War crimes : USA worse than Nazis

2005-11-27

Richard Moore

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From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: FW: The 21st Century Nazis Are Here
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 14:12:29 -0800
Organization: Institute  for Cultural Ecology

-----Original Message-----
From: Ranil Senanayake [mailto:•••@••.•••] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 3:55 AM
Subject: The 21st Century Nazis Are Here

Yosfiya: The 21st Century Nazis Are Here

By: Mr. Sabah Ali, Iraqi Journalist

Those who follow the American occupation of Iraq news may
be familiar with a term used in media almost two years
ago: The Triangle of Death, an area south of Baghdad,
which constitutes three relatively small towns; Yosfiya,
Mahmoodiya and Latifiya. Of course it has nothing to do
with death; on the contrary it is situated in one of the
greenest, most beautiful and peaceful areas of Iraq, full
of fruit orchards, vegetable farms where the Tigris and
the Euphrates and many smaller canals flow calmly through
the rural areas and hundreds of small villages. It also
used to be one of the most important industrial areas in
central Iraq, especially textiles. But it is branded
Triangle of Death by the American troops now, because they
face the largest number of attacks on the southern highway
there.

The population is a mixture of Shiite and Sunni Arab
tribes, as almost everywhere else in Iraq. It never
happened in history that this area witnessed any sectarian
conflict whatsoever. Directly after the occupation, and
through 2004, news of American raids, arrests and big
military operations were regular there. This year however,
a new (dimension) was added, horrible stories of arrests,
torture, and mass killing news were coming out, not only
by the American troops, but also by the Iraqi police and
Army units. These news rarely, almost never, find their
way into the mainstream media, neither Iraqi nor
international.

Yosfiya is almost part of southern Baghdad, may be less
than 30 kilometers. The biggest and most essential point
here is now the Saqr (hawk) American military base, and
prison where all detainees from south Baghdad are usually
taken, to be moved later into bigger prisons like Abu
Greib or Camp Bucca in Um Qasr (near Basra) or other
unknown prisons. In the past this huge facility was Scania
bus factory. That is why Iraqis call it Scania prison.
Mountains of garbage are thrown on both sides of the
highway (the driver commented sarcastically that
everything went down in Iraq except garbage, it went up),
beyond that is the car graveyard, a very big area where
damaged vehicles are collected to be sold for the cheapest
price in a neighboring country. To make it worse, very
long queues of cars stop endlessly here either to get
fuel, waiting at many check points, or stopped temporarily
to let the American or Iraqi military patrols pass.
Expectedly, the way to Yosfiya which normally wouldn"t
take more that 15 minutes, takes now at least 1.30 hour.

Our destination was a village called Qaraghool. But the
driver explained that it is impossible to reach that
village because it is besieged by the Iraqi and American
troops for 3 months. -"This is the point", we objected ,
"we want to see how the villagers are surviving there."
-"Not today please, trust me you cannot go today." He was
firm. Our first stop was Nasser Shneiter village, on the
eastern side. This is no more than 14 houses of farmers
from one family: Nasser, a Shiite family from Beni Saad
tribe. On the dusty side way, a deserted house was
destroyed, the walls split, the windows smashed, the okras
left to dry un plucked, so are the cotton trees. The
apiary boxes and the animals" yard were empty and
deserted. The driver explained that the house was raided,
bombed by sound bombs, two men were arrested, one of them,
Nektal Rahman Adaay was killed during the arrest. The
family,12, are now living with relatives. Nasser village
looked completely deserted. Nothing could be seen or heard
except dogs" barking. Most of the houses were burnt out.
We were filming the first, Hussein"s which was completely
destroyed and burnt out except for Imam Ali"s picture,
when a young man, covered with dust, appeared from nowhere
and asked curiously what we were doing. He was very
surprised to see journalists "at last" as he said, and
began relating what happened on November 5, 2005, the
first day of Ramadan.

The Iraqi police Special Forces, Al-Hussein Brigades, came
at dawn. There were around 20 pick ups full of them. They
were hit on the highway very badly from a place behind the
Yosfiya Water Project, east of the village. Tens of them
were killed. Their cars were burnt. Some of them hid
inside the village. The battle went on for 3 hours. In the
end some of them managed to run away. In the afternoon,
the same day, more forces returned back accompanied by the
American troops and helicopters. They evacuated their
dead, raided the houses, killed and arrested the men,
humiliated the families, killed the cows and chickens,
destroyed the yards, and set the village on fire.

