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Bush: Protecting America From Bedouin Weddings

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RAMADI, Iraq (Rotters News)

In another display of pinpoint military might, the United States continued to “shock and awe” the world in an attack on an Iraqi wedding party on Thursday.

(The shock was that the U.S. would target a wedding full of civilians, including women, children, and the elderly — and the ‘awe’ was that U.S. officials would continue to insist that they represent high moral standards while killing innocent children.)

Revelers at the wedding party said they began worrying when they heard aircraft overhead at about 9 p.m. With jets still overhead two hours later, they told the band to stop playing and everyone went to bed.

”We began to expect some kind of catastrophe,” said Madhi Nawaf, who lives in the area near Mogr el-Deeb on the Syrian border.

The first bomb hit well after midnight and the barrage didn’t stop until nearly sunrise, witnesses told The Associated Press. In the end, up to 45 people were killed in the attack Wednesday, mostly women and children from the Bou Fahad tribe.

”Mothers died with their children in their arms,” said Nawaf. One was his daughter. ”I found her a few steps from the house, her 2-year-old son Raad in her arms. Her 1-year-old son, Raed, was lying nearby, missing his head.”

U.S. Military officials said the target was just one of many in the ongoing “war against terrorism”. In Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, coalition deputy chief of operations, repeated that claim Thursday, saying that the U.S. was acting on excellent intelligence.

“The intelligence we had was as good as any we’ve had during the entire Iraqi war,” Kimmitt said, “and we got specific information from reliable sources close to our old friend Ahmed Chalabi that this wedding party was definitely hiding weapons of mass destruction.”

At that point in the press conference, Kimmitt was interrupted by an aide who took him aside and whispered in his ear. When Kimmitt returned to the microphone, he continued, “um, strike that last sentence, if you would… um…um, anyway, we had good intelligence from reliable sources. And we expect to find small traces of sarin and mustard gas in the wedding cake, high explosives disguised as party favors, and we know that most of the children were packin’ heat.”

Kimmitt said soldiers also found jewelry and vehicles that indicated the people were not wandering Bedouin but ”town dwellers.”

In the war on terror in Iraq, “town dwellers” has apparently become a euphemism for “murderous terrorists” — and sources from the Pentagon told reporters that jewelry can be melted down and cast as artillery weapons capable of firing small vehicles at American cities along the Eastern Coast of the United States.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when asked about the incident late Thursday, added, “You take enough jewelry and a few old Mercedes — and you can do a lot of damage to a city like Boston or New York. This was just another preemptive attack in the fight against terrorism. I mean — if you wait for evidence of a smoking gun, it might turn out to be in the form of a Mercedes with an exhaust problem landing on your head. Or a wedding cake hurled from point blank range. These people are terrorists, they’re barbaric! And we have other evidence as well — this alleged wedding couple had done their gift registry at Kalashnikovs-R-Us. Come on, good golly gee, don’t be naive, it’s not like they were interested in ‘Martha Stewart’ products from K-Mart. They’re animals.”

Late Thursday, more than a dozen men from the Bou Fahad tribe transported the dead to Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, which includes Mogr el-Deeb. Twenty-eight graves were dug in the tribe’s cemetery outside Ramadi, each containing one to three bodies. A wake was held Thursday at a home in Ramadi.

Sheik Dahan Haraj, the tribe’s chief who was also at the wedding, said that if the Americans suspected terrorists, ”why not seal off the area and make sure they were indeed foreign fighters?”

American officials were unavailable for a response.

=== end of transmission ===

More on Terrorism from Rotters News:

Michael Moore beheading video

RIAA catches Bin Laden

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About Mark Shark

  • Doug

    Shark,
    You amaze me. On some things you seem to be intelligent…then you write drivel like this post. If you had written this post yesterday, well then I could understand. However if you have been following the news since the initial report you would have noticed that this story has been dropped like a hot potato. Why do you think that is, oh Shark? With the media climate we have now do you honestly thing any news outlet in the world would drop such a story if there was any truth to it? A couple of questions for you:
    What were SatCom radios doing at a wedding party?
    Why was a wedding party still going on at close to 3a.m. in the middle of the desert (look at a map)?
    Why were the wounded taken to Ramadi which is around 250 kilometers away, instead of Qusabaya which is only 50 kilometers away?
    I really don’t know why I’m even posting this…you are so obviously insane on the topic of the Iraq war and your blinders are functioning so well that I know you won’t respond in any intelligent manner.

