The gun at the heart of the assault weapons debate

National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre is set to appear Wednesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His testimony, released Tuesday, repeats the same tired ideas that he has already articulated and that much of the nation has already rejected, including putting armed guards or police in schools. And he makes a pragmatic-sounding case for avoiding action, saying we all need “to be honest about what works–and what doesn’t work.”

LaPierre also defends military-style semi-automatic weapons, which gun-control backers in Congress recently introduced legislation to ban. “Semi-automatic firearms have been around for over 100 years,” he tells lawmakers. “They are among the most popular guns made for hunting, target shooting and self-defense.”

Please go to the link below to read the full piece.

How the NRA became the fringe

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre calls on Congress to pass a law putting armed police officers in every school in America during a news conference Dec. 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

On Wednesday, the National Rifle Association’s chief executive officer for the past 22 years, Wayne LaPierre, will testify with other witnesses, including Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is still recovering from a bullet-wound to the head, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Coming less than a week after Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced what would be, if passed, America’s most sweeping ban on “assault” or military-style semi-automatic weapons, and nearly seven weeks after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting shocked the nation, the stage is set to debate American gun policies.


Please go to the link below to read the full piece on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its support in prior eras for the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968, unlike today’ NRA led by Wayne LaPierre that opposes almost every form of gun control.

Caveat utilitor: Satellite phones can always be tracked

The original blog is posted here.

Caveat utilitor: Satellite phones can always be tracked

The Telegraph in London was the first to report that Syrian government forces could have “locked on” to satellite phone signals to launch the rocket attacks that killed journalists Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik, as well as many Syrian civilians, besides wounding dozens more including two more international journalists. Working out of a makeshift press center in Homs, foreign correspondents and local citizen journalists alike have been using satellite phones to send images of attacks on civilians around the world.

Without evidence, it is impossible to know whether Syrian forces tracked the journalists’ satellite signals to target the attack. And one should keep in mind that the building being used as a makeshift press center in Homs may have been known to many people in the city.

Yet the consensus among technologists devoted to Internet freedom is clear.

“Satellite phone tracking is not only possible, it’s widely used by military and security services,” one human rights-oriented technologist with experience training citizen activists in Syria told CPJ.

Jacob Appelbaum, a technologist associated with the Internet circumvention tool popular among human rights activists known as Tor, was among the first to warn journalists via @ioerror on Twitter: “No matter what – unless you ‘know’ otherwise, your Satellite phone almost certainly discloses your exact GPS location in an insecure manner.”

There are at least three ways to track a satellite phone. Tracking radio frequency emissions is one. “It is relatively simple to receive this signal for a trained technician, ” reports SaferMobile, a U.S.-based nonprofit group dedicated to helping activists, human rights defenders and journalists share information, in a blog this week pegged to the above attack.

Using commercially available tracking devices is another. “There is ample technology already on the market for doing so,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation, another, San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, wrote in a blog yesterday. Companies including the Polish firm TS2 sell monitoring equipment to track different models of satellite phones. The Italian firm Area SpA sold surveillance equipment to Syria last year in advance of the current crackdown, according to Bloomberg News and EFF.

Finally, satellite phones can be tracked through their own built-in GPS devices or weak encryption protocols. “It is very likely that the GPS location data is transmitted by the sat phone in the clear,” reports Safer Mobile. “Additionally and important as a side note — aside from revealing your location with a sat phone — the encryption used by commercial satellite telephone systems has been recently cracked.”

So what are journalists and citizen journalists to do? In an environment where normal Internet access is either shut down or severely restricted, satellite phones remain a key way to transmit and report information. For now, alternatives such as amateur radio links or — as this report from Syria suggests, using carrier pigeons — are largely infeasible replacements.

Technologists with experience operating in hostile environments tell CPJ that one should use a satellite phone in such situations only with strict radio discipline:

-Avoid using a satellite phone (or any radio frequency based device) from the same position more than once.

-Avoid using a satellite phone or similar device from a location that cannot be easily evacuated in case of attack.

-Keep the maximum length of any transmission to 10 minutes at most, then cease transmitting and change location as soon as possible.

-Avoid having multiple parties transmit from the same location, i.e. a central media center may be too dangerous to operate in a place like Homs, Syria.

Jammeh ‘Award’ Coverage Reflects Chill in Gambian Press

Original story ran on the Committee to Protect Journalists blog.

