October 12, 2004
Seymour Hersh spoke at Berkeley last Friday, October 8th. He told a story about recently receiving a call from an American lieutenant in Iraq who'd just witnessed other American soldiers killing non-combatant Iraqis.
I typed up what he said from the Real Video file here. The story begins at about 41:45.
UPDATE: I'm told Hersh has said much the same at other events, including this October 1 appearance on the Diane Rehm Show. I haven't listened to it myself, however.
HERSH: I got a call last week from a soldier -- it's different now, a lot of communication, 800 numbers. He's an American officer and he was in a unit halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border. It's a place where we claim we've done great work at cleaning out the insurgency. He was a platoon commander. First lieutenant, ROTC guy.
Posted at October 12, 2004 11:12 AM
It was a call about this. He had been bivouacing outside of town with his platoon. It was near, it was an agricultural area, and there was a granary around. And the guys that owned the granary, the Iraqis that owned the granary... It was an area that the insurgency had some control, but it was very quiet, it was not Fallujah. It was a town that was off the mainstream. Not much violence there. And his guys, the guys that owned the granary, had hired, my guess is from his language, I wasn't explicit -- we're talking not more than three dozen, thirty or so guards. Any kind of work people were dying to do. So Iraqis were guarding the granary. His troops were bivouaced, they were stationed there, they got to know everybody...
They were a couple weeks together, they knew each other. So orders came down from the generals in Baghdad, we want to clear the village, like in Samarra. And as he told the story, another platoon from his company came and executed all the guards, as his people were screaming, stop. And he said they just shot them one by one. He went nuts, and his soldiers went nuts. And he's hysterical. He's totally hysterical. And he went to the captain. He was a lieutenant, he went to the company captain. And the company captain said, "No, you don't understand. That's a kill. We got thirty-six insurgents."
You read those stories where the Americans, we take a city, we had a combat, a hundred and fifteen insurgents are killed. You read those stories. It's shades of Vietnam again, folks, body counts...
You know what I told him? I said, fella, I said: you've complained to the captain. He knows you think they committed murder. Your troops know their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Just shut up. Get through your tour and just shut up. You're going to get a bullet in the back. You don't need that. And that's where we are with this war.
How is it this story is just breaking? Four days later? Why isn't a huge deal being made out of this? I mean, it's Seymour Hersh for god's sake, not Drudge. This could be huge.
Anyone think we wouldn't hear this eventually?
Hersh may != Drudge but it always takes people (namely the rest of the media) some time to come around on his stories and admit to their credibility even though the same pattern has played out time and again since he broke My Lai.
Ya know. The Vietnamese never attacked us after the war (so far), and I wonder if we can presume that about the Iraqi. I wouldn't ask why.
OMG, just . . . OMG what the hell have we done. We got to get out of there NOW.
The story isn't breaking because Hersh lies like a rug so often that virtually no one takes him seriously anymore.
Robertson: Name three lies Hersh has told. I dare you. And back up your claims with proof.
Don't just do a standard GOP smear-and-run. Put up or shut up.
Sounds like a lot of BS to me. I listened to a good bit of the link provided. If this had *any* merit at all, the MSM would have picked this up and run with it.
They're more than willing to forge some documents in order to smear a sitting president, so I find it hard to believe that the MSM is just letting this "atrocity" go.
Sounds like a lot of BS to me. I listened to a good bit of the link provided. If this had *any* merit at all, the MSM would have picked this up and run with it.
They're more than willing to forge some documents in order to smear a sitting president, so I find it hard to believe that the MSM is just letting this "atrocity" go.
Gosh James, you're so-totally correct. That Sy Hersh, he always gets it wrong. Like that last total non-story about that rehabilitation center in Iraq that our Dear Leader spear headed. Hersh was way off on that one.
Just think about the advice that Sy Hersh gave that soldier. "You're going to get a bullet in the back. You don't need that."
Now don't you think Hersh understands that he's taking a risk, too? Why would he lie knowing what it would do to his credibility?
In my job I also have to be extremely careful about what I say. If I'm wrong about anything I will catch holy hell from people just waiting to point out any errors. Even when you are right you have to watch your back.
Kerry probably understood this in 1971. And is relearning it in 2004.
Hey, wait a minute - you say that Hersh said this at Berkeley last week?
Here is the link to the archived video:
I haven't gone through it yet, so I'll (for the moment) take your word on what he said. Hersh has done remarkable journalism throughout the Iraq debacle. But the charge that you're listing, saying he said is court-martial, Primetime stuff. It's the sort of thing that suggests that the curent commanders in the war on terror are causing us more problems. It's the sort of thing that suggests our American lives are being spent for nothing. And he DIDN'T put it in writing?
must wonder what Hersh, that bastion of truth, thinks he's doing by outing the story at a lecture but _not_ in the New Yorker....
p.s. give a trackback to escaton.
IdFaciam: "If this had *any* merit at all, the MSM would have picked this up and run with it"...
Id, IMHO the SCLM wouldn't recognize a good story if it jumped up and magically placed itself on their front page. They have given up on any pretense of doing the kind of investigative journalism for which Hersh rightly has become famous. The lamentable fact that the New York Times or some other lame, big media outlet hasn't picked this up says nothing about the veracity of the story. It says more about their inability to do the hard work involved in reporting.
Oh, and James, I believe you were asked to back up your ridiculous claim about Hersh a while back with some examples. When has he lied? That Abu Ghraib yarn of his certainly got some traction, didn't it... amazing that all you can do when faced with an unpleasant fact is slander the source.
30 executed. This would be shocking if the US hadn't already slaughtered atleast 15000 innocent Iraqis since the war started.
As US Secretary of State under Clinton, Mrs Albright commented that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children under US sanctions constituted a "price" worth paying.
Geez, and you idiots wonder why they hate America.
Quoted from report on Hersh's talk:
...There was more Ã¢â‚¬â€ rumors of atrocities around Iraq that to Hersh brought back memories of My Lai. In the evening's most emotional moment, Hersh talked about a call he had gotten from a first lieutenant in charge of a unit stationed halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border. His group was bivouacking outside of town in an agricultural area, and had hired 30 or so Iraqis to guard a local granary. A few weeks passed. They got to know the men they hired, and to like them. Then orders came down from Baghdad that the village would be "cleared." Another platoon from the soldier's company came and executed the Iraqi granary guards. All of them.
"He said they just shot them one by one. And his people, and he, and the villagers of course, went nuts," Hersh said quietly. "He was hysterical, totally hysterical. He went to the company captain, who said, 'No, you don't understand, that's a kill. We got 36 insurgents. Don't you read those stories when the Americans say we had a combat maneuver and 15 insurgents were killed?'
"It's shades of Vietnam again, folks: body counts," Hersh continued. "You know what I told him? I said, 'Fella, you blamed the captain, he knows that you think he committed murder, your troops know that their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Complete your tour. Just shut up! You're going to get a bullet in the back.' And that's where we are in this war."
The story seemed to leave Hersh sincerely, deeply saddened. While his critics may call him a "muckraker" and unpatriotic, on Friday night it was obvious that Hersh takes the crumbling of America's image, very, very personally.
"My parents were immigrants," Hersh said. "They came here because America meant somethingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the Statue of Liberty and all that stuff, because America always was this bastion of morality and integrity and a place for a fresh start. And it's right in front of us, not hidden, that they've taken this away from us."
And you know that lieutenant or another one like him is going to go back to America and tell the story, and earn the enmity of every supporter of the war from now until the day he dies. And he better not try running for President either.
Why hasn't Hersh or MSM written about this?
He has one source. An anonymous source.
His source has no protection and is at risk.
MSM will wait until the story BECOMES A STORY on Drudge, or a smaller paper, or an official press conference or on the blogs.
Guess which is most likely to happen? Yup. Blogs.
Raise the issue loudly enough and the MSM will cover it as controversial rumor AFTER it's been denied by officials. Just takes one reporter to get the denial. And then they'll be off and running with it...
Hersh hasn't written about this in the New Yorker because he DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH INDEPENDENT SOURCES. He is a JOURNALIST, an outdated concept in today's Drudgeworld. Don't count on Drudge to EVER tell you the truth about anything, by the way. He is not and never has been a Journalist. That's what Hersh is; don't confuse the two.
By the way wingnuts, name JUST ONE story that Hersh got wrong in his entire career. Just one.
You mean if you put large weapons in the hands of pissed off 20-somethings and tell them we were just attacked they aren't going to hand out cotten candy? Soldiers do their job. Their job is to kill. They are really good at it. Our job is to make sure they aren't let lose with out a damn good reason. We blew it. Not them.
Hey, when they took back Samarra last week, the hospital reports indicated 56% of the casualties were women and kids.
Why do you think the other city takebacks are postponed till after Election Day? The so-called 'collateral damage' if Bush gets re-elected is going to horrify all.
"If," Kevin? Sadly, I believe a lame-duck Bush administration will live up to its name by giving us a river of blood in November. If anything, it might be worse than if Kerry loses.
Responsiblity is on all of us!
A soldiers job is to fight, not necessarily kill. Otherwise we would have no conventions stating rules for the fight. But killing unarmed non-hostile persons is murder; it disgusting to do it indescriminately from the ambiguity of 3000ft; but face to face? I can't get the picture this picture out of my head: 100 jewish women and children being chased into a ravine; a young 20 year old soldier is smiling while one of his Lt.'s walks among the murdered, finishing the job his orders started. Is this where our military is going to be in 8 years?
If our soldiers aren't responsible for their actions, are we vindicating the 20 year old SS soldiers in the Ukraine and Poland? "Just following orders" is not a defense. Peer pressure and group think does not absolve anyone of morals. We need to drop the pretense that being in "harms way" removes the necessity for morals and restraint. We must have ZERO tolerance for summary executions; ZERO tolerance for officers who cannot maintain civility among their ranks. If not, then we should bring out the Death's Head; hand out the leather and turn up the volume; because Nazi SS uniforms look a hell of a lot meaner than techno green jumpsuits.
To hell with the media, I am contacting my congressman directly and asking him what he thinks about summary executions of unarmed men in Iraq.
This story was one of the most sobering parts of the evening. But even worse was his speculation of what will happen if Bush wins. He said European foreign ministers are ready to take control away from the U.S. He was vague -- he didn't specifically mention military, economic policy, or trade threats -- but he said they could become a "very violent" bloc of opposition.
The same day, I had lunch with a well respected private investigator who has done a lot of work in Russia recently. He said there are a lot of people there girding for when Russia is an enemy of the U.S. again, and Russia is under a new dictatorship. Apparently there are plenty of vested interests that would benefit from such a situation.
oh well, I guess we all knew this was coming.
I am downloading the RealMedia version of this and will make it available in a non-streaming format on the ed2k network.
Search for Seymour AND Hersh AND Berkeley
If I can, I will convert it to AVI also; that is something that sometimes works and sometimes does not.
It will definitely not be available before 10 pm EDT 10/12/04
MSM is right-wing for SCLM, meaning the same group of hirelings of fortune 20 corporations. (MainStreamMedia=SoCalledLiberalMedia)
Free Clue: the newsotainment business doesn't run on selling truth. The populace is always the last to know. Significant parts of the populace never find out.
The story isn't breaking because Hersh lies like a rug so often that virtually no one takes him seriously anymore.
Posted by: James Robertson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at October 12, 2004 01:58 PM
What an amazingly tiny world, full of known toads like Robertson.
There must be a media Hersh can send this to - PBS Lehrer? ABC Nightline? Hersh has credibility - If the media doesn't want this info, they are being whores.
In any case, I hope the blogs keep it up front.
He is already using all his credibility, he is telling this everywhere, he's a journalist running around supporting Kerry and shouting that he's afraid of the things this amdinistration is doing.
Do you know what this means for a journalist ?
And he can't prove this story there !!!! are no more western journalists out there alone !!!!! . None !!!
Sy broke the story about the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam, where U.S. soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians. Repugnicans tried to smear him back then too, but he war right. As far as I'm concerned, the burden of proof is to show this DIDN'T happen.
