Desert Storm (1991), War on Terror (2001 - )
Iraqi soldier killed in Desert Slaughter (1991).
Perhaps 200,000 to 300,000 were killed in that attack.
Egyptian newspaper cartoon about US war on Iraq
Although an exact figure will never be known, approximately 1,500,000 people were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen. The Einsatzgruppen submitted detailed and specific reports of their actions to their superiors both by radio and written communication; these reports were checked against each other for accuracy at Heydrich's headquarters. According to those reports approximately 1,500,000 people were murdered. In evaluating this large number Justice Michael Musmanno, who presided at the trial of the Einsatzgruppen wrote:
One million human corpses is a concept too bizarre and too fantastical for normal mental comprehension. As suggested before, the mention of one million deaths produces no shock at all commensurate with its enormity because to the average brain one million is more a symbol than a quantitative measure. However, if one reads through the reports of the Einsatzgruppen and observes the small numbers getting larger, climbing into ten thousand, tens of thousands, a hundred thousand and beyond, then one can at last believe that this actually happened -- the cold-blooded, premeditated killing of one million human beings.
There are some who would try to deny or justify the murders committed by the Einsatzgruppen. The most benign explanation for this denial was given by Justice Michael Musmanno -- an experienced judge and hardened combat veteran -- who presided at the trial of the Einsatzgruppen. Shocked and sickened by the evidence which he heard, Justice Musmanno wrote:
One reads and reads these accounts of which here we can give only a few excerpts and yet there remains the instinct to disbelieve, to question, to doubt. There is less of a mental barrier in accepting the weirdest stories of supernatural phenomena, as for instance, water running up hill and trees with roots reaching toward the sky, than in taking at face value these narratives which go beyond the frontiers of human cruelty and savagery. Only the fact that the reports from which we have quoted came from the pens of men within the accused organizations can the human mind be assured that all this actually happened. The reports and the statements of the defendants themselves verify what otherwise would be dismissed as the product of a disordered imagination.
Judgement of the Tribunal, p. 50.
An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen
an essay by Yale F. Edeiken
"It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral."
-- General Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Press Club, February 17, 2006
Senior Pentagon official on why they censor gruesome t.v. coverage of combat
"If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war."
"We have committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride, and our arrogance as a nation."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., March 1968
"I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side."
-- US General Curtis LeMay, commander of the 1945 Tokyo fire bombing operation.
"The crimes of the U.S. throughout the world have been systematic, constant, clinical, remorseless, and fully documented but nobody talks about them. "
-- Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter
"we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country if necessary. ...
"the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government"
-- Martin Luther King on the Vietnam War, April 4, 1967
"I was nineteen years old, and I'd always been told to do what the grown-ups told me to do.... But now I tell my sons, if the government calls, ... to use their own judgment, ... to forget about authority ... to use their own conscience. I wish somebody had told me that before I went to Vietnam."
a U.S. soldier who had participated in the My Lai massacre, in which a company of American soldiers shot to death women and children by the hundreds in a tiny Vietnamese village
One two three four Every night we pray for war. Five six seven eight Rape. Kill. Mutilate.
-- U.S. Marine Corps training chant, Camp Pendelton, 1989
One, two, three, four, We don't want your fucking war! Five, six, seven, eight, Organize and smash the state!
-- Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Vietnam War chant
ex-CIA agent John Stockwell
(US gov't wars have killed over 6 million in past half century)
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSION FOR REFUGEES
UNHCR AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: SOME COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT STATUTE
International Criminal Court www.un.org/law/icc/statute/romefra.htm
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 9 December 1948
Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War requires the parties to enact legislation to provide effective penal sanctions for those committing or ordering to commit "grave breaches" of the Convention; and to search for such persons and to bring them to trial. Article 147 states that grave breaches are the following acts committed against protected persons and property: willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, including biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in forces of a hostile Power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.
|Desert Storm: 1991 Gulf War|
How many people were killed in the 1991 Gulf War?
Bodies? What Bodies?
