“It was an outrage, an obscenity”
inside perspective from Baghdad in ArabNews, Saudi Arabia’s English daily. Author Robert Fisk is a seasoned English journalist, Middle East correspondent with London’s Independent. Fisk is currently un-embedded in Iraq.
Certainly, there had been an attack less than an hour earlier on a military camp further north. I was driving past the base when two rockets exploded and I saw Iraqi soldiers running for their lives out of the gates and along the side of the highway. Then I heard two more explosions — these were the missiles that hit Abu Taleb Street.
Of course, the pilot who killed the innocent yesterday could not see his victims. Pilots fire through computer-aligned coordinates and the sandstorm yesterday would have hidden the street from his vision. But when one of Malek Hammoud’s friends asked me how the Americans could so blithely kill those they claimed to want to liberate, he didn’t want to learn about the science of avionics or weapons delivery systems. And why should he? For this is happening almost every day in Baghdad.
The truth is that nowhere is safe now in Baghdad and as the Americans and British close their siege of the city in the next few days or hours, that simple message will become ever more real and ever more bloody. We may put on the hairshirt of morality in explaining why theses people should die. They died because of Sept. 11, we may say, because of Saddam’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’, because of human rights abuses, because of our desperate desire to ‘liberate’ them all. Let us not confuse the issue with oil. Either way, I’ll bet we are told that Saddam is ultimately responsible for their deaths. We shan’t mention the pilot, of course.