The Other Number to Watch in Iraq

The Houston Chronicle, inter alia, reported today of the charges being levied against a group of US troops in Iraq today. Five US Army soldiers stand accusing of assaulting a young lady, killing her and her family, and then “allegedly burned the body of the woman they are accused of assaulting.”
This follows the investigation into the murder of two dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha.
In my MySpace blog, I give a hypothesis as to the root of all of these crimes — namely the psychological (and often racist) dynamic inherent in the new military marketing and recruiting.
Sof kol sof, this brings the number of soldiers accused in cases connected to the deaths of Iraqis to 14.
Besides the obvious 2,500 (plus?) — I think this is the other number to watch in Iraq.

21 thoughts on “The Other Number to Watch in Iraq

  1. It’s truly shocking that there are 14 soldiers who MIGHT be guilty of such crimes. In all other wars in history, such things never occurred at all, whether alleged or real. It seems the calm and orderliness of warfare has generally been conducive to angelic behavior on the part of fighters. I’m shocked and ashamed that it’s possible that not EVERY SINGLE SOLDIER sent by the United States is perfect. Clearly this is proof of the horrific racism and immorality rampant in our armed forces, which can only reflect the horrific racism and immorality of the entire country, and the rest of the West as well. I don’t know how the US managed to become the worst country on earth. Why can’t we be more like the Leftist utopias? If we had a Five-Year Plan, I might be able to lose some weight (maybe all of it). And I hear the Gulags are real nice this time of year.

  2. BRO — there IS still combatant’s privilege, there IS still immunity on battle lines, we’re talking about soldiers coming up and raping ppl and killing families.
    However — one thing you are right about, investigations like this were quite rare in the past. Now we’re seeing it more. Also, I don’t think that 14 is the actual number of soldiers who have done “bad things” in Iraq. That’s another thing that makes this number significant — I’m sure one will notice patterns in who gets busted, for what offenses, how and where…etc.
    One can’t deny the significance of this, in any event. So :P.

  3. Y Love- thanks for the important post. The other number is 2,531 now.
    J- your constant dripping sarcasm showcases your lack of facts on Iraq. It’s easy to be snide and minimize, but this Administration has sent people to kill and die for no reason and this is one of many results around that. As Y-Love says, this is only the number changed. Further, we have no idea how many terrible things the mercenary contractors have done (considering they cannot be held accountable in Iraq or in military courts here).

  4. Whoa, I thought that part of American values was the fundamental right of all to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Unless the poster has personal knowledge of the guilt of the accused, they have no more knowledge than the rest of us as to the guilt or innocence of the soldiers; the case against the Haditha 2 dozen (which several dems, including Murtha (you remember Murtha, the newly annointed Cindy Sheehan clone in the House) have used to label our soldiers as murderers) turns out to be based on untrue testimony by an Iraqui of dubious background and looks to be falling apart. Charges are easy to make, hard to remove the taint (cf. the Duke Lecrosse players) once made even if one is totally innocent. I seem to remember a mitvah against spreading rumors, perhaps we all should revisit it.

  5. Derrigible,
    he did say accused, right? Not convicted, but accused. Wait, it’s right here:
    Sof kol sof, this brings the number of soldiers accused in cases connected to the deaths of Iraqis to 14.
    And feel free to give us links about the “dubious” testimony in the case of Haditha. BTW, I’m sure calling Murtha a clone and sneering at Cindy Sheehan might violate some rules.

  6. He did say accused, but it’s obvious from the post he implied guilt. Why else should we keep count of the “accused” ? Why not keep count soldiers that gone through trail and found convicted of the crime?

