Iraq's Contrasting Realities
Despite the puppet government and continued bloody insurgency, there's no doubt that things are slowly changing in Iraq. For one thing, US troops that used to aggressively patrol the streets are now hiding in mosques:
The aggressive patrols that marked the Marines' arrival this spring were met with frenzied and bloody insurgent attacks, leading to some of the heaviest U.S. losses of the Iraq war — 31 dead and more than 200 wounded. Since the patrols have given way to the more modulated "outposting" strategy, however, U.S. deaths have dropped dramatically.
The dumb US troops, not realising this "modulated strategy" is just part of the political game back home, actually think that hiding from the "terrorists" is a cunning plan:
"When you walk on the streets, they can hide in every nook and cranny and you can never find them until they start shooting," said Marine Cpl. Glenn Hamby, 26, who heads Squad 3 of G Company. "Here, they have to come right to us."
The insurgents know exactly where the Marines are and regard the posts as prime targets. Four Marines were killed last month when their post was overrun in the early-morning darkness. Stunning images of the sniper team's dead and bloodied bodies sprawled on a rooftop were captured on videotape and broadcast worldwide."
Here's a few other interesting stories. First of all, (a sign of the coming wave of US "culture"?) Baghdad has a new Reality TV Show.
"The idea is simple: Take Iraqi families whose houses were destroyed. Rebuild their houses, filling them with new goods, all donated by viewers who respond to the message flashed at the end of the show. (Donations count as zakat, the one-fifth of yearly income all Muslims must give to charity.)...
"The main point isn't to rebuild the house, but to show the change in the psychology of the family during the rebuilding," says Ali Hanoon, the show's director. "The rebuilding has a psychological effect on the families - their memories, their lives, are in these walls."
Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, "a host of scam artists now circulate Baghdad pretending to collect "donations" for the families!"
Elsewhere in Iraq, grieving families are watching closely as test cases accusing British troops of "war crimes" reach the UK's High Court. Lawyers accuse the troops of unlawfully killing civilians and beating and torturing prisoners:
"Soldiers played cruel "games" with prisoners, forcing them to recite lists of English or Dutch footballers and beating them if they failed... another "game" favoured by British troops involved a group of soldiers surrounding a prisoner and taking turns to see how hard they could kick-box him.
"The idea seemed to be to splat [the prisoner] against the wall if at all possible," he said. "These cases raise absolutely fundamental issues of human rights and international law."
"If these abuses go unchecked, if there is no accountability, then that completely undermines the rule of law."
Let's see if the "higher-ups" face some accountability this time. Not likely, of course, from what we've seen, but one dares hope that the British High Court is not quite so politically corrupted as the US Supreme Court.