PRI’s “The World” Oct. 1, 2010, interview on the story with Frank:

“President Jammeh bags 4 awards,” trumpeted a September 17 headline of the Daily Observer, a pro-government newspaper in the Gambia, a West African nation whose idyllic façade as “the smiling coast of Africa” is maintained in part by President Yahyah Jammeh’s brutal repression of the independent press.

Under the headline, Observer reported that “two of the awards with an accompanying letter came from the president of the United States of America, Barrack [sic] Obama, who commended the Gambian leader for the accolade, and also commended him ‘for helping to address the most pressing needs’ in his community.” The Gambia State House’s website similarly reported: “In a letter accompanying his two awards, the U.S. President Barrack [sic] Obama described President Jammeh as an inspirational leader and thanked him for his exemplary dedication, determination, and perseverance for the development of the Gambia as well as the advancement of humanity at large.” The story quickly spread over the Internet, reaching the circulation of the widely read, Washington, D.C.-based news aggregator AllAfrica.

The claims are false. Regarding “your query asking for confirmation of Gambian reporting on the Gambian president receiving awards and a letter from President Obama,” White House National Security Council spokesman Bob Jensen wrote in an e-mail to CPJ: “Those reports are incorrect. The Gambian president did not receive what the media reports are claiming.”

In fact, among the four announced awards, only one from the United States was undeniably real: a Nebraska Admiralship or award denoting Jammeh as an honorary admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. A tongue-in-cheek distinction from the Midwestern, landlocked state, “an ‘admiralship’ in the fictitious ‘Navy’ of Nebraska is meant to be a ceremonial acknowledgment of Nebraskans who have shown outstanding citizenship,” noted Nebraska governor’s office spokeswoman Jen Rae Hein in a statement to CPJ. “We regret that this individual has attempted to embellish a certificate for a Nebraska admiralship, claiming that it was a high honor bestowed upon him by the governor, when to the best of our knowledge, this person has no relationship with or ties to Nebraska.” The spokeswoman further noted that the Nebraska governor’s office routinely processes thousands of admiralship requests annually.

The Gambian State House website reported that three of the awards, including the Nebraska admiralship, were presented to President Jammeh in Banjul by an unnamed official from a Palermo, Sicily-based organization called the International Parliament for Safety and Peace. Its website states that it was founded in 1975 by an archbishop of the Cypriot Orthodox Church. The international parliament has been reportedly accused of providing credentials to educational institutions otherwise not accredited in their own nations, and of selling membership, titles and other distinctions for fees.

The fourth stated honor was an “Honorary Vocational Bachelor’s Degree” bestowed upon Jammeh by the “Printers and Publishers Guild of Northern Germany,” according to the Daily Observer. German authorities told CPJ they found no record of any such award; extensive Internet searches in English and German revealed no such guild or other organization with a similar name.

Speaking to CPJ on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals, a former Daily Observer staffer, who worked at the newspaper in recent years, expressed no surprise at the credulous reporting of the awards. “If [the story] wasn’t out in the paper, someone would be in Mile 2 [prison] today–the managing director or the editor.” The person described a newsroom of fear: “You’re terrified. Nobody wants to go that prison.” One Observer reporter who may have suffered this fate is “Chief” Ebrima Manneh who has disappeared in government custody since National Intelligence Agency officials seized him at the Observer office in July 2007. Despite repeated calls from U.S. senators, journalists, activists and a West African human rights court ruling, Gambian authorities have continued to deny their detention of Manneh. Former colleagues said Manneh was arrested after printing a critical BBC article about Jammeh.

Daily Observer columns consistently flatter Jammeh and refer to him as “His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh” in a cacophony of honorifics reminiscent of late Ugandan military ruler Idi Amin whose formal introduction was a recitation: “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshall Al Hadj Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC., Lord of all the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda.”

