Friday, December 30, 2005

The Fox Is Protecting The Hen House?

U.S. to Restrict Iraqi Police
Military oversight will be bolstered in response to reports of prisoner abuse, reasserting American authority over security forces.

By Louise Roug
Times Staff Writer

December 30, 2005

BAGHDAD — After a series of prison abuse scandals that have inflamed sectarian tensions, U.S. officials announced plans Thursday to rein in Iraqi special police forces, increasing the number of American troops assigned to work with them and requiring consultations before the Iraqis mount raids in Baghdad.

The decision to impose more day-to-day oversight suggests a recognition within the U.S. military that the heavy-handed tactics of some Iraqi units, which are to increasingly take on the role of fighting insurgents, have aggravated the sectarian strife that helps fuel the insurgency.
Abu Ghraib. Secret Prisons. Tossing Korans in the toilet. Gitmo. Secret Flights To Torture Chambers. Violations of the Geneva Convention. And then there's this little gem on Americablog:

Confidential British memos show how information procured by torture in Uzbekistan is being used by US and UK, in violation of international law by John in DC - 12/30/2005 12:26:00 AM
Markos has the story, and I'm repeating the gist of it here to help get it out there. Feel free to copy and past this entire post on your blog.Basically, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, is livid about the fact that the US and the British governments have been gladly accepting information from Uzbekistan procured by torture.

You may remember that Amb. Murray was none too pleased with the horrendous human rights situation in Uzbekistan - the country is one of the most repressive on the planet - and as a result the Tony Blair, most likely with some US nudging, had Amb. Murray removed from his job. (You can read a chilling speech by Ambassador Murray detailing the Soviet police state that we are supporting in Uzbekistan.)Well, today Ambassador Murray gets his revenge.

Amb. Murray has published a number of confidential British government documents proving that the US and the UK were conding torture in that abominable country. Tony Blair is now striking back, pulling down Amb. Murray's Web site. UK bloggers responded by doing a coordinated leak to get the documents out to the public. Markos has republished the docs to make sure they remain public, and I'm doing the same below.

Our government is sanctioning and benefiting from torture in one of the most repressive regimes in the world. A regime that we openly embraced after September 11. A regime that many of you will recall was torturing gay journalist and human rights advocate Ruslan Sharipov (the Uzbek government arrested Ruslan for being a human rights advocate, then, after beating him, threatened to rape him with a bottle and inject him with AIDS). These are the people that George Bush has buddied up to to fight this honorable war. The worst governments on the planet - people who make the Soviets look downright nice.

And who else do you think personally was sucking up to the Uzbek dictator just a couple of years ago? Donald Rumsfeld. The same man who sucked up to Saddam Hussein before we decided he was evil.

And WE'RE qualified to lecture the Iraqis on how NOT to torture?

Here's a thought: just show them pictures of what Saddam's police forces did, and tell them not to do that. Then show them videos and pictures of what we've done to their countrymen, and tell them to stop.

See, this was my fear all along about this particular form of nationbuilding: violence begets violence, and what we've guaranteed is, whether we are there in Iraq or not, a civil war. It has to stop, now, our degradation and occupation of a proud people who barely tolerate the minorities within its borders, nevermind the strangers in their midsts.
Word Spreads in Iraq of Refinery Shutdown
By SINAN SALAHEDDIN , 12.30.2005, 07:30 AM

Long lines formed at gas stations in Baghdad on Friday as word spread that Iraq's largest oil refinery had shut down, spreading fears of a gas shortage.

Iraq's largest oil refinery, in Beiji, was shut down on Dec. 18 because of the deteriorating security situation in the region, Minister of Oil Ibrahim Bahar el-Ulom told The Associated Press on Friday. A spokesman earlier had said the refinery had been shut down since Saturday.
Yes, the product that was supposed to PAY the US for this invasion is being shut down slowly by the insurgents. That's not going to help make us anymore friends over there.
Iraqi Shiite family slain in 'triangle of death'

Eleven members of a single Shiite family had their throats slit in an attack south of Baghdad that illustrates the size of the task awaiting political leaders trying to sketch out plans for a grand coalition government.
So we have people killing fellow Iraqis ruthlessly and violently, wholesale.

And you know it's only a matter of time before this violence is visited here at home.