Today, hundreds of Moqtada Al Sadrs Mahdi Army tried to stage a 'coup' in Basrah. They got their ass's whipped out of town…
Seems your guys have been giving him so much heat in Najaf he tried to make a grab in Basrah…
And as regards the 'prisoner pictures'… stay calm guys, it's starting to drop off the radar screen this side of the pond, and the anti liberal backlash is starting to kick in over here. Public and the papers are starting to get pretty pissed at the troops being rubbished by the anti's.
thanks for the good news!
That is great news! Thank you!
Thank goodness for some good news.
However with more pictures coming out soon I doubt the prisoner abuse thing will die any time soon.
Trouble is your Gov is scoring 'own goals' now. If the admistration just made a bland 'we will investigate and prosecute if neccessary' statement and said nothing more on the subject, like our Gov did, it will just run out of steam.
Thanks for the news Andy!
This made me feel a lot better about the abuse scandal. An Iraqi talks to his friend about Abu Gharib prison. The friend was a doctor in the prison both under Saddam and today under US control
Yesterday a friend of mine, who’s also a doctor, visited us. After chatting about old memories, I asked him about his opinions on the current situations in Iraq. I’ve always known this friend to be apathetic when it comes to politics, even if it means what’s happening in Iraq. It was obvious that he hadn’t change and didn’t show any interest in going deep into this conversation. However when I asked him about his opinion on GWB response to the prisoners’ abuse issue, I was surprised to see him show anger and disgust as he said:
- This whole thing makes me sick.
- Why is that?! I asked.
- These thugs are treated much better than what they really deserve!
- What are you saying!? You can’t possibly think that this didn’t happen! And they’re still human beings, and there could be some innocents among them.
- Of course it happened, and I’m not talking about all the prisoners nor do I support these actions, and there could be some innocents among them, but I doubt it.
- Then why do you say such a thing?
- Because these events have taken more attention than they should.
- I agree but there should be an investigation on this. There are other pictures that were shown lately, and there are talks about others that will be shown in the near future.
- Yes, but what happened cannot represent more than 1% of the truth.
- Oh I really hope there would be no more than that.
- No, that’s not what I meant. What I’m saying is that these events are the exception and not the rule.
- How do you know that!? I must say I agree with your presumption, but I don’t have a proof, and I never thought you’d be interested in such issue!
- I was there for a whole month!
- In Abu-Gharib!? What were you doing there!?
- It was part of my training! Did you forget that!? I know you skipped that at Saddam’s time, but how could you forget that?
- Yes, but I thought that with the American troops there, the system must have been changed.
-No it’s still the same. We still have to do a month there.
-So tell me what did you see there? How’s the situation of the prisoners? Did you see any abuse? Do they get proper medical care? (I was excited to see someone who was actually there, and he was a friend!)
- Hey, slow down! I’ll tell you what I know. First of all, the prisoners are divided into two groups; the ordinary criminals and the political ones. I used to visit the ordinary criminals during every shift, and after that, the guards would bring anyone who has a complaint to me at the prison’s hospital.
- What about the “political” ones?
- I’m not allowed to go to their camps, but when one of them feels ill, the guards bring him to me.
- Are the guards all Americans?
- No, the American soldiers with the IP watch over and take care of the ordinary criminals, but no one except the Americans is allowed to get near the political ones
- How are the medical supplies in the prison?
- Not very great, but certainly better from what it was on Saddam’s times. However my work is mainly at night, but in the morning the supplies are usually better.
- How many doctors, beside you, were there?
- There was an American doctor, who’s always their (His name is Eric, a very nice guy, he and I became friends very fast), and other Iraqi doctors with whom I shared the work, and in the morning, there are always some Iraqi senior doctors; surgeons, physicians…etc.
-Why do you say they are very well treated?
- They are fed much better than they get at their homes. I mean they eat the same stuff we eat, and it’s pretty good; eggs, cheese, milk and tea, meat, bread and vegetables, everything! And that happened every day, and a good quality too.
-Are they allowed to smoke? (I asked this because at Saddam’s times, it was a crime to smoke in prison and anyone caught while doing this would be punished severely).
- Yes, but they are given only two cigarettes every day.
- What else? How often are they allowed to take a bath? (This may sound strange to some people, but my friend understood my question. We knew from those who spent sometime in Saddam’s prisons, and survived, that they were allowed to take a shower only once every 2-3 weeks.)
- Anytime they want! There are bathrooms next to each hall.
- Is it the same with the “political” prisoners?
- I never went there, but I suppose it’s the same because they were always clean when they came to the hospital, and their clothes were always clean too.
-How often do they shave? (I remember a friend who spent 45 days in prison at Saddam’s times had told me that the guards would inspect their beards every day to see if they were shaved properly, and those who were not, would be punished according to the guards’ mood. He also told me that they were of course not allowed to have any shaving razors or machines and would face an even worse punishment in case they found some of these on one of the prisoners. So basically all the prisoners had to smuggle razors, which cost a lot, shave in secrecy and then get rid of the razor immediately! That friend wasn’t even a political prisoner; he was arrested for having a satellite receiver dish in his house!)
- I’m not sure, from what I saw, it seemed that there was a barber visiting them frequently, because they had different hair cuts, some of them shaved their beards others kept them or left what was on their chins only. I mean it seemed that they had the haircut they desired!
-Yes but what about the way they are treated? And how did you find American soldiers in general?
- I’ll tell you about that; first let me tell you that I was surprised with their politeness. Whenever they come to the hospital, they would take of their helmets and show great respect and they either call me Sir or doctor. As for the way they treat the prisoners, they never handcuff anyone of those, political or else, when they bring them for examination and treatment unless I ask them to do so if I know that a particular prisoner is aggressive, and I never saw them beat a prisoner and rarely did one of them use an offensive language with a prisoner.
One of those times, a member of the American MP brought one of the prisoners, who was complaining from a headache, but when I tried to take history from him he said to me “doctor, I had a problem with my partner (he was a homosexual) I’m not Ok and I need a morphine or at least a valium injection” when I told him I can’t do that, he was outraged, swore at me and at the Americans and threatened me. I told the soldier about that, and he said “Ok Sir, just please translate to him what I’m going to say”. I agreed and he said to him “I want you to apologize to the doctor and I want your word as a man that you’ll behave and will never say such things again” and the convict told him he has his word!!
It seems that we are using similar tactics against al Sadr and his militia as the Marines successfully used to neutralize the Fallujah uprising.
The photos thing has allowed the media to ignore that Fallujah is still firmly under US control and that the fighting has almost completely stopped. Although it is not possible to tell if they simply ran out of jihadists, or they snuck out to Syria, or if they just went back underground and are going to pop up again in June.