The Real Head-Drilling “Butchers” of Iraq

The most harrowing scene in American Sniper involves an Iraqi character nicknamed “The Butcher” torturing and executing an Iraqi child by taking a power drill to his skull. The scene lends credibility to the narrative of Chris Kyle as basically a hero facing villains. In the film, “The Butcher” is a lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Sunni insurgent, terrorist, and founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which later became ISIS.

However, in the Iraq of the real world, power drilling human heads is more of a predilection, not of Sunni insurgents, but of their enemies in the Shiite militias.

Abu Deraa
Abu Deraa

For one, there is the warlord Abu Deraa, nicknamed “the Shiite Zarqawi,” who according to the UK’s Sunday Times (emphasis added):

“…is thought to be responsible for the murder of thousands of civilians, mostly Sunnis, and is said to take personal delight in killing — sometimes with a bullet to the head, sometimes by driving a drill into the skulls of his victims. On other occasions, Iraqis say, he gives them a choice of being shot or battered to death with concrete building blocks.”

AQI/ISIS falsely claimed to have killed him in 2006, but after years of hiding in Iran, he recently reemerged in Baghdad once again leading a militia.

Hadi al-Amiri
Hadi al-Amiri

Then there is Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Iran-backed Badr Brigade. According to The Washington Post, “A leaked 2009 State Department cable said sources had indicated that Amiri may have personally ordered attacks on up to 2,000 Sunnis.” The Post continues (emphasis added):

“…in 2005 and 2006, sectarian killings in Iraq surged as Badr death squads worked under the cloak of the police force.

The 2009 State Department cable, referring to that era, said that ‘one of [Amiri’s] preferred methods of killing allegedly involved using a power drill to pierce the skulls of his adversaries.‘”

Electric Drill Amiri is now, according to the Post, effectively the head of security in Iraq:

“Iraq’s parliament voted Saturday to put an affiliate of an Iranian-backed paramilitary group in charge of a key security ministry, a move that could strike a serious blow to efforts to unite Sunnis and Shiites to wrest back their country from Islamist extremists.

The new interior minister is Mohammed Ghabban, a little-known Shiite politician with the Badr Organization. But there is little doubt that Hadi al-Amiri, head of the party and its military wing, will wield the real power in the ministry.”

Both of these Iran-sponsored real-life head-drilling “butchers” of Iraq rose to power thanks to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, and are now commanding forces either in the US-backed Iraqi government, or under its protection, fighting alongside the US military against the now ISIS-led Sunni insurgency. At the end of the day, the American Sniper was not the enemy of the Iraqi Butchers, but their benefactor.

As radio host Scott Horton never tires reminding his listeners, the chief role of the American troops in Iraq was to fight a bloody civil war on behalf of the Shiite side and to install Iran-backed Shiite militias in power. These militias used death squads to ethnically cleanse Baghdad and other cities of Sunnis, and, as Will Grigg never tires reminding his readers, imposed a Sharia-compliant constitution over a once-secular country. This Shiite jihad was, in effect, Chris Kyle’s true mission, for which millions of American Christians now lionize him.

140 thoughts on “The Real Head-Drilling “Butchers” of Iraq”

  1. Too often is the U.S. intervention in Iraq talked about with the absence of a solution to prevent another such conflict. I would like to suggest to those in the anti-war community to look upon the invasion, analyze it, read reports from the ground, watch combat videos, read accounts from the men themselves. Then I suggest reading "The Endgame" by Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor. It's a detailed account of the war from the invasion to the 2011 pullout. One might note the re-occuring theme of U.S. policy failure when it came to integrating the Sunnis into the governmental process, and, at one point, not even speaking with Sunni tribal leaders about becoming part of, and participating in, the new Iraqi government. This may seem like a lot, but for someone to effectively come up with solution on how to prevent another war like this it must be done. I think people spend too much time bashing the war that is already over instead of looking to the future (and even to present events in the region) and thinking of things that could be done differently. This is why history is so important. Not so that we can criticize the decisions of leaders in the past, but help the leaders of the future take an alternate route and learn from their predecessors.

    The decision to put the Shia in power was not intended to further Iran's interests. Even though U.S. officials at times ignored members of a Shia government that held ties (sometimes deep ties) to Iran. The Quds force was operating in Iraq against U.S. forces by using proxy militias. Iran was also supplying militias in Iraq with munitions, as discovered by British and U.S. forces when attacks spiked between 2004-2006.

    ISIS is a morphed AQI, and the U.S. does not wish to end that threat immediately because it gives cause for renewed U.S. interests and activity in the region. From a political standpoint the U.S. can influence the Iraqi government, and hopefully make the necessary changes to shore up Baghdad in the inevitable event of another radical terrorist group running amok in the region. Militarily, the U.S. intends to train the Iraqi military so that it can combat this new threat effectively after the embarrassing events at Ramadi. The current situation with ISIS, in my opinion, should be swiftly ended with an increased U.S. ground presence. Not only with training, but large, active combat elements pushing ISIS out of the region. That is my personal opinion as far as the military situation on the ground is concerned. Now, what US. officials actually intend to do with an increase in U.S. military presence is something that is as shadowy as it always has been. The U.S. must now contend (again) with Iran for influence in Baghdad. Iran will not commit military forces in overt operations unless ISIS directly threatens the Iranian border. Iran will continue to use proxy militias, whose influence can be slightly negated with a stronger U.S. presence on the ground and in Baghdad. This region will always be in conflict even when a stable government is established. War is the new norm in the post-9/11 world. Peace is something that we can wish for, but we shouldn't hold our breath.

  2. I've been surfing online more than three hours as of late, but I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful value sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the internet shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.

Comments are closed.