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  • Iraqis abused in Iraq.

    LONDON (Reuters) - Photos of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners have drawn international condemnation, prompting the stark conclusion that the U.S. campaign to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis is a lost cause.

    "This is the straw that broke the camel's back for America," said Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi. "The liberators are worse than the dictators."

    "They have not just lost the hearts and minds of Iraqis but all the Third World and the Arab countries," he told Reuters.

    The CBS News programme "60 Minutes II" on Wednesday broadcast photos taken at the Abu Ghraib prison late last year showing American troops abusing some Iraqis held at what was once a notorious centre of torture and executions under toppled President Saddam Hussein.

    The pictures showed U.S. troops smiling, posing, laughing or giving the thumbs-up sign as naked, male Iraqi prisoners were stacked in a pyramid or positioned to simulate sex acts with one another.

    Britain has been America's staunchest ally in Iraq but alarm has spread over strong-arm U.S tactics, support for Prime Minister Tony Blair has plummeted and the pictures were widely condemned on Thursday.

    "When it comes to winning hearts and minds, the U.S. Army hasn't got a clue," wrote the Daily Mirror, one of several papers to splash the photos on its front page.

    "Nobody underestimates how wrong this is," Blair's spokesman told reporters. "Actions of this kind are in no way condoned by the coalition."

    The publicity could not have been worse in the Arab world with the sexual humiliation depicted in the pictures particularly shocking.

    "That really, really is the worst atrocity," Atwan said. "It affects the honour and pride of Muslim people. It is better to kill them than sexually abuse them."

    MUSCLE-BOUND OX

    Saudi Arabia's English-language Arab News daily said: "The greatest loss the Americans face is to their reputation, not simply in the Middle East but in the world at large.

    "U.S. military power will be seen for what it is, a behemoth with the response speed of a muscle-bound ox and the limited understanding of a mouse."

    In Geneva, the International Committee of The Red Cross voiced concern.

    "We take this extremely seriously. Torture is forbidden in any circumstances of any person detained in the world. Humiliation and degrading treatment is a form of torture," chief spokeswoman Antonella Notari told Reuters.

    The photographs were splashed across many leading newspapers in Italy, which is anxiously following the fate of three Italians being held hostage in Iraq.

    "Torture in Iraq: American horrors revealed on TV", the left-wing L'Unita said in a headline while la Repubblica daily said the images were "irrefutable" proof of torture.

    "It wasn't psychological pressure or simple mistreatment or illegitimate detention as in Guantanamo, but true, classic and irrefutable torture," the paper wrote in an editorial, citing forced, public sodomy as one of the gravest offences.

    Calling for an independent inquiry, Amnesty International said: "There is a real crisis of leadership in Iraq with double standards and double speak on human rights.

    "The prison was notorious under Saddam Hussein -- it should not be allowed to become so again," said the human rights pressure group.

    "Our extensive research in Iraq suggested that this is not an isolated incident," it said. "Detainees have reported being routinely subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment during arrest and detention."

    Quite disgusting, wouldnít have thought that they would of gone so low.

  • #2
    5 soldiers out of thousands...maybe you'd like to hear what deceased soldier Spc. Michelle Witmer (20) had to say in a letter to her parents...

    4 July 2003





    Dear Mom, Dad, Mark, Charity & Timmy,



    I hope you all are doing well. Well Iíve been in Baghdad for close to a week now and itís like nothing I could have ever imagined! We are staying at what was once a beautiful country club/home that belonged to one of Saddamís close advisors. He was a known terrorist and ďThe King of SpadesĒ in the deck of cards with all Saddamís advisors and most wanted. At one time this place must have been spectacularly beautiful but it was bombed pretty badly and now all thatís left is crumbling buildings and remnants of marble floors & staircases, gold door knobs and light fixtures, Persian rugs half-burned. It truly must have been grand. The grounds are beautiful with palm trees and flowers and all the gardens and grass are overgrown but at one time Iím sure they were perfectly manicured and the gardensÖwell I can only imagine. Itís really more like a palace. We donít have electricity. We built makeshift port-a-potties (Sh--ers and p---ers as they are reffered to by everyone here.) Hopefully soon we will have running water.



