An exhaustive series of interviews with 50 Iraq war veterans by two reporters with the liberal weekly The Nation reveals that attacks on innocent civilians are much more common than the U.S. media suggests.
According to the accounts of these soldiers, who served all over Iraq between 2003 and 2005, Abu Ghraib was the tip of the iceberg. They tell stories of living in constant fear of IEDs, and devolving view of Iraqi civilians who are increasingly treated as “less human than us.”
The result has been indiscriminate killings that are never investigated — and justified by planting weapons on unarmed corpses — torture, debasement, and worse.
Veterans described opening fire on Iraqi civilians every time an IED goes off, running over Iraqi children who didn’t get out of the way of their convoys fast enough.
Raids on homes are often based on faulty intelligence, usually a tip from an Iraqi who wants to get back at his neighbors. The searches yield evidence of potential wrongdoing only 10 percent of the time, but result in traumatized Iraqi families and the destruction of their homes.
“I just remember thinking to myself, I just brought terror to someone else under the American flag, and that’s just not what I joined the Army to do,” said one U.S. Sergeant.
“The other war”
The Nation, July 13, 2007