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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Just recently I wrote a letter "attacking" the wonderful, mighty and pure American military and I was bombarbed by six articles in this same unbiased newspaper with titles like; "Go home," "America, love it or leave it."

Thank God I'm not alone in exposing the crimes. From a nation based on equailty, I was told to love what our troops do and better them dead than ours and of course I find that evil. I will continue to hang my pro-peace and antiwar posters in the front yard, circulate antiwar pamplets, and scream my outrage at the violence and the people who support murder and my disgust at the war ho's and all those who deny, deceive and manipulate the truth.

Michael Hall

Peru, IL

Jul 13 2007 - 1:09pm

Web Letter

Isn't it time Amerikka left these poor people alone?

Everyone and his mother (outside the US) knows you're trying to steal their oil.

Patrick Lim

Changi, Singapore

Jul 13 2007 - 6:59am

Web Letter

Having first seen this article in the Independent (UK Newspaper) I came to The Nation's website to see these accounts in full. But having read what has been said by some of the soldiers, I can't believe no one else has even given this story a second look. By "no one" else I mean the media--this story isn't even on the BBC, no other paper seems to want to talk about it and not one American online news service has even mentioned the article. And what perhaps is worse, there are people willing to write in here and claim this is just a side effect of "war is hell."

To me this is one of the biggest problems with this whole affair: The US and her allies went into Iraq with the intention of getting rid of WMDs, and now we all know that was not true, so they said we are there to give Iraq democracy, but now we hear that the US has been killing just as many civilians as the people they are meant to be getting rid off, if not more. What kind of democracy is that? where the language you speak, or the way you dress, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time means you die, and no one does anything about it?

To think I was thinking something was being done with the recent prosecutions of some US soldiers, but now I see that is just the tip of the iceberg. I am horrified to even think just how deep this goes. How many mass murders? How many kids have been killed on their way to school? How many have died because they lived in a house that just happened to be next to a US convoy or roadblock or something? It makes me think back to a few years ago now when the US said its soldiers would not be subject to international tribunals; now I think I know why. The US army cannot or does not want to control its forces to be lawful and fair and just, something they want to preach to the world, it seems. But they need to practice it themselves first I believe before they have any right to even talk to other nations of such matters.

I mean don't these human beings have the right to live? Do they not have the right to be seen as equals? Why are they seen as a lesser class of humans? What makes a US life more worth it than a Iraq life? Doesn't this way of thinking sound like Nazi Germany to anyone else? The US wants to give Iraq democracy but I think they need to show that they are not ones to fear first. They have to show they don't kill civilians, and just calling them insurgents isn't enough, as we can see that doesn't work.

I'm still feeling very hurt (one for a better word) by the accounts on this article. In this day and age, "professional" Western soldiers (the so called savours of the cold-war age) are carrying out totally unlawful and completely criminal war crimes. This is or should be totally unacceptable and yet has anything being done about maybe even 5 percent of these incidents? But I know the US won't let anyone else actually investigate these accounts; like the UN or the International Tribunal, it is up to the American people to do something about it. If you want to lead by example (and it has become more than obvious that the US wants to lead the world), you need to show that what some of your soldiers are doing in Iraq is wrong, and that they and/or their commanding officers will be punished, and not just let off with a pat on the back or some joke sentence like two months for murder of a family. Let's face it, if a Iraq came to the US today and kill a whole family in their homes the guy would be on death row if not shot on sight.

Frankly, I don't think the US has a leg to stand on in the international theater any more.

Ismail Melemez

Mersin, London, UK

Jul 12 2007 - 12:16pm

Web Letter

After the Second World War ended in 1945, Nuremberg Germany was the focus of a War Crimes Trial. The end result of that trial, was that any war of aggression would be considered a “war crime” and a “crime against humanity”. The USA committed a war crime when it invaded Iraq in 2003. Justice can no longer be sided with who shouts loudest, but by just laws created for all of mankind. America is not above this law, nor is the USA excused for invading Iraq. Chief Justice Robert Jackson, the American Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, fathered the laws, which make aggressive war a crime. I feel sorry for the soldiers that have been put in harms way by war criminals in the White House. Soldiers do the job that they are asked, they are not allowed to question authority, I am just glad that these brave men did and spoke out.

Stewart Brennan

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Jul 12 2007 - 9:26am

Web Letter

I am saddened by the responses to this truly groundbreaking article because, yet again, the reflexive concern is for the troops, the people perpetrating the physical and emotional atrocities, instead of the victims, the people of Iraq.

They have been killed, tortured and detained to a degree that is almost inconceivable, hundreds of thousands dead, 60,000 seized and detained, and they still find themselves trapped in a country where such atrocities persist as they are subjected to the indignities of abusive behaviour on a daily basis, and yet, our empathy should be focused upon...the troops.

Yes, in a way, they have been victimized, but such victimization is minor compared to the horrors that they have inflicted upon the populace of Iraq. I doubt that this war will ever be brought to an end until we confront this savagery, and free ourselves from the moral myopia that renders the experiences of the people of Iraq in their own country nearly invisible by comparison to the occupation force.

Richard Estes

Sacramento, CA

Jul 11 2007 - 9:30pm

Web Letter

Reading the article just affirmed my belief that it is a mistake for us to be there. It saddens me to read about this hellish situation. It's just a lose-lose scenario. No true victor comes from war. Nonviolence is the only way to have a victorious situation.

This war has devastated our military. Morally, emotionally, in every way imaginable. I can't imagine what it must be like to be over there in the military and feel that random shooting is the only way you are going to return home. We don't honor those of us who decide to join the military when we put them in impossible situations. We don't honor the spirit of our Constitution when we allow people to be treated as non-entities who can be terrorized, brutalized and killed because they don't speak our language and we don't speak theirs.

We must leave.

Angela Alvarez

Baltimore, MD

Jul 11 2007 - 8:17pm

Web Letter

This article, while exposing likely crimes by American soldiers, reiterates to me that war is hell. I'm reminded of the crimes committed by Americans following WWII. Our troops supposedly used derogatory terms for Iraqi citizens. Probably not much different than what we called the German and Japanese populations. We shot and killed unarmed civilians for not following rules there, as well. This was largely ignored because we were the victor, and probably to a large amount because we didn't have the press coverage that the current Middle Eastern situation has. I also think it was a different time in a different world.

I hate hearing stories like those told by our returning troops, but I'm also hesitant to fault them (the whole "war is hell" thing). I really don't think we can have a logical discussion about innocent Iraqi deaths when so many of our troops are being killed by invisble insurgents who hide amongst the innocents.

War is truly hell. Just ask someone who's seen it.

William Reed

Austin, TX

Jul 11 2007 - 12:33am

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