Paul Krugman’s column this morning warns us not to put any credence in the claim Gen. Petraeus will make in his upcoming report to Congress “that the surge has reduced violence in Iraq.” Excellent point. The column makes lots of excellent points — like this one:
Oh, and by the way. Baghdad is undergoing ethnic cleansing, with Shiite militias driving Sunnis out of much of the city. And guess what? When a Sunni enclave is eliminated and the death toll in that district falls because there’s nobody left to kill, that counts as progress by the Pentagon’s metric.
You could argue with the headline “Time to Take a Stand.” That time was long ago. So for the record, a few past reminders from this small corner of the world about genocide and ethnic cleansing in Iraq:
Hed: The Sunni Genocide, December 8, 2005.
Now that Harold Pinter has given his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, he has also provided us with cover to post what may be the most incredible item — truly the hardest to believe — we’ve ever put up. It’s not only about genocide, which we’ve written about before, it’s about “the coming genocide of the Sunnis in Iraq,” to quote a friend of ours, which will be committed by American proxies for a U.S. regime secretly bent on mass murder.
Hed: ‘Ganda Machine Gears Up, on December 15, 2005.
We have led a country to civil war in order to permanently weaken it. We have largely destroyed its cultural patrimony to erase its identity and autonomy. We have set up a potential genocide against our opponents. And now we step aside and claim we can’t control what will happen.
Hed: Hidden in Plain Sight, on December 20, 2005.
We’ve been banging on about the American strategy to
democratizeSalvadorize Iraq, as though the coming Sunni genocide is a revelation because a “U.S. regime secretly bent on mass murder” has proxies doing the dirty work. But all of this has been hidden in plain sight for so long — in the mainstream media and elsewhere — that we’re shocked by our own naiveté.
Hed: Bold, Red-faced Contradictions, on February 21, 2006.
Iraqi death squads doing America’s dirty work? Why would you think that?
Hed: Loud Whispers, on December 17, 2006.
Postscript: Sept. 11 — You can’t say the mainstream media is not telling us. Even though it uses the antiseptic term “internal displacement,” a New York Times news analysis about yesterday’s dog-and-pony show notes that massive ethnic cleansing in Baghdad has soared during the surge:
[M]any Iraqis have told reporters they still do not feel secure, despite General Petraeus’s charts showing drops in violence. Internal displacement has doubled since the “surge” began, reaching 1.1 million people nationwide, according to the International Office of Migration and the Iraqi Red Crescent Society. [Emphasis added.]
Shiite militias have continued their steady march to force Sunni Arabs from an ever-expanding area of Baghdad and surrounding villages. That has been compounded by mass roundups of Sunni Arabs suspected of being insurgents, who are held for months in dangerously crowded detention centers without trial or charges. Shiite judges concede that 40 percent to 50 percent of those detainees are innocent.
Of course, the analysis by reporters Alissa J. Rubin and Damien Cave, who are in Baghdad, is almost unfindable on the front of the NYT Web site and pretty much buried in the print edition. It’s on the bottom of page A16 (though, to be fair, the editors cite it above the fold as part of a front-page package).
Now read “The erasing of Iraq,” in The Guardian of London. It’s excerpted from Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine,” and it’s mind-boggling. But I thoroughly disagree with her conclusion that “‘[t]his was not what the Bush administration intended for Iraq when it was selected as the model nation for the rest of the Arab world.” Or that “cleansing campaigns are rarely premeditated.”
(Postscript crossposted at HuffPo)