Saturday, June 03, 2006

An Emerging Pattern of U.S. War Crimes and Atrocities in Iraq Suggests a Heinous Policy

The "few bad applies" defense falls apart in the face of "...countless My Lai massacres" in Iraq and new revelations. A pattern of war crimes emerges. News of other incidents supports the proposition that the Bush administration has deliberately waged a war on the civilian population of Iraq. The new allegations first.

BBC video footage shows bodies of Iraqis

By Julian E. Barnes
Originally published June 3, 2006

Senior Defense officials pushed back yesterday against the latest accusations of wrongdoing, denying accounts that U.S. soldiers deliberately killed civilians in a March raid but acknowledging that more civilians might have died than the military first reported.

Iraqi police and other witnesses had claimed that U.S. forces had killed as many as 13 civilians in the small hamlet of Ishaqi, near the Iraqi city of Balad, tying up some and shooting them in the head. Video obtained by the British Broadcasting Corp. and the Associated Press showed bodies of victims, including several children, who apparently had been killed by gunshot wounds or shrapnel.

The U.S. military initially reported that there were four people, one insurgent and three civilians, killed in the Ishaqi raid. But yesterday, they acknowledged that eight other noncombatants had been killed, calling the additional casualties "collateral deaths." ...

From another source today:
BAGHDAD, IRAQ -- In the wake of an alleged massacre of unarmed civilians in Haditha by U.S. Marines, new video has emerged with fresh allegations of U.S. troops killing Iraqi civilians in an attack on the village of Ishaqi. ...

Global National Online

Various British media have released video footage that depicts a bloody aftermath of a U.S. attack in March that resulted in the murders of 11 Iraqis —including at least five children.

Overshadowed by the events at Haditha is an earlier account of a U.S. attack near Baghdad:

Other eyewitness reports state that American military forces surrounded the Al Mustafa mosque in northeast Baghdad, while helicopters buzzed overhead and a fleet of heavily armed Humvees sealed off the exits. The mosque's 80-year-old imam, and many other civilians, were killed in the attack.

Videotape showed a pile of bodies with gunshot wounds on the floor of the Imam's living quarters in the mosque. There were also 5.56mm shell casings on the floor, which is the type of ammunition used by U.S. soldiers.

Another massacre of Iraqis occurred on November 19, when marines shot dead at least 15 Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children. The shooting took place in the village of Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad in the western province of Anbar.

U. S. Massacres in Iraq, Anti-Imperialist News Service

The lid is at last off this story. And it just doesn't end:

Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq

The media feeding frenzy around what has been referred to as "Iraq's My Lai" has become frenetic. Focus on US Marines slaughtering at least 20 civilians in Haditha last November is reminiscent of the media spasm around the "scandal" of Abu Ghraib during April and May 2004.

Yet just like Abu Ghraib, while the media spotlight shines squarely on the Haditha massacre, countless atrocities continue daily, conveniently out of the awareness of the general public. Torture did not stop simply because the media finally decided, albeit in horribly belated fashion, to cover the story, and the daily slaughter of Iraqi civilians by US forces and US-backed Iraqi "security" forces has not stopped either. ...

The war itself is illegal under the Principles of Nuremberg. The subsequent murders of civilians and the cover-ups throughout the chain of command are most certainly prosecutable at the Hague. When it is learned that there is probable cause that Bush himself conspired with Donald Rumsfeld to "...export death and destruction to the four corners of the earth", then the people of the United States must rise up and demand that Bush step down and surrender for arrest and war crimes trials.

Let's have a real investigation for a change. I would put forward this testable proposition: that there is more probable cause that Bush is culpable for these crimes under 18 § 2441 and the Nuremberg Principles than there is reason to believe that any one of the millions of Americans whose rights to Due Process of Law have been denied by Bush's widespread domestic surveillance program have been engaged in any way at any time with "terrorism". Let's make public the probable cause that Bush himself is responsible for the policies that have been executed in Iraq.

It's time that the real "bad applies" be brought to book!

Robert Fisk: On the shocking truth about the American occupation of Iraq

Could Haditha be just the tip of the mass grave? The corpses we have glimpsed, the grainy footage of the cadavers and the dead children; could these be just a few of many? Does the handiwork of America's army of the slums go further?

I remember clearly the first suspicions I had that murder most foul might be taking place in our name in Iraq. I was in the Baghdad mortuary, counting corpses, when one of the city's senior medical officials - an old friend - told me of his fears. "Everyone brings bodies here," he said. "But when the Americans bring bodies in, we are instructed that under no circumstances are we ever to do post-mortems. We were given to understand that this had already been done. Sometimes we'd get a piece of paper like this one with a body." And here the man handed me an American military document showing the hand-drawn outline of a man's body and the words "trauma wounds".

