Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
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More stories of the lovely regime that the 'peace' protesters assure us can be trusted accept true diarmament.
The knock on Maha Fawzi's door came in the middle of the afternoon.
Four members of the Iraqi secret police, the Mukhabarat, stormed in and began beating her husband. They grabbed her 7-year-old son, threw him against a wall and over a table as two agents held the screaming mother.
Finally, they bundled her off in an SUV and beat her with rifles. She was found in a Baghdad garbage dump and taken to a hospital.
Her crime: failing to meet her quota of donations collected for Iraq's Olympic committee. The failure marked her for life in Iraq, she said, a threat to anybody else who would employ her. She is convinced her newborn child was killed months later in a hospital because the regime needed expendable children as a propaganda tool to combat United Nations economic sanctions against Iraq.
"You tell these stories to people, and they're almost impossible to believe if you haven't lived under such a government," said Fawzi, as she sat by a kerosene heater in her one-room apartment in a poor neighborhood in Jordan's capital of Amman.
"How do you describe how a mother feels when she sees a soldier beating her son, when she sees her shirt covered with blood, and there's nothing she can do?" she asked. "How do you convey that to people who haven't lived it?"
Salami El-Daraji lost a brother who was arrested for religious activity, quickly tried and executed.
Adel Hasan hasn't seen or heard from his father, who was picked up for illegal political activity several years ago.
And former soldier Hadi El-Asdi is still haunted by the men he was charged with hunting down: military defectors whose ear lobes he removed after they were apprehended.
"You ask how people can put up with this, but after 23 years of Saddam, people are like bodies without souls in Baghdad," said Fawzi. "Every day here, you hear people asking when the Americans are coming."
"Saddam has built into Iraqis this unreasonable fear," said El-Daraji. "We are used to spying on each other, informing on our families and our friends. It is hard for us to trust in anything."
Then there is some wacked out paranoia.
"I just have a hard time believing that the United States doesn't want to take our oil," said Nadem Kuder, 38, a former literature professor at Baghdad University. "I've heard on the news here that people like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice have their own private accounts, that they get to keep the oil they claim. I know that Rice has her own oil tanker."
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