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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to email@example.com Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. uruknet.info: Amnesty International says it has evidence of "pattern of torture" in Iraq (email@example.com) 2. TORTURE AT ABU GHRAIB (Hassan) 3. Who will the troops shoot? (bluepilgrim) --__--__-- Message: 1 Date: Sun, 02 May 2004 19:52:46 +0200 From: "redazione@DELETETHISuruknet.info" <redazione@DELETETHISuruknet.info> To: undisclosed-recipients:; Subject: uruknet.info: Amnesty International says it has evidence of "pattern of torture" in Iraq [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] http://www.uruknet.info/?p=2324 Amnesty International says it has evidence of "pattern of torture" in Iraq AP LAST UPDATE: 5/2/2004 9:10:00 AM LONDON (AP) - Amnesty International said it has uncovered a "pattern of torture" of Iraqi prisoners by coalition troops, and called for an independent investigation into the claims of abuse. The London-based human rights group said it had received "scores" of reports of ill treatment of detainees by British and American troops. British military police are investigating allegations of abuse by U.K. soldiers after the Daily Mirror newspaper published photos allegedly showing a hooded Iraqi prisoner who reportedly was beaten by British troops. Amnesty's Middle East spokeswoman, Nicole Choueiry, said she was not surprised by the pictures. "We've been documenting allegations of torture for a year now," she said. "We have said there are patterns of torture." Choueiry said the British government should call an independent investigation into the abuse claims. The British allegations surfaced after the American network CBS broadcast images allegedly showing Iraqis stripped naked, hooded and being tormented by their U.S. captors. Six U.S. soldiers face courts-martial in connection with allegations of mistreatment of detainees at an Iraqi prison. President Bush expressed "deep disgust" at the photos, and Prime Minister Tony Blair said any abuse of Iraqi prisoners by coalition troops would be "completely unacceptable." On Friday, Amnesty said it had received "frequent reports of torture of other ill-treatment" of detainees by coalition forces. "Methods reported include prolonged sleep deprivation, beatings, prolonged restraint in painful positions, sometimes combined with exposure to loud music, prolonged hooding, and exposure to bright lights," the group said in a written statement. The Daily Mirror 's front-page picture showed a soldier apparently urinating on a hooded prisoner. The newspaper said it had been given the pictures by serving soldiers from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. It quoted unidentified soldiers as saying the unarmed captive in its pictures had been threatened with execution during eight hours of abuse, and was left bleeding and vomiting. They said the captive was then driven away and dumped from the back of a moving vehicle, and it was not known whether he survived. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Sunday that "a very high-level investigation" was underway into the claims. "These allegations are taken extremely seriously, and they will be investigated very thoroughly," he told the British Broadcasting Corp.'s "Breakfast with Frost" program. The BBC cited unnamed sources as expressing doubts about the authenticity of the photos. It quoted sources close to the regiment as saying the gun and hat of the soldier in the pictures appeared to be the wrong type, a truck was also a model not used in Iraq, and the photos looked tidy and staged. The Daily Mirror stood by the photos, saying it had carried out "extensive checks" to establish their authenticity. http://www.wkrc.com/news/world/story.aspx?content id=1226C7FA-60BD-4C7F-B6AE-0B263AEF0B48 <http://www.wkrc.com/news/world/story.aspx?content_id=1226C7FA-60BD-4C7F-B6AE-0B263AEF0B48> http://www.uruknet.info/?p=2324 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ www.uruknet.info <http://www.uruknet.info>: a site gathering daily information concerning occupied Iraq: news, analysis, documents and texts of iraqi resistance available in Italian and English. Any link will be greatly appreciated: you can get our banner or link coordinates from our homepage. Please let us know about new links, so that we can recall them in our link-page. www.uruknet.info <http://www.uruknet.info>: finalmente, un sito dove trovare informazione aggiornata sull'iraq occupato: notizie, analisi, documenti e testi sulla resistenza in italiano e in inglese, aggiornate ogni giorno. Un grazie fin d'ora per ogni link al ns. sito: potrete scaricare il banner e trovare le coordinate sulla testata della ns. homepage. Informateci di ogni nuovo link, in modo da poter contraccambiare e segnalarlo. grazie! --__--__-- Message: 2 Date: Sun, 2 May 2004 04:25:24 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: TORTURE