BAGHDAD Iraq's wildly popular new television show features a nightly parade of men, most with bruised faces, confessing to all kinds of terrorist and criminal acts.A ‘…slick new propaganda tool…’, hey? Of course it is. What else would it be? Not a ‘a tool to expose the reality behind the evil little creeps causing all the trouble’, by any chance? No way! They’re ‘minute men’, after all. . .
"Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" is the Iraqi government's slick new propaganda tool. Its televised confessions, the police say, aim to discredit the armed resistance and advertise the government's success at cracking down on gangs.
If it is meant to showcase a brave new Iraq, the television show is disturbingly reminiscent of the bad old Iraq. The show, which appears six nights a week on the state-run Iraqiya network, has a strong flavor of Saddam Hussein-era strong-arming.Oh absolutely. All those shiny new ‘Halliburton’ brand people shredders, and mass graves. But where would a good piece of ‘Bad News Iraq’ journalism be without the ‘disturbing questions’?
It also raises a host of disturbing questions. The bruised, swollen faces and hunched shoulders of many of the suspects suggest that they have been beaten or tortured.What? Rather than being decapitated (or simply vanishing altogether)? Those brutes. Who wouldn’t prefer a (rather slow) head lopping with a whopping great knife (or a one-way trip through the chipper)?
And the suspects are presented to the public without any legal process to protect them, presumed guilty, with no word about rule of law as a weapon in the arsenal against terrorism.Actually, some of these swine have been caught planting bombs red-handed, and by citizens who were, no doubt, more than a little pissed off at the carnage that was about to be unleashed. So they get a little bruised and battered. I think they’re pretty lucky they’re not being killed on the spot. And the ‘rule of law’? These characters are being organised and financed to wage a nasty, vicious little campaign of terror and mass murder against largely unarmed civilians, and they don’t abide by the Geneva Convention (in fact, I doubt they’ve even heard of it). Of course, trying to apply the 'rule of law' (rather than the rule of war) in situations like these works almost entirely to the benefit of the terrorists. Something the journo’ here (and the bulk of the Left), I suspect, knows all too well.
Powerful politicians have blasted the show: Mohsen Abdulhameed, head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, called a news conference this week to accuse the show of airing lies, outraged not that a party member was presented as a terrorist, but that the man confessed that he drinks alcohol and does not pray.So glad to see he’s got his priorities right. But let’s hear some more about the glorious ‘minute men’ the show seeks to expose:
Who are the perpetrators of the daily bombings and ambushes that have killed hundreds of civilians, Iraqi police and soldiers? According to the taped confessions the answer is, essentially: lowlifes.Meet the noble Iraqi ‘resistance’.
In the episode last Wednesday, men identified as members of an insurgent cell from Mahmoudia admitted to murdering and raping several Iraqis.
One of the men, Azawi Hassan Azawi, said the leader of a criminal cell had induced him to kidnap and kill a boy by offering Azawi his sister in marriage.
Another man, Hassan Mahdi Hassan al-Kafaji, said he used to fight in the Saddam Fedayeen militia. After the war he joined Tawhid and Jihad, the group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now called Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, as a killer for hire. Kafaji said he pops pills before each mission. "They pay me $100 or $150 for each person I slay," Kafaji said.
Talal Ra'ad Ismail al-Abassi came next. He said he had led an insurgent cell in Mosul. According to the interrogator, Abassi had been an imam but was fired by the religious authorities under Saddam for having sex with men in the mosque. Abassi said his group had killed a dozen Iraqi "collaborators" - once a leader can claim 10 kills, he becomes an emir - simply to earn $1,500 a month from Saudi financiers of the insurgency.
"I do not believe in jihad in Iraq," Abassi told the camera. "It was important for my group to kill enough people that I could become an emir and get the $1,500 salary."