The Other War: Iraq Veterans Speak Out on Shocking Accounts of Attacks on Iraqi Civilians + War Vet Describes Iraq House Raid (video links; over 18 only)


Dandelion Salad

Thursday, July 12, 2007
Democracy Now!

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The Nation magazine has published a startling new expose of fifty American combat veterans of the Iraq War who give vivid on-the-record accounts of the US military occupation in Iraq and describe a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts. The investigation marks the first time so many on-the-record, named eyewitnesses from within the US military have been assembled in one place to openly corroborate assertions of indiscriminate killings and other atrocities by the US military in Iraq. We speak with the article’s co-author, journalist Laila Al-Arian, and four Iraq veterans who came forward with their stories of war. [includes rush transcript – partial]


As debate continues in Congress over the Iraq war, the Pentagon says it is probing new allegations of wrongdoing during the US military assault on Fallujah three years ago. U.S. Marines are said to have killed as many as eight unarmed Iraqi prisoners when U.S. forces attacked Fallujah in November of 2004. The Marine unit under investigation is the same involved in the killing of twenty-four civilians in Haditha in 2005, where after an IED exploded killing a marine, his unit rampaged through several neighboring houses and killed twenty-four civilians. This comes as The Nation magazine publishes a startling new expose that paints a disturbing picture of the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians. Over the course of several months, The Nation magazine interviewed fifty American combat veterans of the Iraq War. The soldiers gave vivid on-the-record accounts of the US military occupation in Iraq and described a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts.The Nation investigation marks the first time so many on-the-record, named eyewitnesses from within the US military have been assembled in one place to openly corroborate assertions of indiscriminate killings and other atrocities by the US military in Iraq.The cover story is titled “The Other War: Military Veterans Speak on the Record about Attacks on Iraqi Civilians.” In it, journalists Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian write: “The war the vets described is a dark and even depraved enterprise, one that bears a powerful resemblance to other misguided and brutal colonial wars and occupations, from the French occupation of Algeria to the American war on Vietnam and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.”

Today we spend the hour with Iraq war veterans around the country who tell their stories of war.

  • Laila Al-Arian. Co-author of the Nation article, “The Other War: Military Veterans Speak on the Record about Attacks on Iraqi Civilians.” She is a writer with the Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund.
  • Sgt. John Bruhns. Served in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib with the Third Brigade, First Armor Division, First Battalion, for one year beginning in April 2003.
  • Spc. Garett Reppenhagen. Cavalry scout and sniper with the 263rd Armor Battalion, First Infantry Division, who was deployed to Baquba for a year in February 2004.
  • Staff Sgt. Timothy John Westphal. Served on the outskirts of Tikrit for a yearlong tour with the Eighteenth Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division, beginning in February 2004.
  • Sgt. Dustin Flatt. Served with the Eighteenth Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division, for one year beginning in February 2004.

transcript

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Iraq War Vets Describe “Brutal Techniques” Used by U.S. Military Against Iraqi Civilians

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Two Iraq war veterans, Sgt. John Bruhns and Spc. Garett Reppenhagen recount their experience in Iraq, particularly describe the brutal house raids they conducted on a regular basis in Iraq. Spc. Reppenhagen says, “You could see the frustration on [the Iraqi’s] faces, the anger, the sadness, the worry, the fear. You know, it was very hard to see the faces of the Iraqi people when you took their family members away…especially when you know most of the time you have bad intelligence and you are raiding the house that usually the people inside are innocent.”

  • Sgt. John Bruhns. Served in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib with the Third Brigade, First Armor Division, First Battalion, for one year beginning in April 2003.
  • Spc. Garett Reppenhagen. Cavalry scout and sniper with the 263rd Armor Battalion, First Infantry Division, who was deployed to Baquba for a year in February 2004.

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transcript available later today

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If Soldiers Came From Another Country And Did This To My Family, I Would Be An Insurgent Too” – War Vet Describes Iraq House Raid

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Staff Sergeant Timothy John Westphal, who served in Iraq for one year, recalls raiding a sprawling farm on the outskirts of Tikrit in 2004 and the screams he can still hear of the man he woke up inside. Sgt. Westphal says, “He was so terrified and so afraid for his family. I thought of my family at the time and thought ‘If I was the patriarch of the family, if soldiers came from another country and did this to my family, I would be an insurgent too.'” We also speak with Sgt. Dustin Flatt who describes unarmed civilians being shot or run over by U.S. military convoys.

  • Staff Sgt. Timothy John Westphal. Served on the outskirts of Tikrit for a yearlong tour with the Eighteenth Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division, beginning in February 2004.
  • Sgt. Dustin Flatt. Served with the Eighteenth Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division, for one year beginning in February 2004.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877.

transcript available later today


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  1. Pingback: The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness by Chris Hedges & Laila Al-Arian « Dandelion Salad

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