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    US soldier shoots Bengal tiger in Baghdad zoo - 11/11/2004 10:36

    Drunken party leads to slaughter of rare animal

    After the acts of torture, of rape, of abuse of power, of war crimes, of mass murder, the fact that a rare tiger is shot in its cage in Baghdad zoo comes as no surprise.

    Yet another horrific incident in the nightmare called George Bush's personal war against anything that moves, or is a civilian infra-structure, in Iraq. This time it is not a hospital, nor a school, nor a cluster bomb dropped near a residential area, nor an artillery shell lobbed into the middle of a happy family gathering, nor a Mosque. It is Baghdad zoo.

    The "insurgent" in this case was a defenseless Bengal Tiger, locked up in its cage, shot dead by a drunken American soldier. What fun. What a brave soldier.

    In an event similar to that made famous by the great American heroine, Lynndie England, a group of drunken American soldiers entered Baghdad zoo last Thursday night, according to a report released by AFP.

    Adel Salman Musa told this agency that one of the group entered the tiger's cage and started teasing it, whereby the animal attacked him, injuring his hand and arm. One of the other soldiers opened fire on the animal, killing it.

    The Bengal Tiger is an endangered species, numbering between 3.000 and 4.500 in the wild. How it is possible that the US Armed Forces continue to run riot in such shocking acts of cruelty, after what happened at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, defies logic.

    Under international law, Washington is liable, accountable and responsible for the actions of this rabble and those in command have to pay reparations for any illegal acts committed. The slaughtering of a tiger, when compared to the long list of war crimes already perpetrated, is just one more incident to add to the epitaph of the Bush regime.

    After six-year-old children have their limbs blasted off them for being "insurgents", now a defenseless animal in a cage is shot. For being a terrorist?

    Freedom and democracy, winning hearts and minds by slaughtering children and civilians, raping women, torturing prisoners and now, massacring an animal of a species in danger of extinction locked up in a cage without any hope to protect itself.

    Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

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