Friday, September 22, 2006

Worse than under Saddam II

In the run-up to Iraqi elections last year, Iraqi President Iyad Allawi said that torture in Iraq was worse than it was under Saddam. Now his bleak assessment has been backed up by Manfred Nowak, the uN's Special Rapporteur on Torture:

Manfred Nowak said the situation in Iraq was "out of control", with abuses being committed by security forces, militia groups and anti-US insurgents.

Bodies found in the Baghdad morgue "often bear signs of severe torture", said the human rights office of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq in a report.

The wounds confirmed reports given by refugees from Iraq, Mr Nowak said.


"What most people tell you is that the situation as far as torture is concerned now in Iraq is totally out of hand," the Austrian law professor said.

"The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein," he added.

So much for the US's "humanitarian intervention". They've taken a torture state run by a murderous dictator, and - unbelievably - managed to make it worse. And now the Iraqi people get to suffer even more for their hubris.


I guess I'm just incapable of remembering that Oceania was always at war with Easy Asia.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/22/2006 12:46:00 PM

I think you'll find I/S that Oceania is, and always has been, at war with Eurasia.

See you at the two minutes hate.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/22/2006 01:13:00 PM

"Mission accomplished"

Posted by Anonymous : 9/22/2006 03:51:00 PM

I think the US can be blamed for mismanaging the post-invasion occupation, but I certainly don't see how the appalling sectarian violence perpetrated by Sunnis and Shi'ites on each other is the fault of the US; it would seem rather like blaming the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia on the collapse of Communism. If this torture is being carried out by US soliders, it must be reported and blamed on America; if it is not, then those gangs and militias responsible must be seen as being culpable in these acts of atrocity; not dismissed in the Left's rush to blame everything it can on the US.

While on the subject, we should remember that it is US troops and US-trained Iraqis that are fighting for a rule of law in iraq, and fighting those who bomb mosques and kill families at night. Leaving Saddam in power may - but not in my opinion - have been a more humane choice, but Iraqis themselves differ deeply on this, with polls over the last year showing that around 51% oppose the invasion, with around 47% supporting it. These are surprising numbers, showing that a higher percentage of Iraqis support the invasion of their country and the removal of Saddam than do New Zealanders or Brits. All polls I've seen also express strong "hope for the future"; something in short supply under the Hussein regime. We could also mention that strong majorities of Iraqis prefer democracy to dictatorship, and express sentiment that life is improving. The response to coalition troops varies with ethnicity (Kurds want them to stay, Arabs don't), and there are wildly differeing opinions on whether to divide the country by ethnicity/religion.

Like the Iraqis seem to, I believe that there are valid moral grounds for both supporting and opposing the invasion. Yet I find it strange that many left-wingers like yourself are far more convinced you know what's was right for Iraq than the citizens of the country. Does the possibility that you may be wrong here cross your mind? It certainly crosses mine, despite my continued support for the invasion.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/22/2006 03:55:00 PM

Those polls sound interesting 123 - care to provide link(s)?

Posted by Anonymous : 9/22/2006 07:09:00 PM

"I certainly don't see how the appalling sectarian violence perpetrated by Sunnis and Shi'ites on each other is the fault of the US;"

Why not? If I allow something bad to happen as a result of my own incompetence, negligence or mis-management then I am certainly to blame.

"the Left's rush to blame everything it can on the US."

But everything should be blamed on the US. It was the US who began this whole sorry affair. They initiated hostilities; they were the catalyst that set off the underlying tensions. All that is taking place now in Iraq follows inexorably from the initial decision to invade.

"we should remember that it is US troops and US-trained Iraqis that are fighting for a rule of law in iraq,"

No, they are trying to control the civilian population not establish law and they only require stability because the current chaos is hindering their primary objective which is the exploitation of Iraq's resources.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/22/2006 11:26:00 PM

Huskynut: Indeed. You can go to the BBC website, or read Time's report on its poll from Dec 2005.,9171,1139829,00.html

The latest poll I read 2-3 months ago in the NYT, which is accessible only by subscription, but showed broadly the same results. How/whether things have changed since then, I have no idea.

As for you Gary, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/23/2006 01:29:00 AM

Oops. Here's the full url:,9171,1139829,00.html

Posted by Anonymous : 9/23/2006 01:32:00 AM

Ok - the page is cutting it off: I'll divide it in two:


Join it again, it should work

Posted by Anonymous : 9/23/2006 01:35:00 AM