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This War Has Redefined ‘Conventional’

excerpts from a report by Riverbend. November 17, 2005

No matter how prepared you think you are for that explosion, it always makes you flinch. I imagine children covering their ears and some of them crying, trying to cover up the mechanical sounds of war with their more human wails. I imagine that as the tanks got closer, and the planes got lower, the fear increased, and parents searched each other’s faces for a solution, for a way out of the horror. Some of them probably decided to wait it out in their homes, and others must have been desperate to get out, fearing the rain of concrete and steel and thinking their chances were better in the open air, than confined in the homes that could at any moment turn into their tombs.

That’s what we were told before the Americans came: it’s safer to be outside of the house during an air strike than it is to be inside house. Inside, a missile nearby would turn the windows into millions of little daggers and walls might come crashing down. In the garden, or even the street, you’d only have to worry about shrapnel and debris if the bomb was very close, but what were the chances of that?

That was before 2003… and certainly before Falloojeh.

That was before men, women and children left their homes only to be engulfed in a rain of fire.

The Pentagon spokesman recently said: "It's part of our conventional-weapons inventory and we use it like we use any other conventional weapon,"

This war has redefined ‘conventional’. It has taken atrocity to another level. Everything we learned before has become obsolete. ‘Conventional’ has become synonymous with horrifying. Conventional weapons are those that eat away the skin in a white blaze; conventional interrogation methods are like those practiced in Abu Ghraib and other occupation prisons…

You have been reading excerpts from "Conventional Terror..." by Riverbend. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/76cma. Many thanks to Riverbend. We visit Baghdad Burning at riverbendblog.blogspot.com often and we hope you will too.

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