Classified U.S. Documents Detailing Marines’ Deliberate Slaughter of 24 Innocent Iraqi Civilians at Haditha Found in Baghdad Junkyard
Some 400 pages of U.S. military documents, some of them classified, pertaining to the slaughter of 24 innocent Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq in 2005 have been found in a junkyard outside Baghdad.
The New York Times reports that the documents chronicle the testimonies of the Marines involved in the horrific Haditha massacre, which took place on November 19, 2005 after a U.S. convoy was hit by a roadside bomb that killed a popular young lance corporal. The Marines responded with out-of-control rage, rampaging through the surrounding area, going house-to-house and slaughtering anyone they came across. Prisoners were executed in cold blood before Marines desecrated and urinated on their bodies. When it was all over, 24 innocent civilians, including a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair, women, children and infants, were dead.
No Marine has ever been convicted for his role in the massacre, one of the worst U.S. atrocities of the war in Iraq.
The newly discovered documents paint a picture of the dehumanizing nature of the war, a conflict in which civilians were constantly being killed by stressed-out troops unable to tell friend from foe in the chaotic close-quarter hell of Iraqi cities and towns. When violence becomes an everyday occurrence, desensitization is the inevitable result. It wasn’t long before U.S. troops developed a cavalier attitude about civilian deaths, with some deliberately targeting innocent men, women and children.
“It wasn’t remarkable,” Chief Warrant Officer K.R. Norwood said of initial reports that 20 civilians had been killed in Haditha.
“It happened all the time,” General Steve Johnson, commander of U.S. forces in Anbar province, confessed. “It was just a cost of doing business.”
“I had Marines shoot children in cars,” admitted Sgt. Maj. Edward T. Sax, who said troops had a hard time dealing with that. “It is one thing to kill an insurgent in a head-on fight,” he explained. “It is a whole different thing– and I hate to say it, the way we are raised in America– to injure a female or injure a child or in the worse case, kill a female or kill a child.”
Be that as it may, U.S. troops still killed tens of thousands of Iraqi women and children, sometimes deliberately, during the course of the eight-year invasion and occupation of Iraq. That war is now officially over, but the physical, emotional and economic scars caused by the immoral and illegal war will take generations to heal.
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