3/26/2006

Mass Murder or Genocide?

Everybody makes mistakes. That is a given. But it takes a big person to admit they have made a mistake. And it takes a very small person to deny they made a mistake and lie about the consequences. Such is the case with President Bush. Not only will he not admit the war in Iraq was a mistake, based on faulty (or even fixed) intelligence, he still refuses to acknowledge that Iraq is in the middle of a civil war. Perhaps the denial is because war is about as far from civility as one can reach in these modern times.
The number of civilian casualties is the first number disputed. The Bush administration puts the number at 40,000, but then they haven't been doing an "official" body count of Iraqis killed, so that number can be disputed. A report by a team of researchers from Johns-Hopkins University and Columbia University put the number at 250,000 caused by the invasion alone. This number hasn't taken into account the recent sectarian violence tearing the country apart. And it doesn't take into account the use of weaponized uranium oxide gas, a by-product of depleted uranium rounds, which is sure to cause more deaths and birth defects in Iraqis, as well as our troops stationed over there for an extensive peiod of time.
Some of the deaths by US forces are not just collateral damage (i.e., oopsie, you're dead. My Bad.) but are caused by over reaction by US troops when attacked, as in the case of a retaliation in November of 2005 where Marines attacked and killed 15 Iraqi civilians following the death of a Marine from a roadside bomb, including seven women and three children still in their nightclothes. This incident was caught on videotape.
Given the stress that our troops must operate under, it's understandable where they may overeact in these situations, but it does not make it acceptable. However, now sectarian violence has broken out in the country, as Shi'ite militias, backed by government forces, are killing Sunni Muslims in a cycle of revenge. This is the civil war that Bush is denying.
Conservatives talk about how the birth of Democracy is a painful thing (especially if you're a Sunni Muslim, but not if you're a conservative sitting on your ass here at home and never having had to put it on the line)But at this point, are we helping with the birthing of a democracy? If Iraq is deteriorating into a civil war with our troops there, what's the point of keeping them there? The homicide rate in Bagdad has tripled to 33 a day, and either we can't do anything about it, or we won't do anything about it. By the end of the year at this rate, that will total over nine thousand deaths. At what point does it cease to be mass murder and become in fact genocide? How many more civilians will be killed by death squads before Bush realizes this is a civil war?
Are we staying in Iraq to prevent a civil war, or are we there to enable the obvious ethnic cleansing going on there? Was the whole purpose to start a civil war, thereby directing Muslim animosity towards each other and away from Israel? Or was it really always about the oil? Or is it, like the upcoming war in Iran, just an act of ethnic cleansing, rich white men clearing out the region of all the brown skinned people so they can control the oil rich Middle eastern countries? Or is this, in some convoluted way, part of the war on "terror"?
Which reminds me, where's Osama?

24 comments:

LILY BRANFORD said...

What is the status of the investigation into the videotape now? At least they are investigating it. The pressure of evidence.

Left of Center said...

W has alot of blood on his hands. Come to think of it, so do the people that voted for him the second time.

earl bockenfeld said...

The Pentagon claims to have investigated at least 600 cases of alleged abuse by American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to have disciplined or punished 230 soldiers for improper behaviour. But a study by three New York-based human rights groups, due to be published next month, will claim that most soldiers found guilty of abuse received only “administrative” discipline such as loss of rank or pay, confinement to base or periods of extra duty.

Of the 76 courts martial that the Pentagon is believed to have initiated, only a handful are known to have resulted in jail sentences of more than a year — notably including the architects of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison. Most other cases ended with sentences of two, three or four months. “That’s not punishment, and that’s the problem,” said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch, which is compiling the study with two other groups.

Yet the evidence from Haditha and Abu Sifa last week suggested that the Pentagon is finding it increasingly difficult to dismiss allegations of violent excesses as propaganda by terrorist sympathisers.

“We are not unsympathetic to the stresses of battlefield situations,” he said. “There’s a saying in the military that it’s better to be judged by 12 (a jury) than be carried by six (coffin-bearers). We would hesitate to second-guess a soldier’s reactions under fire. But there’s a limit to how much leniency you can give troops because of the fog of war. You can’t give the US military a free pass.”

He added: “If they are pissed off because a buddy got killed and they want revenge, that’s a violation of the rules of war.”

