Friday, June 02, 2006

Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq


By Dahr Jamail

Tuesday 30 May 2006

The media feeding frenzy around what has been referred to as "Iraq's My Lai" has become frenetic. Focus on US Marines slaughtering at least 20 civilians in Haditha last November is reminiscent of the media spasm around the "scandal" of Abu Ghraib during April and May 2004.

Yet just like Abu Ghraib, while the media spotlight shines squarely on the Haditha massacre, countless atrocities continue daily, conveniently out of the awareness of the general public. Torture did not stop simply because the media finally decided, albeit in horribly belated fashion, to cover the story, and the daily slaughter of Iraqi civilians by US forces and US-backed Iraqi "security" forces had not stopped either.

Earlier this month, I received a news release from Iraq, which read, "On Saturday, May 13th, 2006, at 10:00 p.m., US Forces accompanied by the Iraqi National Guard attacked the houses of Iraqi people in the Al-Latifya district south of Baghdad by an intensive helicopter shelling. This led the families to flee to the Al-Mazar and water canals to protect themselves from the fierce shelling. Then seven helicopters landed to pursue the families who fled … and killed them. The number of victims amounted to more than 25 martyrs. US forces detained another six persons including two women named Israa Ahmed Hasan and Widad Ahmed Hasan, and a child named Huda Hitham Mohammed Hasan, whose father was killed during the shelling."

The report from the Iraqi NGO called The Monitoring Net of Human Rights in Iraq (MHRI) continued, "The forces didn't stop at this limit. They held an attack on May 15th, 2006, supported also by the Iraqi National Guards. They also attacked the families' houses, and arrested a number of them while others fled. US snipers then used the homes to target more Iraqis. The reason for this crime was due to the downing of a helicopter in an area close to where the forces held their attack."

The US military preferred to report the incident as an offensive where they killed 41 "insurgents," a line effectively parroted by much of the media.

On that same day, MHRI also reported that in the Yarmouk district of Baghdad, US forces raided the home of Essam Fitian al-Rawi. Al-Rawi was killed along with his son Ahmed; then the soldiers reportedly removed the two bodies along with Al-Rawi's nephew, who was detained.

Similarly, in the city of Samara on May 5, MHRI reported, "American soldiers entered the house of Mr. Zidan Khalif Al-Heed after an attack upon American soldiers was launched nearby the house. American soldiers entered this home and killed the family, including the father, mother and daughter who is in the 6th grade, along with their son, who was suffering from mental and physical disabilities."

This same group, MHRI, also estimated that between 4,000 and 6,000 Iraqi civilians were killed during the November 2004 US assault on Fallujah. Numbers which make those from the Haditha massacre pale in comparison.

Instead of reporting incidents such as these, mainstream outlets are referring to the Haditha slaughter as one of a few cases that "present the most serious challenge to US handling of the Iraq war since the Abu Ghraib prison scandal."

Marc Garlasco, of Human Rights Watch, told reporters recently, "What happened at Haditha appears to be outright murder. The Haditha massacre will go down as Iraq's My Lai."

Then there is the daily reality of sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq, which is being carried out by US-backed Iraqi "security" forces. A recent example of this was provided by a representative of the Voice of Freedom Association for Human Rights, another Iraqi NGO which logs ongoing atrocities resulting from the US occupation.

"The representative … visited Fursan Village (Bani Zaid) with the Iraqi Red Crescent Al-Madayin Branch. The village of 60 houses, inhabited by Sunni families, was attacked on February 27, 2006, by groups of men wearing black clothes and driving cars from the Ministry of Interior. Most of the villagers escaped, but eight were caught and immediately executed. One of them was the Imam of the village mosque, Abu Aisha, and another was a 10-year-old boy, Adnan Madab. They were executed inside the room where they were hiding. Many animals (sheep, cows and dogs) were shot by the armed men also. The village mosque and most of the houses were destroyed and burnt."

The representative had obtained the information when four men who had fled the scene of the massacre returned to provide the details. The other survivors had all left to seek refuge in Baghdad. "The survivors who returned to give the details guided the representative and the Red Crescent personnel to where the bodies had been buried. They [the bodies] were of men, women and one of the village babies."

The director of MHRI, Muhamad T. Al-Deraji, said of this incident, "This situation is a simple part of a larger problem that is orchestrated by the government … the delay in protecting more villagers from this will only increase the number of tragedies."

