Something is Rotten in Iraq
and the Pentagon
By Dave Lindorff
10/15/07 "Counterpunch" -- -- Isn't it odd that in the air attack that the US military claims killed 19 high-ranking leaders of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and 15 civilians, all the slain Al Qaeda members were men and all the men were Al Qaeda, while all the civilians were women (6) and children (9)?
Think about this a minute.
This means that no women were Al Qaeda--and yet we know that women also fight, and also blow themselves up as suicide bombers. Yet these women were all civilians. The children, of course, were children.
And we're to believe that there were no men who were innocent bystanders? All those adult males who were killed were "bad guys."
Yet there were innocent bystanders: the women and the children. Somehow, any innocent bystanding men managed to duck out of the way, or the bullets and bomb fragments (and I'm sure they were fragmentation bombs that were used, as well as a withering spray of machine-gun fire) that hit all those poor women and kids, just somehow (magically?) missed the men.
Pretty amazing huh?
Except that it's an absurd claim that should insult our intelligence.
It's not like the Pentagon has a list of all the enemy fighters, after all. What actually happens is the military has people come in after an action, and they find all these dead people. They look at the guys and have to decide, are they fighters or are they civilians? If the guy's got a gun in his hand, or nearby, they might assume he's a fighter, but is that a good test in a country where every guy has an AK47? And if he doesn't have a gun? Do you honestly think all 19 of those dead guys had a gun with him? I doubt it. These were people fleeing an attack by US troops and planes. They were--whether fighters or ordinary citizens--fleeing for their lives in a surprise attack. If they didn't have a gun with them at the time, they wouldn't have stopped to get one.
And since they don't let reporters travel independently to these battle sites and check what happened, who knows if they even bother looking for evidence. (And this doesn't even get to the point that they call every kill a "terrorist" or member of Al Qaeda, when odds are that if they are combatants they are neither, but rather some other insurgent group or other just fighting to drive the US out.)
It's clear to me that what we're getting is a big lie. Just as in Vietnam the troops would just count the bodies and turn in a report saying that was how many VC were killed, in Iraq (and Afghanistan), they count the men and call them the enemy.
Nobody calls them on this. Certainly nobody in what used to be called the free press.
The numbers are simply accepted as fact and dutifully reported to us.
The truth: we are conducting a slaughter of innocents in Iraq that is as bad as anything the Nazis did in their Eastern Front campaign.
Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment",
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org