Thursday, August 30, 2007
With evidence having emerged that marines were ordered by superiors to massacre women and children in Haditha in Iraq two years ago, combined with scores of other testimonies and reports of such barbaric demands being forced upon American troops daily, it is clear that organised execution and ritual slaughter is the set policy of the architects of aggression in the middle east.
A military court heard Thursday that a US Marine was ordered to execute a room full of Iraqi women and children during the massacre in Haditha which left 24 people dead.
Following a response to roadside bomb attack in November, 2005 Marines stormed houses in the village. At the first of the houses, Marine Lance Corporal, Humberto Mendoza, has given evidence that he was ordered to execute some of the occupants under the command of Sergeant Frank Wuterich. Mendoza stated he refused to do so, when confronted with a room full of women and children. Later he found the women and children dead. Mendoza had previously admitted shooting one male occupant of the house dead, under orders.
At one house Wuterich gave an order to shoot on sight as Marines waited for a response after knocking on the door, said Mendoza.
Mendoza then said he shot and killed an adult male who appeared in a doorway.
During a subsequent search of the house, Mendoza said he received an order from another Marine, Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum, to shoot seven women and children he had found in a rear bedroom.
"I looked at them for a few seconds. Just enough to know they were not presenting a threat ... they looked scared. I told him there were women and kids inside there. He said 'Well, shoot them,'" Mendoza told prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Sean Sullivan.
"And what did you say to him?" Sullivan asked.
"I said 'But they're just women and children.' He didn't say nothing."
In previous testimony it has also been suggested that the troops stopped random passing cars, ordered passengers out and lined them up and shot them one by one at near-point blank range with M16 machine guns.
Wuterich's defense is expected to argue that he followed established combat zone rules of engagement. Given that Haditha is not an isolated incident this seems an accurate description.
A 2006 article adapted from the book “Ten Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military,” edited by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, documents many other testimonies of troops on the ground who have confirmed that they are routinely ordered to kill innocent civilians.
There is constant pressure to kill Iraqi civilians, 22-year-old GI Darrell Anderson said. “At traffic stops we kill innocent people all the time. If you are fired on from the street, you are supposed to fire on everybody that is there. If I am in a market, I shoot people who are buying groceries.”
War crimes in Iraq are not mere aberrations. They emanate from official policies regarding the aims and conduct of the occupation, the article concludes:
It is official policy, for example, to use cluster bombs in populated areas. Soldiers and Marines merely carry out the policy. It was official policy, under Operation Iron Hammer, to put barbed wire around villages, to bulldoze crops, to bomb homes, and to hold families in jail until they released insurgent information. It was official policy to level Fallujah, a city of 300,000 people, as an act of collective punishment.
The list goes on. It was official policy to torture detainees at Abu Ghraib, it was official policy to "kill all military age males" in Iraq, it is official policy to use radioactive Depleted Uranium weapons and deadly white phosphorus in civilian areas in Iraq. The wanton destruction from the air of cities, towns, and villages witnessed on the first night of the war and almost everyday since is official policy in Iraq.
When will the official policies be recognized for what they are, official war crimes?
The systematic killing of civilians in Iraq and throughout the middle east by aggressive forces under the control of the elite usurpers of our governments is clear. Our controlled media is also complicit in its ignorance, its pandering spin and the outright lies we continue to have to endure and break down with every passing day.
Prominent critics and commentators have blasted the mainstream media for failing to portray the brutal reality of the systematic policy of slaughter.
Acclaimed director Brian De Palma, whose new film "Redacted" has stunned audiences with its graphic telling of the horrific true story of another Iraq war crime, has stated:
"In Vietnam, when we saw the images and the sorrow of the people we were traumatizing and killing, we saw the soldiers wounded and brought back in body bags. We see none of that in this war. It's all out there on the Internet, you can find it if you look for it, but it's not in the major media. The media is now really part of the corporate establishment."
De Palma has asserted that it is only the brutal reality seen in the pictures and videos that are routinely ignored by the establishment media that will incense the public enough to force the conflict to be stopped.
Paul Craig Roberts, former Secretary to the Treasury under Reagan, has also blasted the mainstream media in a powerful piece today stating:
"The US media focuses on whether Republican Senator Larry Craig is a homosexual or has offended gays by denying being one of them. The run-up for the public's attention is why a South Carolina beauty queen cannot answer a simple question about why her generation is unable to find the United States on a map."
Roberts describes Bush as "high on the list of mass murderers of all time". With conservatively over one million Iraqis having lost their lives in this war "The vast majority of "kills" by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan are civilians, the war criminal is in the living room, and no official notice is taken of the fact" he writes.
He warns that the same will happen in Iran very soon if this administration and the power brokers behind it are not halted right away:
"Encouraged by the indifference of both the American media and Christian churches to the massive casualties inflicted on Iraqi civilians, the Bush administration will not be deterred by the prospect of its air attacks inflicting massive casualties on Iranian civilians. Last summer the Bush administration demonstrated to the entire world its total disdain for Muslim life when Bush supported Israel's month-long air attack on Lebanese civilian infrastructure and civilian residences. President Bush blocked the attempt by the rest of the world to halt the gratuitous murder of Lebanese civilians and infrastructure destruction. Clearly, turning the Muslim Middle East into a wasteland is the Bush policy. For Bush, civilian casualties are a non-issue. Hegemony uber alles."
Every instance described here provides evidence of direct violation of the Geneva Conventions, which state (Part IV, Article 48):combatants “shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants, between civilian objects and military objectives and, accordingly, shall direct their operations only against military objectives.”
The conventions were established in the aftermath of the Nazi's indiscriminate slaughter of millions of civilians throughout Europe. It is clear that our own modern day aggressors do not believe they are bound by the conventions, nor any international laws of war that have come before, and will do whatever it takes to ensure their empire building proceeds unimpeded.
Unless we address the reality of the war crimes we have seen unfold in the last 6 years alone, and continue in our attempts to do the job that the corporate media whores are paid not to, we betray our ethical and moral principles, we betray our countries, and we betray the freedom that has been protected for so long by those before us.