Follow Up on “Soldiers Kill and Rape in Iraq”

Up front, let me just be clear.  I think our military forces are mostly well-intentioned people.  We ask much of them, often to do their best in support of policies or goals that change or that they may not completely agree to.

At the same time, I think any sober reading of war will show that in such circumstances, despite thorough training and intentions, atrocities occur.  How we accept and deal with such incidents is about us as a people and nation.

When I spoke up that such incidents have happened in Iraq, I was thinking of the high probability that they did.  I was also thinking of the Haditha massacre.  The details and resolution of Haditha are murky.  You will have to draw your own conclusions.

Here are some resources:

Time Coverage.

BBC (Alwyas good to get a foreign viewpoint!)

Military presses charges.

Survivors’ Reactions as accused Marines have charges dropped.

CBS’ sued by military for access to its records.

Finally, the larger context.  How many people have died in Iraq ssince the war started in 2003?

Military casualty database (compiled by a civilian):  all coalition nations: 4,580

All Civilians (By Iraq Body Count, a non profit that docuemtns its methods pretty clearly on site): between 91-99,000

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3 Responses

  1. I can believe there has been misunderstandings and atrocities in Iraq on both sides of the table. Soldiers are trained in the art of killing, thus people die. What I strongly disagreed with during class is that soldiers rape women in Iraq. I search for 30 minutes and could find ZERO articles about American troops raping anyone. Killing during a war is one thing, but raping innocent women is an entirely different ball game and an idea I think we have to be careful generalizing about.

  2. Ross I think you also have to look at it as, would American news outlets want to publicize the wrong doings of our American soldiers? Having grown up in a military family my entire life, there are things that go on, especially during war times, that we are never told about as the American people. It would be great to think that these things don’t occur, and all of our military service men are over there just fighting, but I don’t think that time has come yet.

    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/40481/?page=entire

  3. I think that there was something underlying this whole argument in class that to my recollection was never directly addressed. My reasoning for the drug trading and killing being immoral was the presence of drugs (an illegal substance). Yet, I think it would be interesting to know if there is a correlation in one believing that the war in Iraq is unjustified and thinking that there is no difference between what is happening there and in Hampsterdam. I may be going out on a limb here, but I would bet that those arguing for the similarity of the situations probably don’t think that we should have gone to war with Iraq (or at least shouldn’t remain in Iraq).

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