Monday, April 12, 2010

Iraq War Vets "We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us" & Baghdad Massacre Horrifies Former Saddam Prisoner

It was legal at the time in 2007 in Iraq for a household to own and carry in public two rifles . US armored vehichle either purposefully or with indifference drove over body of man who was still alive crushing him to death & US Troops Find this funny like watching America's funniest home videos. This is a telling sign of a Decadent Empire which views human life of non-Americans as having little or no value.

Democracy Now's Exclusive Baghdad Footage One Day After Apache Massacre

This is a powerful and sad commentary by Haifa Zangana about the Baghdad Massacre which highlights the indifference of US soldiers killing unarmed innocent civilians . Even US Troops shooting round after round into a prone wounded man on the ground according to the top brass and Pentagon and White House is or was considered under Generalissimo George W. Bush as the NORM. . The other tragedy as she and others such as Glenn Greenwald is that these incidents of summary execution happens all too often in Iraq.

We should also remember that US soldiers & US government have killed over 650,000 Iraqis not the pentagon's ridiculous official figure of 75,000 Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal War of Aggression & Occupation of Iraq. Unfortunately the Main Stream Media promotes Pentagon's much lower number . Is it because they have never tried to find out what the actual number might be instead they rely on figures from the most untruthful unethical personnel at The Pentagon. Don't any of them remember The Pentagon Papers you know deep throat The Washington Post when it was interested in truth and not merely appeasing the Pentagon and in their desire to shelter the average citizen to the real truth.

Republished in full:

'As I watch The Footage, Anger Calcifies In My Heart'By Haifa Zangana April 10, 2010 "The Guardian" via Information Clearing House

-- A novelist and former prisoner of Saddam Hussein's regime gives her reaction to the Wikileaks Iraq video

I know the area where this massacre was committed. It is a crowded working-class area, a place where it is safe for children to play outdoors. It is near where my two aunts and their extended families lived, where I played as a child with my cousins Ali, Khalid, Ferial and Mohammed. Their offspring still live there.

The Reuters photographer we see being killed so casually in the film, Namir Noor-Eldeen, did not live there, but went to cover a story, risking his life at a time when most western journalists were imbedded with the military. Noor-Eldeen was 22 (he must have felt extremely proud to be working for Reuters) and single. His driver Saeed Chmagh, who is also seen being killed, was 40 and married. He left behind a widow and four children, adding to the millions of Iraqi widows and orphans.

Witnesses to the slaughter reported the harrowing details in 2007, but they had to wait for a western whistleblower to hand over a video before anyone listened. Watching the video, my first impression was, I have no impression. But the total numbness gradually grows into a now familiar anger. I listen to the excited voices of death coming from the sky, enjoying the chase and killing. I whisper: do they think they are God?

"Light 'em all up!" one shooter says.

"Ah, yeah, look at those dead bastards. Nice," says another.

"Well, it's their fault bringing their kids into the battle," one says when ground troops discover two children among the wounded.

In their Apache helicopter, with their sophisticated killing machinery, US soldiers seem superhuman. The Iraqis, on the ground, appear only as nameless bastards, Hajjis, sandniggers. They seem subhuman – and stripping them of their humanity makes killing them easy.

As I watch, I feel the anger calcify in my heart alongside the rage I still feel over other Anglo-American massacres: Haditha (which has been compared to the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war); Ishaqi (where 11 Iraqi civilians were killed in June 2006); Fallujah; the rape and killing of A'beer al-Janaby and her family; the British Camp Breadbasket scandal.

We often hear of the traumas US soldiers suffer when they lose one of their ranks, and their eagerness to even the score. We seldom hear from people like the Iraqi widow whose husband was shot, who looked me in the eye last summer, and said: "But we didn't invade their country." Unlike this video, the injustice she feels will not fade with time. It is engraved in the collective memory of people, and will be until justice is done. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
US Pentagon and Government And Media Characterize All Iraqis as the enemy and as a Barbaric People.
US soldiers terrorize Iraqi civilians as part of American Policy in Iraq War so who are the real Barbarians . It is not Islamic terrorists who have killed a million Iraqis but rather American troops and US led Death Squads .

Iraqi War Vets talk about how common place were such incidents as the Baghdad Massacre . US troops essentially told "Iraq is a Free Fire Zone" and any kills the soldiers reported would be accepted by the top brass as legal and justified no matter what the circumstances . The standing orders official or unofficial that is approve with a wink and a nod was that the higher the Body Count the better without regard to innocence or guilt on the part of those killed.

Iraq War Vet: "We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us" by Dahr Jamail at April 7, 2010

...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."

Hart Viges, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army who served one year in Iraq, told of taking orders over the radio.

"One time they said to fire on all taxicabs because the enemy was using them for transportation.... One of the snipers replied back, 'Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Fire on all taxicabs?' The lieutenant colonel responded, 'You heard me, trooper, fire on all taxicabs.' After that, the town lit up, with all the units firing on cars. This was my first experience with war, and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the deployment."

Vincent Emanuele, a Marine rifleman who spent a year in the al-Qaim area of Iraq near the Syrian border, told of emptying magazines of bullets into the city without identifying targets, running over corpses with Humvees and stopping to take "trophy" photos of bodies.

"An act that took place quite often in Iraq was taking pot shots at cars that drove by," he said, "This was not an isolated incident, and it took place for most of our eight-month deployment."

Kelly Dougherty - then executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War - blamed the behavior of soldiers in Iraq on policies of the US government.

"The abuses committed in the occupations, far from being the result of a 'few bad apples' misbehaving, are the result of our government's Middle East policy, which is crafted in the highest spheres of US power," she said.

Michael Leduc, a corporal in the Marines who was part of the US attack on Fallujah in November 2004, said orders he received from his battalion JAG officer before entering the city were as follows: "You see an individual with a white flag and he does anything but approach you slowly and obey commands, assume it's a trick and kill him."

Bryan Casler, a corporal in the Marines, spoke of witnessing the prevalent dehumanizing outlook soldiers took toward Iraqis during the invasion of Iraq.

"... on these convoys, I saw Marines defecate into MRE bags or urinate in bottles and throw them at children on the side of the road," he stated.

Scott Ewing, who served in Iraq from 2005-2006, admitted on one panel that units intentionally gave candy to Iraqi children for reasons other than "winning hearts and minds.

"There was also another motive," Ewing said. "If the kids were around our vehicles, the bad guys wouldn't attack. We used the kids as human shields."

In response to the WikiLeaks video, the Pentagon, while not officially commenting on the video, announced that two Pentagon investigations cleared the air crew of any wrongdoing...

and so it goes,

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