Monday, May 24, 2004

"Bad People Have Celebrations, too." Video At Eleven 

So Brig. General Kimmitt has told us, in regards to that so-called wedding taking place in that isolated desert area of Iraq.

There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Saturday. "There may have been some kind of celebration.

AP is reporting that they are in possession of a videotape that appears to show a wedding.

...a dozen white pickup trucks speeding through the desert, escorting a bridal car decorated with colorful ribbons. The bride wears a Western-style white bridal dress and veil. The camera captures her stepping out of the car but does not show a close-up.

The videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck

Centcom continues to insist that they hit a legitimate non-civilian target. Remember, fellow citizens, civilians who are in any way connected to insurgent activities, i.e., support terrorism, become combatants, so none of the following should bother any of us.

....video that APTN shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, scattered around the bombed out tent.

An AP reporter and photographer, who interviewed more than a dozen survivors a day after the bombing, were able to identify many of them on the wedding party video — which runs for several hours.

APTN also traveled to Mogr el-Deeb, 250 miles west of Ramadi, the day after the attack to film what the survivors said was the wedding site. A devastated building and remnants of the tent, pots and pans could be seen, along with bits of what appeared to be the remnants of ordnance, one of which bore the marking "ATU-35," similar to those on U.S. bombs.

A water tanker truck can be seen in both the video shot by APTN and the wedding tape obtained from a cousin of the groom.


The survivors agree that the wedding festivities had broken up for the night when the attack began, but they insist that there were no foreign fighters or other combatants in their group.

The video shows the bride arriving in a white pickup truck and quickly being ushered into a house by a group of women. Outside, men recline on brightly colored silk pillows, relaxing on the carpeted floor of a large goat-hair tent as boys dance to tribal songs.

The singing and dancing seems to go on forever at the all-male tent set up in the garden of the host, Rikad Nayef, for the wedding of his son, Azhad, and the bride Rutbah Sabah. The men later move to the porch when darkness falls, apparently taking advantage of the cool night weather. Children, mainly boys, sit on their fathers' laps; men smoke an Arab water pipe, finger worry beads and chat with one another. It looks like a typical, gender-segregated tribal desert wedding.

As expected, women are out of sight — but according to survivors, they danced to the music of Hussein al-Ali, a popular Baghdad wedding singer hired for the festivities. Al-Ali was buried in Baghdad on Thursday.

Prominently displayed on the videotape was a stocky man with close-cropped hair playing an electric organ. Another tape, filmed a day later in Ramadi and obtained by APTN, showed the musician lying dead in a burial shroud — his face clearly visible and wearing the same tan shirt as he wore when he performed.

As the musicians played, young men milled about, most dressed in traditional white robes. Young men swayed in tribal dances to the monotonous tones of traditional Arabic music. Two children — a boy and a girl — held hands, dancing and smiling. Women are rarely filmed at such occasions, and they appear only in distant glimpses

You can read more here

One thing that 9/11 didn't change, unfortunately for "our" side; if the factual basis of your statements is shown continually to be false, your believability becomes increasingly compromised, at some point fatally so.

Some of you, dear readers, may rankle at that "our side." But this is our military, our president, etc., etc., etc., in the immortal words of Mr. Hammerstein, as sung so indelibly by Yul Brenner, an Eastern European Jew pretending to be the King of Siam, and how American is that.

Before you become too chafed by this notion of "our" complicity in what "our" government does, let me direct you to Jeanne D'Arc's essay on the subject. It has provoked an equally compelling series of comments you should also not miss, in particular, the long thoughtful essay by alert reader, "Beth." Jeanne's blog has been on temporary hiatus due to family matters; welcome back, Jeanne, and our best wishes to your family.

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