Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Saturday, May 27, 2006

My Lai on the Euphrates

One of the many My-Lai -like massacres perpetrated by US troops rises to court martial (reported here by Nur al-Cubicle):
Haditha. One US Marine and fifteen civilians were killed by a roadside bomb targeting their convoy. Eight rebels were killed in a clash that followed the bombing.

The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both reported in yesterday’s editions that a criminal investigation, opened by the Marine Corps on 14 February into the death of 24 civilians, including 7 women and three children, in Haditha, 250 km north of Baghdad on 19 November 2005, was an act of murder.

Company Kilo of the Third Marine Battalion set off a roadside bomb at the entrance to the town in Anbar Province in the early hours of the morning. A military communiqué at the time announced the death of Miguel Terrazas, 20, who was the driver of the destroyed vehicle, as well as 15 civilians. It was also reported that US military then paid out $2,500 per death and a few hundred dollars to each wounded individual.

However, witnesses recount that the Marine company went on a blind house-to-house rampage, summarily executing innocents as they slept.

In April, the Marine batallion commander and two company commanders were relieved of duty by General Richard Natonski, Division Commander. They will be court-martialed on the charges of "murder, negligent homicide and filing false reports".

However, look what happened elsewhere on the same day!:
A family was decimated - five dead and three wounded - by shots fired from a US military base east of Baquba at a minibus carrying mourners to a funeral travelling along the Balad-Baquba highway.

Diyala hospital personnel and local police report that around 8:00 am, a minibus carrying eight members of the al-Sawamra family and the driver were driving past a US guardpost at the entrance to a US military base when the guards opened fire on their bus, killing two men and three children less than 5 years-old and wounding two women and a teenaged boy.

Commandant Steven Warren issued [the standard ass-covering excuse for murder, which we've heard time and time again]:
The vehicle was going too fast and warning shots were fired before a machine gun was put into action. As soon as we realized that they were civilans, we sent in a medical time.
[From La Repubblica]

Only the tip of the iceberg.


Blogger Pisces Iscariot said...

This will continue - an army whose individual soldiers are without basic morality is nothing more than a murderous hoard.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Postman said...

"As soon as we realized that they were civilans, we sent in a medical time.".. to clear up any evidence... etc., again.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may be timely to repost this piece by Dahr Jamail, which enumerates some other apparent massacres by the invaders, including this from earlier this year:

'On March 15th, 11 Iraqis, mostly women and children, were massacred by US troops in Balad. Witnesses told reporters that US helicopters landed near a home, which was then stormed by US troops. Everyone visible was rounded up and taken inside the house where they were killed. The victims' ages ranged from six months to 75 years.

The US military acknowledged the raid, but claimed to have captured a resistance fighter and insisted that only four people had been killed. Their claim would have held good but for the discrepancies that the available evidence presents. For one, the photographs that the AP reporter took of the scene reveal a collapsed roof, three destroyed cars and two dead cows. The other indictment comes from the detailed report of the incident prepared by Iraq Police. It matches witness accounts and accuses the American troops of murdering Iraqi civilians.

"The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 persons, including five children, four women and two men. Then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed the animals." The report includes the observation of local medics that all of the bodies had bullet wounds in the head.

Ahmed Khalaf, the nephew of one of the victims said, "The killed family was not part of the resistance, they were women and children. The Americans have promised us a better life, but we get only death."
AP photos of the aftermath showed the bodies of five children, two men and four others covered in blankets being driven to a nearby hospital.'

To hell with the warmakers and all those who support them, the idiot racists and special mention to the disgraceful 'liberal hawks'. See the blood on your hands yet ? Where did you think this would lead, a 'liberation' based on fibs, led by psychotics like the Bush crew and carried out by an army steeped in racism and indoctrinated to believe they were getting payback for 9/11 ?

8:30 AM  
Blogger polarbear said...

Folks, we should not be surprised by this incident. We are involved in a war and specifically, a counterinsurgency war that, by its nature, is fought in and among the civilian population. Counter-insurgency battles tend to be decentralized with small units operating on their own, fighting against an enemy that seeks concealment within the population. The stress and challenges for small unit leaders is enormous. Squad leaders are called upon to make decisions that most Americans, comfortable on their TV couch or peering into internet computer screens, sipping lattes, can not comprehend and should not judge without all the facts. In combat, small unit leaders must make frequent risk filled; split second; friend or foe decisions. I am betting that the intent of the Marines involved in the Haditha incident was not to murder but to destroy a perceived foe. Mistakes in combat happen and bad mistakes are punished. Historically, counter-insurgencies last from ten to twelve years. Folks, we are three years into that process and over the next seven to nine years, this is going to happen again. As citizens of a country that has sent service men to fight this war, let us not make the same mistake as the Viet Nam War, where we used service men and women; our own sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and neighbors as political sacrificial pawns to gain momentum for an antiwar movement.
Former Commanding Officer (1981-1982): Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 1st Marine Regiment

10:23 AM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

Military investigation confirms Kilo Company officers are on trial for "murder". It was no mistake.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not 'polarbear' is actually who he claims to be, or in fact some InfoWar operative in one or another federal agency, his post is quite a special load of crap.
To start with your first assertion, very few people opposed to the war are surprised by this, but rather just sickened as a decent human should be.
This is not about a split-second decision to 'destroy a foe', but a methodical slaughter of elderly, women, and little kids. In the context of an unjust, lie-based, racist war.
That said, the culpability for this and other atrocities goes up the chain and is greatest with Bush, Rumsfeld, & co., who should all HANG.

And spare us the lame cliches about effete anti-American knockers "peering into internet computer screens, sipping lattes,".

'polarbear' is right about one thing; this will happen again and again, and already has, until the US withdraws in shame.
And re. your last sentence; as you will see, it's the Pentagon and White House who will use the servicemen as 'political sacrificial pawns', while atrocities against civilians will naturally give momentum to the antiwar movement.

My advice to you is, try to deprogram your indoctrinated way of thinking, and educate yourself about why the Americans are really in Iraq killing and being killed

5:04 PM  

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