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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Something Terrible Has Happened In Iraq

Update: According to Turkish Press, four cooks and a produce supplier were arrested, and no one died. They say it was food poisoning. AP seems to have been the source for the original quote about the bleeding from the ears and nose by a government official. Is this related to the brigade that was pulled out of service because some of its members were suspected of complicity with the Shia militia, in particular, having been accused of looking the other way when 24 workers in a frozen food factory were abducted and killed? The poisoned brigade was sent to this base for training. The accusations over police complicity with the sectarian violence are mounting, and attacks on the families of police commanders have been reported. Not, of course, that this is a limited strategy in Iraq. The vice-president of Iraq has already had two brothers and a sister killed.

They had better also be testing these guys for illnesses such as typhoid fever, dengue, and Crimean-Congo hemorraghic fever. The combination of a few severely ill people displaying bleeding symptoms with widespread food poisoning might be explained that way.

If the reports of bleeding from the ears and noses are true, there may be much more going on. Iraq was known to have studied and deployed aflatoxins and their derivatives in their bioweapons campaign, but aflatoxins also occur naturally. See this long article about the possibility that Iraq had deployed such weapons in the gulf war. Iraq reported to the UN that it had hidden these weapons by burying them at airfields and the like, and at one point accused the US of attacking them with such weapons because of tests supposedly showing environmental contamination by associated residues in and around southern Iraq. It was an official of the Environmental Health department who was first quoted by AP about the bleeding. This possibility requires immediate investigation by US military health officials because of the potential danger to the civilian population and our troops.

Ricksettial diseases are difficult to diagnose with early blood tests (PCR works best), and mycotoxins are poisonous in such small concentrations that they can be difficult to detect. Ingesting mycotoxins can cause early symptoms that look like food poisoning.

Little is being reported on this story, possibly because it is believed to be so inflammatory and possibly because the overall conditions there are so bad. I think Iraq is in deep trouble; the latest strategy appears to be trying to post Sunni and Shia police together at checkpoints. Decades of tyranny and widespread abuse in Iraq have left the people with no confidence in civil institutions. A population in which over ten thousand people have been systematically trained to be cold-blooded, sadistic instruments of oppression is a very threatened population.

See Iraq The Model for a description of the latest in Baghad. It is not good.

End update.

AP is reporting that over a hundred policemen were poisoned by something. WND:
Hundreds of Iraqi policemen fell sick from poisoning tonight at their base in the southern part of the country after the evening meal breaking their daily Ramadan fast, raising fears of a new type of terrorist attack – perhaps even involving chemical, biological or nerve agents.
Between 600-700 policemen were affected to varying degrees. Al-Atwan told AP those who ate the most died.

Some of the soldiers collapsed as soon as they stood up from the meal, others fell "one after the other" as they headed out to the yard in the base to line up in formation, al-Atwan said.
Because the reported symptoms included bleeding from the ears and the nose, one speculation is mustard gas.

PS: I hope this is not in retaliation for the Kirkuk action, but it may well be. They would have been quite hungry and thirsty because of Ramadan.

In other news, Mohammed of Iraq The Model thinks the US was wrong for not continuing on to take out Syria and Iran:
...this war will not see an end unless America revives the preemptive war strategy and start chasing the enemies and striking their bases in the region, especially in Syria and Iran.

We all saw how Saddam's regime collapsed in two weeks and we learned then how fragile and weak that regime and similar regimes are. And we discovered how ridiculous and futile the rage and warnings of the "Arab and Muslim street" were.

The same thing can happen to Syria or Iran; there's every reason to believe that regimes and armies will fall apart and surrender in the same manner that we saw in Iraq, and few will volunteer to stop Asad or Ahmedinejad from falling.
When this happens it will recharge the war on terror with great momentum and then Syria and Iran will no longer serve as training camps and recreation resorts for terrorists. The entire region from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean will be a dangerous place for terrorists just like Iraq and Afghanistan are and terrorists will have to keep running and hiding and will not be capable of launching organized campaigns from secure bases.
By expanding the war on terror to engulf these major terror hideouts, the huge military force will once again resume playing its logical role as a hunter not as a target trying to defend itself against incoming enemies.

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