  • Shark

    We’ll see.

    ONE “sat com radio” = a cell phone

    Where do you get your news, Debbie? FOX?

    feh.

  • boomcrashbaby

    What about the possibility that there were insurgents mixed in with civilians at the wedding? If this is the case, it should show that we can’t fight the war on terrorists like we are fighting a war against another nation. We can’t use bombs, fighter jets, gunfire against an enemy that is interspersed with innocents. We have to infiltrate, like they did. This shows that we are using an outdated methodology of warfare against a new kind of enemy. Would we strafe with gunfire, terrorists, if we discovered them living in suburbia Illinois?

  • Doug

    WOW! Out of ALL of the possible news outlets you find ONE story!! And you apparently didn’t even read that ONE. It says “…presumably a satellite telephone.”. Now I realize that “presumably” is a big word, but there are online dictionaries to help you out. Obviously I get my news from far better sources than yours. If you could speak a language other than English you could read some of the papers that I read daily…but I can see that your “command” of the English language is minimal. It’s laughable that when you can’t find any facts to back up your poorly written screed you try to insult the poster. Oh, you are soooo clever! “Debbie” Oh, I’m hurting…your wit is so scathing. What a punk you are.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    “The intelligence we had was as good as any we’ve had during the entire Iraqi war,” Kimmitt said,

    Not to mention during the run-up to the same.

  • Doug

    BCB,
    That is certainly a possibility. In reading blogs from soldiers who are currently in Iraq or who have since returned from Iraq, there are many instances of insurgents literally hiding behind women and children. Also, there are accounts of children actually shooting at our soldiers.

  • mike

    They bombed it because it was a gay wedding.

    Also, quite a few wedding parties have been known to go on past 3:00 AM. Mine, for example, although we stopped with the rocket launchers after midnight.

  • http://www.jackejet.com jack e. jett

    mike:

    bombed it for being a gay wedding? could be. this war has turned out to be far kinkier than any gay porn i have ever seen.

    i guess we will never find the truth out on this as it seems like a major cover up is going on. the military even denies the video of the children being taken to their graves.

    on the other hand, the republicans gave george wussy bush several standing ovations yesterday. he must have completed a sentence or something.

    jack e. jett

  • http://www.iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    you mean, completed a sentence by himself, surely?
    he’s been completing sentences for awhile, but they have been written by someone else

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    [Bush] must have completed a sentence

    Hell, I didn’t even know he was on trial yet!

  • Shark

    Doug, sorry about the name mistake. I honestly thought I saw “Debbie” — and I blame insomnia, coffee, and multi-tasking.

    I apologize for the error, but have to admit that as I’m past half-a-century old, I enjoyed being called a “punk” — even as a derogatory term.

    As usual, I hate to have to defend “facts” in what I thought was an obvious piece of S-A-T-I-R-E, but that’s become SOP around the satire-impaired Blogcritics crowd.

    ==========

    As to news sources, I usually visit FOX and Al Jazeera and then split the difference. I find that’s as close to the truth one can get these days, especially since Bush has become our “Commander of Lies and Disinformation”.

    I, too, am frustrated an ambivalent about the current “news” coming out of Iraq — is seeing believing? And whose eyes do we trust?

    I mean, a bill to deregulate forest and environmental rules and allow indiscriminate logging is called “Healthy Forest Initiative” — so I think it’s hard to see what’s going on in the mirror of Bush’s Wonderland.

    Even so, I ran across a story posted FRI. 5/21 at 6 pm CST that even includes video.

    Herewith some real, honest-ta-gawd news from ASSOCIATED PRESS — as opposed to Shark’s exclusives from “Rotters News”.

    It’s apparently all true — but I’m a relativist, so hell, I’m still a tad in doubt…

    ========

    Iraq Desert Bombing Video Shows Carnage

    SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI
    Associated Press

    BAGHDAD, Iraq – Fragments of musical instruments, tufts of women’s hair, and a large blood stain are among the scenes in Associated Press Television News film of a destroyed house that survivors say U.S. planes bombed during a wedding party.

    It is the first known footage from the site of Wednesday’s attack, which killed up to 45 people, mostly women and children from the Bou Fahad tribe in Mogr el-Deeb, a desert village on the Syrian border.

