Iraq" Is The Most Absurd Of All The War Excuses
A new study published by The Lancet estimates that 655,000 Iraqis, the vast majority of them innocent civilians, have been killed as a result of the bombing and occupation of Iraq. Was this a human price worth paying for the supposed liberation of an oppressed people? How does freedom in Iraq under Bush's mandate compare with Saddam Hussein's regime?
"We've always said it could be
days, weeks, or months and we don't know. And I don't think you need
a timetable. What you really need to know is it's going to end and it's
going to end with the Iraqi people liberated."
"Thanks to the United States,
there are now 15 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq liberated by
your courageous leadership and decision to liberate us, Mr. President."
"Iraq is free, and today we are
joined by representatives of a liberated country."
"Just in this administration,
we've liberated 50 million people from the Taliban in Afghanistan and
from Saddam Hussein in Iraq -- two terribly oppressive regimes that
slaughtered hundreds of thousands of their own people."
The claim that Iraq is now liberated and that its people have suffered for the glorious opportunity of seeing democracy and freedom flourish throughout their country is the last thread the Neo-Cons are hanging onto as claims of weapons of mass destruction and Al-Qaeda ties evaporated long ago. Yet to claim Iraq is liberated is the most absurd of any of the justifications for going to war or "staying the course."
Here's a rundown of the gracious liberties the Iraqi people have been afforded.
RIGHT TO PROTEST
- Iraqis are routinely arrested and taken to Abu Ghraib style detention facilities for the crime of "showing dislike" to their occupiers. In one case this involved an individual holding up a protest placard. In another incident, an Iraqi had his mouth taped over and was arrested for "making anti-coalition statements." In some cases, protesters are simply gunned down and killed. The media are banned from reporting on protests. Not even Palestinians are subject to this kind of treatment.
- In legalese resurrected verbatim from Saddam Hussein’s penal code, the Iraqi government has criminalized criticism and even ridicule of the government or any of its officials. Ridiculing is defined as exposing corruption or questioning the actions of government officials. Iraq's new government considers itself to be so democratic that dissent is unnecessary - so they've outlawed it!
PROTECTION FROM UNLAWFUL SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
- Iraqis are kidnapped and thrown in some of the same dungeons used by Saddam Hussein for the crime of not showing their papers at checkpoints. Those who cite the threat of car bombs as the necessity which mandates this should recall the incident where British SAS personnel were caught dressed up as Arabs with fake wigs and garb attacking a police station.
- Iraqi's homes are routinely raided and all military age men arrested.
RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
- Immediately after the invasion and occupation, all Iraqis were ordered to turn in their guns or face arrest. Iraqis enjoyed universal arms ownership under Saddam Hussein.
INSTANT EXTRA-JUDICIAL PUNISHMENT
- Petty thieves who steal such things as firewood have their vehicles crushed by U.S. Abrams tanks as punishment.
- The UN's chief anti-torture expert recently said that cases of torture in Iraq outstripped those under Saddam Hussein and that the situation was "out of control." The outgoing UN human rights chief Dr. John Pace dropped a bombshell when he told an obscure Maltese newspaper that as many as a thousand detainees a month are being tortured to death in Iraq.
- Iraqis are subject to "collective punishment" - an staple fascist model - whereby U.S. forces kill ten men from one village in response to a single U.S. army casualty.
- Multiple videos have surfaced which show U.S. military personnel driving down Iraqi highways and randomly assassinating drivers on a whim and then laughing and high-fiving. Other videos show U.S. forces zealously finishing off wounded Iraqis with glee, declaring the carnage "awesome" and anticipating the next kill. Another video shows troops bemoaning the fact that they are not able to shoot children who throw rocks.
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
- Arab television networks and newspapers that do not obediently tow the line of the occupation are raided and shut down and editors are sometimes gunned down on the street. The U.S. military plants propaganda in newspapers as a matter of course.
- A pre-war policy outlined the intention of the U.S. military to target for assassination any independent reporter who was not embedded within U.S. ranks. SInce that order more journalists have been killed in Iraq than the entirety of the Vietnam war - the latest being British ITV reporter Terry Lloyd, who was shot in the head by U.S. troops. Mazen Dana, the Award winning Reuters camera man, was shot dead after uncovering evidence of U.S. mass graves.
- "Dozens of Iraqi journalists have been kidnapped by criminal gangs or detained by the American military, on suspicion that they are helping Sunni insurgents or Shiite militias. One, Bilal Hussein, who photographed insurgents in Anbar Province for The Associated Press, has been in American custody without charges since April," reported the New York Times.
- Local elections and in provincial cities and towns across Iraq were cancelled in favor of U.S. "hand-picked mayors and administrators," that were formerly part of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.
RIGHT TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE
- Iraqis are subject to snap announcements of curfews and ordered to remain in their homes.
Iraq is nothing more than an elected dictatorship.
Sounds like another country a bit closer to home.
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