Excellent Report on US Military’s Civilian Carnage in Iraq

Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian have an excellent report in the new issue of Nation from interviews with 50 U.S. veterans on the carnage inflicted in Iraq.

Hedges, Al-Arian, and Nation deserve great credit for this report.

If the New York Times or the Washington Post had half as much gumption on this issue, Americans would be less deluded by Bush propaganda.

Here is an excerpt from the piece:

The killing of unarmed Iraqis was so common many of the troops said it became an accepted part of the daily landscape…. Several interviewees said that, on occasion, these killings were justified by framing innocents as terrorists, typically following incidents when American  troops fired on crowds of unarmed Iraqis. The troops would detain those who survived, accusing them of being insurgents, and plant AK-47s next to the bodies of those they had killed to make it seem as if the civilian dead were combatants. “It would always be an AK because they have so many of these weapons lying around,” said Specialist Aoun. Cavalry scout Joe Hatcher, 26, of San Diego, said 9-millimeter handguns and even shovels–to make it look like the noncombatant was digging a hole to plant an IED–were used as well. “Every good cop carries a throwaway,” said Hatcher, who served with the Fourth Cavalry Regiment, First Squadron, in Ad Dawar, halfway between Tikrit and Samarra, from February 2004 to March 2005. “If you kill someone and they’re unarmed, you just drop one on ’em.” Those who survived such shootings then found themselves imprisoned as accused insurgents.


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16 Responses to Excellent Report on US Military’s Civilian Carnage in Iraq

  1. Lawhobbit July 15, 2007 at 5:08 pm #

    I dunno, Jim. After all, they’re only “wogs.” I’ve bounced around conversations and listposts with a lot of Real Americans™ who don’t seem to give the slightest rodental patoot about dead bodies, so long as they aren’t Our Duly Supported Troops™.

  2. Jim July 15, 2007 at 5:33 pm #


    I was counting on you, Hobbit, to add the uplift to this comment thread.

    Maybe your ol’ buddy Frank will show up to fill that void.

  3. Lawhobbit July 15, 2007 at 6:11 pm #

    That’s me, ever the uplifting sort. 😀

  4. Lawhobbit July 15, 2007 at 6:11 pm #

    That’s me, ever the uplifting sort. 😀

    That is also a truly depressing article, I might add, though having spent time with those sorts it’s not surprising in the least.

  5. Jim July 15, 2007 at 6:24 pm #

    It is refreshing to see an honest take on the war from a wide variety of veterans.

    Amazing that there has been so little demand for such articles from the respectable media….

  6. Lawhobbit July 15, 2007 at 6:28 pm #

    The media is more interested in selling tire ads, and stories about how we’re “killing terrorists” sell more ads. Now, if and when the tide suddenly changes and Duh Voters™ decide they want My Lai type stories, then I’m sure the MSM will fall all over itself to find and interview the guys – and similar ones – in this story. And all without a trace of shame for their previous positions.

  7. Dirk W. Sabin July 15, 2007 at 8:14 pm #

    Pax Brittanica used to give the Indians Smallpox laced blankets and so we are only conducting ourselves in the hallowed traditions of yore by seeding the crime scene with AK 47’s.

    The pontificating mooks of Congress and Sordid Screwballs holding the office of the Executive hostage have gone on their “making history” bender and put our troops in an impossible situation. Going in as rank amateurs as our Supreem Deesider did, it is no wonder that we are compressing all the horrors of history in that pathos-rich region into a tidy cluster boink….with the enlisted man bearing the brunt of the horrors, along with the civilians they are forced to engage. Russia, Britain, France, The Crusaders, the Huns…you name it, they all entered the Levant with big plans and watched it all go up in smoke in the rear view mirror. The sure-to-get-much-worse affair is poised to rock this former Republic to the core once the placental membrane of this new “Age of Terror” has been wiped from baby’s eyes.

    Even in the remote possibility that the mainline news industry actually covered the whole story, the public would likely either ignore it or sink deeper into their Sphincterpalooza Fest. Speaking of Algonquins and blankets, as Dorothy Parker said: I was too F***ing Busy …and vice versa.

  8. Tory July 16, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    The war is not and never was winnable. Maybe because of the internet, this time or this war, opposition is closing in quickly. The new, next Reed amendment is bs. It leaves a large US presence in Iraq and will continue to cause large scale violence. Too many democrats (war profiteers like Lieberman) still support the war.

    It will be interesting if a democrat becomes president. Democrat LBJ escalated Viet Nam. Liberals may learn a lesson about Leviathan.

