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The Real Haditha The MSM Won't Tell Us
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1553781,00.html ^

Posted on 06/01/2006 9:11:58 AM PDT by AmericanYankee

insurgents rule Sunni citadel

Guardian gains rare access to Iraqi town and finds it fully in control of 'mujahideen'

Omer Mahdi in Haditha and Rory Carroll in Baghdad Monday August 22, 2005 The Guardian

The executions are carried out at dawn on Haqlania bridge, the entrance to Haditha. A small crowd usually turns up to watch even though the killings are filmed and made available on DVD in the market the same afternoon. One of last week's victims was a young man in a black tracksuit. Like the others he was left on his belly by the blue iron railings at the bridge's southern end. His severed head rested on his back, facing Baghdad. Children cheered when they heard that the next day's spectacle would be a double bill: two decapitations. A man named Watban and his brother had been found guilty of spying.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS: haditha; iraq; mdm
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A three-day visit by a reporter working for the Guardian last week established what neither the Iraqi government nor the US military has admitted: Haditha, a farming town of 90,000 people by the Euphrates river, is an insurgent citadel.

That Islamist guerrillas were active in the area was no secret but only now has the extent of their control been revealed. They are the sole authority, running the town's security, administration and communications.

A three-hour drive north from Baghdad, under the nose of an American base, it is a miniature Taliban-like state. Insurgents decide who lives and dies, which salaries get paid, what people wear, what they watch and listen to.

Haditha exposes the limitations of the Iraqi state and US power on the day when the political process is supposed to make a great leap - a draft constitution finalised and approved by midnight tonight.

For politicians and diplomats in Baghdad's fortified green zone the constitution is a means to stabilise Iraq and woo Sunni Arabs away from the rebellion. For Haditha, 140 miles north-west of the capital, whether a draft is agreed is irrelevant. Residents already have a set of laws and rules promulgated by insurgents.

Within minutes of driving into town the Guardian was stopped by a group of men and informed about rule number one: announce yourself. The mujahideen, as they are known locally, must know who comes and goes.

The Guardian reporter did not say he worked for a British newspaper. For their own protection interviewees cannot be named.

There is no fighting here because there is no one to challenge the Islamists. The police station and municipal offices were destroyed last year and US marines make only fleeting visits every few months.

Two groups share power. Ansar al-Sunna is a largely homegrown organisation, though its leader in Haditha is said to be foreign. Al-Qaida in Iraq, known locally by its old name Tawhid al-Jihad, is led by the Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. There was a rumour that Zarqawi, Washington's most wanted militant after Osama bin Laden, visited early last week. True or not, residents wanted to believe they had hosted such a celebrity.

A year ago Haditha was just another sleepy town in western Anbar province, deep in the Sunni triangle and suspicious of the Shia-led government in Baghdad but no insurgent hotbed.

Then, say residents, arrived mostly Shia police with heavyhanded behaviour. "That's how it began," said one man. Attacks against the police escalated until they fled, creating a vacuum filled by insurgents.

Alcohol and music deemed unIslamic were banned, women were told to wear headscarves and relations between the sexes were closely monitored. The mobile phone network was shut down but insurgents retained their walkie-talkies and satellite phones. Right-hand lanes are reserved for their vehicles.

From attacks on US and Iraqi forces it is clear that other Anbar towns, such as Qaim, Rawa, Anna and Ramadi, are to varying degrees under the sway of rebels.

In Haditha hospital staff and teachers are allowed to collect government salaries in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, but other civil servants have had to quit.

Last year the US trumpeted its rehabilitation of a nearby power plant: "The incredible progress at Haditha is just one example of the huge strides made by the US army corps of engineers."

Now insurgents earn praise from residents for allegedly pressuring managers to supply electricity almost 24 hours a day, a luxury denied the rest of Iraq.

The court caters solely for divorces and marriages. Alleged criminals are punished in the market. The Guardian witnessed a headmaster accused of adultery whipped 190 times with cables. Children laughed as he sobbed and his robe turned crimson.

Two men who robbed a foreign exchange shop were splayed on the ground. Masked men stood on their hands while others broke their arms with rocks. The shopkeeper offered the insurgents a reward but they declined.

DVDs of beheadings on the bridge are distributed free in the souk. Children prefer them to cartoons. "They should not watch such things," said one grandfather, but parents appeared not to object.

