In Memoriam

Discussion of the Iraq War on all sides downplayed the
violence to everyday people. Let us now mourn Iraqi civilian
casualties, estimated (conservatively) to be 6,058 to 7,711 dead
(as of mid-July). Here are stories of some who died.

March 26: Faris El Baur made cushions for car seats, working in
his shop in Al Shaab market in north Baghdad. Because schools were
closed for the war, his 11-year-old son Saif was helping him. When
two rockets struck the market, father and son were crushed and
burned. More than 20 other people died, including a mother and
three small children, incinerated in their flipped-over car, and a
young man named Tajir, decapitated in a water-heater shop.

March 29: Failing to realize that their village was inside a
‘kill box,’ a free-fire zone designated by the U.S. military,
cousins 12-year-old Ibrahim and 17-year-old Jala walked to their
neighbor’s house for lunch. A U.S. pilot bombed and killed

March 30: With two friends, 14-year-old Arkan Daif was digging a
trench in front of his Baghdad house to protect his family from
bombing. A bomb tore off the back of his head. He was a boy ‘like a
flower,’ his father said.

April 1: Razek al-Khataj was driving north with 15 members of
his family to escape fierce fighting in Nasiriyah, south of
Baghdad. A rocket from an Apache helicopter blew their truck apart.
Razek lost his wife, six children, his father and mother, his three
brothers, and their wives.

April 2: Eight-year-old Aisha Ahmed was playing in the garden
when a missile struck her family’s farm in Radwaniyeh, near Baghdad
airport. Her 4-year-old brother died. Her mother, father, older
brother, and sisters were critically injured. Aisha lost an eye;
her face and body were peppered with shrapnel. She kept asking,
‘Mommy! Where is my mommy?’

April 5: Abid Hamoodi invited his three grown children and their
families to stay with him in his strong concrete house in Basra.
Anglo-American forces bombed and the wall collapsed, killing Abid’s
wife and nine other family members. He saved a daughter and two of
her children.

April 6: Nadia Khalaf, 33, had just finished her psychology
Ph.D. She and her sister were at home in Baghdad, talking and
laughing, when a missile came through their window and drove
Nadia’s heart out through her chest.

April 8: In Baladiyat, Baghdad’s eastern edge, a U.S. plane
fired at the home of Wael Sabah, her 12-year-old daughter Noor, and
her 4-year-old son Abdel. They died in Kindi hospital while another
son, stunned, sat on the floor beside his mother in a puddle of her
blood. Nearby, in the hospital, 2-year-old Ali Najour lay soaked in
blood with a tube in his nose. Both her parents had been killed.
And 11-year-old Safa Karim died slowly, bleeding internally from a
bomb fragment in her stomach and writhing in pain.

April 9: Children were playing in an olive tree grove near the
remote northern village of Fathlia. When bombs fell, 6-year-old
Hansa Omar was decapitated, her sister Jasim also died, and their
friend, 10-year-old Ali Ramzi, was crushed against a tree. Abu
Salam Gafur, a 16-year-old shepherd, was killed with his sheep.

Reprinted from Eat the State! (April 23, 2003).
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