Jun 10 2006

Haditha Is AQ Central

Published by at 7:29 pm under All General Discussions,Iraq

To understand what are the possible explanations for what happened in Haditha it is important to look at the reporting, and understand Haditha was AQ Central and the likely source of a propaganda snuff film to excite the liberal (and blindered) western media. So let’s look at the liberal media’s reporting on Haditha for some clues.

April 3, 2003:

Two female suicide bombers carried out an attack which killed three coalition soldiers at a checkpoint north-west of Baghdad on Thursday, Iraq says.

A pregnant woman who ran from the car just before the explosion died in the blast as did the driver of the vehicle, who Iraq’s official news agency said was also a woman.

The Arabic television station al-Jazeera broadcast separate videotapes of two Iraqi women, one saying she was seeking “martyrdom” and the other threatening a jihad or holy war against American, British and Israeli “infidels”.

US Central Command in Qatar said the incident occurred on Thursday evening 18 kilometres from the Haditha Dam and about 130 km (80 miles) from the Iraq-Syria border.

November 7 2004:

Iraqi insurgents have stormed a police station, disarmed 21 officers and shot them dead, police say.

The attack at Haditha in the western province of al-Anbar was the latest in a series of violent incidents across the Sunni Triangle area.


Fighting at the Haditha police station, 200km (120 miles) west of Baghdad, lasted about 90 minutes, sources say, as the building was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

The gunmen fled, taking with them vehicles and weapons looted from the police station in Haditha.

The bodies of 21 policemen were later found with their hands tied behind their backs.

Notice the trade mrk of the insurgents.

April 20 2005

The bodies of 19 Iraqis have been found at a football stadium in Haditha, north of the capital Baghdad.

Eyewitness said they appeared to have been lined up against a wall and shot.

The dead wore civilian clothes. First reports said they were soldiers, but the defence ministry later said they were fishermen from the south of Iraq.

This attack were the pictures that were broadcast as being from the supposed Marine Massacre and caught by Bloggers like Michelle Malkin.

July 29 2005:

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has said it was behind the killing of Egypt’s top diplomat and two Algerian envoys this month.

Meanwhile, the US military says two of its soldiers have died in clashes with insurgents near the Syrian border.

Earlier, it said nine suspected militants had been killed in US air strikes on several buildings – believed to have been used as safe houses – in the town of Haditha.

July 31 2005:

American troops have reported killing 11 insurgents in fighting near Iraq’s border with Syria, on a day of violence which saw at least six other deaths.

Marines came under mortar fire from militants in an empty school near the town of Haditha, the US military said.

The insurgents died after forces bombed the building, setting off explosions from the ammunition stored inside.

August 5 2005:

Fourteen marines and a translator working with them were killed in a single roadside bombing close to the town of Haditha shortly after sunrise on Wednesday, adding significantly to US casualties as they battle insurgents along a corridor formed by the River Euphrates.

Beyond Haditha lies Iraq’s border with Syria which, according to the Americans, is an infiltration route for insurgents.

There were graphic accounts of the Haditha blast. The marines were in an armoured amphibious assault vehicle. It was said to have flipped over after a thunderous explosion.

October 14 2005:

Millions of people are expected to cast their votes in a referendum on whether to accept a new constitution drawn up by members of the transitional parliament over the spring and summer.
But he admits that in other towns and villages across the western half of Anbar, such as Qaim, Rawa and Haditha, the situation is much more difficult.

Some of these have been under the control of militants.

In some, such as Haditha, there have even been reports of Taleban-style regimes being established.

Last week US troops backed by attack helicopters and fighter aircraft launched a series of offensives in the area aimed at rooting out the militants and cutting their supply-lines.

According to the Iraqi government, 90 insurgents were killed and almost 200 arrested. But civilians were also among the casualties.

And this is not the first time someone has claimed the US had murdered civilians in Haditha. From August 22, 2005:

Iraq’s ambassador to the UN last month demanded an inquiry into his relative’s death.

A letter written by Mr Sumaidaie to his colleagues said his unarmed cousin had been assisting marines in the search of his house when he was killed.

