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Assasins of the 82nd Airborne in Iraq???

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  • Assasins of the 82nd Airborne in Iraq???

    Sunday I watched a serious international affairs programme on our 1st channel (public entity, like BBC, serious journalism, great care in research, avoiding speculative stuff).
    Anyway, what they showed was an 8 mins. report . The film crew accompanied a platoon of US soldiers of special unit that belongs to the famous 82 Airborne on its daily duty. This unit of soldiers hides somewhere in an abandoned or forced flat on Baghdad's Haifa Street and with the help of high precision guns shoots (to kill) any suspicious person within sight! Without warning or challege... They shoot a driver (who dies during the filming) who the soldiers state had a gun (but is not there when the film crew gets to him).
    Quite chilling, but worse was to come: when asked if they'd also shoot children an officer and a sergeant answered without hesitation that they would. If a kid of 15 would be seen carrying an AK 47 even with muzzle down they'd shoot him.
    The area - Haifa Street - was for a long time one of the most violent districts in the area. Obviously the US command in Iraq has not the slightest concept of how to handle an occupation and is resorting in some cases to means that remind of darkest colonial times. It is certainly no way to make friends nor to convince anybody of higher Western morality.
    I saw the report with my elder daughter who has history lessons at college about the liberation of Europe from the Nazis by soldiers with the same flag on their jackets as these sanctioned hitmen have ... what might she think deep down ..?
    Google ergo sum


  • #2
    And then we hear about how these people are ungrateful for 'democracy' when they retaliate. The West has no moral capital left - how can we even criticise terrorists who kill civilians when this type of thing goes on? I heard on the radio today that 40% of people in the Middle East think that Al Qaeda is a 'legitimate liberation movement'. Well done BBS (Bush-Blair-Sharon).
    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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    • #3
      It's interesting that a number of once "anti-war" newspapers are coming out and asking "Was Bush Right?" because of the potential pull out from Lebanon of Syrian forces. Some people see this as the beginnings of a trickle democracy in the Middle East...

      ...personally I see it as the beginnings of trickle-down civil wars in the Middle East. All the posturing and braggadocio of the US serves to polarise opinion.

      If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say that is the point - with the region in turmoil there is less organized resistance to US/Israeli imperialism and it makes it easier for the US to seize oil when required. If only the Iranians would quit with those pesky nukes....
      Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
      Bakunin

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      • #4
        I find it difficult to put thoughts to words on this whole issue. The documentary that L'E speaks of seems to be one of several such shows (of which I've sadly caught a couple here and there over the past year)...and they all leave me staggering for an explanation.

        Most especially I find that I feel real bad for ordinary Iraqis. Bloody unspeakable hell that they must be going through. I often find myself staring beyond the cameras at the people on the sidewalk; the ones who don't get interviewed. The background, as it were. And wonder: who are they? what must they think, if they have brothers, daughters, mothers in this place?
        Having been in Mexico City on and off for years, as well as a brief stint in Medellin (Colombia) some years ago, I have grown slightly used to the mass psychosis that goes around all the time relating to crime rates and drug-related violence. But somehow it does not compare by far with what is happening in Iraq - because, to begin with, we're supposed to swallow that tripe about the gringo soldiers being the Good Guys (they often say it during interviews too!).

        What gives? speechless, is all I am.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Groakes
          It's interesting that a number of once "anti-war" newspapers are coming out and asking "Was Bush Right?" because of the potential pull out from Lebanon of Syrian forces. Some people see this as the beginnings of a trickle democracy in the Middle East...
          I've been irritated by this, as well, Groakes. What has happened in Lebanon and with the PLO has nothing to do with US action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and everything to do with the death (in one case, an assiassination) of strong, polarizing, authoritarian leaders.

          If the "Bush doctrine" is really a success, why is the US' second strongest ally in the region (Saudi Arabia) still one of the most repressive states in the world? And why does Iran have nukes. Give me a break. Bush is an opportunist who sees a chance to say "I told you so," to try and convince people that he set it all in motion.

          To address the original theme of this thread...

          When I was in the Army, the 82nd was known as a killing unit. They celebrated it, trained for it, and lived it. We should be surprised?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Groakes
            It's interesting that a number of once "anti-war" newspapers are coming out and asking "Was Bush Right?" because of the potential pull out from Lebanon of Syrian forces. Some people see this as the beginnings of a trickle democracy in the Middle East...

            ...
            One could say, that the proof of the Democracy pudding would be in the eating, but the only way to eat that pudding is by relying on the fair, open and honest reporting spoon of journalism, feeding us the news from the region in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi, Syria and etc. But, can we trust the media?

            The news feed has never been more tightly controlled. Reporters are either 'embedded' in Allied military units, under fire, or shot. We've no real idea what's going on in Iraq. We do know that our respective Governments and their most obedient servants in the media, have lied to us on a regular basis, spouting propaganda where there used to an attempt to supply accurate information and a clear picture. A ruthless and barefaced attempt to spin victory out of bloody chaos.

            I fear that this kind of blinding distortion will spread beyond the conflict zones in the Middle East and the 'War against Terrible abstractions of Fear', into the domestic sphere, more and more.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AndroMan
              One could say, that the proof of the Democracy pudding would be in the eating, but the only way to eat that pudding is by relying on the fair, open and honest reporting spoon of journalism, feeding us the news from the region in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Saudi, Syria and etc. But, can we trust the media?

              ....
              The success of a democracy is not measured by the way that it attains power, but by how it relinquishes it.
              Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
              Bakunin

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