Vote To Deny A Working Tory Majority

It’s rearguard action time and at best all we get is the lesser of neoliberal evil but as Greece is showing corporate capital plans to attack and refusing to go quietly might mitigate their ambitions. Tory target seats, Grauniad Tactical voting guide, if you are in one, vote for the appropriate party to deny a Conservative victory (if your conscience allows). If the price of the war crimes engaged in by New Labour is a Tory government then to be honest we still get off a fuck of a lot lighter than around 1.2 to 1.5 million Iraqis and Afghans, so y’know have some perspective in your wailing and gnashing of teeth, because whoever wins welfare & healthcare will continue to be privatised & the ‘clients’ treated appallingly and migrants will still be imprisoned without trial. Torture will continue to practised and covered up, global capital will still be genuflected to and my brother will still be shipping out for Afghanistan this weekend.

Easy

Go on, press the button, it’s easy. You’ve been trained in such a way that makes it very easy, that directs your libido into desiring the kill, to ‘Get Some’. And don’t worry, the acculturation in the Homeland is such that whatever you do you will be the Good Guy. And thus the cycle continues, mass murderers become respected and get the next bit of mass murder going. The counter narrative is already launched, that’s if it is even still on the news agenda and anyway they are censoring it for the sensitive folks back home. What then of the other side, when they’ve mown down your friends, family, given themselves medals and treat you like shit, gonna do something? You’ll have to realise that your act won’t reach the people in the Homeland, they won’t understand you as a human being who made a stand, who couldn’t take anymore who couldn’t live with the anger, grief and the need stop the pain in your head, you’ll be an insurgent, a terrorist, a fundamentalist. Heroes use $16 million gunships (that’s a stimulus to the economy, saving jobs, providing careers in science, engineering and psychology), when you improvise whatever you can get your hands on, that’s terrorism. And that act will stiffen the resolve of the righteous forces of freedom, they are protecting the folks back home from your violence. They’ll be parades for them, at your funeral a drone will Hellfire all your friends and family, I mean who else would go to the funeral of a terrorist than other terrorists? Get Some. And best of all, best of all even the caring sharing reasonable liberal journalists will deny the holocaust of deaths (especially the half a million starved children even before the WMD lies did their work), Lancet & Orb are verboten, because the Good Guys don’t do that even as they wring their hands. So war has not changed, it is series of unfolding atrocities and people who want a nice life will not get in too much of the way of that, it’s just not polite. Do your duty, don’t think too hard, value nice things that a nice salary will buy you and one day maybe when you hear rotors overhead, hope that your gang, your tribe are in the cockpit, so don’t go to protests, don’t pray to the wrong god, don’t resist an occupation that murders and tortures your friends and family. When they say they are Good Guys believe them and serve them, whatever they do to you, maybe they foreclose your home, or bulldoze your home, deny you medicine in a letter or at a checkpoint, because that’s freedom. Find the most powerful gang and join it and hope your life is not at the other end of a button push.

collateralmurder.com

Standing at the window
A farmer’s wife in Oxford shire
Glances at the clock; it’s nearly time for tea
She doesn’t see
The phantom in the hedgerow dip its wings
Doesn’t hear the engine sing
But in the cockpit’s techno glow
Behind the Ray Ban shine
The kid from Cleveland
In the comfort of routine
Scans his dials and smiles
Secure in the beauty of military life
There is no right or wrong
Only tin cans and cordite and white cliffs
And blue skies and flight flight flight
The beauty of military life
No questions only orders and flight, only flight
What a beautiful sight in his wild blue dream
The eternal child leafs through his war magazine
And his kind Uncle Sam feeds ten trillion in change
Into the total entertainment combat video game
And up here in the stands
The fans are going wild
The cheerleaders flip
When you wiggle your hip
And we all like the bit when you take
The jeans from the refrigerator and
Then the bad guy gets hit
And were you struck by the satisfying way
The swimsuit sticks to her skin
Like BB gun days
When knives pierce autumn leaves
But that’s okay see the children bleed
It’ll look great on the TV
And in Tripoli another ordinary wife
Stares at the dripping her old man hadn’t
Time to fix
Too busy mixing politics and rhythm
In the street below

