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Haditha is the tip of the iceberg - Iraq atrocities continue

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posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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Here's an interesting video of a White House press conf. with Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee. He addresses the Haditha issue and talks about troop morale and other issues.

One of the press spokesman ask Gen. Hagee if he feels that he should be held accountable for the actions of the few Marines (if found guilty) in the Haditha incident. I don't think someone at that level should be held accountable for the actions of few Marines at the Bottom....if other officers (more likely) at a lower level had anything to do with the incident then they should have to answer for what their troops did because they were the commanding officers in charge of the Marines and had a direct obligation and responsibility to oversee the actions of their troops.


www.usmc.mil - wmv file - 15:39

Sporty

[edit on 12/6/2006 by SportyMB]




posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by SteveR
Afterall, just look at the attitude these people had before they even arrived..

img164.imageshack.us...

[edit on 12/6/06 by SteveR]



That photo's a FAKE!!!! Our boys would NEVER do that!!! (froth, wibble)



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 07:09 AM
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Well, it was never going away, really, was it?

All this stuff about Iran (boo! hiss! evil nuke-wielding mullahs!) might have knocked Iran and Afghanistan off the front pages for a while, but it's not like nothing was happening there, is it? The "war on terror" isn't exactly going brilliantly in either theatre.

And so we have more atrocities emerging in Iraq. I wonder how much coverage they'll get in the US? How sick are people there of hearing about GI atrocities? You see, I don't think we have the same culture of denial here in the UK. When details emerge of British soldiers committing war crimes, they're not played down or denied. Officers don't try to excuse the men concerned...

Here we have the latest article about GI atrocities in Iraq. The list of accusations "stuns experts" (who are these experts, one wonders?) we are told, and the second line of the report gives the official response - "Officials point to stressed troops, greater scrutiny as possible reasons."

Now maybe I'm being a little harsh, but greater scrutiny? That sounds pretty lame, even for an official excuse. Does that mean that these atrocities were always there, but we weren't looking hard enough? That's what it sounds like.

And actually, that really is what they're saying:

“The system which tended to turn a blind eye is now looking harder,” said Anthony Cordesman, a former Pentagon analyst. “Incidents which in the past might’ve been covered over or dodged are now leading to formal accusations.”


So... we've had three-plus years of incidents being covered over, then? It's not a surprise to me, I have to say.


The accounts are brutal: An Iraqi man dragged from his home, executed and made to look as if he were an insurgent. Three prisoners killed by their Army captors. A team of revenge-seeking Marines going home to home, shooting down unarmed Iraqi men, women, children.


As for the stressed troops, the article points out that war is hell and that if your life is threatened and you have a gun in your hands you might be tempted to use it. I'm really not blaming the soldiers here, I have to say: I have every sympathy for this argument. It's the people who sent them to war in the first place who should be before a criminal court.

John Pike, director of Globalsecurity, a think tank, is quoted as saying,

“Anybody who contemplates a decision to use force, anybody who contemplates putting boots on the ground has to understand that part of what they’re assuming responsibility for is stressed-out soldiers are going to massacre civilians. It just comes with the territory.”


This is why waging an unprovoked war is an international crime against humanity and why the people responsible should be on trial for their lives.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:02 AM
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Associated Press

The accounts are brutal: An Iraqi man dragged from his home, executed and made to look as if he were an insurgent. Three prisoners killed by their Army captors. A team of revenge-seeking Marines going home to home, shooting down unarmed Iraqi men, women, children.

The recent flurry of accusations against U.S. servicemen has stunned military analysts and experts. Many see a critical new point in the war — though few agree whether it shows the toll of combat stress, commanders resolved to stamp out war crimes, or, as some claim, an overzealous second-guessing of the troops.


List of alleged incidents -
So far, none of the troops accused in the latest cases has even been tried:

  • On Friday, a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesman said two Guardsmen were being investigated in connection with the shooting death of an Iraqi earlier this year.

  • On Wednesday, seven Marines and one Navy corpsman were charged in the April shooting death of an Iraqi man in the town of Hamdania. Charging documents claim the man was taken from his home, forced into a hole, shot and left with a stolen AK-47 near him to make it look as if he fought the troops.

  • On Monday and Wednesday, three soldiers and a noncommissioned officer were charged in the May deaths of three unarmed Iraqis in military custody in Salahuddin province. A Pentagon official told The Associated Press that the detainees were shot while trying to flee.

Well it looks like to me, that the US armed forces are really not helping to put this country - I mean Iraq - back togather. With all the Violence already in place, putting some more oil on the already heavy burning fire, will only complicate things even more.

So where area those "PEACEKEEPERS"?

You know - the ones who are supposed to Enforce the Law and Promote PEACE?



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 06:54 AM
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I've only just come across this June Daily Telegraph article about the Marine battalion under investigation for the massacre at Haditha.


