I would put money on this proposition: nations that are losing wars commit atrocities. Logically, the situation can only be worse in wars that are themselves crimes. Like My Lai, an atrocity from the earlier failed war in Viet Nam, the massacre at Haditha has already become the symbol of American imperialism —a disease born of hubris, frustration, and, in this case, the black hearted, evil lies told by Bush to justify and sell the war. Those lies all but guaranteed its failure at the outset.
Not surprisingly, Bush is not worried about the moral implications. Rather, his administration is reported to be anxious about the fallout, the PR, the "damage control". It is the mindset of an utterly failed administration that believes that truth doesn't matter —only perception. Perception, a la principles acted upon by Joseph Goebbels, can be controlled, designed, manipulated by the spin masters, the dispensers of Bush kool-aid.
It won't work.
A de-hypnotized people, inured to Bush rhetoric about "liberating Iraq", are already convinced that Bush's war of aggression in Iraq was and continues to be a disaster, a debacle from which there is no strategy for winning.
Bushco, predictably, has already resorted to the "bad apple" defense. Clue: this only works once, maybe twice. Given the fact that we still don't know the extent of the Abu Ghraib atrocities and war crimes and given the fact that details of "rendition" throughout Eastern Europe is still covered up, it's reasonable to conclude that the atrocities of Bush's so-called "war on terrorism" cannot be dismissed so easily. It would appear that war crimes, murder, and torture are endemic. There is evidence in Bush's State of the Union address, that atrocities are, in fact, Bush policy:
We will export death and destruction to the four corners of the earth ...And, on the occasion of his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush cackled and chuckled:
—George W. Bush
All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies. (Applause.)Clearly, this is a reference to summary executions —or, if the victim was unlucky —death at the end of a long period of torture. Bush put forward no proof, no evidence whatsoever that any of those persons summarily executed by American armed forces were ever involved in terrorism. Most certainly, none of the people murdered by U.S. Marines were ever, in any way, involved in terrorism against the United States. Certainly, even Bush concedes that Iraq, itself, as a nation, had nothing whatsoever to do with the events of 911.
—George W. Bush, 2003 State of the Union Address
Then why are we killing people —innocent people —who had nothing to do with 911? There might be more universal outrage if the American media had not made it necessary for bloggers to find the real story in the European media.
The downplaying of U.S. torture as an institutional rather than an exceptional strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan was successful, at least in the public’s mind. The evidence suggests otherwise. It does so as well when it comes to wanton killings, whether it’s the trigger-happy soldiering at Iraqi checkpoints or the killing of civilians in allegedly collateral circumstances. Yet you can see the Haditha massacre’s dowplaying game already in full swing. The Times has the story over two columns above the fold, but to the left of a four-column spread about the Enron verdict. Enron is news. It isn’t bigger news than the massacre of twenty-four Iraqis at the hands of U.S. marines. Not by any stretch of journalistic calibration.And then there is this report from Stan Goff writing about Haditha specifically:
—Pierre Tristam, Mathaba News Network
These Marines have already been — collectively — slaughtering civilians at an alarming rate, often in ones and twos, but in Fallujah they did so by the bushels, often as they lay abed or cowered in corners trying to hide.The Bushco/Rumsfeld Pentagon tried to cover it all up. Representative John Murtha says the cover up may go all the way up the chain of command. We wouldn't have known about Haditha unless, as Goff points out, someone got the pictures. Because of a fluke —the truth about Bush's lies is known. And because the truth is known, Bush is engaged in damage control —not reform.
So someone will have to explain to me why, after this mechanical ambush killed one Marine, there was something out of the ordinary enough to be categorized as “rogue” when these de-empathized, militaristic boys from an imperial society, freshly trained to holler “Kill, kill, kill!” leapt out and shot down 24 “hajjis,” male and female, all ages.
Murder charges will be filed against the Marines involved. I submit to you that if war crimes charges are not likewise filed against Bush and the gang who ordered this war, then justice will not have been served. Who will organize a world wide movement to bring Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld to trial for waging an illegal war, for violating the Principles of Nuremberg, for authorizing the commission of atrocities to include murder, mass murder and torture?
Enough is enough.
From ITV News:
Ten-year-old Iman Walid lost seven members of her family in an attack by American marines last November.
If her story is true - and it has been disputed by the US military - human rights workers say it is the worst massacre of civilians by US troops in the country.
Iman tells of screaming soldiers entering her house in the Iraqi town of Haditha spraying bullets in every direction.
Fifteen people in all were killed, including her parents and grandparents. Her account has been corroborated by other eyewitnesses who say it was a revenge attack after a roadside bomb killed a marine....
Initially, the US marines issued a statement saying that a roadside bomb had killed 15 civilians, while eight insurgents had been killed in a later gunbattle.
US military officials have since confirmed the 15 civilians were actually shot dead."Buzzflash often sums up an entire story in a single "second coming" headline. They've done it again. Kudos to Buzzflash:
By a 5-4 vote, justices said the nation's 20 million public employees do not have carte blanche free speech rights to disclose government's inner-workings. New Justice Samuel Alito cast the tie-breaking vote.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the court's majority, said the First Amendment does not protect "every statement a public employee makes in the course of doing his or her job."The decision came after the case was argued twice this term, once before Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor retired in January, and again after her successor, Alito, joined the bench. 
A powerful case can be made that it is.In the past three years, the Bush Regime has murdered tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and an unknown number of Afghan ones.
U.S. Marines, our finest and proudest military force, are under criminal investigation for breaking into Iraqi homes and murdering entire families. In an unprecedented event, Gen. Michael Hagee, the Marine Corps commandant, has found it necessary to fly to Iraq to tell our best-trained troops to stop murdering civilians.
Gen. Hagee found it necessary to tell the U.S. Marines: "We do not employ force just for the sake of employing force. We use lethal force only when justified, proportional, and most importantly, lawful."
The war criminals in the Bush Regime have dismissed the murders as "collateral damage," but they are in fact murders. Otherwise, there would be no criminal investigations, and the Marine commandant would not be burdened with the embarrassment of having to fly to Iraq to lecture U.S. Marines on the lawful use of force.The criminal Bush Regime has now murdered more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein. The Bush Regime is also responsible for 20,000 U.S. casualties (dead, maimed for life, and wounded).
Bush damns the "axis of evil." But who has the "axis of evil" attacked? Iran has attacked no one. North Korea has attacked no country for more than a half century. Iraq attacked Kuwait a decade and a half ago, apparently after securing permission from the U.S. ambassador.
Isn't the real axis of evil Bush-Blair-Olmert? Bush and Blair have attacked two countries, slaughtering their citizens. Olmert is urging them on to attack a third country – Iran. ...
'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission