would you not feel compelled to stop the invaders, to force them to leave – even through violent means?
What if, in America, what happened to this mother and son happened to your loved ones?
Haythem could only recognize his oldest boy from his tall and slim physique as well as what was left of his shoes. His son’s head had been blown away, his body charred beyond recognition. His wife of more than 20 years was torn apart.
Haythem’s wife, Mahassen, and his 20-year-old son, Ahmed, were among the 17 Iraqi civilians killed and 27 others wounded in a hail of gunfire September 16 in Baghdad.
“Those who witnessed the incident say that my son’s head was scattered and my wife held him and hugged him,” Haythem said. “She was screaming, ‘My son, my son! Help me! Help me!’ “
The car slowly rolled forward until Blackwater guards unleashed more shots that turned the vehicle into a fireball, according to the witnesses.
“They understood the call for help. They sprayed her with bullets,” he said.
Haythem’s wife also was a doctor and his son was attending medical school with hopes of becoming a surgeon.
“They destroyed my family and they killed my beloved wife, my better half,” Haythem said calmly. “They deprived me of my eldest son who I have raised into a strong, young man. They deprived him of fulfilling his dream to be a doctor and a surgeon. They planted pain and misery in the hearts of my two younger kids.”
[…] Ahmed, they said, was an achiever, an ambitious young man who not only was always at the top of his class but who also enjoyed sports and singing and had an interest in languages. He was fluent in English and was learning French and Italian.
Every day in which we do not protest this war and the abuses of our government — committed here and abroad — is another day in which the war and the abuses continue. In our names.
Every day, people like Ahmed and Mahassen die for daring to leave their home. In our name.
Their blood is on our hands when we refuse to speak up, when we refuse to campaign against the war, when we allow Republicans to repeat the lies that got us into this war, and repeat new lies to keep us there, when we allow Democrats to get away with their “the Repubs won’t let us!” failure to act.
Speak up. Tell the President and the war-mongers and cowering Dems:
No more. Not in our name.
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