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Ear to the Ground

The Horrors of ‘The Other War’

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Posted on Jul 11, 2007
basra girl
AP Photo / Toni Nicoletti, pool

An early photo from the Iraq war, taken in April 2003, shows a wounded girl at a hospital in Basra, in southern Iraq.

Truthdig contributor Chris Hedges teamed up with Laila Al-Arian for The Nation’s shocking report “The Other War:  Iraq Vets Bear Witness,” in which American vets describe, in graphic detail that will challenge even the least fainthearted readers, “the disparity between the reality of the war and how it is portrayed by the US government and American media.”

Update: Read the full story on Truthdig


The Nation:

We heard a few reports, in one case corroborated by photo­graphs, that some soldiers had so lost their moral compass that they’d mocked or desecrated Iraqi corpses. One photo, among dozens turned over to The Nation during the investigation, shows an American soldier acting as if he is about to eat the spilled brains of a dead Iraqi man with his brown plastic Army-issue spoon.

“Take a picture of me and this motherfucker,” a soldier who had been in Sergeant Mejía’s squad said as he put his arm around the corpse. Sergeant Mejía recalls that the shroud covering the body fell away, revealing that the young man was wearing only his pants. There was a bullet hole in his chest.

“Damn, they really fucked you up, didn’t they?” the soldier laughed.

The scene, Sergeant Mejía said, was witnessed by the dead man’s brothers and cousins.

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By cyrena, August 10, 2007 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

#93741 by Bill Ross on 8/10 at 11:39 am

•  The “rule of law” is a precisely defined law. It is the highest law of mankind, stated below:

This in turn is based on the fact that human behavior (the topic of law) is about goal seeking. In the seeking of any goal, there are only three possible methods: force, fraud and honest trade.
•  <<Any transaction that is not an honest, mutually agreed trade will cause a self-defensive response (conflict) from the victim whose survival has been affected.>>


The Rule of Law” is the glue that keeps all of mankind acting together in common interest, tied together by mutual dependence of trade, on an evolutionary path to excellence. Force and fraud creates conflict and destroys civilizations. Mankind is now on a devolutionary path to extinction because the co-operation once forced by “the rule of law” has been replaced by legitimizing force and fraud for those who incorrectly believe they wield power.

Dear Bill Ross,

THANK YOU, for posting this. It seems simple enough, eh? Easy to follow. Almost idiot proof. And, yet, we’re about to lose it all. It breaks my heart.

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By Bill Ross, August 10, 2007 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Current woes, this outrage included have a common element: The rule of law has fallen and might is now right and, if we are lucky we will be thrust back to the stone age and living in caves, if not, we will be extinct.

The “rule of law” is a precisely defined law. It is the highest law of mankind, stated below:

“the suppression of forceful and fraudulent methods of goal seeking”

“all are treated equally by the law”. This means ALL, including king and judges

“absolute property rights”

This in turn is based on the fact that human behavior (the topic of law) is about goal seeking. In the seeking of any goal, there are only three possible methods: force, fraud and honest trade. Any transaction that is not an honest, mutually agreed trade will cause a self-defensive response (conflict) from the victim whose survival has been affected.

“The Rule of Law” is the glue that keeps all of mankind acting together in common interest, tied together by mutual dependence of trade, on an evolutionary path to excellence. Force and fraud creates conflict and destroys civilizations. Mankind is now on a devolutionary path to extinction because the co-operation once forced by “the rule of law” has been replaced by legitimizing force and fraud for those who incorrectly believe they wield power.

Rule of Law, Defined: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/34

Purpose of, Reasons For: http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/36

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By Mark, August 10, 2007 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A soldier’s job is to keep moving forward and kill everything in front of him. Take a guy with that training and put him in a shooting gallery with him as a sitting duck and this is what you will get every time. It isn’t just US soldiers.