Arun Gupta, an investigative journalist and editor with the New York Indypendent newspaper of the New York Independent Media Center, has written extensively about US-backed militias and death squads in Iraq. He is also the former editor at the Guardian weekly in New York and writes frequently for Z Magazine and Left Turn.

"The fact is, while I think the militias have, to a degree, spiraled out of US control, it's the US who trains, arms, funds, and supplies all the police and military forces, and gives them critical logistical support," he told me this week. "For instance, there were reports at the beginning of the year that a US army unit caught a "death squad" operating inside the Iraqi Highway Patrol. There were the usual claims that the US has nothing to do with them. It's all a big lie. The American reporters are lazy. If they did just a little digging, there is loads of material out there showing how the US set up the highway patrol, established a special training academy just for them, equipped them, armed them, built all their bases, etc. It's all in government documents, so it's irrefutable. But then they tell the media we have nothing to do with them and they don't even fact check it. In any case, I think the story is significant only insofar as it shows how the US tries to cover up its involvement."

Once again, like Abu Ghraib, a few US soldiers are being investigated about what occurred in Haditha. The "few bad apples" scenario is being repeated in order to obscure the fact that Iraqis are being slaughtered every single day. The "shoot first ask questions later" policy, which has been in effect from nearly the beginning in Iraq, creates trigger-happy American soldiers and US-backed Iraqi death squads who have no respect for the lives of the Iraqi people. Yet, rather than high-ranking members of the Bush administration who give the orders, including Bush himself, being tried for the war crimes they are most certainly guilty of, we have the ceremonial "public hanging" of a few lowly soldiers for their crimes committed on the ground.

In an interview with CNN on May 29th concerning the Haditha massacre, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace commented, "It's going to be a couple more weeks before those investigations are complete, and we should not prejudge the outcome. But we should, in fact, as leaders take on the responsibility to get out and talk to our troops and make sure that they understand that what 99.9 percent of them are doing, which is fighting with honor and courage, is exactly what we expect of them."

This is the same Peter Pace who when asked how things were going in Iraq by Tim Russert on Meet the Press this past March 5th said, "I'd say they're going well. I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at …"

Things are not "going very, very well" in Iraq. There have been countless My Lai massacres, and we cannot blame 0.1% of the soldiers on the ground in Iraq for killing as many as a quarter of a million Iraqis, when it is the policies of the Bush administration that generated the failed occupation to begin with.


Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who spent over 8 months reporting from occupied Iraq. He presented evidence of US war crimes in Iraq at the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York City in January 2006. He writes regularly for TruthOut, Inter Press Service, Asia Times and TomDispatch, and maintains his own web site, dahrjamailiraq.com.

29 comments:

Henry Jennings said...

Wow, the US has killed over a quarter of a million Iraqi civilians during the occupation? That's pretty big news.

No doubt the Evil American Press is covering up this humanitarian disaster, and we won't see the unmarked mass graves until after the Infidel is expelled from Mesopotamia.

Right?

Captain Rob said...

Well, if the insurgent "freedom fighters" said it, who delight in cutting off the heads of civilians and blowing up mosques, then it must be true!

I mean, if you can't trust a guy who makes his wife wear a quilt if she goes outside, who can you trust?

Seaman Staynes said...

Wow, you've convinced me. Let's return Saddam to power and leave.

Those Iraqi children miss the kite flying.

Cookie..... said...

WOW! I'm really impressed...I didn't realize we were unmercifully killing all these Iraqi civilians for no reason...someone...with some credibility should investigate this...know anybody that fits that description.....

Ranger 6 said...

So when these Marines are vindicated and aren't even charged you are going to come on here and write about what an upatriotic piece of shit you are and don't deserve the freedoms afforded you by the blood of the very Marines you are publicly convicting without know what the hell you are talking about.

You will right?

Michael McCullough said...

The US has killed over a quarter of a million Iraqi civilians during the occupation? Seems like that's a pretty big story to me. Why isn't the mainstream press covering it?

They're not covering it because it's fiction, you doofus! Dumb as the mainstream media is, even they realize that this is over the board. They've got very little credibility as it is and they don't want to squander what little they have left.

As far as it being a "failed occupation," don't you think that it's remarkable that American citizens haven't been attacked since 9/11? Look at all the times during the Clinton years when we were attacked (Somalia, the embassy in Africa, the USS Cole) and President Happy Pants did nothing but lob a few cruise missles and declare victory.

