Monday, June 30, 2003

The imposition of our will. 

Everyday it gets uglier and uglier in Iraq. Now we are rounding up supposed extremists and baathists in sweeping raids and house-to-house searches. We know that these people will not have due process. We know this from our record before us, in Afghanistan, Guatanamo Bay, and now in Iraq. These raids will not help our credibility with the Iraqi people. Bremer makes it clear, in this guardian.co.uk article, that it is the goal to "crush" the resistance:

The US military launched a huge operation yesterday to crack down on insurgents in Iraq as the civilian administrator, Paul Bremer, promised that America would "impose" its will upon the country.
The show of force began as the bodies of two US soldiers, missing since Wednesday, were found near the town of Balad, north of Baghdad. They bring the death toll since the official end of major combat to 23 Americans and six Britons.

In a candid interview on the BBC's Breakfast with Frost, Mr Bremer said pockets of resistance in Iraq would be crushed. "We are going to fight them and impose our will on them and we will capture or, if necessary, kill them until we have imposed law and order upon this country," he said.

The mission to quell the resistance to the occupation, operation Sidewinder, started yesterday. Officials in Camp Boom, north-east of Baghdad, said at least 20 raids using ground and air forces were carried out simultaneously to capture people suspected of being loyalists to Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime.

Early reports said around 60 Iraqis were picked up, as well as documents and weapons, during the initial sweep. US of ficials said they were going into towns with "overwhelming combat power".

In the midst of continuing scrutiny of our handling of prisoners in Guatanamo Bay, we are going to add to the numbers and in all likelihood, create "permanent" camps similar to Guatanamo Bay in Iraq.

If the U.S. can't be trusted to preserve the rights of our prisoners of war, how long before these tactics come home to roost, and ordinary citizens are harassed and bullied?