[eDebate] US gov't hides many more hadithas
Wed Jun 7 17:54:40 CDT 2006
random, indiscriminate murder part of the neocon nazi campaign:
'U.S. Military Hides Many More Hadithas'
Aaron Glantz and Alaa Hassan
BAGHDAD, Jun 6 (IPS) - An Iraqi doctor who was in Haditha during a deadly
U.S. raid last year says there are many more stories like that in Haditha
that are yet untold.
The Pentagon admitted last week that U.S. Marines killed 24 civilians --
including a 66-year-old woman and a four-year-old boy -- in the Western
Iraqi town last November. Before that, the military had maintained the
civilians were killed by a roadside bomb.
"There are many, many, many cases like Haditha that are still undercover and
need to be highlighted in Iraq," Dr. Salam Ishmael, projects manager with
the organisation Doctors for Iraq, and former chief of the junior doctors in
Baghdad's Medical City Hospital told IPS.
In Haditha itself, he said, the U.S. military cut electricity and water to
the entire city, attacked the hospital and burned the pharmacy.
"The hospital has been attacked three times. In November 2005 the hospital
was occupied by the American and Iraqi Army for seven days, which is a
severe breach of the Geneva Conventions," he said.
"In one of these attacks, the U.S. soldiers used live ammunition inside the
hospital. They handcuffed all the doctors and destroyed the entire contents
of the medical storage. It ended with the killing of one of the patients in
The Iraqi Red Crescent reported at the time that nearly 1,000 families had
been forced to flee their homes in Haditha following the launch of the
U.S.-led military operation.
The Pentagon has responded to allegations of a massacre at Haditha by
withdrawing the concerned soldiers from Iraq and investigating them for
criminal misconduct. Authorities also say they will launch a new round of
"ethical training" for American troops before they are sent overseas.
Joseph Hatcher served in the western Iraqi town of Dawr from February 2004
until March last year. He said his cultural training before deployment
consisted of a three-hour class and a pamphlet he was given.
"It's just here's where you are on a map, because you'd be surprised how
many people don't know that," Hatcher told IPS. "The only language training
we received was a hand-out flip book type flyer which was how to say things
like 'go down on your hands and knees' and 'don't resist'. We didn't learn
how to make any kind of conversation."
During his time in Iraq, Hatcher took part in many house-to-house raids
similar to the one in Haditha. He said none of the members of his unit spoke
Arabic, and usually they went in without a translator.
"We would use very little language at all in house raids," he said.. "You
point a barrel of a gun at somebody and pull them to the ground. It's fairly
standard. There's no way to know if you're getting anyone of value.. You
just arbitrarily raid an entire block."
Salam al-Amidi worked as translator for the U.S. military in the northern
city of Mosul, which has been controlled by insurgents for over a year. He
said he was the only translator for more than 5,000 U.S. troops.
He said the U.S. military relies mostly on paid informants in deciding which
houses to raid.
"Maybe that person wanted revenge on that family and came and told us that
he saw someone selling weapons. We would just go to that house at three in
the morning, we'd break the door, and break everything in the house."
The Washington Post reported Monday that Marines went to the home of a
52-year-old disabled Iraqi, took him outside and shot him four times in the
face. Like the killings in Haditha, the involved Marines are being
investigated. All eight have been removed from Iraq and are being held at
Camp Pendleton in California.
Increasingly, though, politicians are arguing that military justice is not
"The test will be whether the leadership in the Department of Defence and
the Administration does not try to confine these incidents in small
compartments but looks to see if this is part of a large systemic problem,"
Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island said on Fox News Sunday. (END/2006)
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