AT ABU GHRAIB To: CASI newsclippings <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040510fa_fact TORTURE AT ABU GHRAIB by SEYMOUR M. HERSH American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go? Issue of 2004-05-10 Posted 2004-04-30 In the era of Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib, twenty miles west of Baghdad, was one of the world=92s most notorious prisons, with torture, weekly executions, and vile living conditions. As many as fifty thousand men and women=97no accurate count is possible=97were jammed into Abu Ghraib at one time, in twelve-by-twelve-foot cells that were little more than human holding pits. In the looting that followed the regime=92s collapse, last April, the huge prison complex, by then deserted, was stripped of everything that could be removed, including doors, windows, and bricks. The coalition authorities had the floors tiled, cells cleaned and repaired, and toilets, showers, and a new medical center added. Abu Ghraib was now a U.S. military prison. Most of the prisoners, however=97by the fall there were several thousand, including women and teen-agers=97were civilians, many of whom had been picked up in random military sweeps and at highway checkpoints. They fell into three loosely defined categories: common criminals; security detainees suspected of =93crimes against the coalition=94; and a small number of suspected =93high-value=94 leaders of the insurgency against the coalition forces. Last June, Janis Karpinski, an Army reserve brigadier general, was named commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade and put in charge of military prisons in Iraq. General Karpinski, the only female commander in the war zone, was an experienced operations and intelligence officer who had served with the Special Forces and in the 1991 Gulf War, but she had never run a prison system. Now she was in charge of three large jails, eight battalions, and thirty-four hundred Army reservists, most of whom, like her, had no training in handling prisoners. General Karpinski, who had wanted to be a soldier since she was five, is a business consultant in civilian life, and was enthusiastic about her new job. In an interview last December with the St. Petersburg Times, she said that, for many of the Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib, =93living conditions now are better in prison than at home. At one point we were concerned that they wouldn=92t want to leave.=94 A month later, General Karpinski was formally admonished and quietly suspended, and a major investigation into the Army=92s prison system, authorized by Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq, was under way. A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of =93sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses=94 at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, and also by members of the American intelligence community. (The 372nd was attached to the 320th M.P. Battalion, which reported to Karpinski=92s brigade headquarters.) Taguba=92s report listed some of the wrongdoing: Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee. There was stunning evidence to support the allegations, Taguba added=97=93detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence.=94 Photographs and videos taken by the soldiers as the abuses were happening were not included in his report, Taguba said, because of their =93extremely sensitive nature.=94 The photographs=97several of which were broadcast on CBS=92s =9360 Minutes 2=94 last week=97show leering G.I.s taunting naked Iraqi prisoners who are forced to assume humiliating poses. Six suspects=97Staff Sergeant Ivan L. Frederick II, known as Chip, who was the senior enlisted man; Specialist Charles A. Graner; Sergeant Javal Davis; Specialist Megan Ambuhl; Specialist Sabrina Harman; and Private Jeremy Sivits=97are now facing prosecution in Iraq, on charges that include conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty toward prisoners, maltreatment, assault, and indecent acts. A seventh suspect, Private Lynndie England, was reassigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after becoming pregnant. The photographs tell it all. In one, Private England, a cigarette dangling from her mouth, is giving a jaunty thumbs-up sign and pointing at the genitals of a young Iraqi, who is naked except for a sandbag over his head, as he masturbates. Three other hooded and naked Iraqi prisoners are shown, hands reflexively crossed over their genitals. A fifth prisoner has his hands at his sides. In another, England stands arm in arm with Specialist Graner; both are grinning and giving the thumbs-up behind a cluster of perhaps seven naked Iraqis, knees bent, piled clumsily on top of each other in a pyramid. There is another photograph of a cluster of naked prisoners, again piled in a pyramid. Near them stands Graner, smiling, his arms crossed; a woman soldier stands in front of him, bending over, and