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We are turning into Israel - US soldiers bulldoze Iraqi farmers' crops.

Drift3r

Guest
Jun 3, 2003
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US soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops
Americans accused of brutal 'punishment' tactics against villagers, while British are condemned as too soft

By Patrick Cockburn in Dhuluaya

12 October 2003

US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.

The stumps of palm trees, some 70 years old, protrude from the brown earth scoured by the bulldozers beside the road at Dhuluaya, a small town 50 miles north of Baghdad. Local women were yesterday busily bundling together the branches of the uprooted orange and lemon trees and carrying then back to their homes for firewood.

Nusayef Jassim, one of 32 farmers who saw their fruit trees destroyed, said: "They told us that the resistance fighters hide in our farms, but this is not true. They didn't capture anything. They didn't find any weapons."

Other farmers said that US troops had told them, over a loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which is very active in this Sunni Muslim district.

"They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while they were cutting down the trees," said one man. Ambushes of US troops have taken place around Dhuluaya. But Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh al-Jabouri, a member of a delegation that went to the nearby US base to ask for compensation for the loss of the fruit trees, said American officers described what had happened as "a punishment of local people because 'you know who is in the resistance and do not tell us'." What the Israelis had done by way of collective punishment of Palestinians was now happening in Iraq, Sheikh Hussein added.

The destruction of the fruit trees took place in the second half of last month but, like much which happens in rural Iraq, word of what occurred has only slowly filtered out. The destruction of crops took place along a kilometre-long stretch of road just after it passes over a bridge.

Farmers say that 50 families lost their livelihoods, but a petition addressed to the coalition forces in Dhuluaya pleading in erratic English for compensation, lists only 32 people. The petition says: "Tens of poor families depend completely on earning their life on these orchards and now they became very poor and have nothing and waiting for hunger and death."

The children of one woman who owned some fruit trees lay down in front of a bulldozer but were dragged away, according to eyewitnesses who did not want to give their names. They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us."

Informing US troops about the identity of their attackers would be extremely dangerous in Iraqi villages, where most people are related and everyone knows each other. The farmers who lost their fruit trees all belong to the Khazraji tribe and are unlikely to give information about fellow tribesmen if they are, in fact, attacking US troops.

Asked how much his lost orchard was worth, Nusayef Jassim said in a distraught voice: "It is as if someone cut off my hands and you asked me how much my hands were worth."
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=452375
 

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
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If true, this is the height of American stupidity. Unless one wants to be fighting for 50 more years in Iraq, one should not imitate Israel.
 

Witling

Golden Member
Jul 30, 2003
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Tnitsuj, I know for a fact that collective punishment happened in Viet Nam. It's not an approved tactic but an army lieutenant is a s4 year old guy in charge of a bunch of 19 year olds. You mean to tell me you don't think ever get it wrong. Does the name Calley mean anything to you. I think I've got it right. They were killing Vietnamese villagers. It eventually ended when a helicopter crew couldn't take any more and set their helicopter down between the villagers and the soldiers. The guy who flew the helicopter just got a medal for it a year or two ago. Anyone who's old enough to remember (or have participated) in the war knows this is a true story. It was the worst massacre of civilians by Americans that we know of in the Viet Nam war.
 

JackStorm

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2003
1,216
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Yeah, find it kinda hard to belive myself. Hope this turns out to be false or inaccurate. Things like this only add to the already existing tension in the area.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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Clearly this is the type of negative news the President wants to counter. I'm sure we are planting more crops than we destroy.
 

LunarRay

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2003
9,993
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BBD,
The American farmer now has a new market for their corn harvest. I see it as good planning... :) Where better to stash WMD then under acres of Corn.

Oh.. me.. I do like spin.. :D
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
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All the damn "Global Climate Change" rain ruined a lot of crops in NC. Then Mother Nature sent a hurricane to finish us off. I seriously doubt American farmers could economically produce a crop for sale in Iraq if they are competing with African/Asian farmers. It's much better for American taxpayers/consumers to continue to pay American farmers to 1) not grow crops or 2) grow crops and then pack it into storage where it rots.
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
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Everyone here can relax. This is an egregious lie. The source is The Independent.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,213
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Originally posted by: Dari
Everyone here can relax. This is an egregious lie. The source is The Independent.
Neither you or I know the truth of it. You may be right or wrong. It would be nice to get independent verification of this story either way.
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,134
37
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Originally posted by: WinstonSmith
Originally posted by: Dari
Everyone here can relax. This is an egregious lie. The source is The Independent.
Neither you or I know the truth of it. You may be right or wrong. It would be nice to get independent verification of this story either way.
From what you just said, you don't seem to have a lot of trust with this newspaper, right?

I've read the independent for years and they are virulently anti-israel and anti-american. Yes, they're worse than the Guardian, if that's possible.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,213
126
Originally posted by: Dari
Originally posted by: WinstonSmith
Originally posted by: Dari
Everyone here can relax. This is an egregious lie. The source is The Independent.
Neither you or I know the truth of it. You may be right or wrong. It would be nice to get independent verification of this story either way.
From what you just said, you don't seem to have a lot of trust with this newspaper, right?

I've read the independent for years and they are virulently anti-israel and anti-american. Yes, they're worse than the Guardian, if that's possible.
I don't know the Independent. You may know them better than I. When I see something like this, I realize it may be true, and it may not. In those cases, I prefer to wait until someone else reports on it before making a judgement. That is why you do not see statements from me on what I think of the "event"
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,213
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Originally posted by: Moonbeam
But Winston, doesn't the Independent give Independent confirmation?

Ahh, what is that term for "a thing in itself"? :D


Seriously, if this is shown to be true, I will address it in my evidently abtruse style ;)

I'll wait a bit though.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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I wouldn't use that as a gauge considering the President has gone on the offensive . . . essentially blaming the media for the public's lack of faith in his policies (particularly in Iraq). I'm surprised Ann "the Harpie" Coulter hasn't taken out a full page ad accusing the media of Treason. Media outlets will go out of there way to find good news and will intentionally ignore (or modify) bad news. Unless there are US casualties on a given day, the press is going the extra mile to "filter" the news . . . per the Bush Regime's request.
 

sygyzy

Lifer
Oct 21, 2000
14,001
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You'd be surprised what doesn't make it to the press. Guerillanews is a really interesting site. A bit conspiracy theory oriented but alot of it can be verified. I used them as a primary souce on my business law report last year.
 

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