Friday, September 02, 2011
9/11 retrospective: Why do they hate us? Could things like this be one reason?Matthew Schofield has a report on one of the Wikileaks documents. You know, one of those our Pod Pundits tell us have no real importance: WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. saysMcClatchy Newspapers 08/31/2011.
This was is a grim report about an incident near Tikrit, Iraq, where the evidence strongly suggests that American soldiers handcuffed and executed the inhabitants of a house from which at least one person was firing. Handcuffed and shot in the head, gangster style. Including little children. And then called in an air strike to try to cover up the crime.
There are also disturbing indications in the article that the military tried to cover up evidence of war crimes more generally. It wouldn't be the first time.
Even with the best of discipline on such things - and the Abu Ghuraib torture scandal showed that our glorious generals did not maintain the best of discipline in Iraq - the conditions of a counterinsurgency war in Iraq, where the customs, religion and language are all strange and scary to the average soldier and where the environment is deadly hostile all around, are going to lead to atrocities like this.
But it hurts the United States. And [insert whatever acknowledgments one thinks appropriate on how the Bad People misuse images like this for propaganda], they hurt the United States. People tend to hate foreign occupiers. Especially ones that are killing their fellow citizens, their friends and their relatives. We shouldn't romanticize wars, whether it's Iraq or Libya or anywhere else. War is a failure of policy and politics.
Tags: iraq war, war crimes
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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