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Dystopia -- an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives

Iraq is in a state of primal anarchy.

So says journalist Patrick Cockburn. The evidence is abundant.

ITEM: The Iraqi state and much of society have been criminalised. Gangs of gunmen are often described on state television as "wearing police uniforms" . One senior Iraqi minister laughed as he told The Independent: " Of course they wear police uniforms. They are real policemen."

ITEM:  ``Detainees' bodies show signs of beating using electrical cables, wounds in different parts of their bodies including in the head and genitals, broken bones of legs and hands, electric and cigarette burns,'' the human rights office of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq said in a new report. ... Bodies found in the Baghdad morgue ``often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns, missing skin, broken bones back, hands and legs, missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails,'' it said.

ITEM: Iraqi insurgents are no longer using just volunteers as suicide car bombers but are instead kidnapping drivers, rigging their vehicles with explosives and blowing them up, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

ITEM: BAGHDAD, Iraq -The brazen heist in downtown Baghdad began when about 15 armed men in Iraqi military uniforms pulled up in three pickup trucks outside a Rafidain Bank branch in the commercial neighborhood of Karrada. ... The robbery, witnessed by an Associated Press reporter from a passing bus, came as widespread lawlessness swept the capital Thursday with kidnappings, deadly attacks on police and the discovery of more mutilated death squad victims.

ITEM: One US Army major was quoted as saying that Baghdad is now a Hobbesian world where everybody is at war with everybody else and the only protection is self-protection.

ITEM: For several days this month, the main road between Baghdad and Basra was closed because two families were fighting over ownership of an oilfield.

ITEM: In Baghdad this month, a television crew filming the morgue had to cower behind a wall because the Shia guards were fighting a gun battle with the Sunni guards of the Electricity Ministry near by.

ITEM: A report by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq's Human Rights "cited worrying evidence of torture, unlawful detentions, growth of sectarian militias and death squads, and a rise in 'honor killings' of women." Mr. Nowak had not visited Iraq, saying it was too dangerous to collect evidence, but cited interviews with sources in Iraq, Jordan and other areas in the region.

ITEM: Gunmen opened fire on Sunni mosques and homes in a religiously mixed Baghdad neighborhood Friday, killing four people in an attack that drew the condemnation of Sunni leaders across the city. ... Lieutenant-Colonel William Brown, an intelligence officer who monitors the militias in east Baghdad, estimated that Shiite groups raised at least $US1 million a day through organised crime. The money came from "kidnappings, extortion, blackmarketeering and blackmail", Colonel Brown said.

ITEM: Thousands of Iraqis have been kidnapped since the overthrow of Saddam. Payments of $US50,000 are routinely demanded and paid. Many people are killed even after the ransom is paid.

ITEM: Iraqis arriving from Cairo, Amman or Dubai book the window seats on the left. For good reason. It's the best place to endure the hair-raising nose-dive towards terra firma: keeping your eyes glued to the horizon helps stave off the nausea. In a maneuver known as "the corkscrew," the pilot banks the plane steeply to the left. Fifteen minutes and several thousand feet later, the aircraft finally levels off and prepares to land: conversation stops as the centrifugal forces hit passengers in the stomach. The downward spiral into Baghdad seems to last an eternity.

ITEM: Tranquilizers and antidepressants feature on most prescriptions, even for patients with sprained joints. "A large portion of Baghdad's adult population is on tranquilizers. Valium and Lorazepam are the most common," he says. "We lie awake every night, with the same thought running through our minds: no matter how bad today was, tomorrow is sure to be worse."

ITEM: NASSIRIYA -- Italy, the last major Western European ally of the United States and Britain in Iraq, ended its mission on Thursday, handing the province under its control over to Iraqi troops. ... One Italian soldier died in a road accident during a patrol just hours before the handover of Dhi Qar province, bringing a bitter end to a mission deeply unpopular in Italy.


I was still looking at the wounded man and blaming myself for not stopping to help. Other shoppers peered at him from a distance, sorrowful and compassionate, but did nothing.

