Wednesday :: Mar 8, 2006

Iraqi Government Hiding Execution-Style Civilian Deaths


by Steve

Remember yesterday, when Rummy said that the media was being manipulated by Al Qaeda into reporting only negative stories from Iraq? Well, perhaps Rummy will blame these negative stories from Iraq today on Al Qaeda as well. Worse yet, perhaps Rummy can explain how the Washington Post has uncovered evidence that our Shiite friends in the Iraqi government have been intentionally underreporting civilian deaths arising from the recent outbreak of sectarian revenge killings?

And how has the Shiite government done this? By directing the Health Ministry to ignore the number of civilians killed by execution-style shootings. In other words, if your own militias were about to do the killing, you want to ensure that it isn’t reported.

Days after the bombing of a Shiite shrine unleashed a wave of retaliatory killings of Sunnis, the leading Shiite party in Iraq's governing coalition directed the Health Ministry to stop tabulating execution-style shootings, according to a ministry official familiar with the recording of deaths.
The official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because he feared for his safety, said a representative of the Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, ordered that government hospitals and morgues catalogue deaths caused by bombings or clashes with insurgents, but not by execution-style shootings.
Abductions and killings of Sunni Arab men, usually by gunshots to the back of the head, have occurred with increasing frequency over the past year and are widely blamed on government-allied Shiite religious militias and death squads alleged to be operating from inside the SCIRI-dominated Interior Ministry. In particular, Shiite militias have been accused of abducting and executing large numbers of Sunni men in the days immediately following the Feb. 22 destruction of the Askariya mosque, a revered Shiite shrine in the northern city of Samarra.

It's all about appearances to the Pentagon and White House. The last thing they want to see is bad news coming from Iraq right now. One way to ensure that is to suppress any reporting of civilian executions in Iraq. By doing that, you can dismiss any civil war talk, like Peter Pace did Sunday and Rummy did yesterday, and chalk up any killings to "untidy" skirmishes between the good guys and the bad guys.

And given the poll numbers lately, where the American public has grown increasingly pessimistic on the Bush Administration's ability to keep Iraq from falling into a civil war, the most important thing to Rummy is to manage the news from that country, and blame all the bad news that escapes his filter on Al Qaeda or an unpatriotic media.

Steve :: 10:37 PM :: Comments (1) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!