Monday, December 27, 2010

Silenced Night

"America is not out to enslave the Iraqi people. It is not on a crusade against Islam. It is doing what it has always done: standing up for liberty and the rights of humankind to live unencumbered by the chains of beastly humanity. We are now at war. May it be sure but swift. May God protect our troops and bring them safely home. And may Iraq awake some morning soon to something it has not seen in generations: a new dawn of freedom." (New York Daily News, 20/3/03)

"A friend in Baghdad sent me the following: 'I don't know where to start. Not a day goes by without hearing about murders and assassinations. The silencer gun seems to be the preferred method. Just a few days ago, there was another murder just a few streets away from where we live. A guy was found dumped on the road! Again, a few days ago, another was murdered by silencer in the Yarmuk area. The body had no ID.

"I heard about these killings from friends, and every other day, it seems, a member of my family comes home and tells me someone has been killed. Murder takes place in broad daylight, even in busy areas. For instance, people are just going about their business when all of a sudden one of them drops, felled by a silencer gun. Some people are saying it reminds them of '05-'07 when they'd awake to find bodies in the street. Sometimes there are 2 or 3 assassinations a day, and many we don't even know about because we learn everything these days only by word of mouth.

"I heard that today there were HEAPS of silencer killings. In Mansour, the treasurer of Maliki's party and the director-general of the Electricity Ministry were assassinated. At least we know who they are. The rest are unknown. It's getting worse by the day. Some are saying it's a miracle they manage to avoid being murdered themselves. And, of course, there are the daily explosions.

"Freedom of speech is practically non-existent here. You don't dare express an opinion or speak out in any way. On December 5 a journalist was murdered in Mansour in broad daylight - probably by silencer gun. People were saying he was more or less outspoken, probably a critic of the government.

"Christian families are moving out of Baghdad and heading north before leaving Iraq altogether. One family I heard about returned to retrieve the remainder of their belongings. They were slaughtered outside their house." (Baghdad's bloody Xmas leaks..., Layla Anwar,, 25/12/10)

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