US Military “Commemorates” Its Iraq Massacre. “Tell Them It’s the Sound of Freedom.”
by Felicity Arbuthnot
"We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected round the world." (President Barack Obama, State of the Union address, 24th January 2012.)
As Easter was celebrated in the US and UK with, for believers, the message of hope, Fallujah, the region and much of the country is again under siege, not this time by US mass murderers, but by the US proxy government’s militias armed with US delivered weapons.
In 2003, a month into the invasion, Easter Day fell on the same day as this year, 20th April, as Iraqis of all denominations and none, died were incarcerated, tortured, found with their heads drilled, or no heads, thrown on garbage piles.Easter Day the following year, 2004 fell on Sunday 11th April and was marked by Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt confirming again his total disregard for human life. In the words of former USCENTOCOM Commander General Tommy Franks who led the Iraq invasion in March 2003, "it is not productive to count Iraqi deaths".
The carnage of the first siege of Fallujah was underway. At the daily press briefing (1) General Kimmitt assured the media:
"The Marines remain ready, willing and able at any time to provide any level of humanitarian assistance.
General Kimmitt. was then asked:
"From here, from this podium, you talk about a clean war in Fallujah. But the Iraqis have an image through television from what is happening in Fallujah (including) killing children. Is there a way that you could convince Iraqis by your point of view that you have (only) utilized force against terrorists? "
With his hallmark contempt for humanity, or anything to do with "rendering assistance", he replied:
"With regards to the solution on the images of Americans and coalition soldiers killing innocent civilians, my solution is quite simple: change the channel. Change the channel to a legitimate, authoritative, honest news station.Jonathan Steel of the Guardian persisted:
Without shame, the General responded to the situation in the town which has become known as "Iraq’s Guernica" with:
"In this case, we can disagree without being disagreeable, but it is not the practice of the coalition forces, any of the coalition nations, to exercise collective punishment or collective action on a city. That is just not done. It is not practiced. And it violates international law. And we don’t believe at this point that coalition can be shown any proof to suggest that it is in violation of international law or the laws of land warfare."
The town was in fact, treated as a "free fire zone", two hospitals were demolished including a recently built emergency centre and at the General Hospital, patients and doctors were initially handcuffed, the "liberators’ regarding it as "a centre of propaganda", since the staff talked, then as now, of the numbers of dead and wounded they were treating. The "non-American wounded were, in essence left to die", as a result.
A comment from one as either deluded or unfamiliar with the truth as General Kimmitt, a Lt-Col Pete Newell, stated that US Forces wanted:
" Fallujah to understand what democracy is all about."
Colonel Ralph Peters, ever in pursuit of his vision of eternal war, said of this vision of democracy
"We must not be afraid to make an example of Fallujah. We need to demonstrate that the United States military cannot be deterred or defeated. If that means widespread destruction, we must accept the price . . . Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it." (2)
Now it is known definitively what a pack of lies were Kimmitt’s assurances, with the General having confirmed his knowledge of violations of international law – even before the second decimation of Fallujah later in the year, perhaps someone should surely visit him and Colonel Peters with a view to including them in an upcoming historic class action law suit which has been filed in the US. (3)
Less than a month after Kimmitt’s channel changing advice, General Taguba released his Report on what "democracy was all about" at the hands of the US military at Abu Ghraib prison, a short distance from Fallujah. It still chills and should shame for all time. Just a few of his findings include:
Did the General not know of what was happening at the hands of US troops throughout the region? His knowledge of Iraq, however, was such that in the press conference cited above, he referred to Baghdad, of which journalists, he thought, would be "familiar", as a "town", this ancientest city of seven million people.
Baghdad, formerly, as Kurt Nimmo writes, the most advanced city in the Middle East, has now been designated in a recent survey (5) the world’s worst city: "a dangerous ruin, stricken by sectarian and religious violence, corruption, crime, unemployment, pollution and numerous other problems."
Mark Kimmitt is now retired and "is an advisor to US firms in the Middle East"(6) presumably profiting from US destabilization and industrial scale murder and destruction, ongoing in Iraq, after eleven years, at an average of one thousand souls a month.
It has to be wondered if, on the tenth anniversary of his massive Easter Day mistruths, he reflected on his words, Iraq’s ongoing carnage – and that when a journalist had asked him what he would say to Iraq’s children, traumatized by the noise of America’s war 'planes and bombs, he replied: "Tell them it’s the sound of freedom."