Hey!! Where did James go?
Has Mr. Robertson come up with his three false stories from Hersh, yet?
He may not have the extra corroboration to actually print it, he may be protecting his source's life, but it's not the only story like this. I remember reading about US soldiers destroying an Iraqui family's grove of trees [lemon?] because they didn't get info they wanted from them, probably info they didn't have. It was like the Israelis bulldozing olive trees of Palestinians. Only AMericans doing it to Iraquis. Hearts and minds lost there for sure.
THe wedding bombing a few months ago; the bombing civilians 'oh dude' video this week; the Abu Graib torture etc. The mistaken house to house invasions/ arrests. It's more widespread than a single story.
This war is lost already. Nobody trusts us to liberate them. It's all a sham. Too bad Kerry won't/can't admit it: Too many American parents need to believe that their kids are fighting/dying for a 'good' cause.
This isn't being brought up for the same reason that Abu Ghraib isn't being brought up much in this election; because both sides know that if they bring it up they just won't please anybody -- even if what they say is true -- and that the american people don't like to know the horrible things done in their name.
It just won't make them vote for you if you tell them that...
More on Hersh at UCB:
Having just someone tell Hersh something from the other end of the phone does not quality as proof sufficient to publish. I would not put it beyond the Reptiles to try to cook up something to take Hersh down. Such a rush to news is what cooked Dan Rather's goose.
When Hersh says - someone called me and told me such and such, I have little doubt that he is narrating the truth. To say such events actually happened needs much more careful fact checking.
nice story about Hersh and the whole interview at Berkeley here:
Those who back Bushit and his Iraq war should put their asses where their brave mouths are: enlist, and insist upon being sent to Iraq.
Otherwise: I am beyond fed up with the Republican't/wingnut vermin who are so absolutely ignorant of the Constitution that they spit on it without knowing. Bushit is _not_ legally president -- _read_ the Constitution for the first time in your brainfried life.
It's just hearsay at this point, and the best thing anyone here could do is try to track down verification.
Blindly accepting something someone says is as bad as blindly refuting it.
What's the "oh dude" video? Can someone post/send me a link?
Don't spend a lot of time depending on PBS, they sold out too. They even let(forced?) Bill Moyers leave.
One of the items of fallout from My Lai was Congressional legislation defining what "illegal orders" are, requiring soldiers be trained to recognize illegal orders, and REQUIRING soldiers to disobey them. Under the terms of this law, the soldiers who murdered the Iraqis and their commanding officers are indeed culpable.
I'm still hoping this is a nightmare I wake up from. I keep hoping, as Arun suggested, it's just something the Righties cooked up to bring Hersh down. But my gut instinct is that it isn't.
One of the items of fallout from My Lai was Congressional legislation defining what "illegal orders" are, requiring that basic training include recognition of illegal orders, and REQUIRING soldiers to disobey them. So under the terms of this law, the soldiers who murdered the Iraqis, and their commanding officers, are indeed culpable.
I'm hoping that this is a nightmare I wake up from. I keep hoping that, as Arun suggested, it's just something cooked up by the Righties to embarrass Hersh. But my gut feeling is that it isn't.
1) Look here:
Eventually, you start to notice that all of his sources are anonymous - and no one else can verify his claims. I'm sure that I could come up with some pretty wild stories on any subject I chose if I were willing to just invent sources....
The duty of an American soldier is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. No US soldier has an obligation to follow illegal orders and, as was pointed out above, is obligated to defy such orders. Understanding that the practical realities on the ground put GI's in an impossible circumstance the actual fault and crime lies with those in command--not just on the ground but all the way to the top. It is not at all difficult to believe that American soliders are committing atrocities daily in Iraq given their fantasy mission. The soldiers are not monsters anymore than the average German army soldier was a monster. But they are serving monsters and doing their bidding so commit monsterous acts. As in Vietnam, it will take years and many thousands of deaths before the regular grunts on the ground become vocal with respect to the atrocities being committed in Iraq. For now, we must simply hold the chief war criminals accountable while we still can. Do everything in your power to see that Bush is defeated on election day. It is our only hope!
Boy, this sure seems like another dirty tricks effort to create another Rathergate. Crush Hersh's credibility before Bush heads into a second term and the war really goes to hell.
Mr. Robertson, your three lies, please.
Sy Hersch is a hero. Those who say otherwise are either uniformed, stupid or Republican.
I bet I can guess which three you are.
Well, I just read Mr. Robertson's first proposed link, the properly called "Mudville Gazette". You, Mr. Robertson, seem to believe that all it takes to prove that something is a lie, is to call it a lie. The editor of the Gazette is not giving us any facts: he's simply breaking down the interview and inserting comments where he pleases. Of course, that's easy to do. I could do it with pretty much anything that is written these days...
And, I don't see how even those comments prove the Abu Ghraib story wrong. Are you really going to tell us that Abu Ghraib never happened???
Good advice Hersch. Shut the fu** up and keep your ass down. They're going to frag you, Lt. if you make a stink about this. This sucks!
The thing everyone seems to be missing...
Whether Hersch is correct, or incoorrect on this particular story, he has MORE than enough credibility that there ought to be a push for a real investigation. One that is more than the usual "hey...we'll get back to you on that." followed by "was ruled to be within our rules of engagement" after.
I mean a REAL investigation. If you think the story is NOT credible you ought to be just as much for it as the person that thinks it is true.
Arguments that Hersch "never gets the story wrong" don't matter (for one, this wasn't a story) just as opinions that Hersch is a muckraker don't matter. He has integrity and is a proffessional. He is making a claim and it ought to be followed up by a real investigation.
Oh yeah...and up until that happens THIS IS STILL NEWS and ought to be reported as such by the media.
I read the batch of links from Mr Robertson. The first was insignificant, but the latter two are certainly of interest to us, I think.
I'll certainly follow up on the more serious allegations about Hersh mentioned in the articles, especially those regarding the use of conman sources, though I don't take the last writer's points about Hersh being reflexively anti-American or anti-Semitic for reporting dire things about America or Israel's leaders.
And I thought it quite comic when the last writer said Hersh's first job was run by The Movement of the 60s. Like there was one nefarious bunch in charge of the 60s that decided who got work for obscure press services.
But I hope for our sakes and the sakes of those Iraqis that the story Hersh told was bunk. Chances are, though, that we'll never find out.
If you think that the situation in Iraq is bad wait until the GOP forms an unholy alliance with the private security firms in an attempt to hold on to power. IMHO the Administration is doing its best to destroy the regular Army and reduce it to mere technicians. A long protracted war that ruins the military would suit them just fine. The emergence of the private security firms is a direct threat to democracy -- they take no pledge of allegiance.
"He said European foreign ministers are ready to take control away from the U.S. He was vague -- he didn't specifically mention military, economic policy, or trade threats -- but he said they could become a "very violent" bloc of opposition."
The EU already has a GDP $100 billion more than the US, and the Euro is cooking. Germany has completed the worst part of its reunification and the German/French axis is talking very closely with Russia.
Believe it boyo - the EU is already the world's economic superpower. Running a $475 billion deficit is not going to help the US face off against it, especially if countries start using the Euro as a second world fiat currency. Russia has already mentioned trading its oil reserves in Euros... (goes looking for the link...)
"The demand for dollars has also enabled Washington to fund the federal budget deficits of the past because foreigners have used the dollars they own to purchase U.S. Treasury securities. With so many dollars in use for so many international transactions, parking some of those dollars back in the United States in the form of U.S. government securities for a period of time has usually seemed the safest, easiest, and most logical way of putting one’s cash to work.
But a number of European newspapers, including the London Observer, have pointed out that the world has been slowly shifting into an alternative currency to use for international transactions: the euro. Not long ago, the Iraqi government made it official policy that Iraqi oil, two-thirds of which is purchased by American oil companies, had to be paid for in euros.
Last year, a senior Iranian oil representative suggested in a speech in Europe that European oil purchases might be increasingly traded in euros in the future. China and Russia have hinted that they may begin to hold more of their foreign currency reserve assets in euros in place of dollars.
If the euro were to increasingly become the alternative international currency of choice in competition with the dollar, the global demand for greenbacks would fall, the value of the dollar would decline, and the U.S. government would find it far more difficult both to export inflation and to finance its budget deficits. The financial clout and muscle of the American government would be dramatically undermined over time with the dollar increasingly no longer the only global reserve currency in town."
(and yes, I know who this webwsite is run by!)
There is an argument that the Iraq War was all about a warning to countries not to dump the dollar as the only oil currency - it was a shot across Europe's bow.
Mr. Robertson got the denunciations of Sy Hersh from jonathanpollard.com. Do you guys remember who Jonathan Pollard was? He was a US citizen who sold secrets to Israel. He was convicted of treason and he is serving a life sentence. Surely his website is not the place to go to find out what Sy Hersh is really all about? Why trust a convicted traitor?
Sy Hersh is one of the few Investigative reporters left who has not sold out to corporate pressure. This man does not print lies. He is ethical and principled, which is more than we can say for most of the MSM.
But, here is what is truly frightening, This whole story could air tonight right before the debates, and I seriously doubt that it would change one mind of a Bush voter. The people who are such rabid Bush supporters do not care how many Iraqis die, because they do not see them as human. This is the really horrifying thing in all of this. There has never been a war in which this kind of thing has not happened, the mass and intentional killing of innocents or prisoners
Even in WWII, German prisoners of war were, sometimes, shot rather than taken back to be held as POWs simply because it was easier. We can make war rules til hell won't have it, and there will still be horrors like this.That is war. That is why we should never, ever enter in to war lightly, and only as a last resort.
Still, what concerns me the most, is that we have fellow countrymen and women who would not be horrofied by this at all. That is what makes me question whether this country has really become a hopeless, degraded antithesis to everything which it has always claimed as its principles and values as a nation.
Hmm.. Robertson's examples of Hersh's "lies" appear to consist entirely of bizarre reactionary polemics against Seymour Hersh. None of them really point out any legitimate account of a "lie" or conscious untruth in Hersh's work.
I think that the fact that such utterly weak examples are the best evidence that Robertson is able to come up with, even given several days to try, speaks volumes about just how poorly thought out and, indeed, baseless, his earlier accusations re: Hersh "lying like a rug" are.
"Still, what concerns me the most, is that we have fellow countrymen and women who would not be horrofied by this at all. That is what makes me question whether this country has really become a hopeless, degraded antithesis to everything which it has always claimed as its principles and values as a nation".
This statement gets right to the core of our problems in this country. Just how do our fellow Americans justify their support for these kinds of actions that Hersch has uncovered (if true)? Or other similar actions that have already been proven?
The same may be asked about how they continue to support a president that has with his actions taken so many positions that are so bad for most everyday Americans?
So here's my problem. What do we do if (please God and Heaven forbid) this madman bush is elected in November? All of these misguided Americans who follow him will then get the crazy idea that what they support has somehow been justified. How do we deal with them then?
I refuse to support this ideology and I will not ever be made to support it. Unlike this president and many of his supporters I have morals. I don't need to go to church and pretend that I have morals or be told that I have morals by some false prophet. I don't need to be convinced that I am right or that I should turn the other way and endure. Why do so many of my fellow Americans find it so easy to take the way of evil disguised as good? When told of evil they hide and/or deny.
Someone needs to save our country from this fate that bush and his cohorts seems hell bent (no pun intended) on taking us to.
John Kerry is at least a step in the right direction. He proved he has real morals by the actions that he took after he returned from the last immoral war our fearless leader took us to.
No one agrees with anyone 100% of the time but at least most of us know that John Kerry will take us back towards the center and help steady us.
George W.isforWRONG Bush will not do that.
P.S. Algie, that was so funny what you wrote to Robertson (and so true).
It is up to you, the American people to make sure this cowboy of your does not get another free ride to the white house for another term. I dont imagine Kerry being a great deal better, since he passed every bill put forth by the Bush administration, but he may prove to be a lesser idiot.
