US troops commit inhuman acts ‘because they are ordered to’
In a world that has been taken over by those wanting to profit by any
means, we are unlikely to see sanity prevail in spite of appeals to end
wars and to allow people to live in peace.
Civilian deaths in Afghanistan
It has become a trend to occupy countries and completely devastate
life beyond levels of tolerance. Occupational armies send troops too
young to understand the dynamics of what actually motivates nations,
their leaders and those financing the wars. By the time they discover
the truth, they have been psychologically affected and return home, very
much a victim of the system.
As we take stock and count the unimaginable acts committed by troops
of the First World, we begin to realise that their actions in reality
stem from a history that has evolved from convicts and illegal
Thus, as international media discloses photographs when it sees fit
to enable enough media attention to catch the attention of the world, we
must be able to pick much more from the images that are being released.
None of the countries that are experiencing conflict could have
escaped what they experience today. It is because the “interventions”
that have led to the arrival of “allied troops” were already pre-planned
and mapped out to facilitate the intervention.
Even the UN is a tool of this mechanism, an international body that
cannot even stop wars from occurring, stop countries invading and stop
invading countries from killing.
While every photo being released depicts nothing short of sadism, the
facts that these acts are not random and reveal a consistent pattern of
behaviour cannot deny that much of the cruel and inhuman incidents
taking place are as a result of soldiers being ordered to do such crimes
by their senior officers.
That these acts are often excused and punishment given is barely
minimal also depict that government heads and officials have little
regard for the victims and prefer to simply put the matter aside by a
Hooded and wired prisoners at Abu Ghraib
When soldiers possibly in their late teens or early twenties, have
been taught to feel angered by 9/11 and told to take revenge, they enter
these nations with a preconceived notion of wanting to destroy the
enemy. However, there was no Iraqi responsible for 9/11, but upon the
arrival of US soldiers in Iraq, when orders were given to shoot
everything in sight, to treat as hostile action someone holding a mobile
phone, and to fire …naturally these soldiers would have privately
wondered what was really going on.
Nevertheless, in a country large as the US, among allied troops from
other parts of the First World, it is natural for soldiers not to share
their inner thoughts, but simply take orders. It is these orders that
have resulted in the blatant disregard for human life where US troops
throw candy from travelling vehicles and fire upon the children running
to pick them up. It is no different to the sniper teams that place
objects for people to pick and troops fire upon them. Even people who
have simply gazed at US troops have been fired upon for no reason.
We will never know the numbers of civilians that the US and allied
troops have killed. Just as combatants are burned against Geneva laws,
all we can do is guess how many civilians are dying on a daily basis
though often it is excused for enemy attacks. Can the US really blame
Iraqis or Afghans for hating them?
Pressures of war
Nevertheless, the high rate of soldiers returning from war, unable to
withstand the pressures of realising what they are doing is wrong have
turned them into mentally dysfunctional citizens, of no use to the US.
They are psychologically affected by the orders they have been given and
as more and more are now coming out to speak the truth, we begin to
realise what exactly is going on in these invaded nations.
When the Los Angeles Times released pictures of soldiers of the 82nd
Airborne Division grinning over the body of a killed Afghan insurgent on
April 18, 2012, it was not the first such incident. In March, a US
soldier killed 16 Afghans including nine children and three women. The
month before US soldiers at the Bagram airbase were seen desecrating the
Quran. The UN response was that it was a “sad mistake”, while a US
Marine sniper team posing in front of a flag with a Nazi logo was
excused as a “naïve mistake” by the Marine Corps.
In 2010 a group of US soldiers from Bravo Company went on a shooting
spree in Kandahar, killing 15-year-old Gul Mudin in cold blood, then
posing alongside his dead body and cutting off the boys pinkie to keep
as a memento. It was the soldiers of the same platoon that threw toffees
and fired at children running to pick them up. Then came the photos
depicting four soldiers urinating on three dead bodies and insulting the
dead with jokes. The response of the Defense Secretary was “this is
war”. I know that war is ugly and it’s violent and I know that young
people sometimes caught up in the moment sometimes make very foolish
Such responses naturally do not add to any discipline or change the
manner that entire units treat natives of the countries that the US has
It is easy to see that these acts are not random incidents and we
recall the 2004 photos released from the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prison where
troops from the 372 military police were photographing themselves
physically and sexually abusing detainees. Prisoners were put on dog
leashes, hooded and wired while others were stacked one on top of the
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition against the US on
behalf of three Afghans and three Iraqis in detention between 2003-2004.
