I don’t think that this is what winning looks like.
Dozens Are Kidnapped at College Office in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Nov. 14 — Several dozen employees of a university office were kidnapped here today, in a methodical daylight raid that prompted the minister of higher education to berate Parliament and threaten to shut the nation’s universities until security improves.dad on Tuesday, in what may be the biggest mass kidnap seen in a city becoming used to such violence.[…] Witnesses said today’s raid was carried out by as many as 80 men wearing the commando uniforms of the Interior Ministry forces. But the identity of kidnappers is often hard to pin down, as insurgents and criminal gangs often don counterfeit versions of official uniforms.
The gunmen, who stormed into the building at about 10:15 this morning, told employees that they were “clearing the way” for a the American ambassador, who would soon be traveling down the road outside, said Basil al-Khateeb, a spokesman for the ministry of higher education.
As they worked through the institute rounding up everyone inside, they separated out the women, eventually locking them in a room, before loading the men into sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks and driving off, Mr. Khateeb said. Some of those taken were employees of the research and engineering departments, while others were civilians who just happened to be there.
Witnesses quoted by news services said that the gunmen confiscated cellphones in what appeared to be a tightly planned, highly coordinated operation that lasted 15 or 20 minutes. Video taken at the scene showed telephones ripped from desks but no other signs of ransacking.
Various estimates count 30 to 150 employees kidnapped. Normally when you say this happened under the nose of the police you mean it in the figurative sense. From the Reuters story:
A witness who works in the building but had stepped out when the gunmen arrived said he returned to see police standing idly by as the kidnappers checked identity cards, apparently sorting Sunnis from Shi’ites and then drove off with Sunni men.
At least the police didn’t offer to help. As far as we know. Also from Reuters, Iraqi authorities responded appropriately:
Iraqiya state television reported the interior ministry had ordered the arrest of the police commander and another senior officer in Karrada, the district where the kidnapping happened.
To recap, 80 gunmen walked into the Higher Education Ministry in broad daylight and rounded up between 30 and 150 Sunni men while the police stood by and watched. The regional chief of police and a chief deputy have apparently gone fugitive since the authorities didn’t simply arrest him in his office. Add this to your mental ledger regarding Iraq – entire districts are governed by security forces who have wholly gone over to the bloody sectarian conflict. How many Iraqi brigades do we have trained right now? How many police? Subtract the number who exist merely to kill their own countrymen and you have a force that might, on a good day, secure Liechtenstein.
Please don’t talk about invading Lichtenstein. It could only make things worse.
Oh, good. I was worried you would forget Lichtenstein.
Oh, sure! One week into the Dems so-called “victory”, everything goes south in Iraq. I hope you libs are proud of losing the war in Iraq. When the nukes start going off in Newark, it will be thanks to you and your failure to support Dubya, you dishonest pukes.
This incident reveals the moral bankruptcy of Western media, Europe, and the Arab League.
The terrorists are just trying to cement their Democratic majority now because they know this will be unfairly blamed on the President, who’s totally not the Commander-in-Chief anymore.
So, if you look at the statistics for homicides in America you’ll see that the murder rate for the entire US is at its lowest since 1973. From these statistics we learn that there were “about 6 murder victims per 100,000 persons in 2005.” Given the US has 300 million people, that’s about 18,000 people murdered per year.
Now let’s look at Iraq. There are the estimates of 50,000 to 150,000 (and more) in the years during the war. This means that even at the low end, Iraq has an identical or greater number of people murdered per year as the US A country with more than 10 times the population. Normalizing Iraq’s murder rate to America would result in levels of murder 10 times higher than the highest rates ever seen (late 70s/early 80s). We’d go from 18,000 people murdered per year to 180,000. Just some facts for debunking the next lies from right wing bloviator about how “safe” Iraq is, or how it’s not worse than Detroit or whatever.
I didn’t even factor in other violent crimes, like kidnapping (see Tim F’s example) and rape. Couple these huge spikes in violent crime, with power availability at lower levels than before the war & unemployment rates far higher and it’s no wonder Iraqis are pissed off at the situation we created. Saddam was a fucking nightmare, to be sure, but we’ve created something that’s pretty damn bad – near anarchy & chaos. So now instead of one dictator bent on your death you now have any number of militias and criminals to fear.
Heckavu job, Bushie. Heckuva job.
The Other Steve
To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, the Architect of Iraq War Policy.
They were simply excercising their Constitution Freedom to kidnap and kill people.
Well this certainly puts a lie to the idea that the violence was ratcheted up just for the election (I forget which admin talking head or heads said that).
Where will they dump up to 150 bodies?
We had better get a bunch of helicopters on the roofs when we leave this time. It’s going to be a massacre.
But only if everyone surrendered right away.
If you listen closely you’ll hear pundits working away on their attempts to blame violence between now and 2007 on the Democrats, or more accurately the shameless America-haters who voted for them. No blame must attach to our Fearless Cheerleader and the trusty rubber-stamping GOP. How could GWB know that an unprovoked invasion would upset people? He certainly couldn’t have known sudden removal of a dictator would result in utter chaos. I mean, it’s not like that’s ever happened before. At least not when he was paying attention to world affairs.
