Media Complicity and the Iraq War
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May 18, 2004
Mahdi Nawaf had not slept much the previous night. It was not the sound of gunshots, nor was it the resounding boom of cluster bombs exploding in the darkness, that had hindered his rest. No; by now, he had become accustomed to this soundtrack of war, that played day and night right outside his front door.

Today was his wedding day. Mahdi, a simple Iraqi carpenter, had met a woman named Samira. To him, Samira was synonymous with the word “angel.” Samira Dania was a fair-skinned female from the neighboring city of Fallujah. They had met at a nightclub, clicked immediately, and within months, were engaged to be married. The wedding was set to take place on a balmy morning in May, and would be attended by 40 friends and relatives of the couple.

The night before, Mahdis brother had arrived in the town of Ramadi. Mohammed Nawaf was accompanied by his wife, Morifa, and their six children, Saad, Fasila, Faisal, Anound, Kholood, and Inad. Their respective ages were 10, 8, 7, 5, 6, and four.

As the children cavorted underneath the warm Iraq sun, Mahdi dressed himself in the expensive garments he had purchased a week before. Morifa prepared breakfast in the kitchen, while Mohammed congratulated his brother on his upcoming nuptials. Although their nation was under attack, today was not the day to concern oneself with politics. Today was a day of celebration, a joyous occasion in which two souls would become one.

The wedding ceremony began at 10:00 a.m. Samira was outfitted in a luxurious blue silk dress, adorned with white lace and multicolored gemstones. A matching hijab rested upon her head, accentuating her classically beautiful features. As the penghulu (priest) read aloud their vows, Mahdi and Samiras eyes met. Words were unnecessary. The twinkle in each of their eyes revealed all that lay in their hearts. “I love you.” Love was in the air, on this warm and wonderful Tuesday morning in Ramadi.

However, Mahdi and Samira did not get to complete their wedding vows. Their words were broken by the deafening hymn of fighter planes up above.
F-16s, powerful demonstration of mans ability to create and destroy. Also known as the “Fighting Falcon,” this powerful aircraft was developed during the Gulf War. This machine boasts fly-by-wire capability, negative stability, and high G loads! Priced at only twenty million dollars, the F-16 delivers a great bang for its buck. It can fly at Mach 2 speed, more than 1500 MPH! Looking to kill an enemy? Look no further! The F-16 boasts an arsenal of twin M61 Vulcan Gatling Guns, CRV-7 rockets, and five types of missiles! Well, folks, thats not all! If you are looking to bomb your opponent back to the stone age, the F-16 is also equipped with six, yes SIX, different bombs. We will throw in 2 CBU-87 cluster bombs, 2 CBU-89 gator mine bombs, two CBU-97s, and two GBU-10s. They are all laser guided and guaranteed to KILL ON TARGET. And the last two, folks? We got them bad boys. Them terminate without prejudice a-rab killers. Youll get two, yes two, JDAM bombs, and six MK-80 series nuclear bombs, guaranteed to wipe out anything that moves!

The first to hit was an AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile. Boy, did those wedding guests fly! 10-year-old Saad had his legs blown off on impact. If only you could hear his cries. “Daddy! Daddy! Help!” Six-year-old Kholood was also on the ground, bleeding profusely from his torso. He didnt want to cry; it wasnt the proper, “manly” thing to do. But he just couldnt help it. Last week, he was in school learning about the different types of dinosaurs T-Rex, Raptor, Triceratops. Today, he would watch helplessly, suffering from loss of blood atop the sandy Iraq ground, as his entire family died around him.

The guests were shrieking, screaming, begging for mercy! Well dont worry folks, we wont stop until we make sure they are “liberated” properly. The Gatling Gun reigned down on them like confetti, liberating every last one of them. If you could only see 5-year-old Faisal being liberated by a hail of gunfire; what a great day for the U.S.A.! His brains exploded onto the ground, as his eyes bulged and his body convulsed. 5-year-old Faisal, who had just learned how to dress himself, oh, was he proud. “Look, daddy, I put my pants on all by myself!” Faisal, who was so excited on this warm and wonderful Tuesday morning. “We get to go to a party?” he had asked excitedly. No, Faisal, this is more than a party. Today you will be liberated, today you will be set free.

As Mahdi and Samira watched helplessly, their guests were shot down in a blaze of bombs and gunfire. They reached out for eachother, holding hands, praying to their God that this all was just a bad dream. Mahdi looked into Samiras eyes and said, “Im sorry.” Samira opened her mouth to speak, but was cut short by a bullet piercing through her skull. The blood splashed upon Mahdis face, who could do nothing but watch as his sweet love slumped to the ground, a vision in blue silk marred by crimson and gunmetal gray.

Iraqi Mahdi Nawaf shows photographs of dead family members during a funeral ceremony in Ramadi, 68 miles, 110 kms west of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, May 20, 2004. Mahdi said they were were killed Tuesay, when a U.S. helicopter fired on a wedding party in the remote desert near the border with Syria killing more than 40 people. The photographs show: Iraqi father Mohammed Al-Rikad, right, his wife Morifa, left, and their children Saad, 10, Fasila, 7, Faisal, 5, Anoud, 6, Kholood, 4 and three year-old Inad. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Surprised? Shocked? Skeptical?
Dont be.
The preceding story is a true account, and has been broadcast freely in many countries. If you have been living in America since the start of the “War on Terror”, most likely you have not heard the accounts of the “Ramadi Wedding Massacre”, nor have you learned that over one million Iraqi children have died since 1991 due to bombings and sanctions initiated by the United States. If you were to visit another country, and flip on the television, you would see a whole other account of the U.S.-led assault on Iraq.

Sadly, the killing of 40+ people at Mahdi and Samiras wedding ceremony is not an isolated incident. Everyday in Iraq, innocent men, women, and children are slaughtered; dead due to unprovoked attacks which make rich white men even richer, while the rest of us suffer and starve

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Mahdi Nawaf And Simple Iraqi Carpenter. (June 14, 2021). Retrieved from