Who’s killing Iraqi intellectuals?
Published Dec 3, 2005 9:29 PM
Iraqis opposed to the U.S. occupation believe
there is a systematic campaign of targeted assassinations aimed at Iraqi
intellectuals and that a well-organized enemy intent on keeping Iraq weak and
susceptible to foreign occupation is carrying out the killings.
Monitoring Net for Human Rights in Iraq recently reported Iraqi police figures
demonstrating that well over 1,000 Iraqi academics and scientists have been shot
to death since the beginning of the U.S.-led invasion. The U.S. State Depart
ment has confirmed that hundreds of university professors have been killed.
The shooting of peaceful academics clearly differentiates these killings
from those attributable to the Iraqi resistance’s effort to defend its
homeland. The popular insurgency has primarily targeted U.S. and British forces
along with Iraqi military and police personnel who cooperate with the
Whoever is responsible for the assassination of academics
must also have access to sophisticated intelligence techniques that allow for
the widespread targeting of a particular grouping of civilians.
attacks on Iraqi intellectuals first began when U.S. forces purged at least
15,500 researchers, scientists, teachers and professors for alleged ties to the
Baath Party. The dismissal, and subsequent emigration, of so many leading
professionals contributed to a destabilized Iraq and provided the occupiers with
an excuse for staying in the country.
An article in the [London] Times
Higher Education Supplement (Sept. 15, 2004) points out that “there is a
widespread feeling among the Iraqi academics that they are witnessing a
deliberate attempt to destroy intellectual life in Iraq.”
cold-blooded nature of the assassinations leaves many wondering exactly who is
responsible for this ongoing campaign. The Iraqi resistance denies it is
responsible, and those interested in liberating Iraq from the occupation have no
motive to carry out such wide-scale killings.
Osama Abed Al-Majeed, the
president of the Department for Research and Development at the Iraqi Ministry
for Higher Education, has accused the Israeli secret service, Mossad, of
perpetuating the violence against Iraqi scientists. A June 2005 report by the
Palestine Information Center claims that Mossad, in cooperation with U.S.
military forces, was responsible for the assassination of 530 Iraqi scientists
and professors in the seven months prior to the report’s publication.
Mossad unquestionably has the motive and means to assassinate leading
Iraqi intel lectuals. The Israeli intelligence agency contains a Special
Operations Division called Metsada which is tasked with conducting
assassinations, sabotage and paramilitary projects. Israel has a long history of
interference in Iraq, going back to the 1981 bombing of a nuclear energy plant
that stood 15 miles outside Baghdad that just before that attack had voluntarily
undergone inspection by the Inter national Atomic Energy Agency.
Regardless of who is responsible for the killing of Iraqi scientists and
academics, it is clear that the U.S. and Britain, as the leading occupying
powers, have the responsibility for the precarious situation in which these
intellectuals are forced to live.
Dr. Saad Jawad is a university professor
who was known to speak out against certain Baathist policies. But he recently
said, “To tell the truth, in the time of Saddam Hussein, we used to speak
to our students freely.… But now, a lot of people are not willing to say
these kinds of things because of fear.”
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