Crime Politics war World

Winning Hearts and Minds

. . .if you find something, then you’ll detain him. If not, you’ll say, ‘Sorry to disturb you. Have a nice evening.’ So you’ve just humiliated this man in front of his entire family and terrorized his entire family and you’ve destroyed his home. And then you go right next door and you do the same thing in a hundred homes.

That’s an extract from an article in The Nation magazine, where fifty American military veterans of Iraq are interviewed.

I guess while I was there, the general attitude was, ‘A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi’ … Spc. Jeff Englehart

There was a little boy … about 10 … with three donkeys. A military convoy … killed them all … Judging by the skid marks, they hardly even slowed down. Sgt. Kelly Dougherty.

Every good cop carries a throwaway (weapon), If you kill someone and they’re unarmed, you just drop one on them. Cavalry Scout Joe Hatcher

We’re approaching, and they had a family dog. And it was barking ferociously because it’s doing its job, and my squad leader, just out of nowhere, just shoots it. The family is sitting right there with three little children, and a mom and a dad, horrified. Spc. Philip Chrystal

You go up the stairs. You grab the man of the house. You rip him out of bed in front of his wife. You put him up against the wall. You have junior-level troops, PFCs, specialists will run into the other rooms and grab the family, and you’ll group them all together.
Sgt. John Bruhns

I just remember thinking to myself, ‘I just brought terror to someone else under the American flag’. Sgt. Timothy Westphal

I’ll tell you the point where I really turned. I go out to the scene and there was this little, you know, pudgy little 2-year-old child with the cute little pudgy legs, and I look and she has a bullet through her leg. An IED went off, the gun-happy soldiers just started shooting anywhere and the baby got hit. And this baby looked at me, wasn’t crying, wasn’t anything, it just looked at me like–I know she couldn’t speak. It might sound crazy, but she was like asking me why. You know, Why do I have a bullet in my leg?… I was just like, This is — this is it. This is ridiculous. Spc. Michael Harmon (medic ).

Read the whole article here:

The Nation

kick it on

20 replies on “Winning Hearts and Minds”

i’m hearing the word impeachment being thrown around, but no one is moving forward to begin….and monkey boy sits in the white house talking about how he aprreciates the good work being done to keep us safe….i despair for my country.

Sickmaking, disturbing and depressing. That article should be read out in Congress and then a soldier should stand in the Oval Office and read it aloud to Bush, Cheney, the whole cabal. Bring Rummie back and Wolfovitz too so they can be well and truly sobered by what they hear and realize just what their misrepresented war of choice has done.

The worst thing is that there doesn’t seem to be any way to turn it around – the wounds between the 3 rival factions have been blasted wide open again.

All: Not much point in replying to you one by one. We all agree on it.

Flirty: Jesus, I thought I’d already done that. Ooops!

Will there be a public hanging for Bush? Let’s face it, he is a dictator. America hasn’t been the land of the free for a long long time. Power and paranoia do not good bed fellows make.

Weird! I was at the Nation reading that last night, before bed. And I pop in here today and you’ve posted it!


More power to your elbow.

As I read through this I was wondering if they were speaking of the british army in Belfast, 20 years ago.
It’s so easy to find acticles on the hell that any war is in general but try finding the articles on what good they are doing. Why not post them also?

Brian: If the occasion arises, I’ll write something about the British army in Belfast, but that isn’t the subject of this post.

Likewise, I’m not inclined to post articles in support of the botched and misconceived invasion of Iraq resulting in that country’s complete destruction.

And I’m not likely to suggest that the justifications for war sold to the American people were anything other than a cynical lie.

There’s been noises today about the cost of Brian Haw’s protest against the war in Iraq outside the houses of parliament. Whatever the amount, money well spent I reckon.
That’s soul destroying stuff, seeing as it goes on, and on, and on, and nobody can seemingly do anything…

They can’t do anything now, but there was plenty they could have done to begin with, such as staying out of the fucking country in the first place. And if they couldn’t do that, maybe they could have left the civil service, the police and the army intact. And failing that, perhaps they could have shown just a tiny bit of respect for the Iraqis’ culture.

Yank soldiers are actually being trained more like police now due to this sort of thing and learn things like never talking to Iraqi weemen as to not insult them.

They hire Iraqis for senarios for training and have mock towns set up, say all you like about pulling out but they are training for long term.

Thanks for the invite.

One small point that needs clarification: I’m not all that fond of fish. Can you make a beef gumbo?

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