Wednesday, September 20, 2006  

File this under

how frigging stupid do you think we are???????
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States military said on Wednesday it had found no evidence that the Iraqi government and its police were behind Shi'ite sectarian death squads murdering Sunnis in Baghdad.

This from Time in March:
The grisly discovery was horrible enough, the latest and perhaps most chilling sign that Iraq is descending further into butchery — and quite possibly civil war. But almost as disturbing is the growing evidence that the massacres and others like it are being tolerated and even abetted by Iraq's Shi'ite-dominated police forces, overseen by Iraq's Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr. On his watch, sectarian militias have swelled the ranks of the police units and, Sunnis charge, used their positions to carry out revenge killings against Sunnis. While allowing an Iranian-trained militia to take over the ministry, critics say, Jabr has authorized the targeted assassination of Sunni men and stymied investigations into Interior-run death squads. Despite numerous attempts to contact them, neither Jabr nor Interior Ministry spokesmen responded to requests for comment on this article.

And another report, posted on Green Left Weekly, this month has this to say:
A rare exception was the May 22 NYT, which reported that it was after DynCorp employee Jon Villanova “arrived in Basra last spring to help build a police force in southern Iraq when bodies began piling up. Twenty or more Iraqi civilians were dragged from their homes, shot in the head and dumped in the streets.

In June of 2005, an Iraqi correspondent of Knight Ridder, Yasser Salihee was killed with one bullit to the head, possibly by a US sniper, as he approached a checkpoint near his home. Salihee had made major contributions to an article published by Knight Ridder, alledging that dozens of people had been executed by death squads reminiscent of Operation Phoenix, which turned Vietnam, Nicaragua and other places in Latin America into a bloody abbatoir if you were on the wrong side of the US and the ruling group.

Dahr Jamail examines another player in the death squad scenario: one John Negroponte, whom death follows wherever he goes.

In a March 2006 article Jamail has this to say:
If we briefly review the political history of John Negroponte, we find a man who has had a career bent toward generating civilian death and widespread human rights abuses, and promoting sectarian and ethnic violence.

Remember when Negroponte was the US ambassador to Honduras, from 1981 to 1985? While there he earned the distinction of being accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights while he worked as "a tough cold warrior who enthusiastically carried out President Ronald Reagan's strategy," according to cables sent between Negroponte and Washington during his tenure there.

The human rights violations carried out by Negroponte were described as "systematic."

These violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by operatives trained by the CIA. Records document his "special intelligence units," better known as "death squads," comprised of CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of people. Victims also included US missionaries (similar to Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq) who happened to witness many of the atrocities.

Negroponte had full knowledge of these activities, while he made sure US military aid to Honduras increased from $4 million to $77.4 million a year during his tenure, and the tiny country became so jammed with US soldiers it was dubbed the "USS Honduras."

It is also important to remember that Negroponte oversaw construction of the air base where Nicaraguan Contras were trained by the US. This air base, El Aguacate, was also used as a secret detention and torture center during his time in Honduras.

While Negroponte was the US ambassador to Honduras, civilian deaths sky-rocketed into the tens of thousands. During his first full year, the local newspapers carried no less than 318 stories of extra-judicial attacks by the military.

He has been described as an "old fashioned imperialist" and got his start during the Vietnam War in the CIA's Phoenix program, which assassinated some 40,000 Vietnamese "subversives."

Negroponte's death squads used electric shock and suffocation devices in interrogations, kept their prisoners naked, and when a prisoner was no longer useful he was brutally executed.

and this:
In the middle of Negroponte's tenure in Iraq, the Pentagon (read Donald Rumsfeld) openly considered using assassination and kidnapping teams there, led by the Special Forces.

Referred to not-so-subtly as "the Salvador option," the January 2005 rhetoric from the Pentagon publicized a proposal that would send Special Forces teams to "advise, support and possibly train" Iraqi "squads." Members of these squads would be hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga militia and Shia Badr militiamen used to target Sunni resistance fighters and their sympathizers.

In October 2005, US Army US Army Col James K Greer was hanging out with the Iraqi police and wrote this for the November-December issue of Military Review:

Operation Knockout demonstrated the necessity for and effectiveness of intelligence-based COIN [counterinsurgency] operations. The MOI Intelligence Office of the Operations Directorate spent several weeks developing the targets that would eventually be raided. Local informants confirmed potential targets, and the Intelligence Office produced one- to three-page papers detailing why each individual was targeted ... Special Police units developed a target folder for each individual. Surreptitious eyes-on provided last-minute updates to target sets.

An interesting assessment of US collusion with death squads is presented in this report from Global Research.

All of which leads one to wonder just whom Major General Joseph Peterson is trying to fool. Himself? Probably not. The US public? The US Congress? The World?

The world is far past believing a word the US military utters, including and, or and hi.

The US/BushCo are suffering from a lack of enthusiastic military personnel willing to redeploy ad infinitum. Reports are surfacing that the troops include white supremacy believers, and a number of soldiers are on trial in Camp Pendleton for murder of Iraqi civilians. The November elections are coming. Lebanon was a nasty mess, and Iran will be a catastrophe of unimaginable magnitude, should the US be so stupid as to a) re-instate the draft and b) take on the Iranians.

The suggestion, nay, bald statement, that the daily death toll has no US component, but is, instead, an inside job, seems to be designed to deflect blame for and investigation about US participation and US-based contractors such as DynCorp (see CorpWatch for their research on DynCorp, including their role in sex slave trafficking in Bosnia). BushCo is desperately trying to play both sides of the fence. On the one hand, they want to enlist the Shia-based government in Iraq as legitimate allies in the war on terror, and on the other, they want to neutralize Al-Sadr, should they decide to take on Iran.

In addition, it seems to me that this is also a bid to maintain a symbiotic presence within the Iraqi "government." If the situation can be painted as being the work of rogue elements, BushCo can try to make a case for "staying the course" and continuing to support the Iraqis currently in place, while the Iraqi police and military keep the country on pins and needles by arresting, torturing and killing foes, activists and, for good measure, ordinary people.

With all this going on, it is difficult for non-Iraqi, and, as we have seen from one of the above links- Iraqi- journalists to verify Peterson's statement, because reporting from Iraq is basically a crap-shoot outside the Green Zone. WHich seems to suit the US just fine for whom the "fog of war" provides adequate cover from which to obfuscate the on-going occupation.

Unfortunately, the smoke, the US military is blowing in conjunction with the on the ground (outside the Green Zone) disintergration in Iraq is hiding an accurate assessment of the situation, but if the pattern of reporting on the School of the Americas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, etc, is any indication, the bodies are going to come floating up out of the muck soon.

I am assuming that is a rehtorical question? I think we all know that we are viewed by many in politics as the ignorent horde
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