IRAQ: Resistance Growing Up at School
Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail
KHALDIYA, Oct 12 (IPS) – The bomb went off just outside the school as the IPS correspondent stood speaking to children and teachers within.
The headmaster smiled. “You will hear many of these every day if you stay here another day or two,” he said. “The resistance will not stop until the last American leaves.”
The children too took no notice of the blast, which shook the doors and windows of the half-destroyed school in this town near Fallujah, 70km west of Baghdad.
The children are growing up in occupied Iraq – and they are resisting it.
“Americans are bad,” said 11-year-old Mustafa. “They killed my family.” The family were killed in Operation Phantom Fury of November 2004 as they tried to flee the city, teachers said. That operation killed thousands and destroyed much of Fallujah and towns around it.
“God will send all Americans to hellfire,” cried another child in the classroom. Attempts to suggest that not everyone they thought American was bad proved fruitless.
“How can we teach them forgiveness when they see Americans killing their family members every day,” the teacher in the classroom who gave her name as Shyamaa told IPS. “Words cannot cover the stream of blood and these signs of destruction, and words cannot hide the daily raids they see.”
For the headmaster, the idea of a clash of civilisations is not just an idea.
“The gap between civilisations is widening thanks to the U.S. administration’s crimes against humanity all over the world,” he said. “They seem determined to tear the world apart, and their footprints cannot be removed for the coming generations.”
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