“Why is the Blood of Iraqis So Free For Everyone To Spill?”

October 4, 2007 at 9:15 am | Posted in American politics, blackwater, conservatives, corruption, Iraq, secret combinations, violence, War, War on Terror | 3 Comments

That is the question the father of one of the victims in Blackwater’s murderous rampage two weeks ago asks.

The carnage has sparked outrage and demands to reform the private contractor industry. Almost three weeks later, the collective memory of Iraqis at the scene is raw.

“It was catastrophic. So many innocent people were killed,” recalled Zina Fadhil, 21, a pharmacist. That day, she huddled in fear inside her store about 100 yards from the square as Blackwater helicopters hovered above. Like other eyewitnesses, she said she saw Blackwater guards firing down from the helicopters, an allegation the security firm denies.

“I am a peaceful person, but I wished I could have shot those people in the helicopters,” Fadhil continued, her soft voice rising.

Not one of the victims or family members interviewed had been aware that Blackwater was immune to prosecution in Iraq under an order by U.S. administrators after the 2003 invasion.

“Why is the blood of Iraqis so free for everyone to spill?” asked Sahib Nasr, the father of one of the victims.

Shoot first, ask questions later? Is that really how we want the world to perceive us, America?

Kadhum, the doctor, and her son Haitham, who were in the flow of cars the officers were trying to stop, didn’t react quickly enough. A Blackwater guard fired, striking Haitham as he sat in the driver’s seat, three witnesses said.

“The bullet went through the windshield and split his head open,” recalled traffic police officer Sarhan Thiab. “His mother was holding him, screaming for help.”

The car, which had an automatic transmission, kept rolling. Another officer, Ali Khalaf, tried to stop the vehicle as another spray of bullets killed Kadhum.

Thiab fled first, then Khalaf, followed by bullets that struck a traffic light pole, a billboard and their police guard post. Then the Blackwater guards escalated their firepower, engulfing the sedan in flames.

In sworn statements to State Department investigators reported by ABC News, four Blackwater guards said they fired upon the sedan because it was traveling at high speed and would not stop. Khalaf and other eyewitnesses said it was moving slowly and posed no threat.

Imagine if that was your mother and brother. If you cannot handle that being done to your family, how can you tolerate that being done to other people’s families?

On Monday, inside his spacious cream-colored house in Baghdad’s Khadisiya neighborhood, Firoz Fadhil Abbas questioned whether anyone would be held accountable for the shootings.

He has met several times with U.S. military investigators, and every time they apologized for his brother’s death, he said. But such words have done little to ease the clan’s loss.

“It looks like everything is back to normal. The company is back in operation,” Abbas said. “And we’ve lost the head of our family. There’s no justice here.”

Mohammed Osama Fadhil, Osama’s 14-year-old son, quietly listened to the conversation. Seated near him was his brother, Ahmed, a solemn 7-year-old. Finally, Mohammed spoke, focusing on Blackwater.

“They killed many others before,” he said. “Have they done anything to help those people, so that we can expect something?”

This is a clear case of murder, whether accidental or purposeful, those civilian guards fired on civilians and killed at least fourteen. For no excuse good enough to warrant the actions they took. And they are really above the law. They are not bound to Iraqi law. They are not bound to the military code. They are not bound by American law either. The Bush administration ensured that these mercenary guards are above the law.

Is this what you really want, America? If not, then make it known to Congress, the only power left to subdue this out of control executive. This is evil stuff. This is not the characteristics of a Christian nation, or any nation professing a belief in some sort of higher being. These are not the standards we were founded upon. These are not the standards our forefathers died for. Why do we accept them now?

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3 Comments »

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  1. I should add, I’m fully aware that they are in a combat zone and they’ve got to protect themselves. But as the counterinsurgency manual so clearly states, protection of civilian life takes precedence over that of your own in a counterinsurgency.

    And even so, the anger doesn’t come from the fact that the incident occurred. Such incidents will happen in a combat zone. The anger comes from the fact that these men are not prosecutable. That is a very grievous error on our part and must immediately be changed.

  2. “I’m fully aware that they are in a combat zone and they’ve got to protect themselves”

    One must ask – given that the entire occupation is illegal, given that they are foreigners there with no invitation other than that of illegal occupiers and local illegally governing (if you can even call it that) puppets, how exactly does *anything* they do qualify as protecting themselves? If I break into someone’s house, shoot their kids, steal their stuff, and then dad comes out with a gun to shoot me, is my shooting him first “self defense”? I think not.

  3. Non-Arab Arab,

    What I mean by that statement is that if you are in a combat zone, your main priority is still to protect yourself. However, in the case of Blackwater, they’ve so completely gone over the line that they don’t have any excuse.


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