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War Crimes--Iraq

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Dahr Jamail, an independent journalist in Iraq has submitted a recent reportage, which we publish on our site this month, which describes mass murder at the hands of U.S. soldiers.  These are WAR CRIMES, which have been performed by the U.S. military, victimizing the citizens of the city of Fallujah and consequently the citizenry of Iraq. 


It was shocking enough to hear of previous accounts of torture at U.S. detention centers in Iraq and at  Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, being committed by U.S. soldiers. But as more detainees are being released, we continue to be confronted with further documentation and hear of similar experiences suffered by them as well.  These further accounts begin to establish a pattern of behavior by the U.S. military which is not isolated but rather wide spread and common practice, therefore torture must be an accepted norm tolerated by the military command structure. 


If this is so, then the atrocities in detention camps are not exceptions to the rule but rather reflections of a gross pattern of barbarous behavior.  Dahr Jamail's report in "Stories from Fallujah" lays bare what appears to be a predetermined and well orchestrated plan of warfare known as 'scorched earth' which is being practiced by the U.S. military.  The 'scorched earth' policy was the methodology used by Central American 'Death Squads' in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala in the 1980's. However such methods were used by mercenaries, and ultra-right wing extremists, not by the military of a democratic super-power.  Although in the case of Guatemala, National Guard units were primarily the users of such tactics.


The utilization of such methods in Iraq only serves to lower acceptable standards and raises the U.S. 'military campaign' in Iraq to a level of barbarity unseen since WWII, as committed by the NAZIS.  Yes, we have seen atrocities in Rwanda, the Congo, in the Balkans, and in Cambodia, however such atrocities have been committed by mercenaries, civilians, rebels and insurgents. More significantly, such acts have been conducted by armies of 'third world' countries on the fringes of societal cohesiveness.  No modern, advanced nation has ignored the rules of engagement or of international law to such extremes as we are now witnessing in Iraq, no modern civilized nation has chosen to ignore agreements like the Geneva Conventions for the treatment of prisoners of war, the wounded, or for the treatment of innocents caught up in the tumult of battlefields, to the extremes that we are now witnessing in Iraq. 


The targeting of doctors, journalists and hospitals, the extermination of innocents; of children, of women, of the elderly, of non-combatants is a barbarity, it is subhuman, these are crimes.  Individual soldiers carrying out such orders are in fact guilty of committing criminal acts, however their commanders are those primarily guilty of such violations and should be held accountable; be they Captains, Colonels, Generals or a President. 


No people will willingly accept an invader, or usurper.  No people will bear an occupier on their native soil, and it matters not what race, or nationality we consider.  The people of Iraq amid such blatant violence and barbarous criminality cannot be blamed for defending themselves against such aggression, no matter what means they choose to employ.  And the Bush administration, the pentagon officials responsible for unleashing such violence on civilians are war criminals-- of this there can be no further room for doubt.


The Bush administration by using such tactics has however achieved two things; first it is convincing the world that the insurgency in Iraq has obtained a moral high ground; and secondly, America can be accused of becoming the NAZI Germany of the 21st century.  Remember, Hitler also claimed in 1938 that Germany was claiming its rights when it annexed the Sudetenland, and did so with the approval of the major European powers of the day.  And soon after began its invasions of Austria, and Czechoslovakia, still with little consternation from the world community. Is history repeating itself ?


It would appear that as Bush wages his crusade in the Middle East, as he threatens Syria, Iran, North Korea, can there be any doubt that other advanced nations will commence to arm themselves accordingly with nuclear weapons hoping, that by so doing, they will protect their nations from American aggression ?  As we have recently seen, RussiaNorth Korea and Iran already started on that course. Iraq has become Pandora's Box, Congress is asleep, and the world community is quiet, nervous and waits on Bush's next move !


Given these facts, is the world, becoming more safe or less so, in the midst of Bush's 'War on Terror' ?  


V. Saraiva, Editor


Posted  February 11, 2005

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