None of the troops wanted to talk, but even a short stay with the men of the 3rd Bn 1st Marine Division in their camp located in Haditha Dam on the town's outskirts, made clear it was a place where institutional discipline had frayed and was even approaching breakdown.

Haditha was .... a feral place where the marines hardly washed; a number had abandoned the official living quarters to set up separate encampments with signs ordering outsiders to keep out; and a daily routine punctured by the emergency alarm of the dam itself with its antiquated and crumbling machinery.

The day before my arrival one soldier had shot himself in the . with his M16. No one would discuss why.

......



The washing facilities were at the top and the main lavatories at the base. With about 800 steps between them, many did not bother to use the official facilities.

Instead, a number had moved into small encampments around the dam's entrances that resembled something from Lord of the Flies. Entering one, a marine was pulling apart planks of wood with his dirt-encrusted hands to feed a fire.

A skull and crossbones symbol had been etched on the entrance to the shack.

I was never allowed to interview a senior officer properly, unlike during every other stint with American forces.


The whole article makes pretty horrific reading - the worst excesses of Vietnam are back, people, and you deny it at your peril.



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 07:01 AM
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Oh, here's a really sensitive video featuring a great song written by a US soldier serving in Iraq called Hadji Girl.

I can't even bring myself to quote any lyrics. It's pretty ****ing sick, frankly. And it makes me think differently about "Team America", because the singer uses the "durga durga" gag in a context that... well, it just makes me pretty angry, frankly.

The soldier talks about taking a little girl and using her as a human shield, which gets a real roar of approval from the Marines.

I think that talk of baby-killers is definitely back on the agenda.



posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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Well... I can see that there hasn't been a lot of comment as more and more allegations have surfaced. We've had the recent "whoops, thought they were insurgents" killing of some Iraqi firemen, and now, Pulitzer winner Seymour Hersh has said in an address at McGill University that he has seen more video evidence of atrocities...


He described one video in which American soldiers massacre a group of people playing soccer.
“Three U.S. armed vehicles, eight soldiers in each, are driving through a village, passing candy out to kids,” he began. “Suddenly the first vehicle explodes, and there are soldiers screaming. Sixteen soldiers come out of the other vehicles, and they do what they’re told to do, which is look for running people.”
“Never mind that the bomb was detonated by remote control,” Hersh continued. “[The soldiers] open up fire; [the] cameras show it was a soccer game.”
“About ten minutes later, [the soldiers] begin dragging bodies together, and they drop weapons there. It was reported as 20 or 30 insurgents killed that day,” he said.
If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.
“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”


Only what I've been saying all along.



posted on Nov, 1 2006 @ 06:06 PM
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Good work.



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 12:14 AM
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Buried in the depths of this enormous and excellent article is the story of yet another American atrocity in Iraq.

The journalist, Nir Rosen of the New America Foundation, is one of the few people able to move freely between the Iraqis and the US side. Having visited a husseinya, or prayer room, which was the site of an American raid, Rosen then attended a US press conference that gave the US side of the story. The two stories simply didn't match, and the physical evidence (plus the sheer, colourful feel of being made-up that characterised the US side) favoured the Iraqi testimony.


“We are making great progress to our end state here inside Iraq,” General Lynch said. He switched slides to a satellite image of Ur and Shaab showing the Mustafa Husseiniya. It was labeled “Tgt Complex.” Several blocks away was a building described, falsely, as the Ibrahim al Khalil Mosque, and even farther away was a building described, again falsely, as the Al Mustafa Mosque.

“Last Sunday,” he said, “Iraqi special-operations forces had indications that a kidnapping cell was working out of this target complex. . . . This was led, planned, and executed by the Iraqi special-operations forces, based on detailed intelligence that a kidnapping cell was occupying this complex. The operation consisted of about 50 members of Iraqi special operations forces and about 25 U.S. advisers. But the U.S. advisers were there purely in an advisory role. They did none of the fighting; there wasn’t a shot fired from a U.S. service member during the conduct of this operation. They surveyed the battlefield in advance, looking for sensitive areas, and they said, Okay, there are mosques in the area, but the nearest mosque is about six blocks from the target-point complex, so a decision was made to do the operation. . . .

“All told, 16 insurgents were killed, 18 were detained. We found over 32 weapons, and we found the hostage, the innocent Iraqi, who just 12 hours before was walking the streets of Baghdad. He was walking the streets of Baghdad en route to a hospital to visit his brother who had gunshot wounds. He was kidnapped and beaten in the car en route to this complex. When he got there, they emptied his pockets, they took out his wallet, and in the wallet was a picture of his daughter, and he asked for one thing: he said, ‘Please, before you kill me, allow me to kiss the picture of my daughter. That’s all I ask.’ The kidnappers told him, ‘Hey, we got you, and if we don’t get $20,000 sometime soon, you’re dead.’ And they showed him the bare electrical wires that they were going to use to torture him and then kill him. And they said, ‘We’re going to go away and do some drugs, and when we come back, we’re going to kill you.’