By Patrick J. Sloyan, AlterNet
November 25, 2002
Daniel and the rest of the world would not find out until months later why the dead had vanished. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers, some of them alive and firing their weapons from World War I-style trenches, were buried by plows mounted on Abrams main battle tanks. The Abrams flanked the trench lines so that tons of sand from the plow spoil funneled into the trenches. Just behind the tanks, actually straddling the trench line, came M2 Bradleys pumping 7.62mm machine gun bullets into the Iraqi troops. ...
One reason there was no trace of what happened in the Neutral Zone on those two days were the ACEs. It stands for Armored Combat Earth movers and they came behind the armored burial brigade leveling the ground and smoothing away projecting Iraqi arms, legs and equipment.
PFC Joe Queen of the 1st Engineers was impervious to small arms fire inside the cockpit of the massive earth mover. He remained cool and professional as he smoothed away all signs of the carnage. Queen won the Bronze Star for his efforts. "A lot of guys were scared," Queen said, "but I enjoyed it." Col. Moreno estimated more than 70 miles of trenches and earthen bunkers were attacked, filled in and smoothed over on Feb. 24-25.
What happened at the Neutral Zone that day has become a metaphor for the conduct of modern warfare. While political leaders bask in voter approval for destroying designated enemies, they are increasingly determined to mask the reality of warfare that causes voters to recoil.
The relentless appetite of broadcasting networks made Pentagon control a simple matter. Virtually every U.S. weapon system is monitored by television cameras either on board warplanes and helicopters or hand-held by military cameramen or individual soldiers. This "gun camera" footage may be released or withheld depending on the decisions of political bosses of the military. So when the air war began in January 1991, the media was fed carefully selected footage by Schwarzkopf in Saudi Arabia and Powell in Washington, DC. Most of it was downright misleading.
Briefings by Schwarzkopf and other military officers mostly featured laser guided or television guided missiles and bombs. But of all the tons of high explosives dropped during more than a month of night and day air attacks, only 6 percent were smart bombs. The vast majority were controlled by gravity, usually dropped from above 15,000 feet – 35,000 feet for U.S. heavy bombers – where winds can dramatically affect accuracy. And there never was any footage of B-52 bomber strikes that carpeted Iraqi troop positions.
Just as distorted were Schwarzkopf's claims of destruction of Iraqi Scud missiles. After the war, studies by Army and Pentagon think tanks could not identify a single successful interception of a Scud warhead by the U.S. Army's Patriot antimissile system.
In manipulating the first and often most lasting perception of Desert Storm, the Bush administration produced not a single picture or video of anyone being killed. This sanitized, bloodless presentation by military briefers left the world presuming Desert Storm was a war without death.
That image was reinforced by limitations imposed on reporters on the battlefield. Under rules developed by Cheney and Powell, journalists were not allowed to move without military escorts. All interviews had to be monitored by military public affairs escorts. Every line of copy, every still photograph, every strip of film had to be approved – censored – before being filed. And these rules were ruthlessly enforced.
Patrick J. Sloyan won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Desert Storm while working as a senior correspondent for Newsday.
Clean lies, dirty wars
Remembering the U.S. estimate of about 13,000 Iraqi civilians killed, this was a find that prompted a series of questions: Why not inflate rather than deflate that total? Why not use a natural propaganda tool and make the Allies look worse rather than better? How could it be that the only thing Saddam Hussein and George Bush agreed upon was that so few had died, when more than 10,000 tons of mostly U.S. explosive power had bombarded Iraq non-stop for 43 days? ...
Word spread that an American researcher was investigating the death toll of Desert Storm, and a self-described "friend of the truth" contacted me. Eluding Walid for a secret meeting, I was surprised to find myself talking with a well-placed Hussein family member. In a meeting so brief as to appear accidental, he told me, lips barely moving, of a civilian casualty cover-up. He hypothesized that as many as 300,000 civilians died in the conflict.
By way of example, he pointed to the many Iraqi civilians who died at war's end, fleeing Kuwait along what the Western press called "the highway of death."
