It Was Worse Than We Thought

We posted this news last Friday, but the extensive reaction from Iraqis was not part of what we saw then. Time does report the latter, and it’s well worth reading.

Shock and Anger in Baghdad Greet the Abu Ghraib News
Posted Friday, Nov. 03, 2006

Even for a people used to waking up to the sound of explosions, Iraqis were jolted by a Friday morning bombshell: the news, first reported on, that Sgt. Santos Cardona, viewed here as one of the villains of Abu Ghraib, had been ordered back to their country. Although Iraqi and Arab media have been slow to pick up on the story (the news cycle here tends to be a day or two behind the U.S.) many in Baghdad read about it online, and word quickly spread. The reaction was predictable: total outrage.

“This is America spitting in our face,” said Imad al-Hashimi, a Baghdad paediatrician. “The sheer arrogance of it is unbelievable.”

It wasn’t until midday that the news began to circulate in the Green Zone, the Baghdad enclave that includes many key government offices, including that of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. There, it was greeted with incredulity—and warnings of a backlash. “The reaction in the street will be very bad,” warns Maryam al-Rais, a member of the Iraqi parliament. “This is just the latest in a long list of insults to Iraqi dignity by the Americans.”

Officials said that the Iraqi government was not consulted on Sgt. Cardona’s new posting. “He was sent without the knowledge of the Iraqi government,” says Said Fadil al-Shara’a, internal affairs advisor to Nuri al-Maliki. “Nobody who has abused Iraqis should be allowed into this country, whether or not he has been convicted.”

Read all of this revealing article here.

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