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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. The near-impossibility of helping the United States out of the mire in Iraq (Hassan) 2. Abused never interviewed during investigation (k hanly) 3. US attacks Iraqi wedding party.. (k hanly) --__--__-- Message: 1 Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 11:00:08 -0700 (PDT) From: Hassan <hasseini@DELETETHISyahoo.com> Subject: The near-impossibility of helping the United States out of the mire in Iraq To: CASI newsclippings <email@example.com>, IAC discussion <firstname.lastname@example.org> [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/1076152746456 The near-impossibility of helping the United States out of the mire in Iraq EDITORIAL It has become frighteningly difficult to believe or even to try to convince= others that the United States' heedless adventure in Iraq could lead to a = happy ending. Of course, military supremacy remains in the hands of the occ= upying force, but the political - and above all the moral - credibility is = spent. "Sovereignty" should pass to the Iraqis at the end of June, but alre= ady today the transfer of authority is understood as nothing more than an e= mpty conjuring trick. It has not even been possible to agree on whom should= take over the trappings of apparent power. For the occupiers, supremacy without authority is already something of a wo= rthless commodity. The forces themselves can no longer move on the highways= of Iraq except in armoured columns. The reconstruction of the country shou= ld be put into high gear, and political life got onto a healthy footing for= subsequent elections, but all the conditions for this seem to be lacking. When the administration of George W. Bush has frittered away its most impor= tant expedients for the carrying out of the task it took on, the only alter= native currently in play is to internationalise the crisis. This means that= responsibility for the running of the transition period would be handed ov= er to the United Nations. The maintenance of security could be entrusted to= NATO, with troops from the United States joined by others from as many mem= ber-states as possible. In theory the proposal is a good one. In reality its hour has probably pass= ed. The security situation on the ground is so bad that only the power of t= he United States is sufficient any longer to protect an international inter= im administration. However, such an arrangement would take away any credibi= lity and semblance of independence a UN-led caretaker government might enjo= y. Washington is seeking to borrow international authority, but in practice= even this would be laid waste in the wake of Washington=92s own, which has= already been destroyed If the might of the United States and international legitimacy have become = an impossible combination, from where can we seek a solution henceforth? In= this situation the Bush administration must find its own way out of the ca= tastrophe that it has wrought through its own blindness and repeated mistak= es. There is every reason to help the United States, but all aid is somehow= rendered useless before a fundamental political change has been made in Wa= shington. An ideal solution would probably be if Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld= were to tender his immediate resignation and if President Bush were to adm= it the mistakes of the Iraq policy. The guiding of Iraq towards independenc= e would be transferred into the hands of some non-partisan American enjoyin= g general respect, who would then hurry forward the transfer of power - a r= eal transfer and not an ostensible one - using all means available. Naturally, no such scenario will be played out in the real world. The Bush = government will cling doggedly to the occupation and to the shreds of its b= ankrupt policy until Election Day comes around in November. The solution will then be solely in the hands of the U.S. voters, and the r= est of the world will have to await the outcome of the election in an unusu= ally heightened state of excitement. In the past few months we have seen th= e emergence on this side of the Atlantic of an ever-firmer conviction that = the world=92s only superpower now has its most hapless government in living= memory. Bush could naturally still win in November. Then we shall have to hope that= against all the laws of probability he will be able to be born again and s= tart afresh from the beginning. Otherwise we shall find ourselves in the uncharted waters of a situation wh= ere the world has an overwhelming leader-state whose ability to lead is gra= vely weakened. Not even the most enthusiastic of neo-conservative ideologue= s in the United States could be expected to wish for such an outcome. Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 16.5.2004 --------------------------------- Helsingin Sanomat --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! - Internet access at a great low price. --__--__-- Message: 2 From: "k hanly" <khanly@DELETETHISmb.sympatico.ca> To: "newsclippings" <email@example.com> Subject: Abused never interviewed during investigation Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 19:02:40 -0500 http://news.myway.com/top/article/id/392678|top|05-18-2004::14:44|reuters.html Reuters, NBC Staff Abused by U.S. Troops in Iraq May 18, 2:30 PM (ET) By Andrew Marshall BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces beat three Iraqis working for Reuters and subjected them to sexual and religious taunts and humiliation during their detention last January in a military camp near Falluja, the three said Tuesday. The three first told Reuters of the ordeal after their release but only decided to make it public when the U.S. military said there was no evidence they had been abused, and following the exposure of similar mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. An Iraqi journalist working for U.S. network NBC, who was arrested with the Reuters staff, also said he had been beaten and mistreated, NBC said Tuesday. Two of the three Reuters staff said they had been forced to insert a finger into their anus and then lick it, and were forced to put shoes in their mouths, particularly humiliating in Arab culture. All three said they were forced to make demeaning gestures as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs. They said they did not want to give details publicly earlier because of the degrading nature of the abuse. The soldiers told them they would be taken to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, deprived them of sleep, placed bags over their heads, kicked and hit them and forced them to remain in stress positions for long periods. The U.S. military, in a report issued before the Abu Ghraib abuse became public, said there was no evidence the Reuters staff had been tortured or abused. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of ground forces in Iraq, said in a letter received by Reuters Monday but dated March 5 that he was confident the investigation had been "thorough and objective" and its findings were sound. The Pentagon has yet to respond to a request by Reuters Global Managing Editor David Schlesinger to review the military's findings about the incident in light of the scandal over the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Asked for comment Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said only: "There are a number of lines of inquiry under way with respect to prison operations in Iraq. If during the course of any inquiry, the commander believes it is appropriate to review a specific aspect of detention, he has the authority to do so." The abuse happened at Forward Operating Base Volturno, near Falluja, the Reuters staff said. They were detained on January 2 while covering the aftermath of the shooting down of a U.S. helicopter near Falluja and held for three days, first at Volturno and then at Forward Operating Base St Mere. The three -- Baghdad-based cameraman Salem Ureibi, Falluja-based freelance television journalist Ahmad Mohammad Hussein al-Badrani and driver Sattar Jabar al-Badrani -- were released without charge on Jan. 5. "INADEQUATE" INVESTIGATION "When I saw the Abu Ghraib photographs, I wept," Ureibi said Tuesday. "I saw they had suffered like we had." Ureibi, who understands English better than the other two detainees, said soldiers told him they wanted to have sex with him, and he was afraid he would be raped. NBC, whose stringer Ali Muhammed Hussein Ali al-Badrani was detained along with the Reuters staff, said he reported that a hood was placed over his head for hours, and that he was forced to perform physically debilitating exercises, prevented from sleeping and struck and kicked several times. "Despite repeated requests, we have yet to receive the results of the army investigation," NBC News Vice President Bill Wheatley said. Schlesinger sent a letter to Sanchez on January 9 demanding an investigation into the treatment of the three Iraqis. The U.S. army said it was investigating and requested further information. Reuters provided transcripts of initial interviews with the three following their release, and offered to make them available for interview by investigators. A summary of the investigation by the 82nd Airborne Division, dated January 28 and provided to Reuters, said "no specific incidents of abuse were found." It said soldiers responsible for the detainees were interviewed under oath and "none admit or report knowledge of physical abuse or torture." "The detainees were purposefully and carefully put under stress, to include sleep deprivation, in order to facilitate interrogation; they were not tortured," it said. The version received Monday used the phrase "sleep management" instead. The U.S. military never interviewed the three for its investigation. On February 3 Schlesinger wrote to Lawrence Di Rita, special assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying the investigation was "woefully inadequate" and should be reopened. "The military's conclusion of its investigation without even interviewing the alleged victims, along with other inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the report, speaks volumes about the seriousness with which the U.S. government is taking this issue," he wrote. ABUSE SCANDAL The U.S. military faced international outrage this month after photographs surfaced showing U.S. soldiers humiliating and abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. An investigation by Major General Antonio Taguba found that "numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees" in Abu Ghraib. Seven U.S. soldiers have been charged over the Abu Ghraib abuse and the first court martial is set for Wednesday. U.S. officials say the abuse was carried out by a small number of soldiers and that all allegations of abuse are promptly and thoroughly investigated --__--__-- Message: 3 From: "k hanly" <khanly@DELETETHISmb.sympatico.ca> To: "newsclippings" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: US attacks Iraqi wedding party.. Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 13:01:58 -0500 http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040519/D82LPGOG0.html U.S. Reportedly Kills 40 Iraqis at Party Email this Story May 19, 1:24 PM (ET) By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI Google sponsored links We Can Help You - Avoid Bankruptcy & Get out of Debt All Canadians Coast to Coast www.nccc.ca Refinance/Renew Centre - Lower your rate/consolidate bills up to 100% of you home value www.canadianmortgagefinder.c BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A U.S. helicopter fired on a wedding party early Wednesday in western Iraq, killing more than 40 people, Iraqi officials said. The U.S. military said it could not confirm the report and was investigating. Lt. Col Ziyad al-Jbouri, deputy police chief of the city of Ramadi, said between 42 and 45 people died in the attack, which took place about 2:45 a.m. in a remote desert area near the border with Syria and Jordan. He said those killed included 15 children and 10 women. Dr. Salah al-Ani, who works at a hospital in Ramadi, put the death toll at 45. Associated Press Television News obtained videotape showing a truck containing bodies of those allegedly killed. About a dozen bodies, one without a head, could be clearly seen. but it appeared that bodies were piled on top of each other and a clear count was not possible. Iraqis interviewed on the videotape said partygoers had fired into the air in a traditional wedding celebration. American troops have sometimes mistaken celebratory gunfire for hostile fire. "I cannot comment on this because we have not received any reports from our units that this has happened nor that any were involved in such a tragedy," Lt. Col. Dan Williams, a U.S. military spokesman, wrote in an e-mail in response to a question from The Associated Press. "We take all these requests seriously and we have forwarded this inquiry to the Joint Operations Center for further review and any other information that may be available," Williams said. The video footage showed mourners with shovels digging graves. A group of men crouched and wept around one coffin. Al-Ani said people at the wedding fired weapons in the air, and that American troops came to investigate and left. However, al-Ani said, helicopters attacked the area at about 3 a.m. Two houses were destroyed, he said. U.S. troops took the bodies and the wounded in a truck to Rutba hospital, he said. "This was a wedding and the (U.S.) planes came and attacked the people at a house. Is this the democracy and freedom that (President) Bush has brought us?" said a man on the videotape, Dahham Harraj. "There was no reason." Another man shown on the tape, who refused to give his name, said the victims were at a wedding party "and the U.S. military planes came... and started killing everyone in the house." In July 2002, Afghan officials said 48 civilians at a wedding party were killed and 117 wounded by a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. An investigative report released by the U.S. Central Command said the airstrike was justified because American planes had come under fire. 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