As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

Haditha: Answers Trigger Even More Questions

In my weekly Saturday morning stroll through my favorite websites, I had my eyes trained to hone in on news about the alleged atrocities in Haditha, Iraq which have dominated much of this week’s news. This stroll has raised more questions than answers but it has raised some very piquant items that could be placed in either column.

The first was found at

A 12-year old survivor of the alleged massacre of innocent civilians by U.S. Marines patrolling Haditha has admitted she had prior knowledge of the plot to detonate an IED as their convoy was passing by her house on the morning of Nov. 19, 2005.

In a quote attributed in this article to Safa Younis:

"I was planning to go to school. I was about to go out of bed. I knew the bomb would explode so I covered my ears," the youngster said, according to a CNN translator. "The bomb [then] exploded," she explained. "The bomb struck an armored vehicle. I don’t know if it was a Humvee or an armored vehicle. When the bomb exploded, they came straight to my house."

a possible justification for the Marines’ actions is presented. At the very least, a question is raised about the "innocence" of the residents of the houses where the alleged atrocities occured.

When I tried to track this quote back to its origin, in the CNN Transcripts, I found
this, which attributes the quote to Saffa’s cousin Eman Walid, who lived next door:

Twelve-year-old Saffa Yunis was getting ready for school. She says she was the only survivor in her house, eight relatives killed.

SAFFA YUNIS, EYEWITNESS (through translator): A bomb exploded on the street outside. We heard the sound of the explosion, and we heard shouting. We were inside the house when U.S. forces broke through the door. They killed my father in the kitchen. The American forces entered the house and started shooting with their guns.They killed my mother and my sister, Noor (ph). They killed her when they shot her in the head. She was only 15 years old. My other sister was shot with seven bullets in the head. She was only 10 years old. And my brother, Mohammed (ph), was hiding under the bed, when the U.S. military hit him with the butt of a gun, and they started shooting him under the bed.The U.S. military then shot me. And I was showered in blood. We couldn’t leave the house, because the U.S. military surrounded the area with a large number of soldiers.

CHILCOTE: Saffa’s cousins, 8-year-old Abdul Rahman (ph) Walid and 9-year-old Eman Walid, were next door in the first house entered by the Marines. They say seven were killed in this house.

EMAN WALID, EYEWITNESS (through translator): They entered the house. They burned the room. And my father was inside the room. Then they attacked my grandmother and my grandfather, and they threw a bomb. Me and my brother, Abdul Rahman (ph), were injured. I saw how they killed my mother, Asman (ph), and I saw how they killed my grandmother. I saw Hiba (ph) — she’s my aunt — taking little girl Isa (ph) and running away outside the house.

CHILCOTE: Eman (ph) is initially poised. She has clearly told the story many times. She needs no questions to prompt her.

WALID (through translator): My grandmother, she decided to open the kitchen door. Before she opened it, she said, "Maybe they will break it otherwise." I wish she hadn’t.

CHILCOTE: Eman’s brother, Abdul Rahman (ph), doesn’t say much. The interviewer asks him to show his wounds.

 Off camera, a voice in the room is heard asking: "He didn’t have a weapon. What danger did he pose?"

But there is an intriguing variation in Eman’s account the third time she tells it. She says she was expecting the bomb.

WALID (through translator): I was planning to go to school. I was about to get out of bed. I knew the bomb would explode, so I covered my ears. The bomb exploded. The bomb struck an armored vehicle. I don’t know if it was a Humvee or an armored vehicle. When the bomb exploded, they came straight to our house.

Either way, please don’t think that I am advocating the wanton killing of women and children; but, if it is true that someone in one of these two homes had, if not a trigger for the IED in their hand, knowledge that there was an IED out front which would be triggered by SOMEONE when the next military convoy passed that way, it is much easier to understand why the surviving Marines may have entered the houses and may, indeed, have killed anyone who moved. It is reasonable that they believed, with logical justification, that the slightest movement by anyone present may have been to trigger another, potentially more devastating, explosion.

As The Needle Bends

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June 3, 2006 - Posted by | Life and Ramblings


  1. “I was about to go out of bed. I knew the bomb would explode so I covered my ears,” the youngster said, according to a CNN translator. “The bomb [then] exploded,” she explained.

    How does a child that has just awoke KNOW a bomb is going to explode?

    If this were a witness in a U.S. crime what would the police think?

    We are too tolerant of incredulous thought.

    Comment by NAT PIERCE | June 3, 2006 | Reply

  2. Al zarqawi’s video may be a ruse a thumping of one’s chest while in death’s throes, an invitation to a party no-one wants to guest.

    More Stories of Fallen Al-Qaida Fighters in Iraq
    By Evan Kohlmann
    A new video recording is now available for download from the NEFA Foundation website documenting the phenomenon of foreign fighters in Iraq and their precise role within the ongoing insurgency. …look for download link at mid-right: “The Role of Foreign Fighters in the Iraqi Jihad”)
    Additionally, a torrent of reports has continued to flood radical Internet chatrooms concerning the identities and biographies of fallen Al-Qaida combatants in Iraq, most of them foreign nationals. Among those chronicled in these latest reports:
    – Abu Dujanah al-Qahtani (Saudi Arabia) A former Saudi National Guard soldier
    – Abu Hummam al-Urdani (Jordan) A black belt Tae Kwon Do instructor who
    – Abu Radwan al-Urdani (Jordan) Better known as Raed al-Banna, a law student from Salt, Jordan who spent time working in the United States,
    – Abu Usama al-Ansari (Iraq) : A former illegal arms smuggler
    – Abu Asil al-Jazairi (Algeria) : A former senior official in the comparatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood
    – Abu Ibrahim al-Tunisi (Tunisia) A veteran Tunisian mujahideen commander
    Read it all at:

    Comment by NAT PIERCE | June 3, 2006 | Reply

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