Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq

Has Iraq turned into the new Bosnia? The Independent/UK reports:

Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunt them down. At ground level, Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold on a massive scale.

On a related note, the New York Times has an in-depth report on how misjudgements marred U.S. plans for the creation of the Iraqi police force. It begins:

As chaos swept Iraq after the American invasion in 2003, the Pentagon began its effort to rebuild the Iraqi police with a mere dozen advisers. Overmatched from the start, one was sent to train a 4,000-officer unit to guard power plants and other utilities. A second to advise 500 commanders in Baghdad. Another to organize a border patrol for the entire country.

Three years later, the police are a battered and dysfunctional force that has helped bring Iraq to the brink of civil war. Police units stand accused of operating death squads for powerful political groups or simple profit. Citizens, deeply distrustful of the force, are setting up their own neighborhood security squads. Killings of police officers are rampant, with at least 547 slain this year, roughly as many as Iraqi and American soldiers combined, records show.

[Hat tip Patriot Daily.]

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    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sat May 20, 2006 at 12:28:23 PM EST
    And Laura Rozen posts this horrifying bit that brings to mind Negroponte and his death squads:
    This came out a couple days ago, but a friend in Sarajevo has now pointed me to its significance. Basically the US government is hiring contractors to move arms from Bosnia to Iraq. And credible sources say one of the dealers in the mix that the contractors have turned to is notorious blood diamonds arms dealer Viktor Bout. Here's the Guardian on a piece based on a new Amnesty report:
    According to a report by Amnesty International, which investigated the sales, the US government arranged for the delivery of at least 200,000 Kalashnikov machine guns from Bosnia to Iraq in 2004-05. But though the weaponry was said to be for arming the fledgling Iraqi military, there is no evidence of the guns reaching their recipient. Senior western officials in the Balkans fear that some of the guns may have fallen into the wrong hands.
    War & Peace Would be nice if we could trust our government. What were they thinking? It reeks of US complicity in fomenting civil war.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#2)
    by soccerdad on Sat May 20, 2006 at 12:34:07 PM EST
    how misjudgements marred U.S. plans
    I'm beginning to believe that there have been no misjudgements at all and that, although they rather have a compliant government, Iraqis killing each other off is an acceptable plan to the neocons. Iraq in a full fledged civil war would be fine, the US will hunker down on their "enduring" bases and deal with who ever is left. The key to the neocon's plan for geopolitical dominance in the ME is Iran. That is why it will be bombed and bombed hard. Letting Iran become an important player in the ME is simply not acceptable to this administration and they prefer to deal with them militarily. The essence of the plan is to keep killing them until either they give up or there is no one left. Rumsfeld has said "eventually they will tire of being killed". Given there is little infrastructure left, very little electricity, and they are bombing their homes, it may not be long before many are forced to flee the country.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Sat May 20, 2006 at 12:54:20 PM EST
    From the NYT article:
    Douglas J. Feith, then the Defense Department's under secretary for policy, said in an interview that the C.I.A.'s prewar assessment deemed Iraq's police professional, an appraisal that events proved "fundamentally wrong."
    And then this:
    But Paul Gimigliano, a spokesman for the C.I.A., said the agency's assessment warned otherwise. "We had no reliable information on individual officers or police units," he said. The "C.I.A.'s written assessment did not judge that the Iraqi police could keep order after the war. In fact, the assessment talked in terms of creating a new force." A copy of the document, which is classified, could not be obtained.
    "They were just pulling kids off the streets and handing them badges and AK-47's," Mr. Bremer said.
    Ha. Over and over we get neocon statements that the CIA failed and had faulty intelligence. It seems clear that any intelligence that contradicted the WH reality of what Iraq was and was going to be was dismissed and the purveyors of that intelligence were either fired or demoted.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#4)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat May 20, 2006 at 01:54:29 PM EST
    It's all Michael Moore's fault.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#5)
    by soccerdad on Sat May 20, 2006 at 02:23:13 PM EST
    The image of the Bush administration in Iraq as a bumbling giant, overwhelmed by the destructive forces within Iraqi society, is a pernicious misrepresentation. A close look at the facts on the ground demonstrates that the American occupation itself has been the primary destructive force in Iraq as well as the direct or ultimate source of the bulk of the violence; that the American military, in its zealous pursuit of the resistance, still generates much destruction; and that American reconstruction efforts have -- through greed, corruption, and incompetence -- only deepened the infrastructural crisis. The American presence in Iraq continues to be a force for deconstruction