  7. Petitedov — Bro. According to your logic, this is like saying looking at arrest patterns is irrelevant (it isn’t), we should only look at convictions to determine things like crime rates or to gauge profiling. To extend ad absurdum, let’s say that 3000 soldiers were to be accused, but not one was to be convicted. That would also be significant.
    Besides my glaring usage error of “accusing” vs. “accused”, I don’t understand precisely what was wrong with my semantics. “Charges…against”, “stand accused”, “investigation into”… virtually every paragraph contains language which alludes to precisely which stage of the legal process we are at now.

  8. Y – did someone else insert your 3rd paragraph: In my MySpace blog, I give a hypothesis as to the root of all of these crimes. Mmmm, sound like you prejudged the issue to me. So Y, why the rush to judge; and where’s the love for your felllow American?

  9. Murtha was actually a VETERAN, not some chickenhawk whose daddy got him a cush job in the reserves, from which he went awol (for dental work) when the military started drug testing. Guess he also thought he was entitled to continue along with his blow.
    Sheehan buried her son, for a privatized, neo-feudal, Halliburton war.
    She is more entitled to protest against our idiot-in-chief, who’s probably on the Jack Daniels juice, again, than unsworn-in Gonzo is entitled to complain that the Supreme Court is — oh joy! — actually upholding the Constitution, re: the Gitmo nightmare.

  10. Murtha, like Kerry, is a Vietnam Vet, unlike the chickenhawk we have in the WH, whose daddy got him a plush gig in the Reserves (freom which he went awol, when they started drug testing. Guess he just couldn’t give up the blow). He has both the right, and the credentials, to speak his mind about the neo-feudal, privatized, Halliburton war against Iraq (and, soon to be against Iran).
    As for Sheehan, her son’s death in this illegal and totally immoral war to make the Dick Cheney et al., more rich than necessary for all the world’s luxuries. Casey’s death also gives his ima the credentials to call for an end to the monstrous war, which is also destroying US troops. In one week’s time, I have run into 3 young male amputees. I doubt they were from auto accidents.

  11. The crime is foremost in the illegal invasion and occupation. Like what Hitler did back in the day. But today Europe and frightened nations are afraid to tell the nazis that what they are doing is illegal under international law.
    Apologists for these facisists dishonor the people who died fighting illegal agression and the dictum ‘might makes right’.
    Hadietha is just the tip of the iceburg when it come’s to the empire’s wanton killing of innocent civilians.
    Shame on the supporters of this occupation and dispossession.

  12. Wow, “facists” (sic); “idiot – in chief”; “chickenhawk”; is this the level of discourse the opponents of Bush wish to engage in? As a supporter of the war and Bush, please continue, you make yourselves look like full blown sufferers of SBS (sudden Bush syndrom, usually an incurable disease); and you alienate fair minded Americans with your rhetoric. Love, all.

  13. Derrigible,
    I thought we had this discussion already; from your constant and continued use of insulting language to discuss people who disagree with you, you are one to talk. And the right’s continued attack of someone who lost their someone and someone who actually signed up and fought (which is more than we can say for pretty much all the bush cabal, hence “chickenhawk”) will hopefully be their downfall. If you’re not convinced, see how Jim Webb has been fighting his VT Senate race; every time they try to say he’s not patriotic enough (his stance of freedom of speech, for example) he slaps them around with his record.
    Oh, and Derrigible, I’m still waiting for the “dubious” testimony Haditha links, any word on those?

  14. “I give a hypothesis as to the root of all of these crimes — namely the psychological (and often racist) dynamic inherent in the new military marketing and recruiting.”
    14 out of 150,000.
    That’s a much better proportion of decent people to rapist murderers in most major metropolitan areas. If this is attributable to current military marketing, good for them.

