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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


AN AUSTRALIAN-RUN security company responsible for shooting dead two innocent Iraqi women on a Baghdad street on Tuesday could be prosecuted by the Iraqi Government as it seeks an end to legal immunity for foreign security firms.
The shooting comes amid rising anger at actions of foreign-owned, heavily armed private security companies, which operate with immunity from prosecution as they provide protection for diplomats and aid groups working in the war-torn country.
Iraqi Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told The Age from Baghdad yesterday that Iraqi police were investigating the incident involving the Australian-managed security company, Unity Resources Group.
He said the Iraqi Government wanted the legal immunity rule implemented by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority in 2004 overturned and the company to be held accountable.
"There is anger among the Iraqis about the behaviour of such companies. They are not respecting all the Iraqis here … we are losing human beings," Mr al-Dabbagh said. . "We do understand they are subjected to a high level of stress and they are doing their job to protect diplomats. But this does not entitle them to be immune from questioning and justice. They should be accountable."
It is not known if any Australians were involved directly in the shooting.
Last month, 17 Iraqi civilians were killed in a chaotic shooting carried out by US security firm Blackwater USA. The incident has increased tensions between Iraq and the US, with the Iraqi Government demanding the US Government cut all ties with the firm and ensure the families of those killed receive hefty compensation.
A spokesman for Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Australia would respond to any Iraqi requests for co-operation in investigating the shooting.
According to reports from Baghdad, two Unity Resources Group guards opened fire on a car in the city centre on Tuesday afternoon, killing the driver, Marou Awanis, 48, and front-seat passenger Geneva Jalal, 30.
Witnesses said masked security guards threw a smoke bomb and fired a warning shot towards the car to warn that it was too close to their convoy. However, it failed to stop in time and and the guards unloaded 19 bullets into the car. The convoy then sped off.
Unity Resources Group was guarding an American non-government organisation, RTI International, which is carrying out work on behalf of the US State Department and the US Aid agency. It is unclear if the guards were actually protecting any clients when the shooting took place.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission documents show the Unity Resources Group was established in New South Wales in 2000 by former SAS commander Gordon Conroy.
However, both the United Resources Group and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday stressed the relevant part of the company responsible for its security guards in Iraq is run out of the United Arab Emirates and registered in Singapore.
The company employs many former Australian military and police personnel and special forces veterans from the US, Britain and New Zealand.
The company has been operating in Iraq since 2004 and last year made headlines when its guards shot and killed a 72-year-old professor from Adelaide who was teaching in Baghdad. The man's vehicle had failed to stop at a checkpoint.
In a statement released yesterday, United Resources Group chief operating officer Michael Priddin said: "We deeply regret this incident … The first information we have is that our security team was approached at speed by a vehicle which failed to stop despite an escalation of warnings including hand signals and a signal flare. Finally shots were fired at the vehicle and it stopped."
Reports last night suggested the Unity Resources Group had contacted the Iraqi Government to apologise and offer compensation to the families of those killed.

I have posted this article in it's entirety because it won't be available for very long on "the age" website. They will try and tough this one out, hoping the gullible public will let it slide.


Eff25 said...

This article is interesting, but it could use a slight lesson in objective reporting. Anyway, I am thankful for your consistency, Ono.

Eff25 said...

As for my criticism, I think it would have been better to say two women were shot, then to explain their innocence, assuming they are. Saying two innocent women were shot in the lead sentence implies to many minds reckless disregard in a case not yet adjudicated.

Weetbix said...

How would we like it if foreign mercenairies would come to our countries and shoot our citizens at random with impunities.
Those dogs of wars dont answer to anyone and have the blessing of our gvts.Its all perfectly legitimate.
State sponsored terrorism!
160.000 of these clowns are let loose in Iraq Afghanistan and places like Burma doing the dirty work on behalf of the armed forces.
Worst after all the carnage they've caused there is nothing to show for.
Iraqis still dont have water nor electricity , and those lucky enough to have a job fear for their lives when they leave home due to the lack of security outside in the streets.
1 million plus iraqis have now been displaced to camps in places like Jordan and Syria.
War is business and no one is accountable.We can all feel proud of our great "democracies" and christian values!

Eff25 said...

Well, whatever the final facts might bear out, I do think the Iraqi people will see it as weet describes. I can't blame them either. Especially given the pitiful results of all they've endured so far.

While I don't know that I'd use the word terrorist, I'm not particularly offended by it being said. Weet empathizes correctly, true to what must be felt. We're becoming more hated by all of this.

