Saturday, May 27, 2006

Iraq: Horrific details of atrocities in Haditha emerge

It isn't every day we hear of the details of the horrors the US military and the pro-war, pro-Iraqi death gang have inflicted on Iraq. Well, actually, let me correct myself. It isn't every day we hear of these details in the US media.

Which is why I have to tip my hat for Ellen Knickmeyer for her report in the Washington Post. Her article on the Haditha Massacre has made the rounds on very many blogs recently because of some of the details that emerge in her content.
For example, "... recalled hearing his neighbor across the street, Younis Salim Khafif, plead in English for his life and the lives of his family members. "I heard Younis speaking to the Americans, saying: 'I am a friend. I am good,' " Fahmi said. "But they killed him, and his wife and daughters."
Can you imagine that scene? A man pleading for his life, for his family to be spared only to get mowed down. Seriously, I can only think of stuff like that when I remember war movies of Vietnamese getting cut to pieces by the US military or Nazis killing Italians or the Roman Legionnaires butchering Gaulish villagers.

But this isn't a movie, and it really isn't a video game either. These people are human souls. And they have kin who will fight back.

Moving along, Knickmeyer says "...U.S. investigators said in Washington. The girls killed inside Khafif's house were ages 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1, according to death certificates."

My God, who can kill a child, a suckling babe? I can't imagine what grips a man to be able to point a weapon at a one-year-old. A one-year-old! Was the US Marine who pulled the trigger thinking of Battlefield, the game some of the military personnel like to play?

Was he thinking of the two towers and 9-11? What went through his mind? Was he thinking of his own children? Or his neighbor's children back home?

Yes, we heard that US military personnel have now become incensed to the point of total regard for human life. And we heard that from their own officers.

We also heard that British officers sharply rebuked the US military for dealing with Iraqis as untermenschen, subhumans. Precisely the way the Jews were dealt with. Let us not forget the atrocities committed in the Warsaw Ghetto.

But there's more.
In the house with Ali and his 66-year-old wife, Khamisa Tuma Ali, were three of the middle-aged male members of their family, at least one daughter-in-law and four children -- 4-year-old Abdullah, 8-year-old Iman, 5-year-old Abdul Rahman and 2-month-old Asia.
Marines entered shooting, witnesses recalled. Most of the shots -- in Ali's house and two others -- were fired at such close range that they went through the bodies of the family members and plowed into walls or the floor, physicians at Haditha's hospital said.
It's a tragic but we have heard hundreds of stories from Iraqi survivors who have claimed the exact same thing, that US soldiers come shooting into the private homes of Iraqi civilians. But these Iraqis were called liars.

We have heard such accounts from some US soldiers themselves, shamed by their own conduct, but they were called traitors, un-American, and liars as well.

Is it American then to kill and coverup? I don't get it. What is un-American about admitting murder or an evil act? I thought "truth, justice, and the American way" are modern lexicons and America, we all have been raised to believe, stands for justice.

Sure, I will get those who claim I am anti-American. That's sad because I actually am very pro-American. I just believe that those who kill and maim in America's name and with your taxes paying for it, are un-American. Not the other way round, you see.
"Ali took nine rounds in the chest and abdomen, leaving his intestines spilling out of the exit wounds in his back, according to his death certificate."
Pump full of lead, huh? Tsk, tsk ...
"The Marines shot them at close range and hurled grenades into the kitchen and bathroom, survivors and neighbors said later. Khafif's pleas could be heard across the neighborhood. Four of the girls died screaming."
Such horror. Am sorry, but nothing at all justifies this. Nothing.
"Moving to a third house in the row, Marines burst in on four brothers, Marwan, Qahtan, Chasib and Jamal Ahmed. Neighbors said the Marines killed them together."

"The remains of the 24 lie today in a cemetery called Martyrs' Graveyard. Stray dogs scrounge in the deserted homes. "Democracy assassinated the family that was here," graffiti on one of the houses declared."
Yes, the same democracy Blair and Bush asked the world to support in Iraq.

"Although Marines' accounts offered in the early stages of the investigation described a running gun battle, those versions of the story proved to be false, officials briefed by the Marines said." Flights of Hollywood fantasy, eh?

But are they trying to cover up this Hollywood fantasy? Seriously, how many people are actually involved in this?
"Another point of dispute is whether some houses were destroyed by fire or by airstrikes. Some Iraqis reported that the Marines burned houses in the area of the attack, but two people familiar with the case, including Hackett, the lawyer, said warplanes conducted airstrikes, dropping 500-pound bombs on more than one house.

That is significant for any possible court-martial proceedings, because it would indicate that senior commanders, who must approve such strikes and who would also use aircraft to assess their effects, were paying attention to events in Haditha that day."

"They are waiting for the sentence -- although they are convinced that the sentence will be like one for someone who killed a dog in the United States," said Waleed Mohammed, a lawyer preparing a file for Iraqi courts and the United Nations, if the U.S. trial disappoints. "Because Iraqis have become like dogs in the eyes of Americans."
I would disagree. Dogs are far more precious. You see them cuddled on primetime news. You hear of orphaned dogs, you hear of dogs rescued from the pound.

But you don't hear of killed Iraqi civilians.