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Racism, Militarism and Hate

Remember, No Military Action or War Ever Solves Anything

It also brings out the worst in people .......

Bring the Devils Home?


The Few, The Proud, The Murderers

By Pierre Tristam


Candide’s Notebooks" -- -- Of course the first line of defense, for those craven enough to defend atrocities just because Americans commit them, is to say that Iraqis do worse. And in fact the U.S. military, after lying about the massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha last year, then lying about the number of Iraqis killed, then covering up the massacre until a Time magazine article made it impossible to keep lying, attempted that very line of defense: As Time reported in March, “Lieut. Colonel Michelle Martin-Hing, spokeswoman for the Multi-National Force-Iraq, told Time the involvement of [military investigators] does not mean that a crime occurred. And she says the fault for the civilian deaths lies squarely with the insurgents, who ‘placed noncombatants in the line of fire as the Marines responded to defend themselves.’” All lies, of course. There were no insurgents hiding among civilians. There was no crossfire. The Marines weren’t defending themselves. They were out on a rampage, murdering at point-blank leisure, lodging bullets in the heads of women and children, My Lai-style.

There is one buried quarter truth in Michelle Martin’s official story (odd, how her name rhymes with the name of that most craven of right-wing bloggers, to whom apologizing for brutality, as long as it’s camouflaged in stars and stripes, is a back-seat shtick), though it doesn’t justify what happened in Haditha: When you train men not only to kill but to become sub-human drones who dehumanize their enemy in turn, and when you place them in situations where they want to see nothing but sub-human creatures, you can’t expect them not to act the part they’ve been trained to act.

I keep remembering that Bob Herbert column in the Times last May, relating the story of Aidan Delgado, a U.S. soldier who served in Iraq: “He wasn’t happy when, even before his unit left the states,” Herbert wrote, “a top officer made wisecracks about the soldiers heading off to Iraq to kill some ragheads and burn some turbans. ‘He laughed,’ Mr. Delgado said, ‘and everybody in the unit laughed with him.’ The officer's comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis. He said: ‘Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people’s heads.’ He said he had confronted guys who were his friends about this practice. ‘I said to them: ‘What the hell are you doing? Like, what does this accomplish?’ And they responded just completely openly. They said: ‘Look, I hate being in Iraq. I hate being stuck here. And I hate being surrounded by hajis.’’ ‘Haji’ is the troops’ term of choice for an Iraqi. It’s used the way ‘gook’ or ‘Charlie’ was used in Vietnam. Mr. Delgado said he had witnessed incidents in which an Army sergeant lashed a group of children with a steel Humvee antenna, and a Marine corporal planted a vicious kick in the chest of a kid about 6 years old. There were many occasions, he said, when soldiers or marines would yell and curse and point their guns at Iraqis who had done nothing wrong.” (The full column is available here.) The banality of evil doesn’t have to rise to the level of genocide to find its stage. To the contrary. Evil at its most routine is localized affair, the more debased for being either completely out of sight and accountability, or for being tacitly, happily condoned by its executioner’s posse. The Haditha massacre stands out only because in its case someone was there to report it. But who doubts that these atrocities aren’t routine, or that a soldier’s swift kick in the chest of a six year old boy is any less of an atrocity, considering what that soldier would do to an adult if can be such a brute toward children?

What’s almost as repulsive, though in this case only ink is being spilled, not blood, is the way the subsequent reporting about the massacre is being laid out. The New York Times the morning of May 26, with its usual, but in this case nauseating, restraint in balance’s name, pulls a classic example of mitigating atrocity with qualifiers. The lead paragraph refers to a small number of marines carrying out “extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians,” establishing right away the rogue-soldier theory that was attempted in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib.