Yet, it was not always so. The Daily Observer was once the standard-bearer of independent journalism in the Gambia. Launched in 1992 by Liberian editor Kenneth Best, the Observer was Gambia’s first daily newspaper and was once its largest circulation publication. Best, who arrived in Gambia as a refugee following the burning of the offices of his original Liberian Observer during civil war in Liberia, told CPJ the paper started with a circulation of 3,000 and peaked with a certain July 1994 edition that sold up to 30,000 copies. “‘Army coup in Gambia’ was the headline,” he recalled. “It was the first successful coup, and we told the whole story. We interviewed all the five lieutenants who staged coups.”
One of those lieutenants was then known simply as Yahya Jammeh. “We sold 10,000 copies in 15 minutes,” Best said. However, as Observer began scrutinizing the junta’s handling of transition to civilian rule, the newspaper became a target of government repression. Barely three months after taking office, Jammeh’s junta deported Best, who later sold the Observer to private businessman Amadou Samba.

That the handful of Gambian private newspapers has not challenged Jammeh’s questionable award claims is indicative of the chill of self-censorship that has fallen on continental Africa’s smallest republic. This is the result of years of repression, including a series of unsolved arson attacks on media outlets, the unsolved assassination of leading editor Deyda Hydara, ongoing arrests and Jammeh’s periodic threats to the media.

U.S. Arms for Terrorists?

Original story found here.

The Colombian police heard in early May that a big deal was going down inside a gated luxury community southwest of Bogotá. On May 3 they followed Colombian suspects, two of whom turned out to be retired Colombian Army officers, to a house filled with twenty-nine metal crates of arms and 32,000 rounds of ammunition. The police were still taking inventory of the cache when two more suspects knocked on the door. The police arrested them, only to learn they were US soldiers. The Colombian police said the arms were bound for an illegal paramilitary group that the State Department considers to be both a drug-trafficking and a terrorist organization.

The community of Carmen de Apicalá, where the arms were found, is only a short drive from Colombia’s Tolemaida military base, home to US Black Hawk helicopters and the place where US Special Forces train Colombian troops in combat skills. For convenience as well as security, many US military personnel and contractors rent condominiums in Carmen de Apicalá. “It’s a lot of ammunition, and it’s a very suspicious case,” Colombia’s police commander, Gen. Jorge Castro, told local radio. Colombian lawmakers in Bogotá said the US Ambassador, William Wood, should explain the circumstances to the Colombian Congress.

The State Department spokesman in Washington, Richard Boucher, denied that the arms were part of a secret US effort to arm Colombian paramilitaries. But he still refuses to say whether the arms are part of the unprecedented $3.3 billion in military aid the United States began sending in 2000 as part of Plan Colombia. The Colombian attorney general’s office, which is now investigating the case, said that the arms had been diverted from US stockpiles. The Colombian television station RCN broadcast footage of arms with US markings.

The case comes at a time when the Colombian government, led by President Álvaro Uribe, is negotiating a broad amnesty for Colombian paramilitaries. Known by their supporters as “self-defense” groups, Colombian paramilitaries have long been responsible for most of the country’s politically motivated massacres and murders, which often target peasants, trade unionists and students they suspect of supporting leftist guerrillas. The rightist paramilitaries have also long been accused of secretly collaborating with the military to carry out death squad crimes.

“I think that it’s probably fair to say that there is [sic] some episodes of contact between Colombian military and these so-called self-defense forces,” Roger Noriega, the senior State Department official for Latin America, told Congress during questioning eight days after the Bogotá arrests, adding that such “episodes” are against Colombian law and US policy. Yet, in nearly every region of the country, Colombian military officers of all ranks have been found to be secretly collaborating with rightist paramilitaries, and only a few have ever been seriously prosecuted.

The United States itself has long been ambivalent about Colombia’s paramilitaries. Back in the 1960s the US military, according to its own documents, encouraged the Colombian military to organize rightist paramilitary forces to help fight leftist guerrillas. By the early 1980s, Colombian drug traffickers and large landowners together organized the paramilitaries into a national force to ward off kidnappings and other forms of extortion by leftist guerrillas. But by the end of the decade, the government had outlawed paramilitaries after one group trained by the late drug lord Pablo Escobar blew up a Colombian airliner.

The Colombian military soon found a new way to maintain contacts with illegal paramilitaries, however. In the fall of 1990, according to a letter from the Pentagon to Senator Patrick Leahy, the US military helped its Colombian counterpart make its intelligence networks “more efficient and effective.” It was instructed, according to an April 1991 classified Colombian military order, to keep its operations “covert” and “compartmentalized,” to use only “retired or active-duty Officers or Non-commissioned Officers” as liaisons, and not to put orders “in writing.”

