"Police and security units, forces led by Kurdish political parties and backed by the U.S. military, have abducted hundreds of minority [sic: this is highly disputed and is an ill-informed reporting]
Arabs and Turkmens in this intensely volatile city and spirited them to prisons in Kurdish-held northern Iraq, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials, government documents and families of the victims.
Seized off the streets of Kirkuk or in joint U.S.-Iraqi raids, the men have been transferred secretly and in violation of Iraqi law to prisons in the Kurdish cities of Irbil and Sulaymaniyah, sometimes with the knowledge of U.S. forces. The detainees, including merchants, members of tribal families and soldiers, have often remained missing for months; some have been tortured, according to released prisoners and the Kirkuk police chief.
A confidential State Department cable, obtained by The Washington Post and addressed to the White House, Pentagon and U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, said the "extra-judicial detentions" were part of a "concerted and widespread initiative" by Kurdish political parties "to exercise authority in Kirkuk in an increasingly provocative manner."The abductions have "greatly exacerbated tensions along purely ethnic lines" and endangered U.S. credibility, the nine-page cable, dated June 5, stated. "Turkmen in Kirkuk tell us they perceive a U.S. tolerance for the practice while Arabs in Kirkuk believe Coalition Forces are directly responsible.
.... The State Department cable noted that U.S. commanders had denied complicity in the transfers, contrary to the perceptions of Arabs and Turkmens. "Coalition PR efforts to counter the story have been ineffective," stated the cable, which was written by the U.S. Embassy's regional coordinator.
... As he sat in his house, the fans idle on a scorching day during a blackout, Aissa Ramadan seethed over the seizure of most of his family.He said they were taken March 17, when U.S. and Iraqi forces arrived at his family's compound in the village of Shahid Faleh, about 20 miles south of Kirkuk. Ramadan's three brothers and two sons were taken, along with his 87-year-old father, Ramadan Taha, who walks with a cane.
... "If you could see our house on any day, you'd see that we're having funerals without the corpses," Ramadan said. "Children are looking for their fathers, wives don't know the fate of their husbands, and mothers are dying 40 times a day."
Ramadan said he had "anger in his heart."
"Tomorrow, I could recruit the entire tribe," he said. "I could block the street in Kirkuk and kidnap 40 Kurds. When you lose patience, you can do anything."Kurdish Officials Sanction Abductions in Kirkuk
June 15, 2005A friend of mine commented on this : "What's this called? I heard 'somebody' was talking about ETHNIC CLEANSING and VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS in Iraq!! Some people might like to call it LIBERATION? huh!! "
"There he was, just as his victims looked on his own television screens, his words censored, his arguments unknown, his case as undemocratic as the "judicial" courts in which Saddam destroyed his own enemies.
The Iraqis - or, let us speak frankly, the Americans who tried to censor the old reprobate's previous court appearance - decided yesterday that his words would also be censored. That is Saddamism. This is how Saddam ran Iraq.
The words were obliterated. And now the Americans and their obedient, Shia-led government, are acting out the same Saddamite line.
The pictures, the BBC admitted, were "mute". What in God's name did this mean? Who emasculated the BBC to such a degree that it should say such a ridiculous thing? Why were they mute? The BBC didn't tell us.
If Saddam was really being charged with war crimes over the killings of Shias - which I hope he was - then why, in heaven's name, didn't we hear what he had to say? Why use the methods of Saddam himself? The silent film, the assumption of guilt? Or was Saddam telling the court that the United States was behind his regime, that Washington had given him the means to destroy the Halabja Kurds with gas?
How can we know? And when so many of our journalistic brethren failed to challenge the reason why this tape should be "mute", what does this say of us? We are told, by Saddam's jailers of course, that he is being questioned about the murder of Shia villagers south of Baghdad in 1982. I hope so. But how do we know?
The reality is that Saddam is from Iraq's past, something from the era before "our" insecurity and destruction and the rape and insurgency and death which has now overwhelmed Iraq.
Yes, there are those who would like to see Saddam brought to justice. But they want safety and law and order and freedom - freedom from us, too - before they care about this crazed old man's trial. But we insist the Iraqis have bread and circuses before they have freedom. And they must experience our democracy by understanding that the defendant in a court must be shut up and denied his own words in order to appear on the BBC. "Saddam Interrogation Screened - in Silence. The Question Is: Why?
by Robert Fisk June 14, 2005An Arab proverb states: "If you see the fangs of the tiger, don't be fooled that the tiger is smiling".Aissa Ramadan with his sons Raed and Saad .... incubated 'insurgents'??
Photo Credit By Anthony Shadid