Going on, my friend explained how, in the first days of the bombings, Iraqi television announced a nightly civilian death toll, but when the "bodies mounted" the practice was discontinued. Already the war was "not popular" and becoming less so when Iraq aligned with its old enemy Iran to allow for the flight of Iraqi fighter jets to Iran. With the country fresh from fighting and killing Iranians, this move "disgusted Iraq's citizens," he said.
"We did not know our angels from our demons. We were tired of dying and did not want this war." ....
The U.S. military custom of burying dead enemies disposed of the problem, the man said, when "thousands of Bedouins and other families were buried side by side with warriors in mass graves around Iraq." Fire, as well as inadequate and decentralized record keeping, assisted in making the dead vanish. Afterward, my friend explained, Iraqi officials planted the idea of the "clean war" by furnishing American census-takers with the same casualty count, 8,243, listed in The Destruction.
It has been reported that John Lehman, who served the Reagan administration as Navy Secretary, was reportedly a participant at the 1991 meeting of the notorious Bohemian Grove, a private retreat for the elite in northern California - www.sonic.net/~kerry/bohemian/index.html He is said to have answered "200,000"
Gulf War Syndrome in American veterans
"Burning Semen" syndrome (something the military recruiters
don't talk about)
In 1996, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said of the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi kids under harsh and brutal US-imposed sanctions, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."
Testimony of Mr. George Galloway, Member of the British Parliament, before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee, May 17, 2005
I opposed the Oil-for-Food program with all my heart. Not for the reasons that you are troubled by, but because it was a program which saw the death-I'm talking about the death now; I'm talking about a mass grave-of a million people, most of them children, in Iraq. The Oil-for-Food program gave 30 cents per day per Iraqi for the period of the Oil-for-Food program-30 cents for all food, all medicine, all clothes, all schools, all hospitals, all public services. I believe that the United Nations had no right to starve Iraq's people because it had fallen out with Iraq's dictator.
David Bonior, your former colleague, Senator, whom I admired very much--a former chief whip here on the Hill--described the sanctions policy as "infanticide masquerading as politics." Senator Coleman thinks that's funny, but I think it's the most profound description of that era that I have ever read--infanticide masquerading as politics.
|2003 invasion of Iraq|
"Can you help get my arms back? Do you think the doctors can get me another pair of hands? If I don't get a pair of hands I will commit suicide," cried Ali Ismaeel Abbas, 12 (above, left). Ali's story was carried by the UK Mirror, not CNN or the Fascist News Channel (otherwise known as Fox). On Fox and CNN, only bad men hooked up with Saddam get blasted, not innocent kids like this. "Before the war I did not regard America as my enemy," said Dr. Sadek al-Mukhtar. "Now I do. War should be against the military. America is killing civilians."
members of the military express their respect for Muslim culture
The Mysterious Death of Marla Ruzicka:
The US Military has Detailed Statistics on Civilian Casualties
by Michel Chossudovsky
www.globalresearch.ca 24 April 2005
There have been several documented cases of assassinations of journalists and
aid workers in Iraq, not to mention the attempted assassination of Italian
journalist Giuliana Sgrena:
My Truth by Giuliana Sgrena, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/SGR504A.html
Affaire Sgrena : Les USA ne veulent pas d'indiscrets en Irak, par Geert van Moorter, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOO504A.html
Bush administration clears US troops in slaying of Calipari and wounding of Sgrena by Wayne Madsen, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD503A.html
Giuliana Sgrena Shooting: 'Trigger-Happy' Troops or Attempted Assassination? by Ritt Goldstein, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/GOL503A.html
Psycho-Wars The Role of US Agents Provocateurs in Iraq by William Bowles, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BOW410B.html
Assassination of Reuters Cameraman, who uncovered evidence of Mass US Casualties in Iraq, Recipe for Terror by Felicity Arbuthnot http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ARB311A.html
Who was behind the Attack on the Red Cross in Baghdad? by Michel Chossudovsky, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO310A.html
Killing the "Unembedded Truth" by Michel Chossudovsky http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO304B.html
This has come to my attention, via http://www.informationclearinghouse.info Information Clearing House.