The same team of lawyers sued then Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in
2005 and three senior military officials in a Federal Court for torture
and abuse, but the case was dismissed on immunity grounds.
In March 2006 Wikileaks revealed how US troops handcuffed and
brutally executed 11 Iraqi civilians including an infant and a
70-year-old woman in the town of Ishaqi and covered up the killings by
carrying out an airstrike. This expose was combined with the
confirmation by Philip Alston, UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extra
Judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions that the murdered civilians
were all handcuffed and shot in the head. These conclusions were carried
out after autopsies were completed and not by looking at photos like the
Channel 4 forensic experts.
US troops are also accused of running “killing squads”, murdering
Afghan civilians and collecting body parts to keep as “trophies”.
One of the most brutal killing sprees was the 2005 Haditha incident
where US Staff Sergeant Frank G. Wuterich took 45 minutes to kill 25
Iraqis, breaking into homes and shooting the sleeping men, women and
children including an elderly man in a wheelchair.
After taking six years to investigate the Haditha killings of 24
innocent Iraqi civilians, all that Staff Sgt Wuterich who pleaded guilty
received in terms of justice was a demotion and a pay-cut. Wuterich had
ordered his troops to “shoot first, ask questions later”.
In view of pleading guilty, charges of manslaughter and assault were
dropped and he escaped facing 152 years in prison on nine counts of
involuntary manslaughter, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon
and three counts of dereliction of duty in 2005. For the victims it was
a case of how unjust the US judicial system was simply because of a
In 2004 Sergeant Jeffrey Waruch was angered by an improvised bomb
going off and went half a mile from the explosion and shot a woman and
her two daughters who were weeding a beanfield. Waruch was simply
discharged, citing no evidence to prosecute him.
In what is likely to be a signal to others planning to blow the
whistle on fellow comrades for their sinful and sadistic acts, the US
soldier who gave away his colleagues wrongdoings was severely beaten up
by 10 members from the 2nd Infantry Divisions Fifth Stryker Brigade in
Kandahar in 2007. Joshua Keys seeking asylum in Canada has claimed that
he and his comrades were told that international law was just a
“guideline” and orders were to “shoot first, ask questions later”.
This may well explain the string of startling behaviour of troops and
the pattern of aggressive tactics, the indiscriminate shooting even so
far as to order 360 degree shooting.
While we can empathise with these soldiers who are in climates that
are far from what they are used to, most possibly just out of college,
and completely clueless about the terrain they are in, it is
understandable the type of stress they would be experiencing, not
knowing who or what they are to go after. None of this, however, can
explain or excuse what happened in any of the barbaric and sadistic
crimes that were committed not just by individual soldiers, but by
How much of these war crimes have the media actually exposed? How
many of these crimes have the media chosen to cover up and how many more
photos are being kept for suitable times?
When can we see an end to deaths of civilians who are simply excused
for “collateral damage”?
Is this type of sadism to remain or are the international bodies
really interested in taking action?
Have these murders any deep-rooted reasons? For one thing US history
is one of atrocities. Slaughter, starvation, slavery and exterminations
were all part and parcel of life in America. Some of the most inhuman
and unimaginable acts of punishment became the fates of black slaves by
their American masters. Water boarding was no different to water torture
upon Filipinos during Roosevelt’s time and certainly no different to the
1995 Presidential Decision Directive 39 by Bill Clinton authorising
extraordinary rendition for interrogations and torture.It appears war
crimes by US and allied troops are actually a way of life. Feeling
superior to the people in other parts of the world, they seem to believe
that they can do what they like and they are above justice and what they
do is justified.
But can this type of action continue to be tolerated? When troops
accused of atrocities walk away without punishment we know that the
leaders of the First World have scant regard for the human rights of
others especially people of the nations it targets. This is perfectly
displayed in the manner US deploys unmanned drones which have killed
thousands of civilians.
The real reason for the US to invade Afghanistan was to build a
1,080-mile long gas pipeline across Turkenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan
and India (TAPI) and that pipeline is to be completed in 2014, the year
US troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan. It was to facilitate the
construction of this gas pipeline that thousands of US and allied troops
were deployed on the pretext of a war and the casualties take place
exactly on the route of the proposed gas pipeline (Helmand and
Kandahar). India and Pakistan will receive 1,325 million cubic feet of
gas per day while Afghanistan will receive only 500.
All the “wars” and “invasions” are nothing, but a hoax and sooner
than later, just as some US soldiers are beginning to realise, others
are likely to as well.
Courtesy: Asian Tribune