Thursday, March 02, 2006
DAILY WAR NEWS FOR THURSDAY, March 2, 2006 [Updated]
Photo: Iraqi police display their true allegiance.
A sign hanging on the fence of the British cemetery near Waziriya, Baghdad, reads something to the effect of "How long will we keep the graves of our enemies and occupiers on our soil?"
Blast in bus travelling in Baghdad's Shi'ite Sadr City kills five people and wounds eight.
Bomb hits market in neighbourhood of Zafaraniyah during busy morning shopping period. At least eight people killed and fourteen injured.
Gunmen fire on car of Iraqi Sunni political leader Adnan al-Dulaimi, killing a bodyguard and wounding three. Dulaimi was unharmed.
Roadside bomb explodes near police station in southeastern Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 10.
Iraqi police commando killed and two wounded in roadside bomb attack on their patrol in al-Jihad neighborhood in western Baghdad.
“Insurgents” gun down police lieutenant while he was travelling in his car in western Baquba.
Gunmen kill six Iraqi soldiers and three policemen at checkpoint in Tikrit area.
Gunmen kill Sunni imam in mosque in Basra.
Gunmen attack Iraqi police patrol in Mosul, killing four officers.
Oil pipeline burning in al-Musayyib, following RPG attack by “insurgents” Wednesday night.
Gunmen shot at firefighters as they rushed to above oil pipeline attack scene, wounding two. Police arrived a short time later and engaged them in an hourlong gun battle. Police detained seven people.
Roadside bomb kills one police commando and seriously wounds another in the town of Salman Pak, south east of Baghdad.
Two Iraqis killed and one wounded Thursday in roadside bomb blast in Khales, north of Baghdad.
[Update: Breaking news from the Truth About Iraqis blog:
Arab Newspaper: Jaafari had prior knowledge of Sammara Attacks [full post]
This is the headline of the Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.
Here is the English version of the article.
A leaked security memo from the Iraqi Ministry for National Security Affairs, headed by Abdul-Karim al-Anzi, and security reports seen by Asharq al Awsat allege that the outgoing government was aware of security violations around the Imam Ali al Hadi shrine in Samarra, two weeks before it was bombed but did not take any action to prevent the attack.
According to a security report from the National Security Affairs Ministry addressed to Muwafak al Rubaie, national security advisor, Prime minister Ibrahim al Jaafari’s outgoing government had detect terrorist activity around the Imam Ali al Hadi mausoleum in the historical Iraqi city last year. The report also claimed Iraqi Sunnis were directly involved in the dawn raid on one the holiest Islamic Shia sites, in which the famous golden dome was blown up.
Salman al Jamili, spokesman for the Iraqi Accord Front said, “The fractures in the Shia coalition because of divisions between al Jaafari and the movement [of Muqtada] al Sadr and the Supreme Council [for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq] prompted groups closely linked to government members to bomb the shrine.”Furthermore, I am hearing from various Iraqi sources that there was a reason that Muqtada Sadr told his followers and the Mehdi army NOT to wear black.
Apparently, all the attackers on mosques and Sunni neighborhoods wore black, the customary color of the Mahdi Army.
However, and I repeat this information is fresh and am still checking, the attackers were not necessarily Mahdi Army, but made to appear as Mahdi Army.
They were infilitrated by a group that has long been at odds with the Mahdi Army. This group had engaged in gang warfare against the Mahdi Army in Basra governorate for the past 18 months, with events escalating in the past few months alone.
A group that has been born and raised in Iran.
Futhermore, Sadr, an Arab, was seen as an irritant by this group, many of whom are Iranians, not Iraqi Arabs.
1) While Sadr was urging unity, people wearing black appearing to be Mahdi Army were attacking Sunni Areas.
2) While Sadr was meeting with officials from the Sunni religious groups, people made to appear to be his supporters were torching Sunni mosques.
This also explains why representatives of Sadr met with Association of Muslim Scholars representatives and why both prayed together.
No representatives of the Iranian Sistani or the SCIRI were present at either of these meetings.
It also explains Sadr's curious trips to Lebanon, Syria and the Hashemite Sunni Kingdom of Jordan, where he shook hands with the very man who warned of a Shia crescent.
It also explains Sadr's unexpected speeches calling for federalism to be dropped from the constitution and the quick withdrawal of US troops.
Both these positions are in stark contrast and a rebuke of the policies of the Jaafary government.
Furthermore, consider this latest report from the BBC:
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has cancelled a meeting with senior political leaders, apparently to protest against a campaign to oust him.
Kurdish and Sunni leaders are unhappy with Mr Jaafari and have said that they will not join a national unity government with him at its head.
This is the latest crisis to hit attempts to form a new government.The timing is itself suspect. As has been stated here numerous times, just as all the pressure on death squads (US media reports, US Generals condemning them and demanding investigations) intensify, we get a violent act which threatened to tear Iraq apart.
Could Jaafari have been behind all of this from the beginning?
We may have been wrong in blaming Sadr.
More of this will emerge.]
Leaders of Sunni, Kurdish and a secular political party ask Shiite alliance to withdraw its nomination of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari for another term: The move is expected to draw sharp opposition from radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose support enabled al-Jaafari to win the nomination by a single vote in a February 12 caucus of Shiites who won election to the new parliament.
A political battle over al-Jaafari could further complicate efforts to form a national unity government - a key step in the US plan to begin withdrawing its troops this year. Those efforts have already been strained b last week's wave of sectarian violence triggered by the February 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra.
According to several senior politicians, leaders of the three parties agreed to inform Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Shiite alliance, that they lack confidence in al-Jaafari and want the Shiites to put forth another candidate.
Baghdad official who exposed executions flees: Reports of government-sponsored death squads have sparked fear among many prominent Iraqis, prompting a rise in the number leaving the country. Mr Pace said the morgue's director had received death threats after he reported the murders. "He's out of the country now," said Mr Pace, adding that the attribution of the killings to government-linked militias did not come from Dr Bakir.
