The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

“Discovery” of Torture in Iraqi Prison:
U.S. Military Puts on a Show

Nov 21, 2005

On November 13, U.S. troops raided a prison in Baghdad run by the Iraqi government, supposedly to look for an Iraqi teenager whose parents had contacted a U.S. congressman. Instead, the troops found 173 prisoners who had been starved and tortured.

U.S. officials pretended to be shocked! They immediately denounced their allies, the Iraqi government, for the ill treatment of these prisoners. A U.S. general told reporters this incident proved that the U.S. did not play favorites in Iraq.

What shameless lies!

How could U.S. officials not know–when tens of thousands of Iraqis demonstrated to protest relatives being arrested by the Iraqi police and disappearing? How could they not have known when numerous news reports exposed the discovery of mass graves with bodies bearing signs of torture and execution?

The prison raided by the U.S. was run by the militia of a Shiite organization, which also controls the Interior Ministry in the U.S.-sponsored government, and almost all the prisoners were Sunnis. But is this a surprise? The U.S. has been relying on Kurdish warlords, Shiite mullahs and Sunni members of Saddam Hussein’s old state apparatus to run occupied Iraq. The U.S. has been using Shiite and Kurdish troops to raid cities and towns whose population is overwhelmingly Sunni. And the U.S. has set up Iraq’s new political structure on the basis of these ethnic and religious divisions.

This prison raid was nothing but a show intended for the U.S. audience. The U.S. has not only been playing favorites in Iraq; it has effectively been provoking and deepening the ethnic and religious divisions there. In fact, the U.S. has been setting Iraq up for civil war–a civil war that gets more brutal and violent by the day, under the watch of the U.S. occupation forces.