Iraq now has a stable government and a credible, trained police force. I'd hardly call that a failure, but then again, I'm not so blinded by hatred against Bush that I'll believe every stupid lie that comes along.

Best regards,

-Michael McCullough

rlstephens said...

Shouldn't we wait until the investigation is over to make our judgements or are our troops automatically guilty?

LC Jack Boot IC/A-OBR said...

Helicopter Shelling- Wow Rummie must have ordered new ones. Shelling is usually reserved for artillery attack descriptions. Last time I looked helicopters weren't equipped with 155mm howitzers.

Earlier this month, I received a news release from Iraq

Yep, new release direct from Al-Jazeera.

Many animals (sheep, cows and dogs) were shot by the armed men also.

And thus removing most of the terrorists' potential dates and wives from the area. Didn't you forget the fuzzy bunnies and purple dinosaurs ?

Arun Gupta, an investigative journalist and editor with the New York Indypendent newspaper of the New York Independent Media Center

There's a good use of the word independent to hide your objectivity.

I'm an independent journalist and editor of an independent newspaper and independent of truthful independent commentary about independent events independently reported by independent and unnamed sources. Translation- I'm well beyond daft and into the stark raving mad category and nobody is stupid enough to hire me.

YYYYYYArrggghhhhhhhhhhhhh

Commodore Clue said...

Similarly, in the city of Samara on May 5, MHRI reported, "American soldiers entered the house of Mr. Zidan Khalif Al-Heed after an attack upon American soldiers was launched nearby the house. American soldiers entered this home and killed the family...

And ate them. You plum forgot that US armed Forces always eat their victims. With a complex California merlot. To "eat Iraqi" you need a red that has less tannin than a Cabernat and is mellow but a little "chewy.".

Bon Appetit moonbat!

Admiral Misha I said...

So, if I'm understanding you correctly, Mr. Independent Journalist, these 155mm howitzer-armed helicopters descended upon the Queen Latifah District, leveling every building in sight while the hapless civilians fled to water the canals, then proceeded to massacre all 250,000 of them?

Wow. That's one huge farkin' story you got there.

And they STILL managed to take time out to puree al-Zarqawi?

Hot DAMN but our troops kick ASS!

Mike in Chi said...

How do you remember to breath?

Ahhh, never mind, I'll just get back to my internment camp fencing project for LLLs and Dumbocrats....should be ready by 2008...

Cookie..... said...

Hey Hey Hey...Whoa...Commodore Clue...yur tawkin food...and thats my territory...tred lightly matey or I'll be kickin ya off the ship...and besides...bein Iraqi them troops are a eatin...ya can get by with a good Sherry.....

Gay Black Helicopter Pilot said...

I'm an expert in long hard things AND choppers, and i can tell you you are fucked up in the head. mmm, head.

RadioActive Chief said...

The original Haditha attack came from houses in the town. In addition to the IED, the Marines were under fire.

ROI (Rules of Engagement) calls for returning hostile fire. If a civilian is in the building where the attack is coming from, and building is shot up, it's tough, but it's war.

Also, the IED "just happened" to be adjacent to the house of an Islamist journalist (or j-student) who was the original source of all this brouhaha.

Also, none of the local village officials thought anything was amiss in the action that was, after all, in the middle of their town. Since they were also Sunnis, one would assume that they would stick up for their own folks, IF something untoward had happened.

There's a LOT more to go with this, but only so much space for a secondary comment....Conclusion?

How in the fuck can you claim PROOF of anything like a full-blown military atrocity, BASED on anything that is KNOWN thus far?

There ain't no way, unless you base your opinion on unsupported assertions without factual evidence, and/or the opinions of those who have an axe to grind against the US, the administration, or both.

As far as killing Islamoterrs goes in general: good riddance to bad rubbish.

LC-NeilV said...

The Kool-Aid is in the cupboard, have a drink why don't you.

I have seen many fools in my life.

You Sir,are a king among them.

I hope you get help with your BSD and Pest problem.
We have enough in a time of war to deal with, than your crazed rantings.

The Palistinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
They have always chosen war over peace.Suicide belts over negotiation.
Here is some advice tool boy:
You do not discuss your families survival with somebody aiming a gun.You take them out.
No ifs.. ands... or buts.
Would you do this for your MOM or sis?I hope so for the species...
But your genepool seems a bit tainted shall we say.

