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News ::
DISARM IRAQ and for Human Rights (english)
04 Mar 2003
Modified: 05:20:51 PM
Why aren't YOU marching to DISARM Iraq, et al and for an and to
human rights violations? Somethings REALLY wrong with your
logic. Read this story by Public Broadcasting or keep your BLINDERS on and wait to be NUKED or other..
As President Bush continues to build the case for war and the U.N. Security Council prepares to send in weapons inspectors, FRONTLINE/World takes a harrowing journey inside Iraq. Reporter Sam Kiley sets out to investigate Saddam Hussein's weapons, the impact of sanctions on Iraqi civilians and rumors of public beheadings.

Truth, they say, is the first casualty of war. But Kiley laments that truth may already be a victim of an intense propaganda war between Washington, D.C., and Baghdad.

Kiley begins his mission to Iraq in Amman, Jordan, 500 miles from Iraq and home to thousands of Iraqi exiles. But he quickly discovers that Saddam's spies and assassins have a long reach 末 Iraqi dissidents have been kidnapped and killed in Jordan 末 and opponents of the Baghdad regime are afraid to speak. But finally, in a safe house, Kiley meets a former Iraqi schoolteacher from Basra, who tells him she fled the country after being forced to watch the public execution of 15 women. Another exile confides that these executions are carried out by Fedayeen Saddam ("Saddam's Redeemers"), a private army run by Saddam's eldest son, Uday, who is perhaps as feared and hated as his father inside Iraq.

Yet another exile, Hassan Jummaa, who once worked for Uday, describes how he was arbitrarily arrested, tortured and slashed with a razor. His wife, Rasha, provides more information about the reported beheadings, saying she witnessed men in the black uniforms of Uday's Fedayeen decapitate a young mother in a public square. The day after the couple spoke with Kiley, Jordanian police raid their home and they are evicted.

Driving across the desert into Baghdad, Kiley observes truck after truck carrying Iraqi oil to market 末 a reminder of the source of Saddam's wealth and power.

Once inside Iraq, Kiley is closely monitored by a government "minder" and shepherded from place to place with other foreign correspondents. The Ministry of Information forbids Kiley to work with an independent Arab translator he brought from Jordan. But Kiley persists. He responds to Iraqi censorship with a mixture of aggression and humor.

On a government press trip to a phosphate mine at Akashat, Kiley is supposed to look for uranium oxide, or "yellow cake." Yellow cake can be enriched to make an atomic bomb. When the director of the Iraqi missile program denies to the journalists that the mine's processing plant is used for uranium extraction, Kiley asks him, "What does yellow cake look like? I wouldn't know yellow cake from marzipan."

At the Tuwaitha complex, a center of Saddam's efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, Kiley complains, "We're herded around like a school outing." When guards prevent him from videotaping and physically restrain him, Kiley snarls, "If you push me, I'll break your arm."

Government officials deny all the reported beheadings. "Because we are at war with America they launch propaganda against us," asserts Dr. Abdi Rizak al-Harabi of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. "These stories were all fabricated." When Kiley tries to question other officials, the Ministry of Information immediately cuts off his access. And upon return to his hotel room one night, he finds his door wide open. "A crystal clear message," Kiley muses. "'We're watching you.'"

Kiley and his producer decide to set up a motion-sensitive video camera in their room to record any intruders. Sure enough, the camera later captures a man dressed as a hotel porter rifling Kiley's bags and clothes.

The propaganda war is most fierce on the humanitarian front. "All journalists who visit Iraq end up being shown around a hospital sooner or later," observes Kiley. "I'm taken to the al-Wia Hospital in Baghdad." On a previous visit to Iraq in 1998, Kiley saw evidence that economic sanctions had led to the deaths of many innocent civilians. This time he asks doctors whether the U.N. Oil貿or芳ood 末 and medicine 末 program has ameliorated the situation. He gets contradictory answers and is not allowed to inspect the hospital pharmacy. While some drugs remain scarce, Kiley finds private pharmacies to be well stocked and drugs to be inexpensive. He learns that the Iraqi government is suppressing a report that concludes there have been dramatic improvements in the country's health.

Continuing his investigation of the beheadings, Kiley finally finds a witness who confirms one of the reports he heard in Jordan 末 of a woman being beheaded in front of a popular juice bar on the busiest nighttime shopping street in Baghdad. "A public execution here is like executing someone in Times Square," says Kiley. "It's the perfect terror tactic. The regime can deny it to the outside world, but everyone in Baghdad knows it happened."

The next day the government withdraws Kiley's visa and tells him to leave Iraq immediately. Shortly after, in a surprise move, Saddam empties his infamous prisons. But when some of the freed inmates begin describing the horrible conditions to CNN, The New York Times and other reporters 末 and some relatives of missing prisoners organize a protest 末 the Iraqi government announces it will expel all foreign press.

"The real truth about Saddam is that he wants his own people to know exactly what he's capable of," concludes Kiley. But at the same time Saddam wants the rest of the world to believe what Kiley calls "the Big Lie" 末 that he is not repressing his own population and has no intention of developing weapons of mass destruction.
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Response to disarm Iraq and for Human Rights (english)
04 Mar 2003
Interesting that you propose attacking Iraq for human rights reasons. Perhaps you should read the following, courtesy of a report by Physicians for Human Rights. If you look at the consequences of war that are listed here, I think you'll find that the human rights abuses that would be caused by the US attacking Iraq are far worse than the conditions now.

