Monday, June 20, 2005

Civil War Games - Part Deux: "We've got to stay long enough to train the Iraqi people to defend themselves..."

games....

(...)

i got a rock.

i throw it at a cat.

the rock flies.

the cat goes splat.

i got a gun.

i aim it at iraq.

bullets fly.

iraq goes splat.

i got two fish.

i throw them in a bowl.

they're two fighting fish.

one fish is the goal...


(...)

"We create,
Monsters we hate,
We debate,
'Til,
Sitcoms at eight,

We can't relate,
To that much hate,
We should hesitate,
60 to 1 was too late...

We create,
Monsters we hate,
We debate,
'Til,
Sitcoms at eight,

We can't relate,
To that much hate,
We should hesitate,
3 million was too late..."

- Black Krishna, "We Create", It's Your Revolution: Take, Break, and then Make The Rules

(...)

"I never knew in the course of all those operations any detainee to live through his interrogation. They all died. There was never any reasonable establishment of the fact that any one of those individuals was, in fact, cooperating with the VC, but they all died and the majority were either tortured to death or things like thrown out of helicopters."..."It [Phoenix] became a sterile depersonalized murder program... Equal to Nazi atrocities, the horrors of "Phoenix" must be studied to be believed."
-Former "Phoenix" officer Bart Osborne, testifying before Congress in 1971

Operations

The Phoenix Program was an attempt to isolate and target specific individuals within the VCI network using Human Intelligence (HUMINT) sources. One US Army method for targeting this Viet Cong infrastructure was the cordon and search method in which troops surrounded a village suspected of Viet Cong activity, and interrogated and evacuated its population. Some Phoenix operations were also military in nature, such as when ambushing an armed Viet Cong assassination squad at night between villages.

Provincial Interrogation Centers (PIC) were set up in each of the 44 South Vietnam provinces. Most of the counter-infrastructure experts were in the Provincial Reconnaissance Units, called “PRUs.” Along with North Vietnamese defectors and South Vietnamese, they also included Cambodian and Chinese Nung mercenaries. These units of about 118 men each were recruited, trained and paid by the CIA, with the help of Navy SEALS and Green Beret special forces.

Administrators of the program instituted quotas to be met by provincial offices, in an attempt to increase participation and effectiveness of the Phung Hoang program. In late 1969, the quota was 1800 per province.

(...)

Measures of success and failure

It was a program which resulted in both a refugee problem and greater discontent among the population. The Phoenix program was dangerous, for it was being used against political opponents of the regime, whether they were Viet Cong or not. Phoenix also contributed substantially to corruption. Some local officials demanded payoffs with threats of arrests under the Phoenix program, or released genuine Viet Cong for cash. Some military experts surmised that Phoenix was helping the Viet Cong more than hurting it. By throwing people in prison who were often only low-level operatives — sometimes people forced to cooperate with the VCI when they lived in Viet Cong territory — the government was alienating a large slice of the population.

The Phoenix Program has also been branded as an "assassination campaign" and has received much criticism as an example of human rights atrocities committed by the CIA and the organizations it supports. Indeed, faulty intelligence often led to the murder of innocent civilians, in contravention to the Geneva Conventions. American statistics showed 19,534 members of the Viet Cong “neutralized” during 1969 — 6,187 killed, 8,515 captured, and 4,832 defected to the South Vietnamese side. South Vietnamese government figures were much higher. However, fewer than 10% of the casualties attributed to Phoenix operations were actually targeted by program operatives, with most of the remaining casualties being assigned VCI status after they were killed. Efforts by provincial chiefs to meet quotas also led to manipulation of statistics by counting non-VCI arrests, arresting the same person multiple times, and attributing military casualties to the Phoenix program. It was widely recognized that statistical record keeping during the first few years of Phoenix program operations was subject to distortion, embellishment and was very inaccurate.

Due to ineffective intelligence and minimal commitment, the Phoenix Program was ultimately a failure; its lesson is in the difficulties of dealing with an insurgent population during wartime.

SOURCE - http://www.answers.com/topic/phoenix-program

(...)

"Look at your young men fighting,
Look at your women crying,
Look at your young men dying,
The way they've always done before...

Look at the hate we're breeding,
Look at the fear we're feeding,
Look at the lives we're leading,
The way we've always done before...

My hands are tied,
The billions shift from side to side,
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride,
For the love of God and our human rights,
And all these things are swept aside,
By bloody hands time can't deny,
And are washed away by your genocide,
And history hides the lies of our civil wars..."

- Axl Rose, "Civil War", Guns'n'Roses

(...)

June 20th, 2005
3:49 pm

Iraqi Security Tactics Evoke the Hussein [Vietnam] Era

By Jeffrey Fleishman and Asmaa Waguih / Los Angeles Times

BAGHDAD — The public war on the Iraqi insurgency has led to an atmosphere of hidden brutalities, including abuse and torture, carried out against detainees by the nation's special security forces, according to defense lawyers, international organizations and Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights.

Up to 60% of the estimated 12,000 detainees in the country's prisons and military compounds face intimidation, beatings or torture that leads to broken bones and sometimes death, said Saad Sultan, head of a board overseeing the treatment of prisoners at the Human Rights Ministry. He added that police and security forces attached to the Interior Ministry are responsible for most abuses.

(...)

The ordeal described by Hussam Guheithi is similar to many cases. When Iraqi national guardsmen raided his home last month, the 35-year-old Sunni Muslim imam said they lashed him with cables, broke his nose and promised to soak their uniforms with his blood. He was blindfolded and driven to a military base, where he was interrogated and beaten until the soldiers were satisfied that he wasn't an extremist.

At the end of nine days, Guheithi said, the guardsmen told him, "You have to bear with us. You know the situation now. We're trying to find terrorists."

SOURCE - http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/index.php?id=3064

(...)

Robert Baer has worked for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations for more than two decades and spent most of his career in the Middle East. An Arabic speaker, he was considered one of the best on-the-ground field officers in the Middle East. He has also published a book about his time within the CIA. The memoirs are entitled See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War Against Terrorism.

BARRY: Does the CIA engage in these techniques?

ROBERT: The CIA didn’t up until 9/11. Yes, things have changed but keep in mind that I don’t work for the CIA anymore. As I understand it, there’s a lot of franchising stuff out. Syria is a country, like Iraq, where they torture people. They use electrodes, water torture. They take torture to the point of death, like the Egyptians. The way you get around involving Americans in torture, is to get someone else to do it.

SOURCE - http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/tv/third_degree/stars_stripes_interview.shtml

(...)

"We've got to stay long enough to train the Iraqi people to defend themselves..."
- Popular Opinion

(...)

"The end of education is character."
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba

(...)