I went on to another grocery store, staying for about five minutes while shopping for tomatoes, onions and other vegetables. During that time, the man managed to sit up and wave to passing cars. No one stopped. Then, a white Volkswagen pulled up. A passenger stepped out with a gun, walked steadily to the wounded man and shot him three times. The car took off down a side road and vanished.

No one did anything. No one lifted a finger. The only reaction came from a woman in the grocery store. In a low voice, she said, "My God, bless his soul."

I went home and didn't dare tell my wife. I did not want to frighten her.

Originally posted to quaoar on Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 02:31 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Looks like they succeeded... (10+ / 0-)

    ITEM: One US Army major was quoted as saying that Baghdad is now a Hobbesian world where everybody is at war with everybody else and the only protection is self-protection.

    Wasn't one of the GOP's goals to turn Iraq into a conservative fantasyland, where absolute libertarianism and reliance on market forces would triumph over the bad old centralized government?

    That sure turned out well.

    Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

    by ChicagoDem on Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 02:39:41 PM PDT

    •  BUSH'S Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, Ninepatch

      YEAH, Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau.

      There are differences. Well-paid Death Squads in place of gas chamber and kapo. Baghdad's a "boot up their ass" concentration camp with Big-American-$$$$ flying all over the place.

      This was not an accident. Bush and Bremer and the Pentagon Neo-Cons constructed this "boot up their ass" dystopia step by step.

      1. Eliminate all local, regional, and national police units. Disband the Iraqi army. At the same time leave the prisons unguarded so all of the country's convicted felons are set free.
      1. Allow Saudi Wahhabi to come in and recruit the Sunni soldiers. The reason Bremer gives for this was that he wanted to replace the Ba'athists.

      These Wahhabi are the owner-operators of the "al-Qaeda" brand name worldwide. Prime objhective: killing 1,000,000 Shi'ia according to the al-Zarqawi network. Killing americans got second priority. Duh-oh !

      Looks like the U.S. cash these Wahhabi-al-Qaeda paymaster handed out had arrived in-country as plastic wrapped $100,000 "footballs" straight from the U.S. Mint. Went from U.S. officials one way or another to the Wahhabi al-Qaeda kill-for-pay system. Same plastic, same fresh $100 bills....

      1. Continuing today the Iraqi government still doesn't have equipment to carry out HEAVY SWAT police operations. The U.S. has prevented access to appropriate vehicles and heavy weapons. Dallas and Houston are better equipped than Baghdad.

      Americans have to lead HEAVY SWAT raids in Baghdad for this one and only reason.

      Rumfuck-the-dumbfuck put the equipment procurement through his bribe-bastards. Purchasing is running 18 months late and climbing.

      Rumfuck-the-dumbfuck managed to turn a $10-million Iraqi vehicle buy to $460-million buy with likely add-ons doubling to $1-billion or so. That's for "Cougar," a decent and expensive SWAT armored car.

      Delay by 18 months at setting up Arabic-fluent SWAT units is what has turned Baghdad into Hell on Earth.

      These SOBs in the DUMBFUCK ADMINISTRATION listened to Toby Keith -- a card-carrying ignoramus -- and went over there to put a boot up their ass.


      That "boot" also includes an Infant Mortality rate above 150 deaths per 1,000 live births, the highest in the world.

      That "boot" includes the rise in overall adult mortality above 250,000 since January 2003. Total collapse of preventative health care and hospitals in urban areas does that.

      May God in His mercy forgive us -- all of America -- for our sins in Iraq.

      We are to blame. We knew they were fascists. We knew they were crooks. We did not stop them.

      Pray for mercy, not justice.

      Jeffersonian Democracy and the Dixie Chicks are America's best answers to fascism.

      by vets74 on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 06:52:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Torture worse than under Saddam (4+ / 0-)

    So says the UN.  Bushco's last standing rationale for going to war in Iraq is that bringing down Saddam made things better for the Iraqi citizens.  So much for that argument.

  •  civil war would be less chaotic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, vets74

    I'm with Bush ... sort of.  

    This ain't civil war, this is civil war + criminality + random violence + ...

    •  Random ? Not with WELL-PAID DEATH SQUADS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zzmarkzz, quaoar

      Money is coming into the country and being diverted from "Coalition" funds to pay the Death Squads.