"Most of Iraq's 26 million people are almost entirely dependent for daily survival on the monthly rations distributed under the Oil-for-Food Program (OFFP). A disruption in the OFFP is likely to have extraordinary health consequences unless a comprehensive and effective food distribution plan is rapidly in place. In addition, war in Iraq is likely to disrupt supplies of other essential goods such as medicine, water and energy. In recent days, the UN has confirmed that OFFP personnel will be evacuated form Iraq should a war commence. In mid-February the UN emergency relief coordinator announced that the UN was ready to feed 250,000 people for 10 weeks. However, the anticipated need may be 40-times greater.

The combination of a rapidly deteriorating health infrastructure, decline in access to public health and medical services, and a marked decline food availability to the Iraqi population for more than twelve years have contributed to a sustained deterioration of health status. During the past decade, infant mortality more than doubled to 107 deaths per 1000 live births per year, and the under-five mortality rate also more than doubled to 131/1000 live births per year.[1] War will compound the precarious nature of the health infrastructure and fragile health of the most vulnerable within the population.

Preventative public health and curative medical services in Iraq are inadequate for the health and medical emergencies that are likely to result in the event of armed conflict. The number of primary health care (PHC) and maternal and child clinics, the principal providers of basic health care in Iraq, have declined by nearly half since the Gulf War in 1991 -- according to UNICEF, there are 929 PHC centers remaining out of a pre-Gulf War network of 1,800. Most of the health facilities are in poor physical condition. They often lack water and electricity and, hence, severely limit the quality of patient care.

The water, sanitation, and electricity infrastructures in Iraq have not recovered from the previous war. This is in part due to sanctions, which have denied parts for much of the machinery used in these infrastructures as well as denial until recently of chemicals necessary for water treatment such as chlorine and aluminum sulfate. It is also clear that government of Iraq has not invested any significant resources in these sectors.

Water treatment plants and sanitation facilities such as wastewater treatment and pumping stations operate at anywhere from 25 to 50% of design capacity. Capacity has been sacrificed due to cannibalization as well as steady deterioration that occurs when there is insufficient maintenance and no spare parts. UNICEF and the United Nations Development Program report that 40% of water samples fail tests either for contamination by solids or sufficient disinfection.

Water treatment, water distribution, sewer treatment, and sewer pumping are all highly dependent upon electricity in the largely urbanized country (70% of the population lives in cities). While these systems have back-up generators, they are designed for short-term power failures, have insufficient capacity to operate for long periods of time, and are themselves slowly becoming dysfunctional. Today 50% of the sewage in Baghdad's largest treatment plant is shunted directly into a river and estimates are that 500,000 tons of raw sewage enter waterways daily in Iraq.

The electrical generating and distribution system is only marginally
functional. Electrical black-outs due to insufficient power availability
range from 6 to 14 hours per day in many cities. As observed by the PHR investigators, the electrical system is held together with 'bailing wire' as it has been deemed dual use and spare parts delayed for years or denied.

According to UNICEF, some water borne diseases such as typhoid are now seen at incidences of 1000% compared to pre-Gulf War levels. Vulnerable sectors such as malnourished children, pregnant women, and the elderly will be immediately susceptible to epidemics of water borne diseases if the electricity system is paralyzed and water/sanitation systems cease to function.

The current state of humanitarian preparedness is cause for great concern. Very few international agencies with large-scale emergency capacity are currently present in Iraq. Thus, far, the U.S. government痴 public statements on how it intends to conduct military actions in Iraq have not included sufficient information and/or support for humanitarian relief efforts for Iraqi civilians who are likely to be directly and indirectly affected by such actions. As of February 14, 2003, the U.N. stated that it has fewer than half of the resources it needs to cope with the anticipated humanitarian crisis.

Antipersonnel mines may be used by both sides in this conflict and threaten to harm non-combatants. Similarly, cluster bombs in Iraq would, in all likelihood, maim and kill far more innocent civilians than soldiers, especially if they are used against Republican Guard forces, which are municipally based.

Reports of the torture and ill-treatment of captured combatants in Afghanistan by both the United States and its ally, the Northern Alliance, have created cause for serious concern. In the event of a war with Iraq, captured, surrendered, and wounded Iraqi military forces are entitled to Prisoner of War status in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and their rights must be protected. "

Black & White (english)
04 Mar 2003

War is NOT black & white, and civillian casualty's are part of the cost, here or there. Remember Sept. 11th?

Also, it amazes me that you would equate a specific
treatment for PoW, when in fact our own were ignored and
tortured relentlessly by NVA, Cubans, et al while
interned in various camps in Vietnam.

It appears the article was a post from a PBS reporter ( or
a copy thereof
) that you refer to above. I always thought they took no
sides and told it the way it was. Do you doubt "their" credibility?
!st didn't answer the question (english)
04 Mar 2003
The question was: Why aren't YOU marching to disarm
Iraq, Iran, N. Korea, et al???? why don't you oppose
the wars they create?

That is the question. Period. Long messages filled with
rhetoric will not "cut the mustard" as a valid answer.