It's amazing with everything going on today in the world, with all the advancements and breakthru's, that we have people so ignorent of their surroundings, not able to decipher truth from lies, man, the general public is at its lowest in terms of common intelligence. It seems like everyone is CNNized to simply listen and believe, let someone else do the thinking for you, just nod in obedience and agreement. It makes me sick...
I love this site, keep the info coming, this is helping me out a great deal for my research study.
...and if anyone wonders why the Army has put out a call for more psychiatrists and psychologists, the answer is no doubt in the article. Most of our soldiers learned from an early age, at least in school, that harming another individual was never acceptable. Regardless of what the Army has drilled into our armed forces, these guys will return to their root thinking from early training as children... and when that happens, the mental torture begins for them. Much has been written about our returning Vietnam Vets in respect to this.
It's an obvious consequence of piece work that the workers benefit from turning out lots of garbage, rather than a smaller amount of good work. Therefore, whenever you start measuring "success" by body counts, civilians will be massacred.
The repuglicans got all their ducks in a row starting from way back. They have never gotten over the deposing of Nixon. They made certain that it could never happen again. The most important maneuvering they did was to get a certain amount of control over the media and tell you in your face that the media is liberal. Gradually, the media became a megaphone for the republicans. Need I remind you of how the media nearly brought down President Clinton with the direction of the republicans? The media took on a personna of "you lie, and we'll swear to it." We have a corporate media and a corporate government. Collectively, they are one and the same. To the republicans, that's like winning the lottery. Did any of the media question Bush on his hurry to invade Iraq? No. In fact, they printed and touted every lie that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell spewed. The corporately owned media has blood all over their hands and I hold them just as complicit in the colossal Iraqi killings as I do the blood-thirsty, greedy Bush people. So, when you practically own the media outlets, you can tell Americans anything and they become WE THE SHEEPLE! It's called national brain washing, Jimboy. It's the method Hitler and his cronies used in Nazi Germany... ruling through fear. Yep, we're all supposed to be afraid to vote for Kerry because we've been brainwashed into thinking that this administration is the only one that can protect us. Umm-a, speaking of protecting us, who's watch did 9/11 happen on again? Wasn't it the Bush administration who received a memo with the title of, "Bin Ladin determined to strike the US?" And wasn't it the Bushits who totally ignored it? How about the blatant ignoring of the Hart/Rudman report that took two years to write? The report was pretty much about the vulnerability of the US to terrorism and what should be done about it. The Bushits considered it ABC... anybody but clinton. They put the report on a shelf to gather dust and refused to look at it even when Hart frantically and practically got down on his knees pleading to Bush and Cheney to do so.
The information we have gotten comes from the scant independent media and it isn't pretty. But what about Americans who do not have access to independent media or Americans who do not have time to seek out the truth? JimBoy, those are the people you see... the brainwashed, the zombies, the yes people, the Bush people, the people who appear to be in Oz.
Why bother reporting Hersh's "story"? The Bush boys in charge would deny it and the major media would then be afraid to continue. Face it folks, fear is the medium now.
Hersh's article output has been pretty quiet recently; I suspect he's taking a break after getting his book out. However, I wouldn't be suprised if in the next couple of weeks we get another bombshell along these lines in the New Yorker. If he's telling one story like this publically, there's probably another ten he's not telling. Also, I wouldn't assume that he isn't trying to look into this -- fact-checking takes time and the New Yorker's fact checkers are very stringent. If anyone has the nose for a good story, it's Hersh, and I'll bet he's pursuing this story or others like it for publication.
'Do you guys remember who Jonathan Pollard was? He was a US citizen who sold secrets to Israel. He was convicted of treason and he is serving a life sentence. Surely his website is not the place to go to find out what Sy Hersh is really all about? Why trust a convicted traitor?'
Not only that, but Hersh wrote a scathing piece about Pollard a few years back about various efforts to get him released from prison. In the piece, Hersh detailed all the very sensitive types of data (without giving any of that data away, of course) that was passed to the Israelis by Pollard. He quoted numerous sources in the intelligence community who were apoplectic about the possible release of Pollard. And all this was during the Clinton administration, where Clinton was the President who was considering Pollard's release.
Reading Pollard on Hersh is like reading Richard Perle on Hersh -- both will tell you that Hersh is the worst reporter ever, or that he's "a terrorist" (to paraphrase Perle). Mr. Pollard gave away some very important secrets, and these secrets probably ended up in the hands of the Soviets (via the Israelis).
It took Hersh, a newspaper journalist, to unravel My Lai and Abu Graib, and now it looks likes he's finding out what's really going in Iraq.
Just as in Vietnam, the national media refuses to step up to the plate and make our military and our government accountable in time of war.
Did I say National Media? I meant... Corporate-Military-Media Complex.
Thank god for the few real voices in the media wilderness - like Hersh, Amy Goodman, Michael Moore, Chomsky.
Did anyone ever teach our children in school about the travesty that was Vietnam? Somehwere along the way, people grew up not to care. If was a high school history teacher, you can rest assured I would be screening PBS's multipart documentary "Vietnam: A Television History" to all my students.
Sigh, anyone want to move to Sweden with me?
Thank you for the post. I am not shocked. All wars have had their atrocities. Some worse than others, and usually done by either side. The degree of each usually is affected by those that commit them - ruthless leaders tend to perform more ruthless atrocities (or their members) than those of their opposition, such as the US, but it has never excluded atrocities from occurring on both sides.
Is their an advantage to bringing this up in public? Is their an advantage to find the truth? Is their an advantage to charging those that commit them? I know it would make me feel better and sleep better but it will not stop it from occurring.
Ultimately - if war is to happen so will the nightmares, the back biting, Corporate Controlled Media will give us what we want to hear, not what is really happening. Think about reading this in the newspaper, and we would hear comments about how bad it was it happened, but by day 2 or 3, the reader won't be able to tell you what town, or how many died. Because we do not want to hear about the fighting, only the war in general and the score - how many of us vs.. how many of them.
War with Iraq was inevitable. It might not have been us, or us and a few of them, or an entire world against 1 country, but the atrocities will not go away. Kerry can come to office, or Gore could have been in office, and that means we would still be waiting on the UN to ACT against Saddam. But our children would be alive and that would make us happy, and there would be no atrocities.
Wrong - Saddam would be committing atrocities against his own people and while Iraq is losing innocent people now, how many would they loose if we had not intervened. So it goes to show you - BOTH sides are right. We need to decide in this country if we stand against atrocity, and if we do how can we be prevented from committing them ourselves. It is clear that the only way to prevent our people from committing them is not to send troops to war - let others do that, but sit back and beat them to death with sanctions, blockades, etc...
Is that too an atrocity - starving a nation, of food, energy, and economy. Do people not die when they do not eat. Even Sweden commits such atrocities by doing nothing and not being involved. Folks - there is no easy answer except to PEACE. Peace cannot be accomplished with out diplomacy, sanctions, control, or war, each providing its own form of atrocities. There is no clear answer on how to reach peace without casualties. When and if you can find that way, then we have a good cause to complain, stamp our feet, and do something. Meanwhile we must sit back and pray that our leaders take us to Peace on road that will have fewer atrocities than any other.
The thing I find most significant in this whole story is the same thing that is important thing new about Abu Ghraib is the first two sentences.
"HERSH: I got a call last week from a soldier -- it's different now, a lot of communication, 800 numbers. He's an American officer and he was in a unit halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border."
I am a journalist, and am acquainted with Sy Hersh. It is unfortunate that so many of these posts reflect a naivete about the media. So many are either shocked no major outlets are running with this, offended that Hersh is not publishing the story, or convinced it is not true since no one is running it. Wise up, please! Today's media will generally only run a story like this until it is safely in the distant past, and only after they have checked with military brass that they can run it.
Sy is one of the greatest reporters of all time, his sources are second to none, and you will learn more about how the military and government operate at one of his talks than you can in a year of graduate classes at Berkeley. Try to just listen and learn, and appreciate the implications of what the man is trying to tell you. Including the significance of what he told the soldier: 'just shut up.' If you feel passonate about what's going on over there, than now is the time to raise hell over here.
Mark Adams and others are right.
We have to get out NOW, not John Kerry's four years from now or George Bush's whenever.
Vote your conscience.
James Robinson, the war in Iraq was NOT necessary. Get a clue.
Hersh is always on point.
Noticed a lot of people support the pull out right now line of thinking. Unfortunately there already far too many hands in the pot, especially in Kurdistan, for us to leave without having to go back in. Turkey, Syria, and Iran all have Kurdish problems right now. And Israel has a stake in the Kurds too. Nevermind the Shia-Iran axis or the fact that Israel just bought 500 bunker buster's just as Iran advances its nuclear program.
Also, the Sunni ruled Iraq since Ottoman times. They also are the one group that doesn't sit on any oil. But the most educated and wealthiest people in Iraqi society. Anbar offers little sign of cooling down. There is no way that the Sunni problem will be solved by January.
It's safe to say that if the US opened a power vaccum in Iraq civil war would break out. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria would pick their horses, as would Israel, Turkey and the US. That cocktail has all the makings of a World War.
It's the perfect quagmire. And a lot more people are going to die.
Steve: Just curious. How does voting Green get us out now? (Assuming, that is, that you only get as Green votes the people who might potentially vote Green?)
As for why this hasn't been "reported"... I doubt Hersh was very surprised by the story -- probably more hurt. Remember that he was a soldier himself, and that he spent a lot of time on the ground in Vietnam. He's telling this young ROTC Lt. that his own life has to come first, as hard as that is to think about when you've just had your moral world turned on its head.
What's so offensive to me about this -- aside from the casual disregard for human life -- is the fact that we are sowing the seeds for the moral destruction of a generation. We're setting the stage for a decline in our field forces into depravity.
The message of the Bushite regime is quite simple, but it's in code -- you have to look at the consequences, not at the words themselves. The message is: "The strong deserve to rule. So let's keep America strong." That's a profoundly amoral view, and in practice, it's a view that's corrosive to small-unit discipline. Think about it: In those small units -- in any small, committed group of people -- what keeps you together and "on message" is your loyalty to one another, and "the strong deserve to rule" is just about the quickest way to erode that.
On the "Oh dude" video, how are we supposed to tell that those are civilians and not enemy troops or some such? None of the dialog in the video seems to point in either direction. Is there a link to additional information regarding the video?
I don't know if you all remember, but a while back, when most European medias reporters(and any non-embedded reporter) were treaten by the US ground forces into leaving Faluja. They were told that they themselves would be targeted if they stayed, this was not earsay. They were told directly by US TROUPS. I don't recall seeing anything in this regard in the US MSM, but it was all over the globe.
That fact alone push me to support someone in this blog who mentionned that it is up to the chain of command to prove, and I mean PROVE (as in the dictionary) that this didn't happen.
The only possible explanation for that kind of conduct is to keep the world uninformed.
I hope nobody is foolish enough to tell me that they treaten journalist in order to protect them or something of that nature.
We showed cockpit video of an American F16 jet bombing a crowd of people on a street in Fallujah, west of Baghdad. We now know the date - Saturday April 10th.
The US military is asking the world to believe that is just what happened here.
We've shown this video to two leading defence experts in London - neither accepts that this crowd is behaving as an offensive military force.
Those who were in Fallujah at the time say if insurgents had behaved like this it would be an act of mass suicide.
"They know themselves they have simple weapons. So actually they use these by hiding in places, fighting or firing behind walls and trying to stand between the houses. They never ever put themselves in front of the Americans because they know that the Americans have big military forces"
Dr Salem Ismael, Doctors for Iraqi Society
When we asked the US military in Baghdad if they could explain this, Lt Col Boylan emailed:
"I cannot give any explanation...we see people making what we would consider to be tactical errors all the time"
[like sleeping in homes where bombs would show up in the middle of the night, or going to kebab joints americans do not like]
To James: "All his sources are anonymous-and no one else can verify his claims."?!? Seems very different in the cases of My Lai and Abu Graib, for a start.