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By Fredrik, August 9, 2007 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Denmac: oh no, a “terrorist”! Then we can’t believe anything they say! Liars, all those damn Arabs! Only the Jews tell the truth about the Middle East! Our “brave little allies,” right? Man, I am so tired of the neocon lackeys and their deception, their hypocrisy, and their lies about the Middle East. It is time that Americans wake up and hang every neocon, both the Israeli lobbyists and the paid goyim - and deal with hangers-on like denmac here in an equally decisive manner. By the way, Israel’s filthy Mossad has an entire department for posting on American forums and websites, to troll debates. That’s the “brave little ally” who steal American taxpayers’ money, and use American soldiers to kill its enemies in the Middle East. No more wars for the Israeli lobby! Deport them to Israel and let them rot there. Shalom, denmac.

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By denmac, July 15, 2007 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Very handy that Chris Hedges routinely writes with Laila Al-Arian (Google, it’s a fact).  She’s the daughter of Sami Al-Arian, currently in jail as the result of a plea bargain, due to providing support (monetary and organizational) to Terrorist groups (again, Google for facts).  Daddy has been caught on tape making devastating pro-terrorism staements to both individuals and groups (again, Google it).

Hedges and Al-Arian wrote an article claiming Sami’s innocence, even after he pled and went to jail.  Oh, and by the way, last I checked, Sami was staging a hunger strike, refusing to provide info to the gov’t about his terrorist cronies (senence reduction was offered for testimony).  He said if he testifies, he will be killed.  Doesn’t sound like someone with no terrorist ties now, does it?

Anyway, the “Truth” hurts when you “dig”.

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By great_satan, July 12, 2007 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Meanwhile back at the ranch….
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070712/pl_nm/dirtybomb_sting_dc_1

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By moni, July 12, 2007 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Macabre . . .  is the singular word that comes to mind.  To feign sophistication and high culture but inactuality to be as brutal and uncivilized as the most primitive of peoples is the ultimate in hypocracy.

Cindy Sheehan is planning to walk to Washington and demand that Congress IMPEACH the pseudo-president and his cronies.  If Congress is “not up to the task” she will challenge Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat from her District in California.  It seems that Cindy, whose son made the supreme sacrifice; will hold those who are accountable, to their promises.  We all need to demonstrate similar courage.

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By Deborah, July 12, 2007 at 11:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read the entire article from beginning to end. All eleven pages. I feel as if I should be out marching, protesting, or planning the next American Revolution.

I don’t even know where to begin. But it seems to me our current government has outlived it’s usefulness.

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By 127001, July 12, 2007 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Re: #86176 by cyrena

So true.

The hardest thing for anyone to do is look in the mirror.

Americans need to look in their mirrors more often, and stop primping and start seeing the ugliness that is really there.

Democracy is no longer in this country. In some ways we are worse than the fascists of the 1940s.

But karma comes. Listen to the “poor Americans” weep and cry for mercy when they receive the karma from these actions.

It is all we who are so outraged can hope for now.

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By Hammo, July 12, 2007 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

More similarities to the Vietnam War. The costs to the honor of our troops and our nation are going to be somewhat significant, not to mention the death, injuries and other costs.

However, it seems that a turning point is being reached in American public opinion on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the same way public opinion changed on the Vietnam War.

More on this in the article:

“Americans felt turning points on Vietnam, Iraq wars in ‘70, ‘07”

American Chronicle
July 11, 2007

http://americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=31984

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By Howard Kindel, July 12, 2007 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I haven’t read the full article yet (I can’t until I subscribe to the Nation, which I’ve been intending to do and now will).  In the meantime, I don’t think it requires the full article to get the full horror of the situation - just a little imagination, and a little compassion for people outside one’s own circle.  There’s nothing I can add to what others who posted a comment have already said.  Except maybe one thing: I’m developing a profound distrust of “polls.”  The latest poll (as reported Tuesday on Countdown) puts 70% of Americans against the Iraq war, wanting the troops home by next April.  Last month’s latest poll put 66% of Americans against the war, wanting the troops home by next March.  I realize we’re only getting the results, not how the questions were framed.  But unless the pollsters specifically asked if those taking the poll wanted the troops home in nine months, there’s only one logical explanation for this shift from March ‘08 to April ‘08: the people are aping their President and continually moving their timetable up.  If so, then I’m afraid the great opposition to the Iraq war isn’t worth a rat’s ass.