"There are other sources for that. Some militias are integrated with the police and wear police uniforms," he said. "The Badr brigade [Sciri's armed wing] are in the police and are mainly the ones doing the killing. They're the most notorious."
Some Iraqis accuse the Mahdi army militia, linked to the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, of seizing and killing people. But Mr Pace said: "I'm not as sure of the Mahdi army as I am of the others."
Iraq's foreign minister cautions U.S. to take "less visible, lower profile" in talks aimed at forming new government: U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has been actively pressuring Shiite, Sunni Muslim and Kurdish factions to cooperate.
But Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd and longtime ally of the U.S., suggested Khalilzad should refrain from making recommendations on Cabinet positions, such as his ongoing criticism of Interior Minister Bayan Jabr, who is viewed by many as too close to Shiite militias allegedly involved in human rights violations.
"Because there is this tension and because any statement by [Americans] will be interpreted by one group or the other, it will backfire," Zebari said in an interview with The Times. "Such a statement will be read by the Shia that the American ambassador [is] siding with the Sunnis."
But while he compared Khalilzad favorably with L. Paul Bremer III and John D. Negroponte, the two previous U.S. envoys to Iraq, he urged "quieter, less visible diplomacy" on the part of Americans.
"America has a tremendous amount of influence to be used," he said. "But for the details of the government formation, I think it's better not to interfere."
A U.S. Embassy spokesperson declined to comment on Zebari's remarks.
Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Tuesday, 28 February 2006 (excerpt): In a dispatch posted at 1:40pm Mecca time Tuesday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that US occupation forces launched a campaign of raids and arrests and seizures of schools in 'Amiriyat al-Fallujah, a suburb southwest of the city of al-Fallujah, on Tuesday morning.
The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported local residents in 'Amiriyat al-Fallujah as saying that the American troops were continuing their raids in the town in which they had arrested 10 people on charges of taking part in attacks on US occupation troops and Iraqi puppet army soldiers.
The US forces also invaded three schools in the area and took them over for use as military camps. The Americans stormed the al-Manamah School, al-Hurriyah School and an-Nabighah adh-Dhubyani school setting off percussion bombs and localized explosives to burst in, inflicting severe damage to the school buildings.
At the time of reporting, the Americans were setting themselves up in the schools, turning them into military camps in the middle of the town. The students who normally go to school there were ordered not to go to school until further notice.
7,000 Sunnis killed by death squads?: Yes, that is what Faik Bakir, the director of the Baghdad morgue, has told The Guardian newspaper. [see 'Baghdad official who exposed executions flees' above.]
Seven thousand Sunnis killed by death squads run, funded, operated, and fully integrated into the Iraqi Interior Ministry that is itself an operating base for Iranian agents.
Bakir fled Baghdad for parts unknown because his revelation proves that the Iraqi government currently led by Ibrahim al-Jaafary (former Da'awa terrorist and emissary of Iran) has intentionally covered up these figures by
1) Denying the existence of death squads;
2) refusing to investigate year-long accusations coming from the Association of Muslim Scholars and now the US military of the existence of such death squads
3) Not reporting how many bodies are coming into the morgues.
We already saw their cover-up of the atrocities committed at the hands of the Badrists and Sadrists this past weekend.
From the article:
"The vast majority of bodies showed signs of summary execution - many with their hands tied behind their back. Some showed evidence of torture, with arms and leg joints broken by electric drills," said John Pace, the Maltese UN official. The killings had been happening long before the bloodshed after last week's bombing of the Shia shrine in Samarra.
Mr Pace, whose contract in Iraq ended last month, said many killings were carried out by Shia militias linked to the industry ministry run by Bayan Jabr, a leading figure in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri).
Mr Pace said records, supported by photographs, came from Baghdad's forensic institute, which passed them to the UN. The Baghdad morgue has been receiving 700 or more bodies a month. The figures peaked at 1,100 last July - many showing signs of torture.
Everyone still believing that the US is creating democracy in Iraq, raise your hands.
The world lil George of Crawford created.
”We live in the worst tyranny in all of human history," [Dr Isam al-Rawi, a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars and head of the Teachers Association of Iraqi Universities] said. "Every hour in Iraq there are killings, kidnappings, arrests, house raids and more. And all of that is because of occupation and our weak government. When I say that, I don't mean Saddam [Hussein] was good leader. No, he also was bad, but Iraqi streets were clean from these crimes, especially the crimes against professionals."
Rawi said, "I charge occupation forces and the Iran government because both want to destroy Iraq. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior helps Iran to do their crimes, and the Iraqi government hides the statistics of assassinations, but we have our statistics." The Shi'ite-led government in Iraq has close ties to Iranian religious and political leaders.
The Association of Muslim Scholars says only about 2,000 Iraqi doctors are still working in the country, and that more than 300 professionals have been assassinated since the occupation began.
Rawi and other officials from the association are calling for civil-disobedience actions to draw attention to the issue. "We don't have enough power to stop these crimes because we don't have the guns of the military forces, but we try to pressure the government and US troops to stop it. We must be careful, and work very hard to stop [the assassinations] by demonstrations, sit-ins, and civil disobedience."
As in Baghdad, citizens of Mosul say they never saw crimes like these before the occupation began. Many say the occupation bears a large responsibility for the assassinations of doctors, teachers and other professionals in the Mosul area.
Rawi said the goal of these assassinations is the eventual destruction of Iraq.
A former general in the Iraqi army said the killing of professionals was intended to have a long-term effect. "Occupation forces focused on Iraqi scientists who worked in military plants. They arrested many of them, and some of them were assassinated," he said. "That's why Iraqi scientists sent an appeal for help over the Internet. They are asking the UN to help them with their situation in Iraq and to save them from the arrests and raids by occupation forces."
