Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"systematic torture and other abuses"

No, not the US. Iraq.

Part of the article from today's New York Times:

Iraq's widely feared police commandos were struggling on Tuesday to explain how at least 10 Sunni Arab men and youths, one only 17, suffocated after a commando unit seized them from a hospital emergency ward and locked them in a police van in summer temperatures exceeding 110 degrees.

For the commandos, many of them veterans of Saddam Hussein's army, police and intelligence units, the incident was the latest in a long series of incidents in which they have been accused of using brutal techniques learned during Mr. Hussein's years of terror. Doctors who witnessed the victims being dragged from the hospital ward identified the government men as members of the notorious First Brigade of the commandos, but General Flaieh said that the unit involved was a separate police paramilitary force known as the Special Security Force.

What was certain was that the deaths provided a new flashpoint in relations between the American-backed transitional government, in office for 10 weeks, and the country's Sunni Arab minority, which is already angry and frustrated over the transfer of power to the Shiite majority that the new government represents. Charges of abuse by the police commandos have been one of many obstacles the new government has faced in attempting to draw Sunni Arab groups into the process of writing a new constitution and preparing for fresh elections in December. The commandos have some Sunni commanders, but most of the rank and file is Shiite.

American officers involved in the $11 billion effort to train and equip Iraq's army and police have privately acknowledged that they know of instances in which police commandos have violated detainees' rights, using various forms of physical abuse. One senior officer said American commanders have insisted to Iraqi generals that the abuse plays into the hands of the insurgents and that it should stop. "But in the end, this is an Iraqi war, and the Iraqis will fight it in their own way," the officer said, in a discussion that he agreed to on condition that he not be named.

So let's review, we went to Iraq to throw out Saddam because in addition to the now seemingly mythical WMD, we were there to bring freedom, democracy and an end to the humanitarian abuses allowed under Saddam. Yet now? People are being tortured, abused, killed, by some of the same men and the US is just sitting back saying it's basically not their problem.

Seems like there should be a new saying. You can remove one "evil" dictator but you can't take the evil out of the system. Too bad someone didn't figure that out alot sooner. 1,943 coalition troop deaths sooner....


Faith said...

You are so right about the evil, Lisa. I so appreciate your article on this, but more nauseated than I was before. Egads ! I haven't been on the net as much lately, but think this should be a 'Breaking News' sort of thing. Should but won't and so much else. Sighhhhhhh. Thanks, I think. Yes, truly. :)

Lisa Renee said...

Faith, the New York Times wrote the article about it so it might get some more coverage. However I think it's getting to the point where people dont' want to know how bad it is, they feel like they already know too much.

In some ways I can understand that...