Skip to comments.Judge Is Shot Dead As Iraqis Hatred Of Occupiers Grows
Posted on 11/04/2003 3:55:16 PM PST by blam
Judge is shot dead as Iraqis hatred of occupiers grows
By Patrick Cockburn in al-Qadasiya
05 November 2003
Gunmen shot dead a prominent judge in Mosul in northern Iraq yesterday, a day after another judge was kidnapped and killed in Najaf in the south of the country.
A car with tinted windows drew up outside the house of Ismail Yousef, a judge in Mosul's appeal court, early in the morning. Several men got out and shot the judge in the chest and side. The reason for the killing is a mystery; he was not involved in prosecuting Baathists.
On Monday, a senior judge, Mohan Jaber al-Shoueli, was kidnapped with his deputy in the city of Najaf to the south of Baghdad. According to the deputy who was later released, the gunmen said they were obeying the orders of Saddam. Mystery surrounds the murder because Najaf is a Shia holy city and most of its population hated the deposed president.
The assassination of two judges at opposite ends of the country differs from other killings in Iraq in that the victims were prominent enough for their names to be recorded.
In the little farming village of al-Qadasiya yesterday, buried deep in the Iraqi countryside south of Balad and only accessible by dusty tracks, relatives were mourning six men who died in a pick-up truck when they were ambushed by American troops after returning from Ramadan prayers on Sunday night.
Sitting in a tent, surrounded by neighbours who had come to comfort him, Abed Obaid Yass said his 61-year-old brother, Salman, his two sons, Arkan and Daoud, and two cousins had gone to a small cement mosque for prayers. They left the mosque at 8pm thinking they were safe because "the Americans announced over a loudspeaker that curfew was lifted". They drove home in three trucks, the last of which suddenly came under fire. Five people were hit, including the driver, but they kept going.
When they got back to the village, the driver died but two men offered to take the wounded to hospital in another pick-up. But they were attacked again and five more people were killed. One old man who was wounded escaped into the bushes beside the road and watched an American ambush party surround the pick-up, which they presumably thought was being used by guerrillas. The villagers deny that anybody in the truck was involved in the resistance. They said there had been no attacks on American troops in the district that night.
But a few miles away lies the scene where a US bulldozer had uprooted part of a grove of orange trees and a few date palms from which American troops had been ambushed a week before. The owner, an ageing sheikh, persuaded them to stop, saying there was no way he could prevent guer- rillas using the trees for cover.
The men gathered in the mourning tent were bitter about the killings but they were almost as angry that nobody in the outside world knew or cared their relatives had been killed. They had made an attempt to tell others what had happened to them since the American-led invasion. Close to the road was a banner in broken English reading: "Them removed the tree and killed the kids, women and elderlies and cracked the houses."
The US army does not keep a count of Iraqi civilians killed in such incidents, but the hostility they create towards the occupation goes a long way to explain why guerrilla war is becoming endemic in this part of the Iraqi countryside.
So this writer's message is that because Iraqis (and some Al-Qaeda) kill upstanding Iraqis, the rest of the Iraqis hate US. Hmmmmmm.