“They were orphaned overnight two years ago when gunmen broke into their home and executed their parents,” reported NBC’s man in Baghdad, Richard Engel.
Engel’s story captures the toll of Zarqawi’s two year effort to ignite a civil war through mass murder.
When I was in Iraq and other Arab countries one of the first things I learned was the importance of family to Arabs.
It also doesn’t take long to realize that young Iraqi children are like American children, curious, ornery and always wanting to play.
The Marines often travelled with boxes of toys. Barbie dolls for the girls, toy cars and trucks for the boys.
In some of the poor, remote villages where the fertile crescent gives way to flat desert, the toys handed out by Marine Lance Corporals are the only toys the children have ever seen, but the eagerly grab them up.
But Zarqawi the freedom fighter, who is an Arab and supposedly a Muslim, has embarked on a strategy of deliberately destroying families and scarring children for life.
When Zarqawi’s fellow travellers execute the adults and leave the children, it is not a temporary loss of composure and restraint–it is a long range strategy.
We at Amermaj often bash the media for their shallow reportage on Iraq, but this piece by Engel, despite showing the inevitable fall-out of war, is well reported story and is the kind of story you can find when you take a risk and leave the hotel.