Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

And our post title has got to be one of the most evil of sayings. I regret having learned (and believed) it as a child in Texas.

Terrified Soldiers Terrifying People
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

FALLUJAH, Jan. 8 (IPS) – Ten-year-old Yassir aimed a plastic gun at a passing U.S. armoured patrol in Fallujah, and shouted “Bang! Bang!”

Yassir did not know what was coming. “I yelled for everyone to run, because the Americans were turning back,” 12-year-old Ahmed who was with Yassir told IPS.

The soldiers followed Yassir to his house and smashed almost everything in it. “They did this after beating Yassir and his uncle hard, and they spoke the nastiest words,” Ahmed said.

It is not just the children, or the people of Fallujah who are frightened.

“Those soldiers are terrified here,” Dr. Salim al-Dyni, a psychotherapist visiting Fallujah told IPS. Dr Dyni said he had seen professional reports of psychologically disturbed soldiers “while serving in hot areas, and Fallujah is the hottest and most terrifying for them.”

Dr. Dyni said disturbed soldiers were behind the worst atrocities. “Most murders committed by U.S. soldiers resulted from the soldiers’ fears.”

Local Iraqi police estimate that at least five attacks are being carried out against U.S. troops in Fallujah each day, and about as many against Iraqi government security forces. The city in the restive al-Anabar province to the west of Baghdad has been under some form of siege since April 2004.

That has meant punishment for the people. “American officers asked me a hundred times how the fighters obtain weapons,” a 35-year-old resident who was detained together with dozens of others during a U.S. military raid at their houses in the Muallimin Quarter last month told IPS.

“They (American soldiers) called me the worst of names that I could understand, and many that I could not. I heard younger detainees screaming under torture repeating ‘I do not know, I do not know’, apparently replying to the same question I was asked.”

U.S. soldiers have been reacting wildly to attacks on them.

Several areas of Fallujah recently went without electricity for two weeks after U.S. soldiers attacked the power station following a sniper attack.

Read the rest here.

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