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A father's choice: kill son or watch family die
AP | 8/11/03 | SAMEER N. YACOUB

Posted on 08/11/2003 3:23:08 AM PDT by kattracks

DHULUAIYAH, Iraq (AP) -- The tale is recounted only in whispers, but its horror still rings loud through the orchards of apples, dates and figs surrounding this small town.

Last month, townspeople say, tribal leaders gave a farmer named Salim Khaldoun a sobering choice: Kill your son, or watch your entire family be killed.

His son Sabah, 29, had committed a terrible crime. Eager for money, he had tipped off the Americans to a house where he said Saddam Hussein had stayed.

U.S. soldiers raided the house, finding no trace of Saddam but killing a 12-year-old boy. Sabah, neighbors say, accompanied the soldiers on the raid. His face was covered with a sack, but they recognized him easily.

"Sabah also gave information about former intelligence and military officers," neighbor Ahmed Ibrahim confided. "He did it for money."

Dhuluaiyah is a one-street town 55 miles northwest of Baghdad in the "Sunni Triangle" where U.S. forces have met the fiercest resistance. Surrounded by orchards, the town appears deserted during the day because the men are in the fields.

Townspeople are still deeply resentful of the Americans because of an Army sweep two months ago in which dozens of people were detained at a nearby military base and, they claim, left in the hot sun for days before they were released.

Many also support Saddam, as intelligence officers and other regime cadres were recruited from the heavily Sunni Muslim area.

Sabah Salim died a month ago and few people are willing to discuss how it happened.

"I don't know how he was killed, but he deserved it because he was a traitor," Ibrahim said.

The head of the town's tribal council, Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh, refused to discuss the details and described the incident as "mere family business."

Police Maj. Mehdi Saleh said nobody had asked for an investigation or even a death certificate. He said no probe was being conducted because it "could be sensitive in the community."

Pinched by a colleague, he became even more vague.

"I only heard about the incident," he said. "Nobody from Sabah's family has come to us to demand an investigation, so we can't take any measures."

But outside the station, a police captain jumped inside a reporter's car to give a fuller story.

The tribal council, he said, went to Salim Khaldoun with a message: "Kill your son, or the whole family will be wiped out."

The next day, Sabah was found dead in his family's farm, the officer said. The father hasn't been seen since.

Standing at the gate of Sabah's house, a teen-aged relative confirmed that Salim Khaldoun had killed his son.

He said U.S. soldiers came looking for Khaldoun last week but didn't find him.

The family itself offered a cold reception in the house. Khaldoun's brother said he didn't want to discuss the incident, because "the Sabah incident" had brought enough trouble to the family.

He said he preferred to discuss the difficulties of post-war life in rural Iraq, especially the electricity cutoffs that leave farmers unable to pump water from the nearby Tigris River into their orchards.

"Our dying trees," he said, "are more important than the dead Sabah."



TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraqijustice; rebuildingiraq

1 posted on 08/11/2003 3:23:08 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
The term barbarians is appropriate for these people.
2 posted on 08/11/2003 3:28:46 AM PDT by Elkiejg
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To: kattracks
Pathetic.
3 posted on 08/11/2003 3:29:15 AM PDT by tet68
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To: Elkiejg
Which raised the question:

How much of our sons and daughters blood are they worth?
4 posted on 08/11/2003 3:44:26 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: DB
It's not that they are worth one drop of our blood, it's that preventing their ilk from supporting terrorists who would kill us if they could is the price of liberty.

I despise these people, and, if I could prove who gave the ultimatum to kill the son or watch the family die, I would round the lot of them up, and their families, and execute them all. Well, perhaps only the males over 2.

5 posted on 08/11/2003 4:22:14 AM PDT by CatoRenasci (Ceterum Censeo [Gallia][Germania][Arabia] Esse Delendam --- Select One or More as needed)
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To: kattracks
He said he preferred to discuss the difficulties of post-war life in rural Iraq, especially the electricity cutoffs that leave farmers unable to pump water from the nearby Tigris River into their orchards.

If you don't like the water and electricity then tell your thug friends to quit cutting the power lines and other acts of sabotage against their fellow Iraqis.

6 posted on 08/11/2003 4:35:04 AM PDT by TheBattman
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To: CatoRenasci
Only the males?

Hell, you're more generous than me.

7 posted on 08/11/2003 4:44:00 AM PDT by PokeyJoe (The great chickenhawk returned on Friday!)
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To: TheBattman
If you don't like the water and electricity then tell your thug friends to quit cutting the power lines and other acts of sabotage against their fellow Iraqis.

BINGO!!! The longer this goes on and the more American lives lost - makes me question the "smart bombing" approach. One has to now wonder if it wouldn't have been better in the long run to carpet bomb every city........at least we wouldn't have pot shots being taken against our troops now.

8 posted on 08/11/2003 4:49:30 AM PDT by Elkiejg
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To: kattracks
I understand your frustration, but a few years of good ol' American Style freedom will do wonders for these people and help the U.S. in the long run.

Remember, they have lived most of their entire life this way- we have onoly liberated then for a few months.

It is in our interest to teach these people freedom- and just think about that concept- We almost have to force freedom on them... We are not forcing our control over them we are forcing THEM to be in control... What other country would do that?
9 posted on 08/11/2003 4:58:41 AM PDT by Mr. K (my sister was caught in a propulsion vortex once)
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To: kattracks
These "people" are animals.

Even if what Sabah did was reprehensible "snitching" according to their culture - the concept of murdering an entire family because of the son's alleged crime is so primitive it makes me wonder how these filth ever mastered fire.

10 posted on 08/11/2003 4:58:47 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: kattracks
What's the problem here? Let them kill each other. In fact, if US forces see this, maybe they'll get a bright idea and take a guy with a sack over his head through every village and stir up some trouble for the locals. The more time they spend on their old national pastime of killing their own people, the less time they'll have for their new sport of killing our guys.
11 posted on 08/11/2003 5:11:54 AM PDT by milemark
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To: PokeyJoe
That was the Roman method. We are civilized after all. I'm sure the women and children will fetch a reasonable price in the Saudi slave markets.
12 posted on 08/11/2003 5:41:25 AM PDT by CatoRenasci (Ceterum Censeo [Gallia][Germania][Arabia] Esse Delendam --- Select One or More as needed)
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To: CatoRenasci
Well, I think we should consider eliminating the "ugly" women anyhow. Any cow that would have that Saddam mug has got to be butt ugly. No wonder they make their women wear burka.
13 posted on 08/11/2003 1:14:06 PM PDT by PokeyJoe (The great chickenhawk returned on Friday!)
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To: milemark
I like your thinking. Imaginative and effective creative solution.
14 posted on 08/11/2003 1:16:35 PM PDT by PokeyJoe (The great chickenhawk returned on Friday!)
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