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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Something Completely Different

“The justice minister demanded Tuesday that the U.N. Security Council ensure that a group of U.S. troops are punished in the alleged rape and murder of a young Iraqi and the killing of her family, calling the attack ‘monstrous and inhuman.’
Two female legislators also called for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to be summoned to parliament to give assurances that justice would be done.
Meanwhile, gunmen in camouflage uniforms kidnapped Deputy Electricity Minister Raed al-Hares, along with 11 of his bodyguards in eastern Baghdad, but he was released after several hours, officials said.
Green is accused of raping the woman and killing her and three relatives — an adult male and female and a girl estimated to be 5 years old. An official familiar with the investigation said he set fire to the rape victim's body in an apparent cover-up attempt.
Iraqi authorities identified the rape victim as Abeer Qassim Hamza. The other victims were her father, Qassim Hamza, her mother, Fikhriya Taha, and her sister, Hadeel Qassim Hamza.”
-Associated Press, July 4, 2006

“Just a fairly typical day in Baghdad. A few people kidnapped (even with eleven bodyguards). The United States accused of atrocities and war crimes. You know.. the basic stuff. As you can see from the story though, there is nothing to be worried about. This was just one bad apple who apparently killed four people and raped someone while trying to cover up the crimes by burning the corpses. That old chestnut. Hey, ‘bad apples’ were behind Abu Gharib, the other civilian slaughter the other week and the incendiary bombing of Fallujah too. Heck, the whole war was probably dreamed up by some ‘bad apple’. You can’t blame Fearless Leader for what a few ‘bad apples’ do.

“Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday he wants an independent Iraqi investigation, or at least a joint investigation with coalition forces, into the alleged rape and murder of an Iraqi girl by U.S. troops.
Al-Maliki's comments during a visit to Kuwait were his first on the case, in which a former Army soldier was charged Monday in federal court in Charlotte, N.C.
At least four other U.S. soldiers still in Iraq are under investigation.
The girl's father, mother and sister were also killed in the March attack on their house in Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad.
‘We are going to demand an independent Iraqi investigation or at least a joint investigation between us and the multi-national forces,’ al-Maliki said.
He said crimes against Iraqis were not acceptable and that coalition troops' immunity from Iraqi prosecution should be reviewed.
‘We believe that the immunity given to members of coalition forces encouraged them to commit such crimes in cold blood - the thing that makes it necessary to review it,’ he said.
-Associated Press, July 5, 2006

“Um.. Just a couple of points here.. One, there are four other soldiers under investigation? I followed up on that. Apparently that whole ‘rape and murder’ thing was premeditated by a group of soldiers, not just a single bad apple. Two, coalition forces have immunity from Iraqi prosecution. Yep, nothing to get the rule of law established in a country like immediately making the troops immune to it. You can shoot people in the streets and not have more than a little military investigation. And the military, as you might imagine, has little interest in making US troops look bad, so a lot of little stuff (you know, shy of the rape and murder of a family) can kind of be brushed under the rug.
Someone want to explain to me again why this isn’t at all like Vietnam?”

“In three years here the Marine Corps and the Army have tried nearly everything to bring this provincial capital of 400,000 under control. Nothing has worked.
Now American commanders are trying something new.
Instead of continuing to fight for the downtown, or rebuild it, they are going to get rid of it, or at least a very large part of it.
They say they are planning to bulldoze about three blocks in the middle of the city, part of which has been reduced to ruins by the fighting, and convert them into a Green Zone, a version of the fortified and largely stable area that houses the Iraqi and American leadership in Baghdad.
The idea is to break the bloody stalemate in the city by ending the struggle over the battle-scarred provincial headquarters that the insurgents assault nearly every day. The Government Center will remain, but the empty space around it will deny the guerrillas cover to attack. ‘We'll turn it into a park,’ said Col. Sean MacFarland.”
-New York Times, July 4, 2006

“Not at all like Vietnam. In Vietnam they had to burn the village in order to save it. Here they are simply leveling the center of the city in order to.. um.. save it. Totally different.”


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