[lit-ideas] Re: House of Horrors

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 08:54:00 -0500

I'll read this later.  I think the obvious answer is, war makes people crazy.  
Or maybe crazier.

----- Original Message ----- 
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 11/18/2005 6:10:44 AM 
Subject: [lit-ideas] House of Horrors

This is today's post from Riverbend, the gal in Baghdad.  I don't understand 
what the Iraqis are doing, why this is going on... but the line re. crying 
"fire" instead of "rape" in NY, equating to crying "terrorist cell" in Iraq, 
is, well.......  interesting.  If anyone cares to enlighten me re. why the 
Iraqis are torturing their own, I would certainly be interested.

Julie Krueger

<<Friday, November 18, 2005

House of Horrors...

The talk of the town is the torture house they recently found in Jadriya.

The whole world heard about the one in Jadriya, recently raided by the 
Americans. Jadriya was once one of the best areas in Baghdad. It's an area on 
the river and is special in that it's greener, and cleaner, than most areas. 
Baghdads largest university, Baghdad University, is located in Jadriya (with a 
campus in another area). Jadriya had some of the best shops and restaurants- 
not to mention some of Baghdad's most elegant homes...? and apparently, now, a 
torture house.

We hear constantly about these torture dungeons. Right after the war, certain 
areas became infamous for them. The world knows them as 'torture houses' for 
the obvious reasons- they were once ordinary homes, and now they've become 
torture centers for suspects and innocents alike. The Iraqi government 
conveniently calls them 'detention centers' and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior 
oversees and funds them.

One area which was well-known for its torture houses immediately after the war 
was Sadir City in Baghdad. Except they weren't called torture houses back then. 
The people who ran them called them 'ma7akim' or 'courts'. They would bring 
'suspects' in for interrogation- often ordinary citizens- and beat and whip 
them for various confessions involving accusations and alleged crimes. A 
'Sayid' would then come in and sentence the culprit- the sentence would 
sometimes involve cutting off a hand or a foot and at other times it might be 
death. We heard this from an aunts neighbor who was mistakenly taken in and 
beaten as a suspected former security agent. His family connections with 
influential Shia clerics in the area were the only things that got him out 
alive- bruised and broken- but alive.

These torture houses have existed since the beginning of the occupation. While 
it is generally known that SCIRI is behind them, other religious parties are 
not innocent. The Americans know they exist- why the sudden shock and outrage? 
This is hardly news for Americans in the Green Zone. The timing is quite 
interesting- it shouldn't matter that this raid came immediately after the 
whole white phosphorous story came out, but the Pentagon and American military 
have proven to be the ultimate masters of diversion.

Only last year in an area called Ghazaliya, one such house was discovered. It 
was on a smaller scale though. My cousin lives in Ghazaliya and he said that 
when the Americans got inside, they found several corpses and a man hanging 
from the ceiling on a makeshift noose. The neighbors had tried to get the 
Americans to check the house for months- no one bothered. They finally raided 
it because they got information from someone in the area that it was an 
insurgents hiding place. I read once that in New York, if a woman is being 
raped, she should scream 'fire' instead of 'rape' because no one would come to 
save her if she was screaming 'rape'. That's the way it is with Iraqi torture 
houses- the only way they'll check it is if you tell them it's a terrorist cell.

And another thing- you know when they say 'men dressed in Ministry of Interior 
uniforms' or 'men in official cars claiming to be from the Ministry of 
Interior', etc. when describing some horror committed by the new Iraqi security 
forces in the news? Here's a thought: they aren't 'claiming' and they aren't in 
costume- they actually ARE from the Ministry of Interior! One would think 
they'd do this covertly so as not to enrage Iraqis or humanitarian 
organisations, except that it doesn't matter to them because SCIRI and Da'awa 
aren't out to win hearts and minds. They have American favor- what more does 
one need in the New Iraq?

For over a year corpses have been turning up all over Baghdad. Corpses of 
people who are taken from their homes in the middle of the night (lately 
they've been more brazen- they just do everything in the light of day), and 
turn up dead somewhere. That isn't as disturbing as the reports about the 
bodies- the one I can't get out of my head is that many of the corpses are 
found with holes in the skull left by an electric drill.

I guess the lucky ones go to Abu Ghraib...?

And it's not only 'suspected insurgents' who disappear- Iraqi security forces 
have been known to raid complete areas and detain any males from the ages of 12 
to 60- especially in Sunni areas. Those 'suspected terrorists' that are rounded 
up and taken away- you know where they disappear to now.

Interior Minister Bayan Jabr (SCIRI 
Thug-Made-Government-Official-In-Italian-Suits) is mollifying Iraqis with this 
little gem,

...the group included Shiites as well as Sunnis...?

I'm sure we can all sleep better at night with the knowledge that SCIRI/Da'awa 
torturers don't discriminate according to religious sect- under the new 
constitution, American military guidance, and the blessings of the Pentagon- 
all Iraqis will be tortured equally.>>

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