Mr Sumaidaie said the ramifications of such a “serious crime” were enormous for both the US and Iraq.

He said Mohammed, an engineering student, was visiting his family home when some 10 marines with an Egyptian interpreter knocked on the door at 1000 local time.

He opened the door to them and was “happy to exercise some of his English”, said the ambassador.

When asked if there were any weapons in the house, Mohammed took the marines to a room where there was a rifle with no live ammunition.

It was allegedly the last time the family saw him alive. Shortly after, another brother was dragged out and beaten and the family was ordered to wait outside.

As the marines left “smiling at each other” an hour later, the interpreter told the mother they had killed Mohammed, said Mr Sumaidaie.

“In the bedroom, Mohammed was found dead and lying in a clotted pool of his blood – a single bullet had penetrated his neck,” the Iraqi envoy said.

Sounds really serious, as written. But since no one heard more about the death of a UN Ambassador’s relative we can guess where this ended. CNN had the Ambassador on recently where he confirmed the story by the Marines was seld defense.

BLITZER: So what you’re suggesting, your cousin was killed in cold blood, is that what you’re saying, by United States Marines?

SUMAIDAIE: I believe he was killed intentionally. I believe that he was killed unnecessarily. And unfortunately, the investigations that took place after that sort of took a different course and concluded that there was no unlawful killing.

I would like further investigation. I have, in fact, asked for the report of the last investigation, which was a criminal investigation, by the way.

Who is right? Who knows. But the excuse the man gave for why his cousin couldn’t be with the insrugents is naive at best:

SUMAIDAIE: Well, they said that they shot him in self-defense. I find that hard to believe because, A, he is not at all a violent — I mean, I know the boy. He was [in] a second-year engineering course in the university. Nothing to do with violence. All his life has been studies and intellectual work.

Mohamed Atta was a non-violent student of engineering too, so that won’t mean squat. What is clear is Haditha has had a long violent record of death and killing. Anyone trying to portray the region as some peaceful little hamlet is either grossly naive or lying. Reporters who failed to communicate the full picture here have as much explaining to do as the Marines who are defending themselves.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “Haditha Is AQ Central”

  1. Carol_Herman says:

    A good thing we’re not in Vietnam, anymore. And, Kerry didn’t win in 2004, either. No hat for him.

    The Haditha story is already in pieces. And, today, if you’ve been to Drudge, you’ll see that “the first person to arrive at the ripped building where Zaqawi was found now says “American troops wrapped his head in an arab dress, and beat him.”

    Sure. With a candlestick. In the kitchen. And, the troop[err] was named Col. Mustard.

    Nothing like the Internet to pull the plug.

    Bush’s polling numbers are up, too. This means that the press, in polling mostly liberals, has found the president’s poll numbers rising. I could’a told ya so. Ya can now write their stories without having to read them, first.

  2. crosspatch says:

    Bush’s polling numbers are up, too. This means that the press, in polling mostly liberals, has found the president’s poll numbers rising. I could’a told ya so. Ya can now write their stories without having to read them, first.

    Any links to rising poll numbers? The only thing I have seen so far is Rasmussen and they show Bush flat since the bombing. I have been looking for some kind of a bump but considering the “it won’t make any difference” MSM spin and the military being so (understandably) tight lipped about follow-on raids, I figured it would take a week or two to see any bounce. If you have a link to any other polling, would you share?

  3. sbd says:

    It is interesting that you mention an Iraqi Ambassador to the UN since it seems that the former Iraqi Ambassador to the UN just happens to also have the same last name as those supposedly massacred in Haditha. Coincedence??

    BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

    January 14, 2000, Friday

    SECTION: Part 4 The Middle East; THE MIDDLE EAST; IRAQ; ME/D3737/MED

    LENGTH: 415 words

    HEADLINE: Iraq asks UN Security Council to allocate funds to pay UN, OPEC “dues”

    SOURCE: Source: Republic of Iraq Radio, Baghdad, in Arabic 1900 gmt 12 Jan 00


    Text of report by Iraqi radio on 12th January

    Iraq has asked the Security Council to quickly look into the possibility of allocating 24 million dollars from its account set up in accordance with Resolution 986 of 1990 and the Memorandum of Understanding to pay membership fees due to the UN agency and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.

