CHOICE AND SYSTEM FOR THE PLANET
A Holistic Common Sense Structure for
Liberation of All
without War Through the New Foundation for the New World Vision
What Happens to U.S. Troops Who Commit Mass Murder?
December 5, 2007
The War Crime: Haditha
On November 19, 2005, U.S. soldiers went on a rampage in the village of Haditha after an IED (improvised explosive device) exploded and killed a Marine. Aws Fahmi saw Marines going house to house, killing members of three families. He heard his neighbor plead in English for his life and the lives of his family. "But they killed him, and his wife and daughters," Fahmi said. The girls were ages 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1.
worldwide outcry erupted after Time magazine published video
evidence of the massacre and survivors’ stories. But it wasn’t until
more than a year after the massacre that charges were brought
against 8 Marines: 4 officers for failing to investigate or
accurately report on the killings; and 4 enlisted men for
"unpremeditated" murder. Charges were dismissed against 2 of the
enlisted soldiers and reduced against the other 2. Charges against 2
of the officers were also dropped.
Lt. General James Mattis, head of the Marines Central Command, was
responsible for the decision to drop and reduce the charges. Mattis
said during a public forum in San Diego in 2005: "You go into
Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years
because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got
no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot
The War Crime: Ramadi
On November 13, 2006, U.S. tanks opened fire on homes in the Al-Dhubat area of Ramadi, killing at least 35 people. The dead were civilians, according to Iraqi doctors and witnesses. 60-year-old Haji Jassim told Inter Press Service, "We weren’t allowed by the Americans to reach the destroyed houses to try to rescue those who were buried, so certainly many of them bled to death."
On November 18, 2007, Marine Corp Times made available a recording that a sergeant did of a briefing by his commanding officer after another incident in Ramadi (August 23, 2006) which left women and children dead. Capt. Shane Cote told the troops during the briefing, "Earlier up on the roof, there was like five women and little girls, OK? We fucked that area up. If we did any collateral damage, there will be people here asking. Your answer, for the sake of yourselves—and me—better be you were fucking shooting at muzzle flashes."
In November 2004, the U.S. unleashed Operation Phantom Fury on the city of Fallujah. For 10 days the U.S. rained destruction down on the people, killing thousands and leveling much of the city. The operation included the use of white phosphorus, a skin-burning chemical weapon which has been banned from use in combat by international treaty. Of the roughly 50,000 buildings in Fallujah, 7,000 to 10,000 were destroyed, and from half to two-thirds of the remaining buildings were significantly damaged. 200,000 Iraqis who lived in the city were forced to flee and become refugees. Under the Nuremberg Charter, which was used to prosecute Nazis after World War 2, the "wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages" is a war crime.
A video taken by NBC newsman Kevin Sites during the Fallujah operation shows several wounded Iraqi men in a mosque with heavily armed U.S. Marines standing over them. The captives had already been searched for weapons the previous day and had been left on the floor overnight. One Marine can be heard on the video footage saying, "He’s fucking faking he’s dead." This soldier then raises his rifle and fires right into the man’s head. Blood splatters onto the wall. A second Marine says, "Well, he’s dead now." The execution of a wounded captive is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.
What does it show about the utterly reactionary nature of what the U.S. is doing in Iraq, that such savage war crimes go essentially unpunished—giving a green light for more? There is great moral and political responsibility for the people in the U.S. to refuse to be complicit with these crimes—to act politically to stop this bloody war and to drive out the criminal regime behind it, through a mass movement of millions.
The Neocon Aberration by D. Grant Haynes
A word about visual images not on the cover of this book.
At the outset of this project, I naively assumed that I would be able to produce a visually compelling book cover incorporating some of the thousands of shocking still photos produced by photojournalists during he new almost five years of war on Iraq by the United States of America. From the opening shock and awe volley in March 2003 when up to 1,000 missiles were sent into Baghdad by cowardly Americans from the safety of high-flying aircraft and submarines—to the awful carnage of the second siege of Fallujah in November 2004 when phosphorous bombs, napalm, and other illegal weapons were used on civilians—to the present daily attrition in Baghdad’s endless street fighting—there are images aplenty out there.
But quickly I learned that corporate media interests have acquired rights to all notable photographs of the atrocities of the Iraq war—atrocities facilitated by their craven acquiescence in the early phases of the conflict. And these damning images are jealously guarded by copyrights that discourage a self-publisher from utilizing them. I found that to legally use two or three Iraq war images would double the initial expense of my project. I could not afford to do so and opted for a non-visual cover.
I would invite any reader interested in viewing uncensored photographs of the war on Iraq to initiate a search through a major Internet search engine image data base using the terms, “shock and awe”, “Fallujah”, and “Abu Ghraib.” Be sure to change your browser preferences to permit an “unfiltered” search. This, because a moderately filtered search (the default setting) will protect you from seeing the full horror of what has been done in your name and with your tax dollar since George W. Bush attacked Iraq.
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