As for can US soldiers participate in executions, you all should take a look at this:
If you can, watch Link TV once in a while, especially Mosaic, a daily compendium of news from TV stations in the MidEast. Really opens up your eyes...
In the category of "We're only committing atrocities to stop atrocities. They're pretty nice atrocities, in a relative way. And besides, you can't really judge atrocities. Unless you're an American. And then you know. That the other guy's atrocities are worse. Or they would've been. Or, they were. Or whatever. Just don't worry about a thing we're doing the right thing alright?"...
Greg McAllister, claim your prize.
Here is another link that makes me mad at our current administration:
Think about it--these guys were all released recently from Gitmo. Yet they got to spend a couple of years there, in a cell the size of a king-sized mattress. Are we as a nation to be proud of this? Or this?:http://www.lex18.com/Global/story.asp?S=1891343&nav=EQlpNN9R
If you're puzzled over how so many Americans can blindly follow what their leaders tell them, you might get some answers from the following book
The author does tend to ramble and meander a bit, but the quality of his research is second to none.
Subjugation begins in the classroom.
What kind of grainery is it that employs just 35 guards in the middle of a rural area? This sounds like a huge operation for a dry region like that, and makes little sense. Why is the Lieutenant not more specific?
Why is Hersh saying that some platoon just walks in and starts executing these guards in cold blood? Does not make sense. Why are they not providing more details - I mean the Lieutenant has already been identified for all practical purposes.
This story is very fishy. Could it be that the guards who by law are prohibited from carrying weapons, decided to duke it out with the UN mandated authorities, in order to remain in control of that area? That it was a firefight to establish authority?
I dont believe an iota that the platoon somehow disarmed the 35 guards and then proceeded to shoot them in cold blood. No credible evidence has been presented.
Actually, it's quite simple to disarm 35 hired guards when you're the occupying army.
You simply tell them to drop their weapons. They'd have to have a death wish to disobey.
35 guards in a place like iraq is rather common. Heck there are 3 or 4 guards in a single living building in most Arab countries. And except in places like Iraq most guards do not actually carry weapons. They are also part time sweepers and cleaners. Not surprising there are 50 people just guarding a granary and looking after it. Most of it is manually done so there would also be a few hundred employees and it would also be a rather huge area where grain is collected and dumped.
Heck we have video footage of people being dismembered... Who were no threat what so ever and you have the gaul to say you dont believe it. Of course you dont believe it. Nazi's never believed they were ever hurting the Jews. They were helping them to lead productive lives by learning new disciplines and skills in those work camps.
Oh yea, There once were 3 men who were bound and on the ground laying face down. Another group burst into the same house from the back and opened fire. The guys in front shot the 3 Iraqi's who were bound and on the ground dead before they went back in to check. The family was offered 500 bucks after 6 months (hey make that 3 tents and a goat) for it. You can find it with google if you look long and deep enough. So much for no cold blooded murders taking place.
1. PBS does not stand for Public Broadcasting Station. IT is an acronym for Petroleum Based Station.
2. Today's mainstream media are bought and paid for, news is not really news. Thomas Jefferson wrote of problems with manipulation of the media in his time. Read books that have his letters in them.
3. Read or re-read Orwell's 2 books:
1984 and Animal Farm. These are our times, but they are not new. Disturbing, very disturbing and shameful, and we must correct this.
4. See the website for Soldiers for the Truth, particularly this story:
5. Use your freedom of speech so that you don't lose it. Blogging, talking, protesting, highway blogging, art whatever. Leave stickers or postcards out to be seen.
great link. one of the best things i have seen on the internet(s) in a long while...
As an expat American living in Australia, I can only hang my head at the horrors that have taken place since 9/11 and the absolute bastardry of this administration for exploiting the fears of the American people to achieve their own selfish and immoral ideological ends. Our once great country with its noble ideals and principals is falling, while religious bigots and conservatives dance to the death knell.The rest of the world views us with suspicion, fear and often hatred.
Its easy to make up hate stories that a platoon of US Marines disarmed 35 Iraqi guards (and of course not children killing Islamofascists), and then proceeded to shoot them in cold blood (instead of dispatching them to prison).
The burden of proof, as always, rests with the claimant. So far no Islamofascist supporter here, nor Hersh, nor Lieutenant X, have provided any substantiating evidence.
Fortunately, there are people on this and other blogs, who have respect for the truth. Propaganda does not go very far on the Internet, thankfully.
While you may question the veracity of Seymor's account of the killing of the guards incident, you have to realise that his history of truth telling give him a lot of credibility. Ya know, wait and watch and see how this insurgency goes.
From the sullen skies of Vietnam, I am yours in witness, plus the rancid putridness of soggy body bags in sweltering heat, I might add.
What did you expect? Anyone who was in Nam knows this is how wars are fought. War is about us versus everyone else.
Come on! Whether such a massacre occurred or not is beside the point. (Hersch probably is fishing around for fame again.) We already know how modern massacres are conducted by nations with advanced militaries: from the air. Our precision-guided weaponry has already precisely killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqi innocents. Remember, precision doesn't mean the weapon destroys only the target--or that the target should, in fact, be a target. It means that it takes fewer rounds/shells to destroy said target. Much collateral damage will still occur if non-targets are near the target. However, the unidentifiability of the attacker--who generally attacks from a distance and at a speed too great for his specific identity to be discerned by the attacked--as well as the evidence-erasing destruction and lack of legal recourse ensure that no prosecutable war crimes will be committed. Why have a platoon do up close and personal--and at risk of documentation--what an A-10 or a helicopter could do better from a half-mile away? Sheesh! Lefty rubes will be the death of liberalism.
WOW ! What a site, and boy, are the correspondents HOT !
Let's face it people, the U.S. citizens, as well as the Brits and the silly bloody Aussies, have been suckered in BIG TIME , on this issue of Iraq.
I have to comment on Greg McAllister's comment, specificaly where he claims, "THIS WAR WITH IRAQ WAS INEVIABLE".
Excuse me ???????? INEVITABLE ? Please Greg, could you explain to us, your reasoning for this conclusion ?
There's so much evidance coming out these days, that Iraq was a spent force and literaly on the seat of it's pants, how could any country pose a threat to anyone in such a position ?
Their military was shot to shit, as was their command structure, their materiale was also nonexistant, their infrastructure was falling apart due to the sanctions imposed,the country was falling apart, and in good old Aussie slang, held together with fencing wire.
I'm, really curious as hell, how a country in such a position, could be perceived as threatening to the U.S. or anyone else for that matter.
Let's face it people, cut out the BULLSHIT we've been fed in major doses, and what do we find as the bottom line for this illegal invasion of Iraq, and the murder of it's citizens ?
Forget the crap you've been fed regarding DEMOCRACY, though how anyone can still believe that crap is beyond me, especially when the Govt is installed and supported by the U.S. Military, take them away, and you'll quickly see how genuine that DEMOCRACY is.
(I'm a Vietnam Vet and I personly experienced TWO such so called DEMOCRATIC elections in Vietnam, and I can tell you, that version of DEMOCRACY was nothing like the version the dictionary tells us DEMOCRACY is supposed to be, and any Vietnamese who lived thru that period, will gladly relate to anyone who'll listen, what DEMOCRATIC rights they were given (NOT) at the time. )
And you can forget about the SADDAM crap as well, NOT ONE U.S. citizen, SHED ONE TINY TEAR, for any of his alleged victims, when he was doing their BIDDING, in fact they were tripping all over themselves to assist him.
So why, after all these years, has the U.S. all of a sudden got a consience ?
So what really is the bottom line for this idiotic action on behalf of the U.S. and it's citizens ?
Could it be so simply as COLONIALISM ? POWER, CONTROL OF OIL ?
Funny thing about the Yanks, many of them are now beginning to realise what W.A.R. really means, and it just may call on each individual, to place their own precious arses on the line.
Such a commitment is sure to clarify things lickety spit, so now we have a considerable number of U.S. citizens beginning to see the wood for the trees, if we can believe a tiny portion of these posts.
BUT, what of the mums and dads that have investments in the manufacturing industries of the military equipment ??????????
Are they also, waking up, and beginning to see the wood for the trees ???? I doubt it.
Only recently I read that the manufacture of small arms amunition is being upgraded to TWO such facilities and BOTH will be working 3 shifts around the clock, simply to keep up with the CURRENT demand. HEY, WAR's bloody good for business.
From my perspective, the only TWO comments here, worth anything, are the ones written by TRAM and seagullist.
They have managed to cut out the bullshit and hit the nail right on the head.
America's biggest problem, is NOT it's ADMINISTRATION or it's parties, the biggest and weakest link in America today, is it's PEOPLE.
Who no longer hold dear the values of old, who have lost their way and wallow in their selfish self concerned interests.
We need look no further, then the attitude Iraqis lives are meaningless compared to U.S. lives.
Says it all doesn't it ? And you can't lay that at the feet of your idiot at the Whitehouse either, check out your MIRRORS people, therein you will find one tiny link to the malaise that the U.S. suffers from this day.
So where has James Robinson been?
[crickets]chirp chirp chirp chirp.... [/crickets]
You know...After serving in the first Gulf was and then in Afganistan and Iraq once again. I don't give much credit to the journalists any more.
Specially Sy Hersch. I've met the man and consider him to be very slimmie to say the least. When facts were presented to him he would twist any truth out of it and throw it aside.
How's he getting all his info anyway. Most of the Journalist are all hold up in Baghdad any way. They hardly ever leave there compounds. And what information they do get is usually from soldiers making up stories trying to get attention.
Because they can't have there way.
Lets talk about all the good points right don't you...It seems that all you journalist want is sorrow and havic. And we're not doing a fast enough job.
Give me a break...If you even had one ounce of common sense you would understand everything takes time. Lets talk about the facts shall we...Oh I forgot Journalists like Sy Hersch don't like to talk about the real facts. Things that pretain to the good we've done.
This incident sounds like something that Sadam did before we showed...Hmm...Sounds like a story that happened in Kuwait actually... Where soldiers from the Iraq Army befriended some Kuwaities just before Sudam sent them in to loot the country.
I'm not surprised that Sy Hersch would turn this around and claim we did it...So that he can be popular once again...Its called grasping for straws...And he the biggest grasper to date...
Don't always believe what you hear. As a former Army officer I fully realize the politics permeating within in the military and the very realistic need for some young inexperienced individual to try and obtain the spotlight. Right or wrong non-combatants are harmed in war. Mistaken identities, misplaced fire power, and an overwhelming amount of adrenalin happen and will continue to happen in war. Once we left the barbaric periods where by the sword and the shield were the means to attack an enemy thus forcing opponentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s to be face to face, errors happen. I do not condone acts of total disregard for human life has unfortunately happened in all previous wars by all members involved. But, one has to remember (for those who have not experienced the horror and fear of war or other bodily endangering experience it will be almost impossible) a mind becomes extremely stressed and needs release. Our best approach to handling this is to re-examine our faith (which many have forsaken) and hold on to our honor and beliefs. This more than anything a soldier will tell you is what allows them to keep going and hold on to his sanity. We need to get over our better than though liberalist ideologies and understand war is hell and the last one to want to be there are the warriors. Let us least not forget the many innocent IraqiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and other internationals that are being beheaded or having homemade bombs exploded upon them on a daily basis.
Eddy - War with Iraq was inevitable. If you put the cintext in, "...It might not have been us, or us and a few of them, or an entire world against 1 country...". You actually provide further evidence because if the country was that bad off then they were a target, if not for the groups above then possibly from within. My overall point though had less to do with the war and who or why, but the results of war.
In fact, in response to winning the Annoying American Apologist Awards, I did not apologize nor do I claim to say what is done is right. It's not. We all know it. It is only that we act shocked that it is done. If Sy tells the story, I believe him. If the story is not real, I still believe him, because this is what happens in war. Why are you all so shocked! It doesn't matter what war, it has happened in each and every one. Stroies from my father, my grandfather, and myself. Some of the atrocities true, some of them manufactured. WAR IN AND OF ITSELF IS AN ATROCITY. Civil strife is an atrocity that can lead to war. Governments and religions have and will perform atrocities in the name of what is 'right' in their eyes. Counties weakend by inner strife and outside sanctions will bleed to death by their own demonic leaders or from the onslaught of one nation trying to save another. There are all kinds of wars. The problem is there is to little Peace.
