Some occupation

Haifa Zangana, The Guardian, February 28:

In a letter to a friend in Europe, Abdul Razaq al-Na’as, a Baghdad university professor in his 50s, grieved for his killed friends and colleagues. His letter concluded: “I wonder who is next!” He was. On January 28 al-Na’as drove from his office at Baghdad University. Two cars blocked his, and gunmen opened fire, killing him instantly.

Al-Na’as is not the first academic to be killed in the mayhem of the “new Iraq”. Hundreds of academics and scientists have met this fate since the March 2003 invasion. Baghdad universities alone have mourned the killing of over 80 members of staff. The minister of education stated recently that during 2005, 296 members of education staff were killed and 133 wounded.

Not one of these crimes has been investigated by the occupation forces or the interim governments. They leave that to international humanitarian groups and anti-war organisations. Among them is the Brussels Tribunal on Iraq, which has compiled a list to persuade the UN special rapporteur on summary executions to investigate the issue; they do so with the help of Iraqi academics, who risk their lives in the process. Their research shows that the victims have been men and women from all over Iraq, from different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. Most were vocally opposed to the occupation. For the most part, they were killed in a fashion that suggests cold-blooded assassination. No one has claimed responsibility.

The key point of this article is reminding the world of the law of occupation:

“All foreign soldiers, diplomats or contractors implicated in the killing of Iraqi civilians are immune from arrest or trial in Iraq.” Both the British and US governments turn a blind eye to the systematic violations of human rights and murders committed by their clients in Iraq.

Meanwhile, back on planet Daniel Pipes, he believes the US and its allies have no responsibility in rebuilding Iraq:

“Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one.”

In other words, the US has caused destruction on a massive scale in Saddam’s former nation, but it’s now up to the Iraqis alone to repair and rebuild. And this is a man regarded as some foreign policy realist?