Seventh Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion

And as this video from rethink Afghanistan demonstrates the meek response and internalisation of propaganda is working, the first minute is concerned with US military casualties, then it turns to Iraq casualties and tremulously announces –At least 95,639 confirmed civilian deaths. History is written by the winners and it turns out they even get to rewrite what dissenting voices say. I know that they are after a wide US audience so deference for the imperial military forces and the civilian toll of the ongoing crimes have to be politely alluded to at best, but seven years on this does begin to indicate those who enacted this war will get to own the narrative. All helped by a hysterically embedded media, this by Barbara Plett is not much of a serious piece, it is a glorified film review of fugitive rapist Roman Polanski’s latest, but there is a telling passage-

The drama also has Adam Lang – holed up in a villa in Martha’s Vineyard – decide to stay in the United States for fear of arrest if he returns to Britain. Technically this is a feasible scenario. As a state that has ratified the Rome Treaty, Britain would be obliged to arrest anyone for whom the ICC had issued a warrant, although it had not yet for Mr Lang. The US has not ratified the treaty so it is not similarly obliged. However some legal experts are sceptical that Washington would protect such a high profile fugitive from justice, no matter how close an ally.

If Blair was ensconced in the US the White house would extradite him to face war crimes charges, she reports this expert opinion as if that would ever happen, bless. She also avoids mention of the crime of aggression and that a Chief Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz said-

“The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States, formulated by the United States, in fact, after World War II. It says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can’t use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, ‘Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they’ve found — then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq — which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.”

And it is neither historically remarkable or psychologically surprising that  supporters and/or beneficiaries of slaughter deny the scale of the damage (beneficiaries are anyone still climbing upwards in their career who know it is best not to focus too strongly on deaths we cause as opposed to the evil ‘other’). There are people who deny the Holocaust, there are people who deny the death toll in Iraq, they are of the same ilk, quit whining and own your historical antecedence, you want good war, you have to hide bodies, real fucking simple. Deny the the best correlated figures of a million plus but know who you are making common cause with. There are 2.76 million Internally Displaced Persons and the figures for refugees who fled Iraq are complicated because of the necessarily scattered nature and multiple different countries reporting methods but the figure was 1,977,000-2,377,000(est.) one year ago, there is yet to be profound changes to their circumstances, in fact they are becoming worse.

Children of veterans with PTSD experience-

Iraqi adults & children themselves have massive rates of PTSD, depression and birth defects. Halliburton reported $3.1 Billion Gross Operating Profit last year, Blackwater/ XE and other mercenary firms of the privatised neoliberal war paradigm made…undisclosed total amounts often claimed to be classified, but Armor Group (Chairman former Tory Def Sec Sir Malcolm Rifkind now owned by G4S) made $3.7 million profit in 06,

Jeremy Scahill, 2007– Precise data on the extent of U.S. spending on mercenary services is nearly impossible to obtain — by both journalists and elected officials–but some in Congress estimate that up to 40 cents of every tax dollar spent on the war goes to corporate war contractors. At present, the United States spends about $2 billion a week on its Iraq operations.

Politicians, commentariat & high ranking military & intelligence personnel who conspired on the lies to enable the war have seen their careers & personal wealth flourish, those who opposed, told the truth and still do… Well at least Craig Murray got to be played by Doctor Who on Radio 4. Likelihood that because none of the prosecutors of this war have suffered adverse legal or criminal sanction that they will do it again- 100%. History & business as usual.

Happy Anniversary.

US Army Backs Down & Discharges Alexis Hutchinson

A single-mom soldier who says she refused to deploy to Afghanistan because she had no family able to care for her young son will be discharged from the military instead of facing a court-martial, the Army said Thursday. Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, an Army cook stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, was arrested in November after skipping her unit’s deployment flight. Hutchinson, 21, said she couldn’t leave her son because her mother had backed out of plans to keep the child a few days before the soldier’s scheduled departure.

The Army filed criminal charges last month against Hutchinson of Oakland, Calif., but a general at neighboring Fort Stewart chose to settle the case by granting her an administrative discharge rather than try her in a military court.

