The blogosphere and the MSM have been recently abuzz with the repercussions from the Haditha alleged massacre in Iraq by US marines. I purposely refrained from bringing the topic up because in my opinion it was irrelevant. Why do you think ? Because I keep repeating myself since the US led invasion of Iraq, that NO sane person should be shocked at anything an occupying force does. You can quote Geneva conventions and codes of honour till the roosters come home it does not matter on the ground; when the sweat and the blood mix, when the sound of artillery bursts your ears.... only the morally strongest individuals among us will keep virtue and honour. The rest will gladly toss all ethical concerns from the window. Moreover ,
if they are a more powerful side they will attempt a cover up.
I’m neither bitter nor angry plus I'm too far removed from the war zone butI’m actually feeling sorry for the Americans who are shocked at what some of their elite people are capable of doing. I applaud their clamouring for justice and for punishing the guilty party. I expected that, because deep down most Americans are good people and they sincerely believe in the nobility of the ultimate goal. Moreover, it is better than the justice we on this side are awaiting for crimes perpetrated by Arabs on Arabs for example ( Darfur comes to mind).
However, timing is an important factor and I am left wondering, why was the Haditha affair blown up recently yet it took place in November 2005 . Are there any possible ulterior motives behind this after it had been left as obscure news before? and what about Zarqawi he was expedited quite fast suddenly. We are left with many questions, and none of them may have an answer in this lifetime.
While trying to make up my mind about the above issue, I came across an interesting article in Arabic by Buthaina Shabaan in the Asharqalawsat online paper. I must admit that I’m a great fan of her writing style, and enjoy her twist on events. To some of you it may smack of fantasy and conspiracy theories, but the events when thrown toghether this should at least lead us think..If not in the direction she wished then at least to one of a different viewpoint.After all maybe things should not always be taken at face value.
The op-Ed was in Arabic so the following is my humble translation, and the links provided are added by me or your enjoyment. I hope I have been able to do justice to her words.
There is news that leave in its trail more question marks than answers on what is happening and the causes of what has been happening for years.
Following the confirmation of Abu Musab Al-Zarquawi’s killing, for example, the comment regarding his image was as if he was moving around in the country “free to do as he wishes, as if there was no satellite reconnaissance equipment to track every incoming signal, and to relay a clear photo of what is going on the ground”.
The unavoidable question to the human mind is weren’t these satellites present throughout all these years? Couldn’t he have been caught a while ago? Or does the timing carry its own calculations which are also part of the political, military or economic goals?
Moreover , the timing has been the most important factor during the past week in provoking a scandal about the Haditha butchery - which took place months before, and which was one of the dozens or hundreds of massacres committed against innocent civilian Iraqis .These Iraqis that find themselves stuck between the circus of Saddam’s trial and the death squads that are roaming their cities and villages reaping thousands of lives without counting and without anyone stopping to ask themselves the most important and essential question: who is doing the sectarian killings ? And who is targeting the Iraq scientists, doctors and experts? Is it correct that it is difficult to delve deeply into these questions? Or is the timing again unsuitable today!
Political aims may once more dictate eliciting some queries regarding the crimes but not out of respect for the victims, rather to shield themselves from electoral dangers or in the hope of improving one’s image and absorbing the resentment or to gain some party rounds or to prove a statement and deny another one.
The news that has reached us about Haditha does not suggest that much “respect” for the human life in Iraq. For example [we hear such statements as] “Officers have been relieved of their duties after the killing of 24 Iraqis”, or “Bush’s popularity will not be affected by the massacre”. Yet all the reports indicate that the US military in Iraq has been acting as they wish in the villages and cities, handling things as they see fit without any ethical rules or codes. It is painful to read now and after 3 years of butchery in Iraq that orders have been issued to “give US forces ethical lessons after the killing of Iraqi civilians”. Who knows how many massacres have been carried out in Iraq; the wedding in Qaem, Fallujah, Baqubba, explosions in mosques and churches whose sanctity has never been violated in the history of Iraq , to the torture and drowning of [some] Iraqi young men which was caught coincidently on tape , the killing of pregnant women, and media people ( male and female) being but a few.
The reason for the sudden move to research the causes of the Haditha massacre could be what the US retired officer Barry Mc Caffrey [Mcferry (x)wrong spelling thanks Mitchell ]-who played a leading role in the war on Iraq - said to the Time magazine that “our forces cannot continue in this way, and I’m afraid that the American people have started to give up on this war”.( if anyone has a link about this guy show me ) This could be at the core of the timing in the investigation of the Haditha massacre and the getting rid off of Zarqawi; to project an image of ethical observance and military victory to an American audience dominated by anti –war feelings. A war which has demonstrated that it was cruel/unjust and tragic with respect to a people, a country, an identity and history. Three years of haphazard killing in Iraq requires three years of investigation and inquiry without forgetting that the principal responsibility lies with those who have waged an illegal war unto a safe country [where there was no terrorism] for reasons later proved to be untrue. So what are the ‘real’ reasons behind the war on Iraq? This is the question we should be asking today rather than choosing a tiny detail from the thousands of details that deserve investigation, study and allocating the blame to those who should be held accountable for it. Could the Haditha or Ishaqi massacre (apparently the soldiers have been cleared here )and others become a point of change in the history of war on Iraq similarly to the My Lai butchery in Vietnam?