One new intelligence network killed at least fifty-seven people, including trade unionists, community leaders and a journalist, according to judicial testimony. But charges were dropped after most of the witnesses were either murdered or disappeared. In 2001 a former Colombian Army general, Rito Alejo del Rio, was arrested by Colombian authorities from the attorney general’s office on charges that he allegedly collaborated with illegal paramilitaries. But these charges, too, were soon dismissed, and the country’s top two civilian prosecutors fled the country.

Later that year (one day before 9/11, ironically), the US State Department finally put Colombia’s largest paramilitary group, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, on its list of terrorist organizations. In 2002 US authorities announced that the AUC was implicated in trading drugs for arms with none other than Al Qaeda. US authorities finally began indicting more Colombian rightist paramilitary leaders on drug charges, after having already indicted Colombian leftist guerrilla leaders on drug charges.

The May arrests of two US military officers for allegedly running arms to AUC paramilitaries raises many questions. US warrant officer Allan Tanquary and Sgt. Jesus Hernandez are now back in the United States, where officials say they may face criminal charges. “We’re committed,” said spokesman Boucher, “to a full investigation.”

Remembering a Friend Lost to Saddam’s Terror

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq has unleashed a torrent of repressed memories — tales of torture, disappearance, and summary executions. Iraqis searching for long-lost relatives and friends broke into prisons only to discover clandestine cemeteries and dozens of mass graves.

Some families did find solace, identifying and burying the body of a loved one taken from them years ago. But most of the dead remain unidentified, including my friend Gad Gross. He was killed near Kirkuk in 1991 while covering the Shi’ite and Kurdish uprisings that were encouraged by the last Bush administration during and after the Gulf War.

Now that the hostilities have finally abated in Iraq, many Iraqis will hopefully have the opportunity to recover the remains of those who have been missing for so long. Hopefully, too, the remains of Gad will be found and identified. I last saw him on the afternoon of March 28, 1991, on the northern edge of Kirkuk.

There were four of us, three young Western journalists and one equally young Kurdish armed guerrilla, Bakhtiar Abdel Rahman, our guide. Kirkuk fell to Saddam’s forces in seven hours. With a Kalashnikov over one shoulder and a pistol tucked into his belt, Bakhtiar led Gad, carrying several cameras, toward some nearby houses under heavy fire, while a French photographer, Alain Buu, and I dove, one after the other, into a nearby ditch.

All night, Iraqi soldiers camped around us. Their machine gunners shot into fields that the day before had been filled with hundreds of Kurds fleeing the city, mostly women either carrying or leading children. Not long after dawn, Alain and I heard a commotion coming from the nearby houses — it sounded as though Iraqi soldiers were capturing people. Within minutes, we heard the burst of an automatic rifle, followed by one long, loud scream, before another burst cut it short.

Peering over the edge of our ditch, Alain and I saw a group of Iraqi soldiers walking away from the scene, one soldier holding Gad’s blue camera bag over his shoulder. We continued to hide until about an hour later, when a soldier saw Alain, who jumped up and surrendered. The Iraqis seemed ready to shoot us, too, until an officer, evidently newly arrived at the scene, intervened.

Wearing the uniform of Iraq’s ruling Ba’ath party, he ordered the soldiers to save us for interrogation. They led us to another Iraqi officer, an army Special Forces captain, who greeted us with angry words: “Your friend, he kill himself. You know why? He had a gun.” I do not know whether Bakhtiar might have given Gad his revolver. But nearby, Alain and I saw Gad’s camera bag. Hanging from it were his laminated press cards, stained with blood.

Iraqi authorities released Alain and me 18 days later. But neither Gad nor Bakhtiar’s remains have been recovered. Gad, like me, was an only child. His mother, Edith Gross, is an ethnic German painter born in Romania who later immigrated to West Germany with her son when he was a young teen.

But they were not welcomed by some German neighbors who disparaged them for their foreign roots. Gad decided to apply to become an American high school exchange student and later won a full scholarship to Harvard.

He returned to Eastern Europe after graduating, and his photographs of Romanian babies dying of AIDS made the cover of Newsweek. Right after I met him, he won the Missouri Award of Excellence for his picture of two Romanian soldiers sitting on a toppled statue of Lenin.