“She’s excited that she’s no longer facing jail and can still be with her son, which is the most important thing,” said Rai Sue Sussman, Hutchinson’s civilian attorney. “We’re very happy about it right now.” The decision still carries consequences for Hutchinson. She is being demoted in rank to private and will lose benefits afforded to military service members and veterans, Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said.

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A Work of Art

This transcends its purpose and becomes a testimony to the intelligence, honesty, humanity and integrity of people and the failure for those qualities to be made essential in our elites. I’m going back to read some more, have a look yourself.

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The War On Grandmothers

Allegations that a 62-year-old Iraqi grandmother was tortured and executed by British soldiers after her family home was raided three years ago are being investigated by the Royal Military Police.

The Army’s involvement in the death and abuse of Sabiha Khudur Talib is one of the most serious charges to be made against Britain during its six-year occupation of southern Iraq.

UK government ministers are to be given previously unseen police reports from a Basra crime unit which conclude that Mrs Talib’s body was dumped on a roadside in a British body bag in November 2006. There was a bullet hole in her abdomen and her face had injuries consistent with torture, police reported.

MORE

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Global Peace Index

And the figures are in for ’09! Possibly only as meaningful as the top 40 but, notice the bottom four are nations with US support/involvement/intervention while the US is at 83 sandwiched between the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, hey Mr ONobel give peace a chance eh?

Definition Of An Imperial Liberal

We will tax the rich a tiny tiny bit but only in order to kill foreign subjects of our crusades.

(Bloomberg) — Higher-income Americans should be taxed to pay for more troops sent to Afghanistan and NATO should provide half of the new soldiers, said Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Imagine if nurturing people, schools, hospitals, welfare carried the same moral impetus, you can imagine that but as long as an Empire must be fed a dream will be all it is. Oh yeah and fuck NATO, it should have been dismantled along with the Berlin wall.

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Predictable

Apparently people are still confused that war involves murder and insanity. Luckily morons, racist and imperialists can hang their denial on ideas of tribal loyalty because -their- god forbid they realise that if this is what a professional dealing with combat trauma does, then the ongoing wars in service of the ruling class’s ambitions might be seen for the civilisation destroying cancer they are. Of course it might be unkind to note that the death rate for civilians in this action were considerably less then the military ever manage while on official operations. And the horror of misapplied geography, if he had expressed his homicidal feelings while in theatres of combat on men, women & children unfortunate enough to be living in a country our governments caused to be invaded he would be doing his duty. That he saw his colleagues as targets and not Afghans & Iraqis is a failure of propaganda, military healthcare and a symptom of institutional racism in imperial forces. Hasan clearly was a stupid and venal man, he chose to volunteer his labour for an enterprise he knew to be wrong and allowed it to destroy him and in turn others. Did he target, in a deranged vengeance, those he knew or suspected of murdering civilians overseas? He was in a position to have knowledge of such things. Certainly few would dare sugest such a thing as this is our side and the von Stauffenbergs and Inglourious Basterds are heroes real and imagined when they kill ‘them’ and our tribe could never be evil like ‘them’. So the soldiers are victims and the killer is a totem for everything the warfare state wants to project onto him. Rather they are all victims, just as any nation is that is stuck with a voracious, privileged and entitled imperial ruling class on the make, that has taught its numbed disenfranchised citizens to eulogise the strengths of its military and corporations. And a workplace shooting that screams a direct connection to the violence at the heart of a culture of imperialism will be seen as anything but, in fact will be used to justify even more killing. And the wars grind on, anointed with a peace prize.

