Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Saturday, June 21, 2003  

Back during the active phase of the war, I wrote that I didn't support the troops. (A view less controversial than I imagined--at least by the readers of this blog.) More reasons continue to surface.

The Mirror is reporting that Americans are arbitrarily gunning down Iraqi civilians (link via Pandagon.)

As distrust of the invading forces increases amongst the local population US soldiers said they have killed civilians without hesitation, shot injured opponents and abandoned them to die in agony. . . .



The account quotes a couple of soldiers, and their frame of mind is revealing. Below are two quotes from Specialist Corporal Michael Richardson. (Here he's talking about killing other soldiers, not civilians.)

"Once you'd reached the objective, and once you'd shot them and you're moving through, anything there, you shoot again. You didn't want any prisoners of war. You hate them so bad while you're fighting, and you're so terrified, you can't really convey the feeling, but you don't want them to live."

"There's a picture of the World Trade Centre hanging up by my bed and I keep one in my flak jacket. Every time I feel sorry for these people I look at that. I think, 'They hit us at home and, now, it's our turn.' I don't want to say payback but, you know, it's pretty much payback."



All right, it's the Mirror--useless propoganda from the pantywaist, Saddam-loving left, right? Well, no. Even Fox has reported on some pretty un-heroic battlefield stories.

And then there's this exchange, from a non-embedded reporter writing for Harper's (July 2003). The reporter, Paul William Roberts, has spent a great deal of time in Iraq, and was traveling in Arab dress with an aquaintance while following a story. He was stopped by American military, and what follows is a shortened version of their exchange.

"Hey!" shouted [an American soldier] as I approached. "Stop right there!"

The dishdasha and turban had obviously thrown him, so I searched for my Harper's press card, saying, "It's okay, I'm a Brit journalist.

"I said, 'Stop,' fucker!" he growled, pointing his machine gun at me. "You understand 'stop'?"

I nodded.

Another soldier appeared and asked me in an Arabic worse than my own what I wanted.

"I do speak English," I pointed out in my best Oxonian accent.

"Get this motherfucker!"



There follows an exchange about his Harper's credentials ("It have naked chicks in it?"), and then the suspiciousness of his many national ties.

"Let me get this straight," he said. "You got a British passport, you live in Canada, and you write for an American magazine..."

"Right."

"You gotta admit it sounds weird."

I admitted it did.

"So why you dressed like this fucking scum?" He indicated the growing crowd of locals, some of them clearly concerned for [my welfare]. I told him I found his remark deeply offensive.

"Thatta fact?"

"Yep."

"Fuck you."


posted by Jeff | 9:55 AM |
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