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U.S. Begins Rounding Up Iraqi Civilians

by C/O Diogenes Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:35 AM

The War Of Terror enters a new stage as the Invading Occupation forces of the Bush Junta begin preparations to round up "suspicious" civilians in their new Oil Patch (Formerly Iraq).



US forces rounding up Iraqi civilians
April 3, 2003 - By Henry Michaels of wsws.org
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Confronting mass resistance by Iraq’s people, US forces have begun rounding Iraqi civilians on the flimsiest of pretexts. More than 300 men and women in civilian clothes have already been detained, and on April 1 the Pentagon issued far-reaching guidelines authorizing troops to arrest civilians who “interfere with mission accomplishment” and hold them for up to 30 days. President Bush also authorized soldiers to use teargas in Iraq—this a likely preparation for subduing civilian unrest.

Some of the civilians have been detained simply for appearing to be well-fed, according to interviews given by US officers to American newspapers.

Military officers have declared that such detainees are likely to be labeled as “terrorists” or “unlawful combatants,” denied prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions and shipped off to the illegal detention and interrogation camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have condemned the plan, whereby Iraqi prisoners would join 660 detainees from Afghanistan who are being held indefinitely without trial in tiny isolation cells in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

The civilian roundup marks a new stage in a war of terror being conducted against the Iraqi population. From the statements made by senior US officers to the Washington Post and the San Jose Mercury News, the new Rules of Engagement for detaining Iraqi civilians are reminiscent of the methods employed by the Nazi military in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Having caused widespread hunger and thirst by cutting off food and water supplies and laying siege to Iraqi cities, the Pentagon has given Allied soldiers a green light to capture—or kill—anyone who appears able bodied and well fed.

According to the Mercury News: “Two US officers said the decision to detain suspicious civilians came after Marines began noticing young, well-fed civilians with military boots, short haircuts and nice watches dawdling in unusual places.... Troops from 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit first noticed them in the southeastern port of Umm Qasr, and later the Marines of Task Force Tarawa saw them in An-Nasiriyah.”

The newspaper said the roundup of suspect civilians signaled a change in the Pentagon’s Rules of Engagement (ROE) for the Iraq campaign. “All this nice guy ROE, that’s going out the window,’’ one senior Marine officer told the Mercury News. “We’re going to have to expand the ROE a bit.’’

The Pentagon has prohibited “embedded” reporters from describing the ROE. But Lieutenant Colonel Scott E. Rutter, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, whose soldiers died in a recent suicide bomb attack, characterized the new rules for opening fire on civilians as follows: “Five seconds. They have five seconds to turn around and get out of here. If they’re there in five seconds, they’re dead.’’

The report in the Washington Post was not much different. “Seeing young, healthy males in the middle of a firefight makes you wonder what they’re doing there,” a senior officer told the newspaper. “They’re the only well-fed Iraqis in the area.”

“These are bad guys and it would be insane to let them roam the battlefield,” the unnamed officer said.

The Post said the roundups were “part of a shift to unconventional warfare by US commanders” in response to hit-and-run attacks launched by Fedayeen and Baath Party militias on overstretched US supply lines. US officers declared that the guerrilla tactics adopted by the militias and their supporters had left the US-British forces with no choice but to change the rules of the war.

In recent days, President Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Pentagon officials have sought to justify the civilian roundups by demonizing Iraqi resistance fighters as “death squads,” “terror squads,” “terror cells” and members of “terroristic behaving organizations”. The American media—and soldiers in the field—have been fed unsubstantiated rumors about civilians being used as “human shields” and American soldiers being tortured and executed.

While a Pentagon official said “there currently is no plan” to send Iraqi detainees to Cuba, civilian “suspects” are already being segregated from Iraqi prisoners of war. Officers said they would be treated like POWs, “but without official status,” until a hearing was held under Article 5 of the Geneva Conventions to determine their status.

Any who were determined to have violated the international covenants of war would be declared illegal combatants and sent to Guantanamo Bay or other holding facilities, to be detained with Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan, military officers said. “That guy’s going to get the full treatment,” a senior officer said.

While the officer said military lawyers were trying to decide how to hold the hearings—“we’re still figuring this out, because we thought we’d have mass surrenders, not this crap”—any summary military hearing will violate Article 5 of the Convention. It specifies that disputed status must be determined by a “competent tribunal.”

Contrary to reports in the US media, Article 5 does not state that military personnel lose their POW rights if they are not in uniform. In fact, Article 4 of the Convention defines POWs to include “members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of armed forces” as well as “organized resistance movements” and inhabitants who “spontaneously take up arms to resist invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units.”

