Saturday, May 27, 2006

My Lai Redux

Marines Killed Civilians "In Cold Blood"

By Michael Scherer and Mark Benjamin

Senior House Democrat Jack Murtha warns that the details of a reported massacre in Iraq last year will prove "a very bad thing" for the US.

US Representative John Murtha says the US military may be in for some bad press.
US Representative John Murtha says the US military may be in for some bad press.
A senior House Democrat with close ties to the military claimed Wednesday that U.S. Marines wantonly killed innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in an early morning raid last November, buttressing a March report by Time.

"Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," said Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, a decorated Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam and is among the most influential Democratic voices on military matters. "This is going to be a very, very bad thing for the United States."


by TChris

The secretary of defense and the national security adviser debate "whether there was any way to stop newspapers and television news programs from showing graphic photographs of the victims."

Pictures of Abu Ghraib? No. Pictures of My Lai, 1969.

A transcript of this 1969 telephone conversation, with its uncanny echoes of the Iraq war and the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, at least in the fact of the photographs, if not in the severity of the wrongdoing, was released on Wednesday by the National Archives as part of 20,000 pages of records of Mr. Kissinger's telephone conversations.

The tapes show a secretary of defense frustrated by his inability to bury the truth.

In their conversation on Nov. 21, 1969, about the My Lai massacre, Mr. Laird told Mr. Kissinger that while he would like "to sweep it under the rug," the photographs prevented it.

United for Peace : Press Release: Haditha Massacre Is Iraq's Mai Lai

Marines accused of cover-up after Haditha killings

— Stark evidence is emerging of deliberate reprisal killings of about two dozen civilians, including women and children, by a handful of U.S. Marines last November in what may prove to be the worst atrocity yet by U.S. forces in Iraq.Details surface of US ‘atrocity' in Iraq

Stay the Lie: Iraq equivilant of Viet Nam Mai Lai Massacre? Why is there no outrage?

The massacre in this farming town on the Euphrates, about 150 miles northwest of Baghdad, may not be precisely part of Operation Iraqi Freedom's official mission, but neither is it an aberration. Indeed, it is, as Iraq vet Charlie Anderson said to me, a "foreseeable consequence" of an occupation that from day one was clumsy, brutal and clueless. As it grinds into its fourth year, with thousands of GIs caught by stop-loss orders in a tour of duty without end, and with all claims of noble purpose long since abandoned by our government like burned-out tanks in the desert, the frustrations and hatreds generated by our presence continue to intensify.

What happened in Haditha six months ago -- two days after Rep. John Murtha introduced his brave, lonely resolution to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq -- shatters every argument of the stay-the-course crowd and throws the dithering cowardice of Congress into stark relief. The longer we force our exhausted troops to stay not the "course" but the lie, the more dangerous the occupation becomes, for the Iraqis, for us, for the world.

The Politics of Evil versus Boston Legal

The 2002 invasion of Afghanistan showcased the "march-in-shooting" strategy of US house searches, which served to boost support for bin Laden. There were reports of massacres. It was alleged that 30 to 40 U.S. Special Forces assisted in the massacre of 3,000 Taliban prisoners. When Amnesty International viewed the documentary footage, much of it wisely shot in secret, it stated there was prima facie evidence of serious war crimes. In July, US planes and helicopters swooped on a wedding party southwest of Kabul, killing 54 guests and injuring over 100. "It was like an abattoir", said a survivor. "There was blood everywhere." One of the guests, Mohammad Anwar, whose wife was killed in the raid, told Yahoo News that after the bombing, US soldiers "stormed into the houses and tied the hands of men and women. They refused to let the people help the victims." A week later, the local District Commissioner Abdur Rahim, paid out to relatives US$200 on behalf of each person killed and US$75 for each of the wounded. Little was made of this at the time.
The US military has had four years to learn how to win Afghani hearts and minds. Last week, when A-10 "Warthog" warplanes strafed the village of Azizi from midnight till dawn, suspected Taliban ran from a religious school into nearby mud brick homes, which were then attacked. "I saw 35 to 40 dead Taliban", said Haji Ikhlaf, a blood smeared witness, "and around 50 dead or wounded civilians". Another villager, Zurmina Bibi, cradled her wounded 8-month-old. She said about 10 people were killed in her home, including three or four children. Attah Mohammad, said at the hospital that 24 members of his family were dead , including children. In New York Times speak, such houses would be considered "legitimately bombed".

American Experience | Vietnam Online | The My Lai Massacre | PBS On March 16, 1968 the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai. "This is what you've been waiting for -- search and destroy -- and you've got it," said their superior officers. A short time later the killing began. When news of the atrocities surfaced, it sent shockwaves through the U.S. political establishment, the military's chain of command, and an already divided American public. Word of the atrocities did not reach the American public until November 1969, when journalist Seymour Hersh published a story detailing his conversations with a Vietnam veteran, Ron Ridenhour. Ridenhour learned of the events at My Lai from members of Charlie Company who had been there. Before speaking with Hersh, he had appealed to Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon to investigate the matter. The military investigation resulted in Calley's being charged with murder in September 1969 -- a full two months before the Hersh story hit the streets.

My Lai Massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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