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An update on the Haditha massacre

This is just an update on the "Hey George" post by Dan, again by the LA Times. Disgusting.

Waleed Abdul Hameed, a 48-year-old worker in Al Anbar's religious affairs office, was among the first of the family members to be gunned down. His 9-year-old daughter, Eman, said she was still wearing her pajamas when the Marines arrived. Her 7-year-old brother, Abdul Rahman, said he hid his face with a blanket when his father was shot.A few minutes later, the boy saw his mother fall to the ground, dying."I saw her while she was crying," he said. "She fell down on the floor bleeding." Speaking days ago in Haditha, months after the attacks, the boy broke into tears, covered his eyes with his hands, and began to mutter to himself.


In contrast with the prominence of the Haditha story in the U.S. media, the deaths have received little attention here.Some Sunni Arabs allege that the Shiite Muslim majority simply isn't very interested in the bloodshed in the mainly Sunni western provinces."The local satellite channels are affiliated with militias and Shiite parties," said Omar Jubouri, head of the human rights office for the Iraqi Islamic Party. "That's why they don't show the violations against the Sunnis."Others point out that Iraqis already have a tarnished view of the U.S. military, that the notion of foreign troops killing innocent civilians simply doesn't deliver much shock. "It doesn't mean that much to hear that 20 people were killed by the Americans," said Hassan Bazzaz, a political analyst in Baghdad. "Every single day people are killed and thrown in the streets, in the garbage cans. They're scared to death. They don't even have time to think about what happened in Haditha."

My emphasis.

Edit: The original post was from Dan! Dan, dammit! Me learn to read soon.

100,000 civilians were killed during the Okinawa invasion in WWII . . .
I believe the investigation is still ongoing . . . are you trying to be the Al Jazera of the North????

I don't even know where to begin. Fair warning: I shall ignore any imbeciles who think that reporting on US atrocities in Iraq is somehow unpatriotic to Canada. I shall similarly ignore such sentiments over any Canadian atrocities in Afghanistan, if they should or did occur. Warcrimes = badness = pushisable, you stupid twit.

ndip -> Are you saying that because there is an on-going invasion of an irrelevant matter that all crimes are now unpunishable? As for being the al Jazeera of the north, sure, why not? They are no more biased that many news sources, I expect.

I mean, do you read this stuff after you've written it or does it just flow out of you unchecked?

What precisely are you referring to? Which investigation? I can find no reference to an investigation of civilian deaths on Okinawa.
What I can find (from a Japanese source) is that the U.S. Congress demanded an investigation of American military commanders on Okinawa due to the large number of U.S. troops who were killed or wounded. 48% of those wounded were so affected by the bloodshed that they succumbed to battle fatigue and were unable to fight any more.

The source, ikjeld.com, says that many of the island's civilians committed suicide after killing their families out of fear of the Americans. The Japanese considered the use of the Okinawan dialect as treacherous, and conscripted all of the men on the island.
It was the second bloodiest battle of WWII, after Stalingrad, and in fact, more people died during the battle on Okinawa than at Hiroshima.

So, specifically, what investigation are you referring to?
Don't try to obfuscate by creating paper tigers - we're smarter than that, and certainly smarter than you.

What is the logic behind your post EX-NDIP? Were those 100 000 civilian deaths you reference the result of the japanese invasion? or the later, american one? Are you pointing out macabre precedents: Do pre-existing atrocities make subsequent ones OK in your mind? I agree with Briguy (in his somewhat garbled assertion)war crimes = bad = punishable offences - this is agreed upon by all international laws and treaties, and, I believe, by the laws of the land in the US, as well... No matter who commits them, or who-did-what-at-some-other-time. If those marines prove to be guilty (and, by all accounts, it does appear that they are): they have disgraced their uniforms, their flag, and the Constitution that Americans like to holler about so loudly(and frequently). The USMC should come down on them like a ton of bricks in a sh#t storm.

Pay no attention to NDIPSTICK. He's another useless troll incapable of actual debate on related issues. Okinawa??? huff some more gas, buddy. I'm sure his next post will be denying the holocaust.

What an assrocket.

A quick search will demonstrate that this dunderhead flits around the blogosphere and makes annoying, inappropriate or nasty remarks on any number of blogs (dating back to at least December, if not earlier). Apropos of my post from today, I think he/she's better off ignored. I know I'll be better off, anyway.

Actually the japanese invasion was in 1609 or something.... I was too busy *gleefully* flinging dung to quibble with details.... The main points about atrocities stand.


Good work, you managed to get graven to crawl out from under his thesis load for a quick stab. I guess it takes a particular flavour of lunacy to bring him out.


Ignoring mindless drivel of EXNDiP, I would like to comment on the point of the article and get discussion going in that direction. The article, as Bri has quoted, has highlighted a major reason why life over there is so difficult. You have two factions that really hate each other. Even to the point where they barely acknowledge the other's existence when an "invading" force murders the other peoples. This type of hatred of another people is not uncommon with a single country. I point out that in Kosovo, Kosovar Serbians and Kosovar Albanians had a similar type of hatred to each other.
As for the Marines, involved in the murders, they should be punished appropriately (in my mind ... jailed!). However, for your discussion, I am sure their lawyers will wiggle many of these soldiers out of any time becuase they will undoubtedly pull the Traumatic stress card (read insanity plea) of being over there for so long.
I would hope that the US will look at why this murder took place and realize that their soldiers are being pushed beyond their limits. In a sense, I feel for the murderers. We don't know the stress they have been forced(by the US Government and Bush) to endure life in Iraq. Could this drive someone into murder? I don't know. We need a good psychologist to help us on this one.

Your thoughts?

I'd like them to pin this on the leadership, of course. But it ain't gonna happen. Abu Ghraib was an exercise in scapegoating, if you'll recall. No serious brass got in trouble over that (although there was a command change shortly thereafter). There's no way the American people or any court will connect the stress of continuous deployment with the failed policy of an idiot president.

Recall that no president was really 'punished' for continuing the Vietnam debacle. Or for My Lai for that matter (although My Lai may have convinced LBJ not to run again, that hardly constitutes punishment).

I have commented on Haditha in another post around here to the affect that I think things like this almost have to happen in war - it's inevitable. Here's the recipe:

Wartime Atrocity
(serves 1 - ??)
1) Drop well-armed kids into a country that by and large hates them (Can use lamb or chicken, but works best with beef.)

2) Psyche them up with notions of WMDs and spreading democracy (saute 'til lightly browned).

3) Deny them sleep for prolonged periods of time (stir well).

4) Make them paranoid with car bombs and mortar attacks (add pepper and continue to stir vigourously).

5) And then kill one of their buddies right in front of them (break one egg).

And voila - one wartime atrocity.

OK, First up: Granted the US troops (read scantily trained kids) in Iraq are under HUGE amounts of stress, for the reasons outlined above; and the fact that they likely don't get any real training in dealing with a mix of civilians and "evildoers" masquerading as civilians. Not to mention the fact that their duty tours get arbitrarily lengthened wih no consideration given to the soldiers. It is, as Brian notes, a fundamental lack of quality leadership and accountability that leads to these incidents... the commanding officers (read tin soldier bureaucrats) of these units should be under the biggest bricks under the biggest drifts of sh**. However, if these are in fact human beings in those marine uniforms... by definition, people capable of reason, and not simply heavily-armed, hairless monkeys - then at some point they made a decision to start killing civilians... they bear responsibility for their actions. Muslims having a sh**ty time is generally not considered an excuse for the events of 9/11. Why should that be different here?

Kevvyd: Are you goading me?

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