      Testimony hidden in a Banking Subcommittee tells some basics, along with a wrapper of positive bullshit:

      Saudi Wahhabi money flowing into Iraq

      Don't kid yourself that its random.

      FOLLOW THE MONEY is the first rule for taking down organized crime.

      If we want to shut down this genocide, Bush's Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau, then FOLLOW THE MONEY is the place to start.

      Then we have to very seriously fuck up the people who are paying for this shit.

      Jeffersonian Democracy and the Dixie Chicks are America's best answers to fascism.

      by vets74 on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 07:02:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true about death squads (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My point is that there are many flavors of violence.  The death squads are a manifestation of the civil war.  There are also opportunists using the breakdown in order to commit kidnapping and other crimes.

  •  If we are going to occupy Iraq (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, happy camper, vets74

    we need to do it effectively.  If we are going to let anarchy reign, we may as well quit before any more troops die.  Staying and accomplishing nothing makes no sense.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 03:34:52 PM PDT

  •  PRIMAL anarchy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bhishma, vets74

    wasn't Hobbesian. Maybe it wasn't Eden/primitive Communism, but this is urban anarchy. Primal anarchy wasn't this kind of nightmare. It didn't have population density like this.

  •  I have just awakened, to read this diary and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole, quaoar, vets74

    be reduced to tears.  How can so many American's believe this war is just?  How can we now be at a place where decency and empathy are dead to us?  Where all we can do is read these things and feel helpless to stop them from happening again today?  I feel the pain and hear the screams of those being tortured and dying in unimaginable ways, and attempt to conceive how I would react as an Iraqi woman, or child, going through this every day.  How would I feel about America claiming to have LIBERATED myself and my family?  The horror of putting oneself in their place must just be too much for the average U.S. citizen.  It is easier to just ignore the pure EVIL taking place, and go to the mall, or the game, or lie about in the A/C watching T.V.  It makes me physically ill.  because I am no better.  I am comfortable and safe, at least for now.  How can this be?  Is my life worth more than one of theirs?  I don't believe that it is.

    Those things that hurt, instruct-Benjamin Franklin

    by godislove on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 05:59:11 AM PDT

    •  My Friend-- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jilikins, vets74

      How can so many American's believe this war is just?

      if truth be told, not that many of us believe this "war" is just. in fact, I'm confident the horror show that is Iraq is not even on most people's radar, let alone occupying a significant portion of their thoughts on any given day. this is why this past week's little battle on torture between bu$hco and the "rebel" republican senators was settled rather quickly-- well before the issue could move to the forefront in the MSM and thus cause people to look again at the photos from abu Ghraib and think about what's happened since then.

      "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

      by Superpole on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 06:30:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Again, It's Painfully Clear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, Ninepatch

    unfortunately what has happened in Iraq thanks to bu$hco's gross ignorance and incompetence is balls out take-to-the-mattresses gangsterism.

    we now have various gangs fighting for control of the country and of course the oil.

    bu$hco, the gangstas extraordinaire that illegally attacked and invaded Iraq with the aid of the U.S. Congress, military and treasury, can't let the other gangsters "win" because:

    1.) their bosses, the House of Saud, are in trouble in Saudi Arabia, and at some point are going to need protection from the gangs growing restless in their country.

    2.) all that phat crude oil left in the region could very well come under the control of "radical extremists" (like the ones running Iran right now) if the House of Saud loses control of their country, and if Iraq cannot be controlled by bu$hco and Great Britain.

    BTW, "radical extremists" can be defined as people who either do not want to do business with U.S. oil corporations (members of bu$hco) or who set rules and regulations for doing business which make it less profitable for U.S. corporations to operate profitably in the region.

    "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

    by Superpole on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 06:45:44 AM PDT

  •  Thank goodness (0+ / 0-)
    That someone continues to make it clear that this is an emergency every day that requires our attention everyday.

    At first I thought 9-11 was the last straw. Now I know that fictionalizing it to smear is the ultimate tragedy.

    by niteskolar on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 11:02:28 PM PDT

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