Monday, July 11, 2005

Police or Terrorists With Badges?

On Sunday, the BBC reports 12 Iraqi men were arrested after they had taken a colleague to hospital in Ameriya with gunshot wounds. A local resident, thinking they were insurgents, called the police, who sent commandos to arrest the men. The Special Police Commandos lost 9 people today after leaving the suspects in a closed metal container for over 14 hours in the burning desert sun.

Just your neighborhood state-sponsored terrorists.

This has just been the latest in a string of alleged abuses by mercenary commandos increasingly in the employ of the understaffed Iraqi police. It is clear that the US Pentagon is quietly implementing the "Salvador Option" that was kicked around back in January. By providing money to these mercenary squads, neither the Iraqi government nor its US sponsor need worry about dirtying their hands in stomping out the insurgency.

As Fuller reports, the Iraqi Special Police Commandos have been executing the "Salvador Option" in Iraq at full throttle for quite some time:
The Police Commandos are in large part the brainchild of another US counter-insurgency veteran, Steven Casteel, a former top DEA man who has been acting as the senior advisor in the Ministry of the Interior. Casteel was involved in the hunt for Colombia's notorious cocaine baron Pablo Escobar, during which the DEA collaborated with a paramilitary organization known as Los Pepes, which later transformed itself into the AUC, an umbrella organization covering all of Colombia's paramilitary death squads (; ciponline).

Like Colombia's death squads, Iraq's Police Commandos deliberately cultivate a frightening paramilitary image. During raids they wear balaclavas and black leather gloves and openly intimidate and brutalize suspects, even in the presence of foreign journalists (see the report by Peter Maass). Significantly, many of the Commandos, including their leader, are Sunni Muslims.

In the last few weeks, with the discovery of several mass graves in and around Baghdad, evidence of multiple extra-judicial killings has started to become much more visible, but, in fact, even a cursory review of such archives as the one compiled by Iraq Body Count reveals that mass executions have been taking place commonly in Iraq over at least the last six months. What is particularly striking is that many of those killings have taken place since the Police Commandos became operationally active and often correspond with areas where they have been deployed.

The clearest correlation is in Mosul, where the Police Commandos began operating in late October (Stryker Newsl ). In mid-November it was reported that insurgents were conducting an offensive and had managed to drive most of the (regular) police from the city. There followed what was described as a joint counter-offensive by US forces and Police Commandos. The Police Commandos conducted raids inside the old quarter starting on 16 November in which dozens of suspects were arrested. During one such raid on a mosque and a tea shop, detainees, blindfolded and with their hands tied behind their backs, were seen being taken away by commandos (link ). In the weeks and months that followed over 150 bodies appeared (bbc news), often in batches and frequently having obviously been executed, usually with a bullet to the head.
The US government would do well to remember the results of the state-sponsored terror in the original "Salvador Option" and attempt to mitigate the onset of a civil war rather than push it forward. As the death of Archbishop Romera proves, the answer to terrorism is not more terrorism, but the strength to wage peace.

Outraged? Contact some US senators and let them know what you think.


At 8:33 PM GMT-5, Blogger Max Creel said...

As the BBC is the source, I have doubts whether or not this is true.

However, there is plausable deniability if this is the case. Termination with extreme prejudice is a very effective tool, most especially when confronting a ruthless enemy.

The Max Factor


At 8:15 AM GMT-5, Blogger the prisoner said...

BBC? I have less doubts about it since it comes from such a solid source. But like all forms of MSM, it fails to connect the dots a lot.

I have only one thing to say in response to you, Max. If this was happening in the US and bankrolled by another country, US citizens would be up in arms (quite literally) for good reason. When will people realize that the ends do NOT justify the ends?

Replace small swaths of Islamic terror with widespread state-sponsored terror? That is a "strategy" to win the war? I'll say it again and again:

We are creating more Enemies than we can capture or kill.


At 11:53 AM GMT-5, Blogger Max Creel said...

Perhaps you misunderstood part of my comment. I was not endorsing this tactic, but merely pointing out that it is an effective tool. Recorded history is replete with this or similar types of action. The Mujahideen used this very effectively, using many weapons supplied by us. Ultimately they became the Taliban, showing their true colors.

The common enemy is the Islamofascist, not Muslims in general. But their silence (non-Islamofascist) on the terrorist’s actions is casting doubt on the Muslim belief as a whole, and being construed by many as supporting the terrorist’s actions. Similar things happened in Nazi Germany as many more of the populace went to the Nazi Party as the US was preparing for war. The results were the total destruction of their beloved Fatherland, their murderous leader and others taking the cowards way out, and the surviving henchmen being tried, convicted and sentenced to various penalties, up to and including execution..

Today’s situation is similar to an extent, but without political borders. But the writing is on the wall for Damascus, Tehran, Riyhad, et al. Our political will is the greater question.

Take a minute to think about the transformation of Japan following their surrender in 1945. They were fanatics at best, including most of the population. Yet they converted themselves, with the policies set by the Truman Administration and Gen. MacArthur, to achieve political freedom and financial success beyond anyone’s expectations.

One must realize that the fight MUST be taken to the enemy. To do otherwise is to place the free world at the mercy of our adversary.

We have been at war with terrorism long before the President declared such. The line has been drawn in the sand. The Islamofascist decided to cross it. They will ultimately fail, as freedom becomes prevalent in the Middle East.


I have added your Blog to my Bloglist.


At 2:02 PM GMT-5, Blogger the prisoner said...

I agree... somewhat? Ok. I agree this has been done before. But where we disagree is in condoning it.

Thanks for the add. You've been added to my links as well.


At 5:00 PM GMT-5, Blogger Max Creel said...

Nothing worong with opposing views. It's one of our treasured freedoms.


At 5:08 PM GMT-5, Blogger Max Creel said...

I did not say I condone it. I pointed out facts, history and opinion.

Thanks for the link.


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