If the aim was [simply] a new policy towards the victims of war on Iraq and not limited to Iraqis only, the Haditha investigation would not have come out at the same time as a decision by the Pentagon to drop an article from the Geneva Convention explicitly referring to the banning of “humiliating and degrading of prisoners”. Some sources have stated that US policy may have to forego in some cases “ the holding on to standards of International Human rights” .This took place also at the same time that dozens of Guantanamo inmates were stopped in their hunger strike while 18 others are still pursuing it. This coincides with the report by Dick Marty, Head of the Council of Europe Committee for the Legal affairs and Human Rights which accuses Washington of following a totally foreign legal path procedure than Europe by arranging to transport “suspects” to illegal locations.; whereby 14 European countries have cooperated with the US secret service to transport these prisoners between the countries and camps. Marty called this operation a “ global spider's web, that transports suspects and treats them as criminals using tactics and techniques that had to be developed in response to new threats of war ". These events were concomitant with the British police’s raid on [some] Muslims’ houses in East London which resulted in the arrest of two brothers after one of them was injured with a bullet by the police. The British police’s raid did not result in any evidence of conspiracy for chemical attack ( which was the reason the police stated for the raid) .The question is then , who brought this false intelligence information to the London police about these Muslims? Who is fermenting distrust/suspicion between the countries where Muslims live and the Muslim communities [there]? At the same time of the East London raid (which belied the intelligence reports) a mosque in Toronto ( Canada) has been vandalized in the backdrop of the arrest of youths “ suspected to be preparing a series of terrorist attacks” as per the announcement of the civil police. Their crime: going regularly for prayers at the mosque. Family members of the suspects have stressed that the motive for such allegations are the suspicions harboured towards Muslims and expressed their confidence that the investigation will not bring up anything because the aim of this operation is to incite hatred towards Muslim communities, just as Scotland Yard had discovered that it has used wrong reports for its raid! (I think that the story maybe different now please so check here Mad Canuck here ). All this took place at the same time that John Updike has published his new novel “Terrorist” whose main character is an Arab American young man! (thanks Hannibal )
Is it only a coincidence that the war on Iraq has been waged as a result of false reports on WMD, and that Muslim communities are subject to McCarthyan inspection campaigns in all parts of the world as a result of information about ‘suspects’ which investigations later prove in most cases to have been lies? Moreover, who are the sources that have informed Washington of the Toronto operation before it took place?Are they the same sources which have informed about the WMD in Iraq? Or the same sources who have created the justifications for the new immigration law in France that makes the road to the Elysée paved with the misery of Muslims in France? In the wake of all this we read a side story basically stating that 3 British soldiers have been cleared of killing an Iraqi young man by throwing him in the river and therefore causing him to drown in front of witnesses.
Further to all these events, trust in Western laws and courts with regards to Muslim lives and their honour can no longer be upheld.
The reality in Haditha, Ishaqi, London, Toronto and Washington is that there are parties which have transformed all Muslims into suspects and have desecrated their cities, lives and honour. These [people] carry out from time to time cosmetic surgeries such as looking into the Haditha massacre for political reasons unrelated to the victims whilst the Laws in the West continue to be issued to stoke the fires of hatred against Arabs and Muslims in the West and to consider them all as suspects therefore justifying campaigns of police raid and incarceration against them, and creating an international network of cooperation against them. So has the Law in the West now turned into one that rules on expulsing, imprisoning, arresting and at times deliberate killing of suspects before directing one single question to them ?Or is this law specific to Arab and Muslims only ?If this is the case then, should we not call everything that we are witnessing and living : the neo racism against Arabs and Muslims. One whose goals can be summarized as per the proposal of Israeli General Geyor Eiland namely to create a Palestinian state which would expand on Egyptian and Jordanian lands. Also, does this mean that the aim for the war on Iraq was swallowing Palestine and consigning the victims of this war and the previous wars to the place of suspects everywhere to prevent international public opinion from dealing with them and listening to their opinions which would totally alter the common understanding about them [ the Arabs & Muslims] . Could the point of the discussion on Haditha simply be a cosmetic improvement of the picture and to gain another round in the real war now taking place against Arabs and Muslims in the East and the West?”.