Killing them softly

While Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has admitted that the “American liberation of Iraq … has turned into an occupation, with tragic consequences on the country”, the reality in Fallujah is horrifying:

Iraqis in the volatile al-Anbar province west of Baghdad are reporting regular killings carried out by U.S. forces that many believe are part of a ‘genocidal’ strategy.

Since the mysterious explosion at the Shia al-Askari shrine in Samara in February last year, more than 100 Iraqis have been killed daily on average, without any forceful action by the Iraqi government and the U.S. military to stop the killings.

U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces working with them are also executing people seized during home raids and other operations, residents say.

“Seventeen young men were found executed after they were arrested by U.S. troops and Fallujah police,” 40-year-old Yassen of Fallujah told IPS. “My two sons have been detained by police, and I am terrified that they will have the same fate. They are only 17 and 18 years old.”

Residents of Fallujah say the local police detention centre holds hundreds of men, who have had no legal representation.

Others are killed by random fire that has long become routine for U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. Sa’ad, a 25-year-old from the al-Thubbat area of western Fallujah was killed in such firing.

“The poor guy kept running home every time he saw U.S. soldiers,” a man from his neighbourhood, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. “He used to say: Go inside or the Americans will kill you.” Sa’ad is said by neighbours to have developed a mental disability.

He was recently shot and killed by U.S. soldiers when they opened fire after their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb.…