There is a clear design behind the killing, the former general said. "Many of them get killed near their houses or on the way to their work, and others get kidnapped, and we find their dead bodies in the street. When you follow these crimes you will be sure that the criminals have special training and their purpose is to make Iraq empty of any professionals."
Many such killings in Mada'ain, Al-Shula and Al-Iskan have gone virtually unreported in the Western press.
Death of a professor: In a letter to a friend in Europe, Abdul Razaq al-Na'as, a Baghdad university professor in his 50s, grieved for his killed friends and colleagues. His letter concluded: "I wonder who is next!" He was. On January 28 al-Na'as drove from his office at Baghdad University. Two cars blocked his, and gunmen opened fire, killing him instantly.
Al-Na'as is not the first academic to be killed in the mayhem of the "new Iraq". Hundreds of academics and scientists have met this fate since the March 2003 invasion. Baghdad universities alone have mourned the killing of over 80 members of staff. The minister of education stated recently that during 2005, 296 members of education staff were killed and 133 wounded.
Not one of these crimes has been investigated by the occupation forces or the interim governments. They leave that to international humanitarian groups and anti-war organisations. Among them is the Brussels Tribunal on Iraq, which has compiled a list to persuade the UN special rapporteur on summary executions to investigate the issue; they do so with the help of Iraqi academics, who risk their lives in the process. Their research shows that the victims have been men and women from all over Iraq, from different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. Most were vocally opposed to the occupation. For the most part, they were killed in a fashion that suggests cold-blooded assassination. No one has claimed responsibility.
Like many Iraqis, I believe these killings are politically motivated and connected to the occupying forces' failure to gain any significant social support in the country. For the occupation's aims to be fulfilled, independent minds have to be eradicated. We feel that we are witnessing a deliberate attempt to destroy intellectual life in Iraq.
- Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi-born novelist and former prisoner of Saddam's regime
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Could it be CIA or Mossad who bombed Iraq’s Shia Shrine?: Dear Dr. Kareem…
Israel is build on stole land so is U.S. The bombing of the mosque in Iraq is no doubt the work of Israel and the U.S. and so is the killing of people in Iraq.
But the Iraqis know exactly who is behind this. Israel should have learned from the Hitler instead of them becoming one.
When time comes for a nation to become history that nation does these type of thing.
They're promoting their destruction faster.
Taimoor from Canada
Nothing can assert nor deny your suggestion.
But let's look at the current situation in Iraq and try to understand what significance it could have to the occupation and thus Israel.
Having continuous and bloody sectarian-motivated attacks bolsters the U.S. position as the strong protector in Iraq, and thus can be used as justification for a long presence of the U.S. military in the county, which gives Washington and its war allies more chance to use the country's oil resources and tighten the grip on its oil wealth.
Also instigating sectarian strife between the country's main communities, the Sunnis and the Shias, would mean a divided and weak nation, easier for the occupation to break.
On behalf of Dr. Kareem
[Here's a little corner of the web you won't want to miss: "Let's Talk," with your host Dr. Kareem bin Jabbar. From what I can gather, Dr. Kareem is sort of an Arab Dr. Phil, dispensing wisdom—from what The Beirut Daily Star describes as a "fact corner"—on the website for Aljazeera magazine. - from the This Isn't Writing, It's Typing blog]
Which planet do the editors of the Independent live on?: The Western media has, of course, played its part in spreading the myth of 'sectarian violence' with gory headlines such as the one in the Independent on 23/2/06, "The day hell was unleashed". The body of story bylined to Patrick Cockburn, contained the usual deceits, with talk of a "lethal step closer to disintegration and civil war" followed by similar omens that fit the Western pre-conceptions of a society that according to Cockburn "has always been riven by sectarian divisions." An amazingly inaccurate statement when you consider that modern Iraq was created by British colonialism in the 1920s and set up along predictable 'ethnic and religious' lines.
And of course, the piece contains the predictable statements about the role of Iran in fomenting the strife with reference to meddling by the Iranian government, who are, according to Cockburn (and/or his sub-editor) the lynchpin of any Shia reaction to the bombing. Great minds think alike eh.
Entirely missing from the article is any reference to the presence of occupation forces as the primary cause of the breakdown of order from day one of the occupation. But it's in the Independent's editorial where the ideological methodology that binds the corporate media to the capitalist state is spelled out for us,
…the terrible events of yesterday served only to highlight the utter impotence of outsiders [sic] (even British cabinet ministers) to save Iraqis from themselves.And if this statement is not enough, even hardened unpackers of the capitalist press to swallow, the following makes even more outrageous reading
There might have been a time when strings [sic] tugged sharply by the occupiers could have had some effect .... With ever fewer vulnerable foreign civilians to target, the insurgents have turned on other Iraqis.Which planet do the editors of the Independent live on I wonder? The same editorial, in its usual sanctimonious way continues
Not for the first time, we are contemplating the all too predictable consequences of a reckless invasion and the hopelessly mismanaged occupation that followed.So as far as the Independent is concerned, the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis is merely the result of recklessness and bad management style!
United Iraqi protests against US divide and rule policy: The recent killings in Iraq are not due to entrenched divisions between Sunni and Shia. Dahr Jamail and Simon Assaf explain what's fuelling hatred - and the battle for unity
On 23 February 47 factory workers were stopped at a checkpoint north of Baghdad, dragged out of their buses and shot dead. The brutal murders were reported across the world as another sectarian attack.
The victims were described as Shia Muslims. Their killers, we were to conclude, were Sunnis.
The next day it emerged that the men were a mix of Sunnis and Shias returning from a demonstration in Baghdad protesting at the destruction of the Golden Dome mosque in the northern city of Samarra.
Were they killed by Sunnis, or was this the work of the Badr Brigades - the US backed sectarian militia that runs Iraq's interior ministry?
We will probably never know the truth behind these murders, or the attacks on shrines, religious gatherings and villages that have come to plague Iraq. What is clear is that there are forces attempting to tear the country apart operating with the blessing of the US and Britain.
Unity between Shias and Sunnis has always been a barrier to the success of the occupation. In the months following the fall of Baghdad in 2003, Shias and Sunnis joined a growing revolt against US rule. This revolt reached a peak in April 2004. Across Iraq tens of thousands rallied to Fallujah when the Sunni town became the focus of opposition to the occupation.
That summer major revolts broke out in the Shia heartlands of Sadr City in Baghdad and Najaf. The insurrection engulfed the new Iraqi army. Shia soldiers mutinied when they were ordered to crush the uprising in Sunni towns, while growing cooperation between Shia and Sunni resistance fighters alarmed the US military.
With the occupation facing disaster, fostering sectarianism became the only strategy left open to the US and Britain. US troops would storm into Sunni towns backed by Kurdish peshmerga fighters or the notorious Badr Brigades. These militias would leave behind a trail of destruction and resentment.
Systematic sectarianism is a direct result of the occupation and its supporters. The Iraqis have a term for them - the "dark forces". These include masked gunmen, death squads, self serving politicians and special forces. The majority of Iraqis understood that these forces were unleashed to divide them.
In 2005 the US strategy of dividing Sunni against Shia and Arab against Kurd was paying dividends. A trickle of stories emerged of Shias fleeing Sunni areas and Sunnis leaving Shia areas. In the north of the country Arabs, Kurds and the minority Turkmen were pitted against each other in a struggle over land and oil. Even in Baghdad, where many families are mixed, stories began to emerge of marriages splitting along sectarian lines.
But this strategy of fostering sectarianism backfired.
After the November 2005 elections the US discovered that they could no longer rely on one sect alone. The biggest winners in the elections were Shia opponents of the occupation, while other groups in the parliament owed their allegiance to Iran. One of the first items of the parliament is a motion demanding the withdrawal of foreign troops.
The US responded by courting Sunni groups and encouraging them to form their own sectarian militias. The destruction of the Golden Mosque and the wave of sectarian attacks it unleashed are a direct result of this strategy.
In the days after the attack on the shrine, sectarian mobs attacked Sunni mosques. Leading Sunni opponents of the occupation were assassinated, and as Iraq hovered dangerously close to a civil war, US troops took the opportunity to fan out across Sunni areas in a new offensive against the resistance.
By last Friday a groundswell of solidarity between Sunnis and Shias began to turn the tide. The Sunnis were the first to go to demonstrations in Samarra to condemn the mosque bombings. Demonstrations of solidarity between Sunni and Shia took place in much of Iraq - in Basra, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, Kut and Salah al-Din. Thousands of Shias marched shouting anti-US slogans through Sadr City and in the city of Kut, south of Baghdad.
Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shia cleric, warned his followers that were involved in sectarian attacks, "Do not forget the plotting of the occupation, for if we forget its plots, it will kill us all without exception." Sadr has called for united demonstrations against the occupation.
Across the Middle East thousands poured into the streets to condemn the desecration of the shrine. In Bahrain and Lebanon - Arab countries with Shia majorities - Shia demonstrators swelled the streets condemning the US, Britain and Israel.
Since the invasion of Iraq, masked killers, private contractors, special forces (including the British SAS) and US backed militias have been spreading fear and stoking the flames of sectarianism.
We have had glimpses of the forces involved in this. Last September British soldiers dressed as members of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army were arrested in Basra. The soldiers had arms and explosives in their vehicle. They were revealed to be members of the SAS involved in targeting members of the Mehdi Army. Attempts to question the men ended after British tanks freed them from their Iraqi jail cells and flattened the police station where they were held.
The American Civil Liberties Union has uncovered documents relating to two secret military units. The revelations about Task Force 626 and Task Force 20 (see Brutality of the US reign of terror, 25 February) showed part of the shadow war.
Other key players involved in fermenting sectarianism involve the militia belonging to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri). Its 10,000 strong militia, known as the Badr Brigades, was accused by a United Nations investigation of murdering opponents of the occupation.
Throughout 2005 thousands of mutilated bodies were turning up in canals, by the sides of roads or in rubbish dumps. These were overwhelmingly Sunni victims of the US backed Badr Brigades. Shia Muslims opposed to the occupation were also targeted. Chief among them were supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr.
The Badr Brigades dominate the ministry of the interior and used the opportunity of the attack on the shrine to storm into Sunni districts to spread their terror.
The US has also been depending on the Kurdish peshmerga fighters.
The peshmerga originally emerged out of the Kurdish national liberation struggle, but since the occupation has allied itself to the US. Peshmerga fighters have been involved in ethnic cleansing of Arabs and Turkmen in northern Iraq and joined US troops in their assault on Sunni Arab towns along the Euphrates valley.
Iraq and Iraqis the enemy?: A Gallup Poll recently showed that 21% of American respondents believe Iraq is the number one enemy of the United States. This raises the question: Does the US military also believe Iraq is the enemy, and by default, that Iraqis are the enemy of the American people?
According to the Zogby Poll of US military personnel in Iraq, 85% of respondents said they believed they were in Iraq to "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks,". Some 77% of those polled said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was "to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq."
Let's try and reason this out. There are 130,000 US soldiers in Iraq. If we apply the 85% ration, we come up with 110,500 US military personnel who believe they are retaliating for Saddam's role in the 911 attacks.
Which by default means that 110,500 US military personnel believe all who worked for Saddam, supported Saddam, were from Saddam's home town, belonged to Saddam's tribe, received payment from Saddam, served in "Saddam's Army", were Baathists, worked with Baathists, held official status, served as foreign dignitaries for Saddam, etc, etc were responsible for and/or supported the criminal attacks on NY and DC in 9-11.
There were millions of Shia and Sunni Baathists - as well as other religions. There were millions of Shia and Sunnis serving in "Saddam's Army". Are all of them therefore considered the enemy?
