[eDebate] countless my lais in iraq--bush=hitler

Jake Stromboli infracaninophile
Tue May 30 18:56:14 CDT 2006

US My Lai Massacres in Iraq
??By Dahr Jamail

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 
????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 
????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.

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