Friday, July 16, 2004

Meet the New Boss
...same as the old boss...

From The Sydney Morning Herald (via Holden at Atrios):

Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs.

They say Dr Allawi told onlookers the victims had each killed as many as 50 Iraqis and they "deserved worse than death".

The Prime Minister's office has denied the entirety of the witness accounts in a written statement to the Herald, saying Dr Allawi had never visited the centre and he did not carry a gun.

But the informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence...
Please refer to my earlier posting on America's capacity for outrage. Where's the American media on this one?

Anyway, Ilyad Allawi was supposedly Jerry Bremer's handpicked successor in Iraq. But in reading this article, it fits with (now U.S. Ambassador to Iraq) John Negroponte's style - in fact, the more we learn about Allawi, the more the ramrodding of Allawi into power seems to have Negroponte's fingerprints all over it:

Jack Binns, Negroponte’s predecessor as ambassador appointed by Jimmy Carter, complained about the blatant human rights abuses in Honduras and briefed him as he took office. He later reported that Salvadoran nuns who fled to Honduras after the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero had been tortured by the Honduran secret police and thrown out of helicopters alive – a speciality of the Argentine military officers employed in Honduras during Negroponte’s stint. One official, Rick Chidester, claims Negroponte ordered him to remove all mention of torture and execution from his report on human rights in Honduras.

During Negroponte’s stay in Honduras, human rights violations peaked. The infamous US trained death squad, Batallion 3-16, was notorious for the torture, rape, kidnapping and killing of Honduran dissidents. Hundreds of people disappeared. By the end of the 1980s at least 10,000 were dead, not to mention the conservative estimate of 200,000 deaths in Central America as a result of US intervention.
What a cheneying mess.

Secret polizia? Martial law? Summary executions? As someone pointed out on Atrios' comment section, at least Allawi's regime has outsourced the rape rooms. Saddam 2.0? You make the call.