Massacre in Haditha

This is just so sad. This is war. This is what it does to people:

Then one of the Marines took charge and began shouting, said Fahmi, who was watching from his roof. Fahmi said he saw the Marine direct other Marines into the house closest to the blast, about 50 yards away.

It was the home of 76-year-old Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali. Although he had used a wheelchair since diabetes forced a leg amputation years ago, Ali was always one of the first on his block to go out every morning, scattering scraps for his chickens and hosing the dust of the arid western town from his driveway, neighbors said.

In the house with Ali and his 66-year-old wife, Khamisa Tuma Ali, were three of the middle-aged male members of their family, at least one daughter-in-law and four children — 4-year-old Abdullah, 8-year-old Iman, 5-year-old Abdul Rahman and 2-month-old Asia.

Marines entered shooting, witnesses recalled. Most of the shots — in Ali’s house and two others — were fired at such close range that they went through the bodies of the family members and plowed into walls or the floor, physicians at Haditha’s hospital said.

A daughter-in-law, identified as Hibbah, escaped with Asia, survivors and neighbors said. Iman and Abdul Rahman were shot but survived. Four-year-old Abdullah, Ali and the rest died.

Ali took nine rounds in the chest and abdomen, leaving his intestines spilling out of the exit wounds in his back, according to his death certificate.

The Marines moved to the house next door, Fahmi said.

Inside were 43-year-old Khafif, 41-year-old Aeda Yasin Ahmed, an 8-year-old son, five young daughters and a 1-year-old girl staying with the family, according to death certificates and neighbors.

The Marines shot them at close range and hurled grenades into the kitchen and bathroom, survivors and neighbors said later. Khafif’s pleas could be heard across the neighborhood. Four of the girls died screaming.

Only 13-year-old Safa Younis lived — saved, she said, by her mother’s blood spilling onto her, making her look dead when she fell, limp, in a faint.

Townspeople led a Washington Post reporter this week to the girl they identified as Safa. Wearing a ponytail and tracksuit, the girl said her mother died trying to gather the girls. The girl burst into tears after a few words. The older couple caring for her apologized and asked the reporter to leave.

Moving to a third house in the row, Marines burst in on four brothers, Marwan, Qahtan, Chasib and Jamal Ahmed. Neighbors said the Marines killed them together.

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6 responses

  1. War is hell. But, let’s be quicker to understand the stresses these brave young men are under.

    I visited New York last week. I had tears in my eyes as I was remembering the people who jumped from the WTC buildings.

    I was traveling with a friend from Israel who spoke of the Palestinians dancing in the streets and throwing flower petals from the rooftops on 9/11.

    He said that the US will never forget. I think we already have.

    If these young men cracked under the stress, then they will be held accountable. We do this in our society.

    Our enemies send their children to kill innocents as a matter of policy.

    No, who are the bad guys?

  2. There’s one other thing we must not forget, dr rick. The people that got massacred had nothing–let me repeat that at higher volume–NOTHING to do with 9/11, so stop propagating that tired, old lie.

    The man mainly responsible for 9/11 is still alive and well and being more or less ignored by the authors of this war. Bush and his gang were so busy falling all over themselves to get into Iraq that they couldn’t even be bothered to hunt down the supposed “Public Enenemy #1.” In case you’ve forgotten his name, it’s Usama bin Laden, not Saddam Hussein. As for evidence of this, go read “Plan of Attack,” keeping in mind that Bush liked the book.

    War is hell. It puts brave men and women into very difficult situations and very bad things can–and do–happen even when there is no malice aforethought. That is why the great tragedy of the Iraq invasion is that we did not go into this with a clear–or clearly–moral purpose and position. We invaded a country without direct provocation, based on a vague belief in a potential threat that, it turns out, did not exist. Moreover, there is a lot of evidence that our dear leader picked and chose the information he used to sell this war, actively suppressing anything and anyone that might undercut his purpose. In fact, he forced the nuclear inspectors to leave Iraq before they could verify that there was no nuclear program. Such evidence would have disrupted his grand plan for an invasion.

    So please, dr rick. Watch what you say. Don’t be making unwarranted insinuations. No one is blaming the soldiers. I am blaming the corrupt and criminal administration that put those soldiers in such an untenable situation. Our soldiers should not have been sent there. That they were pretty much makes some kinds of horrific situations inevitable. And even el presidente acknowledged that Abu Ghraib was a disaster.

    So don’t peddle your lies here. And that’s what it is: a lie. Your contention has been disproven countless times, and even Bush and Cheney have denied the connection, even as they still try to make the insinuation. For an example of the latter, see his exchange with Helen Thomas in the March press conference.

    I apologize if I’ve not sufficiently civil; “lie” is such an ugly word. But when someone tells a lie, I believe I have a moral obligation to call them on it.