The problem for the Pentagon is that every new incident involving civilian deaths triggers a new wave of anti-American fervour.

Last week Jalal Abdul Rahman told this newspaper about the death in January of his 12- year-old son Abdul. It was a Sunday evening and father and son were driving home after buying a new game for the boy’s PlayStation. They were a few hundred yards from their home in the Karkh neighbourhood of Baghdad when — according to Rahman — US forces opened fire on the car, killing Abdul.

Soldiers approached the car and told Rahman he had failed to stop when ordered to do so. Rahman said he had never heard an order to stop. The soldiers searched the car and, as they departed, they threw a black body bag on the ground. “They said, ‘This is for your son,’ and they left me there with my dead son,” he added.

Rahman claimed he had had nothing to do with the insurgency until that moment. “But this is America, the so-called guardian of humanity, and killing people for them is like drinking water. I shall go after them until I avenge the blood of my son.”

a rose is a rose said...

and what RANKS are those that are even punished? i don't believe very many of them are officers......

Neil Shakespeare said...

Jesus, I can't even keep up with the news reports on the various killings anymore. Just watching the news and 20 more beheadings/executions plus 40 killed and 30 wounded in a suicide bombing, plus the Iraqi gov't accusing the U.S. of attacking a mosque and killing another 20 or so. Plus a few stray bodies found here and there. Civil War? Naw. Things progressing smoothly. "Unity Government" just around the corner.

Kathleen Callon said...

It's both. Can't read the rest of it. The only thing that differentiates Iraqis from us is the circumstance of our births. It all makes me so sick... and so f*cking angry at the Bush Administration. NYTimes had an article today about how Britain says Bush planned on invading earlier... DUUUUUUUUH.

glenda said...

Daily Kos has a good synopsis of how bad it all is today and getting bloodier by the minute.

rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

it's nice to see that you good folks are bothered by this, but doesn't anybody care that Britney Spears and Kevin might be breaking up. don't you people have any heart.


(please do not say Koss in front of me, I will restrain myself this time,but if I return see koss's name again, I will teach you the meaning of mass murder or genocide)

doesn't mass murderer or genocide sound like attractive menu option for a drive-through?

Guido's Snubbed Siren Succubus said...

Gisher- I am not responsible for what others, including Lew who wrote this, and the commenters- have to say about these matters, Kos or anyone else. But whats your bitch about Daily Kos?

Wanna fight some more?

Poor misunderstood Britney, I agree we have our priorities all wrong. Damned Lew doesn't even POST about Brangelina's baby. He's so biased.

Lew Scannon said...

Who the Hell is Brangelina?

Kvatch said...

Britney Spears and Kevin might be breaking up. don't you people have any heart.

Got to agree with the Reverend. No two people have ever deserved each other more than Britney and Kevin, and it's a national trajedy that they're breaking up.

[sniff]

Kvatch said...

Jesus, I can't even keep up with the news reports on the various killings anymore. Just watching the news and 20 more beheadings/executions plus 40 killed and 30 wounded in a suicide bombing...

Using the higher figures for Iraqi deaths (upwards of 180,000), if you consider that a state of civil war has only existed for the last 6, or so, months, we're starting to approach a tragedy on the scale of Bosnia.

LILY BRANFORD said...

Brangelina is the hybrid of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Kvatch- I agree, I was reading some figures this morning and it is being minimized by that DAMN LIBERAL MEDIA.

CV Rick said...

A friend of mine who is currently in Iraq was telling me about all the trouble they're having with Death Squads. Going out on patrol, he says, they'll see SUV's all over the place filled with armed men from Government or religious death squads and they'll also be SUV's filled with American mercenaries and then more SUV's filled with South African mercenaries.

He said our troops are instructed not to interfere with any of them because they don't want to be "getting into the middle of anything," but the Iraqi civilians have to fear them all. It's Mad Max over there, every daily activity is run through a guantlet of danger.

But, if our military isn't supposed to get in the middle of any uncontrolled 'death squad' violence . . . WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING over there in the first place.

It's actually starting to get to the point where the U.S. Military is waging operational battles against international terrorists who've been sent into Iraq to damage U.S. Forces and to get training in combat, explosive, sniper-fire, etc. and while this is all going on, four or five other factions are fighting it out unimpeded by us.

