The latest news from Iraq, that American media outlets seem in no rush to broadcast, involves two US soldiers accused of premeditated murder for the killing of three Iraqis, then attempting to make it look as though the civilians were killed in combat by placing guns next to the bodies.
A statement from the military announced this is:
“merely an accusation of wrongdoing. The soldiers are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of any alleged offense.”
Obviously, these guys are fighting in a different world from those Middle Eastern detainees, presumed guilty and held indefinitely without hope of trial, in various US facilities throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay.
Story link HERE.
US news channels were less loathe to broadcast the story that troops overnight killed twenty-six “militants” and captured seventeen in raids on the Sadr City district of Baghdad.
A glorious victory? Perhaps, if the US military’s account is to be believed.
One thing is certain, these “militants” were definitely not members of al Qaeda. There are no al Qaeda in Shia Sadr City.
Which begs the question: who were they?
Iraqi hospital officials and police put the death toll at only eight, and say civilians were killed while in their homes. According to AP, one resident Basheer Ahmed, who lives in Sadr City’s Habibiya area said:
“”At about 0400, a big American convoy with tanks came and began to open fire on houses – bombing them……….What did we do? We didn’t even retaliate – there was no resistance.”
Of course, we know from experience that US military reports are always one hundred percent accurate, and the Iraqis are just a bunch of lying bastards who deserve everything they get, even when what they get is Abu Ghraib style abuse, torture, rape, and similar atrocities imposed by the US military.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan – (where?) – the steady and regular slaughter of innocents continues, with a report today suggesting possibly fifty to eighty civilians, including women and children, were killed when US-led forces bombed an area in Helmand province on Friday.
There is some confusion regarding NATO’s role in Afghanistan – confusion often conveniently utilized by the US news media. More than once, the term “NATO-led forces” has been heard when describing incidents of civilian deaths. In fact, there are two separate forces in Afghanistan – NATO-led Isaf, or International Security Assistance Force, charged with providing security and assistance to the Afghan people, rebuilding roads and infrastructure – and the US-led (and dominated) coalition originally charged with finding Osama bin Laden. In almost all instances of civilian deaths, it has been the US-led coalition who were responsible, not the NATO-led Isaf.
Such was the case in this latest incident, which occurred only one week after another twenty-five civilians were killed in the same area by the US-led coalition. An incident that brought a stiff rebuke from Afghanistan’s President Karzai.
Just three months ago, in March 2007, a supposedly “elite” US Marine Corps unit was ordered to leave Afghanistan after:
“……Afghan witnesses said the Marines fired recklessly at passing vehicles and pedestrians along the crowded road flanked by shops. The U.S. military initially said 16 civilians were killed but later changed that estimate to eight. An official at a local hospital said 14 people had died. The military said 35 people were wounded, among them a coalition service member. Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized the U.S. military reaction, and the incident sparked large anti-American protests.” Washington Post 03/24/2007 & 04/15/2007.
The US military investigation later updated the figures to ten dead and thirty-three wounded.
While accepting that many US service personnel are decent, humane individuals trying to do their best under the the most severe conditions, the evidence for a large-scale mindset of trigger-happy arrogance and egotistical superiority in the US military – including amongst high-ranking officers – leaves little doubt there are serious shortcomings in the training and discipline of US military personnel of all ranks.
Americans are consistently led to believe their military is the best in the world. Best armed; best trained; most disciplined. Once again, the American people are being hoodwinked by their politicians.
The US military is renowned throughout the rest of the world as the most undisciplined, badly trained and inefficient organization, only able to function at all through sheer force of numbers and equipment.
The record the US military will eventually leave behind in Iraq and Afghanistan will confirm beyond doubt the accuracy of that assessment.
Filed under: US militarism