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat May 20, 2006 at 03:58:24 PM EST
    There United Sates never was any good at being the world's police, and never will be.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#7)
    by azbballfan on Sat May 20, 2006 at 04:01:20 PM EST
    Sorry, but I've lost the energy to comment or even follow the sad chain of events set off by this administration. I'd rather lose myself in relatively frivilous problem like Duke lacrosse. From the number of comments posted on varying threads it looks like many others feel the same.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat May 20, 2006 at 06:17:04 PM EST
    azbb, youre not alone in your sentiment. think globally, but act locally. salve for helpless times.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#9)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat May 20, 2006 at 08:39:34 PM EST
    As above, I mean how many more ways can we describe this violent atrocity? Azbballfan, The MSM Duke story is a diversion that I find only interferes with more important issues, like the war. Ironically, this site is probably the most appropriate places to find information about it. Oh well.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Sat May 20, 2006 at 09:40:54 PM EST
    They wanted to ruin Iraq and build bases. Mission Accomplished.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#11)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun May 21, 2006 at 08:05:24 AM EST
    Everything they said they needed to do in Iraq has been done. Time to come home. No? Why am I not surprised?

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#12)
    by Johnny on Sun May 21, 2006 at 01:18:43 PM EST
    I don't know why this is being mentioned while the real evil of the Spanish language is degrading our society....

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#13)
    by Aaron on Sun May 21, 2006 at 04:32:35 PM EST
    The situation in Iraq is totally disgusting and sickening when you consider that the anarchy which rules the country is a direct result of the US invasion, and now instead of trying to secure the country properly, tens of thousands of US troops sit sequestered on massive fortified bases, hiding as it were, in hopes of keeping US casualty numbers down. Only a small percentage of elite troops like the 101st airborne are conducting operations in the countryside, and much of this is just for show. But other than that the current US policy has all but given up on trying to secure the country . At this point less than 12% of the Iraq can be so considered secure. Checkpoints which were once manned by US and British soldiers and Marines in Baghdad, are now manned by Kalashnikov wielding Iraqi teens in soccer jerseys (see Liberia for further insight) who detained whomever they please. Many of these detained individuals are never seen alive again, but eventually their mangled and tortured carcasses do turn up in ditches by the roadside being fed upon by feral dogs. Oil production is well below prewar levels with no hope of increasing that production under the current security situation. Baghdad gets two to three hours of electricity a day and the vast majority of people in the city and across country have no running water and no functional sewer systems. Unemployment is above 60% and independent Iraqi militias are the only ones going out and bringing food to the people who have nothing to eat. All this while Americans troops live in comparative luxury on their super secure bases with computers, workout and leisure facilities including Burger King, McDonald's, Pizza Hut etc.. Every enlisted man has access to media centers with giant big-screen satellite TVs. In the mess halls everyone watches the good news about the war on the Fox propaganda network. It's not surprising that many of the troops stationed in Iraq actually believe that they've secure the country and that things are going well, even though they are forbidden from leaving their bases unless specifically ordered to do so. They are totally insulated except for those times when they're sent out on operations . What a great victory for the United States of America, destroying a country's infrastructure then throwing up our hands and sitting back to watch as Iraq slowly disintegrate while our troops eat Big Macs and listened to Bill O'Reilly tell them how great things are going. The term "ugly American" has been tossed around for decades now, but it has never been so well exemplified and substantiated as it has by our behavior in Iraq.

    Re: Report: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq (none / 0) (#14)
    by john horse on Sun May 21, 2006 at 07:30:57 PM EST
    Can anyone remember when those who supported our occupation of Iraq used the arguement that if we pulled out, Iraq would be plunged into civil war and chaos? So we stayed and after the sacrifice of 2400 American lives, what have we to show for it? Iraq has plunged into civil war and chaos. The only reason that we continue to stay is that the Republicans are looking for some face saving way to withdraw. As far as I'm concerned that is not worth the loss of life of any more American soldiers.