Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Split Screen . . .

GW Bush, 10/6/05:

Mr. Bush likened the ideology of Islamic militants to communism. And he said they are being "aided by elements of the Arab news media that incites hatred and anti-Semitism."

"Against such an enemy, there's only one effective response: We never back down, never give in and never accept anything less than complete victory," Mr. Bush declared.

"With every random bombing. And with every funeral of a child, it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots, or resistance fighters," Mr. Bush said. "They are murderers at war with the Iraqi people themselves."

Robert Dreyfuss, 10/06/05
Last week, I reported on the fear of Shiite militias and death squads as reported by Aiham Al Sammarae, an Iraqi oppositionist and former minister under the interim government in 2004 who is trying to broker a deal with the Iraqi resistance. Since then, other reports have surfaced concerning the extensive violence carried out by paramilitary forces tied to SCIRI and to Al Dawa, SCIRI's partner in the Shiite religious bloc in Iraq. By now it is clear that if Tony Soprano lived in Iraq, he'd be a member of the Shiite militia. Consider the following report from CBS News:

CBS News correspondent Lara Logan reports there is a secret, ruthless cleansing of the country's towns and cities. Bodies -- blindfolded, bound and executed -- just appear, like the rotting corpses of 36 Sunni men that turned up in a dry riverbed south of Baghdad. CBS News traced 16 of those men to a single street in a Baghdad suburb, where family members showed CBS News how the killers forced their way into their homes in the middle of the night and dragged away their sons and fathers.

"My uncles were tortured, they even poured acid on them," a young boy told CBS News.

Clutching photographs of the murdered men, the women and children left behind came together to grieve. One woman said as her husband was marched away she sent her son after him with his slippers, but his abductor sent the child back with a chilling message: No need for slippers -- he will come back dead. They were targeted for one reason alone: all were Sunnis.

Or this, from the Chicago Tribune:

In the dead of night, bands of armed men in Iraqi commando uniforms stormed Baghdad's Hurriyah neighborhood in late August, breaking down doors with sledgehammers and grenades. If the family inside was Shiite, the gunmen moved on to another house, witnesses said. If the family was Sunni, the gunmen tore through the building, demolishing furniture and manhandling those inside. More than 70 young Sunni Arab men were whisked away.

Countless atrocities, too, have been perpetrated by Sunni gangs and by terrorists associated with Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. [Editors note: that would be the fictitious character Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.] But the killings by the Shiite militias are far more chilling because they have an entirely different quality: They are carried out by gunmen tied to the U.S.-supported regime in Baghdad. They don't draw criticism from U.S. officials, and most American media reports continue to portray the Shiites as victims and the Sunnis as aggressors.

SCIRI and DAWA are the parties that control the Iraqi government that those 140,000 U.S. troops are defending in Iraq.

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