May 09, 2004

Iraqi press on torture

Iraqi editorials have their say:
We want to see, soon, how the United States will punish those who tortured the Iraqi prisoners and took photographs of their pain and suffering. We want to see Tony Blair, who speaks of human rights with tearful eyes like a crocodile chewing its prey. We want see, hear and feel the punishment of those who committed these abuses. Their punishment should be exemplary, first to atone for the injustice done to the prisoners, and second to clear the reputation of the two superpowers that have long claimed to be staunch advocates of human rights.

Al-Manarah - from commentary by Khalaf al-Munshidi

The Iraqis believe - by this scandal and their [the Americans'] disgraceful way of dealing with the Iraqis that preceded this scandal - that the Americans have tarnished the great achievement they attained for the Iraqi people and for the whole world when they toppled forever a tyrant and a hostile dictatorial regime and saved the regional states from its evil.

Al'Ayn - as cited by Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV

The question is: What will the members of the Interim Governing Council do now that the news of the scandal has spread and they have discovered that the people they supposedly represent are being tortured in this brutal way?

Al-Sharq al-Awsat - from article by Fahmi Hwaydi

What justification is there for the double standards being used in dealing with the people of Iraq? Don't you see that vile cohorts of the toppled regime have been set free although their hands are stained with the blood of mass grave victims everywhere in Iraq? And at the same time the US has mobiliaed its full military and political might to increasingly tighten the noose on Moqtada Sadr and his supporters, killing and arresting so many and persistently refusing any offer of a peaceful solution to the standoff.

Al-Shira - from commentary by Ja'far Abd Ali

Thanks to Moqtada Sadr, Iraqis now can raise their heads high in the sky among the other nations of the world.

Ishraqat Al-Sadr

The people of Iraq should... hold on to their political line and peaceful resistance. Other means have proved only to prolong the occupation.

Al-Adalah - from editorial

More than one US official has been cited referring to the upcoming caretaker government as having incomplete sovereignty or enjoying limited power, which implies that there is a political showdown ahead with the occupying forces, a battle that has to be fought to snatch sovereignty back from the grip of the occupiers. We are very doubtful that a government of mere technocrats will be up to so big a job.

Al-Bayan - from editorial

Some of these voices are harsh and can never be appeased, but note that some of these editorials sound quite reasonable. Granted, these are excerpts, but the general sense is that the fallout from Abu Ghraib is containable-- if, of course, the right measures are taken. The right measures include throwing open the prison to international inspectors, demolishing Abu Ghraib, conducting a full and open investigation, and firing those in charge. The heartening thing is that some editorials, like that in Al-Manarah, seem to genuinely believe that such measures would help "clear the reputation" of the occupiers. Not all Iraqis hate us--not yet, at least--so it's high time to pay heed to those moderate voices.
-- Brad Plumer 1:09 PM || ||