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One Excellent Reason Not to Join the Military: You May be Ordered to Kill Civilians
(Paul Rockwell, CommonDreams.org, April 29, 2006)
He talked like the Terminator. I was stunned and said, ‘You shot an unarmed man behind barbed wire for throwing a stone.’ He said to me, ‘Well, I said a prayer, and I gunned him down.’ There was a complete disconnect between what he had done and his morality. He was the nicest guy, a family man, a courteous, devout Christian.” War crimes in Iraq are not mere aberrations. They emanate from official policies regarding the aims and conduct of the occupation . It is official policy, for example, to use cluster bombs in populated areas. Soldiers and Marines merely carry out the policy. It was official policy, under Operation Iron Hammer, to put barbed wire around villages, to bulldoze crops, to bomb homes, and to hold families in jail until they released insurgent information. It was official policy to level Fallujah, a city of 300,000 people, as an act of collective punishment. American commanders openly declared that Fallujah needed to be taught a lesson. Commanders ordered the use of 500-pound bombs that are utterly indiscriminate in their effects. At a mass burial of dead Iraqis, Captain P.J. Batty stated: “Everyone needs to understand there are consequences for not following the Iraqi government.” ...Not only are American Marines, reservists, and soldiers expected to follow unlawful orders, they are also expected to bear life-long burdens of shame, guilt, and legal culpability for the arrogance of their own commanders—who dispense life and death from an office computer.
posted by An Old Curmudgeon 6:46 AM