Friday, June 30, 2006

U.S. Army soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment conduct a routine patrol in Mahmoudiyah, Iraq Sunday, May 28, 2006. The U.S. Army is investigating charges that five Iraqi citizens of that town have been violating their strict homes association rules of conduct. The charges stem from an anonymous tip alleging the inappropriate use of paint, landscaping and lawn ornaments. One of the accused, Yasser Omran Khatab Alkhazraji is an other wise law abiding member of the Mahmoudiyah community. Alkhazraji claims his innocence saying he was "just trying to spruce up this godforsaken place."

2nd Lt. Corp Tommy Purdue, an Army spokesman for the case, had this to say: "Believe me, after being in this arm pit of a country for the past twenty-eight months, I can understand his position but rules are rules. It clearly states in the bi-laws of the Mahmoudiyah neighborhood homes association charter that 'no resident will be allowed the use any paint color other than what has been approved by the MNHA.' Those colors are 'drab, dismal, grim, hopeless, dingy, dreary, and disconsolate.' Those are all perfectly lovely shades of brown and grey and anyone in this town should be more than happy with those choices."

Mr. Alkhazraji is accused of painting his entire front door a bewitching shade of periwinkle and, if convicted, he will be beheaded. (AP Photo/Ryan Lenz)


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