By then, Gad was planning his next step. He applied to Yale law school while he was in Jordan, intending to study the protection of human rights. But he did not live to learn that he had been accepted.

Germany will not recognize Gad’s death without his corpse, keeping Edith without benefits. She wants to bury his remains near her home in Cologne. With so many graves across Iraq, finding Gad’s remains will not be easy.

The writer is the Washington representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Contra Saddam Hussein: Porque no hubo insurreccion

Published here (translated from the LAWeekly).

¿Por qué los iraquíes no se sublevaron en contra de Saddam Hussein? Lo más seguro es que muchos recuerdan la última vez que lo hicieron después de seguir las instrucciones comandadas por los Estados Unidos.

Al momento que la guerra del Golfo Pérsico concluía, el entonces presidente de Estados Unidos, George Bush, padre del actual mandatario, urgió a los iraquíes a “tomar las cosas en sus propias manos, para forzar a Saddam Hussein, el dictador, a renunciar”. Dos semanas después, muchos en verdad atendieron esas palabras para pelear en contra de su propio gobierno, el cual la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) predijo que colapsaría.

?Saddam Hussein se enfrenta a su desafió político más serio, después de 20 años en el poder?, afirmaba la CIA en marzo de 1991 en un reporte secreto escrito durante el mes que duraron los levantamientos. “El tiempo no está de su lado”, continuaba el informe.

El levantamiento comenzó el 28 de febrero de 1991 en Basora, ciudad situada en el extremo sur de Irak, cuando el comandante de un tanque perteneciente a una columna de soldados iraquíes que en ese momento se retiraba de la ocupación de Kuwait, se desvió hacia la plaza Sa’ad, cerca de los cuarteles generales del partido oficialista Ba’ath.

En esa ocasión, y en una escena que los actuales planificadores del Pentágono soñarían con que se repitiera hoy, el mencionado comandante del tanque salió de su blindado y denunció a Hussein, regresando luego a su interior, y procediendo entonces a volar en pedazos un mural, del tamaño de un edificio, con la imagen del gobernante.

El combate se extendió en ese entonces hacia el interior de Basora, mucho antes de alcanzar el conocido barrio de Jamoriya, lugar donde residía el soldado iraquí, Mohammad Honan, quien afirmó que paramilitares pertenecientes al partido Ba’ath merodiaban por las calles.

“Todos escuchamos los disparos que provenían desde la ciudad”, me dijo Honan en ese entonces, al tanto que alguien más también gritaba que se trataba de “una revolución. Ellos están gritando y disparando”, aseveró Honan, quien fuera uno de los tantos soldados que se incorporaría en la revuelta para derrocar a Hussein.

Miles de soldados, en su mayoría árabes shiítas, se unieron a los civiles e invadieron el cuartel general del partido Ba’ath, para proceder y vaciar las cárceles principales de la ciudad. Así, en pocos días, la Intifada, como la llamaron los incontables iraquíes que se unieron a la insurrección, se extendió hacia al norte sobre el río Eúfrates, consumiendo primero a Nasiriyah y Samawah, para luego llegar a las ciudades santas shiítas de Najaf y Karbala, a solo 50 millas al sur de Bagdad, los mismos y actuales teatros de combate en el presente conflicto.

Por ese entonces solo el levantamiento de los kurdos en el norte de Irak llamó la atención de la prensa; sin embargo, “la insurrección shiíta en el Sur del país fue más peligrosa para el régimen que la insurgencia de los kurdos en el norte”, afirma ahora un contemporáneo y antes ?cable clasificado? del Departamento de Estado: A través de Irak, al menos 14 de 17 ciudades estaban bajo control de los insurrectos durante las 4 semanas que durara el levantamiento, y que incluía cada ciudad bajo dominio de los shiítas en el sur, y cada ciudad de los kurdos en el norte.

El levantamiento de 1991 incluso estalló en el propio Bagdad. Un reporte secreto del Departamento de Estado fechado el 24 de marzo de 1991 afirmaba: “El descontento no se limitaba a los levantamientos en el norte y el sur? tres barrios en Bagdad (uno de ellos conocido como Saddam) habían sido acordonados por los militares por varios días debido a actividades en contra del régimen”.

Pero justo en el momento en que la Intifada se desenvolvía, los Estados Unidos y oficiales iraquíes negociaban un cese al fuego que formalmente pondría fin a la Guerra del Golfo en 1991.

