Thursday, January 05, 2006

Baby Noor As The Story of Iraq

To the Comments

Somehow, the details of this story seem to have gotten by me until today. This story consists of a tangle of elements that include soldiers doing their jobs to root out the chaosmasters, poor Iraqis with worse problems than having their house raided, and the abject evil with which Iraqis must contend in their struggle toward liberty and self-determination.

...Troops from the Georgia National Guard raided a Baghdad home in early December...As the young parents of an infant girl nervously watched the soldiers search their modest home, the baby's unflinching grandmother thrust the little girl at the Americans, showing them the purple pouch protruding from her back.

Little Noor, barely three months old, was born with spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal column fails to completely close. Iraqi doctors had told her parents she would live only 45 days. But she was tenaciously clinging to life, and the soldiers in the home -- many of them fathers themselves -- were moved.

Lt. Jeff Morgan: "Well, I saw this child as the firstborn child of the young mother and father and really, all I could think of was my five children back at home and my young daughter, and I knew if I had the opportunity whatsoever to save my daughter's life I would do everything possible...So my heart just kind of went out to this baby and these parents who...were living in poverty and had no means to help their baby."

Sgt. Michael Sonen: "We...collectively decided this is going to be our project. If this is the only contribution we have to defeating the war on terrorism, this is going to be it."

So Noor was sent to Atlanta for surgery with her grandmother. The Iraqi insurgents, however, continue to defy the limits of caricature as B-movie villains:

Lt. Jeff Morgan: "We did a lot of things to protect the identity of these people. We visited them when we could, which was usually in the middle of the night, as covertly as possible, because the insurgents in Iraq like to find people that we're trying to help sometimes and either terrorize them or sometimes worse."

Sgt. Archer Ford: "We are always concerned that talking to anybody longer than a normal conversation will put them in danger".

Imagine the insurgency as a bunch of guys with scars on their faces, a clouded eye, hooks for hands, sitting around a table brainstorming their next "evil plot". You would not be far off the mark.

Oh, come on, CMAR II! The insurgents are bad, but they aren't like that!

Oh no? Here and here (update 1) and here and the last paragraph of this post.

People ask "How could the Shi'a have voted for the UIA and militias in a greater percentage than they did in the last election?" I think perhaps I know how. Remember the story of torture houses where they were using power tools to get answers out of captured insurgents. In the safety of our homes outside of Iraq we thought, "Oh man! These guys are finished now". But the Shi'a in the South and Baghdad...not agnostic or athiest Iraqis, but observant Muslims, who had to dodge bombs when they went to mosque...saw things differently. For them, the torture shacks were the best campaign ad the UIA could have asked for. Those shacks said the government was serious in rooting out and eliminating the terrorists from Iraq.

The fact that we are suprised by this, shows how much we have forgotten about the way we felt that Tuesday on September 11, 2001. Americans, the months afterward, wanted the government to seriously bust some balls to find every single person remotely responsible for those attacks. And we didn't care what china they had to break to do it. When you see the terrorists mindset and tactics in Iraq, are you surprised that the Iraqi Shi'a felt the same? Allawi's big campaign promises were Security and an end to Deba'athification. Well, the torture shacks had shown that the UIA-dominated government was serious about the former and, as for the latter, non-Ba'athist Shia were not at all interested in cutting any slack for those who had served Saddam. Who can blame them?


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