The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Angry crowd of civilians drive U.S. soldiers away from explosion site

Apr 28, 2003

On April 26, in the Zafaraniya neighborhood in Baghdad a series of explosions ripped apart a rocket and weapons dump being used by U.S. forces. There were huge blasts, rockets went off and rounds exploded from the heat. At least 12 people were killed, with many more injured or missing. An Iraqi medic on the scene said that as many as 40 people could be killed. Eight buildings were flattened.

U.S. Central Command in Qatar explained away the incident with this excuse, "An unknown number of individuals attacked..... During the attack, the assailant fired an unknown incendiary device into the cache, causing it to catch fire and explode." This may fly in the U.S., but the Iraqis who were there say differently. Residents said that before the explosion the U.S. forces had brought more munitions to the site from elsewhere in Iraq. One man told a reporter, "This is the responsibility of the U.S. Army because we told them this is a civilian area." A banner said in English, "No Bombs Between Houses."

The press reported that local residents chanted angrily and shook their fists at U.S. troops. Others shot at U.S. soldiers, driving them from the area. U.S. Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Coker said, "It's too dangerous for my soldiers to be there right now." The press reported that hundreds of men drove from the Zafaraniya suburb in trucks and buses chanting anti-U.S. slogans. Slogans included, "The Americans are killing Iraqis with Saddam Hussein's weapons."

People from the neighborhood demonstrated against the U.S. military presence throughout the day and into the night.

Is this what Bush meant when he claimed Iraqis are "greeting" U.S. troops – or that the war is over?