Monday, June 19, 2006
Our Glorious Victory

I spent the whole weekend away from the Internets, though not away from computers. Still, sometimes it's healthy to withdraw from the real world and take a couple days' vacation in one of your own devising.

But then you come back, and you realize why you needed some time off in the first place:

As a former trauma specialist in a hospital casualty department, Dr Baker Siddique, 29, thought he was inured to scenes of carnage. But nothing he had witnessed prepared him for a visit to a pathologist friend working at the mortuary.

"I saw a street packed with people and coffins standing up vertically," he said. "There wasn't enough room to lie them horizontally."

His voice faltered and his eyes filled with tears as he recounted the agony of a woman in black who discovered the bodies of her four sons that day.

"I have never heard screams of pain like that," he said. The woman collapsed on the floor, throwing dirt over her head -- a gesture of grief and helplessness that has become tragically commonplace in Iraq.

As the doctor talked to his friend, a police pickup truck pulled up with a dozen or more bodies piled in the back. "I could not believe that the dead were brought in such a way," Siddique said. "They were one on top of the other like animal carcasses."

When the police found that no porters were available to help, they threw the bodies off the truck. It was then that Siddique noticed the corpses of two boys aged about 12 lying in the pile on the ground.

"Each had a piece of knotted green cloth tied around his neck and I could see they'd been strangled," the doctor said. He also noticed round holes that were slightly inflamed in several parts of their body, a sign that they had been tortured with electric drills before being killed. "Even their eyes had been drilled and only hollow sockets remained," he said.

When he pointed out the injuries to his friend, the pathologist shrugged and took another drag on his cigarette, saying this was now routine.

"We have turned into a zoo," Siddique told me. "What level have we sunk to, to kill people in such a manner and hardly to notice any more?"


So much for liberation. We got rid of one monster only to discover that he was the only monster keeping a thousand other monsters in check. (And don't you dare tell me that it's the "terrorists" doing this -- you put the average American city under the kind of stress, deprivation, and continual trauma under which Baghdad has existed for four years and I suspect you'd find we've got a few hundred latent drill-wielding terrorists in our midst, too.)

Other highlights from the new, liberated Iraq: women, liberated from their rights; incipient ethnic cleansing; and civil war, already in progress. (pdf)

Why are we in Iraq, again?
2:07 PM ::
Amy :: permalink