News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: What It Feels Like Having Your Door Kicked In and Other Facts of Life in Iraq

Saturday, February 11, 2006

What It Feels Like Having Your Door Kicked In and Other Facts of Life in Iraq

Riverbend is a young Iraqi woman whose blog has gained worlwide readership for not only its eye-witness accounts but also fot its artistry. In a recent posting, she describes being raided by what she calls "Iraqi mercenaries," aka American-trained Iraqi troops. ...

She writes:

Where’s baba?” J. asked, panicking for a moment before we heard his slippered feet in the driveway. “Did they take him?” Her voice was getting higher. Ammoo S. finally walked into the house, looking weary and drained. I could tell his face was pale even in the relative dark of the house. My aunt sat sobbing quietly in the living room, T. comforting her. “Houses are no longer sacred… We can’t sleep… We can’t live… If you can’t be safe in your own house, where can you be safe? The animals… the bastards…”

We found out a few hours later that one of our neighbors, two houses down, had died. Abu Salih was a man in his seventies and as the Iraqi mercenaries raided his house, he had a heart-attack. His grandson couldn’t get him to the hospital on time because the troops wouldn’t let him leave the house until they’d finished with it. His grandson told us later that day that the Iraqis were checking the houses, but the American troops had the area surrounded and secured. It was a coordinated raid.

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