Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tikrit gets lucky

Salahuddin provincial officials have announced major bureaucratic breakthroughs in recent days, with the announcement of central-government allocation of 8 billion Iraqi dinars for the first stages of development of a commercial airport in Tikrit, the provincial capital, and then today the announcement that a committee has finalized approval for compensation, to be paid Sunday, to family of martyrs and to wounded survivors of "military operations" in the province--2642 cases with total payout of over 5 billion Iraqi dinars. This is described as the "first batch" of compensation payments. (There isn't an overall description of the complete program).

Neither of these brief news-stories says anything about the politics or the timing, and it would be nice to think that the government authorities have been converted to even-handed non-sectarianism, on the occasion for instance of the recent opening of the new Najaf airport.

Recall, however, the rage of the governor of Salahuddin province following the killing of his son and another relative by the American occupation forces, who after breaking into their house, "perceived hostile intent" and shot them dead predawn Monday July 21. The governor ordered the suspension of all administrative activities by his office, and threatened to resign if the criminals were not tried and punished. That particular line of the narrative has faded into the dark depths, where it joins the story of Maliki's demand for an investigation of the killing by American forces of his relative earlier this month in his home town, and so many other stories.

But three days later the Tikrit airport project finally gets its first funding allocation, and the first batch of compensation amounts for the relatives and victims of "military operations" in the province is approved for immediate payment.

But for me this first round of compensation payments is more an occasion to stop and think of all the victims, and honor them, not just the Governor's son but all the victims in Salahuddin, and not just in Salahuddin but in all the provinces of Iraq, and not just in Iraq but in Palestine and elsewhere, so that we don't forget either the horror of each individual case, or the terrific destructive scope of American policy in the region as a whole.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for saying that badger. i don't forget. i don't think i will ever forget.


7:04 PM  

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