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#30956 - 22 Jun 06 04:32 Re: Haditha
Magpie Offline

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
US braced for Haditha effect
By John Simpson
BBC News, World affairs editor

What happened in Haditha may just possibly change the future of the war in Iraq.

The lawyer for one of the marines accused of the massacre has told the BBC that criminal charges will probably be brought soon.

And we have found that the marines were operating under some very disturbing conditions.

The accusation is that after a US marine lance corporal died in a roadside bombing in Haditha last November, his fellow marines went on a killing spree.

Twenty-four people died in the attack, including seven women and three children.

A 12-year-old girl who survived says the Americans killed them indiscriminately.

The marines said they had came under fire from the houses where the people died.

The lawyer representing one marine told us he believed they would face charges, but said they were following their rules of engagement.

"I don't think the facts will show they intentionally killed those civilians," Paul Hackett said. "It was in the heat of battle, in the heat of clearing the houses.

"That is, like it or not, that is what those marines are required to do. They are required to close with the enemy, and kill the enemy."

'Feral' conditions

But Haditha is not the only massacre that has been alleged against the US forces.

A US inquiry has cleared them of blame for the deaths of civilians in Ishaqi in March - yet leading figures in the Iraqi government are unhappy, and want a wider investigation.

But what happened at Haditha seems more clear-cut.

It is an intensely dangerous place for the Americans, and the battle-weary men of Kilo Company - the unit which included the marines accused of the massacre - had lost a lot of men there.

And they were operating under disturbing circumstances.

Kilo Company's headquarters were three miles north of Haditha, at a vast dam across the Euphrates. It is a big target, because it supplies power to much of southern Iraq.

Four hundred men of the First Marine regiment were based in this decaying rabbit-warren. Conditions were so disgusting, many just moved out.

They set up these unofficial shacks alongside it. Conditions at the dam have been described as "feral".

Oliver Poole is one of the few reporters to have been there, shortly after the alleged massacre. He was shocked by these strange, primitive huts, which lacked even basic hygiene.

"You walked in and the first words were 'F off', and they were ripping pieces of wood apart to feed the fire," he said. "You could see the conditions in which they lived. And they were filthy. It was disgusting."

There seemed to him to be no real discipline.

"The fact that the officers had let conditions deteriorate to the level in which where people living in such basic environment, that says something," he said. "Where were the officers keeping the standards that the US military keeps in the field?"

Blame game

The marines of Kilo Company are now back at Camp Pendleton, in California. But that question of keeping the men under proper control is essential.

"The hardest thing is not necessarily killing someone or shooting someone; it's not killing someone or shooting someone when you're angry," said Paul Rieckhoff of the Iraqi Veterans Campaign.

"When someone in your unit is killed or wounded it's like someone attacked your family. The responsibility then is on one of the squad leaders, platoon leaders, team leaders to hold those guys back."

Up to now in the US, those against the war have blamed the people at the very top for what is happening in Iraq.

But the news that three American soldiers have been charged in connection with the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq last month - and the probable charges over Haditha - may mean that Americans will now start blaming those who are actually fighting the war as well.

Just as they did in Vietnam.
"People say funny things......."

Peter Kay

#30957 - 22 Jun 06 14:57 Re: Haditha
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
I think he may be wrong. Every Islamic fundamentalist attack resolves the position of the average American.

Don’t forget some basic facts:

2,986 people died on september 11th.

2,023 US combat deaths in Iraq

Its simple, fight these fucking lunatics in the Iraqi towns and cities, not in the US towns and cities.

Yes the Iraq conflict has drawn lunatics from every Islamic state in the world. They now hide behind walls in Bagdad taking potshots at US soldiers who carry weapons and wear body armour.

If they were not in Iraq, they would be in LA, or SF, of NY, taking pot shot as unarmed civilains who don’t wear body armour.

Seems simple to me. Keep fighting lads, you got em pinned down……

#30958 - 22 Jun 06 15:20 Re: Haditha
Balibob Offline

Registered: 14 Jun 06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Bali
But why waste more lives, trying to take prisoners.....Fight terrorism with terrorism,..........Bomb and burn the bastards take no prisoners.

or else it's going to turn into Vietnam Dua
There is no love sincerer,.. than the love of food

(George Bernard Shaw)

#30959 - 22 Jun 06 16:32 Re: Haditha
Balibob Offline

Registered: 14 Jun 06
Posts: 1066
Loc: Bali
I just received this email from a mate and thought U Guys would appreciate it..


In a recent interview, General Norman Schwartzkopf was asked if he thought
there was room for forgiveness toward the people who have harbored and
abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks on America.

His answer was classic Schwartzkopf.

The General said,

"I believe that forgiving them is God's function. OUR job is to arrange
the meeting."

What a Super Star Stormin Norman is
There is no love sincerer,.. than the love of food

(George Bernard Shaw)

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