Oh, and everything's fine, nothing to see here, and why doesn't the media report the good stuff?

Enlightenment said...

Posted this for Danny last night. I think it applies here,
Enlightenment....

Some people--and that means the Bush Administration--have a truly warped definition of democracy.


I really thought that I would recover from this bout of pneumonia without getting upset about a piece of news out of Iraq. My friends have been doing their best to make certain that I don't watch too many newscasts. They limit my reading to paperback fiction and popular mainstream magazines. But from time to time something slips through and I find myself seething at the utter incompetency in which Bush has handled the situation in Iraq.


Death squads weren't bad enough. now we have sexual cleansing in both, Iran and Iraq. And as usual, the principal victims are--ou guessed it sweet pea--gays and lesbians. Or rather any Muslim male either gay or straight who just happens to look a little effeminate.


What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Grand Ayatollah Sistani, who in October 2005, issued a fatwa against anyone "involved in homosexuality." Since that time the military arm of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, has been sweeping through neighborhoods in Southern Iraq, especially Basra where they stalk gay men, women without veils, people playing western music, and businesses which sell alcoholic beverages, although the main target of attack is gay men who don't look masculine enough for these Muslim Inquisitors. Young men are being kidnapped . They are then tortured and beaten up. Their hands are tied behind their backs and they are dragged out to public squares where, in the words of the Ayatollah, they are "put to death in the most extreme way of killing." Read shot in the back of the head.


And gets even worse. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has unleashed the sex police in Iran. They not only prowl the streets. They also enter gay chat rooms, pose as homosexuals, invite gay men out on dates, and then, when the victim shows up at the proper place and time, he is arrested, tortured, and publicly executed--again with a bullet in the back of the head. Being the good neighbors that they are, the Iranian sex police are skipping over to Iraq where the same high tech method is being used on Iraqi homosexuals. Moreover, there are reports of Iranian interrogators speaking Persian with translators as they torture gay suspects.


As if we should be surprised. After liberating Iraq for the Iraqi people we find ourselves in a situation where the most influential political/religious movement in Iraq is headed not by an Iraqi, but by a native born Iranian. That's right. Satani--oops, I mean Sistani--was born and raised in Iran. He received his religious traning in Iran. And both he and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq maintain close ties to Iran.


And what is the United States position on this? How do our officials and soldiers behave when leaders in the Iraqi gay community go to the Green Zone for help? Americans show their contempt. They don't help at all. Gays who seek help are ridiculed, humiliated, and turned away. You see, my pets. The United States thinks that it needs this so called Supreme Council. It believes in its heart of hearts that these right wing, theocractic thugs will stop the violence and avoid the civil war that the Bush Invasion has already unleashed. Indeed, the recently approved talks between the United States and Iran pertaining to the situation in Iraq were sponsored by (are you sitting?) the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.


I really have to wonder. Just what are the policy makers in Washington thinking about. Just what in the hell are they thinking with? We keep hearing that the Bush Administration wants to promote "Democracy" in Iraq. Well, I don't know about you, sweet pea, but the last I knew the persecution of gay men and free thinking women are not characteristics of a healthy democracy. A democratically elected theocracy, yes, but not democracy as you and I would understand it.

rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

koss? other than the fact that he gives real liberals a bad name, i don't have a problem with him. in fact i admire his profiting off wannabe liberal sheep. anyway you can make a buck these days that's the amei-i-kan dream eh?

Donkeyhue said...

The whole basis of this post is based on faulty intelligence. Last time I checked the WH has admitted that the intel was faulty. Once again your hatred of Bush has blinded you to the facts.

I'm The Devil, Who The Hell Are You? said...

I resent that fact that a poster has connected my name with Islam-wrong!

Lew Scannon said...

It wasn't 'faulty' intelligence, it was fixed intelliegence, or didn't you read the memo?

CTB said...

Dammit Lew I was sure you were going to post on Andy Card so I held off... could laze-out and crosspost the Democratic Pussiliency Pussapologist Plea over here...but, alas, its not very clever.

I've been too busy discussing Camaros and cartoons today. Damned politics.

Lew Scannon said...

Hoo boy, they're really shaking up the Bush administration by firing the chief of staff.

CTB said...

Sarcastic much?

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