Monday, July 24, 2006

the fall

The bush administration claims we are in a war against terror, and those who perpetuate it.
The bush administration claims it is acting as the protector of freedoms and democracy.
The bush administration claims it is acting in the best interests of the iraqi people, and the world.

Without trying to sound too dramatic here, I believe the bush administration has effectively determined what will, in not many generations time, be the downfall of western civilization as we know it.

The bush administration, as a representation of the west and of america, has directly destroyed so many lives that the terror it claims to fight is only the faintest shadow of the terror it is likely to experience in the future, having bred hatred in the hearts of so many men, women, and children globally.

I know how cataclysmic and fatalistic I sound, but we need only look at the most elemental laws of physics to know that actions cause reactions. Personal feelings and judgments aside, I believe from a strictly empirical and objective standpoint that america will unfortunately end up having to pay, and pay dearly, for the actions we have allowed our elected officials to take in our name.

To draw parallels to the roman empire would be too cliche.

Here is an interesting story that helps illustrate my point:

Iraqi Survivor Wants U.S. Troops Executed
By KIM GAMEL , 06.03.2006, 01:01 PM

An Iraqi whose brother and other relatives were killed in a U.S. attack on a suspected terrorist hideout north of Baghdad condemned a military investigation Saturday that cleared forces of wrongdoing.

A 9-year-old survivor of an alleged massacre by U.S. forces in the western city of Haditha, meanwhile, demanded that those responsible be executed, as anger mounted over accusations that Iraqi civilians have been killed by Americans without provocation.

"We did not do anything to them," said Iman Walid Abdul-Hameed, who lost her parents, a brother, her grandparents and two uncles in the shootings. She said only she, her brother and a sister survived.

"Because they hurt us, we want the Americans to be executed," said Abdul-Hameed, wearing a violet striped shirt and headband as she sat on a couch at a cousin's home, where she is now living. She and her brother Abdul-Rahman were slightly injured during the shootings.

New footage shot by AP Television News in Haditha and broadcast Saturday showed walls pockmarked with bullet holes inside a stone house belonging to those killed. A dusty TV with an apparent bullet hole in the corner sat on the floor as furniture was piled up to the side in the emptied house.

A lawyer representing relatives of some of the 24 Iraqis allegedly killed by U.S. Marines after a roadside bomb killed a colleague pointed to bullet holes in the white walls, which appeared to have been marked by American investigators with Roman letters and numbers.

The lawyer, Khaled Salem Rsayef, complained that compensation paid to the victims' families did not reflect "the magnitude of the disaster." He also said U.S. officers accused him and other relatives of lying when they recounted the shootings in their first meeting with the military after the Nov. 19 killings. He did not say when they met.

The AP Television News footage also included an interview with the director of Haditha General Hospital and images of the scattered rubble in the median where the roadside bomb apparently struck a military convoy, killing the U.S. Marine.

The Marine Corps had initially attributed 15 civilian deaths to the bombing and a firefight with insurgents, eight of whom the Marines reported had been killed.

Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and decorated war veteran who has been briefed by military officials, has said Marines shot and killed unarmed civilians in a taxi at the scene and went into two homes and shot others.

The hospital director, Walid Abdul-Khaleq al-Obeidi, said bodies of the 24 victims, including those of eight women and five children, were brought to the hospital by the Marines at 11 p.m., about 14 hours after witnesses said the last gunshot was heard at the scene of the shootings. He said the bodies had gunshot wounds to the chest and head, and one body was burned.

The New York Times reported Saturday that commanders learned within two days that civilians in Haditha were killed by gunfire and not a roadside bomb, quoting a senior Marine officer it did not name. The officer said officials had no information suggesting the civilians had been killed deliberately and saw no reason to investigate further.

The U.S. military in Baghdad declined to comment on the report Saturday because the investigation is ongoing.

In a separate investigation, the U.S. military said Friday it found no wrongdoing by American troops accused of intentionally killing civilians during a March 15 raid in Ishaqi, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. As many as 13 Iraqis were killed.

The investigation concluded that U.S. troops followed normal procedures in raising the level of force after coming under fire while approaching a building where they believed an al-Qaida terrorist was hiding, said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S military spokesman.

Caldwell also acknowledged "possibly up to nine collateral deaths" occurred in addition to the four Iraqi deaths that the military announced at the time.

He said Saturday a great deal of attention had been paid to "coalition forces killing innocent Iraqi civilians. However, each case needs to be examined individually."

Issa Hrat Khalaf, whose brother was killed in the attack, demanded an independent investigation and said the U.S. forces responsible for the killings should be executed.

"Where are the terrorists? Are they the old lady or the kids?" he said in a telephone interview, referring to the fact that women and children were among the victims. "It looks like the lives of the Iraqis are worthless."

The bloody aftermath of the attack was captured at the time in the footage shot by an AP Television News cameraman. The video became the focus of attention Friday when the British Broadcasting Corp. aired it in the wake of recent allegations of U.S. troops killing unarmed civilians.

The footage shows five slain children lying a row, wrapped in blankets, and at least one adult male and four of the children with deep wounds to the head. One child has an entry wound to the side, and the inside of the walls left standing were pocked with bullet holes. A voice on the tape said there were clear bullet wounds in two people.

The investigation of the attack in Ishaqi, near Samarra in the Sunni Arab heartland north of Baghdad, was one of three probes into possible misconduct by American troops in Iraq. U.S. Marines also are accused of deliberately killing two dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians in the western town of Haditha on Nov. 19 after one of their own died in a roadside bombing.

Besides Haditha and Ishaqi, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman could face murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges in the April shooting death of an Iraqi man west of Baghdad.

Robert Ford, the U.S. Embassy political counselor, promised during a briefing for Iraqi reporters that "all information about what happened in Haditha will be shared with the Iraqi people."

"What is happening in Haditha is being fully investigated and American soldiers will face military justice if wrongdoings are found," Ford said in Arabic.

Army Brig. Gen. Donald Campbell, the chief of staff for U.S. forces in Iraq, said Friday the military will cooperate with the Iraqi government in its own investigation of Haditha and other incidents of alleged wrongdoing by U.S. troops.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday upbraided the U.S. military for "a horrible crime" in Haditha and accused U.S. troops of habitually attacking unarmed civilians. His office had no immediate comment on the exoneration of the troops in the Ishaqi killings.

Associated Press reporters Robert Burns in Washington and Hamza Hendawi, Patrick Quinn and Qais al-Bashir in Baghdad contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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