Después de redactarse e imprimirse el primer párrafo del acuerdo de cese al fuego, y el cual restringía los vuelos de “ala fija” iraquíes, los generales de Saddam dijeron que querían agregar un nuevo punto, y era que a Irak se le permitiera pilotear helicópteros artillados. Los militares dijeron a los negociadores estadounidenses las dos razones por las que Irak necesitaba los helicópteros: 1) Para lograr transportarse a las negociaciones de paz, 2) para transportar a sus soldados heridos.

Para el tiempo en que los levantamientos fueron ahogados en sangre, el mundo entero sabía que las verdaderas intenciones del régimen de Saddam eran usar los helicópteros para masacrar a los rebeldes kurdos en el norte, después de que miles de civiles huyeran de Irak hacia la vecina Turquía e Irán, durante los primeros días de abril en 1991. No obstante y hasta esa fecha, portavoces estadounidenses repetidamente dijeron a los periodistas de que no conocían mucho acerca de combates en el interior de Irak.

Resulta ser ahora que los estadounidenses estaban mintiendo. Portavoces de los Estados Unidos sabían que a solo 12 días, con relación al mes de los levantamientos, el régimen de Saddam ya estaba usando los helicópteros en violación de al menos el espíritu contenido en los acuerdos de cese al fuego. “A través de Irak, los militares cuentan con sus helicópteros para combatir a los insurgentes, disparando indiscriminadamente sobre civiles en áreas con actividad de resistencia”, se lee en un secreto briefing de la mañana, preparado para el entonces Secretario de Estado, James Baker II, y fechado el 12 de marzo de 1991. Pero a pesar de todo, Estados Unidos se mantuvo despreocupado y permitió que la sofocación del levantamiento se desarrollara sin ninguna objeción.

Yo mismo experimenté esa traición sobre el terreno hace 12 años en la rica ciudad petrolera de Kirkuk en el norte Irak, tan codiciada entonces como lo es ahora, y en donde recuerdo uno de esos días cuando la Merga Kurdo Pesh , traducida literalmente como “aquellos que enfrentamos la muerte”, se las arregló para mantener sus posiciones y rechazar así a las fuerzas elite de Saddam el 28 de marzo de 1991, para luego sucumbir a medio día después de más de cinco horas de combate.

En los cruces en el extremo norte de la ciudad, miles de personas apresuraban el paso sobre dos caminos que conducían fuera de la misma, al momento que ocasionalmente algún vehículo, camión o bus cargado con algunos pasajeros, aceleraban con rapidez sobre la misma dirección. Nadie podía imaginarse por cuánto tiempo habrían de caminar y casi todos ellos contaban con agua para el camino. Muchas mujeres ataviadas en el tradicional atuendo de los kurdos cargaban a unos niños, mientras otros tantos menores y en fila les seguían al paso con lágrimas en los ojos.

En esa mañana y por solo ciertas horas, el régimen de Saddam solo desplegó un puñado de sus helicópteros, al tiempo que la Merga Kurdo Pesh disparaba hacia el cielo a través de sus armas de fuego antiaéreo capturadas al gobierno. Sin embargo y ya por la tarde, helicópteros de fabricación soviética aparecieron súbitamente por el cielo y repartiéndose sobre el entorno de la ciudad, lanzaron múltiples ataques de explosivos cohetes. Muy rápido, cualquiera a su vista, empezaron a correr.

En ese tiempo, muchos iraquíes, a lo largo de su país, fueron inundados de esperanzas. Muchos Merga Kurdo Pesh, en el norte de Irak en marzo de1991, afirmaron a periodistas occidentales cómo muchas mujeres kurdas habían dado a sus recién nacidos el nombre de “Bush”. Sin embargo, muchos de estos recién nacidos murieron al ser expuestos, semanas después de que sus padres y familia tuvieron que huir. No es de sorprenderse entonces, ahora en el 2003, el que solo un puñado de iraquíes estén rebelándose al compás de las fuerzas lideradas por los Estados Unidos.

Frank Smyth, quien cubrió la Guerra del Golfo en 1991 para CBS News, The Economist y The Village Voice, está escribiendo un libro acerca del levantamiento contra Saddam Hussein en 1991. Recientemente estuvo en Qatar y Kuwait. El artículo tiene traducción libre.