In this video you will see an american serviceman shooting an iraqi insurgent dead. Needless to say, this video is for MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
That being said, I will comment on this video...
You will clearly see that the iraqi is crawling AWAY from the source of fire. He is obviously wounded, and is no threat to the american soldier who subsequently kills him, from dozens of yards away.
This, by definition, is a war crime, under the Geneva Convention regarding the wounded and captive.
What is most frightening are the cheers of his fellow marines, and the subsequent interview with the war criminal- he beams at the camera, and exults:
"I mean, afterwards you're like, hell, yeah, that was awesome. Let's do it again." with an expression that's like any high-school student who just lost his virginity.
Look closely at his exultant, flushed face- this is the face of a WAR CRIMINAL- he might look like a flushed, energetic teenager, but in reality, he's no better than any of Hussein's brutal thugs, or a Gestapo agent exulting after shooting his first jew.
Investigations, solely on my part, are being conducted. I WILL find this young criminal's name, and will make DAMNED sure that he isn't going to get away with this.
Marine General's Blunt Comments Draw Fire
Some Audience Members Clap
POSTED: 6:36 pm PST February 1, 2005
UPDATED: 12:52 pm PST February 3, 2005
SAN DIEGO -- At a panel discussion in San Diego Tuesday, a top Marine general tells an audience that, among other things, it is "fun to shoot some people."
General's Comment Draw Fire
The comment, made by Lt. Gen. James Mattis, came in reference to fighting insurgents in Iraq. He went on to say, "Actually, its a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. I like brawling."
"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for 5 years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis continued. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."
About 200 people gathered for the discussion, held at the San Diego Convention Center. While many military members laughed at the comments, a military expert interviewed by NBC 7/39 called the comments "flippant."
"I was a little surprised," said Retired Vice Adm. Edward H. Martin. "I don't think any of us who have ever fought in wars liked to kill anybody."
Mattis also discussed operational tactics of the war, calling on military members not to underestimate the capacity of terrorists.
Mattis leads Camp Pendleton's 1st Marine Division in Iraq. He is in charge of the Marine Corps combat development and is based in Quantico, Va.
April 4, 2003
The Mantra of Our Time "Support" or Treason? By TOM GORMAN
The Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically states that members of the military must obey the lawful orders of their superiors; implicit in this is that they are allowed to disobey unlawful orders. More explicit is one of the supreme laws of the land mentioned above, the Nuremberg Principles: "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him." This was the principle under which people were hanged at Nuremberg; you cannot argue that you were "just following orders." Thus, any person, military or civilian, is responsible for their actions if they violate international law. There is an important exception, though. An individual is responsible only if "a moral choice was in fact possible to him [or her]." It is debatable whether members of the American military have such a choice, given that they are so often pushed into the service by socioeconomic circumstance, are relentlessly brainwashed into following orders without question, and have a diminished capacity for moral reasoning intentionally drilled into them.
photos of what is happening to human beings:
Iraqi and US, civilian and military (very graphic)
"Newsweek exposé of war crimes in Afghanistan whitewashes US role"
In a scene reminiscent of crowds of European Jews being packed into cattle cars on their way to the Nazi death camps, the Taliban prisoners continued to arrive by the truckload over the next three days, with 150 to 300 packed into each container. As the doors locked behind them, they realized they would not be returning home, as promised, but were being left to die. ....
The Newsweek report establishes prima facie evidence of war crimes. It acknowledges the presence of US military personnel on the scene at various stages of the atrocities. Finally, statements by Donald Rumsfeld and other US officials demonstrate that the killing of Taliban prisoners was a matter of US policy. Taken together, these facts are sufficient to warrant, and in fact urgently require, a full and independent war crimes investigation in which officials not only of the Northern Alliance, but also of the US military and the Bush administration are prosecuted.
Atrocities in Iraq: 'I Killed Innocent People for Our Government'
By Paul Rockwell
Sunday 16 May 2004
"We forget what war is about, what it does to those who wage it and those who suffer from it. Those who hate war the most, I have often found, are veterans who know it."