However, the Zogby poll says:
The continuing insurgent attacks have not turned U.S. troops against the Iraqi population, the survey shows. More than 80% said they did not hold a negative view of Iraqis because of those attacks.Fair enough. That sounds encouraging.
But by simple substraction, what this ratio tells us is that 20% of US military personnel do have negative views of Iraqis. Then, by multiplying 20/100 into 130,000 we get the figure that 26,000 US military personnel believe Iraqis are the enemy. All Iraqis.
The Zogby Poll also reveals that
Four in five said they oppose the use of such internationally banned weapons as napalm and white phosphorous. Which again leaves us with 20% who do. Once again, a figure of 26,000 US military personnel who have no problem with napalming Iraqis. Or the use of WP.
Let's dig deeper.
Zogby Poll also showed even
as more photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq surface around the world, 55% said it is not appropriate or standard military conduct to use harsh and threatening methods against insurgent prisoners in order to gain information of military value. We need to clarify something here, insurgent prisoners is really insurgent suspects. People are considered suspects first. Democratic principles dictate that a person is innocent till proven guilty. Guilt by association is a stark contrast of those democratic principles.
But this reveals that 45% of US military personnel find it appropriate or standard military conduct to use abuse and torture. By using math, that amounts to 58,500 US military personnel who have no problem with abuse and torture of Iraqis. Such findings must be taken into account when contemplating the excessive numbers of civilians killed at US checkpoints.
Sweden has a rather small population, but we are sitting on 15 % of the worlds uranium resources: We have politically decided not to use this. The United States even once put great pressure on us not to develop our - at that time scientifically interesting - own atomic technology programme but to stay dependent on them. As I said in 1964: If Sweden tries to go her own way the United States and the Soviet Union will unite to bomb us!
But at a certain stage, the United States - when the oil resources are running low and their energy needs remain high - will surely try to grab these Swedish uranium deposits. Prospecting is already going on despite local protests.
If we do not accept to let the United States utilise our natural resources in their own interest and for their own profit but stand on our right to national independence and do not have prepared a real defence that can (like North Korea!) deter them the United States will surely try to get hold of our ore. They could use one pretext or another. For instance they could say that Sweden for more than seventy years has had a more or less middle of the road Social-Democratic government that according to them was lacking in respect for private property and that Swedes needed to be liberated into a true market economy. Or - as the uranium deposits are in the North - they could point out that the Same people (the indigenous ethnic minority in Sweden) is being oppressed and has to be helped by the United States military might to build an independent national state.
I say this because you must understand that you are not the only ones being subjected to their policies. Look at Yugoslavia! As long as the United States during the Cold War had use for Tito against the Soviet Union they supported Yugoslavia politically as well as economically and praised the Yugoslav state. When they had won that cold war they changed policy. It was in their interest - together with that of Germany - to divide the Yugoslav state. Divide and rule!
The thinker of Islamophobia: Omnipresent expert in television studios and regular commentator of American mainstream newspapers, Daniel Pipes has become the world theorist of the Islamphobia. The son of Richard Pipes, the Sovietologist that resumed the arms race during the Ford Administration, and spiritual son of Robert Strausz-Hupé, the visionary of the new world order, Daniel Pipes, directs a lot of strategic institutes. He is the founder of currently common concepts such as «new anti-Semitism», «militants of Islam» and «conspiracy theories». An advocate of the annihilation of Palestinians, he has been appointed by George W. Bush director of the US Institute of Peace.
Daniel Pipes became famous as a hunter of the «fifth column» that emerged in American universities. In 2002, he created a section of the MEF, the Campus Watch, «an organization openly aimed at reporting the wrong analysis and the political distortions regarding Middle East studies». According to The Nation, one of the first measures taken by the organization was to open «McCarthy-styled-files» to the different professors they suspected were not quite pro-Israel. As a result, more than a hundred academicians contacted the Campus Watch for they wanted their names to be added to the list. This made Daniel Pipes furious and he described them as «advocates of the suicide attacks and the militant Islam».
Likewise, he used other terms such as «self-hating» or «anti-Americans». In an article titled Americans at Universities who hate the United States, he made fun of all those who, like Noam Chomsky, has denounced the American intervention in Iraq refusing to see the «direct threat» that Saddam Hussein represented to the United States. To spread the idea that academicians and students were blind regarding the Islamic threat, he counted on Martin Kramer's assistance, current editor in chief of the Middle East Quarterly and the Stanley Kurtz, a member of the Hoover Institution and collaborator of the National Review Online.
Daniel Pipes is the author of several concepts that have been imposed in the public debate.
Above all, he is the inventor of the «New Anti-Semitism» . This term is used to identify the opposition of American Muslim pressure groups against American Jewish pressure groups regarding the Palestinian issue. It is an amalgam between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism that has been quite used lately. He is also the inventor of the «Militants of Islam» .
The expression identifies those Muslims who, not satisfied with their domestic prayers, join community organizations and defend the rights of the Palestinians to the detriment of the Israelis supported by the United States. It creates a new amalgam between Muslim identity, the struggle against the State of Israel, and the challenging of Washington's policy. This presents those Americans of Muslim religion as traitors, mainly.
Finally, he invented «the Middle East complot theory». The Arabs, who refuse to accept their incapacity to solve their problems, imagine they are victims of Western complots .
In 2002, Daniel Pipes went to all radio and television stations to campaign against The Great Imposture, a work about September 11 attacks and the change of regime that took place in the United States afterwards . By having no arguments at all to oppose this book and wrongly believing the author was Arab, he made emphasis in seeing it as an example of the conspiracy of Arab intellectuals living in France.
