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Terrorism in Iraq? Don't blame Zarqawi

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August 31, 2005 -- BBC reports that on the night of August 24, a large force of the Volcano Brigade raided homes in Al-Hurriyah city in the Baghdad, kidnapping and then executing 76 citizens. The victims were all shot in the head after their hands and feet had been tied up. They suffered the harshest forms of torture, deformation and burning.

November 16, 2005 -- Reuters News reports the discovery of 173 malnourished men, some of whom were tortured, imprisoned in a secret jail run by Shi'ite militias tied to the Interior Ministry.

November 17, 2005 -- Newsday reports that in the past year, the U.S. military has helped build up Iraqi commandos under guidance from James Steele, a former Army Special Forces officer who led U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in El Salvador in the 1980s. The brigades built up over the past year include the Lion Brigade, Scorpion Brigade and Volcano Brigade.

February 15, 2006 -- Associated Press reports that the Interior Ministry has launched a probe into death squad allegations.

February 19, 2006 -- BBC reveals that morgues in Baghdad receive dozens of bodies picked up daily from rivers, sewage plants, waste burial sites, farms and desert areas. Most of the bodies are handcuffed and blindfolded civilians with a bullet or more in the forehead, indicating that they were executed. The handcuffs used on the victims are like those used by the Iraqi police.
February 26, 2006 -- The Independent reports that outgoing United Nations' human rights chief in Iraq, John Pace, revealed that hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by the death squads working from the Ministry of Interior. He said that up to three-quarters of the corpses stacked in the Baghdad mortuary show evidence of gunshot wounds to the head or injuries caused by drill-bits or burning cigarettes.

March 9, 2006 -- Los Angeles Times reports that Iraqi police officers who worked at the Interior Ministry's illegal prison had received American training, and that U.S. trainers have also given extensive support to 27 brigades of heavily armed commandos accused of a series of abuses, including the death of 14 Sunni Arabs who were locked in an airtight van last summer.
March 10, 2006 -- Sidney Morning Herald reports that men wearing the uniforms of U.S.-trained security forces, which are controlled by the Interior Ministry, abducted 50 people in a daylight raid on a security agency. Masked men who are driving what appear to be new government-owned vehicles are carrying out many of the raids.
March 27, 2006 -- The Independent reports that while U.S. authorities have begun criticizing the Iraqi government over the "death squads," many of the paramilitary groups accused of the abuse, such as the Wolf Brigade, the Scorpion Brigade and the Special Police Commandos were set up with the help of the American military. Furthermore, the militiamen were provided with U.S. advisers some of whom were veterans of Latin American counter-insurgency which also had led to allegations of death squads at the time.
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Mr. Secretary, in light of this evidence of U.S. support for and the existence of death squads in Iraq, what is the basis for your January 11, 2005 statement, that the idea of a Salvador option in Iraq is "nonsense"?

I request a copy of all records pertaining to Pentagon plans to use U.S. Special Forces to advise, support and train Iraqi assassination and kidnapping teams. I look forward to receiving your response.

Dennis J. Kucinich,
Member of Congress

Kucinich 's speech gives us a much better idea of what is really going on in Iraq. He exposes the US as the real power behind the paramilitary units that are currently torturing and killing vast numbers of Iraqi civilians. The entire operation has been set into motion by American intelligence agencies with the intention of inciting sectarian violence and thrusting the country towards partition.

The appearance of Colonel James Steele, as counselor for the Iraqi Security Forces, should remove any doubt about the real nature of America 's involvement. Steele 's "stock and trade " is the "spreading terror through the application of extreme violence".(Max Fuller 's apt description of US counterinsurgency campaigns in El Salvador) Steele was clearly enlisted to train others in the techniques of guerilla warfare and spread mayhem throughout the country.

Kucinch 's claims form a counter-narrative to the co*k-and-bull story of the mainstream media. They should be regarded as the basis for disputing the fabrications about Zarqawi and "Islamo-fascism ". The violence in Iraq is America 's doing. It begins and ends with the Bush administration, and that 's where the blame lies.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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