This is what Iraq has to go through to reach democracy?

It makes no sense to me. Seems like nothing has changed in Iraq since Saddam's potential threat--that gave neo-conservatives penis-envy--was eliminated by humiliating, killing, wounding, and alienating a whole population to get to one sick bastard. Creating new threats that have torn the fabric of civic life in Iraq to the point where people fear walking out on the streets has been a specialty of the CPA, IGC, and now, the Iraqi Interim Government. Thanks for making tax-payers dollars switch Saddam out, for an American version of practically the same damn thing. The blind-fold? The sexual assault? I'm glad that she wasn't killed.

I know Rove and Wolfowitz are admirers of Machiavelli. (And wasn't Saddam?) Well, if they read it a bit closer they'd understand that this is the wrong way to go about occupying a country. So here are some excerpts of the appalling account of Ms. Huda Alazawi...do you want to know why she's in this situation? Not just a few bad apples, but very bad intel & counter-intuitive and demented methodology. And I'm supposed to believe this is an isolated incident? See Seymour Hersh's "Chain of Command" for a more plausible explanation.

Alazawi says that US guards left her sitting on the chair overnight, and that the next day they took her to a room known by detainees as "the torturing place". "The US officer told us: 'If you don't confess we will torture you. So you have to confess.' My hands were handcuffed. They took off my boots and stood me in the mud with my face against the wall. I could hear women and men shouting and weeping. I recognised one of the cries as my brother Mu'taz. I wanted to see what was going on so I tried to move the cloth from my eyes. When I did, I fainted."

Like most Iraqi women, Alazawi is reluctant to talk about what she saw but says that her brother Mu'taz was brutally sexually assaulted. Then it was her turn to be interrogated. "The informant and an American officer were both in the room. The informant started talking. He said, 'You are the lady who funds your brothers to attack the Americans.' I speak some English so I replied: 'He is a liar.' The American officer then hit me on both cheeks. I fell to the ground.

Alazawi says that American guards then made her stand with her face against the wall for 12 hours, from noon until midnight. Afterwards they returned her to her cell. "The cell had no ceiling. It was raining. At midnight they threw something at my sister's feet. It was my brother Ayad. He was bleeding from his legs, knees and forehead. I told my sister: 'Find out if he's still breathing.' She said: 'No. Nothing.' I started crying. The next day they took away his body."
Alazawi is reticent about the question of sexual abuse of Iraqi women but says that neither she nor any of the other women in Abu Ghraib at the time were sexually assaulted by US guards. In his subsequent report into the scandal, however, Major General Antonio Taquba found that at least one US military policemen had raped a female inmate inside Abu Ghraib; a letter smuggled out of the prison by a woman known only as "Noor", containing allegations of rape, was found to be entirely accurate. Other witnesses interviewed by the Guardian have said that US guards "repeatedly" raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl who was held in the block last year. They also said that guards made several of the women inmates parade naked in front of male prisoners.

That's remarkable enough for me to say something. I have a rekindled hope that some of what I thought would not come out, will indeed come out. "You can hide from the truth, but the truth is all there is..." - Handsome Boy Modelling School


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