Friday, June 03, 2005

old news, but worth reading

Commentary on a March 1st, 2005 New York Times Article : The State Department has issued a report detailing "an array of human rights abuses last year by the Iraqi government, including torture, rape, and illegal detentions by police officers and functionariesof the interim administration that took power in June". The report said the Iraqis "generally respected human rights, but serious problems remain".

--A curious position to take, dont you think? Kind of half-assed, if you ask me.--

"reports of arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, impunity, poor prison conditions, particularly in pretrial detention facilities".

--oh yeah, the places where most Iraqi prisoners are kept because they havent even been charged with anything. Some are never charged, but are kept there for an unreasonably long time before being released to their families.--

The report also criticized US allies such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

--arent these the same people we are selling billions of dollars in weapons to as we speak?--

"the report did not address incidents in Iraq in which Americans were involved, like the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib" the document stressed positive accomplishments such as the Jan. 30 election. A senior official said "we dont hesitate to call a spade a spade".

--right. why not own up to our own abuses, instead of calling Amnesty International reports critical of the US "absurd". One of the best ways to stop international human rights abuses and terrorism is to set an example and stop contributing to them ourselves. Noam Chomsky has articulately represented this position. By abusing terror suspects, and selling incredibly destructive weapons to foreign countries, we are simply contributing to the problems we are supposedly trying to eliminate (terrorism, torture, etc,).--

The report cited a Human Rights Watch document accusing the Iraqis of torturing prisoners,including "beatings with cables and hose pipes, electric shocks to their earlobes and genitals, food and water deprivation". In one case, enough evidence had been gathered against police officers to prosecute them for "systematically raping and torturing female detainees". Two of the men were sentenced, the other four were "demoted and reassigned". The report said that there have been improvements over Saddam's regime, but prison conditions still fall below international standards.

--A "democratic" Iraqi government? can this last?--

NY Times 4-10-05
"Tens of thousands of Iraqis marked the second anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein by marching" in Baghdad Saturday to demand the withdrawal of American forces.
--that sure sounds like a lot of people. how many Iraqis do we have to kill to eliminate the "insurgency", which is not an insurgency, but a populace that simply does not want us there. Most Iraqis are potential insurgents, they just have not picked up guns yet.--


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