Monday, October 25, 2010

More Iraqi Civilian Deaths

This by-election is being called following the death of PAS’s Che Hashim Sulaima from cancer on September 27. Pakatan Rakyat component party PAS had just selected their acting chief for the area, Dr Zulkefli Mohamad, to fly their colors. And on the BN side, Muhyiddin announced yesterday that UMNO Gua Musang secretary Abdul Aziz Yusof will be the BN representative for the November 4 Galas by-election,

Nomination was slated for October 26. Both nomination and voting days are the same as for the Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah. The popular talk is that BN will win both by-elections.

WikiLeaks said on Saturday the release of nearly 400,000 classified US files on the Iraq war showed 15,000 more Iraqi civilians died than previously thought. Uploaded on the WikiLeaks’ website, the files detailed gruesome cases of prisoner abuse by Iraqi forces that the US military knew about but did not seem to investigate.

In Baghdad, Iraqi officials responded to WikiLeaks’ move by pledging to probe any allegations that police or soldiers had committed crimes and saying any culprits would be prosecuted.

It is heartening to note that at least Iraqi authorities promised action. This sure beats the US who seems more interested to keep everything under wraps.

The whistle-blowing website’s founder, Julian Assange, who was furiously criticized by the Pentagon for publishing the secret reports, said the release should throw light on what had happened in Iraq, thwarting an official “attack on the truth”.

As Iraq Body Count co-founder John Sloboda said, “Adding in the combatant deaths reported in these logs... we are now able to say that more than 150,000 people have been killed in total since 2003, of which about 80 per cent were civilians”.

These revelations only reinforce the horrors of war and that nothing can ever justify innocent deaths that have been needlessly unnecessary.

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