Weblog Archives

  Monday  October 13  2003    03: 46 AM


US soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops
Americans accused of brutal 'punishment' tactics against villagers, while British are condemned as too soft

US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.

  thanks to Yolanda Flanagan

To Avenge Their Trees, Iraqi Farmers Threaten Resistance

Khudeir Khalil was a simple quiet Iraqi farmer before U.S. forces drove tanks onto his property.

Claiming his lush date and orange groves provide camouflage for resistance fighters, the U.S. occupation forces leveled Khalil's plantations.

But he feels skeptical, wondering "what kind of civilized people are those who are destroying my plants".

  thanks to Yolanda Flanagan

I'm sure that destroying people's orchards will make lots of friends. Look how well this tactic has worked in Israel. I can't believe they are doing this. Let's see how many Iraqi's we can really piss off.

Aid Workers Leaving Iraq, Fearing They Are Targets

A great majority of foreign aid workers in Iraq, fearing they have become targets of the postwar violence, have quietly pulled out of the country in the past month, leaving essential relief work to their Iraqi colleagues and slowing the reconstruction effort.

Crime puts Iraqi women under house arrest
Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad finds the city's female population crushed by the lawlessness under US occupation

Amina is putting her beauty salon up for sale. She has recovered from the episode last June when armed men burst in and robbed her clients of cash and jewellery, and she has learned to live with the gunfights that erupt with regularity at the coffee shop next door.

But within the space of a month, she says her teenage apprentice narrowly escaped abduction, a customer was held at gunpoint in another kidnapping attempt, and one of her regulars was dragged away by the hair and gang raped.

Such is the pace of events in post-war Baghdad, where the US occupation has ushered in an explosive rise in crime which has wreaked havoc on once genteel areas, and driven women indoors.

Good Morning Vietnam

“I missed Vietnam,” my friend said at lunch. “I thought about retiring after Desert Storm. I should have.”

I couldn’t help but notice how much older he looked. More lines in the face. More gray in the hair. More emptiness behind the eyes.

Was it that bad? I had to ask.

“Bad,” he said. “Classic FUBAR.”

In military terms, FUBAR is the worst-case scenario. Most military operations start out as SNAFU (Situation Normal, All Fucked Up). If things get worse, they graduate to TACFU (Totally And Completely Fucked Up). When things get really bad, they reach FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Repair).

“A mission without a goal,” he said. “An engagement without rules. The intel was pure FUBAR. No exit strategy. We’re going to be there for a long, long time. Maybe people are right. Maybe it is another Vietnam.”

Many soldiers, same letter
Newspapers around U.S. get identical missives from Iraq

Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.

And all the letters are the same.

  thanks to Yolanda Flanagan