Monday, January 16, 2012
The continuing torture of Iraqis by Iraqis ... after a wrongful war that should rightly have been in Saudi Arabia
Not bombing Saudi Arabia and their black asteroid or comet or whateverthefuck they have in Mecca was the biggest mishap of the Bush administration. We all know it but few of us really come out and say the obvious.
...The walls of Um Hussein's living room in Baghdad are hung with the portraits of her missing sons. There are four of them, and each picture frame is decorated with plastic roses and green ribbons as an improvised wreath for the dead.
Um Hussein had six children. Her eldest son was killed by Sunni insurgents in 2005, when they took control of the neighbourhood. Three of her remaining sons were kidnapped by a Shia militia group when they left the neighbourhood to find work. They were never seen again.
She now lives with the rest of her family – a daughter, her last son, Yassir, and half a dozen orphaned grandchildren – in a tiny two-room apartment where the stink of sewage and cooking oil seeps through a thin curtain that separates the kitchen from the living room.
Um Hussein looks to be in her 60s and has one milky white eye. She is often confused and talks ramblingly about the young men in the portraits as if they are alive, then shouts at her daughter to bring tea. She told the Guardian how she had to fight to release Yassir from jail.
Yassir was detained in 2007. For three years she heard nothing of him and assumed he was dead like his brothers. Then one day she took a phone call from an officer who said she could go to visit him if she paid a bribe. She borrowed the money from her neighbour and set off for the prison......