Beneath Rosey Assessments Bitter Truths
by Ali al-Fadhily
"BAGHDAD - The separation of religious groups in the face of sectarian violence has brought some semblance of relative calm to Baghdad. But many Iraqis see this as the uncertain consequence of a divide and rule policy.....
“I would like to agree with the idea that violence in Iraq has decreased and that everything is fine,” retired general Waleed al-Ubaidy told IPS in Baghdad. “But the truth is far more bitter. All that has happened is a dramatic change in the demographic map of Iraq.”......
“Those Americans and their Iraqi collaborators in the Green Zone talk of five or ten bodies being found everyday as if they were talking of insects,” Thamir Aziz, a teacher in Adhamiya told IPS. “We know they are lying about the real number of martyrs, but even if it’s true, is it not a disaster that so many innocent Iraqis are found dead every day?”
Most people blame the Iraqi police for the sectarian assassinations, and the U.S. military for doing little to stop them.
“The Americans ask (Prime Minister Nouri al) Maliki to stop the sectarian assassinations when they know very well that his ministers are ordering the sectarian cleansing,” Mahmood Farhan from the Muslim Scholars Association, a leading Sunni group, told IPS.
A UN report released September 2005 held interior ministry forces responsible for an organised campaign of detentions, torture and killings. It said special police commando units accused of carrying out the killings were recruited from the Shia Badr and Mehdi militias.
Retired Col. James Steele, who served as advisor to Iraqi security forces under former U.S. ambassador John Negroponte, supervised the training of these forces.
Steele had been commander of the U.S. military advisors group in El Salvador in 1984-86; Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to neighbouring Honduras 1981-85. Negroponte was accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights in 1994. The Commission reported the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers.
The violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by operatives trained by the CIA, according to a CIA working group set up in 1996 to look into the U.S. role in Honduras.
The CIA records document that “special intelligence units”, better known as “death squads”, comprised CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of people suspected of supporting leftist guerrillas.
Negroponte was ambassador to Iraq for close to a year from June 2004."