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The Unsung Heroes of Iraq

The true heroes in this tragedy are the people of Iraq
After enduring a brutal regime, a decade of sanctions during which US and British military aircraft performed criminal acts of sabotage and pursued a murderous policy of piracy against military and civilian targets alike, now the brave people of Iraq have had to come through a cruel and vicious campaign in which civilian structures were annihilated in the illegal act of
butchery, the US-led attack against Iraq.

So complete was the destruction and so brutal the assault that today, months after the war was declared over, the water supply system is not working, the electricity supply is far from normalized and the sanitation network is spreading disease. Apart from this, the cynicism of the regime in Washington, which has the audacity to claim that its precision weaponry was more accurate than ever, that this was a "clean" war, that the Iraqi people are better off under an invading army from abroad, is an insult to the good Iraqi men, woman and children whose neutrality in this campaign is fast turning against the invader.

However, not even a word is spoken when US troops slaughter Iraqi civilians. On the same day in which a truck bomb blasted the Italian HQ in Nassiriyah, five Iraqi civilians were murdered by trigger-happy US troops in Fallujah.
Where was this story?
It wasn't.

A spokesperson for the US Armed Forces told reporters that five "enemy militants" had been shot dead by US troops who were returning fire after being attacked in Fallujah at nightfall on Wednesday.

Pravda.Ru sources in Iraq tell a completely different story. The local hospital confirmed that five civilian bodies had been delivered, to be claimed by their family members. These told Fatma Kazemi, a freelance journalist working for Pravda.Ru in Iraq, that their family members had been on a truck returning home from a farm after loading off. They did not have guns and did not even know how to fire them.

Abdul Iqbal Stafi told Pravda.Ru's Lisbon office that "Hundreds, not tens, of Iraqi civilians have been murdered by trigger-happy US troops.  They are a bunch of murderers". Abdul studies with me at Leeds University in the 1970s. We were flatmates for a year. Abdul is hardly anti-American, having moved to the USA after his degree where he lived and worked as an engineer for 18 years before returning to Bassora.

"Hardly an incident has happened here in Basra with the British. They are low-key, they do not wear helmets and they play with the children. They apologize for the inconvenience they are causing and say they will soon be gone. In the rest of the country, the Americans are killing civilians every day, including women and children".

Abdul told Pravda.Ru how happy he is to get the chance to have his word printed. "I think you will be the only paper to print the truth, in the good tradition of Pravda. In these months I have learned to hate the American forces. They murdered my six-year-old cousin in Baghdad. Not a word was said in the press. It was in cold blood. Then they pushed their weapons in the
face of my 13-year-old brother Ahmed, two soldiers, and they yelled: "Get your fucking hands up! NOW!"

A six-year-old boy, a thirteen-year-old boy, a truckload of farmers."enemy militants".

No further comment.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY
PRAVDA.Ru

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