Islam is not a nationality
its a Ideology.
It seeks to dominate and exterminate the polytheists,the Christians and of course the evil Jews.
How in hell in the name of the lice ridden prophets testicle sack can any one get along with radical jihadists.

They would take your head ,your friends and family as quick as mine.
But I guess they would be martyrs in the bizzaro world you inhabit.
Have another bong hit.

Ranger Jesse Macbeth said...

wI'm here to tell y'all that I, PERSONALLY, whacked 246,000 of 'em.

Iron William Flint said...

So you took the Lancet report and multiplied by 2.5? How did you arrive at that number? Estimates on the ground, Jihadi News Service, rumors, DailyKos imagination?

Radical Redneck said...

It's looking more and more like Haditha is another TANG document phony story. Sucks to be you moonbat.

Please rest your head upon the railroad tracks when your infinite idiocy is exposed.

Princess Natasha said...

All this hand-wringing about these mythical "massacres" makes me laugh. As if the assholes spreading this nonsense really give a shit. Please! Look at who is doing the whining... We've got the pampered Western leftists who are so PHONY, it's about to stop being funny. Honestly, they give a shit LESS about some schmo being supposedly iced somewhere than about the temperature of the soy milk in thier latte. It just makes them LOOK good. "Compassion" is a fashion accessory for these losers, it makes them look like they are worth a damn without any effort.

As to headchoppers whining about murder? Bitch, please! Until you quit calling for the converting and killing of infidels, until you stop stoning women for "adultery", until you stop forcing your women to wear trash bags, until you stop killing your daughters and sisters for wearing makeup or looking at boys, until you stop breeding children for the sole purpose of strapping bombs to them and blowing up school buses---cordially shut your cavity-infested cock holster and go tinker with some explosives. You morons are so pathetically incompetent, it is always a good laugh when one of your dumb-ass buddies blows himself up prematurely.

I am so sick of your phony outrage. But you do make for a hilarious spectacle.

jaybear said...

let's see here...

So it's American troops who are killing Iraqis with explosive vests, IED's, and by hacking their heads from their bound and gagged bodies.....

Now, I spent ten years working in military training and simulation. I don't remember ANY of those things being in our arsenal, no do I remember ever working on those weapons projects. Must have been the high tech boys who developed those....

Fool, come on over and hang with the good guys....before some zarqawi wannabe hands your severed head to you.....

Fool

spazzmomma said...

Knock knock Mr.Jamail!Are you there?Can you not defend your propagandist post?I am not buying any of this pap but then again,my tin foil hat is at the cleaners.

Perro Malo said...

This is definitly an atrocity!!! I must inform my next door neighbor Kassim that his mother and other members of his family that barely survived under Saddam Housein that his esteemed mother has been LYING to him about the good deeds she claims to have seen the US troops doing. These cover-ups must cease immediatly. Iraqi expatriots are being decieved by their own families with good stories about US troops, when in actuality they are in Iraq only to murder innocent children and women.

ALLAH TAKESITINTHEREAR said...

MY LIE

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Mooolah Filthy said...

Wow. Sure sounds just like Viet Nam! I mean, the liberals say it is so.... it must be true. I can only hope that Pete Seeger will write a song that will bring Hitler Bush down. Then we can all smoke some weeeeeeeeeeeeeeed and be happy that we stuck it to the Maaaaaaaaan.

VANDEA said...

I could add quite a bit. But this sad sack can't even defend his own fictional blog more or less rub two brain cells together. LOL

LC Jack Boot IC/A-OBR said...

arrrrrh drats and other imprecations !!!

Thought there was booty to plunder and all we found were steenking books.

Chomsky and Zinn.....

Put this scow to the torch and we be off to better pillaging elsewhere.

* INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Elison
* A PEOPLES HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES by Howard Zinn
* FATEFUL TRIANGLE by Noam Chomsky
* Anything by CHARLES BUKOWSKI
* ZAATAR DIVA by Suheir Hammad

Lowly Knave said...

Nope, No defense here. I think the moonbat has acquieced to our positions.

1) He's an imbecile

2) There is no proof of these allegations.

Extra rations of Rum for all!

YAAAAAARRR!

Henry Jennings said...

Now don't start dissing my favorite postman, Bukowski. Ham on Rye, baby. Ham on Rye.