Sunday, June 04, 2006

Liberators Or Avengers, Which We Be?

Yikes! Every day for the past three brings news of more atrocities on the topic--Iraq, that is. I can hardly keep up.

The day before yesterday, an article from the Christian Science Monitor (title bar) prompts a rant by Demon Princess having to do with the United States forces' tolerance for the "collateral damage" inflicted by the dogs of war: in plain English, that means civilians--women & children as well as men.

Yesterday's news had to do with preliminary reports that it certainly looks like the Marines lied to cover up the deaths of 24 civilians at Haditha in Iraq--the first official reports made by them is that the civilians were were killed by the same sort of roadside bombs that resulted in the death of one of the Marines--but, after a closer look & examination of the bodies (prompted by Time magazine having obtained video footage from an Iraqi journalism student) reveals that they were killed execution-style, in cold blood. Now other photos surface & come back to haunt the Marines, showing bullet holes in the walls of homes where the civilians were killed, as well as an interview of one young family member who says she survived by playing dead.

Close on the heels of that report was news that Americans shot & killed a pregnant woman in labor whose cousin was intent on getting her to the hospital & didn't stop at a checkpoint which was not there a few days previously, according to her.

And today, excerpts from a CBS News report, Accusations Against U.S. Enrage Iraqis:

"A third set of allegations that U.S. troops have deliberately killed civilians is fueling a furor in Iraq and drawing strong condemnations from government and human rights officials.

"'It looks like the killing of Iraqi civilians is becoming a daily phenomenon,' the chairman of the Iraqi Human Rights Association, Muayed al-Anbaki, said Friday after video ran on television of children and adults slain in a raid in March on the Iraqi village of Ishaqi north of Baghdad.

"Al-Anbaki's comments came a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki upbraided the U.S. military over allegations that Marines killed two dozen unarmed civilians in the western city of Haditha, calling it 'a horrible crime.' They were his strongest public comments on the subject since his government was sworn in last month.

"U.S. commanders have ordered new ethics training for all troops in Iraq. But the flow of revelations and investigations threatens to undermine Iraq's new government and public support in America for President Bush's management of the war.

"Iraq's government also began its own investigation of the deaths in Haditha.

"In addition to the Haditha case... seven Marines and a Navy corpsman could face murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges as early as Friday in the April shooting death in Ishaq of an Iraqi man in yet another incident, a defense attorney said Thursday.

"Military prosecutors plan to file the charges against the seven servicemen, who are being held in solitary confinement at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Marine Corps base, said Jeremiah Sullivan III, who represents one of the men.

"The Iraqi man reportedly was dragged from his home west of Baghdad and shot. The Los Angeles Times and NBC News said troops may have planted an AK-47 and a shovel near the body to make it appear as if the man was an insurgent burying a roadside bomb. Neither suggested a possible motive."

But, latest news (AP): the soldiers have been exonerated by a U.S. military probe "saying the soldiers properly followed the rules of engagement," the military said on Friday. "Allegations that the troops executed a family living in this safe house, and then hid the alleged crimes by directing an air strike, are absolutely false," Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a senior U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said in a statement released in Baghdad."

However, stay tuned on this one: there are credible conflicting reports about the number of casualties, not to mention whether there was an attempted cover-up & what form it took. (No, Demon Princess is not drunk--it's just that even the purported investigators seem not to have their facts straight.)

Iraqis are mad as hell, & we don't blame them. If George doesn't get this situation under control, & soon, I daresay the Iraqis--even the ones supposedly on our side--will be working toward a forcible exit of our troops themselves.

And that's not counting the anti-American riots in Afghanistan.

Whose brilliant idea was this war?


Post a Comment

<< Home