Iraq War Vet: "We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us"

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posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 11:06 AM
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truthout.org


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."


Now you understand why a lot of people hate america, right?
Not to mention all the ignorance and the constant excuses and denial. People die because of this conflict you know. That is why I hate those warhawks, snobs who are too eager to go to war.



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posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 11:31 AM
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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.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by Jazzyguy
 


AS a veteran this is why I support an across the board military draft, People wouldn’t be so quick to send their kids off to war if they knew their children would see it...

I have saw the horrors of war, but sides (in Iraq) did terrible things, It won’t end unless we say we have had enough.


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posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by poedxsoldiervet
 


No.....what needs to happen is the young, dumb, desperate, naive, brainwashed, indoctrinated, poor, middle class kids that continue to support the US military need to STOP! We have an all voluntary military force. If people are too stupid or whatever to see the tyranny, corruption, and vile that is the US military, US foreign policy, and US government in this day and age that's their fault. As someone that bleeds red, white and blue, has an End the Fed sticker on my truck, votes libertarian, is well versed in alternative news/history, politics, etc. and sees the world and my country for what it is..............I would NEVER serve the white, old, rich politicians in Washington. If some country threatens my country or attacks the soil I rest my head on day and night......I'd be the first one to rise up and fight for America........but that is a starck contrast to the bullcrap that is going on in every corner of the world in the name of "democracy" and capitalism. The soldiers fighting in the ME and serving in every corner of the world are supporting tyranny and corruption in the form of a US government kleptocracy and fascistic corporate America.


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posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by Zosynspiracy
 


So you say. Some people don’t see it that way... you automatically turned me off to your useless rant when you called them dumb and something about white people...


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posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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The public needs to be made aware of this type of information , so everyone who reads this thread needs to FLAG it to keep it on the front page.

While I know for a fact that there are those youngsters that join the military with their 'John-Wayne' mentality being the primary factor , I also know that there are those who do it for the incentives (college).

I say take away those incentives and you would have less of our young people joining this mad war machine .

There are laws nationwide that allow LEO to arrest the 'johns' who offer money to fake LEO prostitutes for their services , with the underlying justification that solicitation is illegal .

So , show me the difference . The military is offering incentives to these young people for their 'services' . Services which , in my opinion are illegal when you get right down to it .

These fake 'wars' were never legal to begin with . Killing innocent civilians is illegal by anyone's standards .

Our young people are paid prostitutes for the 'war-pigs' .

It is well past the time to bring an end to this madness .

Then you have those who are indeed , as (Zosynspiracy) pointed out , desperate , naive , brainwashed , indoctrinated and poor .

Not that it will ever happen in our state-run schools but , young people need to be educated to the horrors of war before leaving school .

Recruitment officers should not be allowed to come into our schools and recruit these kids with their bullsh*t glamour and glorification of how swell things are in the military .

The desperate and poor kids should be given other options in life other than joining the war-pig machine to go off to some foreign land and start killing strangers all in the name of patriotism and American interests .

Or coming home in a body-bag , from serving their masters' quest for global domination .

It is time for this madness to stop !

[edit on 8-4-2010 by okbmd]

[edit on 8-4-2010 by okbmd]



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:07 PM
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Does this surprise anyone?

Our military gives kids a free video game to entice them to join up.

The banter of the wiki leaks soldiers sounds like my living room when the kids play Halo.

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.

What a sad tale that soldier told, with the bag of groceries.

How do these guys cope?



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:10 PM
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The way the US (both military and mercenaries) have behaved in Iraq sounds just as bad, if not worse, as Saddam Hussein and his sons acted before the invasion.

The whole hype up/justification of the war was partially based on how murderous Saddam and his sons were.

How the entire nation of Iraq isn't trying to destroy the US Military with every bit of effort, I have no idea. They must be tired of fighting, sounds like their collective soul has been defeated and beaten into submission by the US Military.

This I bet you, once the US leaves Iraq, those who helped the US will all be rounded up and executed by mobs.

[edit on 8-4-2010 by harrytuttle]



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:16 PM
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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.


LOVE IT!

LOVE IT! I always thought, we should throw all the people that want war.. on one huge island... say .. England!
and if anyone ever becomes violent towards others (over x amount of times) will be shipped to this island.. if they survive.. after x amount of days.. they can come back! Violence will vanish as it will not serve you directly!



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:16 PM
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Again.... before you judge the apache pilot please check the following page.
mypetjawa.mu.nu...



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:20 PM
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"When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die" - LP



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by OverSword
 


If you like fascist right-wing propaganda that blog is perfect. For all normal people however...

Parallex.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by freighttrain
 



Yeah that'll work, oh wait, no it won't.
People go to prison and come back more violent.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by OverSword

Why does it not discuss the van or the missile attack on the building? It's far from "Case Closed."

[edit on 8-4-2010 by janon]



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by Parallex
 


Obviously you didn't even look at it. If you had you would have seen that one gur had an RPG. The final picture taken by that cameraman was of an american humvee. If you think that is rightr wing fascist propaganda then apparently you don't know what right wing fascism is as there is no political agenda or bias offered in the analysis given. Spout more words please spouty macparaspouter.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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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.



To be honest it seems most of the world problems today to do with war and weaponry stem from america, so you know what you dont tell me to keep it to myself.

Ill say the same thing about isreal and its treatment of palistinians which btw is funded massively by uncle sam.

From selling arms to installing puppet goverments your countries hands are far from clean, other countries at least have the decency to do it secretly!



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by Jazzyguy
 


S&F. Top notch Jazzy.

I don't even blame the Soldiers for these horrific deaths. It is those who enabled them to be there in the first place (Bush & Co, Congress, Weapons Corporations, Oil Companies) who have the real, ultimate responsibilty.

I echo Dylan's lyrics in regard to these 'people' from 'Masters Of War'.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

[edit on 8-4-2010 by Peruvianmonk]



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by janon
 

I assume that when you have a surviving insurgent on the ground the intention is to pick them up for questioning, when the guy in the van stops to help there is no way to know if he is a fellow insurgent or a good samaritan. Probably given what info they had to go on the ROE were to assume that he was a fellow insurgent. I'm not trying to justify, I'm just saying the whole video was presented in a way to try and make the soldiers look like criminals, when the truth is they were operating withing the Rules Of Engagement.

I am against any war as a matter of principle, but am also against spreading lies, like that this was criminal murder or that we were there to seek out WMD's.

If I had been that apache pilot I would have done the same thing, hopefully without the video game like dialogue, and I believe anyone in this forum saying they would have done it differently is either naive, stupid or lying.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:41 PM
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I bet this stuff happens all the time. Bringing context to the situation, lets just say there were AK47s. You're in the chopper. The guy duck beside the building and points the "RPG" away from the chopper. Everyone else looks calm, cool, and collected (not ready to be engaged).

Now, if they were trained properly they would know that the "insurgents" as one military expert on CNN said, can't see the Apache because American techonology is so superb and they're 800ft up, yada,yada,yada. That explains their calm. So perhaps the Americans should've relaxed knowing how good their technology is and analyzed the situation. No one's running, the RPG is not pointing our way, etc.

They're in the air. They are a target. If they are afriad that one guy may be holding an RPG, they might as well shoot up the whole city because there are people all over the city and everyone may or may not have an RPG pointed at us, whether or not we see them. Good rationale.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by OverSword
 


Maybe I'm alone on the issue but I wouldn't kill some folks just on a hunch. What I really don't get is if this was within the ROE why was it against the Geneva Convention and international laws of war?





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