Search in Huibslog
About myself

Riethof, Brussels

...en savoir plus

View Huib Riethof's profile on LinkedIn
Latest Comments
My Social Pages

Powered by Squarespace
Journal RSS Menu

Email Subscription (free)
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Dutch demand 'Iraq abuse' probe | Main | Iraq: Coalition of the Drilling (2) »

Dutch Iraq torture scandal in 2003: Is it going on in Afghanistan?

De Volkskrant, Dutch national daily, had a scoop today: Nederlanders martelden Irakezen. ("Dutch tortured Iraqis").
It happened in November 2003, during the 1,5 year Dutch pacification mission in the Southern Iraqi province of Al-Muthanna. Although the Dutch general Command in The Hague was alerted by the Military Police (marechaussée), it did not inform the miltary court, as it should have.
The description of the torturing methods ressembles awfully the Abu Ghreib practices that happened at the same time.

  • Was the Dutch Defence Minister Henk Kamp informed?
  • Is the Dutch Military Intelligence (MIVD) continuing those practices in Afghanistan?
The then Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant-Admiral Kroon, retired, indirectly confirmed the facts.

As the coming 22 November Dutch Parliamentary elections are heating up the political climate in the country, a proposed parliamentary debate (Monday), if it takes place, will be dominated by the need for the Government parties CDA (Christian Democrat) and VVD (Conservative Liberal) to limit the damage to their election results.

The Balkenende Government got in 2002 and in 2005 a faltering parliamentary green light for its military support to the American-British interventions in respectively Iraq and Afghanistan, by declaring its position as "political, not military" support and as an UN-conform pacification-reconstruction mission.

It becomes clear now, that, from the beginning, both missions were also meant as a (stealthy) delivery of unconditional human and material reinforcements to the US (and the UK).

The Dutch MIVD torturing of Iraqis happened in a "Coalition Provisional Authority" facility in As-Samara, capital of the province Al Muthanna. The CPA was the American-led provisional Government of occupied Iraq at that time. It ended in 2004. It was utterly corrupt and its books are still under scrutiny.

A possible line of defence for the Dutch Government and its defence minister, is saying that they were not responsible for what the British, who led that CPA facility, did or commanded. That, however, would contradict many statements of the same Government, that the Dutch troops were exclusively governed by the Dutch rules of engagement. Rules that explicitly confirm the Geneva Agreements and make any transgression punishable.

The Dutch Governments' position is the more lamentable, while the same British, in contrast to the Americans, actively pursue in justice their soldiers and officers who have been engaged in torturing or indiscriminate killings. Several severe condemnations of British troops are already definitive.

And in Afghanistan?

Since 2004, a mistery-clouded Dutch commando-engagement is going on at the side of the American Enduring Freedom operation in South-East Afghanistan. After the Bush proposals on the legalisation of torturing, and their partial acceptance by Congress, there is no more doubt that those practices have been going on (and still are) in that region.

  • Is Dutch Military Intelligence still engaged in it?
It is more than probable. The Dutch commando units, even after the takeover by NATO, are being advised by an embedded American officer and are roaming around in the neighbourhood of the Dutch "reconstruction" mission at Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan.

Several witnesses confirm, that they are terrorizing the population and provoking engagements with "Taliban". In doing so, they minimize any chance of effective "reconstruction" in the region. It is an outright example of sabotage and American stubbornness.

The Afghan Government of Karzai itself, has objected to those practices. To no avail.

As we said earlier, NATO has become nothing more than an US frontshop for hiring mercenaries to do the dirty work.

Now, there is a clear-cut choice for the Dutch parliament: Either to go overtly along with the Bush-Cheney style terror, or to opt out, as the Poles, the Spanish and the Italians did before, and seek an European platform for military intervention on a civilised basis, and in the interests of collective European security.

[An earlier version in Dutch and Netherlands-oriented, appeared in De Lage Landen and in In Europa Thuis, this version is cross-posted from At Home in Europe]

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>