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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Iraq the American's Mistake? Couldn't Have Happened to a More Evil Empire

Nadene Goldfoot
The USA may have erred in invading Iraq  thinking they were the lone instigators of 9/11,an attack on America,  but it couldn't have happened to a more evil state.  Iraq was about as close to a Nazi regime as you can get and was truly an evil empire.  When you get right down to it, none of the states in the Middle East except Israel were practicing what we call Human Rights, but Iraq was cruel beyond measure.

Almost every type of human rights was severely restricted or nonexistent.  Was this ever brought up in the United Nations?  Freedom of speech and press and of assembly and association were virtually nonexistent.  Iraqis couldn't do a thing to change their non-democratic government.

Their intelligence service conducted extensive surveillance and used extra-legal means, including extreme torture of all forms and even executed children as well as adults to suppress anti-regime activity.  Execution was an established Iraqi method for dealing with perceived political and military opponents of Saddam's government.  There was also no due process along with arbitrary detentions.  People would just disappear.

Their secret service was known to kill family members of dissidents that were inside or outside the country.  The public education system was government-controlled and encouraged children to inform on their parents for suspected anti-regime activities, just like the Nazis did.

As for the 150,000 Jews who had lived in Iraq with a history going back to Assyria when they invaded Israel in 721 BCE, followed up by the Babylonian invasion in 597 BCE.  This 2,700 year old Iraqi Jewish community had suffered horrible persecution in modern days.

In June 1941 when Germany was rounding up Jews, Rashid Ali, a Mufti-inspired pro Nazi   started rioting and a pogrom in Baghdad. All of the Ottoman Empire had been on the side of the Germans in WWI, and Arabs still clung to Nazi views about Jews.   Armed Iraqi mobs, with the help of the police and the army murdered 180 Jews and wounded almost 1,000.  More outbreaks of anti-Jewish rioting occurred between 1946-1949.  Of course Israel was born in a barrage of bullets or rockets May 14, 1948.

By 1950 Iraqi Jews were permitted to leave the country within a year IF they forfeited their citizenship.  One year went by giving Iraq time to freeze the property of the Jews who left and then economic restrictions were placed on Jews who decided to remain.  In May 1950, 113,000 Iraq Jews fled to Israel in Israel's "Operation Ali Baba."

By 1952 Iraq's government would not allow any Jews from emigrating and hung 2 Jews in public.  They had lied with a false charge  saying that they had thrown a bomb at the Baghdad office of the US Information Agency.

Ba'ath factions in 1963 were in competition for the government position (Saddam Hussein's party) so more restrictions were placed on the Iraqi Jews.  They couldn't sell their property as it was against the law now and all Jews were forced to carry yellow ID cards, from shades of Nazis.

After the Six Day War of 1967, more horrid measure were imposed.
1. Jewish property was expropriated
2. Jewish bank accounts were frozen
3. Jews were dismissed from public posts
4. Jewish business were shut down
5. Jewish trading permits were cancelled
6. Jewish telephones were disconnected
7. Jews were placed under house arrest for long periods of time or restricted to the cities.

By the end of 1968, the worst was happening to the Iraq Jews.  Many were jailed because the government said they discovered a local spy ring made up of Jewish businessmen.  14 men-eleven of them Jewish, were sentenced to death in pretend trials and hung in the public squares of Baghdad.  Others died from torture.

On January 27, 1969, Baghdad Radio called all Iraqis to "come and enjoy the feast."  Some 500,000 men, women and children as a mob paraded and danced past the scaffolds where the bodies of the hung Jews swung while chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to all traitors."

This disgusting display brought a world-wide public outcry that radio Baghdad dismissed by saying, "We hanged spies, but the Jews crucified Christ."   Jews were under constant surveillance by the Iraqi government.  One Jew wrote in his diary in February 1970:

  "Ulcers, heart attacks, and breakdowns are increasingly prevalent among the Jews...The dehumanization of the Jewish personality resulting from continuous humiliation and torment...have dragged us down to the lowest level of our physical and mental faculties, and deprived us of the power to recover."  

International pressure forced the Baghdad government to allow the Jews to emigrate in the early 1970's.  The old folk that was left were forced to turn over title, without compensation to more than $200 million dollars worth of Jewish community property.  One synagogue was left in Baghdad.  The restrictions remained.  The Iraqi government was run by President Saddam Hussein by July 16, 1979.  

By 1991 there were 150 Jews that remained.  Travel was restricted, so that they could not go to Israel and could not contacts Jewish groups abroad.  This is true also of 1992.  Saddam remained in power until hung on December 30, 2006 by the Iraqis at the American-Iraqi military base, Camp Justice.    

Most likely, nothing was ever brought up in the UN to improve human rights in Iraq.  Just the past year of 2012 there were 1,346 civilians killed with 3,660 injured in their violence among each other.  "Many Iraqis still have limited access to basic services, including healthcare, education, and employment..They seem still unable to govern themselves, even though they've had almost a 10 year  trial run.  .

Though taking Iraq and Saddam Hussein was quick, ( USA and UK invading in March 2003 and capturing him on December 13, 2003) we stayed too long, long enough to lose in battle 4,486 good men from May 1, 2003 to 2012. We also have 32,000 wounded warriors.  It cost us $1 trillion dollars. " The Iraq war has changed America. We now have a $17 trillion debt. And obviously Iraq contributed to that."  Iraq, being who they are, are still fighting each other to this day. 

 I would say that the Iraqis, treated cruelly, taught to treat others cruelly, brainwashed and beaten down, will take a very long time in being able to understand what human rights are and learn to defend themselves in order to have such a precious thing.  

Resource:  Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Dr. Mitchell G. Bard, Joel Himelfarb

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