Iraqi civilian deaths shrouded in secrecy snips from the article,
Recent figures from the campaign group Iraq Body Count put the minimum number of civilians killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion three years ago at between 33,710 and 37,832.
Although many of those deaths were caused by insurgent attacks, multi-national forces stationed in Iraq ostensibly to protect the population have been responsible for a significant number post-invasion.
….Specialist Michael Blake, who served in Balad, said it was common practice to “shoot up the landscape or anything that moved” after an explosion.
Another veteran, Specialist Jody Casey, who was a scout sniper in Baquba, said he had also seen innocent civilians being killed.
….There are no governmental or judicial bodies in Iraq to investigate human rights violations and the activities of international groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have been limited by the deteriorating security situation.
Ms Choueiry believes an official body needs to be set up to ensure multi-national troops fulfil their mission while abiding by international humanitarian and human rights law.
Stories like this are like a ten foot tall blob of jello. Its difficult to get hold of. I’m not being snarky. Its not meant as an indictment of everyone that has ever worn a uniform. Its what I see as almost inevitable about war. One day an American is working behind a counter or changing the oil on the old Ford and the next day they’re walking down a road where two soldiers were killed the day before. The enemy doesn’t where uniforms. Soldiers have ethics, values, but like all of us they’re not immune to fear or peer pressure. You were taking the allowed ten minutes for your coffee break, but everyone else was taking fifteen, so you start taking fifteen too. Everyone starts shooting at anything that moves rather then a real threat, so you start shooting too. I don’t know, maybe its just a common adaptation in new situations for many people, you kind of imitate the people around you.
Someone you don’t know dies in a country thousands of miles from home. Maybe you’re the kind of person that that death doesn’t mean anything to, but you’re probably not. The ones that make it back wear the scars the rest of their lives. So when some loser that was born in a family of wealth and privledge trumps up some garbage about WMD and urgent threats that is a serious betrayal of eveything decent about America and its military. Veterans Report Mental Distress
The accounts of more than 300,000 soldiers and Marines returning from several theaters paint an unusually detailed picture of the psychological impact of the various conflicts. Those returning from Iraq consistently reported more psychic distress than those returning from Afghanistan and other conflicts, such as those in Bosnia or Kosovo.
On Wednesday’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann responded: “A note about Laura Ingraham’s comments. I’ve known her a long time. I’ll in fact give you the caveat that I’ve known her socially. But that hotel balcony crack was unforgivable.
It was unforgivable to the memory of David Bloom. It was unforgivable in consideration of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt. It was unforgivable in the light of what happened to Michael Kelly and what happened to Michael Weiskopf. It was unforgivable with Jill Carroll still a hostage in Iraq. And it was not only unforgivable of her — it was desperate and it was stupid.”
There is a video at the link. Right now conservatives are in a panic. Fourty years of think tank sound bites, AM shock jocks, honing the message in shallow sound bites so that it would be easy to remember without ever going into any depth on the issues. We can make fun of it, but it worked well enough to eck out enough elections to get them all the power they ever wanted. Now they alone have blown it. But they’re not going to direct their babbling incoherence and anger at themsleves for their failure, they’re going to project through those evil Democrats that have some how cleverly arranged for the Bush Brigade to fail. Much easier to call Democrats defeatists, then admit one’s own failings as a party and a movement.
Glenn Greenwald has more on the Feingold move to censure Bush and the myths that seem to be growing like spores in a petri dish, Myth-making and excuse-making on the Feingold Resolution
MYTH/EXCUSE NUMBER ONE: An investigation is needed before it can be known whether the President broke the law.
ISSUE 1: Did the President break the law when he ordered warrantless eavesdropping on Americans?
ISSUE 2: What was the scope and extent of the President’s secret eavesdropping?
MYTH/EXCUSE NUMBER TWO: Republicans want this scandal to persist because it benefits them politically.
Like most people I do not only want to not ever think about bestiality, I cringe at even seeing the word. Others have taken it upon themselves to examine conservative’s obsession with it, Animal Magnetism and here Damn! And I used to like peanut butter
“I am not an alcoholic,” Caswell said, with considerable dignity. “The
New York Rapid Transit Corporation does not hire alcoholics.”
“Oh,” said the clerk, glancing distrustfully at Caswell’s bloodshot
eyes. “You seem a little nervous. Perhaps the portable Bendix Anxiety
“Anxiety’s not my ticket, either. What have you got for homicidal
The clerk pursed his lips. “Schizophrenic or manic-depressive origins?”
“I don’t know,” Caswell admitted, somewhat taken aback.
“It really doesn’t matter,” the clerk told him. “Just a private theory
of my own. From my experience in the store, redheads and blonds are
prone to schizophrenia, while brunettes incline toward the
“That’s interesting. Have you worked here long?”
“A week. Now then, here is just what you need, sir.” He put his hand
affectionately on a squat black machine with chrome trim.
“That, sir, is the Rex Regenerator, built by General Motors. Isn’t it
handsome? It can go with any decor and opens up into a well-stocked
bar. Your friends, family, loved ones need never know–”
“Will it cure a homicidal urge?” Caswell asked. “A strong one?”
from Bad Medicine
by Robert Sheckley 1928-2005