Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ghaith's Return to Iraq

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad recently returned to Iraq to cover the referendum vote. Working connections, it seems, that he had made back when he embedded with and reported on the insurgents fighting last year in Najaf, Ghaith this time spent five days with insurgents around the time of the referendum vote.

Ghaith offers the reader an inside view on the kind of people that make up the "insurgency," the focus of the article being one named Abu Theel. After finishing at the Institute for Security Services (Thug U), Abu Theel joined Saddam's Goon Squads and then got angry at the Iraqi government when the Iraqi military was eviscerated in the first Gulf War. He took four years off from distributing the Ba'athist-approved car-battery "electric shock therapy" on "difficult" Iraqis in order to enter an Islamic religious school.

Then he went back to his old job, working daily at terrorizing Iraqi citizens, killing families Saddam suspected of disloyalty and burning cigarettes on and attaching jumper-cables to uncooperative subjects. "When his leave was up," Ghaith Abdul-Ahad writes, "he went back to his job at General Security, one of Hussein's feared security agencies. Abu Theeb said he stayed until U.S. troops captured the capital in 2003." Abu Theel, like so many Iraqi he-men, didn't actually fight against the Americans rolling into Baghdad. He simply seethed with impotent (indeed) rage and later joined up with other Arab and Muslim he-men to work on hiding from American forces and setting off IEDs. This is how Abu Theel and the others are upholding ARAB HONOR.

These same "insurgents" helped with the referendum vote. Here's democracy in action in the hands of someone like Abu Theel:
By midday, as the flow of voters slowed, Abu Theeb's men decided to chuck the formalities as well.

Setting a ginger-bearded man at his own table, they assigned him the task of checking "no" boxes on all the ballots they could find. As they exhausted the ballots of the village's 1,500 registered voters, they telephoned Baghdad for 20,000 more ballots. Government officials sent over about 5,000.


This one is for Niki Akhavan. Take a look at these photographs of what they do in Iran when they find an 8-year-old stealing a loaf of bread.

Scroll down and see what happens to the boy's arm.

An 8-year-old Iranian boy found stealing a loaf of bread.


UPDATE: I've just finished reading six pages of comments over at Bareknuckledpolitics on the issue of the 8-year-old Iranian boy and I have to admit I have NO idea what the truth is. But, at the same time, I must say it was interesting to read all the responses on the subject. I recommend taking a look at them. The Iranians are on the defensive and their comments range from ugly, uglier, to ugliest.

As for the winner of the Unwittingly Damning Thyself Award, that goes to Mohammed:
I'm an Iranian and I've seen these pictures in a report in a local newspaper before.

It's not a 'punishment' or anything like that. If it was a punishment they wouldn't put the soft thing under the boy's arm.
If it were REAL punishment, says Mohammed, the kid wouldn't get the towel.

All righty, then. I guess we don't have a problem here, do we?


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