she, too, is smiling. Then, there is another cluster of hooded bodies, with a female soldier standing in front, taking photographs. Yet another photograph shows a kneeling, naked, unhooded male prisoner, head momentarily turned away from the camera, posed to make it appear that he is performing oral sex on another male prisoner, who is naked and hooded. Such dehumanization is unacceptable in any culture, but it is especially so in the Arab world. Homosexual acts are against Islamic law and it is humiliating for men to be naked in front of other men, Bernard Haykel, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at New York University, explained. =93Being put on top of each other and forced to masturbate, being naked in front of each other=97it=92s all a form of torture,=94 Haykel said. Two Iraqi faces that do appear in the photographs are those of dead men. There is the battered face of prisoner No. 153399, and the bloodied body of another prisoner, wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice. There is a photograph of an empty room, splattered with blood. The 372nd=92s abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine=97a fact of Army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide. On April 9th, at an Article 32 hearing (the military equivalent of a grand jury) in the case against Sergeant Frederick, at Camp Victory, near Baghdad, one of the witnesses, Specialist Matthew Wisdom, an M.P., told the courtroom what happened when he and other soldiers delivered seven prisoners, hooded and bound, to the so-called =93hard site=94 at Abu Ghraib=97seven tiers of cells where the inmates who were considered the most dangerous were housed. The men had been accused of starting a riot in another section of the prison. Wisdom said: SFC Snider grabbed my prisoner and threw him into a pile. . . . I do not think it was right to put them in a pile. I saw SSG Frederic, SGT Davis and CPL Graner walking around the pile hitting the prisoners. I remember SSG Frederick hitting one prisoner in the side of its [sic] ribcage. The prisoner was no danger to SSG Frederick. . . . I left after that. When he returned later, Wisdom testified: I saw two naked detainees, one masturbating to another kneeling with its mouth open. I thought I should just get out of there. I didn=92t think it was right . . . I saw SSG Frederick walking towards me, and he said, =93Look what these animals do when you leave them alone for two seconds.=94 I heard PFC England shout out, =93He=92s getting hard.=94 Wisdom testified that he told his superiors what had happened, and assumed that =93the issue was taken care of.=94 He said, =93I just didn=92t want to be part of anything that looked criminal.=94 The abuses became public because of the outrage of Specialist Joseph M. Darby, an M.P. whose role emerged during the Article 32 hearing against Chip Frederick. A government witness, Special Agent Scott Bobeck, who is a member of the Army=92s Criminal Investigation Division, or C.I.D., told the court, according to an abridged transcript made available to me, =93The investigation started after SPC Darby . . . got a CD from CPL Graner. . . . He came across pictures of naked detainees.=94 Bobeck said that Darby had =93initially put an anonymous letter under our door, then he later came forward and gave a sworn statement. He felt very bad about it and thought it was very wrong.=94 Questioned further, the Army investigator said that Frederick and his colleagues had not been given any =93training guidelines=94 that he was aware of. The M.P.s in the 372nd had been assigned to routine traffic and police duties upon their arrival in Iraq, in the spring of 2003. In October of 2003, the 372nd was ordered to prison-guard duty at Abu Ghraib. Frederick, at thirty-seven, was far older than his colleagues, and was a natural leader; he had also worked for six years as a guard for the Virginia Department of Corrections. Bobeck explained: What I got is that SSG Frederick and CPL Graner were road M.P.s and were put in charge because they were civilian prison guards and had knowledge of how things were supposed to be run. Bobeck also testified that witnesses had said that Frederick, on one occasion, =93had punched a detainee in the chest so hard that the detainee almost went into cardiac arrest.=94 At the Article 32 hearing, the Army informed Frederick and his attorneys, Captain Robert Shuck, an Army lawyer, and Gary Myers, a civilian, that two dozen witnesses they had sought, including General Karpinski and all of Frederick=92s co-defendants, would not appear. Some had been excused after exercising their Fifth Amendment right; others were deemed to be too far away from the courtroom. =93The purpose of an Article 32 hearing is for us to engage witnesses and discover facts,=94 Gary Myers told me. =93We ended up with a c.i.d. agent and no alleged victims to examine.