[News] Haditha is Not an Aberration
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 2 11:30:10 EDT 2006
June 2, 2006
Haditha is Not an Aberration
More, Lots More
By MIKE FERNER
Would somebody please tell me that the corporate
news media is talking about U.S. war crimes in
Iraq besides just the civilians killed in Haditha?!
I can only hope that my fellow citizens are not
being told that this latest outrage tumbling out
of Iraq is some isolated incident; that Herr
Rumsfeld will diligently investigate it, and
dispense timely justice to all guilty parties
(below the rank of Lieutenant, of course).
JUST in case your Uncle Bob or Aunt Sophie has
been asking you "Exactly what the hell is going
on in Iraq?" and you're looking for hard facts to
help them get off the fence, here you are.
Keep in mind these are just a few instances
compiled by one citizen sitting in Toledo with an
old computer connected to the internet an
indication that there just might be even more going on.
Keep in mind also, that the following acts are
criminal violations of the law not just because
they are really horrid inhumanities, but because
Congress, the U.S. Constitution, and
international law (yes, there are international
laws binding on the U.S.) explicitly prohibit the
very kinds of atrocities now rotting at the feet
of George W. Bush. Each section below begins with
the relevant law or treaty violated in Iraq or
Afghanistan. Every one of them, and more, are
documented at the
For Peace website
Nuremberg Tribunal Charter
Principle VI: "The crimes hereinafter set out are
punishable as crimes under international law:
(b) War crimes: murder, ill-treatmentof civilian
population of or in occupied territory; murder or
ill-treatment of prisoners of warplunder of
public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages
Two Afghan prisoners who died in American custody
in Afghanistan in December 2002 were chained to
the ceiling, kicked and beaten by American
soldiers in sustained assaults that caused their
deaths, according to Army criminal investigative reports.
At least 26 prisoners have died in American
custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002 in
what Army and Navy investigators have concluded
or suspect were acts of criminal homicide, according to military officials
In Fallujah, 40% of the buildings were completely
destroyed, 20% had major damage, and 40% had
significant damage. That is 100% of the buildings in that city.
(c) Crimes against humanity: Murder,
exterminationand other inhuman acts done against
any civilian populationwhen such acts are donein
execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime."
"We were tied up and beaten despite being unarmed
and having only our medical instruments," Asma
Khamis al-Muhannadi, a doctor who was present
during the U.S. and Iraqi National Guard raid on
Fallujah General Hospital told reporters later.
She said troops dragged patients from their
beds and pushed them against the wall. "I was
with a woman in labour, the umbilical cord had
not yet been cut," she said. "At that time, a
U.S. soldier shouted at one of the (Iraqi)
national guards to arrest me and tie my hands
while I was helping the mother to deliver."
Abu Hammad said he saw people attempt to swim
across the Euphrates to escape the siege. "The
Americans shot them with rifles from the shore,"
he said. "Even if some of them were holding white
flag or white clothes over their heads to show
they are not fighters, they were all shot."
Hammad said he had seen elderly women carrying
white flags shot by U.S. soldiers. "Even the
wounded people were killed. The Americans made
announcements for people to come to one mosque if
they wanted to leave Fallujah, and even the
people who went there carrying white flags were killed."
The Geneva Conventions
Protocol I, Article 75:
"(1)persons who are in the power of a Party to
the conflictshall be treated humanely in all
circumstances(2) The following acts are and shall
remain prohibitedwhether committed by civilian or
by military agents: (a) violence to the life,
health, or physical or mental well-being of
persons(b) outrages upon personal dignity, in
particular humiliating and degrading treatment,
enforced prostitution and any form of indecent
assaultand threats to commit any of the foregoing acts."
The investigation of the 800th Military Police
Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba found that
"intentional abuse of detainees by military
police personnel" included the following:
Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet
Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees
Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually
explicit positions for photographing
Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and
keeping them naked for several days at a time
Forcing naked male detainees to wear women's underwear
Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate
themselves while being videotaped
Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them
Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a
sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his
fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture
Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked
detainee's neck and having a female soldier pose for a picture
A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee
Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to
intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at
least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee
Protocol I, Art. 70:
"The Parties to the conflictshall allow and
facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all
relief consignments, equipment and personneleven
if such assistance is destined for the civilian
population of the adverse Party."
Convoys sent by the Iraqi Red Crescent to aid the
remaining population (in Fallujah) have been turned back.
Marked ambulances were repeatedly shot at by U.S.
troops during the April, 2004 siege of Fallujah
and troops prevented the distribution of medical supplies.
In Saqlawiyah, Dr Abdulla Aziz told IPS that
occupation forces had blocked any medical
supplies from entering or leaving the city. "They
won't let any of our ambulances go to help
Fallujah," he said. "We are out of supplies and
they won't let anyone bring us more."
Protocol I, Art. 35:
"In any armed conflict, the right of the
Partiesto choose methods or means of warfare is
not unlimitedIt is prohibited to employ methods
or means of warfare which are intended, or may be
expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the environment."
On April 1, 2003 the residential al-Hilla
outskirts of Babylon were hit with an
undetermined number of BLU-97 A/B cluster bombs.
Each bomb releases 202 bomblets which scatter
over an area the size of two football fields,
with a dud rate of 5%-7%. Immediate reports
stated that at least 33 civilians died and around
300 were injured in the attack. Amnesty
International condemned the attack, saying that
"the use of cluster bombs in an attack on a
civilian area of al-Hilla constitutes an
indiscriminate attack and a grave violation of international humanitarian law."
On March 22, 2003, reporters from CNN and the
Sydney Morning Herald - Melbourne Age embedded
with the 1st Battalion 7th Marines at Safwan Hill
near Basra reported air strikes dropping napalm.
Convention III, Art. 5:
"Should any doubt arise as to whether persons,
having committed a belligerent act and having
fallen into the hands of the enemy (are prisoners
of war under this Convention), such persons shall
enjoy the protection of the present Convention
until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."
President Bush issued an order on February 7,
2002, specifying that the U.S. would not apply
the Third Convention to members of Al Qaeda. That
order set forth policies that led to the willful
killing, torture, or inhuman treatment; and great
suffering or serious injury to body or health, of
prisoners in U.S. custody in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay.
Need more documentation? Try the 1996 War Crimes
Act; the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause,
Article VI (par. 2); or the above-mentioned
treaties such as the Geneva Conventions, the
Nuremberg Principles, U.N. General Assembly resolutions, and others.
Just as the news media's fascination with Abu
Ghraib was way after the fact and limited in
scope, so too, is its present fascination with
the Haditha killings. As they used to say during
WWII, "There's a war on, ya know!" Exactly what
do Americans think happens when their nation goes to war?
Dr. Jonathan Shay, a psychologist with years of
experience treating Vietnam vets with PTSD and
author of the seminal
in Vietnam," gave his prescription for preventing
that disease and preventing the breakdown of
character that would likely happen to any of us
in combat. It wasn't better training, or better
diagnoses, or better drugs. He said "Abolish
war." It's time we took his advice seriously.
Mike Ferner served as a Navy Corpsman during
Vietnam and is a member of Veterans For Peace,
whose slogan is "Abolish War!" He can be reached
at: <mailto:mike.ferner at sbcglobal.net>mike.ferner at sbcglobal.net
The Freedom Archives
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