One DVD features a young, blond muscular man who had been disembowelled. He was said to have been a member of a six-strong US sniper team ambushed and killed on August 1. Residents said he had been paraded in town before being executed.

The US military denied that, saying six bodies were recovered and that all appeared to have died in combat. Shortly after the ambush three landmines killed 14 marines in a convoy which ventured from their base outside the town.

Twice in recent months marines backed by aircraft and armour swept into Haditha to flush out the rebels. In a pattern repeated across Anbar there were skirmishes, a few suspects killed or detained, and success was declared.

In reality, said residents, the insurgents withdrew for a few days and returned when the Americans left. They have learned from last November's battle in Falluja, when hundreds died fighting the marines and still lost the city.

Now their strategy appears to be to wait out the Americans, calculating they will leave within a few years, and then escalate what some consider the real war against a government led by Shias, a rival sect which Sunni extremists consider apostasy.

The US military declined to respond to questions detailing the extent of insurgent control in the town.

There was evidence of growing cooperation between rebels. A group in Falluja, where the resistance is said to be regrouping, wrote to Haditha requesting background checks on two volunteers from the town.

One local man in his 40s told the Guardian he wanted to be a suicide bomber to atone for sins and secure a place in heaven. "But the mujahideen will not let me. They said I had eight children and it was my duty to look after them."

Tribal elders said they feared but respected insurgents for keeping order and not turning the town into a battleground.

They appear to have been radicalised, and condemned Sunni groups, such as the Iraqi Islamic party and the Muslim Scholars' Association, for engaging in the political process.

The constitution talks, the referendum due in October, the election due in December: all are deemed collaboration punishable by death. The task now is to bleed the Americans and destabilise the government. Some call that nihilism. Haditha calls it the future.

· Omer Mahdi was in Haditha for a Guardian Films project before security precautions forced it to be suspended.

1 posted on 06/01/2006 9:12:00 AM PDT by AmericanYankee
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To: AmericanYankee

Just damn.


2 posted on 06/01/2006 9:17:15 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: Allegra

ping


3 posted on 06/01/2006 9:18:01 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: AmericanYankee

Bump!


4 posted on 06/01/2006 9:19:10 AM PDT by W04Man (Bush2004 Grassroots Campaign We Did It! NOW.... PLEASE STAY THE COURSE!)
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To: AmericanYankee

Welcome to "our world" if we don't stop these people over there!


5 posted on 06/01/2006 9:20:12 AM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: AmericanYankee
Good find, thanks for posting it.

It's ironic that the MSM have been reporting how horribly it's supposedly going in Iraq, and then when something like this happens they neglect to mention the conditions of the specific location, choosing instead to toss off a few details while dwelling on the supposed actions. Sure, we must investigate all of this--but ALL of it. No crime is ever investigated without taking into account all of the details.

I mean, that'd be like reporting on a man shooting another man, and casually mentioning that the dead man was breaking into the shooters house. The MSM would never do that... ;)

6 posted on 06/01/2006 9:20:12 AM PDT by Darkwolf377 (All Hail Buah The Wasp Killer!!!!!)
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To: sarasota

As you can see the entire town is run by insurgents. This is what the soldier are dealing with. Ill bet the coroner and the doctors of Haditha were either threatened by or are part of the the insurgency. Ill also bet that those families were massacred by insurgents and used video for propaganda. The MSM and left took the bait hook line an sinker.


7 posted on 06/01/2006 9:21:15 AM PDT by AmericanYankee
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To: sarasota

As you can see the entire town is run by insurgents. This is what the soldier are dealing with. Ill bet the coroner and the doctors of Haditha were either threatened by or are part of the the insurgency. Ill also bet that those families were massacred by insurgents and used video for propaganda. The MSM and left took the bait hook line an sinker.


8 posted on 06/01/2006 9:21:18 AM PDT by AmericanYankee
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To: AmericanYankee

Wow! Get this out somehow, PLEASE.


9 posted on 06/01/2006 9:21:29 AM PDT by AmericaUnite
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To: AmericanYankee
DVDs of beheadings on the bridge are distributed free in the souk. Children prefer them to cartoons. "They should not watch such things," said one grandfather, but parents appeared not to object.

In the "good old days", we would have razed the village and salted the earth. Now, we think we can win their hearts and minds. Yeah, that'll work really well when the kids prefer to watch beheadings over cartoons.

