Sunday, November 27, 2005

Allawi is interfering with the White House script:

Human rights abuses in Iraq are now as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein and are even in danger of eclipsing his record, according to the country's first Prime Minister after the fall of Saddam's regime.

"People are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse," Ayad Allawi told The Observer. "It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things."

In a damning and wide-ranging indictment of Iraq's escalating human rights catastrophe, Allawi accused fellow Shias in the government of being responsible for death squads and secret torture centres. The brutality of elements in the new security forces rivals that of Saddam's secret police, he said.

Allawi, who was a strong ally of the US-led coalition forces and was prime minister until this April, made his remarks as further hints emerged yesterday that President George Bush is planning to withdraw up to 40,000 US troops from the country next year, when Iraqi forces will be capable of taking over.

Allawi's bleak assessment is likely to undermine any attempt to suggest that conditions in Iraq are markedly improving.

"We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated," he added. "A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Sharia courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them."

He said that immediate action was needed to dismantle militias that continue to operate with impunity. If nothing is done, "The disease infecting [the Ministry of the Interior] will become contagious and spread to all ministries and structures of Iraq's government," he said.

In a chilling warning to the West over the danger of leaving behind a disintegrating Iraq, Allawi added: "Iraq is the centrepiece of this region. If things go wrong, neither Europe nor the US will be safe."
His comments come as a blow to those hoping that Iraq was moving towards normalisation under the new government. In a speech on Wednesday, Bush is expected to hail the improved readiness of Iraqi troops, which he has identified as the key condition for withdrawing US forces.

But the proximity of the latest round of elections appears to have only intensified political murders and intimidations, including members of Allawi's own list, who have been killed and attacked by political rivals.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; all the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty together again.

Except that in Humpty Dumpty's case, no one else had to suffer when he fell off the wall. Pres. George W. Bush, along with his accomplices Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Paul Wolfowitz (vanished now, but he was one of the principal architects of this glorious plan to liberate Iraq), have not only failed to liberate Iraq or establish democracy, but have turned Iraq from hell on earth with the violence centralized in one place to hell on earth with the violence completely decentralized and coming from every direction. At least under Hussein you knew the torturers' address. Now, torture, disappearances, summary executions, revenge killings, and every human rights abuse you can imagine are as endemic as ever, but there's no way to know where or when or from whom they're going to hit next. And Iraq has been transformed from a brutal secular dictatorship run by one man who had absolute power in his own country but no influence in the rest of the world into the world's biggest terrorist training camp.

You tell me which is more dangerous to global security in the short run and in the long run.

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