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Every Day Is Waco Day in Allawi’s "Liberated" Land

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Sarah Whalen

Allawi has spoken in America, and his news is good. Iraqi democracy is on track, and Iraqi police and military forces, homegrown, are routing insurgents. Any contradiction is the product of biased Western journalists who want to see Iraq’s bold new democracy fail, Allawi assured a special joint session of the US Senate and Congress in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

After Allawi called journalists reporting unenthusiastically about Iraq’s daily slaughter liars, almost the entire legislative and executive branches of the US government gave the CIA-trained, neocon-selected Iraqi interim prime minister a standing ovation, and Wolfowitz kissed him. Twice.

Blecchh! But then, I’m American, a culture where men seldom publicly embrace, let alone smooch. And Wolfowitz, rumored to have a Tunisian girlfriend, is increasingly Middle Eastern in manner. Most Americans haven’t had the daily Middle Eastern experience of seeing manly men (as opposed to girlie men) walking arm in arm down the street, or gripping each other’s pinkies, or kissing in friendship. It rattles us.

But not Thursday. Thursday, everyone wants to kiss Allawi, or hold his hand, or grip his pinky and walk arm-in-arm with him down the Iraqi road to democracy. He’s our man, if not THE man, in Iraq. One former US ambassador to Iraq called him “Churchill.”

But Churchill was also a journalist, and might find Allawi’s calling journalists liars to Senate applause a bit rich, since in a July 15, 2004 interview with Al-Hayat, Allawi effectively called the Senate a bunch of liars, disputing their Sept.11 report ruling out “links” between Al-Qaeda and Saddam’s regime. Allawi offered no proof, but claimed there “exists a certain coordination between Al-Qaeda operatives and remnants of (Saddam’s) ousted regime.” Allawi also claimed Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction but evaded detection by sending them abroad prior to and during the 2003 Iraq war, although again he offered no proof.

Guess the US Senate doesn’t read Al-Hayat. At least, not regularly.

Before Allawi leaves town, the Senate might invite him to chat under oath. Maybe it’s time for Allawi to solemnly swear Iraq is no longer a “Republic of Fear.” Because right now, everything indicates it’s become a Republic of Horror, and fear cannot be far away.

Allawi himself and other US-groomed Iraqis are letting us know, quite publicly, what they have in store for the Iraqi people. And it doesn’t sound like democracy. It sounds like Saddamism - a totalitarian police state, ruled by a strong man. And since Allawi fits that “strong man” bill, what the new Iraqi police state needs is secret police, whose basic job is to spy and report back to the “government” on its own citizens.

On July 15, 2004, Allawi announced creation of a “General Security Directorate” (GSD). Kind of like America’s FBI. Except the GSD will do something extra, in addition to spying on citizens and solving crimes. Allawi says one of its special tasks is to “annihilate terrorist groups.”

In America this sometimes happens, as when the FBI used deadly force against the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. But under Allawi’s plan, every day will be Waco Day. For a long time. Or at least, until things calm down. Likely after thousands more die. Just like under Saddam.

And don’t think Iraq’s new secret police will act wholly on their own. No. “Annihilating” enemies is a dangerous enterprise, and the GSD will need to be protected by US-led “coalition” troops. So says Iraq’s new ambassador to the US, Rend Rahim Francke, also interviewed July 15, 2004. Francke claims US troops occupying Iraq must “stay as liberators” protecting Iraqi leaders while they “take care of the day-to-day running of the country.”

Iraq’s GSD, bolstered by the US military, will not only “annihilate” insurgents but also will carry out Iraq’s amnesty plan, differentiating between “good and bad insurgents.” Francke says Iraq’s secret police are ideally suited “because that kind of weighing and distinguishing between those who can be given amnesty and those who can’t is in fact a matter of rebuilding, reforming the history of the individuals who are going to be amnestied.”

So “bad” insurgents will be “annihilated,” “good” insurgents will be “rebuilt and reformed.” This is actually a step beyond Saddam, whose Mukhabarat usually stopped with “annihilated.” It sounds almost Maoist, like China’s infamous “re-education” camps. And what might these “rebuilt, reformed” insurgents look like? A good guess is, like Americans and Londoners. They will be unashamedly “secular” Muslims, or if non-Muslims, self-declared atheists like Kanan Makiya, famous Iraqi exile author of “Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq.”

Iraqi Neocons. With their own secret police. Protected by the US military. Oh, brave new Iraq, that has such people in it. A republic of horror, and fear.

Published Saturday, September 25th, 2004 - 10:00am GMT
Sarah Whalen is an expert in Islamic law and taught law at Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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