=94 After the hearing, the presiding investigative officer ruled that there was sufficient evidence to convene a court-martial against Frederick. Myers, who was one of the military defense attorneys in the My Lai prosecutions of the nineteen-seventies, told me that his client=92s defense will be that he was carrying out the orders of his superiors and, in particular, the directions of military intelligence. He said, =93Do you really think a group of kids from rural Virginia decided to do this on their own? Decided that the best way to embarrass Arabs and make them talk was to have them walk around nude?=94 In letters and e-mails to family members, Frederick repeatedly noted that the military-intelligence teams, which included C.I.A. officers and linguists and interrogation specialists from private defense contractors, were the dominant force inside Abu Ghraib. In a letter written in January, he said: I questioned some of the things that I saw . . . such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell=97and the answer I got was, =93This is how military intelligence (MI) wants it done.=94 . . . . MI has also instructed us to place a prisoner in an isolation cell with little or no clothes, no toilet or running water, no ventilation or window, for as much as three days. The military-intelligence officers have =93encouraged and told us, =91Great job,=92 they were now getting positive results and information,=94 Frederick wrote. =93CID has been present when the military working dogs were used to intimidate prisoners at MI=92s request.=94 At one point, Frederick told his family, he pulled aside his superior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Phillabaum, the commander of the 320th M.P. Battalion, and asked about the mistreatment of prisoners. =93His reply was =91Don=92t worry about it.=92=94 In November, Frederick wrote, an Iraqi prisoner under the control of what the Abu Ghraib guards called =93O.G.A.,=94 or other government agencies=97that is, the C.I.A. and its paramilitary employees=97was brought to his unit for questioning. =93They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag and packed him in ice for approximately twenty-four hours in the shower. . . . The next day the medics came and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm and took him away.=94 The dead Iraqi was never entered into the prison=92s inmate-control system, Frederick recounted, =93and therefore never had a number.=94 Frederick=92s defense is, of course, highly self-serving. But the complaints in his letters and e-mails home were reinforced by two internal Army reports=97Taguba=92s and one by the Army=92s chief law-enforcement officer, Provost Marshal Donald Ryder, a major general. Last fall, General Sanchez ordered Ryder to review the prison system in Iraq and recommend ways to improve it. Ryder=92s report, filed on November 5th, concluded that there were potential human-rights, training, and manpower issues, system-wide, that needed immediate attention. It also discussed serious concerns about the tension between the missions of the military police assigned to guard the prisoners and the intelligence teams who wanted to interrogate them. Army regulations limit intelligence activity by the M.P.s to passive collection. But something had gone wrong at Abu Ghraib. There was evidence dating back to the Afghanistan war, the Ryder report said, that M.P.s had worked with intelligence operatives to =93set favorable conditions for subsequent interviews=94=97a euphemism for breaking the will of prisoners. =93Such actions generally run counter to the smooth operation of a detention facility, attempting to maintain its population in a compliant and docile state.=94 General Karpinski=92s brigade, Ryder reported, =93has not been directed to change its facility procedures to set the conditions for MI interrogations, nor participate in those interrogations.=94 Ryder called for the establishment of procedures to =93define the role of military police soldiers . . .clearly separating the actions of the guards from those of the military intelligence personnel.=94 The officers running the war in Iraq were put on notice. Ryder undercut his warning, however, by concluding that the situation had not yet reached a crisis point. Though some procedures were flawed, he said, he found =93no military police units purposely applying inappropriate confinement practices.=94 His investigation was at best a failure and at worst a coverup. Taguba, in his report, was polite but direct in refuting his fellow-general. =93Unfortunately, many of the systemic problems that surfaced during [Ryder=92s] assessment are the very same issues that are the subject of this investigation,=94 he wrote. =93In fact, many of the abuses suffered by detainees occurred during, or near to, the time of that assessment.=94 The report continued, =93Contrary to the findings of MG Ryder=92s report, I find that personnel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to =91set the conditions=92 for MI interrogations.