    Itís really heartbreaking to see the poverty right outside the gates where we live and think about how Saddam and his crew were living. The children literally swarm you. Smiling little toddlers wave and cry after us saying, ďmisses, missesÖplease water, please food.Ē These children usually wander around in filthy clothes and no shoes. Some of them canít be more than four years old. It breaks my heart not to be able to give them anything.



    The police station I work at is in the worst part of Baghdad. The only thing I can compare it to is maybe the worst part of New York or Chicagoís Ghettos except with no justice system. We are the police and right now the city is in chaos and itís going to take a long, long time to make even a small dent. There are no working stoplights or traffic signs. The traffic is unreal. People drive like maniacs.



    Yesterday morning there was a drive-by in front of our station and two Iraqis were killed. Shot in the head in their car. The station is sort of like the Mexican police stations in movies; a filthy little hole in the wall run by crooked cops who are poor and donít have much to lose. There are no doors except for the one that locks in the prisoners. Two of the people in our holding cell are murderers. Then there are a bunch of thieves and looters and a few minors who we hold overnight and then release.



    I work the night shift, 7 PM-7AM. Itís very frightening being in the worst ghetto you can ever imagine, at night, in the dark, and not only do we have to worry about the common criminal gang activity but also the pockets of resistance who support Saddam, still. (They) frequently shoot at our building and are very much a threat. I hear gunfire all the time, itís so unnerving! Last night Rachelís station, which is a lot nicer than mine, got attacked. No one was hurt but it was scary and they returned fire.



    I sat and talked to the Arabic interpreters for a long time last night. There are two and they both are fluent in English. One of them is also fluent in Russian and the other also speaks Chinese, itís amazing. They are teaching me three words a day in Arabic. Wow, is it difficult! One of them used to work at an Iraqi television studio, before the war, as a sound tech. But he was thrown into prison after there was an audio problem with one of Saddamís speeches. Saddamís men beat him and smashed his hands. They are pretty much healed but his nails will be black forever. He was thrown in prison for two months, and by prison I mean a tiny cell underground with no windows and about 25 other men. He said that he was on the verge of death, his 5th day without food or water. He said he would feel for puddles on the bottom of the cell floor (he couldnít see because it was pitch black underground) and try to lick up anything he could find. Two men had already died from lack of food and water. Then the Marines came and broke down the door and gave everyone water. ďThey asked me if I could walk home, I told them yes.Ē He said his family was so happy to seem him alive. He said he still has dreams about it. This was an educated college grad, fluent in many languages, who made a mistake on the sound board. Saddam was evil. Itís overwhelming to talk, first-hand, to these Iraqiís and glimpse the insanity. There were picture and huge statutes of Saddam everywhere! Most of them are defaced but itís so crazy.



    The culture of Islam is really interesting. Itís hard to get past the men staring at the females in uniform. All the Islamic women wear these black outfits that look similar to a nunís habit. Women arenít seen in public very much and I always wonder what these people are thinking when they stare at us as we cruise by in the hummers. Everything weíve trained for is coming into play. Itís a whole different world.



    I have been up 18 hours now so Iím not even sure if this letter makes sense anymoreÖI must sleep now. My apologies for grammatical errors, Iím sure thereís at least a hundred. Right now I donít care. Please pray for me, this is no cake walk. I love you all so much. Iíll try to write again soon.





    LOVE,



    Michelle Witmer



    P.S.: I am a Specialist now. I got promoted, so please change that on your site!
    Sounds to me like she wanted to help...instead, she got a bullet by a Saddam supporter...now you tell me who the bad guys are...
    -Clovis

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Iraqis abused in Iraq.

      Look who's back! Now, I think the actions of these guys is awful. BUT weren't you condoning the murder of an Italian hostage just last week? Now, if this is disgusting (and it is...I am not condoning this at all), how would you describe the murder of an Italian hostage? Is that justifed in your books? If it is and you look for excuses to defend their actions, you truly are a sick and pathetic human being.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, I am back in action, but I never really went away.

        First, I am not a pathetic human being - maybe a bit more knwledgeable than you on certain matters, that's all.

