Freedom, Iraqi style

BAGHDAD – It was 10.30 in the morning, almost four months ago, and the children were getting ready for church.

Aziz Raad Azzo, five, was drinking his milk; his 14-year-old sister Raneen was putting on her new clothes. When they heard a car pull up, Raneen, thinking her father was home, ran to the window and flung open the shutters. Four men shot her and her little brother in the head, scattering their blood and bones across the family’s living room.

The children’s crime: Their father, a Christian storekeeper, had sold alcohol.

Before the murders, the family had received a photocopied death threat. ‘We are warning you, the enemies of God and Islam, from selling alcohol again, and unless you stop we will kill you and send you to hell where a worse fate awaits you,’ read the warning signed by Harakat Ansar al-Islam, the Partisans of Islam Movement.

These murders made possible in part by the freedom-fighting, nation-building forces of the Coalition against the Axis of Evil. I can’t wait until free elections are held, I’m sure the Iraqi people, with their centuries of tolerant and democratic culture, couldn’t possibly elect anyone like the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front.