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How to Trap a President in a Losing War

Latest By Tom Engelhardt is worth reading, (though how much Obama really disfavours war I think is debatable) empires always become a support mechanism for a military parasite, an army with a rump -increasingly undemocratic- homeland attached. A simple anecdotal survey of the ubiquity of the Support the Troops mantra in service of warfare (not welfare) across all parties gives it away, small excerpt-

It’s one thing for the leaders of a country to say that war should be left to the generals when suddenly embroiled in conflict, quite another when that country is eternally in a state of war. In such a case, if you turn crucial war decisions over to the military, you functionally turn foreign policy over to them as well. All of this is made more complicated, because the cast of “civilians” theoretically pitted against the military right now includes Karl W. Eikenberry, a retired lieutenant general who is the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Douglas Lute, a lieutenant general who is the president’s special advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan (dubbed the “war czar” when he held the same position in the Bush administration), and James Jones, a retired Marine Corps general, who is national security advisor, not to speak of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The question is: will an already heavily militarized foreign policy geared to endless global war be surrendered to the generals? Depending on what Obama does, the answer to that question may not be fully, or even largely, clarified this time around. He may quietly give way, or they may, or compromises may be reached behind the scenes. After all, careers and political futures are at stake.

Meanwhile if you can spare some cash Courage to Resist need funds.

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Killing Fields of Sri Lanka

Channel Four report-

Link to unedited clip in 3GP format -Warning, shows the execution of naked bound prisoners by military personnel-

A video clip received from Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) evidences the way extra-judicial killings are executed in the island. The video captured in January show the behaviour of Sri Lanka’s soldiers during the war that is claimed ‘humanitarian operation’ to rescue the Tamils, JDS reported Tuesday. The conversations of the killers are in Sinhala. “From the casual nature of the conversations and from the fact that it is taking place in an open area in broad daylight – it can be surmised that these are not ordinary acts by rogue elements carried out without the permission from the top leadership. The soldiers egging each other on, the insulting jokes and the laughter show that there is a consensus that these cold blooded killings should take place,” JDS further reported.

Meanwhile in the concentration camps Tamils fear the ‘Dolphin Vans’-

Displaced Tamil people are being daily abducted from camps in Vavuniya by people who come in vans, a displaced person told the BBC. Speaking with BBC Sandeshaya from a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Vavuniya, the IDP said all the displaced try to hide in their tents as the ‘Dolphin vans’ arrive in the camps. “We do not know what exactly happens as everybody hides as soon as they see the vans. But I know that two to three people are disappearing daily,” he said.

Some IDPs may also be secretly leaving the camps by paying the authorities, he said. “Some people have suddenly disappeared. I don’t know whether they were abducted or left with the help of the authorities.”

Boycott Sri Lanka

Nuclear Terrorism

hiroshima_ruins

155 scientists working on the Manhattan Project to design and build the world’s first A-bombs signed a petition to President Truman raising grave moral doubts about what they had created.

Led by physicist Leo Szilard, the signers at the Project’s secret uranium plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and at the Metallurgical Lab in Chicago, urged their Commander-in-Chief to weigh his “moral responsibilities” when deciding whether to drop A-bombs on inhabited Japanese cities. They also urged Truman to warn the Japanese about the apocalyptic ruin they faced, and to state clearly the surrender terms that Washington now expected from Tokyo.

The petition’s signers had all worked doggedly to create nuclear weapons before Nazi scientists could. But they saw this as a desperate, defensive effort to keep Hitler from world domination. Once Germany surrendered in May 1945, they considered offensive use of their new weapons against Japan as both morally wrong and potentially catastrophic. Instead, many signers urged the A-bomb be demonstrated to force Japan’s surrender, and then be locked under new international controls to forestall a post-war nuclear arms race.

More Manhattan Project scientists would have signed at Los Alamos, the secret lab in New Mexico where the bomb was designed and assembled, but there director J. Robert Oppenheimer forbade the petition’s circulation. Oppenheimer had advised a top-level government committee that recommended Truman use the bomb without warning on civilians, and he dismissed Szilard’s petition as naive meddling. Going further, Oppenheimer alerted Gen. Leslie Groves, the Manhattan Project’s military head, about the petition. Only after learning how Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed did Oppenheimer regret his creation, urge international control for all atomic work, and oppose racing to build even more powerful H-bombs.

Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, Harrison-Bundy File, folder #76.

On July 17, 1945, Leo Szilard and 69 co-signers at the Manhattan Project “Metallurgical Laboratory” in Chicago petitioned the President of the United States.

