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03 June 2006

the puppet tries to cut its strings * Iraq demands that Freedom stuff Bush says we brought it

In a previous post Vleeptron identified the Iraqi leader who went ballistic about alleged killings of Iraqi civilians by US military forces as Iraq's new president. Sorry -- Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The new post-Sadaam sovereign government of Iraq -- an invention of the invading and occupying US-led Western military Coalition -- is, for the first time, asking for a divorce. It's trying to cut its puppet strings. It wants to act as if it truly were an independent government.

It wants that Freedom Bush keeps saying America gave to Iraq. It wants freedom from fear.

The Iraqi people used to fear Sadaam Hussein and his brutal, violent Ba'ath Party.

Now it fears someone else. And it's saying so.


Reuters (wire service UK)
Saturday 3 June 2006

Iraq rejects
US probe clearing
troops of killings

by Mariam Karouny and Fredrik Dahl

BAGHDAD, June 3 (Reuters) -- Iraq vowed on Saturday to press on with its own probe into the deaths of civilians in a U.S. raid on the town of Ishaqi, rejecting the U.S. military's exoneration of its forces.

Adnan al-Kazimi, an aide to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said the government would also demand an apology from the United States and compensation for the victims in several cases, including the alleged massacre in the town of Haditha last year.

"We have from more than one source that the Ishaqi killings were carried out under questionable circumstances. More than one child was killed. This report was not fair for the Iraqi people and the children who were killed," he told Reuters.

The U.S. military had issued a statement about Ishaqi saying allegations that U.S. troops "executed a family ... and then hid the alleged crimes by directing an air strike, are absolutely false".

It said troops had been fired on as they raided a house to arrest an al Qaeda suspect. They returned fire and called in air support, which destroyed the building, killing one militant and resulting in "up to nine collateral deaths".

The military had previously said one guerrilla, two women and a child were killed in the March 15 raid in Ishaqi, 60 miles (100 km) north of Baghdad.

It has repeatedly pledged to punish any soldier found guilty of atrocities in Iraq, but the decision to clear the troops in Ishaqi fuelled deep mistrust among ordinary Iraqis three years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.

Police in Ishaqi say five children, four women and two men were shot in the head, and that the bodies, with hands bound, were dumped in one room before the house was blown up.


Maliki, who took office two weeks ago at the helm of a U.S- backed national unity government, is battling a widespread public perception that U.S. troops can shoot and kill with impunity and Iraqi leaders are too weak to do anything about it.

"Ishaqi is just another reason why we shouldn't trust the Americans," said Abdullah Hussein, an engineer in Baghdad.

"First they lied about the weapons of mass destruction, then there was the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and now it's clear to the world they were guilty in Haditha," he told Reuters.

A tribal leader in Ishaqi said it was clear that U.S. forces were above the law in Iraq.

"We expect the American soldiers to commit any crime to control this country," added Sarhan Jasim, 55.

Human Rights Minister Wijdan Michael said her ministry would send a fact-finding commission to Ishaqi in the next few days.

The incident was one of a handful involving civilian deaths being investigated by the U.S. military, including the deaths of two dozen civilians in the town of Haditha on 19 November 2005.

U.S. officials say murder charges may be brought against Marines after the probe into Haditha, which some commentators are comparing to the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

Maliki this week condemned the suspected massacre in Haditha as a "terrible crime" and demanded that the United States hand over the files on the investigation.

White House spokesman Tony Snow [previously Fox News commentator and editorial page editor for The Washington Times, owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon] said U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General [4 stars] George Casey, met Maliki in Baghdad on Friday and promised to give him all the evidence and materials from the Haditha probe.

In the statement about Ishaqi, Major General [2 stars] William Caldwell, the U.S. military spokesman, said the investigation showed that the ground commander "operated in accordance with the rules of engagement governing our combat forces in Iraq."

One man in the town, 40-year-old Obeid Kamil, said on Friday that U.S. soldiers had a "licence to kill" Iraqi civilians.

"Their action is always to open fire and kill people, which is proof that they are afraid," he said.

- 30 -

(Additional reporting by Reuters Television and Ahmed Rasheed and Michael Georgy, writing by Fredrik Dahl)

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.


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