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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Nation Building in Iraq

These videos of what surely looks like U.S. cold-blooded murder in Baghdad in 2007 have been widely distributed. Included among the victims were two people working for Reuters; two children were also in the group attacked.

A few comments:

1. The helicopter personnel seemed to be enjoying themselves;

2. The people on the ground were no threat to the American people whatever. Even if they were a threat to the U.S. military, that is only because it is occupying Iraq. There's a simple way to end any such threat -- withdraw.

3. What happened to Obama's promise to get out?

4. See Glenn Greenwald's "Iraqi Slaughter Not an Aberration."

In case anyone has missed the videos, here they are:


Bob Kaercher said...

I watched these last night and I literally got a sick queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

It was astounding to see with what impunity U.S. soldiers act in Iraq. Here we plainly see a group of people simply walking down the street--meanwhile we hear these thugs in the chopper talk themselves into believing that a couple of the individuals are carrying guns--even an RPG!--and alas it turns out to be the cameras of the two Reuters photographers.

I thought, "Can they really just DO that???? Just decide from a distance that the people walking below them are dangerous--even though none of them did so much as point a FINGER at the U.S. chopper!--and just open fire and blast away like that???" Naive of me, I know. I've read about all sorts of atrocities against the Iraqi people over the past several years--Haditha, Abu Ghraib--but to really SEE that--it's mindboggling and truly sickening.

And did you get a load of the victim-blaming by the U.S. chopper thugs??? "That's what they get for bringing their kids to a battle." What an arrogant, pompous prick! There WASN'T any battle until they just decided to play judge, jury and executioner in the matter of a few seconds!

Like gods, they are, smiting the mortal for nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Kevin Carson said...

Perhaps not entirely unrelated: the U.S. intelligence community is trying to shut down WikiLeaks.

Sheldon Richman said...

Here's a story about Wilkileaks.


"In a leaked report published last month the US Army, in effect, called Wikileaks a threat to its operations and information.

"The US joins a long list of states to take issue with the site. China, North Korea, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Russia, have tried to block access to Wikileaks after disclosures on the site."

Nice company to be in.

Perry E. Metzger said...

The most important aspect of this situation, the wholesale coverup by the Pentagon, which was a wholesale fabrication (claiming, among other things, that the helicopter was attacked and that no determination could be made of how the children had been injured, that the reporters had somehow failed to identify themselves to the soldiers), has been ignored by most people.

I strongly believe that as horrible as the crime itself was, the coverup is more disturbing. People do horrible things, but when the system intended to achieve justice is complicit in the crime, we will get an endless repeat of what should be an aberration.

I encourage people who repost the video to emphasize that the original pentagon report, which was written not in a war zone but in cold blood over a period of months, was not merely spin but a tissue of lies, and that those who covered up the crime need to be punished as much as those who committed it.

Sheldon Richman said...

Thank you, Perry. You are absolutely right.

Perry E. Metzger said...

BTW, the original Wikileaks release, along with the entire original raw video in downloadable format, lots of supporting documentation such as the 2007 Rules of Engagement (which were clearly violated repeatedly during this incident) is at

Sheldon Richman said...

Do you have a link to the original Pentagon report?

Sheldon Richman said...

Here's a link to David Froomkin's article discussing the Pentagon's lie.

And let's not forget the cover-up in the murders in Afghanistan.

Perry E. Metzger said...

Sheldon Richman said...

Have you clicked on that? It's scary as hell!

Bob Kaercher said...

Well thank goodnes we live in a free country.

Mark D Hughes said...

Canada's CBC radio program "As It Happens" (April 7, 2010) ran an interview with Nabil Noor-Eldeen, the brother of one of the murdered Reuters crew. You can listen to the interview here.

Paul in Chicago said...

The 2nd vid was dedicated to the people killed by the Americans in the unprovoked attack and to the victims of war whose fates remain unknown.

Instead, it should have been dedicated to the destruction of a pernicious organized crime racket that is 221 years too old.