=94 Army intelligence officers, C.I.A. agents, and private contractors =93actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses.=94 Taguba backed up his assertion by citing evidence from sworn statements to Army C.I.D. investigators. Specialist Sabrina Harman, one of the accused M.P.s, testified that it was her job to keep detainees awake, including one hooded prisoner who was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis. She stated, =93MI wanted to get them to talk. It is Graner and Frederick=92s job to do things for MI and OGA to get these people to talk.=94 Another witness, Sergeant Javal Davis, who is also one of the accused, told C.I.D. investigators, =93I witnessed prisoners in the MI hold section . . . being made to do various things that I would question morally. . . . We were told that they had different rules.=94 Taguba wrote, =93Davis also stated that he had heard MI insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said he stated: =91Loosen this guy up for us.=92=91Make sure he has a bad night.=92=91Make sure he gets the treatment.=92=94 Military intelligence made these comments to Graner and Frederick, Davis said. =93The MI staffs to my understanding have been giving Graner compliments . . . statements like, =91Good job, they=92re breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They=92re giving out good information.=92=94 When asked why he did not inform his chain of command about the abuse, Sergeant Davis answered, =93Because I assumed that if they were doing things out of the ordinary or outside the guidelines, someone would have said something. Also the wing=94=97where the abuse took place=97=93belongs to MI and it appeared MI personnel approved of the abuse.=94 Another witness, Specialist Jason Kennel, who was not accused of wrongdoing, said, =93I saw them nude, but MI would tell us to take away their mattresses, sheets, and clothes.=94 (It was his view, he added, that if M.I. wanted him to do this =93they needed to give me paperwork.=94) Taguba also cited an interview with Adel L. Nakhla, a translator who was an employee of Titan, a civilian contractor. He told of one night when a =93bunch of people from MI=94 watched as a group of handcuffed and shackled inmates were subjected to abuse by Graner and Frederick. General Taguba saved his harshest words for the military-intelligence officers and private contractors. He recommended that Colonel Thomas Pappas, the commander of one of the M.I. brigades, be reprimanded and receive non-judicial punishment, and that Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, the former director of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, be relieved of duty and reprimanded. He further urged that a civilian contractor, Steven Stephanowicz, of CACI International, be fired from his Army job, reprimanded, and denied his security clearances for lying to the investigating team and allowing or ordering military policemen =93who were not trained in interrogation techniques to facilitate interrogations by =91setting conditions=92 which were neither authorized=94 nor in accordance with Army regulations. =93He clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse,=94 Taguba wrote. He also recommended disciplinary action against a second CACI employee, John Israel. (A spokeswoman for CACI said that the company had =93received no formal communication=94 from the Army about the matter.) =93I suspect,=94 Taguba concluded, that Pappas, Jordan, Stephanowicz, and Israel =93were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuse at Abu Ghraib,=94 and strongly recommended immediate disciplinary action. The problems inside the Army prison system in Iraq were not hidden from senior commanders. During Karpinski=92s seven-month tour of duty, Taguba noted, there were at least a dozen officially reported incidents involving escapes, attempted escapes, and other serious security issues that were investigated by officers of the 800th M.P. Brigade. Some of the incidents had led to the killing or wounding of inmates and M.P.s, and resulted in a series of =93lessons learned=94 inquiries within the brigade. Karpinski invariably approved the reports and signed orders calling for changes in day-to-day procedures. But Taguba found that she did not follow up, doing nothing to insure that the orders were carried out. Had she done so, he added, =93cases of abuse may have been prevented.=94 General Taguba further found that Abu Ghraib was filled beyond capacity, and that the M.P. guard force was significantly undermanned and short of resources. =93This imbalance has contributed to the poor living conditions, escapes, and accountability lapses,=94 he wrote. There were gross differences, Taguba said, between the actual number of prisoners on hand and the number officially recorded. A lack of proper screening also meant that many innocent Iraqis were wrongly being detained=97indefinitely, it seemed, in some cases. The Taguba study noted that more than sixty per cent of the civilian inmates at Abu Ghraib were deemed not to be a threat to society, which should have enabled them to be released. Karpinski=92s defense, Taguba said, was that her superior officers =93routinely=94 rejected her recommendations regarding the release of such prisoners. Karpinski was rarely seen at the prisons she was supposed to be running, Taguba wrote. He also found a wide range of administrative problems, including some that he considered =93without precedent in my military career.