Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Hundreds swept up in Baghdad crackdown

By James Cogan
6 June 2005

The US military-Iraqi government crackdown in Baghdad, codenamed Operation Lightning, is being condemned by Iraqi political leaders and clerics as a campaign of intimidation directed against the population of predominantly Sunni Muslim suburbs.

On Friday, Mahmoud al-Sumaidie, a representative of the Sunni-based Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), told a congregation at the large Sunni Um al-Qura mosque: “I appeal to every official here in Iraq to stop humiliating people and end the raiding campaign”. A leader of the Sunni-based Iraqi Islamic Party (IPP), Iyal al-Ezzi, declared: “During this operation, they arrest our sons for the simple fact of being Sunni.”

Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated following the Friday prayer services in Baghdad, carrying a banner labelling the operation “American Terrorism” and another demanding “Go Home American Troops”.

In the first week of the operation, more than 700 people have been detained in the city’s western suburbs, while more than 250 have reportedly been rounded up in sweeps through towns and villages south of the capital. According to the Iraqi interior ministry, 28 alleged resistance fighters have been killed. Roadblocks have been thrown up at all 23 major entrances to the capital and hundreds of checkpoints have been established across the city.

Insurgents responded on Friday with mortar attacks on US positions around Baghdad Airport and roadside bombs targeting military convoys.

The aim of the operation is as much to terrorise Baghdad residents as to round up or kill armed resistance fighters. With the sympathy of much of the city’s population, insurgents have been able to sustain continuous attacks on American forces in the capital since Baghdad fell to the invading US troops in April 2003.

One of the main Iraqi units involved in the sweeps through Baghdad’s suburbs is the 12,000-strong Special Police Commandos or “Wolf Brigades”, which were formed last year from former members of Saddam Hussein’s hated secret police and Republican Guard.

The repression and brutality used to defend the previous regime is now being deployed to defend the US occupation and the US-backed Iraqi government of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. The commandos and their US advisors have been used in operations to restore occupation control over the Sunni cities of Ramadi, Samarra and Mosul. According to the New York Times, the commander of the US operatives attached to the unit, James Steele, led the American special forces who trained the right-wing death squads in El Salvador during the 1980s.

Victims of the raids last week have alleged that the US and Iraqi forces are carrying out indiscriminate arrests, beating and traumatising people, deliberately ransacking houses and stealing property."

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