Democracy in the New Iraq Equals Death and Repression

(The Brussels Tribunal is reporting that up to 900 prisoners held in Iraqi detention centers are scheduled to be executed. Their report details a picture of a decaying Iraq, quite the opposite from the rosy picture of “post surge” success that both the past and current regimes in Washington would have us believe. The tribunal’s picture is one of a callous and malicious neoliberal dictatorship allowed to run rampant over any and all opposition, completely unchecked, unregulated, and unreported.  Opposition leaders being executed, assassinated, or arrested; “insurgents” being whisked away in the night by Iraqi police or by the CIA/Blackwater death squads. The social safety net, even in place under Saddam’s rule, is now gone. It’s been hacked up and sold off to private corporations and international banks.  Massive numbers of people are arrested “by mistake” and held for years in undisclosed locations, while some are arrested and the police themselves charge a ransom from their families to ensure their release. It is the lawless, criminal restructuring of the entire Iraqi socioeconomic infrastructure and it is being upheld by our current president as the successful model we have to emulate in Afghanistan.

In 1973, the first of these “free market” reform models was tested in Chile.  Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon assassinated the elected president and installed a ruthless dictator, Augusto Pinochet, to oversee the implementation of their economic “reforms”.  It was an “experiment” as they put it, but due to public pressure and the concern that it would not be widely accepted by the American people, Kissinger had to support Pinochet through covert means and back-door channels.  So it was left to Pinochet with minimal U.S. support, to suppress the inevitable public dissent of his own people and he carved out a name for himself as one of the most ruthless dictators in modern history. But before word leaked out of what Pinochet was doing in order to maintain control in the face of the draconian “reforms”, the heavily corporate controlled press here in the U.S. refered to Chile’s economic “transformation” as “The Miracle of Chile”.

Now, armed with the ambiguous justification of the “Global War of Terror” and aided by a puppet president with a hollow Peace Prize decoration hanging from his neck like a prop hamburger in a McDonalds commercial, Iraq and Afghanistan’s hand-picked dictators no longer have to worry about using their own death squads to silence those who would speak out for humanity’s sake; they have our troops and Dwain Deet’s monstrous Predator drones to do it for them. The press and Obama’s administration have gone almost so far as to classify the remaking of Iraq as “The Miracle of Iraq” and they are surely going to speak of Afghanistan in the same rhetorical propaganda in the next year or so as long as the truth is successfully suppressed.)

 I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory. If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us – the dignity of man.  Harold Pinter, honorary member of the BRussells Tribunal – Nobel Lecture 07 Dec 2005 (+24 Dec 2008)

from Global Research

The machine of repression and death in Iraq continues unabated. The Presidential Council of Iraq has reportedly ratified the death sentences of some 900 detainees who languish on death row. Some 17 of them are confirmed to be women.
 
None of the condemned had a fair trial. The Iraqi judicial system has been deemed corrupt, fundamentally dysfunctional and plagued with sectarianism by responsible international agencies and all major human rights organisations. Hundreds of lawyers have been assassinated since 2003. The Association of Iraqi Lawyers has publicly declared that it cannot reach the detainees.
 
In a bid to eliminate its political opponents, further terrorise the Iraqi people, ostensibly into submission, and to be casted the “tough leader” the US pretends it is currently seeking for Iraq, Nouri Al-Maliki has pledged to carry out these executions ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled in March of 2010.
 
Iraq already has one of the highest rates of executions in the world. On a single day in June, 19 people were hanged in Baghdad. Without global action, 900 people will be hanged imminently.
 
A culture of terror and detention

Terror through mass detention, torture and abuse is one of the trademarks of the US occupation and Maliki. In addition to mass killing, mass forced displacement, the contamination of Iraqi soil, the destruction of all public infrastructure and means of survival, tens of thousands of Iraqis are arbitrarily detained in both official and ghost facilities all over Iraq.

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