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Author Topic: British forces break jail walls in Basra, free two British, 150 Iraqi prisoners
No Yards
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posted 19 September 2005 08:46 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
BASRA, Iraq (AP) - British forces using tanks broke down the walls of the central jail in the southern city of Basra late Monday and freed two Britons, allegedly undercover commandos, who had been arrested on charges of shooting two Iraqi policemen.

Witnesses said about 150 Iraqi prisoners also fled the jail.


[Edited by Michelle to change thread title to something more informative.]

[ 27 September 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 20 September 2005 01:04 AM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Gosh, really helping the Iraqis to rebuild their infrastructure, eh?
From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
ToadProphet
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posted 20 September 2005 01:16 AM      Profile for ToadProphet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by voice of the damned:
Gosh, really helping the Iraqis to rebuild their infrastructure, eh?

Yup... yet another view of the story:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-09/19/content_3514065.htm


From: Ottawa | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
faith
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posted 20 September 2005 01:53 AM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have read several accounts of this story and each one is a little different, but they all agree that the Brits were dressed in Arab civilian clothes.
So what the hell were 2 Brits , diguised as Iraqis, doing shooting at a jail ?Did they want to be taken for "insurgents" that are supposed to be flooding into Iraq from surrounding countries? I just can't figure out what sense this makes.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
ToadProphet
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posted 21 September 2005 12:01 AM      Profile for ToadProphet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by faith:
So what the hell were 2 Brits , diguised as Iraqis, doing shooting at a jail ?Did they want to be taken for "insurgents" that are supposed to be flooding into Iraq from surrounding countries? I just can't figure out what sense this makes.

Yet another story on this and pictures of the weapons they were carrying.
**note, apparently you can't link directly to the picture so you need to scroll thru a few. There's 2 pics - a close-up of one gun and another of all the weapons laid out.

Edited for newbie mistakes

[ 21 September 2005: Message edited by: ToadProphet ]

[ 21 September 2005: Message edited by: ToadProphet ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
ToadProphet
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posted 21 September 2005 12:05 AM      Profile for ToadProphet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
*sigh*
damn newbies

[ 21 September 2005: Message edited by: ToadProphet ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 21 September 2005 12:11 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The British are supposedly still in Iraq to help the US establish a stable civilian political regime.

But when that civilian authority exercises its legitimate right and responsibility to arrest two British commandos for shooting at police officers, the British use brute force to defy the law.

Who are the real barbarians in Iraq?

[ 21 September 2005: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 21 September 2005 12:34 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Iraqi police initially claimed the soldiers had been arrested after an exchange of fire at a checkpoint in which at least one Iraqi officer was killed.

However, they yesterday said the men had only been acting suspiciously and gathering information.


quote:
Officials in Iraq admitted the SAS men were being held by militants when they were found by British forces on Monday.

However, they added that the men had been arrested legitimately and should still face charges.

The Basra governor, Mohammed al-Waili, said the men had been in a house controlled by the Mahdi army, a private force loyal to the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.


Guardian


From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 21 September 2005 02:02 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The precise details are certainly foggy. But the bottom line is that, even though Iraq was supposedly given "sovereignty" by the occupiers in summer, 2004, the British are still allowed to use tanks to free people who were taken prisoner by police in Basra.

Even if the individual arresting officer was an "infiltrator", he or she (ha!) is nonetheless provided with authority by the government.

If that authority has been misused, the remedy in a sovereign country is not foreign-tanks-smashing-down-the-walls.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 21 September 2005 02:12 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
Sorry Jeff, not following you. What authority allowed the police to turn over those soldiers to a private army? Other details say that the local police refused an order by the governor to release the soldiers to the British, and that the station was only stormed after the local British commander found out their soldiers had been turned over to militants.

The details are still pretty murky, but I don't believe the "bottom line" is all that clear either.


From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 21 September 2005 02:40 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What authority allowed the police to turn over those soldiers to a private army? Other details say that the local police refused an order by the governor to release the soldiers to the British, and that the station was only stormed after the local British commander found out their soldiers had been turned over to militants.

Militants ARE the police in Basra. That's what it means to say they "infiltrated" the police.