=94 The soldiers, he added, were =93poorly prepared and untrained . . . prior to deployment, at the mobilization site, upon arrival in theater, and throughout the mission.=94 General Taguba spent more than four hours interviewing Karpinski, whom he described as extremely emotional: =93What I found particularly disturbing in her testimony was her complete unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her command to both establish and enforce basic standards and principles among its soldiers.=94 Taguba recommended that Karpinski and seven brigade military-police officers and enlisted men be relieved of command and formally reprimanded. No criminal proceedings were suggested for Karpinski; apparently, the loss of promotion and the indignity of a public rebuke were seen as enough punishment. After the story broke on CBS last week, the Pentagon announced that Major General Geoffrey Miller, the new head of the Iraqi prison system, had arrived in Baghdad and was on the job. He had been the commander of the Guant=E1namo Bay detention center. General Sanchez also authorized an investigation into possible wrongdoing by military and civilian interrogators. As the international furor grew, senior military officers, and President Bush, insisted that the actions of a few did not reflect the conduct of the military as a whole. Taguba=92s report, however, amounts to an unsparing study of collective wrongdoing and the failure of Army leadership at the highest levels. The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority. The mistreatment at Abu Ghraib may have done little to further American intelligence, however. Willie J. Rowell, who served for thirty-six years as a C.I.D. agent, told me that the use of force or humiliation with prisoners is invariably counterproductive. =93They=92ll tell you what you want to hear, truth or no truth,=94 Rowell said. =93=91You can flog me until I tell you what I know you want me to say.=92 You don=92t get righteous information.=94 Under the fourth Geneva convention, an occupying power can jail civilians who pose an =93imperative=94 security threat, but it must establish a regular procedure for insuring that only civilians who remain a genuine security threat be kept imprisoned. Prisoners have the right to appeal any internment decision and have their cases reviewed. Human Rights Watch complained to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that civilians in Iraq remained in custody month after month with no charges brought against them. Abu Ghraib had become, in effect, another Guant=E1namo. As the photographs from Abu Ghraib make clear, these detentions have had enormous consequences: for the imprisoned civilian Iraqis, many of whom had nothing to do with the growing insurgency; for the integrity of the Army; and for the United States=92 reputation in the world. Captain Robert Shuck, Frederick=92s military attorney, closed his defense at the Article 32 hearing last month by saying that the Army was =93attempting to have these six soldiers atone for its sins.=94 Similarly, Gary Myers, Frederick=92s civilian attorney, told me that he would argue at the court-martial that culpability in the case extended far beyond his client. =93I=92m going to drag every involved intelligence officer and civilian contractor I can find into court,=94 he said. =93Do you really believe the Army relieved a general officer because of six soldiers? Not a chance.=94 __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Win a $20,000 Career Makeover at Yahoo! HotJobs http://hotjobs.sweepstakes.yahoo.com/careermakeover --__--__-- Message: 3 Date: Sun, 02 May 2004 19:43:40 -0500 To: email@example.com From: bluepilgrim <bluepilgrim@DELETETHISgrics.net> Subject: Who will the troops shoot? http://paxlynx.blogspot.com/ Saturday, May 01, 2004 Who will the troops shoot? This article, unchanged, or the ideas in it, may be distributed freely. http://paxlynx.blogspot.com/ Who will they shoot? We hear many people saying that the US needs to keep troops in Iraq, or even send more. They say that Iraq would fall into civil war if we just pulled out, or degenerate into general violence. Apparently the troops already there are not decreasing violence, but supporting it. Before we decide to keep troops in Iraq, however, a central question needs to be answered: who will they shoot? Troops, of course, carry weapons, and they either shoot people or threaten to shoot