US soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops:
Americans accused of brutal 'punishment' tactics against villagers, while British are condemned as too soft. US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.
The stumps of palm trees, some 70 years old, protrude from the brown earth scoured by the bulldozers beside the road at Dhuluaya, a small town 50 miles north of Baghdad. Local women were yesterday busily bundling together the branches of the uprooted orange and lemon trees and carrying then back to their homes for firewood.
Nusayef Jassim, one of 32 farmers who saw their fruit trees destroyed, said: "They told us that the resistance fighters hide in our farms, but this is not true. They didn't capture anything. They didn't find any weapons."
Other farmers said that US troops had told them, over a loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which is very active in this Sunni Muslim district. [Independent.co.uk]
I've noticed that Crusaders don't like it when people compare Iraq to Vietnam. If they really want to discourage such comparisons, perhaps they should ask the Feds to refrain from using tactics taken from Vietnam.
Riverbend has a post about this incident, and on the significance of palm trees in Iraq.