10 posted on 06/01/2006 9:22:12 AM PDT by thecabal ("Now die monkeys and stop saying Muslims are terrorists,we are peaceful people!")
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To: AmericanYankee

It is a sad, sad day when we have to rely on reports from the Guardian, of all papers. Just...sad.

So when the US Marines the MSM is currently crucifying were essentially in enemy territory when a bomb went off.

It sounds to me like they responded as you would expect troops in enemy territory to respond.


11 posted on 06/01/2006 9:22:53 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (Amnesia is a train of thought.)
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To: AmericanYankee
"Children cheered when they heard that the next day's spectacle would be a double bill: two decapitations."

And these are the people whose word we are taking over the word our own U.S. Marines? This just boils my blood.

12 posted on 06/01/2006 9:24:51 AM PDT by TheCrusader
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To: AmericanYankee

Note the date.


13 posted on 06/01/2006 9:25:01 AM PDT by ArmstedFragg
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To: AmericanYankee
What in the hell are we and the Iraqi Government waiting for. Rip the town apart. Those responsible for the beheading, should have a short trial and hung by the Iraqi Government.
14 posted on 06/01/2006 9:25:19 AM PDT by Logical me (Oh, well!!!)
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To: Personal Responsibility

Haditha sounds like a target rich environment.


15 posted on 06/01/2006 9:25:57 AM PDT by TheConservator (Confutatis maledictis flammis acribus addictis. . . .)
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To: AmericanYankee

Gosh, this is the Iraq story that the Lt. Col. in Iraq called Rush about yesterday and currently is being replayed by Rush right now!


16 posted on 06/01/2006 9:27:48 AM PDT by zerosix (Native Sunflower)
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To: Personal Responsibility
I honestly get more news from BBC America than any US Network. I refuse to watch NBC, CBS, or ABC, for news, and rarely do I tune into the Clinton News Network, usually only because FOX is re-broadcasting the previous day's shows, but....

If you want an un-edited lok at the way things really are outside the borders, then BBC is a good place to start.

17 posted on 06/01/2006 9:28:30 AM PDT by Cliff Dweller (No such thing as a threat... just targets)
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To: TheConservator

It definitely does. I have to wonder if the people in charge will consider it "radioactive" and not run any op's there due to the current outcry? I would hope they would do what they saw fit, regardless but you never know these days.


18 posted on 06/01/2006 9:28:39 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (Amnesia is a train of thought.)
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To: Personal Responsibility

Thanks people, this story should get out BIG TIME.

If children would rather watch beheadings than cartoons, something is wrong. It is not out of question that a child would assist in planting IEDs or even help with scouting.
If a child was holding a gun to a marine, is the marine justified for shooting that child? Same goes for IEDs


19 posted on 06/01/2006 9:29:07 AM PDT by AmericanYankee
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To: AmericanYankee

Astounding. Thanks for posting this.


20 posted on 06/01/2006 9:30:14 AM PDT by Lorianne
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To: AmericanYankee; All

Excellent points. We need to send this around to as many sources as possible.


21 posted on 06/01/2006 9:31:28 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: sarasota

This sort of backs up the old saying that when the enemy is fighting a purely guerrilla war, there are no innocent civilians.


22 posted on 06/01/2006 9:31:39 AM PDT by joebuck
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To: ArmstedFragg; Allegra

Think it's changed any?


23 posted on 06/01/2006 9:32:24 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: ArmstedFragg

Sounds like Haditha has been ripe for a thorough cleansing for a long time. Hope the likes of Murtha doesn't stop it.


24 posted on 06/01/2006 9:32:51 AM PDT by tioga (Spring is here, and allergy season is in full bloom.)
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To: Coop; Just A Nobody; smoothsailing; freema

PING FYI


25 posted on 06/01/2006 9:35:18 AM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: AmericanYankee
"A three-day visit by a reporter working for the Guardian last week ..."

Snicker, snicker, sigh.

26 posted on 06/01/2006 9:36:58 AM PDT by verity (The MSM is comprised of useless eaters)
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To: AmericanYankee

Thanks for posting. I imagine the American MSM won't be lining up to print this.


27 posted on 06/01/2006 9:37:37 AM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: sarasota

Where is John "they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Murtha now?

