Anderson, describing himself as a "decorated combat veteran," said he went to Iraq believing in the war and ready to die for his country if necessary. But he "had no idea of what the war was" at that point, he said.
His disillusionment began, Anderson said, after he was ordered to fire on a car that approached a checkpoint. Shooting in such situations was standard procedure, Anderson said, even though the car actually contained four innocent people, including two children.
"I said that's wrong; I don't believe in this," he said. "This isn't what I raised my right hand for."
Under Army regulations, soldiers can chose to disobey orders they consider unlawful, although they can be charged for doing so.
Anderson said he ultimately chose to avoid another tour in Iraq because "no way around it, I'd eventually be killing innocent people. I believe it is my human right to choose not to kill women and children."
Anderson said that in becoming a war critic he hoped in some way to "make up for the things I did in Iraq; I feel I made up for the sins I committed in this war." He contended that he was justified, even though he voluntarily joined the Army, because the U.S. war in Iraq was not what he was told it would be.
"They broke their contract before I broke mine," he said.
The above is from Jim Warren's "Anderson returns to Fort Knox" (Lexington Herald-Leader). "Anderson" is, of course, Darrell Anderson and Jim Warren's been covering this story for some time. Feel free to use the link because doing so won't take you to a page that says "Oops, ran out of time so we're routing you to a Mark Foley story instead." The story matters and it matters for a number of reasons. We'll address it more in the second entry this morning. But will open with it before we get into anything else. Why?
The illegal war won't end without resistance. Saying "I'm against the war" is empty talk if you're choosing to emphasize everything but those taking stands against the war. If you've got time to gab on air about the "hot" cable topic, you damn well better have time to talk about the resistance to the war or (a) you're just full of hot air and (b) you're not just wasting everyone's time, you're hurting the peace movement.
As long as people are silent or complacent, expect more headlines like this "8 G.I.’s Die in Baghdad, Most in a Day Since ’05." That headline is to Michael Luo's article in this morning's New York Times. From the article:
Eight United States soldiers were killed Monday in Baghdad, the United States military said, the most in the capital in a day since July 2005.
Four of the soldiers died in a roadside bomb attack; the four others were killed by small-arms fire in separate incidents.
Monday’s loss also represented one of the highest nationwide death tolls for American troops in the past year. In late August, nine soldiers and a marine were killed in a day. But before that, the last time eight or more soldiers were killed in hostile action was last November.
"Obviously this was a tragic day, with eight killed in 24 hours," said Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a military spokesman.
The deadly day set back efforts by American and Iraqi troops to tame the sectarian violence that continues to besiege the capital. Since August, the military has made securing Baghdad a priority, pouring in additional troops and conducting neighborhood sweeps.
"Obviously this was a tragic day"? Every day the illegal war goes on is "a tragic day". Every day someone dies, maybe it's an American, maybe it's an Iraqi, maybe it's someone British, maybe it's . . . There were no WMD, there were never any. There was never any threat. This was an illegal war of choice. Lot of lies were told and printed and gas bagged, lot of lies sold the illegal war. March is the four year mark and it's going to keep going on until people get serious. Getting serious means real coverage of it, not "war as an after thought."
The AP notes this:
A suicide bomber unleashed a blast in a Baghdad fish market Tuesday and two Shiite families were found slain north of the capital as violence across Iraq claimed at least 52 lives.
The U.S. military, meanwhile, announced the deaths of nine soldiers and two Marines in what has been a deadly period for American forces in Iraq. The announcement brought to at least 15 the number of service members killed in fighting since Saturday.
52 Iraqis. And note, that's not all the Iraqis that died yesterday. Corpses will be discovered and some deaths never go reported. We probably passed half a million Iraqis dead some time ago. The figure the media likes to play with is the one from the under-reporting website. Or sometimes they'll up it to "over 100,000." Robert Fisk said last fall that it was at the 250,000 mark by his guess.
But the US military can keep their count (which is probably an undercount) secret and there's no demand that they release it. A demand would require that people know the US military has been keeping a count of Iraqis who died since at least July 2004 but most people missed that story because all things media, big and small, wanted to travelogue and jaw bone all summer long.
So there were 52 deaths that got noted (with many more that weren't) and, in Baghdad, there were eight Americans who died because the so-called 'crackdown' hasn't worked and it won't work. And the puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, doesn't have a peace plan. His 'community boards' (first plank of his so-called four-part 'peace' plan) have been in place for some time. He didn't devise them, he didn't implement them, they've been around which is why
they were dismissed by Andrew North (BBC). But as the spin cycle continues, you don't hear about the very undemocratic, very non-liberation third plank of suppressing the media.
There is no "liberation." There is only more occupation and more war.
And with Iran in the Bully Boy's sights, we'll close with Martha's highlight, Ellen Knickmeyer's
"British Find No Evidence Of Arms Traffic From Iran" (Washington Post):
Since late August, British commandos in the deserts of far southeastern Iraq have been testing one of the most serious charges leveled by the United States against Iran: that Iran is secretly supplying weapons, parts, funding and training for attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq.
A few hundred British troops living out of nothing more than their cut-down Land Rovers and light armored vehicles have taken to the desert in the start of what British officers said would be months of patrols aimed at finding the illicit weapons trafficking from Iran, or any sign of it.
There's just one thing.
"I suspect there's nothing out there," the commander, Lt. Col. David Labouchere, said last month, speaking at an overnight camp near the border. "And I intend to prove it."
Other senior British military leaders spoke as explicitly in interviews over the previous two months. Britain, whose forces have had responsibility for security in southeastern Iraq since the war began, has found nothing to support the Americans' contention that Iran is providing weapons and training in Iraq, several senior military officials said.
"I have not myself seen any evidence -- and I don't think any evidence exists -- of government-supported or instigated" armed support on Iran's part in Iraq, British Defense Secretary Des Browne said in an interview in Baghdad in late August.
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