Friday, September 23, 2005

Such a dastardly policy

Juan Cole, polite to a fault as always, writes:

"Some kind readers have been asking me if it is possible that the British SAS operatives captured by the Iraqi police on Monday were agents provocateurs planning to blow things up and blame some Iraqi group. My answer is that while it cannot be absolutely ruled out, the theory has almost no facts behind it. It is not even clear if the British agents had a bomb in their car, and they may not after all have killed Iraqi police who came to grab them. I'd need way more evidence than now exists to charge the British military with such a dastardly policy."

Kurt Nimmo provides a good summary of the history of SAS 'counter-insurgency' techniques. The Irish know all about this:

"Sinister covert operations by British forces in Iraq are 'reminiscent of the activities of the SAS' in the North, a leading human rights campaigner said last night.

Paul O'Connor, of the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre (PFC), demanded that the British government 'break the cycle of abuse' imposed by its forces."


"Mr O'Connor was speaking to Daily Ireland after further details emerged about an incident in Basra on Monday afternoon involving undercover British operatives.

The incident drew parallels with the March 1988 attack on the funeral of IRA volunteer Caoimhghin Mac Bradaigh.

During that incident, two armed and undercover army intelligence operatives drove directly at the cortege in west Belfast. After firing a shot, both soldiers were subsequently captured, beaten and shot dead by the IRA."

The kit of the captured soldiers included an anti-tank weapon (and who is the only force with tanks in Basra?), and towing equipment (to tow a booby-trapped car filled with explosives?). It would seem to me that the onus is clearly on the British military to prove that its men weren't up to "such a dastardly policy".