"They dragged one of the men Abbass Oeid, more than 70
years, and beat him to death. Two other man, were
arrested, Karim Motar, 50, and Riyadh Talab Jabr, 20.
Their bodies were found three days later in Baghdad. They
put police uniform on Karim"s body. Riyadh was naked. Both
were savagely tortured, their bones, backs, and arms were
smashed".

"They believed that the village was colluding with the
resistance". Ali Nasser, another man from the village
furiously denied that this is true "some of them were not
killed, they managed to run away, they can testify about
what happened., actually they hid in our houses and fought
from there, we gave them protection, some families served
them tea and bread. They say that the Sunnis are fighting
them, we are Shiite, so why they burnt our village?" -Can
you answer this question? -"I can not, I do not know, that
is why I ask the government to come here and investigate.
We have done nothing wrong, never hurt any body or broken
any law. We were punished for a crime that we did not do.
We were in the middle of the fire, this is our only fault"

Ali"s house was completely destroyed. The ceilings iron
bars were dropping because of the fire. There were
childrens beds, traditional Iraqi babies" swinging beds,
babies" milk cans, smashed plates, all burnt to skeleton.
Ali was not hesitant to talk in front of the camera.

-"I want the government to hear my question and answer me:
why were we treated like this? The police brigades broke
even the electricity converters, we do not have power for
40 days, of course water pumps do not operate and the
plants are all dead. Our animals were killed, our women
humiliated. They ask the women where did you hide the men,
they grabbed the children from their hair and throw them
to the ground. Riyadh"s mother was crying and begging them
to leave her son; they hit her with the gun"s end, they
smashed his head with a brick in front of her eyes, now
she is dying. When his body was found it was skinned"
Abbass was so old that he could not even walk, how he
would be a terrorist!! He was beaten to death on the spot
and his body was thrown in the drainage. When they
searched the houses they did not find any indication that
any of them had any thing to do with terrorism or weapons,
so why? The government is working on turning every body
against it. It is encouraging ordinary people to resist by
treating them so savagely. They have no mercy. We have
nothing left now, nothing."

Ali went to the police with some men to complain. The
police accused the villagers of slaughtering the
policemen. He tried to explain what he told us, that the
village was caught in the middle of the fires, that the
policemen bodies were found in the village because they
used it as a shelter and were fighting there, that they
were hit from the water project, but his attempts were
useless. In fact the police threatened to arrest him. 24
people were living in Ali's house, now they are scattered
on five different places.

All Yosfiya men do not sleep in their houses, no matter if
they were young, old, armed, or have nothing to do with
the resistance; because the police arrest any men around.
Women are left alone to face the situation. In Hilal"s
house, deeper inside the farms we met Karima, a brave
farmer, Hilal"s wife and a mother of many children.
Nothing was left in her small house, everything was burnt
out, even the flour, the sugar and the rice were
destroyed.

"I tried to save something, but I could not, they would
not let me. They came in four helicopters and surrounded
the whole area. They put the gun on my head and asked
where the mojahideen are. They destroyed everything, even
my medicines. They said you help the mojahideen with those
medicines, and destroyed them. Troops from the police
Scorpion brigade were hit in the area the day before, and
they believed that we knew about the mojahideen". Three
beautiful girls were looking at us and smiling. Ghofran
was 10, Iman 7, and Ayat, 5. They were the daughters of
Hamid, Hilal"s brother, who was arrested almost two years
ago. "I could not see, he is in Bucca, they do not let me
go to see him," Ghofran said, pointing to her uncle. Hamid
was a school guard; he was arrested because the police
believed that the school was used to hide some kidnapped
foreigners. In Abid Ahmad house the same story was
repeated. The police forces were hit on the nearest paved
road. They raided the house, destroyed the furniture, and
burnt everything, including all the family and the land
documents. Worst of all they burnt Abid"s new car which he
just bought two months ago for 8 million dinars (more than
$5000). Abid looks after a family of 18, including his
father, mother, sister and 2 brothers apart from his own
children. "I have to pay 75.000 dinars just to get them
new IDs, you can imagine"

Abid went to the police to complain. The police and the
judge decided that he was innocent deserved compensation
"but frankly speaking, I do not have any hope that I will
get anything".
-- 

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