Many details are foggy; so for example, while I have heard some reference to the governor ordering release, the Prime Minister has apprently been critical of the British:

quote:
"It is a very unfortunate development that the British forces should try to release their forces the way it happened," Haider al-Ebadi, an adviser to Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, said in Baghdad.

But even if the governor had the right to order release (as he would not have, say in Canada or Britain) and even if the police didn't comply, ask yourself whether, IN A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY, failure of police to comply with that order would require an attack by a foreign army.

Wouldn't the governor have sent his own forces? And if the governor had no forces except the British Army, would the governor not have requested the British to do what they did?

As far as I know, no one is alleging that any official Iraqi asked the British to do this. Hence, it is a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ToadProphet
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posted 21 September 2005 02:54 PM      Profile for ToadProphet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Isn't this whole episode blanketed by a D-Notice (now DA-Notice) and thus the events will remain murky?
From: Ottawa | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 21 September 2005 03:07 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it will remain murky, not because of a D notice, but because it's pretty damn hard to get honestinformation from Iraq.

But we have to use the information we have, or else just leave all judgments up to the military on scene.

And that leads to disaster.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 21 September 2005 03:09 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But even if the governor had the right to order release (as he would not have, say in Canada or Britain) and even if the police didn't comply, ask yourself whether, IN A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY, failure of police to comply with that order would require an attack by a foreign army.

Doesn't the law in Iraq already say that if police detain members of coalition forces they are to be turned over immediately, and not held in local jails?


From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 21 September 2005 03:09 PM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What authority allowed the police to turn over those soldiers to a private army? Other details say that the local police refused an order by the governor to release the soldiers to the British, and that the station was only stormed after the local British commander found out their soldiers had been turned over to militants.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Militants ARE the police in Basra. That's what it means to say they "infiltrated" the police.


My current favorite blogger, Juan Cole, explicates the matter:

quote:
Some reports say that the jail was being run by a local Shiite religious militia, not the Basra provincial government. These reports seem not to take into account the fact that the Basra provincial government consists of 41 seats, 20 of them held by the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and 21 by a coalition led by the fundamentalist Shiite Fadila (Virtue) Party. SCIRI has a paramilitary, the Badr Corps, which ran candidates in the Jan. 30 elections. So distinguishing between the Basra provincial government and the religious parties and their militias is like distinguishing the Bush administration's stand on abortion from that of US evangelicals. The latter is responsible for the former.


From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 21 September 2005 06:21 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by worker_drone:
Doesn't the law in Iraq already say that if police detain members of coalition forces they are to be turned over immediately, and not held in local jails?
Even if that's so (and I don't know if it is), doesn't it tell us a lot about the state of Iraqi "sovereignty" - to have special laws providing for what would amount essentially to diplomatic immunity for foreign invaders/occupiers?

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 21 September 2005 08:26 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It looks like the British army is missing the good old Northern Ireland days, when they would shoot and bomb and blame the IRA.

These guys, it appears, were engaged in a little old-fashioned counter terrorism. That is, they were engaging in terrorism in order to fight..er..terrorism.

quote:
"Two persons wearing Arab uniforms opened fire at a police station in Basra. A police patrol followed the attackers and captured them to discover they were two British soldiers," an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

The two soldiers were using a civilian car packed with explosives, the source said.


The China news includes a wee detail the western news outlets would rather we not see. Al Zarquawi who?


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 21 September 2005 09:26 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Even if that's so (and I don't know if it is), doesn't it tell us a lot about the state of Iraqi "sovereignty"

I don't think it's possible for a country to truly be sovereign if they're under occupation by a foreign military power, regardless of whether they're there by invasion or invitation.


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Webgear
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posted 21 September 2005 09:34 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is a difficult issue to follow; so many different versions of the story are being reported by the media and then reported over again with either more or less information than has been reported.

There are many conflicting reports of what happen and how it happened. Does anyone know what reporter wrote the initial story and if they were the ones that actually took the pictures of the attack?

Is it not strange the Iraqi police would hand the “soldiers” over to militants in the Basra area and not to the Iraqi Army?

The media reported tanks being used by the British forces however the pictures shown on the news are Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) called Warriors used by mechanized infantry and not tanks.

A very interesting situation, I hope this is cover more in the next few days.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
ToadProphet
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posted 21 September 2005 09:44 PM      Profile for ToadProphet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
This is a difficult issue to follow; so many different versions of the story are being reported by the media and then reported over again with either more or less information than has been reported.