Not in the morgue. It’s full.
The whole set of Republican talking points on Iraq right now is sickening, and reminds me of their attempts to make it appear like there’s still legitimate debate on evolution or global warming.
The facts are:
* Iraq is not getting better.
* The insurgency is not in its last throes.
* Crime is up.
* Unemployment is up.
* Energy availability is down.
* Reporters who venture outside the green zone are subject to kidnapping or worse.
* But lots of them do venture out, and what they report isn’t good news because its dwarfed by the both the volume and ferocity of the bad news.
* The police are not even close to being ready to take over for our forces
Everything Republicans claim about Iraq is fantasy. It’s false. It’s an ex-operable-fact, circa pre-invasion 2002 neocon computer simulations.
Freedom is messy. Why not enjoy a nice pie instead? It might fatten you up and clog your arteries with yellowy goo, but at least you won’t get your ass shot off defending the right of Iraqis to turn their nation into a war zone/ theocracy.
Salty Party Snax
I think it has pretty much gotten to the point in Iraq where our military people are being left in place by the Bushanistas because of the need to preserve the illusion that we haven’t suffered a military defeat there. The war is lost and the only thing that keeps it from being ruled official is that we still have our troops there. Outside of that? We’re toast.
The last thing Georgie wants now is “war loser” being added to his list of personal failures as president. It would annoy him.
Keeping in mind that Iraq is no more violent than, say, Washington DC, I hope that the people working at Georgetown University are keeping automatic weapons in their offices.
James F. Elliott
Elvis, I do hope you’re kidding about the “moral bankruptcy” of the Western media: Michael Rubin is talking out his rear end. For example, NPR devoted several portions of its morning programming to this story (I heard it on my way to work). CNN has reported on the outrage the Minister of Education in Iraq expressed to Parliament. Perhaps, being a pundit masquerading as a journalist, Mr. Rubin has difficulty distinguishing between reporters and talking heads, but there’s no reason you should peddle or purchase the same nonsense. Reporters report. That’s what they do. Pundits get to express outrage. That’s what they do.
Damn, I was hoping that the Corner (sans K-Lo) would try to be a bit more subtle about their spoofing. K-Lo might now realize that it’s one big practical joke on her.
Why isn’t the MSM reporting about all the higher education member that aren’t being kidnapped?
I heard on the news that they also had ‘counterfeit’ Iraqi Police vehicles and whatnot. Yeesh, why bother counterfeiting them when the real thing is so easy to come by? Come for the uniforms, weaponry, and vehicles, stay for the terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and ransoms.
I’m sure this happens all the time in DC–they just don’t report it because it isn’t a missing white woman…
I think we turned a corner in Iraq when the big story is a kidnapping, and not a car bombing or a mass beheading.
That is progress. Laugh at if you like, defeatists.
Speaking of the corner, I have to thank them profusely for the link to the new funniest page on the internets.
Read the comments.
jcricket–add to your list:
Educated professionals are leaving Iraq as fast as they can.
And who can blame them? If the choice is between working in the UAE or being kidnapped and killed in Iraq, I know where I wanna be. But without an educated professional class to run the country and make sure the oil fields and hospitals and power plants and universities and stock exchange function…
Heckova job, George. You should be proud.
I miss the days of Saddam and when all we had to worry about in Iraq was shooting down another shoddy anti-aircraft defense trying its feeble best to lock onto our fighter jets.
Standard disclaimer bullshit the admin likes to see in these stories. Most of these kinds of operations are carried out by IAs, police, and other government security forces. A way to pick up weapons and a paycheck while conducting your civil war.
As one Army captain noted late last month…
I would say the captain was being a bit polite in his assessment of the percentage. Couple that with our financial support in Iraq. So here we are in a war where we’re also paying the bad guys. Wow, wonder how many times that has happened in history where one party funds both sides in a war. Heckuva job, Georgie. You really are one for the books.
Perhaps they were declared enemy combatants first. That would make it just fine then.
Well, between this and the professorial kidnappings, it looks like Iraq is making progress! After all, you have to get rid of all those damn smarties with their fancy book learnin’ and all those damn professional elites–ya know, damn dirty libruls–before you can hunker down for some good ol’ Texas git-r-done!
Thanks you, Andrew. The perfect touch.
That photo absolutely makes me think Saturday Night Live every time I see it. Tell me that those are actors.
Why do Facts hate America?
Off-topic thought: Are any rightwing blogs calling for Chad Castagana, of fake anthrax fame, to be declared an enemy combatant?
I’d love to know what Campuswatch thinks of this. Are they aghast or just envious?
You say that like they acknowledge he exists.
No, but it may not matter — apparently now you don’t have to be declared an enemy combatant to be held incommunicado
Bob In Pacifica
Is George Galloway Sunni or Shia?
I’m waiting for scs to chime in and say this merely a typical day in Detroit for murders/kidnappings. Why dozens of college faculty/staff get kidnapped/murdered in broad daylight every day somewhere in the grand US of A. So why the fuss?