    The U.S. military has said the target was a suspected safehouse for foreign fighters from Syria and denied Friday that children were killed in the airstrikes.

    [there are photos!]

    Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt told reporters in Baghdad that U.S. troops who reported back from the operation “told us they did not shoot women and children.”

    “There were a number of woman, a handful of women, I think the number was four to six, caught up in the engagement. They may have died from some of the fire that came from the aircraft,” Kimmitt said.

    But an Associated Press reporter in the Ramadi area, at least 275 miles east of Mogr el-Deeb, was able to identify at least 10 of the bodies as those of children.

    At the Bou Fahad cemetery outside Ramadi, where the tribe is based, each of the 28 fresh graves contain one to three corpses, mostly of mothers and their young children.

    Relatives said they include those of 2-year-old Kholood and 1-year-old Anoud, daughters of Amal Rikad, who was killed; of 2-year-old Raad and 1-year-old Ra’ed – whose headless body was found near his house – sons of Fatima Madhi, who was killed; of Saad, 10, Faisal, 7, Anoud, 6, Fasila, 5, Kholood, 4, and Inad, 3 – children of Mohammed and Morifa Rikad, who were killed.

    There also are photo images of dead children, but it was not possible to determine if those victims were already accounted for by relatives.

    In Washington, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers told Congress that “we feel at this point very confident that this was a legitimate target, probably foreign fighters” who may have ties to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian wanted for allegedly organizing attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq on behalf of al-Qaida.

    “The intelligence right now and what we found at the site, which were weapons and the sort of things you might not expect at a wedding party, were not consistent with that. They were consistent with folks trying to come into the country, across the desert, in vehicles, staying for the night, trying to make it into Iraq.”

    Several shotguns, handguns, Kalashnikov rifles and machine guns were found at the site, according to Kimmitt.

    But Bou Fahad tribesmen denied that any foreign fighters were among them. They consider the desolate border area part of their territory and follow their goats, sheep and cattle there to graze. In the springtime they leave spacious homes in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and roam the desert.

    Smuggling livestock into Syria is also part of a herdsman’s life, although no one in the tribe acknowledged that.

    Weddings are often marked in Iraq with celebratory gunfire, but survivors insisted no weapons were fired Wednesday – despite speculation by Iraqi officials that this drew a mistaken American attack.

    The first bomb hit the huge goat-hair tent – where male guests were said to be sleeping – at about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday. The barrage didn’t stop until sunrise, witnesses said. Women and children were in an adjacent one-story house and the men went to their nearby homes, they said.

    After the first missile, Hamdan Khalaf ran in panic and hid in a grassy area.

    “In the morning, we went back to the hill and saw people torn apart, attacked by the plane,” Khalaf, who was not wounded, told APTN.

    “We pulled them out of here,” another man told APTN, standing on a pile of stones as he picked up a stained green cloth that looked like part of a young man’s shirt. A severed arm lay in the rubble. “We took them to hospital – straight to the fridge,” the unidentified man said.

    An angry voice in the background of the tape denounced President Bush. “This is his terrorism,” the voice said.

    The body of what survivors said was the wedding’s cameraman was pulled out of the debris Thursday.

    The footage also showed women in colorful clothes sifting through the wreckage and carrying away blankets and other goods. Pieces of rockets and bullet casings were strewn across the sandy plain, as were pots and pans and a satellite dish. Partly charred pickup trucks and a water tanker stood in the desert.

    The attack left few survivors. About a dozen wounded were taken to the town of Qaem, about 140 miles northwest of Ramadi and 130 miles north of Mogr el-Deeb.

    Witnesses, interviewed Thursday by AP in Ramadi, said revelers at the wedding party began worrying when they heard aircraft overhead at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. Then came military vehicles, which stopped about two miles away from the village and switched off their headlights. The planes were still overhead at 11 p.m, so the hosts told the band to stop playing and everyone went to bed.

    About four hours later, airstrikes began and continued until dawn when two helicopters landed and about 40 soldiers searched the house where the women had stayed and a second, vacant house. Soon after, the two houses were blown up. Some witnesses said the houses were attacked by helicopters; others said Americans detonated them with explosives.

