Post-Saddam Iraq Looking More Like Saddam's Iraq

Sunday, November 27, 2005 at 08:24 AM

The first post-Saddam Prime Minister of Iraq, Iyad Allawi, has told the UK newspaper The Observer that post-Saddam Iraq is beginning to look unfortunately like Saddam's Iraq in terms human rights abuses. Story here  And we all know what that euphemism "human rights abuses" means--imprisonment, torture, secret policing activities, and the like.  

Allawi accuses his fellow Shias in the government of being responsible for death squads and secret torture centers

Allawi said "People are doing the same as Saddam Hussein's time and worse. It is an appropriate comparison."

"People are remembering the days of Saddam.  These are the precise reasons why we fought Saddam Hussein and now we are seeing the same things."

"We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated."

When Allawi said "A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations," he wasn't even talking about American or British interrogations.

The Observer notes that "Allawi's bleak assessment is likely to undermine any attempt to suggest that conditions in Iraq are markedly improving."  The implication is that the White House is planning to use that suggestion as a basis for announcing partial withdrawal of US troops.

It seems to me that the politics of the debate over US withdrawal from Iraq are about to get as complicated as life on the ground in Iraq.  We have Americans saying stay and Americans saying go.  We have Iraqis saying stay and Iraqis saying go.  We have Shias fighting Sunnis fighting Kurds.  We have Muslims fighting secularists.  We have al Sistani Shia competing with al Sadr Shia.

It all makes me wonder:  how long before one of the loyal US generals looks at this mess and decides that his conscience can no longer tolerate silence about the administration's motives and planning before and during the war.