The downplaying of U.S. torture as an institutional rather than an exceptional strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan was successful, at least in the public’s mind. The evidence suggests otherwise. It does so as well when it comes to wanton killings, whether it’s the trigger-happy soldiering at Iraqi checkpoints or the killing of civilians in allegedly collateral circumstances. Yet you can see the Haditha massacre’s dowplaying game already in full swing. The Times has the story over two columns above the fold, but to the left of a four-column spread about the Enron verdict. Enron is news. It isn’t bigger news than the massacre of twenty-four Iraqis at the hands of U.S. marines. Not by any stretch of journalistic calibration. But such are the tastes for news in the United States that business porn will always outplay patriotism’s barbarity. Americans don’t want to know what their soldiers are doing in their name in Iraq. The cost to Iraqis is immense. It’s more devastating, especially in human terms, than anything Enron ever did. But it’s safer to focus on old-fashioned homegrown corruption and malfeasance. In that sense Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling are doing the American public a favor, in distractions and entertainment, and the public is grateful. They may be bad guys, but they’re our bad guys, and they’re providing cover for what our supposedly good guys, our supposedly heroic soldiers, under the leadership and don’t-mess-with-Texas-encouragement of their apologist-in-chief, are doing in Iraq.

For the record, the Los Angeles Times’ lead about the massacre had none of the New York Times’ daintiness. It was to the point: “Marines from Camp Pendleton wantonly killed unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, and then tried to cover up the slayings in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha, military investigations have found.” The Washington Post, spokespaper to American militarism, ignored the story altogether until Saturday. One more point about the Times story. The very last paragraph raises the prospect of yet another massacre, though it reads like an afterthought: “The Marines also disclosed this week that a preliminary inquiry had found ‘sufficient information’ to recommend a criminal probe into the killing of an Iraqi civilian on April 26 near Hamandiyah, a village west of Baghdad.” But isn’t the discovery and uncovering of atrocity always an afterthought, if even that?

“No Bravery”
by James Blunt



A Time For Mutiny?

By Robert S. Finnegan
Southeast Asia News

06/01/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- The United States Marine Corps was already on it's last legs as an elite fighting force, our reputation sullied by the dishonorable and sometimes criminal actions perpetrated by bottom of the barrel Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers in Iraq. Now this. We are now observing the death throes of the oldest fighting force in America.

We had a good run, from November 10, 1775 to 2006. These dates may now be etched into the tombstone of an institution that has epitomized the meaning of the phrase "Duty, Honor, Country." Sure, we had our warts over the decades, but somehow our leaders throughout the many wars we fought managed to pull back from the brink and handle our problems internally. No more. From the Commandant on down, with this incident, this atrocity, the Corps has shown the world that it is now leaderless. The Marine Corps is now in the same league with the American Division in My Lai, Vietnam and a Lieutenant by the name of Calley. Murderers.

Prior to this war, we were trained to be killers, not murderers. We killed combatants, not women and children. Murder was not only not condoned, it was punished in the extreme as we envisioned ourselves as the "good guys" among the armed forces, at least when it came to helping and protecting civilians in the countries we fought in. In the not too distant past, Marines died assisting civilians, as we have since our inception. The CAP (Civil Action Patrol) program in Vietnam is a prime example of Marines helping civilians above and beyond the call of duty. This is but one example, one side of the Corps that didn't see much ink. We took pride in our work. Many Marines died protecting civilians throughout our long history, and look at us now.

It would be easy to put the blame on the cowards, the evil bastards that inhabit the White House, Pentagon, and the "military-industrial complex" but the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of leadership of the Marine Corps, all the way from the neutered Commandant of the Marine Corps on down to the most junior Corporal. These individuals, the supposed backbone of the Corps, have allowed themselves to become whores for the present administration and our insane, born-again Commander-in-Chief and his band of criminals. America is not long for this world if these pukes and their robotic followers are somehow not stopped from unleashing WW III by invading Iran.

I believe that Marine Corps General Chesty Puller would have had the leaders of the debacle in Haditha Courts-Martialed and shot, and failing this remedy would have led his men in a mutiny. It is our duty as Officers and NCO's to disobey illegal orders. The Corps has been ripe for mutiny for some time now and had we still leaders in our ranks, it surely would have happened in this illegal war, where illegal acts of war are now commonplace. The junior enlisted Marines who pulled the triggers on these civilians are not responsible for their actions. The orders come from above, the leadership, or what passes for it now. These are the individuals that are responsible, right up to the maggot that is our Commander-in-Chief.