    Ambassador Sa’id Hamid Hassan, Iraq’s permanent representative to the UN, said in a letter he sent to the current Security Council president that the embargo imposed on Iraq since 1990 has prevented the provision of funds to purchase foodstuffs and medicines as well as paying Iraq’s membership fees to the UN.

    Iraq’s ambassador to the UN said that certain states at the membership committee were against Iraq’s application for the allocation of certain amounts of money from its account, which was set up in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed with the UN secretary-general, to pay Iraq’s dues to the UN and its other agencies.

    He said that the latest application made by Iraq to the membership committee was on 19th October 1998 was discussed at the committee’s extraordinary meeting between 8th to 22nd February 1999. The committee mentioned in Paragraph 94 of its report that the possibility of paying Iraq’s dues from the returns of Iraqi oil sales in line with the compensation committee and the oil-for-food deal was discussed. Several members said that this should be considered.

    Ambassador Hassan said that the foreign minister sent a letter to the UN secretary-general on 9th June 1999 in which he asked for consideration of the possibility of paying off Iraq’s dues from the returns of Iraqi oil export revenues in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding and the oil-for-food deal. The secretary-general responded in a letter on 28th June 1999 saying that the issue was not within his jurisdiction but that of the Security Council.

    Iraq’s representative to the UN said that Iraq is attaching great importance on paying its dues to the UN as well as OPEC. He called on the Security Council to look into this request and approve the allocation of 24 million dollars from Iraq’s account as set up in accordance with Resolution 986 and the Memorandum of Understanding on 20th May 1996 to pay Iraq’s dues, which come to 10 million dollars for the UN and 14 million dollars for OPEC.

    The letter has been circulated as a Security Council official document.

    LOAD-DATE: January 14, 2000


  4. clarice says:

    The first account by a marine in the Kilo company. Needless to say, it doesn’t match the Time account.

  5. crosspatch says:

    You have to be really careful with last names in Iraq in particular and with Arabic areas in general. Hassan is a fairly popular last name. Not exactly “Smith” but not exactly “Zzyzzyx” either. You find a lot of people with the name Hassan in Jordan and Syria and it is both a popular first and last name.

    What you will generally find in places such as Haditha is that nearly the entire town will be of the same tribe or maybe two or three tribes. Last names are sometimes a tribal name, sometimes a name related to a smaller nuclear family unit, or sometimes they would take the name of the village or town … al Zarqawi meaning roughly “from Zarqa” or al Hadithi meaning “from Haditha” or “al Tikriti” meaning “from Tikrit”. A person might use any of the three last names depending on the context. One might even take their father’s first name as their last name. Saddam Hussein, for example, was from the Bani al-Nasiri tribal branch in Tikrit. He could have used al-Tikriti, al-Khatab (the clan within the al-Tikriti branch of the Bani al-Nasiri tribe). Instead he chose to use his father’s first name as his last name.

    So if you want to find relatives of Saddam’s you don’t look for Hussein, you look for al-Tikriti or maybe al-Khatab and the various spellings can make things really difficult.

    Hassan as someone’s last name might just mean that was their father’s first name. Much like was done in Scandanavia and Russia where the last name was the father’s name is used as a last or middle name. In Scandanavia, with a “sen” or “son” suffix (Jenssen, Jensson meaning Son of Jens )and in Russia with a “vic” or “vich” suffix … (Ivanovich or Ivanovic meaning Son of Ivan) but there is no suffix with Arabic names. Sometimes there is a prefix (bin) so Saddam might be, more accurately Saddam bin Hussein but that is not the cultural norm in Iraq.

    Some Arab countries are much more rigid with last names and in places like Saudi Arabia, a son takes the last name of the father’s last name so the last name really is a family name. In Iraq the last name tells you nothing … which is why it is so hard for us to figure out who is related to whom.

