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  1. #1
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Default Soldiers "viewed all Iraqis as 'scum'", enquiry hears

    Soldiers viewed all Iraqis as 'scum', Baha Mousa inquiry hears | World news | The Guardian

    Soldiers viewed all Iraqis as 'scum', Baha Mousa inquiry hearsIntelligence officer says officers did not know rules on treatment of prisoners and one tried to mount 'arse-covering exercise' after Baha Mousa's death
    (10)Tweet this (7)Richard Norton-Taylor guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 April 2010 18.51 BST Article history
    Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel worker, was beaten to death in 2003 while in the custody of 1 Battalion Queen's Lancashire Regiment. Photograph: Liberty/PA


    An officer of the regiment detaining Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel worker, when he was beaten to death said his soldiers held the view that "all Iraqis were scum", it was disclosed today.

    One officer tried to mount an "arse covering" exercise after Mousa's death, while others expressed ignorance of basic rules covering the treatment of prisoners, the public inquiry into the incident heard.

    A military intelligence officer, identified only as SO [staff officer] 17, told the inquiry she was "amazed" at questions senior officers asked her about how prisoners should be treated.

    Hooding, stress positions, noise-producing equipment and sleep deprivation were prohibited in a Joint Intelligence Committee document in 1972, the inquiry heard. They were banned by Edward Heath, then prime minister, after their use in Northern Ireland.

    Giving evidence behind a screen, the witness said she was well aware of the 1972 ban and of obligations laid down by the Geneva conventions, and international and European law. The inquiry has heard how Mousa and other Iraqi civilians held with him were subjected to hooding, stress positions and punching.

    Mousa, a 26-year-old receptionist, was beaten to death on 15 September 2003 on suspicion of being an insurgent. He sustained 93 separate injuries while in the custody of soldiers from 1 Battalion Queen's Lancashire Regiment (1QLR).

    The intelligence officer, who was deployed to southern Iraq between July and December 2003, said that later that day she received a number of telephone calls from QLR officers. One, identified as Major Michael Peebles, had asked her what she described as basic questions about how prisoners should be handled, fed and watered, and how long they could be detained.

    "I was amazed that this officer was asking me these questions as the unit should have been aware of policy," she said, adding: "I formed the distinct impression that this officer was hiding something from me." Asked by Gerard Elias QC, the inquiry counsel, why she got that impression, she replied that the officer had offered no reply when she told him: "If you've got any detainees then get them to me."

    Asked why she believed a QLR officer was engaged in what she called an "exercise in covering someone's arse", she said it was because it was very unusual for her to get so many telephone calls from officers in a British battlegroup in Basra.

    She described how two weeks later she received a further call from another QLR officer. It lasted between three and four hours. She added: "During the call, he seemed to be on a morality roller coaster, in that he would go on about the QLR mentality and the attitude held that all Iraqis were scum and then he would go on about the lack of training that soldiers had."

    She said her caller, a male captain whose name she could not remember, "felt remorseful about Baha Mousa's death". The captain told her that "poor treatment of prisoners was common during the tour", she added.

    The inquiry has heard that hooding of Iraqi detainees by British soldiers in Iraq was common. Today's witness, who described the practice as "inhumane", said she witnessed it rarely but when she did so she immediately ordered the hoods to be removed. She said alternatives, such as strips across the eyes or darkened goggles, were acceptable for a limited period.

    She recalled one instance when a detainee had a "visible imprint of a boot on his back and others suffered from cut lips or bruises to their heads".

    Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer, the army's most senior legal adviser in Iraq, told the inquiry last month that the way Iraqi detainees were intimidated and hooded by British soldiers was "repulsive". He was shocked, he said, adding that it was "a bit like seeing pictures of Guantánamo Bay for the first time".
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

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  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    it's always depressing what humans are willing to do to each other

    reminds me of the Stanford Prison Experiment in a way... and the regret reminds me of the Tim O'Brian short story The Man I Killed
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    This really makes it hard for me to defend the collective character of soldiers. Our Canadian troops embarrassed us with some pretty racist behavior a few years back, it was a disgrace. I know they're not all bad and they are putting their life on the line, but if most of you think the people you are supposedly helping are scum you shouldn't be there. I would really like to think I wouldn't do this were I in the same situation but I guess I just don't know.

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    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    When I read these articles, I always remind myself that a series of anecdotes does not establish a pattern.

    For every article I read about anecdotes of torture and abuse, I find anecdotes like this:

    Combat Dancing In Baghdad, Iraq

    When you have 200,000 people, who are trained to kill, concentrated in one small region, some are bound to revert to their more savage tendencies, while others will ascend beyond the conflict. The vast majority will simply be obedient grunts, following orders.

    But perhaps this "Dancing in a War Zone" is purely an American idiosyncrasy?

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    How many people here know that Donald Rumsfeld. Single handedly created the Iraqi Insurgency by making an idiotic policy choice?



    But then again the Industrial Military Complex and their contractor buddies would have lost billions, if the stupid nimrod at DoD had been smat! err...smart!

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    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sLiPpY View Post
    How many people here know that Donald Rumsfeld. Single handedly created the Iraqi Insurgency by making an idiotic policy choice?
    Because Rumsfeld appointed Paul Bremer as temporary head of the Provisional Authority, whom promptly disbanded the entire Iraqi Army, thus providing thousands of hungry bodies and well-oiled arms to the insurgency?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    Because Rumsfeld appointed Paul Bremer as temporary head of the Provisional Authority, whom promptly disbanded the entire Iraqi Army, thus providing thousands of hungry bodies and well-oiled arms to the insurgency?
    Yup, that's the ticket.

    What a freakn' moron.

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    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sLiPpY View Post
    Yup, that's the ticket.

    What a freakn' moron.
    I sometimes wonder if Bremer confused Iraq for a computer wargame, where disbanded units simply disappear and return their resources back to your requisition pool?


  9. #9
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    I sometimes wonder if Bremer confused Iraq for a computer wargame, where disbanded units simply disappear and return their resources back to your requisition pool?

    Much of US military planning and development today is literally based upon the assumption that warfare can be transformed into a nice little video game where nobody gets hurt. And by nobody, I mean nobody on our side. :rolli:

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    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Much of US military planning and development today is literally based upon the assumption that warfare can be transformed into a nice little video game where nobody gets hurt. And by nobody, I mean nobody on our side. :rolli:
    I do hope our command staff learned the lessons of Iraq.

    You know what they say...the US Military is always 100% prepared for the last war.

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