Global Infrastructure for Mass Surveillance:
Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. - Harry S. Truman
American's attention is now being focused on the White House wire tapping of citizens without regard for the law. The topic becomes a bonanza for blaring headlines and sniping between the two political parties. However, the real threat to Americans lies buried under layers of apathy and total ignorance of the extent of our government's progress toward TOTAL surveillance of its citizens within the United States and through cooperation and coercion of other governments, the surveillance of Americans and foreigners on a global scale. This surveillance is not being designed to monitor only citizen movement on a global scale, but is also being designed to lay open to the various governments ALL personal and private matters of finance, health, political affiliation, and religious preferences, electronic communication and on, and on, and on.
The following information is not something torn from the pages of Franz Kafka or George Orwell's 1984. The information presented here is taken from an April 2005 report made by The International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance (ICAMS) (Pdf). (Refer to References and Notes below).
The programs described below were designed before 9/11; since 9/11 these programs have been put on steroids. The world in which these programs are being constructed is one in which "individuals are presumed guilty, detained and not told the charges against them, denied the right to face their accusers, denied the right to know the evidence against them and the criteria by which they are being judged and given no legal recourse and no one to advocate for them".  Please note, this does not refer to the present definition of terrorist or enemy combatant. These programs apply to AMERICAN CITIZENS as well as the citizens of the global network of countries being brought together to form an unparalleled net of surveillance, arrest, detention, torture and indefinite detention - either with or without formal charges - and finally death. (This could have served as an agenda for The New World Order).For one who sits idly in front of the television and watches the nightly news-reader tell about another Guantanamo prisoner (terrorist) being held for an indefinite period without any of our democratic safeguards, the "news" doesn't even register on the listener's Richter Scale. Little does the American know that the prisoner's plight being presented may be merely a prelude to his own plight under the plans presently being secretly refined and expanded by the global community under coercion and intimidation by the United States.
To bring these programs into focus and allow the reader to glimpse a portion of their scope and the progress being made in their implementation, signposts of program characteristics will be shown as well as the myths being created to conceal the progress of this global cancer. (The following may bring more meaning to the fact that the KBR arm of Halliburton has recently been awarded a contract to build a 385 million dollar detention center to set up temporary detention, processing and deportation facilities in case of a sudden influx of immigrants!!).
One Nation Under Psy-Ops: Guantanamo is nothing less than a dream laboratory for those who've been working on psy-ops theory for decades.
Now, this produced a distinctively American form of torture, the first real revolution in the cruel science of pain in centuries, psychological torture, and it's the one that's with us today, and it's proved to be a very resilient, quite adaptable, and an enormously destructive paradigm.
Let's make one thing clear. Americans refer to this often times in common parlance as "torture light." Psychological torture, people who are involved in treatment tell us it's far more destructive, does far more lasting damage to the human psyche than does physical torture. . . It is far crueler than physical torture. This is something we don't realize in this country...
And under General Miller at Guantanamo they perfected the CIA torture paradigm. They added two key techniques. They went beyond the universal sensory receptors of the original research. They added to it an attack on cultural sensitivity . . .
And then they went further still. Under General Miller, they created these things called "Biscuit" teams, Behavior Science Consultation Teams, and they actually had qualified military psychologists participating in the ongoing interrogations, and these psychologists would identify individual phobias, like fear of the dark or attachment to mother, and by the time we're done . . . it had a three-fold assault on the human psyche: sensory receptors, self-inflicted pain, cultural sensitivity, and individual fears and phobias.
This uniquely American form of torture -- self-inflicted pain -- is entirely congruent with BushCo's general style of governance. Everything is ALWAYS the victims' fault. The victim ALWAYS does it to him/herself, from Dick Whittington to the black millionaire looters in New Orleans. To put it in Rovian terms, everyone's fair game.
The simplest thing to do, according to the Fuehrer: In previous Commentaries I mentioned that: "Of course it rests with me to prove that the comparison of the US to the Nazis is not an exaggeration." Recent events deferred the analysis of this statement. Finally, here it is:
Let us start at the top: "The Fuehrer told me then that the simplest thing to do would be to take as example the United States of America, where the head of the state is at the same time also the head of the government. Thus following the example of the United States, we combined the position of the head of the state with the head of the government, and he called himself Fuehrer of the German people and Reich Chancellor of the German Reich." (Robert E.Conot, "Justice at Nuremberg", Harper & Row, New York, 1983, p. 333) The words in the above quote were uttered by Hermann Goering during his testimony, on March 13, 1946, before the Nuremberg Tribunal.
The head of a state used to be the King. Today a King or a President of a Republic is mostly a figurehead. However, Hitler chose the US President as his "head of state"-model. That, in itself, is quite revealing. That the US President is a real "leader" or a real "commander" of the American people, not a figurehead, cannot be disputed.The verb "fuehren" in German means to "lead" or to "command". So, Hitler chose for himself the role of the "Fuehrer" (leader or commander) of the German people.
One can ignore the words of Goering (and of Hitler) and (of course) ignore the above brief analysis. What one cannot ignore is that W. Bush is an uncommonly arrogant and violent "leader" whom, according to his loyal legal underlings, no one can touch, no matter what he does (they call it the theory of "unitary executive") or he can ignore any law he does not like (they call it "signing statement").
"Hitler ... made himself the unilateral arbiter of the Geneva Convention, and declared null and void whatever section was not convenient to him". This was written in 1983 (Conot, p. 308). It is easy, today, to find a similar statement about W. Bush even in the mainstream US press. It seems that the gang around him and his "loyal" underlings are bent to ruthlessly exploit the shibboleth that a war president has a "blank check" to do as he likes, three quarters of a century after Hitler.
[Note: The "loyalty" of underlings to their political leaders is morally an extremely low point in human behavior. Hitler describing contemptuously his underlings said: "Have you noticed how people tremble, how they try to say what will please me?" The loyalty of Condoleezza Rice, of Carl Rove, etc, to W. Bush is a typical example of what Hitler meant.]
