Annals of Liberation: Iraqis Speak From Reality's Ground Zero

Washington Post:
Iraqis voiced outrage Friday over a U.S. military airstrike that killed an estimated 15 civilians -- nine children and six women, one of the highest reported civilian death tolls from an American bombing in months. The bombing occurred Thursday evening after U.S. troops raided a suspected leadership meeting of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq that was taking place south of Lake Tharthar, near the city of Samarra in western Iraq...

"This could have been done through the infantry," said Ibrahim al-Khamas, a Samarra city council member. "But the American Army prefers the easiest solution, which is the air bombardment...This airstrike was excessive, as usual, which led to the fall of civilians. People here are now carrying great hatred against the Americans after the raid. This airstrike turned their Eid to grief."

...Mohammed al-Samarrae, 34, said his pregnant cousin was killed in the bombing. He expressed a mix of dismay at her death and the weariness of life after more than four years of war.

"Where can anybody be safe from Bush's democracy?" he asked. "Whenever we want to open a new chapter with the Americans, to forget the past and try all over again, they drag us into violence, weapons and fighting again. And to sympathize with al-Qaeda against them. All because of their inconsideration for our blood."

From the LA Times:
Article 41 [of Iraq's interim constitution] is just one line in the 16-page document, but to critics, it is the worst. Opponents, including women's rights activists and legal scholars, say the one poorly worded sentence opens the door to rule by draconian interpretations of Islamic law that could sanction the stoning of adulterous women, allow underage girls to be forced into marriage and permit men to abandon their wives by declaring, "I divorce you," three times.

In the southern city of Basra, there are already signs of religious extremism being used to rein in women. Police say gangs enforcing their idea of Islamic law have killed 15 women in the last month. "There are gangs roaming through the streets . . . pursuing women and carrying out threats and killing because of what the women wear or because they are using makeup," the Basra police commander, Maj. Gen. Abdul Jaleel Khalaf, said this month.Sometimes notes are left on the women's bodies saying they were killed for violating religious law or social traditions.

"This is a mockery for us, when you speak about freedom," said Hanaa Edwar, who heads the Iraqi Amal Assn., a human rights group opposing Article 41. "There will be no choices for women if a man makes a decision that he wants to live a certain way. Step by step, we will end up in a religious state."

Overkill. Atrocity. Murderous religious repression. This is the Bush legacy. Will the rest of America let it become theirs too?
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