Friday, May 27, 2005

Beware the Wolf Brigade

Dahr Jamail's latest piece on Iraq Dispatches is called "Sketchy Details" and begins like this:
Yesterday Iraq’s Minister of Defense, Sadoun al-Dulaimi, announced that starting Saturday 40,000 Iraqi troops will seal Baghdad and begin to “hunt down insurgents and their weapons.” Baghdad will be divided into two main sections, east and west, and within each section there will be smaller areas of control.

There will be at least 675 checkpoints and al-Dulaimi said this is the first phase of a security crackdown that will eventually cover all of Iraq.

Keep in mind that most of Iraq has remained in a “state of emergency” since the beginning of the siege of Fallujah, on November 8th.

“We will also impose a concrete blockade around Baghdad, like a bracelet around an arm, God willing, and God be with us in our crackdown on the terrorists’ infrastructure.”

Also at the press conference was Bayan Jabor, the Minister of Interior who added, “These operations will aim at turning the government's role from defensive to offensive.”

This is really, really bad news.
Wow! Is it ever! Read it again, slowly, if you will. Every sentence is loaded with horror. As if things needed to get any worse.

Then, this passage quoting a Baghdad doctor:
“Iraqi forces now have what they call “liwaa al deeb,” which means the Wolf Brigade. This is a very American name, and is an ugly name which gives the impression of violence. In the past the Iraqi troops held names of some famous Muslim and Arabic symbols which were more accepted. Anyway, the name wouldn’t matter if their behavior was straight….they now practice a kind of state sponsored terrorism.”

He went on to give an example of their not-so-straight behavior…

“Eyewitnesses in Al-Saydia area to the south of Baghdad told me that recently when a car bomb detonated and destroyed the area nearby, people were astonished to see the so-called police looting a destroyed mobile phone store that was nearby! The police now are a bunch of thieves. Many of then are already criminals who were released from Abu Ghraib prison before the war.”
What is this Wolf Brigade? Is this the Iraq version of the infamous Salvadoran death squads?

It's not so far-fetched a question. Some of the people who have been involved in Iraq were involved in the creation of the terrorist death squads in El Salvador two decades ago. And some of those same people were running the terrorist "Operation Phoenix" in Vietnam ten or fifteen years before that.

The Pentagon mentioned a while ago that they might do something similar in Iraq. They even called it "The Salvador Option". Some people thought it was a trial balloon which wouldn't fly; others [more credibly, in my opinion] said that if they were talking openly about it as a possibility this meant they were already doing it.

Even if the Wolf Brigade is not a third-generation incarnation of Operation Phoenix, it still bears close scrutiny. As does this recent plan. What surrounds Baghdad, cuts it in half, then breaks it into little pieces? And what happens then?

You can read Dahr Jamail's entire post here. And you should set a bookmark on Iraqi Dispatches.

May we never again be victims of mass deception. And may the Iraqi people be free of American military intervention as soon as possible.