But Who Will Survey the Death Squads?

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A Zogby Poll of U.S. troops in Iraq has some fascinating findings. Among them:

29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq "immediately," while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay "as long as they are needed."

More here. Also, 85% of the people surveyed apparently believe the reason they are in Iraq is "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks."

In other war news:

Hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by death squads working from the Ministry of the Interior, the United Nations' outgoing human rights chief in Iraq has revealed.

John Pace, who left Baghdad two weeks ago, told The Independent on Sunday that up to three-quarters of the corpses stacked in the city's mortuary show evidence of gunshot wounds to the head or injuries caused by drill-bits or burning cigarettes….

"It's being done by anyone who wishes to wipe out anybody else for various reasons," said Mr Pace, who worked for the UN for more than 40 years in countries ranging from Liberia to Chile. "But the bulk are attributed to the agents of the Ministry of the Interior."

According to The Independent, "figures show that last July the morgue alone received 1,100 bodies, about 900 of which bore evidence of torture or summary execution. The pattern prevailed throughout the year until December, when the number dropped to 780 bodies, about 400 of which had gunshot or torture wounds." So you see, we're turning a corner!

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  1. Hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by death squads working from the Ministry of the Interior, the United Nations’ outgoing human rights chief in Iraq has revealed.

    But they’re not being tortured by Saddam, which means they’re much better off than they were before.

    The insurgency is in its last throes. We’ve turned the corner. Iraq is much better off for our being there. Victory will be ours!

  2. “But the bulk are attributed to the agents of the Ministry of the Interior.”

    Nice use of the passive voice. Sheesh.

  3. Whats this about bombing runs? (via the huffington link)

    “Reservists were most enthusiastic about using bombing runs and a doubling of ground troops to counter the enemy, with 70% agreeing that would work to control the insurgency.”

    What the hell. Bombing runs? Is it me, or is that a really stupid question? We don?t ?bomb? Iraqi towns. There are no insurgent targets to bomb. That seems to be a misleading question. We dont HAVE any Hanoi to bomb. *we* are hanoi, and they’re bombing us!

  4. So 85% of the troops believe we are in Iraq to retaliate for 9/11. In other words, 85% believe the lies shamelessly spread by the Texas moron and election-thief. Sad!!!

  5. Gilmore,

    I think we are using quite a bit of air support there right now. However, from what I understand it is mainly air *support*, and not true strategic bombing. Essentially, it requires boots on the ground to ID the target, and often to “paint” it, while waiting for a “smart” bomb or missile to rain death upon anyone nearby.

    So, it seems to me that this just a bit of rationalization by the reservists. I think they want to get the F outta Dodge without admitting that the mission has failed. So they profess that the Air Force can continue the mission on its own, despite the fact that history shows that air power alone is insufficient for the task.

  6. 85% of the people surveyed apparently believe the reason they are in Iraq is “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks

    What this tells me is that far too many stupid people don’t hang up when obnoxious strangers call them up asking nosy questions.

    A better question would be: Are there any accurate polls left?

  7. Why do a combined 72% of US military personnel hate America?

  8. At 55%, reservists serving in Iraq were most likely to see those back home as unpatriotic for wanting a rapid withdrawal, while 45% of Marines and 33% of members of the regular Army agreed.
    –Via Huffington Post link

    Very interesting. Weekend warrior types are the most likely to see support of their mission as synonymous with patriotism. The careerists are more circumspect.

    What this tells me is that far too many stupid people don’t hang up when obnoxious strangers call them up asking nosy questions.

    Apparently these were face-to-face interviews, not phone calls. This may mean stupider respondents on average (since a face-to-face is likely more time consuming than answering a few questions over the phone). Then again, it may mean a more representative sample, since it could be more difficult to tell someone no to their face than just hang up on them. In the latter instance we should be more worried about the intellectual curiosity of our recruits.

  9. “Also, 85% of the people surveyed apparently believe the reason they are in Iraq is “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks.”

    One of my favorite links show some 70% of the American public believing something like this.

