Tuesday, November 20, 2007
A Good Article
By Robert Parry
"The Bush administration is turning Iraq into a test tube for modern techniques of repression, from sophisticated biometrics that track populations to devastating weapons systems that combine night-vision optics from drone aircraft, heat resonance imaging and deadly firepower from the sky to kill suspected insurgents.
These high-tech capabilities, when mixed with loose rules of engagement that allow U.S. troops to kill Iraqis at the slightest sign of hostility, have contributed to what U.S. generals and a growing number of American journalists are hailing as an improving security situation. Or, as President George W. Bush reportedly told Australia’s deputy prime minister in September, “We’re kicking ass.”
U.S. forces have reported some success, too, in working with Iraqi paramilitary groups allied with Sunni sheiks, a strategy similar to operations used in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s to eradicate leftist guerrillas and their political backers.
Amid these developments and the more favorable U.S. news coverage of the war, some neoconservatives are giddy at the prospect of claiming some measure of victory in Iraq, especially after years of facing hostility from Americans over the worsening carnage, including the deaths of more than 3,800 U.S. soldiers.....
The harsh repression surrounding the “surge” has drawn far less U.S. press attention. The grim reality, however, is that an increasingly desperate American military has stepped up its indiscriminate killing and jailing of Iraqis, especially “military-age males” or MAMS......
During a summer 2007 trip to Iraq, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies was briefed on U.S. plans to dramatically expand the number of Iraqis in American detention by the end of 2008.
“The detainees have risen to over 18,000 and are projected to hit 30,000 (by the U.S. command) by the end of the year and 50,000 by the end of 2008,” Cordesman wrote in his trip report, adding that the vast majority were Sunnis. “Shiite detainees are often freed while Sunnis are warehoused,” he wrote......"