Iraq: Tharthar Lake, Another U.S. Massacre of Innocents by Felicity Arbuthnot

Dandelion Salad

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, October 12, 2007

The region of Tharthar Lake, between Salah Ad Din and Ramadi Provinces – where three women, nine children and nineteen ‘Al Qaeda suspects’, were mown down from the air, in another act of homicide and exceptional cowardice – is sited in the center of one the the U.S Army‘s favoured culling fields, Samarra being nearby a little to the north east and Falluja roughly equi-distant, to the south west.

Saddam Hussein, who built a palace and resort on the lake, with guest homes and facilities for visiting dignitaries and those of his circle, is believed to have had a special place in his heart for the beauty and tranquility of the lake, which the complex overlooked. Fishing on the lake was reported to be a pastime and relaxation he loved.

In common with all Iraq’s great buildings of State, they were quickly squatted by the invaders from the land of trailor parks, as ever in breach of international laws obligating an occupying force, albeit an illegal one. The tranquil complex had been sullied before by American intruders. The weapons inspectors (UNSCOM) demanded to go there, when playing their ridiculous game of accusing the Iraqi government of secreting weapons of mass destruction in the great palaces. Since all Iraq’s armaments were sold by all Member countries of the UN Security Council and Germany (here we go again) this was no more than an attempt at humiliation and war mongering. They had the receipts, knew the ‘shelf life’ – and the pitiful destruction of just about all that remained after the eight year Iran-Iraq war, and 1991’s forty two day carpet bombing.

It did not take long for the Tharthar ‘ insurgents R U.S.’ to start killing there. Just a few examples:

” On 12 September 2003 U.S. soldiers mistakenly killed at least eight Iraqi police officers who were chasing a car full of armed men through a checkpoint near Fallujah. According to witnesses, the shooting took place as Falluja police and security guards pursued a white BMW used by suspected highway robbers … The Iraqi officers chasing the four men in the BMW were driving pickup trucks. The security guards along with Iraqi policemen chased the attackers in an attempt to capture them. At this point US forces arrived on the scene and opened fire …. Eight guards were killed and … others injured.”(1)

On 24th March 2004 John R. MacArthur read the front-page headline in the New York Times: ‘ “Backed by U.S., Iraqis Raid Camp and Report Killing 80 Insurgents.” The accompanying “news” story — which depicted a “fierce battle” on the shores of Lake Tharthar — was based entirely on uncorroborated statements by Iraqi and American spokesmen that suggested two highly improbable developments: first, that the so-called Iraqi army had suddenly gotten its act together and was taking the initiative without U.S. prompting; and second, that the Iraqi rebels had just as suddenly abandoned their very successful hit-and-run tactics and started camping in big bunches out in the open, where anyone could see them.’ It finally turned out that, they were killed by US helicopter gun ships.'(2)

Prior to that, of course, the Tharthar usurpers had joined with colleagues, honing their mighty massacre skills in Falluja in early and late 2004. An indiscriminate carnage of such magnitude that football pitches became buriel grounds, dogs ate bodies in streets and traumatised families even buried their beloved lost in their gardens and yards, unable to escape liberation’s blood sodden siege.

On 18th May 2006 a Multi National Force Iraq Press Release read:

“Tikrit, Iraq: Iraqi army and U.S. Soldiers raided a suspected insurgent training camp during Operation Iron Triangle near Lake Thar Thar’ (pity about the wordage) ‘southwest of Tikrit May 9. 2006. Nearly 200 Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, and about 230 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team assaulted the complex from CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters into the suspected camp after intelligence sources identified the location as the Muthana Chemical Complex”

In a familiar story, three hand-cuffed, unarmed men, uncharged, untried, were shot dead by brave lads of the U.S. military. A colleague said he had not intervened for fear of being seen as a coward. In a rare sighting of United States justice, soldiers Raymond Girourard, William Hunsaker and Corey Clagett were sentenced, in March 2007, to forty six years between them for pre-meditated murder and conspiracy. (3)

Now, on October 10th., the day that a funeral was held at the Virgin Mary Church in Baghdad, for Marou Awanis and Geneva Jalal, killed by Unity Recources Group, a mercenary company who protect a USAID contractor – many legal opinions are that mercenaries are accountable to and under the auspices of the U.S., Army – the U.S. Army itself was on another bloodfest. (Blackwater, another bunch of murderous mercenary thugs, of course, killed seventeen innocent civilians on September 16th., also reportedly protecting USAID contractors – some ‘AID’.) Extra-judicial killings are very democratic, Christian, Muslim and all denominations, nationalities, are equal targets in America’s killing fields, deserts, cities, towns, villages, schools, hospitals, streets and family homes.

As A.P.reported:

“U.S., troops backed by attack aircraft killed nineteen suspected insurgents and fifteen civilians, including nine children (whilst) ‘targetting Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders…”

Again, say that ‘Al Qaeda’ is targetted and those in U.S. uniform, can literally get away with murder. U.S. ground forces ‘faced small arms fire’, writes A.P., presumably from those trying to protect themselves from hyped up goons dressed like something from another planet. So the ‘bravest of the brave’, bravely brought in helicopter gun ships, which, presumably, could see the ‘I am Al Queda’ luminous stickers, on the heads of the terrified mothers, children and others. Another day, another massacre.