“He was beaten. He was tortured. He was tortured with an electrical drill. Twelve hours after he was kidnapped, he was rescued. . . . He is indeed most grateful. He is most grateful to be alive, and he is most grateful to the Iraqi special-operations forces. . . . The closest mosque was six blocks away. When they got close to the compound, they took fire, and they returned fire. When they got inside the room, a room in this compound, they realized this could have been a husseiniya, a prayer room. They saw a prayer rug. They saw a minaret. They didn’t know about that in advance, but from that room and from that compound, they were taking fire. In that room and in that compound, the enemy was holding a hostage and torturing a hostage, and in that room and in that compound, they were storing weapons, munitions, and IED explosive devices. Very, very effective operation, planned and executed by Iraqi special-operations forces.”

When asked who the enemy might have been, Lynch responded, “Extremists, terrorists, and criminals, and it’s all intertwined. We have reason to believe and evidence to support that the terrorists and foreign fighters are indeed using kidnapping as a way to finance their operations. And the story that I told about Sunday night’s kidnapping can be told many more times.”

I remembered my visit three days earlier. There had been no signs inside or outside the husseiniya of a gun battle or any fire coming from inside, no random bullet holes in the husseiniya or the buildings around it, no Kalashnikov shells (although those could have been removed). The entire affair had seemed one-sided, and General Lynch’s account of the kidnappers was pretty implausible. If the Americans had committed extrajudicial killings there, they were lying about the incident and even its location. They may have stumbled on a Shia assassination squad targeting Sunnis, but they seemed to have no idea.


I have little expectation that many people on these boards will care about this incident, simply one more in a litany of killings by occupation forces: they would rather focus on the civil war which is engulfing Iraq and should have been seen as an inevitable consequence of invasion. But here's another quote from the article that might just make you pause for a second... It's the Iraqi account of the same raid, and the important thing to remember is that these are the Shia talking. They're the ones who were repressed by Saddam and the minority Sunnis, supposedly, and they're the ones who had the most to gain from Saddam's ouster.


He confirmed that the mosque belonged to the Sadrists. He explained that they had permitted the Dawa Party to use some of their rooms as an office. “They are old people, and they are even not capable of carrying a weapon,” he said. “They didn’t even have a guard in their office. The American forces denied that they attacked the husseiniya—they said they just attacked the Dawa office—but it was a lie. . . . The truth is they entered both the Dawa office and the Mustafa Husseiniya and they killed in a very barbaric way. . . . And nobody expected the Americans would do that, especially those who saw films about freedom in America. No one expected this.

“We were surprised at six o’clock, half an hour before the prayer, by a large number of Humvees and another armored vehicles. They surrounded the husseiniya and started firing randomly...

... Infantry soldiers came in shooting. They took the brothers to a single place and grouped them together and executed them. One of them had a black band on his fore. because he was a sayyid. He was the one who got the most bullets. You have already seen his brains. They went inside the shrine with a grenade. People were praying. They went inside the mihrab [which only the imam enters]. The mosque should be a safe place. . . . I have four children, and they were very scared. They still are not stable. I went today to visit my mother, an old woman. She was in shock and couldn’t recognize me.”

Sheikh Safaa blamed the political pressure on Jafaari for the raid. “Americans think that Jaafari is the closest man to the Sadrists, and they don’t like the Sadrists to have a friend in the prime minister’s position in Iraq. They allowed the Sadrists to participate in the elections, but the election results were not what the Americans wanted, so they are putting political pressure to prevent things from going in the direction they dislike.

Sheikh Safaa warned of his people’s anger. Over the last few days, he said, the people of Shaab “were very upset by the presence of the occupation. Muqtada demanded that the occupation forces apologize and compensate the families of the victims. America should not kill and compensate. Just stop killing. When the occupier came to this country we lost our security, and security is one of the most important favors that God gives to us. It is true that there was a strong oppression of Iraqis by the former regime. America came to Iraq proclaiming its liberation and freedom and democracy and pluralism, but America proclaimed one thing and we saw something else. We saw freedom, but it was the freedom of tanks and the democracy of Humvees, and instead of multiple parties we saw multiple killings of people in ugly ways.


I'm sorry for the long quotes... it's a long and very informative article. I highly recommend it.



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 01:51 AM
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The United States is not in Iraq to free it. Nor is it in Iraq to stop terrorism. The United States is in Iraq to generate huge sums of money for George Bush, Dick Cheney and their friends in big business. It is all about the almighty dollar and how some people will do anything including killing their own coutrymen to acquire more of them. If you do not like the number of US Servicemen being killed in Iraq, then let your congressman know that you want the US out. If you do not like the number of Iraqi civillians being killed in Iraq, the let your congressmand know that you want the US out. Getting the US out of Iraq will stop the killing on both sides.



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 02:53 AM
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Sometimes i get too tired of everyday life to care about these issues. A select few on these forums have got the passion to point me in the right direction and find the truth of these issues for myself.

Helps me care again.




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