News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Wolf at the Door in Iraq: US Set Civil War in Motion

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wolf at the Door in Iraq: US Set Civil War in Motion

Seven months ago, I linked to articles that reported that the US Defense Dept. had set into operation in Iraq a policy known as the "el Salvador" option. Ostensibly, this policy entails creating militias to combat insurgent forces. The option is named for El Salvador where it was used to support and create the infamous contra forces. With increasing sectarian violence in Iraq, stories arose early this year that the US had created similar forces there. The ensuing civil war is seen by some to be the result of this policy ...

According to The Independent:

Yet, ironically, the death squads are the result of US policy. At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". The policy, exposed in the US media, was called the "Salvador Option" after the American-backed counter-insurgency in Latin America more than 20 years ago, which led to 70,000 deaths and countless instances of human rights abuse.

Some of the most persistent allegations of abuse have been made against the Wolf Brigade, many of whom were formerly in Saddam's Baathist forces. Their main US adviser until April last year was James Steele, who, in his own biography, states that he commanded the US military group in El Salvador during the height of the guerrilla war and was involved in counter-insurgency training. The complaints against Iraqi special forces continue. ...

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