Newspapers in London have reported that British generals are furiously opposing the US plan because it will undermine their war propaganda. “They fear it will shatter any attempt to convince the Iraqi people that the coalition is a liberating army,” the Mirror reported. “They also fear Iraqis, faced with a choice between ‘winning, death or Guantanamo Bay’, will fight harder against coalition forces.”

Reflecting these concerns, the British government has declared its preference for abiding by the Geneva Conventions, while confirming that Iraqi “paramilitaries” are being segregated from POWs and could be sent to Guantanamo Bay. Air Marshal Brian Burridge, commander of the British forces in Qatar, has said he would prefer plainclothes fighters, paramilitaries and Fedayeen to be prosecuted for war crimes, possibly through the new International Criminal Court (ICC). The obvious difficulty with that proposal is that Washington refuses to recognize the authority of the ICC.

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed that anyone captured in a war zone, whether in military uniform or civilian clothes, had to be treated as a POW under the Geneva Conventions. He said that paramilitaries had the same rights under the Conventions and should be identified as POWs so that they could be formally registered and interviewed by the ICRC.

The ICRC has started to register the more than 8,300 Iraqis being held as POWs by the US and Britain, starting with a camp holding 3,000 prisoners near the southern town of Umm Qasr. In line with its standard practice, the ICRC will not comment publicly on the treatment or conditions of detention, but there are other indications that Iraqi detainees are being mistreated and interrogated, in breach of the Conventions.

Television footage Monday showed prisoners being roughly bundled into trucks, hooded and handcuffed like the Guantanamo Bay detainees. A USA Today reporter on the spot observed prisoners being manhandled, humiliated and taunted:

“The Marines put gray hoods over the Iraqis’ heads and herded them together. Guards wearing rubber gloves bound the prisoners’ hands behind their backs with plastic packing ribbon, clasped numbered identification tags to their shirts and led them to the trucks...

“It was easy Monday to imagine the blinded prisoners fearing execution as they were led to the trucks. Some were forced to kneel while trucks were prepared. Some of their hands trembled from either morning chill or fear...

“About one of every 10 prisoners in Monday’s group wore camouflage, a signal to the Marines that they might be members of President Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard. Their minders threw the camouflaged POWs on their bellies into the back of the trucks, sat on them, then quickly tied their feet with more plastic packing ribbon.

“‘Move over,’ one guard barked from a truck bed, using his boot to nudge his prisoners into a tight row. ‘You comfortable?’ another guard mocked to prisoners who knew little if any English. ‘Do you need anything? Maybe some beer and peanuts?’

“There wasn’t time to interrogate this crew, so they’ll be questioned at length when they arrive at the larger holding area.”

This last reference suggests that prisoners are being interrogated for protracted periods, in violation of Articles 17 and 18 of the Geneva Convention, which provide that prisoners need only give their name, date of birth and serial number. Article 18 states: “No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.”

In another indication that US-led forces are flouting the rules of war, the US Central Command spokesman in Qatar, Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks, told a briefing that Iraqi prisoners of war were providing “helpful” intelligence.
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A kinder and Gentler...

by Diogenes Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:38 AM

..."Compassionate Conservative" begins the Gestapo phase of Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL).
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OneEyedMan

by KPC Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:39 AM

...papers please....
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Simple

by Simple Simon Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:40 AM

My what a truckload of excrement. However did you swallow it all, Diogenes?
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Another Anti- American Website

by Skinner Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:44 AM

Another Anti- Americ...
world_socialist.gif, image/png, 600x100

wsws.org is World Socialist Web Site= Bring down America Agenda!
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Simple Simon

by Eric Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:45 AM

No, I did. It tasted great.
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Skinner

by Emile Zola Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:46 AM

Hey Skinner, make sure you look under your bed tonight before you go to sleep. There might be a socialist hiding there!
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OneEyedMan

by KPC Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:48 AM

...yes, judging by the overwhelming compassion displayed by our Republican guests here, who could imagine such a thing happening? It must all be communist propaganda....

...stupid fuckin' douchebags....
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Zola

by Skinner Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:48 AM

Not worried, I put them out with the trash.
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Notice in Skinners...

by Diogenes Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:50 AM

...brain dead spam that he does not dispute the accuracy of the article. He attempts to discredit the source - a variation of the ad-hominem attack.

He has no facts so he resorts to trying to convince you not to look.

So, how does that add credibility to his position of "killem' all"?

It doesn't.

As usualy he is morally bankrupt and dishonest. A born cretin.
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Skinner's trash

by Emile Zola Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:51 AM

Oh, yeah, put 'em out with the trash. Is that what you did with your brain? It sure does seem like it!
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EXCUSE ME...BUT....

by Peace Person Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:54 AM

What is the deal here? I am so tired of seeing people calling peace subversive because a left wing organization supports it.

Get a clue:

The Pope also supports Peace - does that make it a Catholic movement?