That is my point - quite acting like it doesn't happen, find a solution, and bring peace to the table because peace does not bring atrocities.
And to stir the fudge pot a little more - what will pulling out now do for us or them. I agree - lets leave them there where they are at, our boys will be home safe, and then we can sit back and watch a whole different set of atrocities take place as a broken nation beats itself to death. Now there is the answer to their problems and ours. I thought your parents brought you all up better than that, we are helping a strife ridden country pull itself up and unfortunately there are dust bunnies under the bed that don't want that to happen. The damagae has been done, lets us leave that country when democracy has been well planted, when the shoots push their way up and show that they are strong, then we can leave and feel comforted that while war and atrocities are terrible maybe we can leave Peace behind. We can look at Afghanastan as an example. Sure there is still bloodletting, but far less and slowly a great nation will come from theirs and our commitment. It is so sad that we can not come up with a solution to bring about peace that does not include beating a peoples to death - the stomping on of bodies, creating a bitter wine of blood, that runs so freely and easily, leaving a bitter taste on the pallette, until finally the people taste freedom, cleansing their pallette, and becomming a member of greater and larger commitment, peace, equality, and the freedom to have belief in that there is a god and he shall trully give us peace.
Why don't we know what's going on in Iraq, and why do we need to rely on phone calls from troops to reporters? Because there are no reporters left! Soon all news will be issued by the White House and Pentagon, and we will have no idea of the situation. From DEXTER FILKINS at the NY Times:
"Some of my colleagues have given up. Most of the European reporters, like the French and Italians and Germans, are gone. And there are far fewer American reporters here than was the case just a few months ago. This is usually not clear until someone important holds a press conference, and you look around the auditorium, as I did the other day, and realize that there are far fewer Western reporters here than there used to be."
With no press in Iraq, the real free-for-all will start.
I do not believe that war with Iraq was inevitable. The US had Saddam hemmed in like a hamster in a maze ala no fly zones, ariel surveillance and intelligence [good intelligence, that is.] It is no secret that the War Hawk republicans wanted to invade Iraq well before Bush took office. Go to Google and type in "The Project for the New American Century"-- PNAC. You will see what the republicans wanted to do back in the '90s -- take over other countries, exert US power. The war hawks even went to Clinton and tried to convince him of their ideas. Read it well. You will see some in Bush's cabinet signed the PNAC. Cheney was a force behind the PNAC, but I don't believe he signed the document.
Bringing democracy to Iraq? That's the lousiest excuse yet! It's more like, forcing democracy on a nation at the point of a gun. Polls taken in Iraq find that people would rather go back to a Saddam regime than experience the horror of what the US has done. Some Iraqi doctors estimate up to 40,000 Iraqis have died since the invasion. That's democracy?!!! If a foreign nation didn't like our form of government and thought theirs was better, do you think it would give them the right to invade the US and force their style of government on us? If a foreign nation decided that Bush must be removed because he governed over a state compiling the most executions in the US, would that be ok? Think a little past your noses America!
Looks like the republicraps are showing up to denounce this report as lies and more lies.
Just like Abu Gharib. Just like My Lai.
History will vindicate the truth and show the dark stain the neocon warmongering has left on our nation and the world.
Shorter Greg M.: ....We're helping....
No, Greg, we're not helping.
We need to help, but we're not.
Your suggestion that the alternative to our our current actions is simple abondonment is grotesque. We owe much to Iraq for what we've done. Stopping our attack and removing our troops is only the beginning of what we need to do.
I'm not american. I'm against that war. I don't know who that Hersch guy is.
Ã‚Â¿No one thinks that is a little weird that the man told the soldier guy to "shut up" unless he wants to find "a bullet in his back" and inmediately after that he tells the whole world about the incident? Ã‚Â¿That now there's at the very least a captain that knows he complained and, furthermore, told the press?
NO ! sorry mate, I beg to disagree with you, the conditions in Iraq were DELIBERATELY ORCHESTRATED by the pressure the U.S. applied to the U.N. and the sanctions that followed that pressure.
An action that was DELIBERATELY performed by the U.S. administration at the time, with a PLANNED OUTCOME .
Incredibly, you admit the country was a target, for whom ? And who ensured that situation in the first instance ?
Who was it who continually bombed their military infrastructure particularly it's air defences ?
Who was it who continually breached their air space with provocation ?
The evidance is there for anyone wishing to see the wood for the trees .
Do you think the rest of the World is as BLIND AND GULLIBLE as the average U.S. citizen ?
Obviously you do.
Yet that same attitude is the very reason the U.S. has got it'self stuck in a quagmire in the first instance.
NO! "WE ARE NOT HELPING" on the contrary, the only thing we are doing is, HELPING OURSELVES.
Please, explain why I read day after day, from the Iraqi blogs, why the electricity, water and sewerage supplies are WORSE today, then they were during Saddam's time ?
Explain to us all, why the funds that had been set aside by Congress have not been spent in the claimed manner of rebuilding Iraq.
And do me a favour, try to avoid the catch phrase of "security" as the reason the security has eroded the way it has, is directly related to the breach of the promises the invaders initially made to the Iraqis.
All the so called reasons and excuses we are fed for the U.S. and it's fellow invaders have been found to be without foundation, the ultimate claim of removing Saddam,(if one can call it that) has been acheived, therefore it's time to get the heck out of Iraqi and give their country back to the Iraqi citizens, I have no doubt whatever, they are more then capable of determining their own future.
And that is where the rub lies for America.
The future the Iraqis envisage for themselves, may not be compatable with America's wishes, and America will remain there, until they can force the issue, and install a government that is pliable to their wishes.
Democracy U.S. style.
Regards my parents .
You don't know them, nor me, and are drawing a very long bow, by implying such matters.
My personal business, is just that MINE, so butt out.
I really have to laugh at the comment ;
"The damagae has been done, lets us leave that country when democracy has been well planted, when the shoots push their way up and show that they are strong, then we can leave and feel comforted that while war and atrocities are terrible maybe we can leave Peace behind. We can look at Afghanastan as an example. Sure there is still bloodletting, but far less and slowly a great nation will come from theirs and our commitment. It is so sad that we can not come up with a solution to bring about peace that does not include beating a peoples to death - the stomping on of bodies, creating a bitter wine of blood, that runs so freely and easily, leaving a bitter taste on the pallette, until finally the people taste freedom, cleansing their pallette, and becomming a member of greater and larger commitment, peace, equality, and the freedom to have belief in that there is a god and he shall trully give us peace."
Do you really believe this bullshit ? It sounds more like a publicity spread for the Republicans.
It would appear you may have missed the tiny bit in my original post, wherein I advised I am Vietnam Veteran.
I have experienced at FIRST hand, the bullshit you espouse, how it was attempted on the people of Vietnam, the laughable elections that were forced upon the people there, just as is being done in Afghanistan and Iraq today.
If any country is guilty of spreading blood and mayhem in this world, the first prize goes to the good old U.S.A and second goes to Israel.
I can remember very vividly, how the U.S. brought DEMOCRACY to Venezuela,Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, Philipines and a host of countries around the World.
Keep your patronising sanctamonious bullshit for your own countrymen, it's wasted outside of the U.S. we can see and work things out for ourselves thank you very much.
Regarding the post by johnx below:
"Ya know. The Vietnamese never attacked us after the war (so far), and I wonder if we can presume that about the Iraqi. I wouldn't ask why."
Ya know. The Iraqis never attacked you before the war, either.
Bushes religious beliefs are a DOCTRINE OF THE ANTI-CHRIST, THE RAPTURE 'FLY AWAY' DOCTRINE. The term anti christ means instead of the Christ not against christ. This is derived from the greek manuscripts from which the phrase originated. Anyone believing this false doctrine is a FICTIONAL CHRISTIAN and whose capabilities of understanding complex issues is severely limited, certainly incapable of being a competent president.
I lived for 8 months in Saudi. Never understood the Saudis. My Lebanese Muslim and Palestinian roomies told me the Saudis were "different" Moslems, without giving me details.
Now I know - Saudis are a Wahhabi radical sub-sect of the Muslim Sunni religion. To understand the difference between Wahhabi's and mainstream Sunni Muslims, think about equating Jeffrey Dahlmer and Emeril as "gourmets with a taste for exotic cuisine". Something major is missing from the equation. The missing piece is Wahhabism.
Born in early 1700's, Wahhab posited that anyone that wasn't a monotheist by their definition should be killed, their wives and daughters raped and enslaved, and their wealth confiscated. Sounds reasonable, right? Trouble is, if:
- you pray for divine intecession from Muslim "saints",
- put up Muslim tombstones on family's graves,
- add any ornamentation to your mosques,
- or pray less than 5 times per day,
YOU ARE NOT A MUSLIM AND MUST DIE!!!! (even if you pray to Allah)
These guys hate other Sunnis, never mind the Shi'a or Sufi Muslims. Don't even think about Christians, Jews, Buddhists, etc. These guys would leave even the virulent Bavarian Paper Hanger kike-hater envious.
Know your enemy.
BTW - My CV:
1968 - canvassed for McCarthy
1972 - voted for McGovern
1976 - voted for Carter
I'm a Kerry-era activist. But Democracy isn't a suicide pact. I've seen the enemy.
Be afraid, be very afraid. This isn't left vs. right. This is life or death for our society.
Jon in Canada,
Those "journalists" were waiting at the scence of a terrorist attack. They were given the time and place of the impending attack. They were there to film the deaths of American soldiers. They are VERY lucky not to be caught in the crossfire and provide all the evidence you should need that this Hersh story is BS. Out troops do not kill innocents intentionally (even sick fucks like that who would no doubt want to be rescued by our SF teams if they are ever taken hostige by the terrorists). Lets not forget that Abu Grhaib and every other story about misconduct started out coming from another soldier. We love each other fiercly, but once a person betrays our trust we eat them alive. That is why vets hate Kerry, he lied and betrayed us.
Also, if Hersh can't print it for a lack of evidence he shouldn't be talking about it like that either.
These posts are getting very weird. Iraq has a society consisting of 80% Kurds and Shi'ites, all raped by the other 20% who are Sunnis/Baathists, and the Liberal outrage is against any U.S. resistance against the 20% doing the raping? And you guys call yourselves "Liberals"?
Democracy - choosing your own government by votes. Some posts imply that 40,000 dead "forcing" democracy on a society is worse than 20,000 per year suffering under oppression is the worse alternative. Did you boneheads bother to ask the other 24,968,000 survivors that have lived in total fear whether their lives are better off now, with that increased risk of violence, but are now free? (For the mathematically challenged, this means approx. 2 deaths per thousand per year to be free vs. 1 death per thousand in perpetuity to be slaves). Oops, I forgot - these yokels are just a bunch of abstract ragheads lacking the ability to understand the nuances of international relations while they're being raped. Shame on them for their insensitivity.
If justice means I have to wrap the Constitution around a 2X4 and smack the head of some dictator's or sycophant's noggin to prove my point and I'm prosecuted for that, then that's okay by me.
The Cult of Seymour Hersh - http://www.jonathanpollard.org/2004/070004.htm
For the gentlemen asking "wingnuts" to prove Sy Hersh has ever gotten anything wrong before. Contains quotes from Sy Hersh himself!
On the Samson Option: "Much later even Hersh would admit that Ben Menashe "lies like people breathe."
On the Dark Side of Camelot, which ABC quashed due to phony documents (sure wish CBS had learned this...), for which Sy Hersh had to appear in court: "Here is where I absolutely misstated things" an embarrassed Hersh testified."
On a 'disastrous' raid against the Taliban in 2001: "Undisturbed, Hersh said he might have "misheard."
Took 10 minutes of Google search to find this summary.
This guy is as reliable as someone playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey: Sometimes you pin the tail on the ass, most of the time you end up walking around in circles.