What kind of trauma? Indeed, what kind of trauma is now being experienced in Iraq? Who is doing the mass killing? Who is dumping so many bodies on garbage heaps? After Haditha, we are going to reshape our suspicions. ...

Press Accounts Suggest Military 'Cover-up' in Ishagi Killings

By Greg MitchellPublished: June 03, 2006 1:40 PM ET

NEW YORK The U.S military said Saturday it had found no wrongdoing in the March 15 raid on a home in Ishaqi that left nine Iraqi civilians dead. But, as with the apparent massacre in Haditha, will a military "coverup" in this case come undone? E&P coverage from back in March, and other evidence, suggest that the official story may soon unravel.

The Iraqi police charge that American forces executed the civilians, including a 75-year-old woman and a 6-month-old baby. The BBC has been airing video of the dead civilians, mainly children, who appeared to be shot, possibly at close range. Photographs taken just after the raid for the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, and reports at the time by Reuters and Knight Ridder, also appear to back up the charge of an atrocity. ...






The Existentialist Cowboy

14 comments:

Fuzzflash said...

When Abu Ghraib first broke in the MSM, a large sign, soon after draped from an L.A. freeway walkover showing the infamous image of the hooded man with outstretched wired-up arms, with the bold caption:

"THE WAR IS OVER".

A lot of reasonable people concurred , but they were wrong. The outrage was propaganded-over, the chain-of-command excised itself from the perpetrators and the Iraqi occupation stayed put.

The cynic in me says it's the upcoming Mid-Terms, but perhaps the evidence of the recent pattern of atrocities will shame enough decent Americans into DEMANDING an end to war. And that the war criminals,all the way up the chain-of-command face Justice at their Nuremburg.

Cindy Sheehan showed us what a bit of bottle can do. If the bloodlust execution of innocent women and children at close range will not spur the American people to action, then we are no better than all those "Good Germans" who, reassured by Reichshills like O'Reilly and Limbaugh, looked the other way in 1930's.

And we all remember what happened to them.

Len Hart said...

fuzzflash, I remember that freeway sign well. What has happened since then simply points up the complete moral paucity of this Bush administration. Bush said once "Who cares what you think?" He literally does not give a damn what anyone thinks. This irrational obstinacy is another defining characteristic of his adminitration. I am afraid that Bush will have to be removed by force of arms sanctioned by a court order. But even then —as commander-in-chief —Bush will opposed the court sanction process servers by calling out the military. His admministration will not go quietly into that good night. This will have a bad end.

Ingrid said...

Len, Fuzzflash. It all boils down what Alberto J. Mora's memo (former general counsel of the United States Navy) conveys; that there is a deliberate policy from the get go that wanted to commit torture and wanted to fight a 'war on terror' in a way without wanting to be held accountable. I read Jane Mayer's article and wrote a post on it. I am trying (and Len, if this one alone is time consuming, can you imagine if you want to track every criminal act from this administration, phew) to provide a time line outside of the article (and the article is a must read I believe) so that you can just follow the little footsteps a la that secret map from Harry Potter. Tomorrow I am hoping to have the second part of the time line up but it's depressing, maddening, appalling and everything else you can imagine that is foul and abhorrent, just to read the article alone. I am amazed how they had the nerve to dismiss Haditha... a fellow blogger American girl married to a Bahraini and living in the Gulf is totally pessimistic. She does not believe that Americans will care enough to do just about anything right. I have to concur; people have it way too good to understand a) the seriousness of the illegalities undermining the rule of law and oh yeah, the constitution, b)have never been subjugated as a people so they can never say 'never again will this happen'. Plus, there are the usual suspects that distracts; tv, the feel good sermons at church, you name it..ok..stepping of my soapbox now..
Ingrid

AngryMan said...

This is why "superpowers" don't go to war against "third-world" countries. This story is as old as history. The "superpowers" always do this. Remember Tarleton's Quarter from History class? What about what the Russians did to the Afghans? My Lai ring a bell?
History repeats itself, and people never learning is the thing that most often repeats itself.

Anonymous said...

we really need a draft....

Len Hart said...

A draft will bring about rioting in the streets. Of course there was opposition to the the Viet Nam quagmire, but it was the "draft" that mobilized the anti-war movement.

The topic of the role of a standing army of any sort is too often given short shrift in various histories. Unemployment in Rome, for example, was was probably always very high —hence the bread and circuses. There were few career paths. Invading and conquering provinces enriched the ruling patricians and provided "work" for the Roman masses. What has changed?

Jen said...

So, where's the international police to apprehend leaders who defy and break international laws like the Nuremburg principle?? It should be apparent to the international community that the United States leadership has run amok, and their country might be next (like, say Brazil, and damn those French--seems like everything yummy has a damn French name like French Toast and French Fries; oh but the French really don't have the balls to defend themselves or stand up to anything, right?? Ok, Dubya has strategy there.).