Help defeat this America-hating lunatic John Murtha.
Send your contributions to Diana Irey at:

https://www.donationreport.com/init/controller/ProcessEntryCmd?key=L1M1P2P9O3


28 posted on 06/01/2006 9:37:46 AM PDT by Jameison
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To: ArmstedFragg; AmericanYankee

Note the date.

Hmm indeed, August 2005, just three months prior to the Marine incident in Haditha in November of that same year.

A solid view of the conditions surrounding our troops at the time, a war zone to would be the least that could be said of it.

29 posted on 06/01/2006 9:38:42 AM PDT by ancient_geezer (Don't reform it, Replace it.)
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To: AmericanYankee

Considering the lives these children must have lived so far, it's not surprising that they would be a little jaded for cartoons, and prefer to watch beheadings. They probably see people killed every day, so it's not shocking anymore.


30 posted on 06/01/2006 9:40:21 AM PDT by eddie65
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: AmericanYankee
Haditha exposes the limitations of the Iraqi state and US power on the day when the political process is supposed to make a great leap

Show them the real limitations, or lack thereof, on US power. Warm up the B-52s, all that we have left, maybe add the similar number of B-1Bs. Leave no stone atop another, no mud hut standing. To encourage the others.

32 posted on 06/01/2006 9:40:49 AM PDT by El Gato
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To: AmericanYankee

Can we send Jack Murtha over to Haditha, to negotiate their surrender ... one-way ticket.


33 posted on 06/01/2006 9:42:37 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: All

Try this source: On record

Lieut. Colonel Michelle Martin-Hing, spokeswoman for the Multi-National Force-Iraq, told Time the involvement of the ncis does not mean that a crime occurred. And she says the fault for the civilian deaths lies squarely with the insurgents, who "placed noncombatants in the line of fire as the Marines responded to defend themselves."

Or explain how the WaPo completely screwed up a On Record source: (From Hugh Hewitt):

The Post has been unable to get anyone from the Pentagon on the record on the investigation, using mostly anonymous sources. The one man they did get on the record on Friday was retired Brig. Gen. David H. Brahms, a long-time lawyer with the Marine Corps who has experience with these types of cases. His quote is in the third paragraph. See if you can guess why the prominent first-quote placement:

"When these investigations come out, there's going to be a firestorm," said retired Brig. Gen. David M. Brahms, formerly a top lawyer for the Marine Corps. "It will be worse than Abu Ghraib -- nobody was killed at Abu Ghraib."
I have a feeling someone was lying in wait for an Abu Ghraib reference. I read the quote and was taken aback because I spoke to the same Brig. Gen. David M. Brahms about the case this week, and his sentiments were very different from those presented in the Post. Which explains why he sent me this statement yesterday:

"Recent reporting on the events in Haditha, Iraq have included significant factual errors and/or misleading statements. This includes a quote attributed to me in the Washington Post this morning that was taken completely out of context and its meaning distorted. Many facts that are favorable to the Marines involved have not yet been disclosed."

32 posted on 06/01/2006 8:40:31 AM PDT by pissant
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1641730/posts?page=32#32




hanoi kerry went before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971
to accuse the United States military
of committing massive numbers of war crimes in Vietnam.

hanoi kerry 1971 TESTIMONY

http://www.c-span.org/vote2004/jkerrytestimony.asp

Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia Thursday, April 22, 1971
United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.




GOP Congressman and Former POW Rips John Murtha
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1576009/posts
"...I did spend 29 years in the Air Force, and I served in Korea and Vietnam and spent 7 years as a POW in Vietnam and more than half of that in solitary confinement. I know what it is like to be far from home, serving your country, risking your life, hearing that America doesn't care about you as happened in Vietnam..."

Sam Johnson Viet Nam Vet Hero AND POW gets it PING!
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1527080/posts


34 posted on 06/01/2006 9:44:05 AM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Support the troops by exposing the threats to them like hanoi kerry, cut and run murtha, Code Pink,)
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To: ArmstedFragg
Note the date.

August 22, 2005, 3 months before the incident with the Marines. You think things changed much in those 3 months?

