Thursday, May 18, 2006

Human rights (I)


I believe that Iraqis are lucky to have the Americans in their country. One of the benefits of having them in Iraq is to enforce human rights. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference Nov. 29 with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld,

"It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it."

Turning to Pace, Rumsfeld responded:

"I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it's to report it."

For me, as an Iraqi looking forward to a better future, whether the Americans intervene directly or keep a continuous pressure on the Iraqi authorities to adhere to human rights regulations, the most important thing is to maintain an atmosphere of protecting creative Iraqis. These will boost new way of thinking. One of the stark images of oppression, nowadays, is the almost daily killing of journalists. For this, our media is not completely free to say everything. Any journalist has to create his own self censorship to avoid saying a word that might irritate an influential figure or a terrorist.
Iraqi media is still unqualified to take its assumed role of monitoring and pinpointing faults in different fields. Till it happens, I think that international media of free world have to intervene in the Iraqi live and reveal issues that Iraqi media cannot speak about. Every Iraqi is a death nominee, so a journalist has to take the risk of doubling his nomination. Not every journalist is ready to do so and if there is any, hush-hush money can keep them silent.
Even those, who are working to institute a new era of respecting human rights, are vulnerable. The Iraqi official familiar with the joint U.S.-Iraqi inspections of detention centers is described by the Washington Post as:
“the Iraqi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because, he said, he and other Iraqis involved with inspections had received death threats.”
The Americans seem to be intimidated by Iraqi officials as the Washington Post states:
"After the Nov. 13 disclosures, the highest-ranking U.S. officials in Iraq -- Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. -- issued rare public rebukes to their Iraqi government allies."
And
"Khalilzad's calls to rein in Shiite security forces and militias have put him on increasingly prickly terms with some members of Iraq's governing coalition of Shiite religious parties."

After Ambassador Khalilzad had made notes about the ING & IP performance, and the necessity to nominate nonsectarian ministers to the defense & interior ministries, lot of offensive banners could be seen in different places of Baghdad describing Khalilzad as a Taliban sympathizer.
I go with:
"I want them to do what General Pace said," the Iraqi official said. Interior Ministry forces and allied Shiite militias have become more adept at hiding detainees and they kidnap victims from inspectors, he said. Iraqis "are looking for some of the Americans to do the right thing," he added. "Don't be intimidated by the Iraqi politicians."
As for becoming "more adept at hiding detainees", I heard once such a story from an Iraqi police officer who is, ironically, a Sunni. He was complaining of the Americans who keep on releasing detainees from the Iraqi's custody. To avoid releasing the most dangerous detainees, they put them in police cars under their feet so the Americans won't notice them and send these cars to tour the streets till the American inspectors end their raid. I argued for the American inspection. I told him it is a good way to urge you, Iraqi investigators, to follow lawful procedure. It is the best way to protect innocents from being detained for endless time. He confirmed that they gather each day at the judge office to issue warrants for the detainees to avoid releasing them by the Americans.
To be continued…

4 Comments:

Anonymous Nick said...

That's funny you say that because I just read a post from an American soldier who was complaining that the judges in Iraq are the ones letting the terrorists go free after the soldiers risk their lives to capture them.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Luv2Box said...

Interesting viewpoint. It is nice to hear that the people of Iraq are grateful to all our troops are doing over there. They are making so many sacrifices in the name of freedom!

5:17 AM  
Blogger Lola said...

I appreciate your point of view and understand your situation - I am sorry you have lost such liberties as free speech. This makes me proud to be in a country where our Media can speak freely without fear of retaliation (and they definitely take advantage of this freedom). I believe these freedoms are near for the Iraqi people and this further proves we need to stay the course and continue our mission there. I also realize every one there is fighting a difficult war against these insurgents who fight with dirty tactics but I believe progress is being made. Thank you and keep up the informative posts.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the current state of affairs, it's refreshing to read a few opinions IN SUPPORT of what our troops are doing in Iraq. I'm don't blame the media for bringing to light all of the bad things that happen... bad news makes better headlines. But it does annoy me that few good deeds or even positive points of view are broadcast alongside the bad reports.

Thanks for this well-written article!

3:42 PM  

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