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Step off, old man!
Sunday, 8 August 2004
Iraq update
* When I woke up this morning, I flipped on CNN. There was a story about woman who played college hoops for Notre Dame and was noted for her left-handed moves. She went in the army and got her left arm blown off. They showed her with a prosthesis, practicing in the gym, using her right hand. I couldn't watch the whole thing. It was too depressing. God bless her.

* This comes from the newspaper "The Oregonian." It shows you just how foolish we were to think we were going to go in and change a country's culture and makeup with military force. It appears Saddam's torturers have been replaced with a new regime of torturers. Here it is:


BAGHDAD - The national guardsman peering through the long-range scope of his rifle was startled by what he saw unfolding in the walled compound below.

From his post several stories above ground level, he watched as men in plainclothes beat blind folded and bound prisoners in the enclosed grounds of the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

He immediately radioed for help. Soon after, a team of Oregon Army National Guard soldiers swept into the yard and found dozens of Iraqi detainees who said they had been beaten, starved and deprived of water for three days.

In a nearby building, the soldiers counted dozens more prisoners and what appeared to be torture devices - metal rods, rubber hoses, electrical wires and bottles of chemicals. Many of the Iraqis, including one identified as a 14-year-old boy, had fresh welts and bruises across their back and legs.

The soldiers disarmed the Iraqi jailers, moved the prisoners into the shade, released their handcuffs and administered first aid. Lt. Col. Daniel Hendrickson of Albany, Ore., the highest ranking American at the scene, radioed for instructions.

But in a move that frustrated and infuriated the guardsmen, Hendrickson's superior officers told him to return the prisoners to their abusers and immediately withdraw. It was June 29 - Iraq's first official day as a sovereign country since the U.S. invasion.

The incident, the first known case of human rights abuses in newly sovereign Iraq, is at the heart of the American dilemma here.

In handing over power, U.S. officials gave Iraqis authority to run their own institutions - even if they made mistakes. But officials understand that the United States will be held responsible when the new Iraqi authorities stumble.

"Iraqis want us to respect their sovereignty, but the problem is we will be blamed for leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse," said Michael Rubin, a former adviser to the interim Iraqi government who isnow at the American Enterprise Institute. "We did not generally put good people in

Posted by brettdavey at 8:00 AM EDT
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