    So you could be looking at two people with the same last name because they took their father’s first name who were both named Hassan but were not related in any way.

  6. crosspatch says:

    Oh, also search on Hadithah in addition to Haditha as both spellings are common. For example, I found this article dated 7/2/2003

    Meanwhile, a weekend explosion at an ammunitions depot killed at least 15 people and injured at least four near Hadithah, 150 miles northwest of Baghdad, officials said Tuesday.

    Metal scavengers dismantled 155 mm artillery rounds, spreading gunpowder on the ground at the depot that housed old Iraqi artillery. A spark there Saturday triggered the blast, local officials said.

    Policeman Lt. Saad Aziz said there was a large pile of TNT at the depot, and people were smoking. “This kind of TNT is very sensitive to heat. A small spark could set the whole thing off,” he said.

    Mohammed Nayil Assaf, Hadithah’s mayor, put the death toll at 25 and the injured at 6. He insisted that U.S. troops failed to adequately protect a large amount of ammunition stored in the area.

    “It was a tragic day for Hadithah,” he told the Associated Press outside the town hall, near a 3-foot-high pile of shell casings seized from looters.

  7. smh1012 says:

    Crosspatch: I don’t know if this is the report on the poll numbers Carol was referring to above, but it is the only one I have seen showing a bump for the President.


    The article is up at Right Wing Nuthouse that links to this poll in case the link doesn’t work.

  8. sbd says:

    While I agree that Hassan is a common last name, I was referring to Hamid Hassan together like these two so called massacre victims.

    Jahid Abdul Hamid Hassan
    Walid Abdul Hamid Hassan


  9. crosspatch says:

    Yeah, it looks like it should mean something but there is a good chance it doesn’t because those are also common first names. Imagine two Americans named:

    Bobby John Harry Sam
    Billy John Harry Sam

    And Bobby is named after his cousin, uncle, and dad and Billy is named after his grandpa, cousin, and dad … and none of them are any relation to each other.

    I am not trying to be difficult, I am trying to help you get accurate information and possibly keep you from heading down dead end streets. Basically, names have no relation to relation. Two full brothers can have completely different last names. It is basically up to the person to choose which last name they want to be known by in Iraq.

    I know this from two different family members that have been there whose job is was to help sort some of this out for us. Basically they said it was useless. You generally had to do a face to face interview with everyone in a family and build a doggone family tree on paper because you couldn’t do it by name. You had to ask someone what village and tribe they came from and who their parents and children are. In fact, many people go by their first name and “father of …” or “mother of …” prefix and use their KIDS names for their last name.

    Last names in Iraq among Sunni Arabs generally mean nothing as far as clan or tribal or family relation.

  10. crosspatch says:

    Oh, and they might go by different last names in different contexts or during different periods of their lives too. It isn’t at all uncommon for someone to decide to use a different name. The current PM of Iraq changed his first name back to his originally given first name just before taking office so if you search on him by full name, you aren’t going to find much published about him prior to his taking office unless you also search under his old name. I am telling you, names in Iraq suck as a way of identifying people. That is why we take retina scans of criminals and recruits.

  11. crosspatch says:

    But in a town like Haditha, everyone is related to everyone anyway because they have all lived there their entire lives and the same families have been there ever since the area was settled.

  12. Is the Haditha Story a Hoax?…

    Apparently, the Times magazine story about the ‘cold-blooded killingÂ’ perpetrated by US Marines in Haditha is falling apart…

  13. Media Lies says:

    The other side of Haditha…….

    ….is is beginning to come out, and from the description of the Sergeant in charge, it appears that the shootings were justified and wi……

  14. patch says:

    If you check Memeorandum


    on a regular basis, you can see the Haditha story getting more and more play. Even the Washington Post has a frontpage story today. It’s an interview with one of the squad leaders involved in the incident. WAPO might have decided that this was a chance to zing their rivals at TIME.

    While the details sound brutal and grim, this is what happens in combat, but it was not a massacre. Combat is not nice, it’s nasty, and if you are hesitant, you are dead.