    Kimmitt confirmed that the operation was an air and ground assault. “Those people on the ground identified no children as part of that location that were killed,” he said, adding that they reported only adult deaths.

    He also referred to the APTN video, shot Thursday in Mogr el-Deeb, as well as separate APTN footage from Wednesday in Ramadi that showed a headless body of a child and other bodies of children.

    “What we saw in those APTN videos were substantially inconsistent with the reports we received from the unit that conducted the operation,” Kimmitt said. “We’re now trying to figure out why there’s an inconsistency.

    “We’re keeping an open mind as to exactly what happened on the ground. That’s why we’re continuing to try to gather all the facts; that’s why we’re not ruling out anything based on information coming forward,” he added.

    ==== end of AP article ====

    At the very least, fellow Patriots, you’ll have to agree that this doesn’t bode well for the ol’ “Hearts & Minds” campaign in the Middle East.

    The Good News: It’s good for the economy!

  • Shark
  • Doug
  • Shark

    Oh, Kimmitt says it’s okel-ee-dokey.

    Well then…

    Nevermind.

  • Shark

    More on America winning “hearts & minds” in the Arab world:

    “A videotape emerged today apparently showing the wedding party in Iraq that survivors say was attacked by US warplanes last week in raids that killed up to 45 people.”

    Full Story

    And Doug, save yerself the trouble, ’cause Kimmitt has already responded for you — and like others in this corrupt administration, the story changes to fit the facts; his statements have winnowed down from “there was no wedding” to the classic line which will probably go down in history:

    “Bad people have celebrations, too.”

  • Doug

    Shark, it’s pathetic that you look for the smallest bit of evidence to back up your doom and gloom scenarios. You show absolutely no critical thinking ability. Let me help you out. AP airs a “wedding” video with NO CLOSE UPS OF THE BRIDE?? WTF? The videographer deserved to die…who wants a video of their wedding where you can’t even tell who’s in the wedding? “…,the story changes to fit the facts;”, well, duh what do you expect? As more is learned and more facts come out then the “story” must change. If they ignored the facts and stuck to a story then you would find fault there also. Think about any accident you have had or that you witnessed. If the cop asks you, “What lane was the car that got hit driving in?” You respond “The center lane.” Cop: “The driver of the car that got hit says he was in the right lane.” You: “Hmm. That could be true, I wasn’t paying that much attention until the car was actually struck”. So, you would be a liar because you are changing your story to fit the facts. Your circular logic is really quite sad.

  • Doug

    Oh yeah, your “…corrupt administration” comment. How did you feel about the Clinton Administration? Or is it only Administrations that you disagree with that are corrupt? What about the “corrupt” UN…or haven’t you heard about the oil for food scandal and the bang up job Kofi Anan has been doing there. What about the Bosnian situation? Just interested to hear your thoughts on those issues.

  • Shark

    Sooo, Doug is “interested” to hear my thoughts on…

    umm… the moral integrity of Clinton’s administration…?

    Wha? Was that a Weapon of Minor Distraction he tossed into my little empty cafe?

    Doug, dig:

    it sez “Bush: Protecting America From Bedouin Weddings”

    — so how ’bout we talk about Bush’s blunder in Iraq? The hearts and minds of the Middle East? America’s moral superiority vs a few hundred instances of torture in Abu Ghraib? A military invasion with no plan for an occupation? That rich criminal spy Ahmed Chalabi — friend and ‘business’ partner to Cheney and friends? Or how ’bout 801 Americans DEAD in Iraq (as of 5/24) for a Neo-Con’s wet dream?

    Oh, wait, LOOK! — there’s Bin Laden! Over there! Hurry! Look!

  • Doug

    That’s pretty funny coming from the master of distraction. Your views on Bush and Iraq are pretty well represented and known in all of their paranoid, conspiracy-filled glory. Plus I think we’ve pretty much beaten your original post to death. It’s quite obvious why you post your so-called satire on blogcritics. In short your satire is not very funny. That’s probably why you’ve had the problems that you noted earlier…it’s not that people don’t understand satire, it’s that people are offended by poorly written dross.

  • Shark

    “That’s pretty funny coming from the master of distraction.”

    I live to make you chuckle.

    PS: And thanks fer keepin’ the ol’ entry alive. Apparently, neither version of this story will go away.

    Please feel free to visit all my other languishing entries. Yer a godsend.