- Chris Hedges, New York Times reporter and author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning"
For nearly 12 years, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey was a hard-core, some say gung-ho, Marine. For three years he trained fellow Marines in one of the most grueling indoctrination rituals in military life - Marine boot camp.
The Iraq war changed Massey. The brutality, the sheer carnage of the U.S. invasion, touched his conscience and transformed him forever. He was honorably discharged with full severance last Dec. 31 and is now back in his hometown, Waynsville, N.C.
When I talked with Massey last week, he expressed his remorse at the civilian loss of life in incidents in which he himself was involved.
Q: You spent 12 years in the Marines. When were you sent to Iraq?
A: I went to Kuwait around Jan. 17. I was in Iraq from the get-go. And I was involved in the initial invasion.
Q: What does the public need to know about your experiences as a Marine?
A: The cause of the Iraqi revolt against the American occupation. What they need to know is we killed a lot of innocent people. I think at first the Iraqis had the understanding that casualties are a part of war. But over the course of time, the occupation hurt the Iraqis. And I didn't see any humanitarian support.
Q: What experiences turned you against the war and made you leave the Marines?
A: I was in charge of a platoon that consists of machine gunners and missile men. Our job was to go into certain areas of the towns and secure the roadways. There was this one particular incident - and there's many more - the one that really pushed me over the edge. It involved a car with Iraqi civilians. From all the intelligence reports we were getting, the cars were loaded down with suicide bombs or material. That's the rhetoric we received from intelligence. They came upon our checkpoint. We fired some warning shots. They didn't slow down. So we lit them up.
Q: Lit up? You mean you fired machine guns?
A: Right. Every car that we lit up we were expecting ammunition to go off. But we never heard any. Well, this particular vehicle we didn't destroy completely, and one gentleman looked up at me and said: "Why did you kill my brother? We didn't do anything wrong." That hit me like a ton of bricks.
Q: He spoke English?
A: Oh, yeah.
Q: Baghdad was being bombed. The civilians were trying to get out, right?
A: Yes. They received pamphlets, propaganda we dropped on them. It said, "Just throw up your hands, lay down weapons." That's what they were doing, but we were still lighting them up. They weren't in uniform. We never found any weapons.
Q: You got to see the bodies and casualties?
A: Yeah, firsthand. I helped throw them in a ditch.
Q: Over what period did all this take place?
A: During the invasion of Baghdad.
'We Lit Him up Pretty Good'
Q: How many times were you involved in checkpoint "light-ups"?
A: Five times. There was [the city of] Rekha. The gentleman was driving a stolen work utility van. He didn't stop. With us being trigger happy, we didn't really give this guy much of a chance. We lit him up pretty good. Then we inspected the back of the van. We found nothing. No explosives.
Q: The reports said the cars were loaded with explosives. In all the incidents did you find that to be the case?
A: Never. Not once. There were no secondary explosions. As a matter of fact, we lit up a rally after we heard a stray gunshot.
Q: A demonstration? Where?
A: On the outskirts of Baghdad. Near a military compound. There were demonstrators at the end of the street. They were young and they had no weapons. And when we rolled onto the scene, there was already a tank that was parked on the side of the road. If the Iraqis wanted to do something, they could have blown up the tank. But they didn't. They were only holding a demonstration. Down at the end of the road, we saw some RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) lined up against the wall. That put us at ease because we thought: "Wow, if they were going to blow us up, they would have done it."
Q: Were the protest signs in English or Arabic?
Q: Who gave the order to wipe the demonstrators out?
A: Higher command. We were told to be on the lookout for the civilians because a lot of the Fedayeen and the Republican Guards had tossed away uniforms and put on civilian clothes and were mounting terrorist attacks on American soldiers. The intelligence reports that were given to us were basically known by every member of the chain of command. The rank structure that was implemented in Iraq by the chain of command was evident to every Marine in Iraq. The order to shoot the demonstrators, I believe, came from senior government officials, including intelligence communities within the military and the U.S. government.
