Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Abuse in Kirkuk Aided by US Military

It is almost impossible to believe today's lead story in the Washington Post. "Kurdish Officials Sanction Abductions in Kirkuk: U.S. Memo Says Arabs, Turkmens Secretly Sent to the North," by Steve Fainaru and Anthony Shadid explains the contents of a confidential State Department memo regarding the abduction of Arabs and Turkmens and their secret transfer to other cities.

While you might expect that without international help, an ethnic minority would seek retribution from their neighbors for Saddam Hussein's actions, it is amazing that the USG has done absolutely nothing to prevent the wide scale abuse of human rights. Indeed, the DOD is complicit in the kidnappings, since the US military aids the politically controlled Kurdish military in these abductions. Further, despite all of the evidence that these Kurdish military groups are corrupt, American commanders continue to call them extremely reliable allies.

Background info from the article: Hussein practiced ethnic cleansing during the 80s, and moved Arabs and Turkmens north into Kurdish cities.
Kurds, who are just shy of a majority in the city and are growing in number, hope to make Kirkuk and the vast oil reserves beneath it part of an autonomous Kurdistan.
You wonder why people distrust the USG? It's because of statements like this:
Blagburn, the intelligence officer, said that even though the Emergency Services Unit is largely responsible for the secret transfers, it continues to provide valuable assistance in the counterinsurgency. Blagburn termed the unit "a very cooperative, coalition-friendly system."

"We know we can drop a guy in there and he'd be taken care of and he's safe," Blagburn said. "That's the reason why the ESU is used most of the time. That's basically the unit we can trust the most."
Good to know torturers are willing to help out the US Occupation forces when they're needed.

I am thoroughly disgusted by this administration and their horrible abuse of power and mockery of democracy. I am grateful someone at State leaked the memo to WaPo and hope that it will soon be available to the public in its entirety.


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