It’s Horowitz’s wet dream!
This goes to show exactly why we must win in Iraq. You just wait when Pelosi and her merry band of defeatists pull our troops from Iraq. Where do you think they’ll start kidnapping next? Here in the US. I really don’t understand why you liberals don’t get that. Isn’t this just case in point?
[Channeling Talking point heads:] Hey now. At least these people aren’t being worked over with power tools and sent to feed the fish in the Tigris under the rule of a brutal dictator.
Kinda wondering when it will happen to the asshat myself. I mean he did send letter filled with white powder in order to terrorize people and was taking Coulter et al.’s advice…oh wait does that mean that the masterminds will be declared enemy combatants as well? What’s that? Oh the letters were sent to democrats and critics of the admin, that makes things ok then. The FBI is treating it like a criminal investigation, maybe they should start treating all other incidents in the same manner, oh wait that’s a pre-9/11 mindeset…
150, 120, “scores”, now we’re down to twenty. Pretty soon we’ll be in the black.
Trent, kindly explain to me how the kidnappers are prevented from getting plane tickets here by the pointless death of American troops in in Iraq. Huh?
If those numbers had been reported in that order you might have a point. They weren’t, so you don’t.
I’m stunned that these guys are taken so easily. Quite sure they know they’re about to be first, drill-bit practice, followed by daisy pusher-uppers. You’d think these people would be packing a few AKs under their desk and perhaps a shiv or three in their waistband for the inevitable moment they’re ‘napped…
Sounds like the Republican promised land. Soon-to-be-laid off Republican staffers and and ex-Congress-critters would have a field day there. Let’s start by sending Richard “global warming is a hoax” Pombo and Rick “She’s alive!!!!” Santorum.
The new Republican slogan should be, “Setting the bar so low, you can’t possible fail to succeed!”
No, now it just happens under the rule of any of a hundred different rival militias. And to think those Defeatocrats said we’d never see any progress!
I love this bland phrasing, it’s as if it’s some debate about a chess strategy.
How about instead they write that Bush is tossing aside hundreds of years of progress in human rights, ripping our constitution to shreds and destroying the fabric of American moral values so he can “justify” rounding up the darkies, torture them, and claim he’s doing something to make America safer.
There’s nothing more dangerous to American interests in the long run than what Bush is doing here. The suspension of habeus corpus, legalization of torture, “Unitary executive” all threaten the America that we all want to believe in (even when we fail to live up to that ideal) more than anything since internment, McCarthy’s politics and probably the slavery that once blighted our country.
There is nothing else Republicans have done, including all the corruption, voter suppression, gay bashing, insertion of religion into science and even the signing statements that compares to the idea that president can unilaterally “remove” rights and indefinitely detain without trial anyone they see fit. Any “conservative” or “libertarian” who fails to to see and vigorously oppose the Presidents totalitarian power grab can fuck off and die. I’m through listening to people who would authorize such un-American behavior.
Hey, this kind of stuff happens all the time in Philadelphia.
Some of my friends at Penn got abducted there just last week.
It wasn’t really an abduction, people, it was just a prank, like Abu Ghraib and the fake anthrax letters. Don’t you guys have any sense of humor?
Most of the dead bodies they find in Iraq actually come from gang wars in the Philadelphia/Camden area. The Philly Mob has lots of connections with Iraq, going back to the days when Angelo Bruno would drive a Cadillac full of Iraqi oil. So it makes sense that when the Mafia, or the Junior Mafia up in North Philly, or the Russians and Koreans in Northeast Philly, or the Puerto Ricans in Camden need to disappear a body, they ship it to Baghdad and have it dumped on the streets as a warning to the other Philly gangsters. No one else gets the message, which is what’s so brilliant about it. If no one else realizes where the bodies come from, no one else can start investigations.
And you idiot moonbats fall for it every time.
Abu Ghraib was hilarious. That was the funniest thing to come out of the White House since the “Where are those WMDs?” gag.
No wonder the Middle East turns to terrorism. Those guys have no sense of humor.
It’s funny. I’ve lived in DC, Philadelphia, and now Seattle. The first two are far, far less safe than Seattle (yet everyone here is all freaked out about the slight up-tick in crime lately). But even while living in those other places, I didn’t spend my days fearful of rolling blackouts, sectarian warfare, mass kidnappings by “fake police”, and I know very few people who did (even in the most gang-ridden sections of North Philly or DC). Yes, there was violent crime and police brutality, but it paled in comparison to what’s going on in Iraq.
Even my relatives in NY, who lived through the crime-riddled late 70s and 80s didn’t experience anything like what’s going on in Iraq right now. Iraq is like the Rodney King or Watts riots, every day.
The best thing one can say about Iraq is that at least it’s not the Sudan.
Who’s being naive, J?
Dude, Philadelphia’s not Columbia or Argentina. But seriously, what American women really need to fear, apparently, is their Republican husbands. Can a day go by without another bible-thumping Republican abusing his wife, mistress, drugs or underage boys?