Yesterday, news emerged that an Iraqi journalist was killed by US troops
in Ramadi. The journalist's body was riddled with bullets - some 20 of them.
I held my tongue, I had suspicions. It's a pattern, you see. Iraqi journalists
getting picked off one by one.
Today, thankfully and to their credit, the Washington Post shed light on the
During the fighting in Ramadi, Zaal Shehan Mahmoud, 30, a cameraman for
the Baghdad TV network, was killed by more than 20 bullets to the head, abdomen
and legs, according to Mohammed Dulaimi, a doctor at the Ramadi hospital.
Baghdad TV is owned by the country's dominant Sunni Arab political organization,
the Iraqi Islamic Party, which recently re-entered politics after boycotting
elections held a year ago. A party official, Baha Aldin Naqshabandi, said
Marines mistook Mahmoud for a fighter while he was gathering footage in the
city's main market. He had been sent to Ramadi to report on the condition
of residents after the recent outbreak of violence
Will Larry King Live host this man's family?
Will CNN have exclusive interviews with his mother? His father?
Will Iraqi bloggers who shed tears over the kidnapping of Jill Carroll
do the like for Zaal Shehan?
Will non-Iraqi bloggers make listings of which blogs write of Zaal
Will others set up donation funds for Zaal Shehan's family?
Will the Iraqi government launch an investigation? Will the US military?
We know the answers. No ... for all.
Yallah, let me hear from you illustrious commentators. Spin this story for
me. Find a way to exonerate yourselves and the US military which pays your bills.
Racism. Neverending racism. And abject cowardice. We all know the sheeqaq and
neefaq (disunity and hypocrisy) of the Iraqis, especially when they are in the
company of westerners. It becomes a competition to see which Iraqi can shove
his head the farthest up a white westerner's ass.
"Oh, TAI, you're so angry."
You betcha. How could one not be absolutely aghast at the prevalent racism
that is allowing and sustaining the daily massacre of my people, my kin.
And what's more, with the collusion of many Iraqis, which grieves me on an
entirely different level.
If this journalist killed by US forces were Jewish, what do you think the reaction
If he were Swedish what would it be?
Let's not even surmise what kind of reaction an American killed in Iraq would
Eulogies, obituaries, TV footage of candle-light vigils, stories of his childhood,
his tearing friends remembering how he threw a football.
But Zaal Shehan, well, heck, he never existed because he was an Iraqi. A non-being
with no childhood, no history, nothing. And now, even his name will be erased.