Socialist Worker

Iraq in brief

Issue No. 1942

Sick insight into the occupation

A shocking new film, seen by Socialist Worker, shows US troops kicking a badly wounded Iraqi prisoner in the face. The film was made by US troops from the Florida National Guard and given the sick title “Ramadi Madness”. It also shows the troops making the arm of a corpse appear to wave.

The troops turned their footage into a DVD, with other sections entitled “Those Crafty Little Bastards” and “Another Day, Another Mission, Another Scumbag”.

The Pentagon denied the existance of the footage, claiming it had been destroyed. But the Florida-based Palm Beach Post obtained a copy and posted the footage on its website.

A soldier is quoted in US army documents, saying of one of the prisoners shown in the footage, “The dude eventually died. We weren’t in any hurry to call the medics.”

Not enough jails in the new Iraq?

The US plans to build more prisons in Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s many jails are overcrowded with Iraqis detained by the occupying forces. Now the US wants to build a new, bigger prison.

According to Iraqi newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat the new prison is to be built in the Nasariya province, near a US military camp. The notorious Abu Ghraib prison, built to hold 2,500, currently holds 3,160 inmates.

A further 8,900 people are held in three other major prisons in Iraq, 1,000 more than in late January. The US also plans to expand these prisons.

US tried to arrest Italian

An Italian hostage freed in Iraq last September, Simona Torretta, said secret agents had to stop the US taking her and a fellow hostage into custody after their release because “they wanted to interrogate us”.

The pilot of the plane which returned her to Rome told the pair to “keep quiet” because he was nervous the US forces would prevent their departure.

Commenting on Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian hostage released last Saturday and shot by US troops, Simona said:

“In Baghdad this kind of stuff happens all the time. In reality thousands of innocent people are killed. It’s the war that creates this crazy mechanism and it is the war that has to end. They’re always doing things like this. This time it has become an issue because it’s a Westerner involved not some poor, innocent Iraqi.”

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Sat 12 Mar 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1942
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