From Al Jazeera:
GI ‘ordered to kill Iraq prisoners’
A US soldier has testified that his commander ordered him to kill three Iraqi detainees, then cut him with a knife to make it look as if there had been a struggle.
Specialist William Hunsaker told a court martial for Ray Girouard on Tuesday that the staff sergeant ordered him and another soldier to free the men, then shoot them as they ran.
“They’re going to cut the ties, tell them to run, shoot them,” Hunsaker quoted Girouard as saying.
Girouard, 24, is the last and most senior soldier from the 101st Airborne Division to face trial in the killings, which occurred during a May 9 raid on a suspected fighters’ camp near Samarra. …
The soldiers had previously told investigators they were given rules of engagement by Colonel Michael Steele, the 3rd Brigade commander, to kill all military-age men.
Steele has denied this but invoked his right not to testify.
Colonel Michael Steele was the inspiration for the Hollywood war propaganda, anti Somali racist, film Black Hawk Down.
Lots of money for the Iraq war, but not for human needs in the USA: here.
Iraq war and oil: here.
Opposing the Iraq War: Heroes of Resistance
Posted by: “Corey” email@example.com cpmondello
Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:36 pm (PST)
Opposing the Iraq War: Heroes of Resistance
As we mark the fourth anniversary of Bush’s catastrophic war in Iraq, a round of blaming is sure to ensue along with counts of U.S. soldiers killed and wounded, money spent, dreams dashed, and the like.
What we should also do is celebrate the people who opposed the war from the beginning. In the face of severe opprobrium and intimidation, a sizable number of Americans saw the charade for what it was and rued the oncoming disaster. They should be cheered, time and again.
It is easy to forget how brutally coercive the conventional wisdom was in the autumn of 2002 and winter of 2003. Even today, the supporters of the war, especially liberal hawks, insist that “no one” doubted that Saddam had nuclear or biological weapons, or that “no one” could have anticipated the chaos and mayhem to come. This is dead wrong. Many people warned of exactly such consequences. The predictions came from a broad spectrum of Americans, no less, from the old-fashioned conservatives of Papa Bush’s circle to New Left veterans.
They were, of course, marginalized and in many cases accused of treason. Nowadays, those who were cheerleaders for the war want to join the ranks of the resisters, saying they were against this debacle all along.
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25 years ago: US military slaughters Somali civilians
On June 11, 1993, six months after US troops landed in Somalia for the supposed purpose of feeding starving people, US warplanes reduced large parts of the capital city, Mogadishu, to rubble, while United Nations troops carried out house-to-house raids and cold-blooded massacres.
US AC-130H gunships attacked targets throughout Mogadishu with 105mm computer-guided howitzers capable of firing enormously destructive shells with overwhelming rapidity. Hundreds of Somalis were killed and many more wounded in a week of one-sided bloodshed.
The action was the first major military operation of the Clinton administration, which had taken office in January. It was purportedly in retaliation for the death of 23 Pakistani soldiers in a clash with Somalis on June 5. These “peacekeeping troops”—mercenaries sent by the military dictatorship in Islamabad—died in a battle in which they killed at least three times as many Somalis, after a raid in which the UN troops sought to seize control of a radio station which had broadcast statements opposing the foreign occupation.
The work of food relief agencies, the supposed aim of Operation Restore Hope, ground to a halt. An official of the CARE relief agency told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “The UN is now regarded as the enemy, not someone who came to help.” The US attacks were highly destructive, he explained: “The targets are specific, but the weaponry is enormous and the damage is huge.”
President Clinton described the US mission as “opening up the country again to the beginnings of civilization.” The onetime protester against the Vietnam War was now embracing gunboat diplomacy with more modern killing machines.
The bombing and killing in Somalia were supported by a barrage of media propaganda in the United States. Somali militia leader Mohammed Farah Aidid became the latest figure in the pantheon of villains, following the examples of Manuel Noriega in Panama (1989) and Saddam Hussein of Iraq (1990-91), denounced as a “warlord,” while Somali collaborators with the US-UN occupiers were dubbed “statesmen.”
Two days after the US bombing raids, thousands of Mogadishu residents took part in the first mass anti-US demonstration. Pakistani “peacekeepers” opened fire, killing at least 20 people, the majority of them women and children. Most of the dead appeared to have been shot in the back as they tried to flee from the gunfire. Victims lay in pools of blood. One journalist eyewitness, wrote, “They have picked off defenseless men, women and children, even those who had nothing to do with the demonstration.”
July 12, 1993: A US attack force of 17 Cobra helicopter gunships and Blackhawk helicopters struck a neighborhood in the center of the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Firing 16 missiles and more than 2,000 rounds of 20-millimeter cannon fire, the fleet of warplanes laid waste to a building which housed large numbers of civilians. Somalis reported 73 dead and more than 200 wounded in the attack. Many of the victims were women and children.
Crowds of enraged Somalis responded to this unprovoked sneak attack by setting upon Western journalists, killing four of them. This became the near-exclusive focus of media coverage, ignoring the bloodbath that triggered the popular anger.
US military spokesmen presented the attacks as pinpoint strikes that had hit their targets, killing “only” 13 Somalis. This soon proved to a lie. Both the International Red Cross and journalists verified the Somali reports of scores killed and hundreds wounded, simply by checking with local hospitals in the Somali capital.
US officials justified the slaughter by claiming that the target was a compound serving as “command and control center” for Mohammed Farah Aidid, the leader of the United Somali Congress, which has demanded an end to the US-United Nations occupation of Somalia. A Pentagon spokesman in Washington described the raid as part of a US effort to “trim General Aidid down to size.”
The US military rampage also had the effect of virtually halting the relief operations to feed starving Somalis, which were the ostensible pretext for the US intervention in the first place. Hundreds of tons of food rotted in warehouses around the city, while relief workers fled to avoid the violence.
The chaos in Somalia was exacerbated by a falling out among the imperialist powers participating in the intervention. The Italian government, the former colonial power in the country, threatened to withdraw its 2,600 troops, the second largest component, after the UN demanded the removal of General Bruno Loi, the Italian commander, over his alleged refusal to follow US orders.
After the scale of the July 12 attack became clear, the Italian government called for a suspension of all combat operations by the “peacekeeping” forces deployed in Somalia.
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