people with them: that's the purpose of troops. But who will they shoot? Although the US troops have already shot many civilians, this has not been the official policy, and has certainly made the situation worse, as well as wounding and killing innocent people. No -- the troops should not shoot civilians. How about the insurgents, then -- the people who fight to try to get the US out? Well, if the US were gone, there would be no way for them to shoot the occupiers, nor any nationalistic reasons or excuses for their violence. They would lose the support of the people rather than gaining more support, as is happening now. We hear about the possibility of civil war between various factions in Iraq -- the Sunis, Shi'ites, Kurds, secularists, or various tribal members under the command of the sheiks. Certainly there is no shortage of either weapons nor gunmen among the Iraqis themselves. As sick of war and death as the Iraqis are, there is a possibility that further fighting would break out; that differences would not be resolvable by political means. Yet what if US troops were there? Would they side with one faction and attack the others? This would not lead to a lasting peace, but only drive that faction into a resistance movement, much as we already see in Fallujah -- and much as we see in Afghanistan where the warlords each control their own armies and territories, and the US has been essentially hiding in a few strongholds, with no resolution and an increase in terrorism. At some future time the US would need to pull out, or, at much greater cost than has already been incurred, establish a permanent military dictatorship, which is inherently unsustainable. And what will happen when that time comes? The factions may well have been further polarized, and a civil war more fierce than any looming now would ensue. There is no military solution to what is essentially a political problem. Yet, that problem has been overstated: the Sunis and Shi'ites have been living together for many years, and people have members of both in their families. Even now both have united against their common occupier enemy. Whether they can work together to form a common government depends on diplomacy, not violence: it is only when security is established that negotiations can begin -- but there we at the beginning of the circle, for the violence is increasing with the occupier's presence, not decreasing. What is necessary is for skilled and experienced diplomats, such as can be found at the United Nations, to sit down with the clerical leaders and sheiks to help them work out their differences, and to hold free elections to form a government which has legitimacy and the backing of the Iraqi people. This is a process in which the US has shown itself to be decidedly inept. The Kurds will be greatest problem. They are used to independence, have much of the oil wealth, and are already set apart from many of the other Iraqis, partly though Arabization programs of Saddam, and partly through the manipulations of the US -- as well there own feelings of Kurdish nationalism. A fly in the ointment here is Turkey, of course, who fear that the establishment of an independent Kurdistan will inflame the drive of Kurds within Turkey for autonomy -- and, of course, the oil. And in this difficulty, who shall the troops shoot? Shall they turn on the Kurds and destroy them? Shall they shoot the Iraqis in the central and southern regions? Shall they shoot the Turks? It would not seem that any of these alternatives would be helpful or acceptable. The inescapable conclusion is that the troops should not shoot any of the Iraqis. What then of invaders from neighboring nations? Who might invade? The Iranians, the Syrians, or the Turks? The Kuwaitis? (Hardly the Kuwaitis!) First it must be recognized that the Iraqis are hardly defenseless: they are already doing a pretty job of fighting off the Americans, despite being already occupied and at a huge disadvantage in weaponry. Just try to imagine even one of the neighboring countries try to invade, especially if the Iraqis had control of their nation, and a free flow of arms and other support from the international community. Imagine if a western nation, NATO, or UN forces were to aid them in defending. Would Syria or Iran jeopardize their national security by inviting international sanctions or reprisals? Would the Turks be allowed to invade and still keep up their vital trade relations, or risk their invading force being bombed or strafed by western aircraft? Would US troops on the ground be needed, or even desirable to deter such an invasion? The suggestion stretches credibility. There is no real threat to Iraq of invasion by a neighboring nation. So again we must ask? Who would the troops shoot? The only answer is themselves -- in the foot -- as they have been doing all along. What sense is there in continuing that? posted by blue @ 4:11 PM End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk