Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.
People often accuse me of some ulterior motive in trying to stop the Iraq war. I find this absurd. What could be a more strong motivator than trying to stop the murder and torture of children? Yes I despise you, but it is not because you are American; it is because you are complicit killing children and try to make excuses for it.
i will be breif but i can tell you as a soldier who has served in iraq for a year and returned home many of the things posted on your website are false and taken from context then twisted to make it seem as though they were negative actions committed by americans. for example the fact that you mentioned the US flag being flown in basra. i know for a fact very few US flags fly in iraq, my unit was instructed against our wishes not to fly a flag so that people would not think of us as an imperial power occupying iraq. and what about the american flag on Iwo Jima and the many union jacks that canadians and englishmen have placed around the world whilst liberating an oppressed people, are they any different?
You are correct that you were ordered not to raise the US flag. However, some US soldier did. Word of it spread immediately all over Iraq. Iraqis read this as a signal that the Americans had come as conquerors not liberators. I know this because ex-patriate Iraqis told me about it. It turned out the propaganda goof gave the Iraqis early warning of the true American intentions.
second the one picture you have of an iraqi mans head laying against the tracks of a tank with the subcaption americans commit beheadings too is a false statement. the man in that picture was not beheaded by americans. anyone who studies the nature of suicide bombers knows that when the bomb is detonated the head and legs of the individual are left well preserved, however, seperated from the indivuduals torso. this man was a suicide bomber who attempted to destroy a US tank which was providing security to the iraqis, protecting them from the very person that he is, a terrorist who has killed more iraqi civilians than US servicemen.
Clearly that victim lost his head in a bomb explosion. You Americans have dropped more than enough bombs to behead thousands of people. Neither of us know for sure exactly how that particular guy lost his head. Your claim the Iraqis killed more civilians than you Americans is absolutely absurd. It is a bizarre attempt to exculpate yourself from the crime of child murder and maiming. Why is your claim absurd?
third and finally do not say that bush is responsible for the killing maiming and whatever else you call it. president bush has never done any of this personally and all service members have the right to disobey and order given to them even by the president himself if the resulting action would be in violation of the geneva and hague convention codes.
Hitler did not personally twirl the taps in the gas chambers either, but we still hold him responsible. Ditto with Bush. Soldiers are brainwashed to instantly obey. It is very rare for a soldier to have the courage to disobey an illegal order. It is even rarer a soldier would have sufficient confidence to know an illegal order when he saw one.
the few individuals who spoiled the image of the soldiers in iraq are the ones who should be held accountable not the administration or the military of the US, Great Britain and the other coalition forces as a whole.
It is not a few individuals. An individual can’t order up napalm, white phosphorus or poison gas. The brutality of this war is systematic. Further, the entire war is illegal. America invaded, unprovoked, under false pretences, without UN (United Nations) approval. Every last one of you who participated is an international war criminal. I hope that someday you personally will be prosecuted at the Hague for that and for any specific violations of the Geneva Conventions you have committed including aiding and abetting violations.
i challenge you to post this on your website and hope that for the benefit of intelligent discussion you do not rule me out as an ignorant american. perhaps if you opened your mind and saw first hand what is going on in iraq and not jsut what you are fed by your overwhelmingly liberal canadian media you would come to your senses as many people did after the jan 30 elections that the iraqi people held.
specialist dymitri dutkanicz,
United states army
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