Q: What kind of firepower was employed?
A: M-16s, 50-cal. machine guns.
Q: You fired into six or ten kids? Were they all taken out?
A: Oh, yeah. Well, I had a "mercy" on one guy. When we rolled up, he was hiding behind a concrete pillar. I saw him and raised my weapon up, and he put up his hands. He ran off. I told everybody, "Don't shoot." Half of his foot was trailing behind him. So he was running with half of his foot cut off.
Q: After you lit up the demonstration, how long before the next incident?
A: Probably about one or two hours. This is another thing, too. I am so glad I am talking with you, because I suppressed all of this.
Q: Well, I appreciate you giving me the information, as hard as it must be to recall the painful details.
A: That's all right. It's kind of therapy for me. Because it's something that I had repressed for a long time.
Q: And the incident?
A: There was an incident with one of the cars. We shot an individual with his hands up. He got out of the car. He was badly shot. We lit him up. I don't know who started shooting first. One of the Marines came running over to where we were and said: "You all just shot a guy with his hands up." Man, I forgot about this.
Depleted Uranium and Cluster Bombs
Q: You mention machine guns. What can you tell me about cluster bombs, or depleted uranium?
A: Depleted uranium. I know what it does. It's basically like leaving plutonium rods around. I'm 32 years old. I have 80 percent of my lung capacity. I ache all the time. I don't feel like a healthy 32-year-old.
Q: Were you in the vicinity of depleted uranium?
A: Oh, yeah. It's everywhere. DU is everywhere on the battlefield. If you hit a tank, there's dust.
Q: Did you breath any dust?
Q: And if DU is affecting you or our troops, it's impacting Iraqi civilians.
A: Oh, yeah. They got a big wasteland problem.
Q: Do Marines have any precautions about dealing with DU?
A: Not that I know of. Well, if a tank gets hit, crews are detained for a little while to make sure there are no signs or symptoms. American tanks have depleted uranium on the sides, and the projectiles have DU in them. If an enemy vehicle gets hit, the area gets contaminated. Dead rounds are in the ground. The civilian populace is just now starting to learn about it. Hell, I didn't even know about DU until two years ago. You know how I found out about it? I read an article in Rolling Stone magazine. I just started inquiring about it, and I said "Holy s---!"
Q: Cluster bombs are also controversial. U.N. commissions have called for a ban. Were you acquainted with cluster bombs?
A: I had one of my Marines in my battalion who lost his leg from an ICBM.
Q: What's an ICBM?
A: A multi-purpose cluster bomb.
Q: What happened?
A: He stepped on it. We didn't get to training about clusters until about a month before I left.
Q: What kind of training?
A: They told us what they looked like, and not to step on them.
Q: Were you in any areas where they were dropped?
A: Oh, yeah. They were everywhere.
Q: Dropped from the air?
A: From the air as well as artillery.
Q: Are they dropped far away from cities, or inside the cities?
A: They are used everywhere. Now if you talked to a Marine artillery officer, he would give you the runaround, the politically correct answer. But for an average grunt, they're everywhere.
Q: Including inside the towns and cities?
A: Yes, if you were going into a city, you knew there were going to be ICBMs.
Q: Cluster bombs are anti-personnel weapons. They are not precise. They don't injure buildings, or hurt tanks. Only people and living things. There are a lot of undetonated duds and they go off after the battles are over.
A: Once the round leaves the tube, the cluster bomb has a mind of its own. There's always human error. I'm going to tell you: The armed forces are in a tight spot over there. It's starting to leak out about the civilian casualties that are taking place. The Iraqis know. I keep hearing reports from my Marine buddies inside that there were 200-something civilians killed in Fallujah. The military is scrambling right now to keep the raps on that. My understanding is Fallujah is just littered with civilian bodies.
Q: How are the embedded reporters responding?
A: I had embedded reporters in my unit, not my platoon. One we had was a South African reporter. He was scared s--less. We had an incident where one of them wanted to go home.
