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:: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 ::

US Gov't on Justificaiton for Iraq: We weren't lying; we were emphasizing

ABC News reports that senior sources inside the White House are not admitting that despite all the rhetoric from the White House, WMD were not the primary reason for the war. Instead, officials say, we went to war with Iraq and put American lives on the line so that the US could "flex its muscle to show it would fight terrorism". In other words, we wanted to show that we could beat up any country that tried to mess with us on the global playground and Iraq just happened to the little nerdy kid with glasses. Gee, thanks for being honest with us George.

Of course, Europeans thought the solution was to get a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Gee, what a radical idea.


:: Jason 10:12:00 AM [+] ::
...

US Army Officer: Hard To Tell Difference Between Iraq and a Grenade?

Reuters reports that U.S. troops have fired on a crowd of Iraqi protestors. If you believe the Iraqis, they've killed 13 and wounded 75. The purpose of the protest? To ask the troops to leave an Iraqi school that was being used as a U.S. Army barrack so that the children in Falluja could start taking classes again.

Even if you don't believe the Iraqis, however, I find the U.S. Army's version of the story almost as troubling. First, the commanding officer in charge said that it started when between 100 and 200 chanting people approached his men. Then two men in the crowd opened fire from behind the crowd on a motorcycle. Then "some people" in the crowd also fired. So according to the U.S. Army account, a handful of gunmen fired on the US Troops and the US response was to fire on the entire crowd of 200 people, even though 95% of them were innocent and unarmed and engaging in conduct that in this country would be protected by the First Amendment.

But it gets better. Another US officer at the scene said that the US Troops fired because they were confused by the crowd firing shots into the air. So what do they do? They fire into the crowd, killing people, just in case it was a threat to their safety.

But here is the best part: According to the same US officer, a Lieutenant Colonel:

"There were a lot of people who were armed and who were throwing rocks. How is a U.S. soldier to tell the difference between a rock and a grenade?"

Gee, because they don't explode? Don't we train our troops to know the difference between a rock and a grenade? And even if we don't know right away, does that give us permission to fire at will into a crowd of mostly innocent people? Why not just retreat from the gun fire or isolate the individual gunmen?

Gripe gripe gripe. I know, I'm full of gripes today. But still, imagine if this scenario had happened in America.. say in San Francisco. Some wacked out protestor pulls out a gun and starts firing at the SF police. Do the SF police pull out machine guns, kill 13 people, and wound 75 people? I don't think so. If we want Iraq to become a democracy, we need to start treating them with the respect that citizens of such a system deserve. If we don't respect their rights, how do we expect to earn their trust?


:: Jason 8:59:00 AM [+] ::
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