35 posted on 06/01/2006 9:45:08 AM PDT by El Gato
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To: TheCrusader

Not 'we' taking the word of thses vipers in haditha, Murtha, the democrap party, and their sycophantic media whores are taking the word ... nay, they are promoting the word of these insane people over the word of anyone else because it serves the agenda to bring defeat at any cost, and the bastards KNOW they are being lied to and manipulated but they are allies to the democrats and the liberal lickspittlists of media in America.


36 posted on 06/01/2006 9:46:37 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: delacoert; pissant; Velveeta

PING


37 posted on 06/01/2006 9:48:18 AM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: El Gato
"Haditha exposes the limitations of the Iraqi state and US power "

Yeah?
Like Fallujah?

I seem to recall the self-same Guardian talking the same nonsense about "limits of US Power" when the terrorist vermin had temporary control of Fallujah.

Shortly afterwords, the strutting terrorists in Fallujah ceased to exist.
Today, Fallujah is considerably more peaceful than Baghdad.
38 posted on 06/01/2006 9:48:40 AM PDT by Jameison
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

If this is deemed to be a planted story by the insurgents. Then we can basically come to a conclusion that:

Certain politicians do not act in the best interest of our soldiers and should be held accountable.

We are losing the propaganda war.

The MSM is too quick to "make" news not "report" news making it increasingly simple for the insurgency to spread propaganda. The MSM has absolutely no form of investigative or journalistic morals or ethics when they rush to judgement during a time of war with headline like: "Report Shows Marines Were Unprovoked In Haditha Massacre" when nothing remotely close to that was even proven.


39 posted on 06/01/2006 9:50:20 AM PDT by AmericanYankee
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To: thecabal
In the "good old days", we would have razed the village and salted the earth.

Yep. This is a catch-22: to build up iraq and do business there we have to go through organizations and companies owned by people who hate us in some places. Haditha would seem to be such a place. Only one answer to a Catch-22: eliminate the underlying premises - to your point.

40 posted on 06/01/2006 9:51:09 AM PDT by gotribe (It's not a religion.)
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To: Coop

Ping, in case you haven't seen this. Note the date this was published, very relevant, in my opinon.


41 posted on 06/01/2006 9:53:24 AM PDT by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: Txsleuth; AmericanYankee

And more of the truth of Haditha
http://judicial-inc.biz/Snnipers_ambush_marine_comments.htm


42 posted on 06/01/2006 9:54:02 AM PDT by Velveeta
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To: AmericanYankee

Bomb the place into a smoking crater. Sow salt. Repeat as necessary.


43 posted on 06/01/2006 9:54:18 AM PDT by Spiff ("They start yelling, 'Murderer!' 'Traitor!' They call me by name." - Gael Murphy, Code Pink leader)
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To: thecabal

No, we just need to get the Iraqi government on its feet, and in a few years let the Iraqi Police raze the village.


44 posted on 06/01/2006 9:56:24 AM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; Velveeta; freema

Another interesting thing about this town. Here's three different accounts by the same survivor, courtesy of Velveeta.

You're right, Freema we're up to 3 versions from this child.






Safa Younis (also seen spelled as Yunis) Salim.

There was one survivor, Safa Younis Salim, 13, who in an interview said she lived by faking her death. "I pretended that I was dead when my brother's body fell on me and he was bleeding like a faucet," she said.
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,418464,00.html


Only 13-year-old Safa Younis lived -- saved, she said, by her mother's blood spilling onto her, making her look dead when she fell, limp, in a faint.
http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060527/NEWS/605270390/1039


Twelve-year-old Safa says she survived by hiding under the bed.
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13053200/



234 posted on 05/30/2006 5:58:15 PM PDT by Velveeta


45 posted on 06/01/2006 10:00:51 AM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: AmericanYankee

bump*bump*bump


46 posted on 06/01/2006 10:03:08 AM PDT by txhurl
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To: Velveeta

Sorry I posted your piece, I hadn't got to your post on this thread yet.


47 posted on 06/01/2006 10:03:21 AM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: AmericanYankee

bump


48 posted on 06/01/2006 10:10:23 AM PDT by bubman
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To: AmericanYankee
"fully in control of 'mujahideen' "

I this is the case, I have two questions. How did this happen? Why is it allowed to continue?

49 posted on 06/01/2006 10:13:53 AM PDT by isrul
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To: El Gato

bump for reference


50 posted on 06/01/2006 10:15:38 AM PDT by wildcatf4f3 (Islam Schmislam blahblahblah, enough already!)
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