A: It was when we started going into Baghdad. When he started seeing the civilian casualties, he started wigging out a little bit. It didn't start until we got on the outskirts of Baghdad and started taking civilian casualties.
Q: I would like to go back to the first incident, when the survivor asked why did you kill his brother. Was that the incident that pushed you over the edge, as you put it?
A: Oh, yeah. Later on I found out that was a typical day. I talked with my commanding officer after the incident. He came up to me and says: "Are you OK?" I said: "No, today is not a good day. We killed a bunch of civilians." He goes: "No, today was a good day." And when he said that, I said "Oh, my goodness, what the hell am I into?"
Q: Your feelings changed during the invasion. What was your state of mind before the invasion?
A: I was like every other troop. My president told me they got weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam threatened the free world, that he had all this might and could reach us anywhere. I just bought into the whole thing.
Q: What changed you?
A: The civilian casualties taking place. That was what made the difference. That was when I changed.
Q: Did the revelations that the government fabricated the evidence for war affect the troops?
A: Yes. I killed innocent people for our government. For what? What did I do? Where is the good coming out of it? I feel like I've had a hand in some sort of evil lie at the hands of our government. I just feel embarrassed, ashamed about it.
Showdown with Superiors
Q: I understand that all the incidents - killing civilians at checkpoints, itchy fingers at the rally - weigh on you. What happened with your commanding officers? How did you deal with them?
A: There was an incident. It was right after the fall of Baghdad, when we went back down south. On the outskirts of Karbala, we had a morning meeting on the battle plan. I was not in a good mindset. All these things were going through my head - about what we were doing over there. About some of the things my troops were asking. I was holding it all inside. My lieutenant and I got into a conversation. The conversation was striking me wrong. And I lashed out. I looked at him and told him: "You know, I honestly feel that what we're doing is wrong over here. We're committing genocide."
He asked me something and I said that with the killing of civilians and the depleted uranium we're leaving over here, we're not going to have to worry about terrorists. He didn't like that. He got up and stormed off. And I knew right then and there that my career was over. I was talking to my commanding officer.
Q: What happened then?
A: After I talked to the top commander, I was kind of scurried away. I was basically put on house arrest. I didn't talk to other troops. I didn't want to hurt them. I didn't want to jeopardize them.
I want to help people. I felt strongly about it. I had to say something. When I was sent back to stateside, I went in front of the sergeant major. He's in charge of 3,500-plus Marines. "Sir," I told him, "I don't want your money. I don't want your benefits. What you did was wrong."
It was just a personal conviction with me. I've had an impeccable career. I chose to get out. And you know who I blame? I blame the president of the U.S. It's not the grunt. I blame the president because he said they had weapons of mass destruction. It was a lie.
Blair, the war criminal
Thursday March 27, 2003
The Guardian http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9115,922572,00.html
My constituency Labour party has just voted to recommend that Tony Blair reconsider his position as party leader because he gave British backing to a war against Iraq without clearly expressed support from the UN.
I agree with this motion. I also believe that since Mr Blair is going ahead with his support for a US attack without unambiguous UN authorisation, he should be branded as a war criminal and sent to The Hague.
I have served in the House of Commons as a Labour member for 41 years, and I would never have dreamed of saying this about any one of my previous leaders. But Blair is a man who has disdain for both the House of Commons and international law.
This is a grave thing to say about my leader. But it is far less serious than the results of a war that could set western Christendom against Islam.
The overwhelming majority of international lawyers, including several who advise the government (such as Rabinder Singh, a partner in Cherie Booth's Matrix Chambers), have concluded that military action in Iraq without proper UN security council authorisation is illegal under international law. The Foreign Office's deputy legal adviser, Elizabeth Wilmhurst, resigned on precisely this point after 30 years' service. This puts the prime minister and those who will be fighting in his and President Bush's name in a vulnerable legal position. Already lawyers are getting phone calls from anxious members of the armed forces.
