RIGHT POINT: In Iraq, Why Are Civilians Shot?
5/3/03 12:19:23 PM Pacific Daylight Time
The following story from the London Daily Mirror was witnessed by a
second British writer and a news photographer. Please examine the
original story. These men are bringing out the stories that we do
not see in the US press.
On Monday WHTT will release the last two parts of "THE BOYS" a
groundbreaking series on the USA Military before and after Vietnam.
It will help you understand the tragedy (on both sides) of the event
TWO KILLED IN NEW IRAQ DEMO SHOOTING
From Chris Hughes
London Daily Mirror
Thursday 1 May 2003
Al-Tallulah -- It started when a young boy hurled a sandal at a US
jeep - it ended with two Iraqis dead and 16 seriously injured.
I watched in horror as American troops opened fire on a crowd of
1,000 unarmed people here yesterday.
Many, including children, were cut down by a 20-second burst of
automatic gunfire during a demonstration against the killing of 13
protesters at the Al-Kaahd school on Monday.
They had been whipped into a frenzy by religious leaders. The crowd
were facing down a military compound of tanks and machine-gun posts.
The youngster had apparently lobbed his shoe at the jeep - with a
M2 heavy machine gun post on the back - as it drove past in a convoy
of other vehicles.
A soldier operating the weapon suddenly ducked, raised it on its
pivot then pressed his thumb on the trigger.
Mirror photographer Julian Andrews and I were standing about six
feet from the vehicle when the first shots rang out, without warning.
We dived for cover under the compound wall as troops within the
crowd opened fire. The convoy accelerated away from the scene.
Iraqis in the line of fire dived for cover, hugging the dust to
escape being hit.
We could hear the bullets screaming over our heads. Explosions of
sand erupted from the ground - if the rounds failed to hit a
demonstrator first. Seconds later the shooting stopped and the
screaming and wailing began.
One of the dead, a young man, lay face up, half his head missing,
first black blood, then red spilling into the dirt.
His friends screamed at us in anger, then looked at the grim sight
A boy of 11 lay shouting in agony before being carted off in a car
to a hospital already jam-packed with Iraqis hurt in Monday's
Cars pulled up like taxis to take the dead and injured to hospital,
as if they had been waiting for this to happen.
A man dressed like a sheik took off his headcloth to wave and
direct traffic around the injured. The sickening scenes of death and
pain were the culmination of a day of tension in Al-Fallujah sparked
by Monday's killings.
The baying crowd had marched 500 yards from the school to a local
Ba'ath party HQ. We joined them, asking questions and taking
pictures, as Apache helicopters circled above.
The crowd waved their fists at the gunships angrily and
shouted: "Go home America, go home America."
We rounded a corner and saw edgy-looking soldiers lined up along
the street in between a dozen armoured vehicles. All of them had
automatic weapons pointing in As the crowd - 10 deep and about 100
yards long - marched towards the US positions, chanting "Allah is
great, go home Americans", the troops reversed into the compound.
On the roof of the two-storey fortress, ringed by a seven-foot high
brick wall, razor wire and with several tanks inside, around 20
soldiers ran to the edge and took up positions.
A machine gun post at one of the corners swivelled round, taking
aim at the crowd which pulled to a halt.
We heard no warning to disperse and saw no guns or knives among the
Iraqis whose religious and tribal leaders kept shouting through loud
hailers to remain peaceful. In the baking heat and with the
deafening noise of helicopters the tension reached breaking point.
Julian and I ran towards the compound to get away from the crowd as
dozens of troops started taking aim at them, others peering at them
Tribal leaders struggled to contain the mob which was reaching a
A dozen ran through the cordon of elders, several hurling what
appeared to be rocks at troops.
Some of the stones just reached the compound walls. Many threw
sandals - a popular Iraqi insult.
A convoy of Bradley military jeeps passed by, the Iraqis hurling
insults at them, slapping the sides of the vehicles with their
sandals, tribal leaders begging them to retreat.
The main body of demonstrators jeered the passing US troops
pointing their thumbs down to mock them.
Then came the gunfire - and the death and the agony.
After the shootings the American soldiers looked at the appalling
scene through their binoculars and set up new positions, still
training their guns at us.
An angry mob battered an Arab TV crew van, pulling out recording
equipment and hurling it at the compound. Those left standing - now
apparently insane with anger - ran at the fortress battering its
walls with their fists. Many had tears pouring down their faces.
Still no shots from the Iraqis and still no sign of the man with
the AK47 who the US later claimed had let off a shot at the convoy.
I counted at least four or five soldiers with binoculars staring at
the crowd for weapons but we saw no guns amongst the injured or
dropped on the ground.
A local told us the crowd would turn on foreigners so we left and
went to the hospital.
There, half an hour later, another chanting mob was carrying an
open coffin of one of the dead, chanting "Islam, Islam, Islam, death
to the Americans".
We left when we were spat at by a wailing woman dressed in black
US troops had been accused of a bloody massacre over the killings
of the 13 Iraqis outside the school on Monday. Three of the dead
were said to be boys under 11.
At least 75 locals were injured in a 30-minute gun battle after
soldiers claimed they were shot at by protesters.
Demonstrators claimed they were trying to reclaim the school from
the Americans who had occupied it as a military HQ.
The crowd had defied a night-time curfew to carry out the protest.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving the included information for research and
(c) Copyright 2003 by TruthOut.org
* AMERICA'S MILITARY by Chris White with C. E. Carlson and Dr.
Michael Holland. Chris White is a freelance writer about military
affairs and a PHD candidate studying American History at Kansas
University. He is, in his own words, an "X-Marine." His subject is
all but unknown to Americans. Chris White has disavowed and
rejected what the U.S. Marines tried to make of him in his four
years just prior to the first Gulf War. His two interviews reflect
his grasp of history and of the changes in our military in post-
Vietnam era after the elimination of the draft. Mr. White tells us
our military has been transformed from citizen-in-service army to a
mercenary army of professional killers. He believes this is a
danger to freedom in that today's Marines are conditioned to the
point they would kill American citizens if told to do so. He
explains how this is done and the three speakers discuss why.
Observations were added by Charles Carlson and Dr. Mike Holland.
Audiotape. 90 Minutes $6:00
ECHOES OF WAR: WHO WILL ANSWER? - C.E. Carlson and Winston Palmer
compare notes from a letter written on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War
and the present day War on Terrorism. It examines the tactics of the
war machines of Bush Sr. and his son, President G. W. Bush. A
disturbing parallel, plus a positive solution. 60 min audio, $6:00
WHOEVER RULES AMERICA RULES THE WORLD - Speeches by C.E. Carlson: 60
min, audio, $6:00
To purchase go to (http://www.whtt.org/bookstor.htm) and scroll for
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS (www.whtt.org)
P.O. Box 14491
Scottsdale, AZ 85267
480 947 3329 (firstname.lastname@example.org)