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On Monday, April 5, Wikileaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a US military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency: photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh.
The US military confirmed the authenticity of the video.
The footage clearly shows an unprovoked slaughter, and is shocking to watch whilst listening to the casual conversation of the soldiers in the background.
As disturbing as the video is, this type of behavior by US soldiers in Iraq is not uncommon.
Truthout has spoken with several soldiers who shared equally horrific stories of the slaughtering of innocent Iraqis by US occupation forces.
"I remember one woman walking by," said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the US Marines who served three tours in Iraq. He told the audience at the Winter Soldier hearings that took place March 13-16, 2008, in Silver Spring, Maryland, "She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces."
The hearings provided a platform for veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan to share the reality of their occupation experiences with the media in the US.
Washburn testified on a panel that discussed the rules of engagement (ROE) in Iraq, and how lax they were, to the point of being virtually nonexistent.
"During the course of my three tours, the rules of engagement changed a lot," Washburn's testimony continued, "The higher the threat the more viciously we were permitted and expected to respond. Something else we were encouraged to do, almost with a wink and nudge, was to carry 'drop weapons', or by my third tour, 'drop shovels'. We would carry these weapons or shovels with us because if we accidentally shot a civilian, we could just toss the weapon on the body, and make them look like an insurgent."
Originally posted by star in a jar
I think those who lobby for war should be forced to fight along with their families, put straight into the most violent places to learn a lesson or (preferably) die off so peace-loving people will inherit the Earth.
Originally posted by hotbakedtater
And please keep the America Hate rhetoric to yourself. If America is hated for this, other countries are hated for the same cruelties, war is ugly and this is war. No one gets to wear the I am the worst country badge in war, because all war is ugly and violent.
From the first chapter of the Bible Human nature has been to murder. Humans live in other places than America.
Seems like we have enough hate to go around and them some.