Ishaqi: Nothing to see here

[Update: I’m removing the pictures, but I think you should see them, over here. You should see who these enemies are we’re killing.]

Well, I guess that settles that: the Army is telling us this was acceptable and within the rules of engagement.

Horrific images of Iraqi adults and children have fueled new allegations that U.S. troops killed civilians in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi. But ABC News has learned that military officials have completed their investigation and concluded that U.S. forces followed the rules of engagement.

A senior Pentagon official told ABC News the investigation concluded that the allegations of intentional killings of civilians by American forces are unfounded. Military commanders in Iraq launched an investigation soon after the mid-March raid in the village of Ishaqi, about 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell will make a statement about the Ishaqi allegations today in Baghdad, ABC News has learned.

In Ishaqi, American forces were going after a high-value terrorist target they succeeded in apprehending. The U.S. military reported in March that four people died when the troops destroyed a house from the air and ground. But previously unaired video shot by an AP Television News cameraman at the time shows at least five children dead, several with obvious bullet wounds to the head. One adult male is also seen dead.

“Children were stuck in the room, alone and surrounded,” an unidentified man said on the video.

A total of 11 people died, according to Iraqis on the scene. The Iraqis said the people were killed by U.S. troops before the house was destroyed.

Now onto Haditha. I sure hope there’s no cover-up going on here, as that would be the last thing the US military needs at this point. News of an Ishaqi cover-up would cost us hearts and minds in Iraq – if there are any hearts and minds that are left.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Richard, I of all people am for confronting people with the reality of the horrors of war (and of war crimes.) But I’m not sure the best way to do it is to post those photos directly.

Maybe a link, with a warning about the content, would be more effective?

June 3, 2006 @ 3:53 am | Comment

I wanted to make sure people see them, Ivan. But I’ll think about removing them.

June 3, 2006 @ 4:13 am | Comment

I believe it’s likely that atrocities perpetrated by US troops against innocent Iraqis are much more frequent than we would know from the few reports that make to the news.

It would be very tempting for frightened soldiers to shoot first and ask questions later. I bet Iraqi men who might be suspicious looking get shot dead on a weekly, if not daily basis. “Is that a stick on the ground next to that man, or a rifle? …Is that a cell phone in his hand or a detonator? Better shoot first just in case!” I’m guessing that many casualties of supposed “insurgents” are actually innocent men killed on the flimsiest of premises by some trigger happy soldiers.
The killing of women and children is harder to explain away or cover up, so those cases are more likely to make it to the news.

June 3, 2006 @ 10:06 am | Comment

I saw the photos, very disturbing. More disturbing is the excuse that it was using an acceptable amount of force. I’m ashamed that we have devolved so far into barbarism that we can justify the killing of innocent children.

Of course, we don’t seem to have any problem killing kids in America, hunting down whole families. The news has been atrocious lately.

Morals and ethics are no longer our strong suit, if they ever were.

June 3, 2006 @ 10:24 am | Comment

It’s odd. I’ve read “heart of darkness” and seen “apocalypse now”.

I can sorta understand. I don’t excuse it by any means.

You’re stuck in some god forsaken land. Hell. I don’t mean this. I just mean you are just cut off from everything that is you. Your language, your culture, your mores. And everyone despises you and everything you are.

You go nuts. You have a gun in your hand and hell, there is times I would have shot random foreigners for no real reason, only my innner turmoil. Then of course you become a serial killer and go into that loop so you kill more innocents…and still you’re stuck in a foreign land. Going nuts when all you wanna do is go home.

The answer? Who knows? Get the hell out for start. If nothing less, there will be less fruitcakes coming home and going nuts in USofA in next 10 years.

Before I came to china I just read stuff and thought ‘monsters’. Now it is tinged with a degree of understanding, though this is perhaps wrong word.

I’m lucky they ain’t given me ammo and get of jail free card (though maybe, hopefully, not in this case. Though, the real criminals are the policy makers who sent the guys there)

June 3, 2006 @ 10:26 am | Comment

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said this week:

“This is a phenomenon that has become common among many of the multinational forces, no respect for citizens, smashing civilian cars and killing on a suspicion or a hunch. It’s unacceptable.”

The “war” to “capture” hearts and minds of Iraqi civilians is a war that’s already been lost by the U.S. I agree it’s time to get out ASAP.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the Bushies and Tony Blair, in their arrogance, still can’t seem to accept as a plausible the idea that the invasions of Iraq (and likely Afghanistan too) have only served to fan the flames of terrorism and militant Islam. Their ill conceived middle east adventures are likely strengthening and multiplying the very enemy they intended to diminish and destroy in the first place. Dangerous fools don’t exist only among the Islamists camp. The most dangerous fools of all head a couple western democracies.

June 3, 2006 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

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