If by some miracle we have military investigators and prosecutors who possess the integrity and courage to assure that the individuals responsible for this massacre are brought to trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, perhaps some of the stain of this crime will eventually be washed away.

As for the restoration of integrity and honor in Marine Corps, I believe it is too late.

Robert S. Finnegan is the Managing Editor of Southeast Asia news and a former Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officer. He may be reached at


The Makings of an Iraqi Holocaust


Keep Them Out Of Ohio

By Mike Ferner

02/17/07 "ICH" -- - The following news brief ran on the Associated Press yesterday:

Strickland Doesn´t Want Overflow Iraqi Refugees

"Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has a message for President Bush: any plan to relocate to the US thousands of refugees uprooted by the Iraq war shouldn't include Ohio.

The administration plans to allow about 7,000 Iraqi refugees to settle in the United States over the next year, a huge expansion at a time of mounting international pressure to help millions who have fled their homes in the nearly four-year-old war.

Strickland -- a Democrat who opposed the war as a US House member -- says Ohioans can't be expected to have open arms for Iraqis displaced by the war. More than 100 Ohioans have been killed since the war began. The governor says he has sympathy for the refugees' plight, but he won't ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden."

It is really all quite mad, isn't it?

That on top of the million or so Iraqis we've killed, and the four million we've maimed, we've also created millions of refugees; that our Maniac-in-Chief now decrees 7,000 refugees is a politically acceptable number we should allow into the U.S. even as he continues the slaughter around the clock; that the governor of a state, having absolutely nothing to do with immigration policy anyway, feels compelled to protect the homeland (or would that be "homestate?") by warning a morbidly unpopular president, "Not in our backyard, pallie!"

Something for people of good conscience to keep in mind: When we finally get our troops out of Iraq, and our bases out of Iraq, and our mercenaries out of Iraq, and our spooks out of Iraq, and Halliburton Corp., and Burger King Corp., and all the rest - when the last U.S. helicopter flies off the roof of the world's largest embassy and the American Empire's sorry, bloody, murderous adventure draws to a close - we owe these people. Big time.

I don't know how many, or actually, why any of them would want to come live in Disneyland. But if some do, we should welcome them and the many lessons they could teach us about maintaining humanity in conditions of pure hell.

For the 99.9% of Iraqis who would rather stay home and rebuild their shattered lives, at the very least we owe them money. Lots of money. Multiple billions of dollars. And not to be administered by our military or our corporations or our mercenaries or our spooks. No, we should have nothing to do with that money except deliver it to Iraq and let them decide what to do with it. I hope they can rebuild the hospitals and the electric and phone systems we bombed, and the water treatment plants we've destroyed, and the economy we've wrecked. But frankly it doesn't matter if they want to insulate their attics with it, or mix it with mud and turn it into building material, or pile it up in the middle of the desert and f.....g burn it all. They can't possibly do any worse with it than we have.

And THAT is just the beginning of the magnitude of the dollar amount we owe Iraq.

What we do for all the pain and suffering and heartache and terror we've created, only God knows. Those things we carry on our conscience to our graves.

And the governor of Ohio wants to be first in line to say, "Keep your tired and maimed. Don't burden us."

What world is this?

Shooting Iraqi Civilians for Target Practice

US lawyer due in Fiji over Iraq killing testimony

Posted at 03:43 on 20 April, 2007 UTC

United States lawyers will arrive in Fiji next month to take evidence from a former Fijian soldier who claims to have witnessed American private security guards shooting Iraqi civilians for target practice.

The Daily Post reports that Isireli Naucukidi is in fear of his life if he goes to America to give evidence.

Mr Naucukidi, who served with the American security company Triple Canopy in Iraq, has reported three instances of Iraqi civilians being killed by American security guards employed by the same company on July 8 last year.

He says he has been informed that lawyers representing the company and the guards implicated in the shootings will be in Fiji from May 8 to take his evidence.

Mr Naucukidi says he is confident his evidence will stand up in court because all the evidence is available and will be backed up by a blackbox in their vehicle which recorded all the conversations.

Mr Naucukidi says he resigned because he did not like the way the issue was swept under the carpet, including by his Fijian supervisor who feared losing his job.

Radio New Zealand International



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