  15. Jack Murtha isn’t the only Marine and Condy Sheehan isn’t the only grieving mom. Most of the others don’t agree with either of them. Are you interested in their opinions?
    If only those who have been in combat are entitled to comment on a particular war, then I assume all you throwing invective around about “cabals” and “fascists” have served, right? Or, let’s see, if you are against the war, you can be anybody, but if you are for the war, you are not credible unless you are a vet or currently serving in the armed forces? Can you justify that?
    “The crime is foremost in the illegal invasion and occupation. Like what Hitler did back in the day.”
    Actually, given Saddam’s treatment of Iraqis, explicit expansionist policies, and threats to other nations in the area, not to mention that the Baath Party is explicitly modeled on 1930s fascism, a more accurate comparison would be the current invasion of Iraq to our invasion of German territory in WWII. That is, if you want to base your comparisons on actual history, not on ideological soundbites.
    BTW Bush’s daddy did not get him into the TANG. Bush went in as an officer, to be trained on fighter planes. There was a line around the block to get in as an enlisted man, but they were looking for recruits for officer training. Therefore no strings needed to be pulled. Also Bush flew fighter planes for 2 years and had an excellent record. You have to be in excellent physical shape, 20-20 vision, and pass a whole bunch of tests to be qualified to fly extremely expensive machines over civilian airspace. They are not going to let anyone pilot those things unless qualified up the wazoo, even if they are a senator’s son.
    also, National Guard people are used to having to rearrange their schedules to fit their training into their regular lives. there is no evidence that Bush did anything illegal and unusual in adjusting his training to his other activities. Mary Mapes and Dan Rather spent 5 years trying to pin something on Bush. 5 YEARS with the resources of CBS behind them. In the end all they could produce were badly faked documents. In fact, they kept flogging the fakes beyond all reason because they wanted so much to believe there was something wrong with Bush’s TANG service. If they wanted it that badly and all they could come up with in 5 years were faked documents, that suggests there WASN’T ANYTHING THERE.
    I expect the response will be: chickenhawk blah blah avoided draft blah blah Kerry Vietnam blah blah. Let me just point out that is a response to a completely different issue. All I am doing is correcting the record about Bush and the TANG.

  16. PS Kerry didn’t volunteer for Nam. He got himself into the naval Reserves because thr Naval Reserves was considered the most likely service to avoid combat. Then Kerry signed up for the Swift boats because they were being used in harbors and not on river patrol, i.e. far away from combat. After he signed up, they changed the SB mission and Kerry found himself on river patrol.
    But the main beef of the Swift Vets was Kerry’s slander of Vietnam soldiers after he got back, and his total avoidance of the issue when he ran for President. No apology, no acknowledgement, nothing. But he says “John Kerry, reporting for duty” on TV in front of the Democratic Convention. I wasn;t going to vote for him anyway, but that was the moment I decided he was despicable.

  17. Hi Yehudit,
    wow, it’s nearly 2 in the morning and I don’ t have energy to respond to all of your posts right now, but do want to say how incredibly infuriating it is to me that your first link of “numbers to watch” in Iraq was about oil production. So, are you admitting we did go into Iraq for oil? Are you suggesting that we should have sacrificed our soldiers to feed our oil addiction?!
    Oil is an energy source that is destroying the earth in the wake of its overconsumption. The carbon that gets put into the air from burning it is killing this planet. We’re spending billions of dollars on an immoral and unnecessary war instead of taking the necessary steps to ensure that this country shouldn’t rely on anyone for its energy source and that its energy production will not come at our expense and our children’s expense.
    Oil is crippling us. And we’re, in turn, crippling young Americans and Iraqis over it. And that’s the number you want us to watch?

  18. “The crime is foremost in the illegal invasion and occupation.”
    Look, I’m not a big fan of George W. Bush but the U.S. Congress authorized the use of force in Iraq. Also, did you forget that President Clinton signed the Iraq Democracy Act in 1998 which made regime change in Iraq official U.S. policy?

  19. I also don’t have the energy to respond to all of the words of the vociferous Yehudit.
    The first comment, however, is indicative of your not having seen my other blog — especially the video on it, which chronicles the advent of gangs in all branches of the military.
    Again, a miniscule percentage of the whole.
    But symptoms of the same problem.

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