Now, moving to a level immediately below the top we discover a surprising list:
The Nazi defendants at Nuremberg were 22. Of these defendants, according to the above list, about one third were related by blood, marriage, or otherwise to Americans (or other Anglos). Was this a diabolical statistical anomaly? Does this have any significance that deserves some kind of scrutiny? A general comment could be that at this level of the Nazi or American elites nationality is of no great importance. The members of this elite grow up and live in a separate and rather homogeneous universe. However, that this "Americanism" (acquired through blood, etc) did not prevent the evolvement of these individuals to Nazis and finally to the fate at Nuremberg should not be overlooked.
This Nuremberg "surprise" prompts us to reverse the question: what was the influence of "Germanism" on "Americanism"? There are two principal sources of influence of the Germanic peoples on the population of America. The German immigrants in America and the inundation of America with Nazis, starting a few days after the death of Hitler.
What is Nazism? The most accurate answer to that is found in the four Indictment Counts of the Nuremberg Tribunal. The Counts: 1. Conspiracy to commit the crimes enumerated in the other three Counts. 2. Crimes against peace, i.e. the planning, initiating, and waging wars of aggression. 3. War crimes, i.e. violations of the laws of war. 4. Crimes against humanity, i.e. exterminations, deportations, and genocide.
Of these counts number 2 is considered the most important. "By 1939, the peoples of the civilized world had come to believe that the launching of aggressive war was a crime not only morally wrong, but one that warranted the most severe punishment. (Bradley F. Smith, "Reaching Judgment at Nuremberg", Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1977, p. 17).
Those were the counts for the Nazis. Now, let us apply them (very brieflly) to the US: Count 2: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Haiti, Panama, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan Iraq I, Iraq II (not to add Greece with 160,000 killed through a US proxy army in 1947-9). Count 3: Vietnam "agent orang", Kosovo DU, Iraq I, Fallujah..., torture all over the panet since 1947. Count 4: Genocides in Indonesia and East Timore. Count 1: Conspiracy with the "poodle", i.e. Britain. Ignoring all counts except number 3 (about wars of aggression) we end up with "the most severe punishment" for W. Bush and his underlings.
One has to resist the temptation to delete all the text above the enumeration of the counts and leave only the text presenting the correspondence of the Nuremberg counts to the US acts in order to show that the comparison of the US to the Nazis is not an exaggeration.
Finally, the fitting way to close this Commentary is by quoting the words of two persons that are worthy of great respect:
- "We have to ask ouselves whether what is needed in the United States is dissent-or denazification." (Noam Chomsky, "American Power and the New Mandarins", Pantheon Books, 1969, p. 16).
- Irmgard A. Hunt was only 3-and-a-half in October 1937 when Hitler had singled her out to sit on his knee. Her parents were living in Berchtesgaden, Hitler's village, and were "both enthusiastic supporters of the Nazis". Sixty years later, now an American since 1958, Irmgard A. Hunt wrote a book about Berchtesgaden: "On Hitler's Mountain".
In an interview to Michael Little of the "Washington City Paper" (June 24, 2005, p. 25) she says: "Karl Rove has all the skills of Dr. Goebbels and then some. It's just amazing how people have stopped questioning the reasons for the war, how people will believe there were weapons of mass destruction. It's absolutely stunning how you can brain-wash people by fine-tuning the ideology... Hitler said, 'I can't take on this job unless I have complete power...' And it's a bit like the emergency powers after 9/11... The American people had better watch what they're signing onto."
The Inalienable Right to Self Defense: Given the current foreboding state of affairs in the world, it is fundamentally flawed logic and morality for progressives to denounce the menaced countries over their alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. Progressives should instead focus the thrust of their remonstration at the nuclear-armed states and their military belligerency that fillips the need for a nuclear deterrent. Progressivism is about equality and peace. While multilateral disarmament must be a foremost priority, in lieu of attaining this aim, progressives should be defending Iran's legitimate right to an effective self-defense. The Cold War evinces that nuclear weapons have indeed served as a deterrent. In the aftermath of World War II, the international community remained poised for another outbreak of war because of tensions drummed up between the two reigning military superpowers of the US and USSR. Both sides had nuclear arsenals targeted on each other, but faced with mutual self-destruction a détente prevailed. It is also arguably the possession of nuclear weapons by both India and Pakistan that has prevented the outbreak of a fourth war between the two nations since being carved out of the British empire.
Ergo, progressives should acknowledge Iran's right to acquire nuclear weapons in a self-defense capacity. It may well be that Iran's possession of nuclear weapons prevents a war. It may well be that it is Iran's lack of a formidable deterrent that will lead to war and the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people.
The mounting threats of an attack on Iran are based in supremacist military geo-strategic considerations and Iran's vast reserves of oil. Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that Iran does not require nuclear weapons, but he stood firm on Iran's legitimate and legal right to use peaceful nuclear technology as permitted under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Even if Iran should acquire nuclear weapons, there is no reason to suppose that it would use them for anything other than legitimate self-defense. Certainly there is nothing compelling to suggest that Iran would be likelier -- and indeed the modern historical record suggests contrariwise -- to use such weapons than its pugnacious US provocateur. Iran is the victim of imperialism and has not been demonstrated to be a threat to any other country.
The US regime does not promise to refrain from the use of nuclear weapons against Iran. Consequently, it is the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran that will prevent the use of nuclear weapons against itself. The cases of northern Korea and Iraq provide the most compelling examples. The belief that northern Korea possesses nuclear weapons (along with its lack of copious oil) has witnessed the US entering into multilateral quid pro quo negotiations on shutting down a heavy water nuclear program in North Korea. If the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein had had a nuclear deterrent, then most assuredly the US and UK militaries would have hesitated before aggressing Iraq. With his demise a foregone conclusion, there would have been little to prevent a man such as Hussein from using nuclear weapons.
