February 18, 2006
Remember John Negroponte, the last US Ambassador to Iraq? He was the
man who organized right-wing death squads within El Salvador to wipe
out dissident groups there. Now, there are reports that death squads of
a similar nature are working in Iraq, killing off Sunni dissidents and
people not deemed pure enough. I would not be surprised if this has
Negroponte's handiwork, given his proven track record with this. A new
blog, Iraqi Death Squads, is being set up to expose these death squads. This blog is being run by the same blogger who runs the site The Truth About Iraqis.
The Bush administration is not credible when they claim that democracy
is flourishing in the Middle East. As long as they have John
Negroponte, a man who thinks murder is a justifiable objective, working
for them, they will not be credible when they make that claim. The
painful reality is that the Iraqi Interior Ministry has gone on a
rampage, arresting, imprisoning, torturing, and killing people whom
they think are not ideologically pure enough. 20 years ago, something
similar happened in El Salvador. I leave it to the reader to draw their
the very least, the Bush administration and their defenders should have
to answer questions about the role of Negroponte in all this. What did
he do during his tenure in Iraq? Was he associated with the people who
run the Interior Ministry? Were taxpayer dollars used? We know
that despite the fact that Iraq became an independent country. But we
also know that the US embassy still has a large role in the formulation
of their policies. Khalilzad, the current ambassador, tries all the
time to broker deals between the various political factions in Iraq.
So, it is only fair to raise the question of what Negroponte's
responsibility in the killings is. If he had a role, then he should
resign and be extradited to face charges of war crimes.
In the meantime, the latest news from Iraqi Death Squads is this:
Five bodyguards belonging to influential Basra
financier Ghalib Abdul Hussein Kubba were also found laid out in the
wealthy man's garden in Baghdad's western Yarmouk suburb, also with
bullet holes in their heads.
Kubba and his son were apparently kidnapped by what witnesses described as busload of men dressed in official Iraqi commando unit attire.
Kubba is director-general of the Basra International Bank.
This was part of a conflict between the various political factions there:
Those belonging to Sadr's Mahdi army and those belonging to Badr do not necessarily see eye to eye.
Sadr is also rising up in influence in the Iraqi political arena.
Apparently, he helped secure Jaafary's seat as prime minister earlier
in the week.
This is all going to play out with the Iraqi civilian population caught in the crossfires.
And when were these death squads formed? Many were formed in Iraq,
right under the nose of Negroponte. John Negroponte was a disaster as
ambassador to Iraq, based on this evidence. If he cannot stop Iraq from
splitting up and forming militant factions, then what is he doing as
one of the people in charge of protecting our country?
And what passes the smell test even less is the fact that the only
people investigating the Interior Ministry are - the people from the
I have a slight problem with this. The death squads
were working from within the Interior Ministry. They could not have
done so without some official help from the Ministry. And now the
Ministry is investigating itself?
This, after the US detained 22 people from the Interior Ministry on a mission to kill:
A U.S. military official in Baghdad on Thursday
confirmed a Chicago Tribune report of American officials finding
evidence of an alleged death squad within the Interior Ministry.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said the 22 men detained at an Iraqi army
checkpoint last month in the capital were Iraqi highway patrol
officers. Of them, four were "planning to conduct a kidnapping and
murder" of a Sunni man, he said.
And the CNN article refers to four more people tortured and killed by these death squads:
Iraqi police discovered four bodies Friday in the northwestern Baghdad neighborhood of Shula, Iraqi emergency police said.
All the bodies showed signs of torture, and the victims were shot in
the back of the head, authorities said. None of the bodies had any
identification on them, police said.
This is typical of what John Negroponte did in El Salvador - dehumanize
the opposition to their military dictatorship as communists as opposed
to people. This is what the Bush administration does all the time -
kill civilians and then demonize them as terrorists as opposed to
humans. And now, the Interior Ministry death squads have learned their
lessons well from their masters - they demonize their victims as
terrorists, strip them of their identity, and kill them. After all, in
their books, these people are not human; they are terrorists.
People even here may argue that Negroponte is not legally guilty or
that there is not enough evidence that he was involved. That is fine; I
am raising questions, not making accusations. But it is clear that
Negroponte is morally guilty and morally responsible. The similarity of
the actions of the Iraqi death squads to that of the El Salvador death
squads is too obvious for me not to raise questions. It is always a
fact in any organization that the followers will imitate the leaders.
Therefore, the blood of these people is on Negroponte's hands as it is
on Bush's and Cheney's.
And these deaths reported are just the tip of the iceberg; Iraqi Death
Squads quotes the original Chicago Tribune article that revealed their
Allegations that death squads targeting Sunnis are
operating within the Shiite-dominated police forces have been
circulating since last May, when the bodies of Sunnis detained by men
wearing police uniforms began turning up in garbage dumps and waste
ground around Baghdad. Most of the victims had been tortured, and many
were shot execution-style.
The killings started after the current Shiite-led government took
office and appointed a new interior minister, Bayan Jabr, a leading
official in the Iran-backed Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution
in Iraq, fueling suspicions that the ministry's forces were waging a
sectarian campaign against Sunnis.
Thousands of Sunnis have since been rounded up by Interior Ministry
forces as part of a crackdown against the Sunni-dominated insurgency,
according to ministry figures. Sunni political organizations say 1,600
of those detained by men wearing police uniforms have subsequently
turned up dead.
The Bush administration may accuse the terrorists of disguising
themselves as Iraqi police officers all they want - nobody will believe
them given their massive track record of lying. This is a typical
excuse - blame everything on the terrorists.
The million dollar question for Negroponte is what his dealings with
Jabr were during his time in Iraq. If it can be shown that there were
heavy connections between the two men, then it is totally possible that
the Bush administration could have been involved in a systematic effort
to create a state of perpetual limited warfare to frighten the voters
into keeping them in power.
We know that dictators like to create a state of perpetual limited
warfare to frighten the voters into line from Orwell. It is a known
fact that the Bush administration wants to build 14 permanent military
bases in Iraq. It is a known fact, as Jimmy Carter points out, that
many people are planning for an occupation of Iraq that lasts 10 years
or more. So, what better excuse for the Bush administration to create
the need for them to be there 10 years or longer than to create
conflict between the Iraqi political factions?
This is typical of the nanny state that the right-wingers have
denounced for so long. One of Rush Limbaugh's favorite lines was that
liberals wanted to create a culture of dependence in which people felt
like they needed them to get them welfare so they wouldn't have to
work. But now that they are in power, the Bush administration has
become the very definition of a nanny state.
The more the Bush administration can create limited perpetual conflict,
the more they can confuse the issue and say that the Big Bad Terrorists
are over there and we can't let them come over here. The more they can
create conflict, the more they can kill innocent civilians and then
brand them as terrorists after the fact. The more they can create
conflict, the more they can generate massive profits for Halliburton
and other Bush cronies. The more they can create conflict, the more
they can reward people in the Military Industrial Complex with new
contracts. The more they can create conflict in Iraq, the more they can
drive up the deficit and force Congress to release hundreds of billions
of dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for their
So, the motive for creating conflict between the political factions is
there. The proof, as I point out above, would involve seeing what kind
of associations Negroponte had with Jabr and other such people.