July 17, 1945

A PETITION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Discoveries of which the people of the United States are not aware may affect the welfare of this nation in the near future. The liberation of atomic power which has been achieved places atomic bombs in the hands of the Army. It places in your hands, as Commander-in-Chief, the fateful decision whether or not to sanction the use of such bombs in the present phase of the war against Japan.

We, the undersigned scientists, have been working in the field of atomic power. Until recently, we have had to fear that the United States might be attacked by atomic bombs during this war and that her only defense might lie in a counterattack by the same means. Today, with the defeat of Germany, this danger is averted and we feel impelled to say what follows:

The war has to be brought speedily to a successful conclusion and attacks by atomic bombs may very well be an effective method of warfare. We feel, however, that such attacks on Japan could not be justified, at least not unless the terms which will be imposed after the war on Japan were made public in detail and Japan were given an opportunity to surrender.

If such public announcement gave assurance to the Japanese that they could look forward to a life devoted to peaceful pursuits in their homeland and if Japan still refused to surrender our nation might then, in certain circumstances, find itself forced to resort to the use of atomic bombs. Such a step, however, ought not to be made at any time without seriously considering the moral responsibilities which are involved.

The development of atomic power will provide the nations with new means of destruction. The atomic bombs at our disposal represent only the first step in this direction, and there is almost no limit to the destructive power which will become available in the course of their future development. Thus a nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear the responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale.

If after this war a situation is allowed to develop in the world which permits rival powers to be in uncontrolled possession of these new means of destruction, the cities of the United States as well as the cities of other nations will be in continuous danger of sudden annihilation. All the resources of the United States, moral and material, may have to be mobilized to prevent the advent of such a world situation. Its prevention is at present the solemn responsibility of the United States — singled out by virtue of her lead in the field of atomic power.

The added material strength which this lead gives to the United States brings with it the obligation of restraint and if we were to violate this obligation our moral position would be weakened in the eyes of the world and in our own eyes. It would then be more difficult for us to live up to our responsibility of bringing the unloosened forces of destruction under control.

In view of the foregoing, we, the undersigned, respectfully petition: first, that you exercise your power as Commander-in-Chief, to rule that the United States shall not resort to the use of atomic bombs in this war unless the terms which will be imposed upon Japan have been made public in detail and Japan knowing these terms has refused to surrender; second, that in such an event the question whether or not to use atomic bombs be decided by you in light of the considerations presented in this petition as well as all the other moral responsibilities which are involved.

Leo Szilard and 69 co-signers

Voice of Hibakusha (victims of the atom bombs)-

Testimony of Yosaku Mikami:- Since our order was to help the most heavily injured, we searched for them. We tried to open the eyes of the injured and we found out they were still alive. We tried to carry them by their arms and legs and to place them onto the fire truck. But this was difficult because their skin was peeled off as we tried to move them. They were all heavily burned. But they never complained but they felt pain even when their skin was peeling off. We carried the victims to the prefectural hospital. Soon afterwards, the hospital was full, so then we carried the injured to the Akatsuki Military Hospital. On the following day, we decided to visit the small fire stations throughout the town. I believe there were about 20 or 30 small stations with only 7 or 8 firemen each. Those small stations were temporary place near police stations and city halls during war time. The workers stationed at the important places were all killed. I visited one of the fire stations and inside the burned fire engine, I found a man who was scorched to death. He looked as if he was about to start the fire engine to fight the fire. Inside the broken building, I also found several dead men. I guess they were trapped inside the building.

Testimony of Isao Kita:- The smoke was so thick that it covered the entire town. After about 5 minutes, fire broke out here and there. The fire gradually grew bigger and there were smoke everywhere and so we could no longer see towards the town. The cloud of the smoke was very tall, but it didn’t come in this direction at all. The cloud moved in that direction from the ocean towards Hiroshima Station. It moved towards the north.The smoke from the fire, it was like a screen dividing the city into two parts. The sun was shining brightly just like it was a middle of the summer over here on this side. And behind the cloud on the other side, it was completely dark. The contrast was very much. So about 60 or 70 % of the sky was covered by the cloud and the other 30 % was completely clear. It was a bright clear blue sky. The condition had remained like this for some time. From Koi, looking towards Hiroshima Station, you could see the black rain falling. But from here, I couldn’t judge how much rain was falling. But based on the information I heard later, it seems that the rain fell quite heavy over a period of several hours. It was a black and sticky rain. It stuck everything. When it fell on trees and leaves, it stayed and turned everything black. When it fell on people’s clothing, the clothing turned black. It also stuck on people’s hands and feet. And it couldn’t be washed off. I couldn’t be washed off.

