Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Setbacks in Winning Iraqi Hearts: A Report From Baghdad By <I>Christian Science Monitor</I> Reporter Scott Peterson

April 21, 2003
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

Topics

Last week Christian Science Monitor reporter Scott Peterson filed a story titled "Setbacks in winning Iraqi hearts." It began:

The night after Baghdad fell, three Bradley Fighting Vehicles, fresh from battle, came across some Iraqi military trucks loaded with ordnance in residential District 405.

What happened next would become a tragedy for both the American soldiers and the Iraqi civilians.

After warning the residents along Street No. 2 to stay in their homes, the lead US vehicle fired explosive rounds into the parked trucks. The resulting fireball destroyed four houses, broke windows up to six blocks away–and killed the Bradley commander.

As US troops attempt to restore safety and order to Baghdad, events like these are complicating the postwar campaign to win Iraqi hearts and minds. The incidents also raise the issue of who should pay for the unintentional mistakes of war.

Damaged beyond repair is District 405 resident Abdulkarim Al-Fardousi’s faith that Americans had come to free his people from dictatorship and make a better future for Iraq.

"The happiness at the fall of Saddam has faded away in that single incident," says Fardousi, owner of an advertising agency, as he picks through mangled wreckage that included four computers and six monitors–brought home from work for safety during the war.

"If this is freedom, I don’t want it," Fardousi says. The blast knocked out hearing in his right ear, but the 27 other family members crammed into the back of the house survived that night, April 10. In the block, eight people were lightly wounded.

"Who is going to compensate for all this loss?" Fardousi asks. "This was an American mistake–they told us that."

  • Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor reporter in Iraq.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.