US Military Killings of Afghan Civilians Recall Haditha in Iraq

This video is called Aljazeera Iraq – Haditha massacre witness.

From the New York Times in the USA:

After it became clear last year that several marines had killed 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, following an attack on their convoy of Humvees, the Marine Corps, which had initially played down the massacre, began an offensive of a different kind.

Last May, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, the commandant of the Marine Corps at the time, went to Iraq to express deep concern to his marines and to reinforce what he called the “core values” that required them to respond to danger with thoughtful precision.

But almost a year later, marines killed at least 10 civilians in Afghanistan in an episode that bore some striking similarities to the Haditha killings and suggested that the lesson had not taken, even in a platoon of combat veterans wearing the badge of the elite new Marine Corps Special Operations forces.

Marine Corps officials said the unit, whose members undergo at least four months of specialized military training, did not receive specific values training addressing the lessons of Haditha.

The actions of the 30 marines on patrol in Afghanistan appeared to contradict many of the edicts General Hagee had implored the marines to remember. …

A preliminary military investigation found that the marines killed at least 10 civilians and wounded dozens along a stretch of road near Jalalabad on March 4, and no evidence that they were being fired upon.

See also here.

And here.

6 thoughts on “US Military Killings of Afghan Civilians Recall Haditha in Iraq

  1. U.S. Gen. report on Haditha condemns Marines: report
    Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:02am ET16

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Army general concluded the Marine Corps chain of command in Iraq ignored “obvious” signs of “serious misconduct” in the slayings of two dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

    The report by Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell, obtained by the newspaper, also found that commanders fostered a climate that devalued the life of innocent Iraqis to the point that U.S. soldiers considered their deaths insignificant.

    Bargewell’s investigation found officers may have willfully ignored reports of the civilian deaths to protect themselves and their units from blame.

    The investigation covered enlisted personnel through the two-star general commanding the 2nd Marine Division at the time.

    Bargewell found no specific cover-up, but he concluded there also was no interest at any level in investigating allegations of a massacre, the Post reported.

    Bargewell’s report, now unclassified, focuses on the reporting of the incident and the training and command climate within the Marine Corps leadership. It does not address the November 19, 2005 incident in detail.

    On that day, a roadside bomb exploded and killed one Marine in a convoy of Humvees. In reaction, a squad of Marines raided several homes and killed 24 Iraqi civilians.

    The Marines have told investigators they believed they were taking small arms fire from the houses and were following rules of engagement when they responded.

    The investigation began in March 2006 after an initial inquiry found the Marines did not intentionally kill innocent civilians.

    A Marine Corps spokesman declined to comment, the Post reported. Marine officials have generally not discussed the incident because it is under investigation.

    © Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.


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