Get a grip. A phone call from an unnamed "soldier" does not equal a good source. Sy Hersh is a credulous individual.
Of course, you won't research because you want it to be true...
Don't know if what you say is true, but, DAMN!!!, its about time these guys get taken over some basic facts!
It's real arrogance to assert that if any country is "forced at the point of a gun" to accept democracy that that approach is wrong?
We're screaming in the face of those not accustomed to it -
YOU WILL BE FREE, YOU WILL CONTROL YOUR LIVES, AND YOU WILL BE COW TO NOBODY, EVER!"
And Americans will die to protect that declaration of independence for other countries.
Either Americans are the ultimate saps of the world,
we are sowing the seeds of a pro-democracy movement that is about to transform the entire world.
HOLD ONTO YOUR SEATS!!!!!!!!!!
I was referred to this site by a friend. I have read what's been posted and tried to look at it as objectively as possible. As a Marine who has just completed more than two years on a sightseeing tour of lovely places like Afghanistan and vacation hot spots like the Anbar Province I have perhaps some perspective. I have some suspicions about Mr. Hersh's claims. The first one being this. They would not have been "bivouaced" as the anonymous soldier allegedly said. Nobody is camping out in towns or on the edges of them we are garrisoned and do ops from there. There's allot of people in these "camps" And they are well fortified positions. Bivouac is a term not used much anymore and I heve never seen nor heard of troops being bivoaced anywhere during the peacekeeping phase, we stay in garrison for security and to stay out of the locals way. Secondly if that had happened there are too many people to be quiet about it very long. People have credited Mr. Hersch with breaking the Abu Ghriab story. It was actually a soldier who turned in the morons doing that who started the whole investigation. If this Captain just walked up and started wasting people when this other platoon was just standing there and not under fire then he ought to be brought to justice and face the harshest penalty possible. If the Lt. is that concerned over it, all he has to make one simple phone call and the Captain who allegedly did this as well as his Plt would be immediately confined and the guys from CID would be there pronto to do an ivestigation so he wouldn't have to worry for his safety. Not only that but the guys in the his Plt. would never let anything happen to him because that's the way it works contrary to what's shown in the movies.
So let's review the "facts" of this story. These troops are "bivouaced" outside of a town, they get to know the people working security at the granery. They just happened to be at the granary at the exact time when this other Plt comes marching along and starts killing people one by one. The Lt and the rest of his Plt. is so distraught that instead of going to the numerous c.o's he looks for a member of the press. Alas there's nobody around from the press which is almost impossible not to trip on one if you're looking. But assumning he couldn't find one or anyone out of the hundreds in the command, he somehow finds the number of Seymore Hersch and call him from parts unknown Iraq. Luckily Mr. Hersch is there to answer his call as I'm sure he answers his own phone. He's so distraught that he mentions he was in ROTC? And Mr. Hersch being so concerned decides the best way to deal with it is to speak about it a few different times at speaking engagements instead of immediately hopping on a plane to go interview this Lt. to get all the facts?
Look folks I'm sure after I post this I'll be attacked from numerous angles either because I disagree with the idea that this must be the truth because he said it or that I'm in the military. I'm not going to argue or bother everyone by arguing something that nobody knows the facts of yet because most have limited knowledge unless you have been there. Is it possible? Sure, it's possible, anything is. The soldier who turned the idiots at Abu G in did what most would do and the troops didn't like it either because people tend to paint with a broad brush. Contrary to myths brought about in the movies we're not all Sgt. York's nor are we all some crazed killer out of an Oliver Stone movie. We are merely people with lives just like you with wives children mortgages etc. trying to do a difficult job. Do attrocities happen? Yes, unfortunately but they are rare. Because some guy in Cleveland murders his wife it doesn't mean all Americans run around killing their wives? Of course not. In both Afghanistan and Iraq I witnessed Americans risking and in one case sadly losing their lives to avoid civilian casualties by refusing to fire into residential areas when they simply could have called in air or arty to clear a threat, they didn't they waited and exposed themselves to more fire because of it. The Iraqi people have seen this and unfortunatley so have the terrorists that use that against us and the locals.
Do bad and horrible things happen, yes. Mr. Hersch was also credited with breaking the My Lai massacre. True. But it was also another soldier who stopped further killing. Because he knew it was wrong. If it did happen then I more than anyone hope the guilty are found and punished. I realize that if this isn't true it doesn't fit perceptions of the people serving in your military nor does it serve an agenda or belief that what we are doing there is wrong. You feel that way fine, that's your right. Seems to me that we still are all Americans and should be afforded being innocent until proven guilty like anyone else.
I will leave you people with this. There are 22 million Iraqi's. There are 135,000 of us. If all of them didn't want us there we would know it. It's a small percentage of the people, mostly non Iraqi's who want to run us out to turn it over to the Imams and Mullahs. It's a cliche to say good things are happening and probably even more so to say we are making progress but we are. Despite the IED's and suicide bombings a majority of Iraqi's are finding happiness and hope and want the terrorists out of there just as bad as you wouldn't want drug dealers living next door. I processed out on September 3rd of this year. 2 Days before I left for Kuwait I was invited to have dinner with some of the locals we had gotten to know. They invited a bunch of us for their defintion of a block party if you will, where we went essentially from house to house eating and talking etc. and saying our goodbyes. To have people into your home is a major honor in that culture and was until recently very risky. One family I have gotten to know very well pooled their limited resources to give myself and my Major a gift, which was embarrasing considering their lack of money. I felt bad I had not gotten him anything and the father stated to me that we had already given them a gift that could never be repaid. He pointed to a wall. On the wall was a picture of two young men, twins who were both 16 years old. They made the mistake of joining a group criritcal of Saddam and calling for more freedom. 4 years ago they were taken from the house and disappeared forever.
Turning our backs on those people now would be 100 times more devastating than staying. Trust is hard to come by in that part of the world and we've earned it among many, not all but many. Leaving them now would throw that country back to the hell it was living under for 40 years, people cannot fathom what it was like to live their under him until you see it. Are their problems? yes, too many to list but their is, believe it or not good people there addressing it and working hard every day. But my God if people could see what is happening as a whole picture they'd probably feel different. You care about civilians donate to numerous releif funds and organizations. But if this story is true these people ought to be prosected and will because we can't lose that trust we have gained. It would be irresponsible to leave now But it's also just as irresponsible for Mr. Hersch to be telling this story until it's proven to be true and until he does a little more fact finding.
I'd like to thank you for your service in the USMC. My dad was a Marine and quite the disciplined man. One thing my dad always told us was that nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. I would like to believe that everything in Iraq is just fine, but it's not. Please read the link below to a mainstream newspaper about commands given to our GI's:
This article has more than three instances of Sy Hersh messing up.
Amusing, saying that this reporter tells only the truth. When he was with the NYT, they ran a page one article correcting a previous article of his on Feb 9, 1981 - the longest correction ever posted by the NYT.
In any case, Mr. Hersh's story is hearsay only, no documentation, no other witnesses, no evidence. My Lai and Abu Graib were both being dealt with by the military before Sy Hersh caught wind of it, and if this latest is true, my bet is that the same will happen.
I'm not even going to touch this with a ten-foot pole.
However, I can't ignore the last post by Tinker which just screams of naivete.
You CAN'T FORCE DEMOCRACY. If you want to spend your money and your life bringing about democracy to every country in the world by taking down the horrid regime America either helped put there or has not ever tried to help get rid of, go ahead. But leave my government and taxdollars out of it; we're not the goddamn world police.
I'm pretty sure a few other democracies in the world didn't need us to invade, topple their regime, and write them a constitution so they could have a democracy. They have to WANT IT and BE READY.
I'd rather work on our own democracy, like making sure every vote is counted, than handing down the same "imperfect" system. Thank you, Rumsfeld.
A little help for you --
"Condoleezza Rice, a political scientist, believes there is scholarly evidence that democratic institutions do not merely spring from a hospitable culture, but that they also can help create such a culture. She is correct; they can. They did so in the young American republic. But it would be reassuring to see more evidence that the administration is being empirical, believing that this can happen in some places, as opposed to ideological, believing that it must happen everywhere it is tried.
Being steadfast in defense of carefully considered convictions is a virtue. Being blankly incapable of distinguishing cherished hopes from disappointing facts, or of reassessing comforting doctrines in face of contrary evidence, is a crippling political vice.
In "On Liberty" (1859), John Stuart Mill said, "It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to say" that the doctrine of limited, democratic government "is meant to apply only to human beings in the maturity of their faculties." One hundred forty-five years later it obviously is necessary to say that." -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A64323-2004May3¬Found=true
are these people hysterical or what?
do they cheer everytime a US soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is injured or killed? makes me wonder!
folks put down the peace pipe and think logically for a minute. we are in Iraq. we must win for the sake of the US and the world. how do we win in Iraq?? leaving? No.. continue the pressure on the enemy... yes..
PS, i get to return to the sandbox.
Consider your wondering solved. No one who has offered an opinion here cheers each time a US soldier is killed or injured. How ludicrous! That comment was well below the belt and you know it. Instead, they want the war to cease in order to SAVE the lives of our soldiers. They also want the US to cease killing innocent Iraqi civilians who get caught in the crossfire of their attacks. Dear God, these people have been held hostage to violence for centuries. Should we have invaded Russia because of their atrocities toward their own people in the cold war years? Hell no! They were too big, smart, and numerous. Whoah! The Soviet Union had nuclear missiles and bombs! The US invades and bullies nations that are a cinch to beat. It has gotten so bad that other nations have ceased calling the US the world's policemen. Now, they call us world bullies. Maybe we deserve being called "The Ugly American." We have become the over-zealous Boy Scout forcing an old man across the street when the old guy didn't want to cross the street.
Yelling in their faces, telling them they are free. Heh. Nice. Apparently replacing one military dictatorship with another is freedom. Freedom Kissinger style.
Freedom of course means military searches, no due process, torture in prison, arrests without warrants, appointed governments......
I sent a message to Alex Witthoft (email@example.com) but it bounced. Is there another address - one that works?
If true then this is literally world-shaking news. If true then several dozen U.S. soldiers have witnessed an event that every bit of their "war crimes" training (and their simple humanity) tells them is worthy of exposure. Indeed, there is no conspiracy big enough to contain these explosive charges. If true they *will* see the light of day just as My Lai did.
Let me also say that if these charges are true then I will be proud to add my voice to yours in outrage and disgust that such barbarity is being committed in my name.
The problem is...is it true? Did Hersch verify that his caller was indeed who he said he was? Did he gain any independent verification? With literally millions of people in the world whose entire world-view is bathed in the acid of anti-Americanism, is it not possible that someone fed this to Hersch because they thought him the most likely method for starting an urban legend?
I am extraordinarily disappointed with the people here who, rather than having any reservations about this extraordinarily disturbing charge, simply pile on with additional assertions about how it is "inevitable" and "just another example" of how America is just as bad as the dictatorship that previously ruled Iraq. Do you really believe that? If it were even remotely true do you truly believe you would have this forum to express your unrestricted views??
One writer even goes so far as to laud Moore and Chomsky as paragons of truth! As fearless servants of the greater good! I've been there folks. I spent grad school in the Chomsky-loving embrace of the hard left. It took me some pretty hard knocks to learn that they were simply feeding my hatreds.
Seriously, if these charges are accurate then I will add my voice to yours in condemnation. But, for your own sake, reserve enough of your own sense of self - your own dignity and maturity - to ask whether it is *actually* true.
If they are *not* true then you must accept that. Trust me, you do not want to spend the next 10 years of your life stewing in a manufactured hatred and convinced that there is a massive conspiracy working against all that is decent and kind in mankind.
I recently bought and read Sy Hersh's "the dark side of camelot" (dark/darker, i forget.) It seemed to be a collection of the worst rumors about jfk, without much proof or documentation. I didn't find anything that was unquestionably wrong, but I was left with a sense that he might not be a reliable source; that I would need independent corroboration. (I hope at some point to write a chapter on kennedy in a book about lbj, if it ever gets written.)