Incredibly difficult. For another angle,

Global Research has a couple additional sources.

quote:

A report of Al Jazeera TV, which preceeded the raid on the prison, suggests that the British undercover soldiers were driving a booby trapped car loaded with ammunition. The Al Jazeera report (see below) also suggests that the riots directed against British military presence were motivated because the British undercover soldiers were planning to explode the booby trapped car in the centre of Basra

From: Ottawa | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 21 September 2005 09:49 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
ToadProphet

That is some pretty damaging information from that Global Research if it proves to be correct.

It was an interesting read, I have to bookmark that site and look at it more.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
ToadProphet
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posted 21 September 2005 09:54 PM      Profile for ToadProphet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Webgear:
ToadProphet

That is some pretty damaging information from that Global Research if it proves to be correct.

It was an interesting read, I have to bookmark that site and look at it more.


Yup. Apparently Fattah al-Shaykh is "sympathetic to al-Sadr" though, so it's tough to say.
If that's the case, wasn't the UK and US convinced they had reigned al-Sadr in?


From: Ottawa | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 26 September 2005 02:46 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Were British Special Forces Soldiers Planting Bombs in Basra?
quote:
The fierce determination of the British army to remove these men from any danger of interrogation by their own supposed allies in the government the British are propping up — even when their rescue entailed the destruction of an Iraqi prison and the release of a large number of prisoners, gun-battles with Iraqi police and with Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia, a large popular mobilization against the British occupying force, and a subsequent withdrawal of any cooperation on the part of the regional government — tends, if anything, to support the view that this episode involved something much darker and more serious than a mere flare-up of bad tempers at a check-point.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 26 September 2005 11:01 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Somebody posted this in another thread where it doesn't belong. It belongs in this thread.

So what were two undercover British soldiers up to in Basra?

quote:
An Iraqi judge yesterday issued arrest warrants for two British soldiers, presumed to be SAS men, whose detention by Iraqi police and subsequent rescue by British forces in Basra last week has thrown an unprecedented spotlight on Britain's role in Iraq.

Early yesterday a flurry of rockets was fired at buildings occupied by British troops, but police said the only injuries were suffered by an Iraqi family in a house hit by one missile. Tensions aroused by last week's clashes remain high, with Basra's governor refusing to co-operate with British forces until the local authorities receive an apology and compensation for the damage caused when troops stormed the al-Jamiat police station on Monday.

The arrest warrants issued by Judge Raghib al-Mudhafar, chief of the Basra anti-terrorism court, have "no legal basis", according to British spokesmen, because of the agreement giving British forces legal immunity. "We have a legal obligation to investigate the allega- tions ourselves," said a Ministry of Defence official. "That is being done as we speak. We will continue to work with the Iraqis on the inquiry which the Iraqi government has begun."

But Judge Mudhafar says he is not convinced the two men are British - possibly because one of them was said to have been carrying a Canadian-made weapon - and they may not be entitled to immunity. This has added yet another layer of mystery to what is already an extremely murky affair.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 26 September 2005 11:18 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
Somebody posted this in another thread where it doesn't belong. It belongs in this thread.

Perhaps if this thread had a more informative title, it might see more traffic?


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 27 September 2005 02:05 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
Perhaps if this thread had a more informative title, it might see more traffic?
I can't do anything about the thread title, but I can link to another thread started later about this same topic.

Perhaps if babble had real moderators with real powers to edit thread titles, merge threads, and generally make things easier to find, we wouldn't have to put up with dumb titles on important threads.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 27 September 2005 05:44 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
Perhaps if this thread had a more informative title, it might see more traffic?

I agree. At one point, Audra WAS going through threads with titles that had nothing to do with the subject of the threads and telling people to change them, or editing them herself, and doing a bit of a "blitz" and then people started to get the idea. But it looks like another round might be necessary, because I've been seeing a lot more of the uninformative title thing happening.

I'll change the title in this one. Sorry it slipped past my notice before.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ScottH
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posted 27 September 2005 09:32 PM      Profile for ScottH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Or perhaps if the media actually starting covering this properly and give something to talk about.
From: Canada | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged

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