What does possession of nuclear weapons signify? This possession signifies political power such as permanent member status on the United Nations Security Council. There is a relationship that suggests the more nuclear warheads a state has, the greater the military power a state wields. Therefore, a nuclear-armed state should come under less threat from its enemies. The attack on the disarmed husk of Iraq could only communicate to disaffected US-labeled enemies that their self-preservation would be predicated on their ability to defend themselves by inflicting heavy casualties on their attackers. In this context, it became clear that achieving the nuclear option is the best bet. To invade a nuclear-armed country would be to send masses of troops on a one-way tour-of-duty. Some duty that would be.
A world without weapons is of course preferable. But in the scenario where one side produces weapons and aims them at another side, sound logic demands the development of equally effective weaponry in a self-defense capacity. In his essay "Pacifism and the War," George Orwell wrote, "Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other." It is, after all, the possession of nuclear weapons by the one side that spurs the need for the other side to possess the same weapons. The right to self-defense is inalienable. Ideally, one state would be prevented from ever attacking another non-threatening state. However, in the eventuality of the imminent use of violence by a rogue superpower against an otherwise outgunned, non-aggressive, and non-threatening state, the threatened state must be permitted the decency to defend itself equitably. In the case of possible nuclear war, the nuclear deterrent factor might prevent the wanton spilling of blood. Humanity would be the beneficiary.
War on Terra: Never before has one word, or its relentless repetition, done so much for one man as the word `terror' (`terra` in Texanese) has for this Texan from Crawford that now resides in the White House. No other single word, it seems, is so much responsible for Bush`s continued fame among certain naive American quarters.
Whether it is the external or internal policies of this administration, the word terra remains the cornerstone of all its past, present and future plans of action. Be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Katrina, domestic elections, passing of sham legislation, the Guantanamo Gulag, the discovery of torture dungeons or the scandal of spying on own citizens, no crisis has ever been strong enough to withstand the magic mantra of terra, terra, terra.
The latest scandal, the domestic spying program that shot to doll rags every possible U.S. law and Constitutional amendment, too is now conveniently being called the "terrorist surveillance program." Were it not for the fear of puking, one would have laughed at the sickening use of this word.
The only other word that comes a close second, especially in the run ups to and the durations of external fiascos e.g. the upcoming Iran war, is the word 'freedom'. The entire presidential tenure of the current White House incumbent is laced with the two words terra and freedom. Though most Americans have begun to suspect that freedom at home, like any fixed commodity, is depleting by the exact proportion of its alleged export abroad, there are still some out there who heed this incessant chant of terra, terra, terra.
Terra has been used at times as the most well oiled ramrod with which to shove unpalatable legislation down the dissenting Americans' collective throat or, at other times, used as a stick to cow down the anti-war opposition into a mute submission.
In one of his West Point speeches, President Bush announced that the "war on terra" will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge." Not very much later, this same president in an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC`s Today show when asked if the war on terror could be won responded with, "I don`t think you can win it." On the one hand this president says that Americans lives can "never be the same" because of his "war on terra" and on the other that in spite of all the sacrifice of Americans' freedom and prosperity, he will not ever win the "war on terra".
How gullible can a people be? This president tells the Americans that the "war on terra" is so vital that they have to sacrifice their freedoms, bankrupt themselves, allow spying on their private lives, change their lives forever and not ask for secrets that he keeps from them. He tells them to stay the course without telling them what the course is. Yet without bating an eye lid, he tells them that the war on terra will continue forever and even at the end of forever, it remains essentially unwinnable.
Ironically, there are still Americans out there that, despite being told that this war on terra is neither winnable nor finite, answer to the call of terra, terra, terra like faithful on a shrine. Is it a secret any more that Americans will be kept in a constant state of fear for as long as the Bush Co. can get away with it because terra, after all, is very, very profitable for certain corporations and power brokers? Is it any secret any more that the only way to stop terrorism is to expose the war on terra as yet another very dangerous US government's war scam?
Does any one need reminding any more that the so called terrorism is a desperate tactic of a desperate people, not an evil ideology? That the root cause of present day terrorism lies in US government's failed foreign policies that maintain the violent occupation of Muslim lands and the cruel subjugation of millions of marginalized Muslims. That stopping terrorism is wholly ineffective until these unjust US government policies are stopped. That, for example, the illegal and immoral continued US occupation of Iraq greatly aggravates the problem by patently authenticating the so called terrorists' claims of repression and brutal occupation of Muslim lands. That this bloody US occupation practically guarantees that Americans and their sidekicks will continue to be targets of violence wherever and whenever possible and that the soon-to-come Iran misadventure is most likely to swell the ranks of these very 'terrorists' like never before.
That all this is happening right before our eyes, with such obvious similarities to the rise of the Hitlers and Mussolinis of the past, is as hugely sardonic as it is unbelievable. For the time being however, riding on the wings of terra, the Americans are being sleep marched into history`s hall of shame. The day may be far but it surely will come when this mass delusion of the Bush supporters will finally evaporate. On that day these Americans are certain to wake up and, in a deafening global chorus of error, error, error, ask themselves the fateful question, "What have we done?"
So on the eve of yet another war that is about to be thrust upon yet another innocent mass of humanity, let us remember that like all empires in the history of human civilization, the Bush Empire too will eventually come to an end. And when that does finally happen, I don`t want to be around for the fear of those involuntary drops of tears when the charlatans are being meted out the Mussolini treatment.
In the meanwhile, however, "Cry terra and let loose the dogs of war."
- Anwaar Hussain is an ex-F-16 fighter pilot from Pakistan Air Force. A Masters in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, he now resides in UAE. Other than international affairs, Anwaar Hussain has written extensively on religious and political issues that plague Pakistan.
['Terra' means 'Earth' in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian; so for us speakers of these languages there's an added chill whenever we hear Bush say 'War on Terra' - zig]
QUOTE OF THE DAY: " Everyone still believing that the US is creating democracy in Iraq, raise your hands." - Truth About Iraqis blogger