FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bring Them Home Before They Kill Again

 

It is depressingly predictable how “worked up” the Pentagon brass gets about an atrocity committed in gross violation of the Geneva Conventions when the crime is captured on film, as happened during this recent Fallujah action in the case of an NBC pool cameraman showing the execution by a US Marine of a wounded Iraqi captive, and the apparent execution of several other wounded captives later on.

But does anyone seriously believe that this particularly ugly atrocity is the only one that occurred during the assault?

The casual way it was done, in front of the embedded cameraman, makes it clear that quite to the contrary, this must be standard operating procedure for the American soldiers, who weren’t even worried about about the possible consequences of their being photographed. (Remember, the executioner was not alone, and none of his colleagues tried to stop him.)

How surprised should we be at this bloodthirsty and criminal behavior? The goal of the assault on Fallujah was not the capture of a city-the normal situation in a war. It was the killing of all the insurgents who were in the city.

Consider this. The approach taken to this assault was first to ring the city with a cordon of over 10,000 heavily armed troops, supported by virtually the entire fleet of U.S. warplanes in the Iraq theater-F-15s, F-18s, A-10 Warthogs and helicopter and fixed-wing gunships. Women and children were allowed to leave the doomed city, but all males “of fighting age” were turned back if they tried to leave.

You have to ask: turned back for what purpose?

If the goal was to capture potential guerrillas, here were the men and boys trying to leave, offering themselves up to be arrested, investigated, interrogated and even held in detention. But instead of this, they were turned back to face the coming attack (this action in itself was a major violation of the Geneva Conventions, which require armies to allow non-combatants to leave the scene of fighting). If they were really fighters, did it make sense to send them back into Fallujah where they could pick up weapons and possibly kill U.S. soldiers? If the goal was to capture insurgents, then these unfortunates would simply have to be captured later, accomplishing the same thing, but under much more dangerous circumstances for both them and for their U.S. attackers.

Clearly the real goal all along was something else: to kill them all-insurgents, potential insurgents, and any other “fighting age” males (that included little boys as young as 15!) unlucky enough to be residents of Fallujah.

That such horrors are going on in our name should be no surprise. This war was never about “liberation.” It is about conquest.

That so little is being said about it here in the U.S. is a crime.

“Support the troops” we are told.

But we cannot do that, if the troops are engaged in criminal behavior.

Surely no American would wish harm to the many thousands of good men and women, boys and girls who have been snatched away from their families and their lives to fight Bush’s war in Iraq. We want them all home safe, immediately. But no one should be blindly adopting a slogan that implies supporting what the troops are doing in Iraq, which we know includes atrocities worthy of the German SS.

It should be clear to any thinking person that the U.S. cannot win in Iraq. Unable to defeat the insurgency in there, the U.S. has turned to terror and to military tactics–the executing of wounded and captured fighters, the turning back of refugees, the denial of water and food to people in Fallujah, the barring of ambulances and medics from the scene of battle, the deliberate destruction of medical facilities and the capture and closure of hospitals–that are on their face war crimes. Yet in adopting such tactics, the U.S. is ensuring that it cannot win either. The criminal behavior of American troops in Fallujah, so reminiscent of the behavior of Serbian troops in Bosnia, now broadcast over all of the Middle East, merely encourages more Arab and Iraqi fighters to enlist in the growing anti-American jihad.

And let’s face it, the confining of fleeing, unarmed males to Fallujah on the eve of the assault of that city, and the return of fleeing unarmed men and boys during the heat of battle (reporrted widely in the U.S. media), is no different than the herding up and execution of adult males in Sbrynica by Serb militia. The Serb war criminals, who had no air force, had to kill their victims by small arms fire. All the U.S. war criminals (and here I’m referring to the colonels and generals and Defense Department officials who set the policy on refugees) have had to do is force them to stay trapped in the killing zone.

If you want to support the troops, bring them home.

Nothing else is going to save them, either from the enemy, or from the criminal policies of their own leadership.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” to be published this fall by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail