Thursday, October 04, 2007

More on the Shooting

Another bracing portrait of those who were wounded and died in the Blackwater shooting, this time from the Washington Post:

In one room, hospital workers registered the possessions of the dead and injured -- inexpensive watches, cheap slippers, thin wallets, small amounts of money, even a bag of vegetables. "These were simple people," said a young doctor overseeing the task. Victims' cellphones rang constantly as people tried to reach them.

Doctors tried to revive Khalil, but he died within minutes. A relative called his wife, Sharif, and told her to come to the hospital. She brought along bedsheets, pillows and a water jug to comfort him. When she arrived, she was sent to the morgue.

A neighbor who witnessed the shootings called Firoz Fadhil Abbas, Osama's brother. He was blunt. "Look, your brother is dead. Please come right away." Firoz claimed Osama's body, shot in the head and upper back.

In a nearby ward, his friend Salman regained consciousness. "I thought of Osama," he recalled. "I felt right then that he wasn't alive."

A few miles away, at Kadimiyah Hospital, parents and siblings stood by the bedside of Sahib, the taxi driver. The doctors could not stop his internal bleeding. And over three hours, Sahib slowly lost consciousness. Relatives took turns holding his hands.

"Don't leave me alone," Sahib said, seconds before he died.

To Blackwater contractors, these lives and deaths mean nothing because they are entirely irrelevant to their mission of protecting their charges.

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