Now, reports the Chicago Tribune (4) the U.S. Army is to lower its recruiting standards, with more recruits having ‘criminal records’ and ‘ no high school diploma’. Those with felony arrests, have over tripled since 2003, so now they can felon with impunity. No wonder the countless allegations of cash, jewellery and valuables stolen from Iraqi homes, at checkpoints and in random searches.

Major General Thomas Bostick is sanguine. Most of those recruited committed ‘misdemeanors’, for such offences as ‘joyriding’ or violating a curfew. Give them an armoured vehicle or a tank in Iraq and Afghanistan and they can joy ride till their hearts’ content, riding over kids, cars, with impunity, shooting up families at random. And criminals who have been handed a curfew order will be free to impose a curfew at gunpoint on innocent Iraqis, doing nothing more than being Iraqis in their own illegally occupied country.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Congressional Resolution, has rightly urged that the 1915 slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey by the Ottomans to be recorded as a genocide.

How long before the probable one and a half million Iraqis, geographically next door, who died silently of U.S. driven ’embargo related causes’ over thirteen years (1990-2003) and the subsequent near one and a quarter million excess deaths at the hands of the invasion, will be equally recorded, as another genocide by a country which was founded on the genocide of America’s indigenous population, which continued across the world in the same mode and now, in just seventeen years, with the U,K., has the blood of approaching three million on U.S, Administration and Congressional hands. And it is worse, please see the meticulous research by Dr Gideon Polya, author of a just published, academic tome, on ‘democratic’ genocide: ‘Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950.

(G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007, (for details see:
http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/
and
http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ).

Quis custodiat ipsos custodes?

Notes

1. Globalsecurity.org.

2. John R. MacArthur, Providence Journal, 5th April 2005.

3. For minute detail of yet another shameful event:
www.expose-the-war-profiteers.org/DOD/iraq_2005/episode/1001372/summary.html

4. www.uruknet.de?p=m37120

Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot

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Congress & The Keystone Cops by Josh Sidman

Josh

by Josh Sidman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Josh’s Blog Post

Oct. 12, 2007

Congress & The Keystone Cops

I swear, every time I think things in this country have gotten as fucked up as they could possibly be, the government figures out new and innovative ways to make things even worse. Today’s entry in the “why the fuck would you do that?” category is a bill approved by a House panel which will describe Turkish atrocities committed against Armenians in World War I as genocide. In response to this action, the Turkish government has ordered its Ambassador to return to Turkey for “consultations”. Without wishing to in any way take away from the seriousness of what may have happened 90 years ago, it seems absolutely pointless to needlessly antagonize a key ally in the most volatile region on the planet over a symbolic gesture with no practical purpose whatsoever.

All of this comes at a time when the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate and a civil war and/or partition of Iraq into separate countries seems increasingly likely. Turkey is one of the key players in this equation, and tensions have been mounting between them and the US. Turkish aircraft have been conducting raids on Kurdish groups in Northern Iraq, despite the disapproval of the U.S. And, just at this crucial juncture, in response to well-organized lobbying by some Armenian pressure-groups, Congress is planning to administer a completely pointless slap in the face to the Turkish government. Its as if a slap-stick comedy writer were scripting the actions of the government in such a way as to build up to ever more ridiculous bungles and prat-falls. It would almost be comical if the likely consequences weren’t so tragic.

I never thought it would happen, but for once I agree with the Bush Administration on something. Defense Secretary Robert Gates observed that 70% of air cargo bound for Iraq passes through Turkey. He went on to predict that, “access to airfields and to the roads and so on in Turkey would very much be put at risk if this resolution passes, and Turkey reacts as strongly as we believe they will.” Now, I am an energetic opponent of the war in Iraq, but even I recognize that if you are at war, it is completely counterproductive to needlessly antagonize key allies.

This is yet another installment in the “politics of the absurd” that characterizes everything that happens in Washington these days. Everything is so goddamn ridiculous that the ordinary citizen can do nothing but look on and stare in disbelief. After all, its no longer the case that anyone, Republican or Democrat, can attribute everything that is going wrong to the “idiots on the other side of the aisle”. The fact is that the entire system is completely dysfunctional, and electing a Democrat President instead of a Republican will do nothing to address the glaring need for a complete overhaul of our system of government.

The only advice I can offer is to withdraw support from mainstream candidates in both parties. Most Americans seem afraid to take such a step, since they are terrified about what will happen if the “other” party gains control. But the fact is there is no “other” party. There is just one big group of corrupt, self-serving shitheads, all of whom need to be unceremoniously thrown out on their asses. So, as we approach the presidential election season, I urge everyone who shares my concerns to abandon ALL of the front-running candidates. Don’t vote for Giuliani because you hate Hillary, and don’t vote for Hillary because you think she’s got the best chance to defeat the Republicans. Such thinking is nothing more than the Politics of Fear, and it is exactly what the big-wigs in both parties want from us. It doesn’t matter if its Hillary or Giuliani or Edwards or Thompson – they’re all a bunch of criminals, and the only hope is that the American people rise up en masse and send a clear message that NONE OF THE ABOVE are acceptable. Vote for Mike Gravel or Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, or don’t vote at all. Any of these options is a better choice than a vote for any of the shitbags who are currently leading in the polls.