Iraqi Voice, Abu Talat speaks about Martial Law

This is from Dahr Jamail's latest piece Carnage and Martial Law

It’s martial law.

Abu Talat called because he was supposed to meet me tonight, but he can’t get out of Al-Adhamiya because it has been sealed by the military and Humvees are in the main square and roaming the streets.

“I cannot reach you tonight Dahr, we are under martial law,” he says on the phone, “Like that means anything…the invaders have always done whatever they wish to us. But now we are all trapped. This is the justice here.”

My friend Salam, while visiting me today says of the martial law, “So now any policeman can shoot me anytime he wants. This happened before, but now it is even more legal. But this won’t give the government any power. They were already powerless. Let them put on any law they want, it doesn’t matter.”

I asked him how he can live like this. He says, “The hard part is living like this everyday. You don’t go near the windows, don’t do what you want, don’t go anywhere unless you have good reason, be careful driving, watch the roads, it’s very tense all the time now. And there is no hope of it getting better. I want to get married, but I think I better wait. But wait for what?”

He continues…

“My mom tells me to save money for the future, and I keep telling her that I’m a dead man. I’m going to die here, so what’s the use? I try to get her ready for it…but she can’t get used to the thought.”

Iraq Dispatches: Carnage and Martial Law


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