|Spanish Barbarians in Uniform|
Translated and Edited by Eman Ahmed Khammas
A Spanish general who served for four years as the highest command of the Armed Forces used to boast that none of the thousands of Spanish soldiers on missions abroad has done anything to be ashamed of, in the last quarter century, especially after images of U.S. Marines urinating on corpses in Afghanistan. So far, we have seen the Spanish soldiers distributing food on children or healing civilians in conflict zones. That’s all that we have done. However, they are never seen ill-treating prisoners. But that does not mean it did not happen.
A video is now spreading in the country shows five Spanish soldiers entering a cell. On the floor, on a blanket, with two bottles of water at his side, there's a man. One of the soldiers shouted orders in Spanish. The man does not understand. Next to him there is another detainee, half seen in the 40- second video. Three soldiers kicked both men, two other soldiers watch at the cell door. A sixth records the scene. One of them kicks too viciously. He thinks twice about leaving, but returns to put down all the force of his boot on the defenseless bodies. Of the victims, only gasps and moans are heard. A military that during the beating has been watching from the doorway, said at the end: "Fuck! they have already broken him."
The scene is filmed in Diwaniya, the main base of Spanish troops in Iraq in the early months of 2004. The Spanish participation in the war in Iraq ten years ago was without the support of the UN, with the overwhelming opposition of the Spanish public opinion, and it also led the Spanish military to cooperate with the U.S. occupation forces. In front of the power vacuum left by the dissolution of the Iraqi state, what is called CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority), which included Spanish officials and diplomats became an occupying Government, thanks to the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar,
Wikileaks papers about the war in Iraq, released in fall 2010, including two references to this Detention Facility. One of them, (of January 7, 2004), refers to a search of a house in northwest Diwaniya, where they found weapons "that could be used against coalition forces." A man and a woman were arrested, and led to the first Spanish base "for interrogation in depth". The second, dated February 11, 2004, accounts of an attack with a device attached to a bicycle against Spanish soldiers patrolling on foot in Diwaniya. The explosion wounded six, and two suspected insurgents were taken to Spain Base "for further questioning."
"The temptation to take the law into your hand was big," says a Spanish soldier who was in Iraq.
The Spanish troops arrived in mission "of peace, reconstruction and humanitarian aid" and a "quiet horticulture" as the then Defense Minister Federico Trillo described the Iraqi provinces of Al Qadisiya and Najaf, where the Plus Ultra Brigade was deployed.