  3. all the hate in the world, and you’re a venom filled participant.

    Islamic terror became our enemy when the Iranians grabbed our people and held them hostage for 444 days.

    They bombed the Marine barracks in 1983.

    They bombed the WTC in 1992

    They bombed the embassies in 1998

    They bomned the USS Cole in 2000

    They bomned the WTC in 2001

    They bombed Madrid

    They bombed London

    They killed Theo Van Gogh by slitting his throat in the streets.

    Now, refresh my memory, who’s the bad guys here?

    This is all George Bush’s fault? You give him too much credit.

  4. dr Rick. Do you not find it interesting that we attack Iraq, but 13 of the 15 terrorists were Saudi. We claimed to be working with the nucleur capable muslim nation of Pakistan, but allowed Osama bin Laden to escape there? I understand your fear and anxiety, but these events are not in a vaccum. They’re blowback.

    Prior to the Khomeni, there was the US puppet Shah and then we backed Sadam.

    Spend half an hour reviewing the Byzantine Empire from before WWI to present and ask why these folks wouldn’t be just a bit pissed at the government ledaers of the US.

    You have every reason to be outraged, but questioning US foreign policy and how it precipitated some of these acts might be more patriotic than to point to a single population and blame Muslims or Islam.

    I am a Christian, but I certainly don’t adhere to the fanaticism of the right either.

    George is the CC and is sworn to protect and defend our constitution, not exceed its authority or play cowboy with our troops and invade the wrong country when it is the ideology that needs attacking not a sovereign nation. Otherwise, you’re advocating for preemptive attacks on all nations not in support or posing a threat to the US.

    Where does it end and are you advocating a draft/

  5. no surprise that 13 of 15 were Saudi. Nationality is merely a piece of paper – a passport – to an Islamic terrorist. While they were Saudi, many trained in Germany. Should we have attacked there? Richard Reid (shoe bomber)was a Brit. This has nothing to do with nationality. We are extremely – I mean get down on your knees and thak God every night – fortunate to have Musharaff in charge in Pakistan. He’s not the best guy in the world, but then again Roosevelt had to align himself with Stalin. Yeah, Bin Laden is probably in Western Pakistan. I suspect that we know pretty much where he is and would take him out with a surgical strike if we could. However, if we try to march in there with our troops, we run the much greater risk of losing Musharaff and keeping the nukes out of the hands of the crazies.

    The US has supported a wide range of repressive regimes in the mid-east over the past 80 years. (Remember it was Roosevelt who forged our national alliance with the House of Saud and promised them secutiry for their oil.) So has every state of Europe. Frankly, we’re the only ones trying to promote a measure of freedom and democracy in the region these days.

    I’m shocked that you decline to fix the issue as one of radical Islam.

    Frankly, this is truly the chickens coming home to roost. All of the repressive regimes we – and others – supported allowed religious fanatics to grow in influence. The Saudi’s have supported the radical Madrassas for years. It’s a great message for the downtrodden and it’s been even more effective now that we have instant communication via the internet and al-Jazeera.

    Now we have crazies on the Christian right here too. Once in a while they do something terrible like bomb an abortion clinic and they are prosecuted and punished. I don’t see armies of Christians rampaging through Dearborn Michigan. WE live in a fairly tolerant society here and respect each other’s differences.

    The radical Islamists, well they just want to kill us.

    George Bush didn’t make a preemtive attack. After 20+ years of attacks overseas, we finally got hit at home. He’s doing exactly the right thing – fighting them on their territory not ours.

    I’ll admit that if there had not been so much evidence that Iraq had WMD’s I would have argued that we could press the fight from Afganistan. However, we had little choice. (Please spare me the “lies” flames. I’ll play back Kennedy and Kerry quotes from the period when they saw the same CIA documents that Bush did). Our policy with respect to soverign nations is simple: keep your people from killing our people. If you don’t we’ll come there and take care of it ourselves.

    Regarding the draft: I advocate 2 years of compulsory service for all citizens at the age of 18. No exceptions. No exemptions except for severe mental or physical difficulties. Military service would be an option as would be working in nursing homes, collecting trash, cleaning highways, working with inner city kids, etc. etc.

    In 30 years or so, folks will speak of George Bush in the same tones as Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt.

  6. Dr Rick,

    Why are we in Iraq?

    To stop terror and find WMDs, right?

    This is why Bush wants to attack Iran, right?

    Then why is Iraq’s new government now supporting Iran’s quest for WMDs?

    Iraq assured Iran on Friday that it supports Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy and will not allow Iraqi territory to be used to threaten Iran, adopting a position at odds with America’s view that Iran should abandon its nuclear program.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0605270030may27,1,6049961.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

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