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By Verne Arnold, July 12, 2007 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

I can’t…I just can’t do this anymore.  Korea, Viet Nam, and now the middle-east.  We were led to the slaughter and we slaughtered.  Our children…do we value them so little?  I have seen it all.  Can we truly be this ignorant of even our own history?  How can we be fooled so many times by our “leaders” for the same reasons over and over and over again? 

Truly…what is wrong with us?

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By Tess Lopez, July 12, 2007 at 4:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A friend of mine just went back to Iraq after 2 weeks home.  I could tell he was different, changed.  His gentle spirit is forever gone I think.
Let’s get real people! The Media is controlled by our Government.  We only hear and see what they want us to. Thinking the guy mentioned with spoon in hand is just a plain Sociopath.  War is never pretty, but his actions are a testament of his lack of compassion.  It’s one thing to “kill’ because you have to, but those who get off on the sickest of the sick…they just got a head full of bad wiring.

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By cyrena, July 12, 2007 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

#86169 by 127001 on 7/12 at 1:07 am

You’re absolutely right 127001. And, we are talking EVERYDAY, all over this American soil.

And then there are all of our murder-suicide events, that for some reason, either don’t get mentioned, or somehow drop off the media radar very quickly.

Very few of us are actually looking around us.

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By 127001, July 12, 2007 at 2:07 am Link to this comment

While this is being done by the military in Iraq, look around at the U.S.

There are numerous “neighborhoods” and communities that atrocities such as this and others are happening on this very soil.

Look around for a change.

Be the wrong color.
Be the wrong culture.
Be the wrong income level.
Be someone with an enemy with cash and a grudge.

These are the current “true Americans” ???

Seems so.

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By cyrena, July 12, 2007 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

Comment#86133 by Joseph Conrad on 7/11 at 8:27 pm

Joseph, you wrote:

Once upon a time, American Baby Boomers protested the incidious war in Viet Nam. Now, they are sitting back and allowing Bush to send their children to DIE in Iraq - ALL TO STEAL IRAQI OIL FOR HIS BUDDIES!

*********************
And yes, I was there in the once upon a time of the American Baby Boomers, and for whatever the reason, I still can’t believe that this is happening again. And that we’re allowing it.

I also think we aren’t going to allow it for much longer. Because, it HAS to STOP!!

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By kevin99999, July 11, 2007 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

when U.S. troops act like morons and animals, I do not support the troops.

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By Joseph Conrad, July 11, 2007 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Once upon a time, American Baby Boomers protested the incidious war in Viet Nam. Now, they are sitting back and allowing Bush to send their children to DIE in Iraq - ALL TO STEAL IRAQI OIL FOR HIS BUDDIES!

These SAME Baby Boomers must remember May Lai and all the other incidents of US soldiers slaughtering Vietnamese villagers out of Fear & Anger.
Now these SAME Baby Boomers can sit back knowing their children ARE DOING MAY LAIS EVERY DAY IN IRAQ UNDER THE ‘COVER’ OF BRINGING IRAQIS DEMOCRACY!

WHAT HAVE WE AMERICANS DONE TO OUR CHILDREN?
We fought a war in the 60’s & 70’s that was a LIE. Now we’re making our children do the same in Iraq!

Oh yeah. My father fought in WWII & Korea. I fought in Viet Nam and my son fought in Desert Storm!

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By cyrena, July 11, 2007 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

I’ve read similar accounts from other independent news sources, -none from the MSM of course- of these and so many other horrors, including the rapes of Iraqi women, (and children) with the subsequent burning of their corpses. It’s more than the LEAST feint-of-heart can take, and somehow make this OK. Somehow just “explain this away”. And yet, there are those who will try.

MSM has made it so much easier for them to avoid these realities.

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