Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Old Man of the Iraqi Sea

Chew on this raw catch, America, and then tell yourselves how great Bush's "liberation" has been:

Saleh thinks the lack of respect is a sign of how far Iraq has fallen since Saddam Hussein was overthrown five years ago: "They didn't dare to do that during Saddam's time"

Do what, readers?

"For Iraqi fisherman, neighbors' harassment dims call of the sea" by Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times | October 30, 2008

FAW, Iraq - Some days, fisherman Aoun Saleh loves life on the seas: the friendships, the jokes, the singing, especially when they have a big catch. But some days he rues the day he first walked onto the docks.

Like the time the Kuwaiti sailors stopped his boat in midwinter and forced the crew to swim in the cold waters, he said. Or when the Iranian coast guard held him and other fishermen captive, forcing them to cook and clean for them. More recently, he said, Iranian sailors stopped his boat in Iraqi waters, stole the fish, and threatened to take the Iraqis to Iran.

Saleh thinks the lack of respect is a sign of how far Iraq has fallen since Saddam Hussein was overthrown five years ago. "They didn't dare to do that during Saddam's time," he said. "Now we don't know who can protect us. The British? The Americans? The government? Or none of them?"

Nice job, Bush!

At least eight Iraqi fishermen have been killed this year by gunfire from Kuwaiti or Iranian naval ships, according to statements from the Iraqi police and navy. The attacks have taken place, Iraqis said, in Iraqi waters and border areas, as well as in their neighbors' waters when fishermen mistakenly strayed in.

Notice how the capture of British soldiers was blared in the newspapers for days?

This is the first I've heard of this.

The fishermen press on with their work if only because they have to eke out a living. Each day, they travel the 37-mile coastline, a legacy of boundaries drawn in the early 20th century by Western nations as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

One Iraqi fishery official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attacks were motivated by a desire for revenge over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and its war with Iran during the 1980s. The official faulted the fishermen for crossing into Iranian or Kuwaiti waters on occasion because Iraqi waters yield fewer and fewer fish. For its part, the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad denied that Iranian sailors had harassed Iraqi fishermen. Kuwait has rejected similar accusations.

Zuhair Badran, 36, began fishing when he was 19. Whereas he once felt he could make money in the trade, now he feels like a pauper. Before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the state sold 18 barrels of diesel for $13. Now his crews never have enough fuel. Desperate, they buy diesel from Iranian fishermen at $150 per barrel.

But Bush has "liberated" the people of Iraq!!! They had it BETTER under SADDAM!!!!

Yet fuel prices are the least of Badran's worries. He also complains about the Iranian and Kuwaiti coast guard crews who he said threaten Iraqi boats in neutral waters. A year ago, Badran said, he was briefly detained by the Kuwaitis. "They arrested me for hours, confiscated everything on my dinghy," Badran said.

He said an Iranian sniper shot two fishermen to death this summer. "We were near the place where the fishermen used to gather after their return from fishing, and an Iranian sniper killed two of them," Badran said.

Saleh, 38, visits the local employment center every day, hoping to find an alternative to fishing. He has found nothing. "We have no other way to get our livelihood," Saleh complained. "Fishing is the only job people can find in this city. Believe me, if there are any other jobs, I would never look at the sea again!" --more--"

You have DESTROYED a NATION, America!!

I sure as hell hope you are PROUD!!!!