With the beginning of 9/11 to the Iraqi war and atrocities that make the United States look like the evil bully of the world, I am so ashamed to be a citizen of the United States. This is not what our country is all about! We are an honorable country that respects life and the thoughts and opinions of others (or at least I thought and that was what I was taught). Was I brainwashed to think that our country is so kind and gentle, slow to anger and all that garbage? I must have.

It is disturbing to hear and see the unwarranted killings and abuse done in our name. No, wait... Disturbing is way too mild a word here. It is vile, detestable, reprehensible, deplorable, opprobrious... There is no word that fully describes these atrocities that our government is sanctioning and commiting in our name. It goes against everything our forefathers built for the foundation of this once wonderfully magnificent country.

We used to be the home of brave and the free, now we are neither. Brave soldiers DO NOT KILL innocent people. And freedom is now just a word that is tossed around to make us feel good.

Can we turn our country around? What must we do to get our country back?? Is there someone that can help us to become an honorable and respectable country again?

damien said...

The rest of the world is smart enough to distinguish between decent Americans and their current leaders, jen. I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it. We know there's you and a few other good ones left. Just see if you can get them out in Nov.

I always read my Catch 22 when politics gets a bit much. Yossarian is fun. :)

Len Hart said...

thanks damien. I had written a reply to Jen, but "blogger" ate it. Ah well...the exciting life of a blogger!!! Ummmmm I wonder whatever happened to my well thumbed paper back "Catch 22". It's a mystery. Did you happen to see the film with Alan Arkin and Art Garfunkel?

Jen said...

Thanks for the perspective, Damien and Len. It gets so disheartening to see photos of dead children the same ages as your own, and know that this is not the true heart of America and what we stand for.

If we could only just send a big wooden swing set to Iraq instead of our immoral military might, then freedom may ring in the laughter of children (of all ages).

Len Hart said...

Jen, on the whole I agree with you. But I must say —I am increasingly disenchanted with "America". For example, the genocide against the Native American peoples is still going on —however subtly.

The number of deaths as a result of this "domestic" genocide makes Adolph Hitler look like a dilettante: 12 million.

In the old days, the "Americans" just shot the "Indians", later, under Andy Jackson, they rounded them up and sent them to Oklahoma. Lands that even the U.S. government had recognized as "Indian" lands were seized and the "gold in them thar hills" was re-distributed to "Europeans" who coveted it.

More recently, Native American women on reservations were "sterilized" to decrease the Native American populations. There is no end to the evil.

It is not accident that many Native Americans have become brilliant lawyers —a trend that began, no doubt, when the U.S. broke its first treaty.

damien said...

Jen, I have some shame because my country (Australia) has troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I can understand how difficult it must be for Americans to have an illegal President with the worst qualities committing unspeakable crimes. As far as the US military is concerned its a situation of garbage in/garbage out. If you take often poor (but otherwise decent) Americans entering the army who only want to improve their lives, desensitise them, tell them to look down on Iraqis and to brutalise them, subject them to stress, and then stand back, then you will get the current crop of abuses. The blame is far more on their superiors and senior US leaders for creating this kind of climate. Interestingly, these kinds of abuses don't occur with British, Australian or troops of other countries in the current conflict. It's a cultural phenomenon. And you can sheet it right home to Rumsfeld and his generals.

You have to be patient with your own country Jen. There are a lot of good people there.

damien said...

Len, my second copy of Catch 22 is falling apart. I saw the film a long time ago but the book was always more enjoyable. So much of US politics sounds like Catch 22 done badly. Milo Mindbender buying eggs at 7c and selling them at 5c, winning the contract from the Germans to bomb his own airfield ("Strafe...it's in the contract"), chocolate coated cotton. All of the favourites.

Here's Yossarian with the psychiatrist:

"Well, do you know what you are? You are a frustrated, unhappy, disillusioned, uindisciplined, maladjusted young man!" Major Sanderson's disposition seemed to mellow as he reeled off the uncomplimentary adjectives.

"Yes, sir," Yossarian agreed carefully. "I guess you're right."

"Of course I'm right. You're immature. You've been unable to adjust to the idea of war."

"Yes, sir."

"You have a morbid aversion to dying. You probably resent the fact that you're at war and might get your head blown off any second."

"I more than resent it, sir. I'm absolutely incensed."

"You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don't like bigots, bullies, snobs or hypocrites. Subconsciously there are many people you hate."

"Consciously, sir, consciously," Yossarian corrected in an effort to help. "I hate them consciously."


...it goes on...lots of fun.

Len Hart said...

That's great stuff...and I don't recall that from the movie at all. Terrific. We are all Yossarian if we have found ourselves in a truly abusrd situation not of our making and beyond our ability to change. Like Yossarian, "I am incensed!"