Friday, August 5, 2016

The Bush/Blair Gift That Keeps on Giving

"A Polaroid picture of a dead man, captioned on the back in ink by an Islamic State judiciary clerk, is the only memento that Hassan Mohammed Ali has of his missing younger brother Sultan. It was handed to Mr Ali at his home in the village of Haji Ali, south of Mosul, by an ISIS patrol that knocked at his door. In the photograph Sultan is lying on his back in a blue tracksuit top, shot at close range, the top right corner of his head blown off. He had been caught several weeks earlier trying to flee. 'Executed for attempting to escape to join the unbelievers,' the dated and signed explanation says on the photograph. 'I keep the photo because it is all I have left to remember my brother,' Mr Ali, 39, said. He was lucky, he managed to escape 3 weeks ago with most of his family. 'I also keep it to remind myself what we fled from.' Mr Ali has found shelter with thousands of other Sunnis fleeing the area around Mosul in the Debaga camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he and his family live under the steps of an abandoned football stadium. 'It is freedom of a sort, though not quite as I expected,' he said. [...] Seated in the shade, Mr Ali tapped the photo of his dead brother as he reflected on his fate. 'Once I wanted a lot in life,' he mused. 'Then all I wanted was to escape the Daesh. But now, all I want is a tent'." (Mosul exodus puts camps at breaking point, Anthony Loyd, The Times/The Australian, 2/8/16)

"Many of the refugees are deeply traumatised, having been ostracised by the Baghdad government, bombed by the coalition, persecuted by Islamic State, hunted as they fled the caliphate and enraged at the camp's conditions. Zahir Ibrahim said he had to leave the dismembered bodies of his wife, his cousin and his three children, less than 10 years old, in the desert as they escaped from a village south of Mosul last month. One of the children had detonated an IED. Survivors triggered a second device as they tried to collect the bodies from the first explosion. 'Then the Daesh started shooting at us,' he said. 'So we began running across the desert, 65 of us, leaving the dead in pieces behind us. It is better in this camp than life under the Daesh but it still feels like jail here'." (ibid)

Never forgive. Never forget.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget Howard.

James O'Neill said...

Not just Bush and Blair. Our very own John Howard must bear responsibility as well. We learn nothing as Australia is a willing participant in the illegal war in Syria.

Anonymous said...

The Bush/Blair/(lapdog) Howard Gift That Keeps on Giving.