Assassinations, All Part of Iraq’s Political Process? - 12.24.2005

The Asia Times unveiled last week a document they obtained from someone close to the Iraqi resistance.

You can read more about the document in the article: ASIA TIMES ARTICLE

In this document which you can see here: DOCUMENT

This document appears to verify the claims many Arab Sunnis and Turkmen have been making for months. Some have made these claims for longer. The mainstream media have been touting claims of a coming civil war in Iraq for months now.

It now appears that the United State’s failure to acknowledge the presence of Shiite death squads could be one of the main instigators of a civil war in Iraq. The prevalence of hit lists and targeted assassinations have been discussed for months.

ARTICLE ABOUT HIT-LISTS

As you can see in this article from Al Jazeera, the fear of targetted killings is just as strong today as it was in Saddam’s time. Many Iraqis told me they were more worried about being killed or kidnapped by government agents or criminal gangs today than they ever were during Saddam’s time.

Most told me that before the fall of Saddam’s regime, as long as you kept your mouth shut and did not complain about the situation in Iraq too much you would be fine. Saddam’s agents kept the security in Iraq and made the streets safe.

Today in Iraq everyone is afraid of being kidnapped or killed at any moment. During the three weeks I was in Iraq, my fixer Omar had one friend shot to death by two unidentified men in Black and another friend’s father was shot by criminals who came looking for him at his store.

We also interviewed a woman named Balkees who told us about how her husband was killed by men believed to be fundamentalist Islamists. She and her Husband are Sabeans a little known religious sect in the Middle East. Sabeans are followers of John the Baptist. You can read more about her account of the attack in the English transcript here:

ENGLISH TRANSCRIPT OF BALKEES

Furthermore, the raids of Iraqi Police and National Guards, netting innocent victims who are later tortured have been an ongoing problem as well. A man named Omar was taken from his home by Iraqi Police in September and was identified at the morgue by his family 3 days later, where he was found with many markings indicating he had been tortured before his death.

PICTURES OF OMAR AND OTHER TORTURE IMAGES

Al Jazeera also posted a partial list in September of Iraqis who have been assassinated since the invasion in March 2003. This list seems to demonstrate the degree to which assassinations have been a grave influence on the brain-drain of Iraq. The majority of the individuals cited in this list are Professors or Professionals, members of Iraq’s dwindling intellectual class.

AL’JAZEERA LIST OF ASSASSINATED IRAQIS

These are all examples of the ongoing process of destabilizing Iraq. This process is longterm and could be reversed with a strong influence by the international community. It would mean the United States looking at stabilizing Iraq as at least equally important and interesting as “fighting terrorists” or “creating a 21st century military.” These two things very much appear to be the most important items on Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s agendas, respectively.

Iraq is not a place where civil war is a given. But neither is it a given that the recent elections will bring about a “western style democracy,” or even a recognizable democracy of any kind. As the debate over the proper handling of the elections draws to a close within the next week, it will be important to ask the world’s leaders, particuarly those in Iraq and the United States, whether a swift solution is more important than a secure solution.

Iraqis have repeatedly told me that they need security more than democracy. Which is not to say that they don’t want to have a free and open society. It is to say that the United States, as the occupying force, should pay more attention to its responsibilities to everyone in Iraq.

Certainly it is not too much to ask us to pay at least as much attention to protecting Iraqis from street criminals and their own government as we do searching for the elusive Zarqawi.


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