Similarly, his story in a speech at berkeley may be true, but he is deliberately (for perhaps valid reasons) leaving it unverifiable at this time.
Let's check back in 5 years when he should be in a position to name names and give verifiable info as to this incident. Meanwhile, I'm convinced this sort of thing goes on; let's find examples that are documented.
I do not think that Americans are any more welcome in Persia than the Turks were. Bush is a warlord much like Saddaam was. I don't see him so much as evil, as a person who was mistreated by his father with the result that he has a drive for power as a way to deal with his own internal demons. What Bush and Kerry have in common is that they are both in a rush to expand the size and power of the government at the expense of the individual. If there is any good news, it is that
technology is empowering individuals so that governments become increasingly unneeded and quaintly obsolete. Perhaps i'm wandering off my main point that Hersh, while often right, should not be taken as gospel - trust but verify.
gtbear at gmail dot com arbitrary aardvark
hersh went off the deep end long ago.
Another report in which a US marine describes being ordered to execute unarmed Iraqi soldiers, returning home with their dog tags, and subsequently committing suicide.
This is an immensely important revelation because it simultaneously clarifies the extreme desperation of American military leaders in Iraq, and their willingness to engage in horrific war crimes to create a temporary veneer of success.
Even if the soldiers who did the killing acted Ã¢â‚¬Å“on their ownÃ¢â‚¬Â (i.e., they were not ordered to round up and kill these granary guards; and they were not ordered to kill all men of military age); this is a reflection that American policy in Iraq has degenerated into indiscriminate killing, the same thing what occurred in Vietnam (an analogy Hersh makes). It expresses itself as a demand that specific units involved in patrols and attacks report the success of their missions, and the definition of success is body count. Praise, promotion and reward are all geared to showing that the units are killing the enemy, and the brass are willing to accept any dead Iraqi male (and even female and children, if they can somehow be counted as men) as proof of success.
So we have entered the realm inhabited by the most brutal occupying armies, where the soldiers are encouraged to engage in indiscriminate slaughter and be rewarded for it. We also know that these strategies are not even intended to be successful in the long run. They are aimed at temporary pacification through mass slaughter and intimidation. After this, a truly fascist regime must be installed to keep the now completely antagonistic population from retaliating.
Probably this has been developing over that last many months, accelerated after the U.S. was defeated in Falluja and then probably given a quantum leap in Najaf. But this is the first graphic description I have seen of the penetration of the corruption to the very bottom , to the individual soldiers on the ground. (I just read an article that recounted the suicide of a returned U.S. soldier, who kept telling his sister he was a Ã¢â‚¬Å“murdererÃ¢â‚¬Â, but would not say any more. I guess he was involved in an incident like this.)
In its way, it is far worse than Abu Ghraib, since the number of people subject to this brutality is far larger than those subjected to the torture within the prison walls.
Perhaps the most depressing part of this incident is HershÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s advice to the lieutenant who told him the story: "You know what I told him? I said, 'Fella, you blamed the captain, he knows that you think he committed murder, your troops know that their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Complete your tour. Just shut up! You're going to get a bullet in the back.' And that's where we are in this war."
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how deep the corruption is: decent people are murdered for being decent, and murderers are rewarded for being murderers. This is truly the Ã¢â‚¬Å“banality of evilÃ¢â‚¬Â as described by Hannah ArendtÃ¢â‚¬â€decent human beings are transformed into degraded sub-human killers who see their brutality as Ã¢â‚¬Å“doing their job.Ã¢â‚¬Â
To Node of Evil:
Two leaps of logic distract from the merits of your arguments.
First, to tell of a soldier committing suicide because he felt like a murderer and then say that you 'guess' he was involved in something like this is meritless without any corrobarating facts.
Second, to discuss Sy Hersch's "advice" and say that decent people are being murdered for being decent and murderers rewarded, again is making a connection with no basis. No soldier was murdered by another for speaking his mind; no murderer was rewarded.
With all that in mind, this discussion is giving credence to the old cliche about 'much heat is being generated but not much light.'
While Mr. Hersch has an incredible reputation and history, the bottom line is that, assuming he is being truthful, the call represents one anonymous version of an event that may or may not have happened.
As with My Lai -- or Watergate for that matter -- factual verification is required.
I must say that I believe that Hersch was being to a certain extent irresponsible to the extent that he is publishing (albeit verbally) this story without corroboration. He is a journalist and he is perceived to be speaking as a journalist. By publicizing something like this with no verification actually does harm because if it comes out that this event did not happen, the next time he or some other journalist brings out a story, this will come up. Not much different than how Dan Rather will be viewed the next time he reports on something anti-Bush or on an old document's authenticity.
Believeing or not believeing is truly not the issue. It is the mere thought of the probability or possibility thAt Sy Hersch's scenario exists. Demanding the truth of it from the 'powers that be is the ultimate solution'. The world as we know it, is passed the he said she said manure. We stay on these sites as 'Nay or Yeah sayers', it is time to ACT! Put fire to our keyboards and fire to those who may know the truth of these horrors but definitely have the capacity to find and reveal it. We talk back and forth to each other, the Hell with that join me talk to THEM! The ants that are controlling and eroding the world in which we all live, remember, it's not like we can move to a new location the vermine are here and the would be exterminators have defaulted on the contract and jacked up extermination fees with our lives by transforming the vermine into mini WMD. Democrat, Republican, Independent, Moslem, Chrisitian, Atheist, Jewish, Buddist, in the end will it really matter? Or as always just like we've all been taught, 'the truth will set us free'. But if it does not at least we will all be on the right path, together. Fire up these keyboards and let it rip, I love this country and I'll be damned as the world will if we let it fall because we leave it to these asses and don't even try. FIRE IN THE HOLE!
I don't know how much evidence you need before you start believing that atrocities of this sort are being committed, but here is a story from a normal hometown newspaper (Portsmouth Herald) with no axe to grind about a soldier who returned home and committed suicide because he was killed two disarmed Iraqis under orders from his superior officers--ie, he committed war crimes.(http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/10172004/south_of/43429.htm)
Here are some of the relevant parts of the story:
"In June, after what his parents describe as months of mental and emotional torment, the lance corporal went down to the basement and hanged himself.
He was 23.
Just a few feet from where his father found him with a garden hose wrapped around his neck, Jeff had arranged a semicircle of family photos on the floor. The note he left said he could no longer deal with his emotional pain.
Upstairs, a pair of dog tags rested on his bed. His Marine-issue boots stood next to them.
Now, nearly four months after his suicide, the Luceys are trying to make sense of how Jeff became unraveled after serving in Iraq....
"He was really relieved to be back when he first got home," Debbie, his younger sister, said. "He looked tired and was thinner, but he seemed fine at first."
Then he quickly began to break down. Depression set in, and Jeff dealt with it by going on heavy drinking binges. On Christmas Eve, he sat down with Debbie and gave his first account of being told to shoot two unarmed Iraqi soldiers.
The way he told the story, Jeff was about five feet away from two Iraqis - each about his own age - when he was ordered to shoot them. He said he looked them in their eyes before closing his own, then pulled the trigger.
"He took off two dog tags around his neck, threw them at me and said, Ã¢â‚¬ËœDonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you understand? Your brother is a murderer,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢" Debbie said."
The dog tags, which she said had Arabic letters scratched in them, were the ones her brother claimed he took from the soldiers he said he shot. ""
If you think this family made this up, or this kid made up this story to justify his suicide, then you need more than evidence.
The point is not that I did not believe, but that there is too much hyper-ventilation on the web and in the blogs. I am no less enraged at all of this than you, but I am concerned about the recklessness in which many posters go from Point A to Point F with no steps in-between.
I was not doubting Node's 'guess', I just wanted to make sure the 'guess' was made reasonably, not recklessly. If Node was referring to the Lucey's then his 'guess' is a fair one.
But the claims and assertions made by Node, or Hersch, or whoever, need a basis. From what Hersch has said -- assuming his description is accurate -- there is a huge problem. And since the torture by Americans has been uncovered, I do believe this all is possible. And as each fact sees the light of day, I will adjust my belief or disbelief accordingly.
I want to know, but I want to know facts.
Hey, I need to call Mr. Hersh ASAP.
Anyone know his number?
I've already sent you email at the address you left. But if you haven't gotten it, and aren't kidding about wanting Hersh's number, send me email at tinyrevolution [at] yahoo [dot] com, and I'll let you know how to track Hersh down.
There is a lot of doubt in this discussion about Hersch's claims. He leaves his sources as anonymous as he tells us of the horror going on in Iraq. But wait a minute! Much of what we get from accepted journalists in mainstream newspapers today is without names, etc. We get things like, "An anonymous source in the White House revealed that the Bush administration... blah, blah, blah." We are expected to take what a journalist says on good faith. When I studied journalism in college, there were strict rules against such reporting. In writing articles, good journalists had to answer four questions [who, what, when and where.] It was unaceptable to quote an anonymous source. Your article would be flung back at you by the editors if you tried it. In my opinion, if you can't back up your stories with [who told you what] your article should be taken with a grain of salt. Does this mean that Hersch's information is unreliable in his report? Not necessarily. He has just let the cat out of the bag prematurely and has put himself in a precarious position. To remain credible now, he has to go backtrack and get names, dates and times, etc. Putting the cart before the horse, as Hersch has done, can prove to be impossible for him. There is probably a lot of truth to what he says for one good reason. Hersch is not the only one speaking about the atrocities of our soldiers. Some of our returning soldiers have witnessed war crimes in Iraq and are talking about it with their families and friends. Obviously, when there's smoke, there's fire.
Some of you here obviously have never been to some
of the less, shall we say, secure regions of the
world. You can find security guards with auto
shotguns all over Latin America. And 4 meter high
walls with broken glass and razor wire at the top
with gates constructed out of 5cm square chromoly
steel that only a tank could drive through for the
rich folk. If you can find this in Latin America
(a relatively tame place) just think how much more
the wealthier people in Iraq must be freaking out.
Given the long standing human tradition of the
"big man", and the current lawlessness of Iraq,
hiring 35 security guards serves 3 goals at once:
charity, ensuring that the 35 guards weren't
going to become thieves and protecting his grain
from marauders from another part of the country
they are cold blooded they have no feelings what so ever i hope they live with there fault for there rest of there lives
I want to find the big revolution, not the tiny one. This site is dead, but I want to post anyway. It doesn't matter this time whether Sy was being truthful or not.
From February until June, the town I live in, Arcadia, Florida was heavily sprayed with chemtrails. Some people died. Most became ill, fatigued, depressed, yet not one person would look up at the sky in this rural town and watch the grids being laid down. I was the only protester to the EPA. I do not know the reason for the chemtrails. I don't know if I am the target. I first noticed huge X marks in the sky in 2003. I was then living in Tarpon Springs and had moved for the third time in three months. After several more moves and jobs, I settled in St. Petersburg for a year, and the ominous X marks became total coverage every clear day last summer. As soon as I moved here, the spraying began.
In 1998, I was blacklisted or watch listed under the Clinton Administration. Probably something I wrote for an alternative newspaper got me listed as a terrorist under the anti-terror act Clinton passed. I was denied the Ph.D. and told by the white men on my dissertation committee that women who demand the right to their own opinions end up in a place colder than Siberia and that rebels never get what they claim they want--a teaching position. Since 1998, I have been barred from government employment and repeatedly fired from minimum wage jobs. When I applied for the doctoral program at the University of Florida, I was told by the Jewish graduate coordinator that I was barred for life from UF.
After 9-11, black helicopters began flying over my home in Arcadia. They would come in straight from MacDill flying low, circle around, and fly back over. My home was broken into, my car battery needed to be replaced three times, my neighbor's home was confiscated and men lived there in shifts.
At work, Books-A-Million in Port Charlotte, I was forced to run a register, clean the bathrooms, and mop the entire store every Sunday. I was not allowed near the computers, all my book orders were cancelled, and I was screamed at for talking to a fellow employee. I was not allowed to discuss books.
