Morning Report: February 1, 2005

Four die in Iraq prison riot. A riot by prisoners at Camp Bucca, Iraq, left four prisoners dead after American troops opened fire, CNN reports. Watch for updates. (CNN)

UN on Sudan: War crimes yes, genocide no. 'A United Nations report has called for those accused of carrying out war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region to be put on trial,' according to the BBC. 'The report stopped short of calling the violence genocide, but said the government and its militia allies had killed, tortured and raped civilians. A list of alleged war criminals was included in the report, but the names have not been made public. The five-man team called for trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC). But this is opposed by the United States, which does not recognise the ICC and favours the creation of a special court for Darfur instead.' (BBC)

Belmont Club, Newsweek compare notes. The Belmont Club compares Newsweek's analysis of the Iraq campaign with the Belmont Club's own, three months earlier. Wretchard concludes that 'The strategic center of gravity of the American thrust into the Middle East was not Iraq the geographical entity, as so many have I believe, mistakenly put it, but the Iraqis. The war aim was access to an alliance with an unlimited pool of Arabic speakers, not a puddle of oil in the ground. The return of Iraqi security and intelligence forces will be a nightmare for regional dictators in the short term; but the advent of even a quasi-democratic Iraqi state will, without exaggeration, be their death-knell.' Read the whole article at the link. (Belmont Club)

Iran: Regime arrests teenage girls. Last week, Iran Focus reported that according to a regime official, "Of the 59,121 individuals arrested in Tehran over the past ten months, 3969 of them were women; 649 were girls under the age of 14", as reported at Free Iran. As reported by Donna M. Hughes, the regime actively engages in the sex trafficking of Iranian women and girls: 'The head of Iran’s Interpol bureau believes that the sex slave trade is one of the most profitable activities in Iran today. This criminal trade is not conducted outside the knowledge and participation of the ruling fundamentalists. Government officials themselves are involved in buying, selling, and sexually abusing women and girls.' (Iran Focus via Free Iran; FrontPage)

Iran: Workers beaten by regime agents. A peaceful protest by workers in Guilan province, Iran, ended with several workers being beaten by plainclothes agents, according to this news item from SMCCDI. 'Several workers have been beaten up as they staged a protest against their poor conditions in the northern province of Guilan located by the Caspian Sea. At least three of them have been reported as being in critical conditions and have been transferred to Rasht's Hospital. The workers who were belonging to "Foomenat Textile" were staging a peaceful protest when they were attacked by special forces and plainclothes officers.' (SMCCDI via Free Iran)