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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

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How will they get out of this one?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Associated Press has released a home video showing the supposed wedding party just before it was bombed by US airplanes. This home video has been combined with a video of the after-math of the bombing. An excerpt from the BBC report on the video:
The film shows gleaming pick-up trucks - some decorated with ribbons - speeding through the desert apparently en route to the wedding. The celebrations themselves feature the traditional firing of salutes from guns and singing as well as men dancing to the music of a popular wedding singer. The singer, Hussein Ali, was also killed, his grieving family told the BBC shortly after the attack. Clearly visible on the wedding footage is a man playing electric organ who later appears to be among the corpses filmed by APTN. AP says a reporter and a photographer who interviewed more than a dozen survivors a day after the bombing were able to identify many of them on the wedding party video. It also says its footage of the aftermath shows remnants of musical instruments, pots and pans, and festive brightly coloured bedding.
I don't know how the US military will get out of this one. After all of the bad press from Abu Ghraib, I can understand why they would not want to own up to bombing a wedding party by mistake. But their repeated denials after the release of this video will only add fuel to the fire. It is quite sickening the way Dan Senor, the spokesperson at the Baghdad press conferences, lies through his teeth over and over, losing more trust each day. In an article in one of the ISIM Newsletters, Professor Nazif Shahrani writes that the leaders in post-Taliban Afghanistan (i.e. the Americans) need to:
abandon the assumption that security may be obtained only by means of a large national army and police force. Instead, they ought to start thinking that security is fundamentally a problem of deteriorating trust as a valued social capital in Afghan society.
I think this way of thinking really needs to be applied in Iraq also if the Americans (or anyone) want to control the security situation there.

On a different subject, the Washington Post has come out with another report:
A military lawyer for a soldier charged in the Abu Ghraib abuse case stated that a captain at the prison said the highest-ranking U.S. military officer in Iraq was present during some "interrogations and/or allegations of the prisoner abuse," according to a recording of a military hearing obtained by The Washington Post.
I don't think much else really needs to be said about Iraq.
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