Wednesday, April 20, 2005

US Troops Humiliate Member of Iraqi Parliment

Over at Informed Comment today, Juan Cole has the goods on a very bad story. And I mean bad in that it could very well cause our nation more problems in Iraq -- as well as the rest of the region. Allow me to quote a large chunk of Cole's piece here (all emphasis is mine):
A tearful member of the Iraqi parliament, Fattah al-Shaikh, stood up before other MPs and told the story of how he was attacked and detained by US troops when he attempted to enter the Green Zone, the heavily fortified area near downtown Baghdad where parliament is held and the US embassy is situated. Wire services report that he said, '“I don’t speak English and so I said to the Iraqi translator with them, ‘Tell them that I am a member of parliament’, and he replied, ‘To hell with you, we are Americans.'" ' Al-Hayat reported that al-Shaikh, a member of the Muqtada al-Sadr bloc, said the US troops put their boots on his neck and handcuffed him. The Iraqi parliament was thrown into an uproar by the account, and demanded a US apology from the highest levels of government. Others demanded that the site of parliament meetings be changed. (This is not the first complaint by a parliamentarian of being manhandled). Parliament speaker Hajim al-Hasani condemned the assault, saying that members of parliament are symbols of national honor and must be respected. Parliament adjourned on hearing the news.
You may not know this, but Iraqi male politicians rarely weep. Yes sir, nothing boosts international relations like roughing up a governmental representative from time to time.

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