    One military couple due to go back to Iraq (with a 4 month old toddler) doesn’t want to go back…so much for the patriotic “you are either with us or against us”

    “Oil for Blood”
    “Haliburton wants you” (Uncle Sam wants you) 🙂

  9. Dirk W. Sabin July 16, 2007 at 7:46 pm #

    The Sireens of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue must finally have gotten rill rill nervyus, what with their infantry grunts finally turning on them in droves. Tonight, the news segment on our Feerlest Leeder showed that Karl and the boys are in a new program of mining all types of American Leadership Mythology for their media announcements. Tonight’s shot opened with Naploneen I striding up a hallway with an open window in the background providing a wonderful view of the Jefferson Memorial in the distance. Then, as the Grande Poobah Most Deeciding Excellent mounted the podium, to his right was a bust of Lincoln with what appeared, oddly, to be a pair of shoes under the bust , mounted on a stand. It was a lovely shot, stirring even…. almost….. until Dyslexicon I began to talk and we were immediately reminded that our President has all the modesty and half the poise of a 13 year Reform School Factotum.
    Kudos to Karl for at least trying. His is a Sisyphusian task indeed.

    Needless to say, I am reminded that the surest indication of how resilient our beloved Republic is ….is the fact that we have managed to survive several years of this Government’s feckless abandon and in particular, the Book of Revelation Spook Show of a President that makes Cheetah the Chimpanzee look like Ralph Waldo Emerson . We have not quite decided what TorquedCheneymada looks like, …maybe a Dingo Dog on qualudes and Baccardi 151. This somehow warms me in my depths of despondance. Perhaps in the end, they have managed to turn the word “government” into a manifestly greater perjorative than it already was. Even liberals have to be a tad chary of government after this mosh pit riot. Anyone still suggesting government is a good thing after this long tawdry affair, should be quickly taken out to the deepest water possible and dropped overboard in a hard chop wearing an Edsel Bumper around their neck. Avast knuckleheads.

  10. Jim July 16, 2007 at 7:58 pm #

    Did the boots in the photo have any residue indicating a recent visit to a barnyard?

    I would stick up for Emerson here but I recently read some of his post-Civil War essays in which he slobbered over Abraham Lincoln as he is was an editorial writer for the Washington Post.

  11. Dirk W. Sabin July 16, 2007 at 8:37 pm #

    Why oh why do I read newspapers when I detest them so much? Could it be…No….do I have a bad attitude? Be honest.

    Then again, there have been several fine Newspaper writers in history, our all wet age of entrenched juvenilism…a kind of ongoing monument to roaring levels of gullibility…..just seems to be socked in a drought of them. The Harlot “Lifestyle” has her fangs deep in the brain stem and is taking a good long drink for herself. We aint woozy, jest a tad drained.

  12. Alpowolf July 17, 2007 at 3:04 pm #

    “Every good cop carries a throwaway,” said Hatcher, who served with the Fourth Cavalry Regiment, First Squadron, in Ad Dawar, halfway between Tikrit and Samarra, from February 2004 to March 2005. “If you kill someone and they’re unarmed, you just drop one on ‘em.”

    That’s a cheery thought, since I imagine many of these guys will end up being cops over here.

  13. Vaughn July 17, 2007 at 3:46 pm #

    >That’s a cheery thought, since I >imagine many of these guys will end up >being cops over here.

    That – or prison guards – or employed by any number of federal/state ‘Homeland Security’ profiteers.

  14. Jean July 18, 2007 at 8:50 am #

    Jim, thanks for posting this piece by Maine native Chris Hedges. After reading this, I came away with the thought that this closely resembles what goes on here with the drug war. Most of these soldiers felt the urge to serve their country and to do the right thing. Most cops feel the same way when they put on the uniform, and want to provide community service.
    However, when placed in situations that are difficult, and life-threatening, motives change, and in these cases, for the worse.

  15. Sean O'Neil July 18, 2007 at 2:10 pm #

    Tory said —

    “The war is not and never was winnable. Maybe because of the internet, this time or this war, opposition is closing in quickly.”

    Tory, I agree the war isn’t/wasn’t winnable, but not for the reasons you cite.

    Mainly, it wasn’t winnable because the aim of this “war” is not military victory, but rather a multi-faceted goal of

    1) constant discord in the Middle East
    2) construction of a foothold for Middle East military operations (read: other efforts like this Iraq “war”)
    3) local stronghold/base from which to support Israel in her destruction of her neighbors
    4) stealing Iraqi oil reserves
    5) war profiteering on each of the above points

    The war is being fought to maximize profit, and for no other reason. Such is an inevitable result in a system of materialistic capitalism where profits are exalted higher than any religious deity, and without doubt profits are placed before humane interests and needs.

  16. Tory July 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    The president is descended from Prescot Bush (United Fruit Co/Dresser Industries/Haliburton.)

    Their first excuse was the Monroe doctrine; then it was communism; now it’s terror. And everytime, they create the problem to create profits.

    It was the reason they had the Kennedys murdered.

    I have no problem with capitalism, only the crooks of the banana republic (the eastern establishment) that work their way into public office.

    Government is our worst enemy.