Scott Ewing was an Army scout in Tel Afar from 2005 to 2006. He describes how treatment of civilians became progressively more brutal. Early on, soldiers sometimes broke down gates and front walls. Later, because the residents were believed to be insurgents, they ordered everyone out of a neighborhood and into camps outside the city, while American airships bombed the houses. Then soldiers searched what was left, trashing every house they entered, but the most warlike implements they found were wood saws, kitchen knives, and old pistol belts. In another neighborhood, they sent Kurdish militiamen to round up all the military-age men and one masked militiaman picked out 50 men whom he accused of being insurgents. They were taken away, and Ewing never found out what happened to them. “It’s hard for me to believe that the Iraqis who witnessed this could possibly take seriously our version of justice and democracy,” he says.
Editors Note: Scott Ewing is no longer a member of IVAW