[lit-ideas] compare and contrast

  • From: JulieReneB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 22:48:44 EDT

<<BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. attack on an Iraqi desert village that 
witnesses said killed dozens of wedding guests was "no accident," but a 
strike on a safe house for fighters attempting to enter the country from Syria, 
a U.S. general said Thursday.
U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, a coalition military spokesman in Baghdad, said 
the target was a safe house for smuggling foreign fighters into Iraq from 
"We had specific intelligence that showed foreign fighters infiltrated into 
Iraq," Kimmitt said. "You and I both know these people have been responsible 
for many of the problems in Fallujah, many of the bombs that we see inside this 
country. So, as a coalition, we have a responsibility to attack foreign 
A senior coalition official said Wednesday that as many as 40 people were 
killed in the attack.
Kimmitt said Thursday that ground troops returned fire when they were fired 
upon, and found evidence to support their suspicions after the firefight.
"We picked up many weapons," Kimmitt said. "We picked up over 2 million Iraqi 
dinar. We picked up satellite communication devices. We picked up foreign 
passports. So, we believe that the target location was that of a foreign 
sanctuary, and we took the appropriate obligatory actions as the coalition in 
the Iraqi security forces to ensure the people of Iraq stay safe."
A Pentagon spokesman told CNN, "Our report is that this was not a wedding 

RAMADI, Iraq - A videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television 
News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. 
planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the 
Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday 
night before the planes struck. 
The U.S. military says it is investigating the attack, which took place in 
the village of Mogr el-Deeb about five miles from the Syrian border, but that 
all evidence so far indicates the target was a safehouse for foreign fighters. 
"There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments 
found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a 
wedding celebration," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Saturday. "There may have 
been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations, too." 
But video that APTN shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical 
instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, 
scattered around the bombed out tent. 
The wedding videotape shows a dozen white pickup trucks speeding through the 
desert escorting the bridal car â?? decorated with colorful ribbons. The bride 
wears a Western-style white bridal dress and veil. The camera captures her 
stepping out of the car but does not show a close-up. 
An AP reporter and photographer, who interviewed more than a dozen survivors 
a day after the bombing, were able to identify many of them on the wedding 
party video â?? which runs for several hours. 
APTN also traveled to Mogr el-Deeb, 250 miles west of Ramadi, the day after 
the attack to film what the survivors said was the wedding site. A devastated 
building and remnants of the tent, pots and pans could be seen, along with bits 
of what appeared to be the remnants of ordnance, one of which bore the 
marking "ATU-35," similar to those on U.S. bombs. 
A water tanker truck can be seen in both the video shot by APTN and the 
wedding tape obtained from a cousin of the groom. 
The singing and dancing seems to go on forever at the all-male tent set up in 
the garden of the host, Rikad Nayef, for the wedding of his son, Azhad, and 
the bride Rutbah Sabah. The men later move to the porch when darkness falls, 
apparently taking advantage of the cool night weather. Children, mainly boys, 
sit on their fathers' laps; men smoke an Arab water pipe, finger worry beads 
chat with one another. It looks like a typical, gender-segregated tribal 
desert wedding. 
As expected, women are out of sight - but according to survivors, they danced 
to the music of Hussein al-Ali, a popular Baghdad wedding singer hired for 
the festivities. Al-Ali was buried in Baghdad on Thursday. 
Prominently displayed on the videotape was a stocky man with close-cropped 
hair playing an electric organ. Another tape, filmed a day later in Ramadi and 
obtained by APTN, showed the musician lying dead in a burial shroud â?? his 
clearly visible and wearing the same tan shirt as he wore when he performed. 
As the musicians played, young men milled about, most dressed in traditional 
white robes. Young men swayed in tribal dances to the monotonous tones of 
traditional Arabic music. Two children â?? a boy and a girl â?? held hands, 
and smiling. Women are rarely filmed at such occasions, and they appear only in 
distant glimpses. 
Kimmitt said U.S. troops who swept through the area found rifles, machine 
guns, foreign passports, bedding, syringes and other items that suggested the 
site was used by foreigners infiltrating from Syria. 
The videotape showed no weapons, although they are common among rural Iraqis. 
Kimmitt has denied finding evidence that any children died in the raid 
although a "handful of women" â?? perhaps four to six â?? were "caught up in 
"They may have died from some of the fire that came from the aircraft," he 
told reporters Friday. 
However, an AP reporter obtained names of at least 10 children who relatives 
said had died. Bodies of five of them were filmed by APTN when the survivors 
took them to Ramadi for burial Wednesday. Iraqi officials said at least 13 
children were killed. 
Four days after the attack, the memories of the survivors remain painful â?? as 
are their injuries. 
Haleema Shihab, 32, one of the three wives of Rikad Nayef, said that as the 
first bombs fell, she grabbed her seven-month old son, Yousef, and clutching 
the hands of her five-year-old son, Hamza, started running. Her 15-year-old 
Ali, sprinted alongside her. They managed to run for several yards when she 
fell â?? her leg fractured. 
"Hamza was yelling, 'mommy,'" Shihab, recalled. "Ali said he was hurt and 
that he was bleeding. That's the last time I heard him." Then another shell 
and injured Shihab's left arm. 
"Hamza fell from my hand and was gone. Only Yousef stayed in my arms. Ali had 
been hit and was killed. I couldn't go back," she said from her hospital bed 
in Ramadi. Her arm was in a cast. 
She and her stepdaughter, Iqbal â?? who had caught up with her â?? hid in a 
crater. "We were bleeding from 3 a.m. until sunrise," Shihab said. 
Soon American soldiers came. One of them kicked her to see if she was alive, 
she said. 
"I pretended I was dead so he wouldn't kill me," said Shihab. She said the 
soldier was laughing. When Yousef cried, the soldier said: "'No, stop," said 
Fourteen-year-old Moza, Shihab's stepdaughter, lies on another bed of the 
hospital room. She was hurt in the leg and cries. Her relatives haven't told 
yet that her mother, Sumaya, is dead. 
"I fear she's dead," Moza said of her mother. "I'm worried about her." 
Moza was sleeping on one side of the porch next to her sisters Siham, Subha 
and Zohra while her mother slept on the other end. There were many others on 
the porch, her cousins, stepmothers and other female relatives. 
When the first shell fell, Moza and her sisters, Subha, Fatima and Siham ran 
off together. Moza was holding Subha's hand. 
"I don't know where Fatima and my mom were. Siham got hit. She died. I saw 
Zohra's head gone. I lost consciousness," said Moza, covering her mouth with 
end of her headscarf. 
Her sister Iqbal, lay in pain on the bed next to her. Her other sister, 
Subha, was on the upper floor of the hospital, in the same room with 
two-year-Khoolood. Her small body was bandaged and a tube inserted in her side 
drained her 
Her ankle was bandaged. A red ribbon was tied to her curly hair. Only she and 
her older brother, Faisal, survived from their immediate family. Her parents 
and four sisters and brothers were all killed. 
In all, 27 members of Rikad Nayef's extended family died â?? most of them 
children and women, the family said. 

Someone please explain this to me.  I understand "spin".  But this is beyond 

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