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Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

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Hullabaloo


Saturday, April 12, 2003

 
Good Cop, Bad Cop

I swear I was being facetious when I said back on April 8th:

Saddam's Ba'ath party probably has some damned good administrators. And police forces, for that matter. Highly experienced. Surely they can be convinced to assume a more benign role in a post-Saddam Iraq. Maybe we don't have to engage in all that messy "accountability" mucky muck. Particularly when the ungrateful Iraqis are looting all the spoils (that we will just have to replace with our oil profits...)

I honestly did not believe that the United States would actually put Ba'ath Party police back on the streets because well...you know... all that torture, killing, cutting tongues out stuff. It didn't seem like the kind of thing that would be good for that All American altruistic liberator image to put Saddam's police apparatus back in place. Call me crazy, but I think some Iraqis might find that a bit disconcerting. Iraq wasn't called a police state for nothing.

Explaining the decision to encourage the Iraqi police to return, another civil affairs officer, Major David Cooper, said: "An awful lot of these people were police officers first and Ba'athists second. If we can identify those who were not hardline Ba'athists but are hardline Iraqi policemen, we can use them to maintain order. The first thing is to find out who they are and then see if we can work with them. We are not going to put war criminals in positions of authority."


And to think I was afraid they might be using some of the bad Ba'ath police who did the electrodes on the genitals and raping kids in front of their parents thing that Dubya mentioned about 3,236 times in the last month.

I'm awfully relieved American soldiers can tell so easily which ones are the war criminals and which ones are the good Ba'athists. They probably have a lot of experience negotiating labyrinthine social systems in total chaos. Perhaps they'll see into their souls.





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