        First, I do not condone violence in any form. It doesn't solve any problems, just cements the hatred that is already there. I do not condone the killing and mutilation of the Italian Security Contractors - but let's face it, they knew the risks they were taking and like everone else in the world, believed that the worst would never happen to them. But, it boils down to the fact that they should not have been there - it is not their war.

        On the other hand, the physical and sexual abuse, by occupation forces (let's be honest - the British, Americans etc are occupying forces) on prisoners is totally disgusting. But, did you know that these events took place in February and the US government used all sorts of threats to prevent the pictures being shown - obviously there are some decent people who know that such acts, committed by soldiers who must be real perverts, is not acceptable under International Law and therefore the evidence was made available.

        Before you start your diatribe aboiut the Iraqi's being terrorists and insurgents, ask yourself one question - how would you feel if a load of trigger happy soldiers came and invaded your country (wherever that is). Here I must qualify my statement - most of the armed forces are disciplined and professional, but there are those who are not. Furthermore, some of the incidents have been provoked by 'mercenaries' who are in it for the money.

        Comment


        • #5
          International Law
          Lets talk about that. Is using a religious house of worship (i.e. MOSQUE) to plan attacks, use as a base of operations, and hide criminals and weapons not a violation of international law? Is using ambulances to shuttle weapons, bombs and militia men not a violation of international law? Is fighting while wearing civilian clothing with neither insignia nor rank not a violation of international law?

          If everyone played by the rules...we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.



          how would you feel if a load of trigger happy soldiers came and invaded your country (wherever that is).
          If I had been living under the iron fist of a madman like Saddam Hussein for years and years...I would embrace them with open arms...

          -Clovis

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ek_19
            it is not their war.
            It's been their war for the last 13 years. Ever since the US liberated Kuwait from Iraq, the US (and other nations) have been involved with Iraq, including keeping the no fly zones secure and bombing anything which they saw as a threat to the region.

            Originally posted by ek_19
            But, did you know that these events took place in February and the US government used all sorts of threats to prevent the pictures being shown.
            I wonder why Because of a few, a lot of soldiers will now be put in even more danger than they already are.

            Originally posted by ek_19
            is not acceptable under International Law
            Clovis has taken care of most of that comment. Let's just remember that the so called "torture" that these Iraqi's faced from the US Military was nothing compared to what Saddam Husseins regime did.

            Originally posted by ek_19
            Furthermore, some of the incidents have been provoked by 'mercenaries' who are in it for the money.
            Some might be in it for the money but a lot actually care for the people of Iraq and want to see the country get back on it's feet, shame people like you do not appreciate the courage of these people and see only what you want to see.

            Comment


            • #7
              Slightly off topic but I wonder if anybody saw this?



              Micheal Moore openly supporting terrorism and the killing of troops in Iraq.

              http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/in...ate=2004-04-14

              Comment


              • #8
                On the other hand, the physical and sexual abuse, by occupation forces (let's be honest - the British, Americans etc are occupying forces) on prisoners is totally disgusting.
                And shooting an unarmed hostage in the back of the neck isn't? Let's face it- you can't have it both ways. The Iraqis also knew what they were getting into when they picked up their assault rifles. I do condemn this act, but the difference here is that the soldiers who comitted it will spend years in military prison, while Iraqis who kill their captives are hailed as heroes.

                ek_19- Condemn the killing of the Italian hostage. Condemn the mutilation of the four contractors in Fallujah. Until you do those two things, you will have no credibility with me...

                Grant- Michael Moore is a moron. However, even with him, I would have expected better. It just goes to show how much of an asshole he is.
                Fly Raleigh-Durham International, with direct flights on Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, American Eagle, America West, Continental Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, jetBlue, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Express and US Airways to:

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                • #9
                  It is sad to see what happened here. The people who tortured the prisoners put themselves down to the same level as the people that burned the bodies in the streets and saddmn hussein himself

