This is the 2nd article I've read today that has set my blood boiling. You may remember Chris Hedges - he wrote that nifty article in conjunction with Laila al-Arian (the daughter of the convicted terrorist fundraiser Sami al-Arian) that featured IVAW members speaking about atrocities they "witnessed" or heard about from someone who heard it from someone who knew someone that was there. I thought that article was bad enough... until I read his latest over at Salon.com. What's even more disgusting is this article is an excerpt from Hedges' new book... "Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians". Just seeing the title makes me want to vomit.
Anyway, Chris Hedges has come to the conclusion, courtesy of interviews with members of the military that have served in Iraq, that troops serving in Iraq are nothing more than "professional killers". He writes about the moral leap from killing to murder that our Soldiers and Marines make when fighting a war...
"They [Iraqi civilians] are dismissed as less than human. It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing - the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm - to murder - the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you. The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing..."
Hedges brings up the potential for rising suicide rates among veterans once they "face the awful reality of what they did to innocents in Iraq".
And let's not forget about how our Military terrorizes the innocents...
"Occupation, in each case, turned the occupiers into beasts and fed the insurrection. It created patterns where innocents, as in Iraq, were terrorized and killed. The campaign against a mostly invisible enemy, many veterans said, has given rise to a culture of terror and hatred among US forces, many of whom, losing ground, have in effect declared war on all Iraqis."
But there is one group of Iraq war veterans who have earned respect and told the truth... those veterans that he interviewed for his book. Here's a couple of scenarios that Hedges describes... see if you can guess which Iraq war veterans said each one...
"And they briefed this to the general and they briefed it gruesome. I mean, they had pictures. They briefed it to him. And this colonel turns around to this full division staff and says 'If these f---ing hajis learned to drive, this sh-t wouldn't happen."
"Bewildered prisoners, who were rounded up in useless and indiscriminate raids, were stipped naked and left to stand terrified for hours in the baking sun. They were subjected to a steady torrent of verbal and physical abuse. 'I experienced horrible confusion not knowing whether I was more afraid for the detainees or for what would happen to me if I did anything to help them."
If you guessed Geoffrey Millard and Camillo Meija you win the kewpie doll. Both of these members of IVAW have told the same stories over and over - from the fake Impeach Bush hearings to the Winter Soldier re-hash. Yet these are the veterans that Hedges says "give us a true narrative of the war - one that exposes the vast enterprise of industrial slaughter unleashed in Iraq. They expose the lie."
Those that don't speak of atrocities are the "heroes made out of clay". Hedges writes...
"We laud their gallant deeds and give them uniforms with colored ribbons on their chests for the acts of violence they committed or endured."
Only those that speak of the "perversion, trauma and an unchecked orgy of death" have the power to save our country, according to Hedges. Especially since the media can no longer give us the "mythical narrative of us as liberators and victors" because the press "has lost its passion". (More like the press has nothing bad to write about so they quit covering Iraq - check the WaPo for confirmation of that little fact Mr. Hedges.)
Once again Hedges takes a fraction of those that have actually served and used them as templates for all the Military. The only thing missing was an intro by Dahr Jamail. Hedges maligns every single man and woman who have served honorably and sacrificed so a few malcontents can have another 15 minutes. And for what purpose? A few pieces of silver? Another Pulitizer Prize? Another chance to get in a few last digs at the Bush Administration? The only mythical narrative is the one coming from Chris Hedges' poison pen. And THAT is a true atrocity.