Blair accuses opponents of war of "appeasement" - in spite of the fact that, in many cases, their active opposition to Saddam's dictatorship well predates his. (I signed the 1987 early day motion against arms exports to Iraq. Blair and Gordon Brown didn't.) If anyone is the "appeaser" it is Blair, in his support for the US government's pre-emptive attack on Saddam.
I am not anti-American. I was a member of the executive of the British-American parliamentary group. I share at one remove four times over a grandmother with Harry S Truman, and I hope to attend the celebrations in Missouri in May to mark the anniversary of his birthday.
But many in this country think the fundamentalists now running the White House are using Blair's support as a fig leaf against their critics. It is useful for these people to say to their opponents: "But a British Labour prime minister supports us."
If Britain had made it clear months ago that we would not be party to a US attack on Iraq, US public opinion itself might have stopped this war.
Many in the Labour party believe Blair has misunderstood the pressing danger. It comes not from Iraq, but from terrorism. If there is a link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein, it is this: Osama bin Laden hates Saddam Hussein. On at least two occasions Bin Laden's organisation has tried to assassinate Saddam. The effect of this war, however, could well be to bring the pair together. This is a war that will strengthen terrorism.
I don't think that Blair really understands the horrors of modern-day warfare. In 1994 I visited Baghdad (all expenses paid by me) and saw the carbonated limbs of women and children who had been impregnated against a wall by the heat of just one cruise missile. In the current war, hundreds of cruise missiles have been launched just to soften up the enemy.
We are told that the US intends to use incapacitating bio-chemical and depleted-uranium weapons. We are receiving information that the it intends to use war in Iraq as an opportunity to test out a range of weapons: cluster aviation bombs with self-guided munitions and pulse bombs being examples.
The UN was created in response to the indiscriminate horror of modern warfare in the 1940s. The UN's charter describes its role as saving "future generations from the scourge of war". Surely that means that all those who claim to uphold the UN charter should pursue peaceful solutions to their limits?
The draft work plans of the UN weapons inspectorate make clear that the inspectors believed they could have made real progress down their non-violent path to disarmament. The Labour party will not tolerate a leader who takes the country into an avoidable war.
As Napoleon and Hitler found with the snow at the gates of Moscow, so Blair and Bush might find that the biggest weapon of mass destruction they encounter, before the gates of Baghdad, is the sun. They might be wise to pull out troops now, before they are cooked in the sands of the desert while laying seige to the city. They may lose political face; but the careers of Bush and Blair are of little consequence compared to environmental mayhem and military agony.
· Tam Dalyell is Labour MP for Linlithgow and Father of the House of Commons. A longer version of this article appears in Red Pepper magazine.
New Workhorse of U.S. Military: A Bomb With Devastating Effects
the work of the 2,000-pound Mark-84 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) bomb, the new workhorse of the U.S. military, is just beginning. In nanoseconds it will release a crushing shock wave and shower jagged, white-hot metal fragments at supersonic speed, shredding flesh, crushing cells, rupturing lungs, bursting sinus cavities and ripping away limbs in a maelstrom of destruction. ...
As the Mark-84 JDAM strikes the ground, its fuse ignites a priming charge that detonates 945 pounds of Tritonal, a silvery solid of TNT mixed with a dollop of aluminum for stability.
The ensuing chemical reaction produces an expanding nucleus of hot gas that swells the Mark-84's 14-inch-wide cast steel casing to almost twice its size before the steel shears and fractures, showering a thousand pounds of white-hot steel fragments at 6,000 feet per second and driving a shock wave of several thousand pounds per square inch.
Metal fragments will travel about 3,800 feet, nearly three-quarters of a mile. Bigger fragments of the bomb -- heavy pieces of the thick metal nose cone, for instance -- will sail out a mile and a half
Israelis trained US troops in Jenin-style urban warfare
By Justin Huggler in Amman
29 March 2003 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=391823
The American military has been asking the Israeli army for advice on fighting inside cities, and studying fighting in the West Bank city of Jenin last April, unnamed United States and Israeli sources have confirmed.
Reaping What Has Been Sown
Prisoners, Torture and Hypocrisy
By DAVID LINDORFF