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Iraqis abused in Iraq

                    Where else would they be abused at (Other than Gitmo), Moose Jaw Saskatchewan?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, I am not a pathetic human being - maybe a bit more knwledgeable than you on certain matters, that's all.
                      Prove it! You keep making stupid and arrogant statements, yet you have absolutely nothing to back yourself up. And if youíre so knowledgeable about certain matters, why the hell canít you spell properly!
                      First, I do not condone violence in any form. It doesn't solve any problems, just cements the hatred that is already there. I do not condone the killing and mutilation of the Italian Security Contractors - but let's face it, they knew the risks they were taking and like everone else in the world, believed that the worst would never happen to them. But, it boils down to the fact that they should not have been there - it is not their war.
                      Here you go again contradicting yourself and justifying their murder. Sure, they knew the risks, but that does not give these sick people the right to murder them! Murder is murder. Torture is torture. You always blow a hissy fit when a US soldier kills someone, why donít you do the same thing when a Western civilian is killed? You have problems with Westerners now? Have you been so brainwashed by the Arabs that you hate your own kind now and that theyíre fair game?

                      On the other hand, the physical and sexual abuse, by occupation forces (let's be honest - the British, Americans etc are occupying forces) on prisoners is totally disgusting. But, did you know that these events took place in February and the US government used all sorts of threats to prevent the pictures being shown - obviously there are some decent people who know that such acts, committed by soldiers who must be real perverts, is not acceptable under International Law and therefore the evidence was made available.
                      OK, what is more disgusting, Iraqiís killing innocent civilians who are there to help them or some army officers slapping a few bad guys around? If you equate the two as the same thing or think the coalition did worse, then you are not only sick and pathetic, youíre just a lost cause and I feel sorry for you. You have no grasp of morality and you have absolutely no right to preach what is right and wrong. I think killing innocent civilians is worse than slapping a few prisoners around. I am not condoning the militaryís actions, but címon, what is worse here?!

                      By the way, PROVE that they were threatened. I want to see something, not some statement by a 14 year old delusional kid.

                      Before you start your diatribe aboiut the Iraqi's being terrorists and insurgents, ask yourself one question - how would you feel if a load of trigger happy soldiers came and invaded your country (wherever that is). Here I must qualify my statement - most of the armed forces are disciplined and professional, but there are those who are not. Furthermore, some of the incidents have been provoked by 'mercenaries' who are in it for the money.
                      Where is the diatribe? And why the hell do you care about the Iraqis anyways? Where the hell where you when Saddam was killing his own people? Did you care for the Iraqis then? If you truly cared for these people, you would have been bitching all along. But you didnít. I bet you admired Saddam Hussein. Some dictators will always have their retarded fans.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Its pretty obvious that ek_19 is a douchebag and isn't going to change his tune. All that arrogant prick wants is to get a rise out of us. Whenever he posts I think the best way to deal with it is to ignore it and let it fall down off of the font page. It is obvious that those who took the pictures are a small minority of the troops there and that the majority actually want to make a difference over there. If he doesn't want to see that...f**k him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by srbmod
                          Iraqis abused in Iraq

                          Where else would they be abused at (Other than Gitmo), Moose Jaw Saskatchewan?
                          People always name drop that town cause of it's name. I live right beside it and there aren't many Iraqi's there though. Maybe he meant it could of been confused for the prison in Cuba. I don't see how anyone would find out about what goes on there though.
                          Earl From Regina

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Myblock
                            Originally posted by srbmod
                            Iraqis abused in Iraq

                            Where else would they be abused at (Other than Gitmo), Moose Jaw Saskatchewan?
                            People always name drop that town cause of it's name. I live right beside it and there aren't many Iraqi's there though. Maybe he meant it could of been confused for the prison in Cuba. I don't see how anyone would find out about what goes on there though.
                            No, I think is was a sarcastic comment...
                            My Flickr Pictures! Click Me!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cameron
                              Originally posted by Myblock
                              Originally posted by srbmod
                              Iraqis abused in Iraq

                              Where else would they be abused at (Other than Gitmo), Moose Jaw Saskatchewan?
                              People always name drop that town cause of it's name. I live right beside it and there aren't many Iraqi's there though. Maybe he meant it could of been confused for the prison in Cuba. I don't see how anyone would find out about what goes on there though.
                              No, I think is was a sarcastic comment...
                              Good to see someone got it!

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