Brutality in Iraq 4

Thanks to Information Clearing House for this article, which does much to explain the escalating spiral of violence in Iraq. Anyone who still believes that the presence of US and British forces in Iraq is making life better for Iraqi civilians should read this intently, and think through the obvious consequences.

U.S. Examines Iraq Battlefield Ethics


Associated Press Writer

05/04/07 – — WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Pentagon survey of troops in Iraq found that only 40 percent of Marines and 55 percent of Army soldiers would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

In the first internal military study of battlefield ethics in Iraq, officials said Friday they also found that only a third of Marines and roughly half of soldiers said they believed that noncombatants should be treated with dignity.

The study also found that long and repeated deployments were increasing troop mental health problems. And it showed that more than 40 percent of Marines and soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the lives of troops.

The study was the fourth since 2003. Previous studies were more generally aimed at assessing the mental health and well-being of forces deployed in the war.

In the latest study, a mental health team visited Iraq last fall and surveyed troops, health care providers and chaplains.

“The Marine Corps takes this issue of battlefield ethics very seriously,” said Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas, a Corps spokesman. “We are examining the study and its recommendations and we’ll find ways to improve our approach.”

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4 thoughts on “Brutality in Iraq

  • ChoamNomsky

    Yes, it's pretty damning. Clearly US forces are not at all suitable for any kind of peacekeeping or stability role in Iraq. It's little wonder there is such widespread support for the different resistance groups.

    During the Suez crisis, the British and French pretended to be going in as a peacekeeping force to separate the Israelis and the Egyptians. Of course, the real motive was to grab the canal. In the end we were replaced with a much more legitimate peace keeping force, including Canadian and Danish troops. Something like that may work in Iraq.

  • simohurtta

    US troops problem even in real peacekeeping efforts in Balkan is their reluctance / incompetency to make contacts with the local population.

    US troops bring always with them a self-sufficient mini-America. This logistic isolation combined with the astonishing general American's all-round education of the world outside USA makes occupation and peacekeeping difficult / unsuccessful.

    The ?bermensch attitude is not brushed away by throwing casually candies for the kids. Also the Wild West style behaviour shoot first discuss later doesn't increase the popularity. Successful occupation and peacekeeping demands real respect of the local culture and habits.

  • Chuck Unsworth

    "The Marine Corps takes this issue of battlefield ethics very seriously," said Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas, a Corps spokesman. "We are examining the study and its recommendations and we'll find ways to improve our approach."

    What in God's name does he mean by this claptrap? I should think the vitims of this apparent lack of ethics take it a damn sight more seriously than the perpetrators.

  • Mattias

    The spin used by the army to counter this report is just fantastic:

    Acting Army Surgeon Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock characterized the report as positive news. He told reporters: "What it speaks to is the leadership that the military is providing, because they're not acting on those thoughts. They're not torturing the people."

    I got the quote from the daily headlines at Democracy Now

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