My next job was delivering pizzas for Hungry Howie's in Arcadia. My boss reported via police radio to the Sherrif's Office when I arrived for work. If I talked to anyone, he would immediately ask them what I said. If I asked to go home, he would demand to know what I needed to do. Every time a ridiculous incident occurred, my boss would be extremely anxious and paranoid.
My boss was involved in setting me up to be arrested in a sting operation. It didn't work out as they had planned because I flagged down other officers for help. After that, I was fired.
Also, road blocks were set up on the access roads to my house and unmarked, white patrol cars were staked out all around. Of course, no one in my family believed me, which made me very sorrowful, but I believed in me a little and just kept moving.
In 2003, I was living in Palm Harbor when the space shuttle incinerated over Texas. Within twenty minutes a black helicopter was circling overhead, as if I had brought down the shuttle! This made me begin to wonder who exactly I am.
I have repeatedly asked for help from newspapers, the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, etc. etc. The ACLU rejected me, the CCR replied angrily for daring to ask them for help, most lawyers were very angry. One simply said that I needed to find my niche--whatever that means.
Some places I worked only two days before some corporate bastard began screaming at me. Winn Dixie fired me for insubordination and so on.
Canadian immigration would not respond; then Canada changed its laws making it impossible for me to move there.
I knew immediately that the WTC was a controlled demolition because Larry Silverstein said they had to pull building 7, which was not struck by a plane, and because the debris was immediately collected by FEMA and shipped out of the country. I was writing this to newspapers in 2002 because I did not have a computer then. All I had was Democracy Now! which I have since come to regard as a left gatekeeper. This means that Amy Goodman is probably a CIA asset and paid to avoid 9-11, chemtrails, concentration camps, etc. I did learn, though, from one program that the FBI used the same tactics in the late seventies on members of the Weatherman Underground, which I always regarded as hopelessly confused group.
I am not a member of any group and never have been. I have never had a letter to the editor printed. Since the last gulf war, I have not published anything anywhere. I have had several ghostly and alien encounters, but they could have been psy ops. I used to think that I had my sanity and that in all these places I've lived that I was the only real human being among human duplicates or robots trained to alert on me. I cannot depend on my mind, though, after months of chemtrail spraying. I did have memory loss, short-term. At any rate, I have been right about everything so far. 9-11 was an inside job, of course. The elections were rigged, of course. We have no constitutional rights. But the thing I have been saying since I was 15 is that we have destroyed our planet. I did not reproduce because I knew the ecosystems were going to fail, and they have. What I never understood until recently is that the corporate elite control every facet of our lives from the textbooks we read to the medicines we are allowed to take. They control the blood banks and all medical associations, the schools, universities, media, publishing houses. There is nothing not controlled by Rockefeller et al. but the Internet. Everything else is gone. After I complained to the EPA about chemtrails, a white, unmarked helicopter circled around my house. It was astonishing to see this thing. My guess is that it was U.N.
If I were going to be allowed to live, I might agree that killing off 5.5 billion through disease is the only way to save the planet, but I am not among the chosen. I will not be rushed to Mt. Weather or some other underground city. Only the worst of the worst will survive--the very same people who promoted over-population and the destruction of the planet, calling it freedom. It is too late now to do anything. Everything is dead for god's sake. Apparently, when they come in for the kill, they will use chemtrails to broadcast a second coming. Most people will be comforted by that, which is good, I suppose. Those left alive will be herded into concentration camps, because these are the very same people who brought us Auschwitz and Dachau. I do not pretend to understand their love of death. I would believe just about anything regarding what they are and the state of their souls, including the reptilian theories. I am sorry for all the extraordinarily good and brave people who struggled their entire lives to unmask the criminal elite. I pray that the universe is benevolent and that our souls will have peace. Sometimes, I do believe that I am more than just a body, mostly because of dreams. I have written a 600 page book about my life, but no one will publish it. It is a very good book because I learned to reveal everything--to hide nothing--and to speak from the core of my being. I do not know what I am, but I know that I am on the side of goodness and light. I know that we will lose the battle to these maniacs. Even if they can't win a war and AIDS, ebola, and Anthrax failed to devastate us, they have murdered all the scientific/political opposition in the past few years. Somehow my survival has given me a measure of protection from the robots, the deeply indoctrinated members of the bourgeoisie: teachers, journalists, police, politicians, fire fighters, managers, administrators--the vulgar, greedy, small-minded, and power hungry. All those who tortured me in the name of national security are sick beyond belief. Even those involved in terrorist activities were trained and supported by the CIA. The average person apparently cannot comprehend the smallest truth. I cannot care that much anymore. I have tried my best to relate my thoughts to others. I have done the very best I could do as an outsider. The reasons I became an outsider are complex. I feel very, very alone, though. I have asked for help and received none. I want to leave this country immediately, because I do not want to die among the people who have tortured me. The librarians handed over the books I checked out. What idiocy is that? Homeland Nazis should be in my home confiscating my computer.
Hi,everyone!well it sounds like we all know about hate&where we don't need to be&why we are really there(IRAQ)"shucks" the greedy dummy lit his own oil refinery just so our good old MR.BUSH and his crafty crew had a rough go at obtaining it!not once did MR.Sadam think of the major effect on the earth and WE THE PEOPLE whom still are in-control of our own government with the Contsitution?well thats another fallacy that can't be fixed until it breaks.Now what we need too do is remember and come together as a whole nation that we are United in called AMERICA remember?I did not read all of the post's,the one I did relate with was "Sharon hilliard" sharon you are so on the money! you are not alone.we are the one's they are in fear of because we have the ability to see right through the crap?for a long time I did not understand the things i thought about it did'nt seem normal to this day i still truthfully say the only books i have ever completed reading are clifford(the big red dog),a couple dick&jane stories,a few cat and the hat philosophy stories and the bible all very informative.In the 38 years I have been blessed with by the Lord also that I have managed to keep my goodness.The knowledge I was born with somehow did not include spelling it would take a long time and alot of post space to inlighten you all with my unutilized intellect.like you Sharon always some extra help with trouble like life wouldn't posses enough for the balance we require for spiritual inlightenment in this world.Infact most of the humans are really unaware thats why we are really here!that in it's self is a landslide of devistation,far grater than any war do too humane ignorrance.I'm really hoping that everyone awakes from the zombieizum the parisites have caused by hosting the leaders of the nation and we can all stand in our minds and see ourselves all joined together holding hands in the great power of prayer to unlock the powers we all posses as creations of god we can gain our country back with the love ,hope and faith the forefathers biult for everyone to benifit from not just the few that attain office!I'm begining to think that the deffinition of American is slave to the grind;exspendeable;somone too use until dead;too fight your war with,(easy too subliminally subdue mental status)very unaware.~(plural:Americans" people our friend our loved ones for what so they can instill the plan we know nothing of.this is so sticks-n-stones come on we are so lost,Im no jesus or god im of them and for them with all my heart and i know there are better ways to procure the human race ,not by blood shed and war with all of its ignorrant out comes we all already have come to know .what will we have for answers to the everything(GOD) we are all neglecting to remember about as we live and stuggle that we did not just appear and this is not the end if we all will wake-up and jump-in for the BIG WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a bunch of dog shit.........
wow hugeprod what an intelligent statment!how long did that take you?what do you suggest just go with all of the dog shit?maybe change what the dog is eating? or try looking for other than dogshit,oh try this take your head out of your ass and less the dog shit!
I have been posting here and there, but I wanted to return to this site to explain some things. I am persona non grata and every manager/ administrator I've known, worked for, or applied for a position with, knows this. Maybe they don't know why I am blacklisted, but they know for sure that the Patriot Act protects them from prosecution no matter what they do to me. Every fat sadist pig has tortured me to the hilt, because I am slim, pretty, and well-educated. I have been subjected to this over and over again since 1998. Before 1998, I was never fired. I spent my life at various universities and believed I was free, because I was given assistantships and fellowships whenever I asked for them and because I dated, lived with, and married men from all over the world. How I got blacklisted is a mystery to me. There are several possibilities. 1)I wrote several anti-war articles regarding the first gulf war. 2) My father, a very psychotic psychologist, pulled every string he had to make this happen. This man beat me up on a regular basis until I graduated from college and left home. He told me when I received an assistantship to study at LSU that I wasn't smart enough to go to graduate school and to stick with my job as a cashier. Then, he threatened to call the chairman and tell him that I was a drug dealer and a prostitute. I used drugs for about six months in the tenth grade, because the beatings had sickened and destroyed my life, and I hoped the drugs would kill me. My sister, who was a florid schizophrenic for ten years, was, in fact, a prostitute, but dad protected and defended her. During my last conversation with my father before he died of a heart attack, he told me to stop writing my dissertation and get a real job. Since that was all he had to say to me, he must have known that I would never receive the Ph.D. thanks to some strings he'd pulled. My father and mother were as sick and crazy as they come, but they were always well paid members of the bourgeoisie. They could beat the hell out of me for no reason and then go to work the next day as if nothing had happened. This went on for nine years. My sister was legally insane, and I was deeply afraid of every authority figure, but my parents lived the American dream. To me, this is the definition of the American dream, because the dream is always lived on the torture and murder of others and not just Japanese/Vietnamese/Iraqis but millions of poor Americans who provide them with goods and services. 3) Jews at the University of Mississippi. I showed up at this university even though I had been denied an assistantship because I wanted to study Faulkner there. I talked to the interim chairman, not the Jewish graduate coordinator, and he gave me a research assistantship that day because my GRE scores were in the 98th percentile. All but one of those given assistantships that semester had scored at or below the 50th percentile. I know this because the chairman put me in charge of assistantships--that was my job--and my job enraged all the Jews, who comprised over half of the faculty members. The Jews I took courses from gave me failing grades, harassed me, and screamed at me all the time. My Anglo teachers all gave me A's, treated me like a colleague, and gave me glowing recommendations. The Jews do control many universities and many departments. They are extremely aggressive and abusive. It is wholly untrue that they deserve their positions in universities, the media, and the government. All Jews in positions of power have an agenda. And their agenda is not to teach everything they know to Anglo students. Their agenda is to destroy all intelligent Anglos by any means necessary. I was married briefly to a Jewish Iranian, and I have nothing against Jews who respect all of humanity, but they are few and far between. Sadly, Jews control the world banking systems, but everything they do depends upon secrecy, fear, and hatred of goyim. They are the reason Americans are killing Iraqis. Look up the dancing Israelis and Larry Silverstein. Look up the free weapons, oil, homes, healthcare, and whatnot provided to Israelis by Americans who have nothing. We have nothing at all--no living wage, no job security, no healthcare, no free elections, no freedom, no education. And this is because the very dumbest among us are given middle management control. It is the bourgeoisie who exploit us until we die. The Jews don't have to maintain the tight control they maintain in academia over the vast majority, because the majority are far too dumb to need any oversight. The people I work with at Cro-Magnon Mart have never heard of the Patriot Act and have never known a Jew. I defy all of you to tell me why a Ph.D. is rejected for hundreds of middle class jobs and constantly harassed/fired from minimum wage jobs.
Quote "I defy all of you to tell me why a Ph.D. is rejected for hundreds of middle class jobs and constantly harassed/fired from minimum wage jobs."
Cause youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a red-neck racist fuck?
Just a thought.
Apparently, "Unimportant" cannot read standard English or is a Jew. How can I be a racist when the Jews were excluding all Anglos who scored above the 50th percentile and brutally attacked the one Anglo who was admitted, despite scoring in the 98th percentile. You might consider taking a course in reading and critical thinking. Jews detest Goyim, not the opposite. I did not make any racist remarks. I stated the facts. Your racial slurs are meaningless to me. At my undergraduate university, CSUF, 95% of my professors in English were Jewish. About all I learned as an undergraduate concerned the holocaust.
I highly doubt this, I think someone was mad that he hadn't got to f*() his girlfriend for a little while. We need to be over there, we need to help these people, Saddam was just like Hitler and we took him out. I wonder if we had taken Hitler out in 1940 how history would have been different.