'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Non-Violent Resistance by Iraqi Ten Year Olds 

This might be apocryphal but, what the hell, this is a blog after all. From Glimpses of Iraq via Progressive Gold:

The American army in Iraq has been plagued by something they call IED (Improvised Explosive Devices). These devices come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: in rubbish heaps, in dead animal corpses, in little inconspicuous objects thrown on the side of the road in their path. Some are detonated remotely, some are detonated by wire.

One particular insurgent lived in a district called Aamil in western Baghdad close to the road to the airport (or what is now called the Irish Route by the American soldiers). He specialized in filling old tin cans with some dirt and wood sticks and inserting a piece of wire and leaving the ends protruding. He placed those devices on the route of American patrols and convoys. They looked suspicious enough to be taken seriously. Usually the procession was held up until experts examined those devices and declared them safe!

He was called Sharara (Spark).

His game went on for about a year. Finally the US army caught up with him. Late one night, the district was surrounded, helicopters monitored the scene from above and Sharara’s home was encircled. The front door was smashed. There was panic in the family. The man of the house was told that the army wanted Sharara. The man said that his son was asleep, but he would fetch him. Escorted, he came back with Sharara who was half asleep. The soldiers stood bewildered.

Sharara was only a 10 year old boy!

Sharara ended up in prison. This was where Nihad’s brothers met him. It was one of them who told me this story.

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