< HOME  Saturday, June 03, 2006

Iraq rejects US probe, but CAN they launch their own?

Investigations over incidents like Ishaqi and Haditha mark the beginning of the end of this occupation.

Iraq's PM is in the unenviable position of having to bow down before a military superpower bent on controlling his nation's oil, and satisfy an increasingly and justifiably indignant Iraqi population, enraged at the senseless and brutal killing of its people.
Iraq vowed on Saturday to press on with its own probe into the deaths of civilians in a U.S. raid on the town of Ishaqi, rejecting the U.S. military's exoneration of its forces.

Adnan al-Kazimi, an aide to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said the government would also demand an apology from the United States and compensation for the victims in several cases, including the alleged massacre in the town of Haditha last year.

"We have from more than one source that the Ishaqi killings were carried out under questionable circumstances. More than one child was killed. This report was not fair for the Iraqi people and the children who were killed," he told Reuters.
What was the US thinking when it released what is essentially a rubber-stamp approval of the previous report?
The U.S. military had issued a statement about Ishaqi saying allegations that U.S. troops "executed a family ... and then hid the alleged crimes by directing an air strike, are absolutely false".

It said troops had been fired on as they raided a house to arrest an al Qaeda suspect. They returned fire and called in air support, which destroyed the building, killing one militant and resulting in "up to nine collateral deaths". [!!!]

The military had previously said one guerrilla, two women and a child were killed in the March 15 raid in Ishaqi, 60 miles (100 km) north of Baghdad.
But, neither the previous report nor the latest approval could persuade Iraqis.
It has repeatedly pledged to punish any soldier found guilty of atrocities in Iraq, but the decision to clear the troops in Ishaqi fuelled deep mistrust among ordinary Iraqis three years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.

Police in Ishaqi say five children, four women and two men were shot in the head, and that the bodies, with HANDS BOUND, were dumped in one room before the house was blown up.
If the victim's hands were bound, then there is NO WAY that the US account is true. The Bush administration and Iraq's PM are up sh*t's creek without a paddle.
Maliki, who took office two weeks ago at the helm of a U.S- backed national unity government, is battling a widespread public perception that U.S. troops can shoot and kill with impunity and Iraqi leaders are too weak to do anything about it.

"Ishaqi is just another reason why we shouldn't trust the Americans," said Abdullah Hussein, an engineer in Baghdad.

"FIRST they lied about the weapons of mass destruction, THEN there was the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and NOW it's clear to the world they were guilty in Haditha," he told Reuters.

A tribal leader in Ishaqi said it was clear that U.S. forces were above the law in Iraq.

"We expect the American soldiers to commit any crime to control this country," added Sarhan Jasim, 55.

Human Rights Minister Wijdan Michael said her ministry would send a fact-finding commission to Ishaqi in the next few days.

* * *

White House spokesman Tony Snow said U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, met Maliki in Baghdad on Friday and promised to give him all the evidence and materials from the Haditha probe.
The question is, what are Iraqis going to do with it?

At the start of the occupation, the Bush administration made it a point to ensure immunity for coalition forces from Iraq prosecution.
The Bush administration has decided to take the unusual step of bestowing on its own troops and personnel immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts for killing Iraqis or destroying local property after the occupation ends and political power is transferred to an interim Iraqi government, U.S. officials said.

* * *

Order 17 gives all foreign personnel in the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority immunity from "local criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction and from any form of arrest or detention other than by persons acting on behalf of their parent states."
It's unclear whether, under current law, the Iraqi government has authority to hold US troops accountable. Even if they do, it would be difficult - if not impossible - under the circumstances for them to assert that authority.

Nevertheless, given the widespread dissatisfaction with US "probes" into civilian deaths by US troops AND the region's history vis-a-vis US military immunity, it would be equally difficult for Iraq's government to refrain from asserting its sovereign authority.

The issue of immunity for U.S. troops is among the most contentious in the Islamic world, where it has galvanized public opinion against the United States in the past.

A similar grant of immunity to U.S. troops in Iran during the Johnson administration in the 1960s led to the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who used the issue to charge that the shah had sold out the Iranian people.

"Our honor has been trampled underfoot; the dignity of Iran has been destroyed," Khomeini said in a famous 1964 speech that led to his detention and then expulsion from Iran. The measure "reduced the Iranian people to a level lower than that of an American dog."

Ironically, Khomeini went into exile in Iraq, where he spent 12 years in Najaf -- the Shiite holy city that is now home to Sistani and his followers and where Iraqis still remember the flap that led the shah to deport a cleric who later led Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Clearly, the issue of immunity for US troops is a fireball that threatens to set the entire region aflame.
In the statement about Ishaqi, Major General William Caldwell, the U.S. military spokesman, said the investigation showed that the ground commander "operated in accordance with the rules of engagement governing our combat forces in Iraq."

[BUT] One man in the town, 40-year-old Obeid Kamil, said on Friday that U.S. soldiers had a "licence to kill" Iraqi civilians.

"Their action is always to open fire and kill people, which is proof that they are afraid," he said.
I'd say that's a pretty astute assessment coming from a simple Iraqi.

These incidents are the beginning of the end of this occupation.


At Saturday, June 03, 2006, Blogger Akber said...

I am reading the book, 'The New Industrial State' by Kenneth Galbraith, who just died a couple of weeks ago.

The book is out of print, as it is a bit tough to digest, but it is the singular most brilliant book I have read in a long time, eclipsing his earlier book I read, 'The Affluent Society'.

I humbly request qrswave, and everyone on this forum, to read it.

The highly organized firm will go to no ends to control its supply and its market. If it gets fairly large, no law can stop it from co-opting government. Once we understand this, the solution is very easy to find.

This occupation will not end because of some moral victory - this occupation will end when the corporations' supply and market control are dented.

At Sunday, June 04, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're not doing anything wrong, your troops don't need immunity. End of story. This is the same administration that refuses to let the Red Cross interview Gitmo detainees who have never been charged or tried. Even Hitler allowed the Red Cross to visit his death camps. Only Stalin and now Bush forbid international oversight of their prison systems.

Short term prediction: after the Busheviks bomb Iran later this year, the only thing they'll be able to salvage in Iraq will be pictures of the bomb craters they left behind. The whole country will rise up and join the resistance then, and they'll have the Iranians in their corner.

At Sunday, June 04, 2006, Blogger Citisucks said...

Great quote towards the end-as Ward Churchill as stated things that are self evident to people in other countries with second grade educations, are incomprehensile to college students and professors (but that's why they call it Idiot America).

Bu$h is worse than Hilter-the only difference (in addition to Hitler having let the Red Cross in and not Bu$h)is Bu$h hasn't fininshed his killing yet.

At Monday, June 05, 2006, Anonymous Mighty Thor said...

"Citisucks"--u suck, u scummy, lying puke with ur crack about Hitler who was an outstanding hero and patriot; u're not worth the dirt unc' Adolf walked on. Honest elections and death to the Fed. Thor

At Tuesday, June 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These kinds of inevitable tragedy that result from prolonged combat in hostile, occupied territory happens more than you think.
Haditha,Ishaqi and many others were all based on the eye witness reports by the victims, other citizens, police, and doctors for close to three years.
It was the photos of torture ( you say abuse)at Abu Graib, sent by soldiers to loved ones and not the work of journalists that uncovered the story.

Mainstream news organizations are complicit because they fail to cover the story from the victims perspective and repeat the spin, without substantiation, of the Pentagon


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