  10. If I call BS on an unconfirmed report in The Independent, from some NGO guy I never heard of, does that make me a fool?

  11. If I call BS on an unconfirmed report in The Independent, from some NGO guy I never heard of, does that make me a fool?

    Not necessarily. But I ask this in all honesty: given the near-constant stream of bad news out of that country these past couple of years, what reason have you to assume this is all a lie?

  12. So a secretive sample of 944 military members took seriously the questioning by civilians representing Le Moyne College?s Center for Peace and Global Studies of undisclosed questions enough to let us know that 85% think we are there for revenge on Saddam and 72% think we should go home soon.

    Well if we are there for revenge why shouldn’t we go home now that he’s on trial?

    Now, funny as this whole thing is, it doesn’t top this…

    John Pace

    The guy who served as secretary for the vaunted “human rights” committee of the UN and brought us complaints about the illegality of the detention of Saddam, now is the authority of note in Iraq.

    What’s wrong Jesse, Welch gets a spot at the LA Times and you don’t even get a call back from the DU?

  13. If I call BS on an unconfirmed report in The Independent, from some NGO guy I never heard of, does that make me a fool?

    I guess it depends on how often you call BS on “unconfirmed” stories that cut the other way. And whether “calling BS” means you’re staying skeptical until you’ve heard more or are just looking for an excuse to ignore unwelcome news.

    you don’t even get a call back from the DU

    Ding ding ding! We have our first reference to Democratic Underground. We really need some variant of Godwin’s Law that covers these.

  14. Those figures can’t possible be true.

    Whenever I see a serviceman on TV, identified by name, picture, rank, and unit, he always says how much he supports the mission.

    Like when Rumsfeld stages one of his “town hall” meetings with soldiers – the enlistedmen who stand up and talk to the Secretary of Defense are always sure to say that they support the mission, and are helping Iraq. They even use the same words half the time.

    So these anonymous interviews must be wrong.

  15. Jesse,

    I apologize for making fun, I’m in a giddy mood. You are probably right about a DU or FR rule in serious debate.

    I must also apologize to Mr. Pace, after following up on the Independent article, I see he got his info from the Medico-Legal Institute, an official subsidiary of the government of Madhya Pradesh. Which of course has had a lot of time on its hands since the creation of Chhattisgarh back in ’00.

    Really, apologies all around. Any subsequent laughter is merely continued diaphragm spasms. Can’t be helped.

  16. Ya know, between the “up to” and the “bulk are attributed to”, Pace’s remarks are almost completely content-free.

    I wonder how this survey squares with the very high re-enlistment rates among soldiers stationed in Iraq. At least, those rates used to be high, I haven’t seen anything lately.

  17. god damn those traitorous liberal bastards! they should be hung for treason! how dare our troops suggest that we are losing the war in iraq, when our troops are on the ground fighting the war in Iraq? Think of what this will do their morale, when they see their survey responses published in the liberal media!

  18. Ann,

    I think you need to reread the poll. It seems the majority don’t think we are losing, but that they’ve already won. War was to get revenge against Saddam, revenge was gotten.

    When you try to play a rightwing smart ass, its best not to let the left wing talking points seep through.

  19. Doesn’t it also state 37% of our troops think 72% of the troops are unpatriotic?

    Asked why they think some Americans favor rapid U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, 37% of troops serving there said those Americans are unpatriotic

    An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year

  20. 5 out of 4 Americans don’t trust statistics.

  21. Why doesn’t the article print EXACTLY what the question asked was.

    The answers are totally different when asked:

    Do you want to go home:
    – immediately / 6 month / EOY / when were done
    versus:
    Do you want to see the military go home:
    – immediately / 6 month / EOY / when were done
    versus:
    Even if it comes at the expense of every child in Iraq being forcibly sodomized by the dogs of Insurgents, do you want to see the military go home:
    – immediately / 6 month / EOY / when were done

    I could not find the question in print, means a lot to know what to think of those damned lies called statistics.

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