“Fortunately, history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.” — Donald Rumsfeld in Sunday’s WaPo
Time may have unearthed another bombshell pertaining to the Iraq war. In this exclusive article, they allege that Marines indiscriminately shot up several families in apparant retaliation for a roadside bomb fatality. From the article:
…a Marine communiquÃƒÂ© from Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi reported that Terrazas and 15 Iraqi civilians were killed by the blast and that “gunmen attacked the convoy with small-arms fire,” prompting the Marines to return fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding one other. […]
But the details of what happened that morning in Haditha are more disturbing, disputed and horrific than the military initially reported. According to eyewitnesses and local officials interviewed over the past 10 weeks, the civilians who died in Haditha on Nov. 19 were killed not by a roadside bomb but by the Marines themselves, who went on a rampage in the village after the attack, killing 15 unarmed Iraqis in their homes, including seven women and three children. […]
According to military officials, the inquiry acknowledged that, contrary to the military’s initial report, the 15 civilians killed on Nov. 19 died at the hands of the Marines, not the insurgents. […]
But the military’s own reconstruction of events and the accounts of town residents interviewed by TIME–including six whose family members were killed that day–paint a picture of a devastatingly violent response by a group of U.S. troops who had lost one of their own to a deadly insurgent attack and believed they were under fire. TIME obtained a videotape that purports to show the aftermath of the Marines’ assault and provides graphic documentation of its human toll. […]
When the Marines entered the house, they were shouting in English. “First, they went into my father’s room, where he was reading the Koran,” she claims, “and we heard shots.” According to Eman, the Marines then entered the living room. “I couldn’t see their faces very well–only their guns sticking into the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny.” She claims the troops started firing toward the corner of the room where she and her younger brother Abdul Rahman, 8, were hiding; the other adults shielded the children from the bullets but died in the process. Eman says her leg was hit by a piece of metal and Abdul Rahman was shot near his shoulder. “We were lying there, bleeding, and it hurt so much. Afterward, some Iraqi soldiers came. They carried us in their arms. I was crying, shouting ‘Why did you do this to our family?’ And one Iraqi soldier tells me, ‘We didn’t do it. The Americans did.'” […]
According to military officials, the Marines say they then started taking fire from the direction of a second house, prompting them to break down the door of that house and throw in a grenade, blowing up a propane tank in the kitchen. The Marines then began firing, killing eight residents–including the owner, his wife, the owner’s sister, a 2-year-old son and three young daughters. […]
The Marines raided a third house, which belongs to a man named Ahmed Ayed. One of Ahmed’s five sons, Yousif, who lived in a house next door, told TIME that after hearing a prolonged burst of gunfire from his father’s house, he rushed over. Iraqi soldiers keeping watch in the garden prevented him from going in. “They told me, ‘There’s nothing you can do. Don’t come closer, or the Americans will kill you too.’ The Americans didn’t let anybody into the house until 6:30 the next morning.” Ayed says that by then the bodies were gone; all the dead had been zipped into U.S. body bags and taken by Marines to a local hospital morgue. “But we could tell from the blood tracks across the floor what happened,” Ayed claims. “The Americans gathered my four brothers and took them inside my father’s bedroom, to a closet. They killed them inside the closet.”
Time provides that the military version of events is not the same as what I just posted. This said, the military has not told a consistent story and seems to be trying to cover up. I provided what I’d guess to be the more likely of the two scenarios. I’d also like to view the video mentioned in the article, but haven’t found it on the Internet, yet.
Back to Rummy. We’ve had time to look at the historical picture of the My Lai massacre and almost universally condemn what happened there. If this story from Iraq ends up being truthful, the only positive thing about it is that it may help strengthen U.S. resolve to withdraw from Iraq immediately.