Testimony of Taeko Teramae:- There were many students who were mobilized to destroy buildings to widen the streets and the area of Tsurumi Bridge, City Hall and the Chugoku Newspaper on that day. And since they were outside, they were directly exposed to the bomb. Many of them died, many of them died right there. Someone called for help in vain, and some jumped into the river and drown to death. If my teacher, Mr. Wakita had not come to help me, I would have died in the river.

MATSUDA: It was very, very hot. I touched my skin and it just peeled right off. The driver of the streetcar was not in sight. I thought he had been quick to run away but now I think that he was probably hurled outside in the blast. It was around August 25 that a pile of my hair just fell off all at once. I had a high fever and maggots infested in my eyes.

INTERVIEWER: In your eyes?

MATSUDA: Yes. I was afflicted with erysipelas as well. I had two children, but I had not told them about this experience. And I don’t want to talk about it. But this time many people are testifying together and since I’ve been asked, I will talk. But I have tried to avoid it until now.

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The Monsters of Empire

Colorado Springs Gazette
Casualties of War, Part I: The hell of war comes home
Casualties of War, Part II: Warning signs

Excerpts-

Marquez, who was arrested before the latest programs were created, said he would never have pulled the trigger if he had not gone to Iraq.

“If I was just a guy off the street, I might have hesitated to shoot,” Marquez said this spring as he sat in the Bent County Correctional Facility, where he is serving 30 years. “But after Iraq, it was just natural.”

More killing by more soldiers followed.

In August 2007, Louis Bressler, 24, robbed and shot a soldier he picked up on a street in Colorado Springs.

In December 2007, Bressler and fellow soldiers Bruce Bastien Jr., 21, and Kenneth Eastridge, 24, left the bullet-riddled body of a soldier from their unit on a west-side street.

In May and June 2008, police say Rudolfo Torres-Gandarilla, 20, and Jomar Falu-Vives, 23, drove around with an assault rifle, randomly shooting people.

In September 2008, police say John Needham, 25, beat a former girlfriend to death.

Most of the killers were from a single 500-soldier unit within the brigade called the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, which nicknamed itself the “Lethal Warriors.”

The battalion is overwhelmingly made up of young men, who, demographically, have the highest murder rate in the United States, but the brigade still has a murder rate 20 times that of young males as a whole.

The killings are only the headline-grabbing tip of a much broader pyramid of crime. Since 2005, the brigade’s returning soldiers have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, DUIs, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides.

Like Marquez, most of the jailed soldiers struggled to adjust to life back home after combat. Like Marquez, many showed signs of growing trouble before they ended up behind bars. Like Marquez, all raise difficult questions about the cause of the violence.

Did the infantry turn some men into killers, or did killers seek out the infantry? Did the Army let in criminals, or did combat-tattered soldiers fall into criminal habits? Did Fort Carson fail to take care of soldiers, or did soldiers fail to take advantage of care they were offered?

And, most importantly, since the brigade is now in Afghanistan, is there a way to keep the violence from happening again?

“After being in Iraq, it feels like everyone is the enemy,” he said. “You feel like you need a gun so they don’t come to get you.”

His friends all felt the same way.

Nash slept with a loaded .45 under his pillow.

Butler kept a Glock .40-caliber with him all the time, even when he rocked his newborn baby.

Marquez bought three pistols, a riot-style shotgun and an assault rifle like the one he carried in Iraq. He carried a pistol constantly, he said, even when he went to church.

His buddy, Freeman, said he bought himself a “big, scary” snub-nose .357 revolver.

