This Happened to Me
Day to Day in Iraq - NYT Web Journal:
"This Happened to Me
A cowboy on his steel horse shot at me.
The four days of the Eid al-Adha holiday were calm and peaceful – no explosions, no roadside bombs, no clashes in the streets. But all that changed on Saturday, January 14th, the first day after the holiday.
I was driving home from my clinic around 5:15 p.m., the time I usually return home, because it's not safe to be out past sunset. I was 50 meters away from my house – which is located on a service road parallel to a main street. The street and the service road are separated by a curb two meters wide.
While I was driving slowly on the service road, an American patrol, which consisted of three armored-car Strykers, passed by on the main street, moving in the same direction as I was. When the first Stryker passed me, a soldier riding on top fired two shots in my direction. One bullet came in through the half-opened driver's window and hit the window of the opposite door, smashing it to pieces. Thank God, somehow it missed me.
I stopped the car and got out, thinking that the soldiers might stop and explain why they had shot at me. But they didn't. They kept on driving. There were no other people in the vicinity, except a neighbor at a shop nearby, who saw the whole thing. The next morning I went to replace the broken window. Nearly every person I met in the repair shop had a similar tale to tell.
I wonder now, if the shot had had killed me, how would the troops have explained it? Would I have become a terrorist killed while trying to explode himself near an American patrol? Or perhaps I would only be collateral damage, killed while soldiers chased a terrorist? Or maybe a terrorist had killed me, and the Americans chased him, though he managed to escape.
I will leave you to decide. In the chaos of this occupation, innocents are killed by all sides. But don’t we have the right to hate the people who are now occupying our country. Shall we celebrate the freedom and democracy brought to us by the occupation in spite of the perils our citizens face?
Questions need answers. Who will answer them?"