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The Volcano Brigade, Iraqi Shia Death Squad

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posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 08:25 AM
The Volcano Brigade is a commando unit under the Iraqi Interior Ministry. The ministry and especially the unit are alleged to have been heavily infiltrated by a violent Shia militia, the Badr Organization. The Volcano Brigade has been implicated in numerous kidnappings for ransom, terrorizing of the citizenry, and outright murders of members of the community. Volcano Brigadesmen move about the cities of Iraq in full battle gear in military vehicles while even going so far as to wear ski-masks. The Interior Ministry has also recently been found to have been keeping secret prisons in country where the old Shia foe, the Sunnis, have been horribley torture.
About 2 a.m. on Aug. 23, men in Volcano Brigade uniforms and trucks rolled into the streets of Dolay, a mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhood of western Baghdad, residents say. "I got a call from my cousins" around the corner, said Ahmed Abu Yusuf, 33, an unemployed Sunni. "They told me to stay hidden because the Volcano were in the streets, arresting Sunnis."

For three hours, the raiders burst into Sunni homes, handcuffed dozens of men and loaded them into vans. They ended the assault and drove out of the neighborhood just before the dawn call to prayer, which would bring men into the streets, walking to the local mosques, Abu Yusuf said.

Two days later and 90 miles away, residents of the desert town of Badrah, near the Iranian border, found the bodies of 36 of the men in a gully, their hands still bound and their skulls shattered by bullets. Two were the cousins who had phoned him the warning, Abu Yusuf said.[...]
The Volcano Brigade's commander, Bassem Gharawi, has denied his force committed the massacre[...]
In the past year, the U.S. military has helped build up the commandos under guidance from James Steele, a former Army Special Forces officer who led U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in El Salvador in the 1980s. Salvadoran army units trained by Steele's team were accused of a pattern of atrocities.[...]
Interior Minister Bayan Jabr denies his ministry condones such killings [...]Jabr is a leader of Iraq's most powerful Shia political party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). The party's longtime military wing, the Badr militia, was formed in Iran as an adjunct to Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guards to help fight the 1980-88 war against Hussein's Baathists.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I think that some of the worst aspects of this is that the american liason for these sorts of groups is the same guy who was the liason for the infamous Salvadorian Death Squads. The fact that the Badr Organization is linked to fundamentalist Iran is also rather stunning. There are also Sunni Death Squads roving the streets, with the machoistic names of the Lion Brigade and Scorpion Brigade, and others.
On the one hand, the very existance of these units shows what could happen if the US left Iraq in the next few years, with the Sadamite Regime simply being replaced by an equally brutal and inhuman Badrite one, making the whole Enterprise entirely pointless.
On the other hand, these brigades are being trained by the US, and might not even exist on a systematic scale if the US wasn't there in the first place. The El Salvadorian debacle of the past few decades clearly shows that these sorts of politics are incredibly dangerous and that they are a real affront to the ideals of an American foreign policy and culture.
Everyone can agree that war is messy. This isn't war tho. This is enabling brutal monsters to let loose their wrath on their fellow citizens, all in some idiotic hope that it will somehow result in a better geopolitical position for the US. Iraq has no cultural history of actual participatory democracy, and setting up death squads within it and allowing its government ministries to be run by brutal tribalistic strong men certainly isn't going to help that. If Iraqi Democracy and a Free Iraqi Republic are good things for the US, then these actions are certianly bad things for it.
This James Steele, at the very least, needs to be pulled out of there and put up on trial.

Related News Links:

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[edit on 20-11-2005 by asala]

posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 08:31 AM
The Third Supporting News Story is also rather disturbing in its implications. Does anyone recall the incident on the Bridge with the shia religious procession? Wherein there had been a bombing earlier in the day, and then a panic broke out over a fear of a bomb on the bridge, such that there was a stampede and hundreds died in the crazed mob? Apparently the Volcano Brigade was in charge of security for that bridge.

The religious leader also reported that soldiers from the Iraqi Volcano Brigade, under the command of the Ministry of the Interior, were responsible for security within and around Kadhamiya, while the Ministry of Defense (MoD) was responsible for securing the perimeter. The religious leader told the commanders of the MoD to close the bridge between Kadhamiya and Al-Adhamiya for security reasons, as the U.S. military had done the year before. However, someone—he doesn't know who—ordered that the bridge be left open.

Counter-Insurgency operations perhaps? Another possibility of false flag operations, as with the SAS mess over the soldiers disguised as natives who attacked an Iraqi Police unit? What the heck is going on over there? Are they fighting a war against anyone, just how many of these mass killings graves that people are finding are from jihadis, government death squads, or counter-insurgency raids?

And in the US, why are the democrats bantering over idiotic accustations of who fixed what intelligence on weapons that everyone knew existed in Iraq anyway, and arguing over the semantics of when what reports were obviously wrong and thus the backing of them was a lie, when this sort of stuff is going on? Is anyone in washington interetsed in anythin other than re-election and politcs? Is anyone in the military actually concerned with setting up a stable open liberal society in iraq?

[edit on 16-11-2005 by Nygdan]

posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 08:17 AM
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Here are some Masked Iraqi Commandos, tho I have to say that these guys aren't necessarily part of these death squads. I've seen this photo cited as specifically being of members of the Scorpion Brigade however. Indeed, having the face covered protects them and their families from insurgent attacks.

Below is an agent of the Iraqi Interior Ministry

I've seen other photos of the Volcano Brigade and this seems to match their mode of dress, as opposed to the first pick.

Here are some unmasked Special Police troopers, engaged in a firefight around the time of the elections. cite

Masked and unmasked commandos in the area near Jordan cite

Agents of the Interior Ministry rounding up people cite

Also, here is a very interesting collection of patches for Iraqi Police units, not strictly related, but for those who maintain an interest in that sort of there, here it is.

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