Many elected officials support Peace - does that make it a govenmental movement?

Many Republicans support Peace - does that make it a Republican Party movement?

Many Democrats support Peace - does that make it a Democratic Party movement?

Many students support Peace - does that make it a scholastic movement?

Many people 55+ support Peace - does that make it a Retirement movement?

Many mothers support Peace - does that make it a Maternal movement?

Etc, etc., ect.......

So....when people label the Peace Movement and its supporters are "subversive" because the Socialists support Peace, you got your logic bass ackwards. OK? They are NOT the Peace movement itself. They are supporters of the movement.

Get a clue. Just because a certain group, person or organization comes out in favor of a certain issue does NOT make it totally colored and controlled by the same.

Your logic stinks.
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Peace Person

by Skinner Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 9:58 AM

If my logic stinks, it is most likely because I have my head up my ass.
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Simple

by Simple Simon Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 2:22 PM

"Peace" Person, your argument is specious.

The big rallies being held in the United States are being paid for by Communist and Socialist parties. Your personal reasons for being there don't change the fact that the demonstrations themselves are bought and paid for by the Communists.

The Nazis held huge rallies in Nuremburg. Now I'm sure a lot attending did so out of national pride, or because they really liked to dress up in leather, but in the end it was A. Hitler paying the bills, so guess who's views got across?

The idea that you want peace means what, exactly?

An absence of war? When has that ever occurred in your lifetime? And what have you done to bring this peace to realization?

No, what you mean is you want "Peace". You want the United States to leave Saddam Hussein alone.

You want the United States to never use it's armed forces.

Now, you're not so concerned about the peace that Saddam gives his own citizens. Or the peace that Kim Jong Il provides his. Or that Castro provides his.

No, the fact that these animals torture, mutilate and murder means nothing to you. The screams and cries of the dying don't disturb your "Peace".
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something smells

by mom knows all about you Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 3:00 PM

oh-oh time to change Simon's diapers!
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Or a mint maybe

by Pissed Off in Ohio Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 3:10 PM

Spewing crap out ones mouth all day, as simon here is prone to do, must certainly be murder on breath.

OHHHH SHIT hey if psimons breath was considered a biological weapon of mass destruction, could we MOAB his punk ass?!?!? YEAH!!!!

Hell yes that would be so sweet.
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Simple

by Simple Simon Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 3:11 PM

You got anything to say, Springfield?

Or are you just going to continue to let your anus do the typing?
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the smell of death

by Death priest 101 Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 3:15 PM

stinky boys play with stinky toys.
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OneEyedMan

by KPC Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 4:52 PM

Fido: "Your personal reasons for being there don't change the fact that the demonstrations themselves are bought and paid for by the Communists."

....and I'm still waiting for my check!
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KPC

by Diogenes Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:20 PM

Whenever we liberals have nothing intelligent to say or add to the conversation, which is 100% of the time, we often make unsubstantiated allegations regarding the reason the US went into Iraq and outwardly disassociate ourselves with communist and socialist organizations which organize rallys we attend because we can't let the cat out of the bag about how much we love the idea of a world run by people like Stalin.
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oh well

by lancer Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:25 PM

I was hoping to read something from Diogenes and all I get
is the moron, again....
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lancer

by Diogenes Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:27 PM

It's really me! I am a moron!!
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oh jess...

by JA Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:28 PM

And we are all believing you.
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Of Hope and Peace and Love

by my heart sings Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:29 PM

Life is precious to us all on this journey
Inside all of us a love that gives exists
Brevity of life demands we find our inner peace
Everyone must do their part for their fellowman
Remember those who have gone on before
Always caring for others before self
Love that had no beginning and no end
Sharing truth with those around us
Always pressing onward towards tomorrow
Reflecting on the peace we strive onward
Ever inching closer to our goal
Simply wanting a better world for our children
Others may jeer and jest at our motives
Saying things to tear and break us down
Truth cannot be quiet
Upon the mountains and in the valleys we shout
Peace to all and love for all mankind
Inside us all is love’s abounding message
Deliver us all to hope and peace and love.
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.

by jon Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:37 PM

An angel's smile is what you sell
You promise me heaven, then put me through hell
Chains of love got a hold on me
When passion's a prison, you can't break free

You're a loaded gun
There's nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done

[Chorus:]
Shot through the heart
And you're to blame
You give love a bad name
I play my part and you play your game
You give love a bad name
You give love a bad name

Paint your smile on your lips
Blood red nails on your fingertips
A school boy's dream, you act so shy
Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye

You're a loaded gun
There's nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done

[Chorus]
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.

by paul Friday, Apr. 04, 2003 at 5:42 PM

Why don't we do it in the road?
No one will be watching us.
Why don't we do it in the road?
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