In a December 2007 letter to the Inspector General’s Office of Fort Carson, which investigates crimes within the Army, Needham told of the atrocities he saw. His father provided a copy to The Gazette.

One sergeant shot a boy riding a bicycle down the street for no reason, John Needham said. When Needham and another soldier rushed to deliver first aid, the sergeant said, “No, let him bleed out.”

Another sergeant shot a man in the head without cause while questioning him, Needham said, then mutilated the body, lashed it to the hood of his Humvee and drove around the neighborhood blaring warnings to insurgents in Arabic that “they would be next.”

Other Iraqis were shot for invented reasons, then mutilated, Needham said.

The sergeants particularly liked removing victims’ brains, Needham said.

Needham offered a photograph of a soldier removing brains from an Iraqi on the hood of a Humvee and other photos as evidence. His father supplied copies to The Gazette.

The Army’s criminal investigation division interviewed several soldiers from the unit and said it was “unable to substantiate any of his allegations.”

Tamils Put In ‘government-run camps’

BBC sez-

Sri Lanka says 63,000 Tamil civilians have escaped from the last remaining area of territory held by Tamil Tiger rebels in the past two days. The army said it had made further inroads into the small area in the north, searching for the rebel leader. It said some civilians fled by sea and were met by the navy. They were being transferred to government-run camps. The rebels alleged the army had killed about 1,000 civilians in the latest fighting. There is no confirmation.

Sri Lankan military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told the BBC’s Newshour programme that the army had rescued the civilians after breaking down earthen defences, rather than forcing them to flee amid fighting, as suggested by the rebels.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was “extremely worried” about civilians still trapped in the zone. “The situation is nothing short of catastrophic. Ongoing fighting has killed or wounded hundreds of civilians who have only minimal access to medical care,” said director of operations Pierre Kraehenbuehl.

The rebel TamilNet website said the territory they still controlled was littered with bodies of civilians. Video released by Tiger supporters shows mutilated bodies, but it is not clear when the recording was made.

Tamilnet sez-

Several hundreds of civilians are feared killed and injured and total chaos prevails among civilians as Sri Lanka Army (SLA) advanced into the so-called ‘safety zone’ in Pokka’nai Monday morning 11:00 a.m., according to latest reports from Vanni. Heavy fighting was reported along the bunds of the lagoon and patients in the Puthumaaththa’lan makeshift hospital were forced to run away as Rocket Propelled Grenades launched by the SLA hit the hospital. A few medical staff remaining in the hospital are hiding in bunkers. People were seen running in panic as dead and injured were seen lying scattered everywhere, eyewitnesses told TamilNet.

And the ICG make noises-

“Barack Obama’s administration has said it is committed to the principals of international law and humanitarian protection. Sri Lanka is the perfect opportunity for the new U.S. president to show that this is not empty rhetoric,” says an article by Robert Templer of the International Crisis Group. “Urgent, determined, and united international action is necessary to ensure the safety of the innocent — by the United Nations Security Council, other multilateral organizations, and individual countries that have relations with Sri Lanka, including India and Japan. Only international supervision, unhindered by the government, can provide the necessary level of protection,” writes the author, reflecting the changing and opportunistic perspectives of the IC, but elusive on the crux of the crisis – the Tamil national aspirations.

The International Crisis Group (ICG), which was highly critical of the Eezham Tamil liberation struggle sometimes back, theoretically contributed to Bush’s war on terror and the weakening of the Tamil defences leading to their genocide today, seems to have changed its perspectives, said a political analyst in Colombo.

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Drone Attacks Kill 49 Civilians For Every 1 Al Qaeda Killed In Pakistan

And that’s the figures for Pakistan, apparently the Afghan Ambassador to the US commenting on drone attacks in his country thinks-

“This is a price that we have to pay if we want security and stability in Afghanistan, the region and the world, ” he said in Washington on Friday.

I would submit that any force/administration that is killing 49 civilians for every 1 enemy target is practising a very basic and obvious terrorism and is undeserving of support. There are no good possible ends from these means. (ht2 Chris Floyd)

Full report on the Pakistan deaths-

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