Weetbix said...

a quick search on Google to define "terrorist".

a person who inspires fear or dread

Security contractors at work mixing business and pleasure:

winning hearts and mind blackwater's way!:

We could argue forever and ever as to what defines TERROR (one man terrorist is another man's liberator) but hey if u were a local in Iraq going about ur daily business ,driving to would that feel?

Eff25 said...

As you say they would.

ononotagain said...

Golly Weet! those youtube links were interesting.The cowboy contractors (Ageius, not Blackwater) disgusted me when I first saw it, but most alarming were the comments supporting such action. The dividing of the united states of america is well advanced, and a house divided will not stand. A damn shame,because when the shit hits the fan, we are all going to be splattered.
I feel for the good americans.

ononotagain said...

EFF, you don't want me responding to your comment, do you? not really. we can stay friends.

This article is interesting, but it could use a slight lesson in objective reporting. Anyway, I am thankful for your consistency, Ono."""

Eff25 said...

Weet, however you interpret my words, I can say what I meant. I meant it then, and I mean it now. You and Ono are Australians or New Zealanders, right? Well, the article is about allegations against an Australian firm. Since you two are often critical of my country, the fact that you show something that in part criticizes something of your country, shows consistency. I was trying to pay a compliment, and show I recognized the consistency. Also, the way I characterized the opening sentence is reasonable in the sense that, I assert, a person could interpret the actions of the personnel who shot those women as reckless, or intentionally so, before the facts have been laid out. Perhaps you disagree, that's fine. But I don't see where sanctimony needs to come in.

Is this going to be the pattern with you? If I don't speak with the level of outrage and agreement, etc., you want, will I be labelled and condescended to?

Eff25 said...

Anyway, I'm taking a break, so the last word for a while, if not forever on this matter, is yours.

Weetbix said...

Am adressing some blog not u in particular.
I have no aspirations to become a serious blogger so i type my rants pretty much as i speak .
It's a mixture of attention grabbing tabloid crap with some serious facts about topics which i research on the net and elsewhere.
If i sound a bit dramatic so be it.

Back to the topic,
thanks to our gvt we are also involved in the war against Iraq.
Reports of Australian troops involved in war crimes surface here and there (Afghanistan, Iraq and even some in Timor ).They get a brush over in mainstream media as expected.

Many aware aussies are pissed off with our involment with the neocon agenda and it's methods ( private armies and renditions).

the US gvt is leading the charge in the middle east with its mantra " ur either with us or against us"

Many americans are just as revolted about it.Some come on paltalk to say so and chat about it for hours .

How we express it depends on the individual.
Nothing to do with liking or disliking one's country tho'.

Its about asking questions and demanding answers.

alternatively one can remain a "good german"

Anonymous said...

We are not in a war AGAINST IRAQ. That impllies that we are in a war against their government. When will you libbies care about facts?

Weetbix101 said...

Things they don't tell u on foxnews nonnie!

Articles on leftie pinko commie gay islamist newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times support my claims....ur not wanted!

(Washington Post)

"Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show
Leaders' Views Out of Step With Public

By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer".....


BAGHDAD: As President George W. Bush challenges public opinion at home by committing more soldiers to Iraq, he is confronted by an essential paradox: An Iraqi government that does not really want them........"

(New York Times)

Promising Troops Where They Aren’t Really Wanted
Eric Draper/The White House

Published: January 11, 2007

"BAGHDAD, Jan. 10 — As President Bush challenges public opinion at home by committing more American troops, he is confronted by a paradox: an Iraqi government that does not really want them....."


"More than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected for the first time on Tuesday the continuing occupation of their country. The U.S. media ignored the story......"


"Most Iraqis Want U.S. Troops Out Within a Year

Say U.S. Presence Provoking More Conflict Than it is Preventing

Approval of Attacks on U.S.-led Forces Rises to 6 in 10

new WPO poll of the Iraqi public finds that seven in ten Iraqis want U.S.-led forces to commit to withdraw within a year. An overwhelming majority believes that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing and there is growing confidence in the Iraqi army. If the United States made a commitment to withdraw, a majority believes that this would strengthen the Iraqi government. Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a majority position—now six in ten. Support appears to be related to a widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq......"

There is more if u care to search harder.

650.000 dead iraqis, their immediate families and now their gvt can't be all wrong ....ur occupation sucks!

ononotagain said...

What weet said!

Anonymous said...

"""a mixture of attention grabbing tabloid crap with some serious facts about topics which i research on the net and elsewhere.
If i sound a bit dramatic so be it."""