Tuesday, December 16, 2008

U.S.-Iraq: Release Muntadar al-Zaidi!

When Iraqi TV reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi stood up the other day and cursed Bush and threw his shoes, sharply, at the U.S. Commander-in-Chief (as Bush likes to reference himself) and his puppet Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqis and much of the Arab world thrilled to see someone challenge power directly to its face.

Sadly, this protest against the imperialist destruction of his country and deaths of over a million due to the American invasion will not transcend the symbolic. But meanwhile, news is filtering out, and now confirmed by the BBC, that Mr. al-Zaidi is being tortured while held in U.S. custody at Camp Cropper. He is reportedly being charged with assault against the Iraqi Prime Minister.

From the BBC report:
Muntadar al-Zaidi has allegedly suffered a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding, his older brother, Dargham, told the BBC.

Mr Zaidi threw his shoes at Mr Bush at a news conference, calling him "a dog".

A spokesperson for the Iraqi military says the journalist is in good health and said the allegations were untrue....

Our correspondent says that the previously little-known journalist from the private Cairo-based al-Baghdadia TV has become a hero to many, not just in Iraq but across the Arab world, for what many saw as a fitting send-off for a deeply unpopular US president.

As he flung the shoes, Mr Zaidi shouted: "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog"....

Mr Zaidi has previously been abducted by insurgents and held twice for questioning by US forces in Iraq.

In November 2007 he was kidnapped by a gang on his way to work in central Baghdad and released three days later without a ransom.

He said at the time that the kidnappers had beaten him until he lost consciousness, and used his necktie to blindfold him.

Mr Zaidi never learned the identity of his kidnappers, who questioned him about his work before letting him go.
The disgust with which millions in the world hold the aggressor Bush, who faked evidence for a war in Iraq, and then invaded the country, with the connivance of both political parties in the United States, and then proceeded to occupy the country by force, and torture thousands of its citizens, this disgust found its symbol in Muntadar's impulsive demonstration.

Whatever "crime" Muntadar has committed pales next to the crimes of Bush and the U.S. military in Iraq. Muntadar should be freed immediately, and if he was mistreated in custody, his abusers should be charged. The fact this will never happen only points out to the thousands of Arabs protesting in the streets the lie behind the pretense of "progress" in the Middle East. By "progress", the U.S. government means progress in mollifying its own population that things will get better, that the U.S. will withdraw... some day. (Even as the government sets certain dates, the generals "on the ground" are already denying any such withdrawal.)

Whoever is holding Muntadar al-Zaidi, in the name of justice, release him!

No comments:

Search for Info/News on Torture

Google Custom Search
Add to Google ">View blog reactions

This site can contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.