ATROCITIES & WAR CRIMES

O.K., so a person doesn’t HAVE to go through a military training course of “Learning To Kill/Combat Training” (check out our short page on that topic) to commit atrocities, but at this time in history, such training certainly makes it easier to justify to yourself.

  •   Obviously, in spite of recent anthropological research, even in the oldest written documents we know of, the Bhagavad Gita and the Judaeo-Christian Old Testament, war and violence are predominant.
  •   Meanwhile, from stories and written histories of conquest through the centuries, and more recent accounts as documented below, we take it as axiomatic that where there is war, there are atrocities and war crimes,
  •   This country was founded on some lofty ideals at the time, but man’s “lower nature” has quite often soured those ideals, at all levels of “government.” This becomes particularly true when certain individuals have clear dominance over others and military training and activity is all about dominance, reinforcing that inclination of subjugation.
  •   If you believe in the “information” media… the corporate-owned mainstream media (MSM), you’d think that war/military-related atrocities are/have been committed only by the “other guys.” ‘Tain’t so!!! There is a minority in any population willing to kill and with sufficient “training” (Ref our “Learning to Kill/Combat Training” section, including the study of WWII front-line soldiers) many remaining inhibitions to kill drop away, particularly in these individuals, and the potential for atrocities can surface to physical reality.
  •   For those less inclined to shoot-to-kill, the Army/Marines (applying lessons learned from Vietnam) uses group pressure/go-along-to-get-along techniques and fear of a less-than-honorable discharge (Ref. Our section on “Discharges” to understand that even an “Honorable” discharge can be deceptive) to “soften” the reluctant shoot-to-kill military member.

——————- REFERENCES ————————–

1. New Study of Prehistoric Skeletons Undermines Claim That War Has Deep Evolutionary Roots (.pdf), By John Horgan | July 24, 2013 |

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2013/07/24/new- study-of-prehistoric-skeletons-undermines-claim-that-war-has-deep- evolutionary-roots/

When did war begin? Does war have deep roots, or is it a modern invention? A new analysis of ancient human remains by anthropologists Jonathan Haas and Matthew Piscitelli of Chicago’s Field Museum provides strong evidence for the latter view.

2. From Violence In The Bible And The Bhagavad-Gita (.pdf) by Hector Avalos, Iowa State University

“Violence is a primary fact of life for biblical figures in the Hebrew Bible, and the biblical deity is often portrayed as the prime mover for this violence.” AND “If interpreted literally, at least some portions of the Bible are quite explicit in advocating violence as the proper means to settle conflicts that ultimately derive from unequal access to scarce resources, including land, God’s revelation, and human authority.

“Such directives reach back to God himself. If interpreted literally, the BG can also be seen as supporting violence. Krishna directs Arjuna to participate in war. Krishna supports the caste system that in itself may be a sort of violence to those that are in the lower echelons. Krishna devalues bodily suffering and death, which can logically lead to devaluing violence as well.

“If we extend the logic of Schwartz, it might be that all religions, not just monotheistic ones, are ultimately violent. All religions ultimately depend on creating, rather than just addressing, scarce resources. And more importantly, the scarce resources created by religion are generally accepted as unverifiable, which itself leads to violence.”

3. The History of America’s Secret Wars (.pdf): Corporate Espionage and the Outsourcing of National Security  By Greg Guma, Global Research, June 14, 2013

Url of original article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-history-of-americas- secret-wars-corporate-espionage-and-the-outsourcing-of-national- security/5338982
This text is excerpted from Big Lies: How Our Corporate Overlords, Politicians and Media Establishment Warp Reality and Undermine Democracy. (This kind of investigative reporting seems to have either started or was accelerated by “War Is A Racket” By Major General Smedley Butler (pdf).)
Question: Is THIS what you might want to fight and kill to maintain???

4. American War and Military Operations Casualties (.pdf) – Lists and Statistics:

Think of all these combat casualties just on OUR side of the conflicts… how many collateral damage? How many unrecorded lives on the “other” side? As far as I’m concerned, this situation is also an atrocity.

5. Verified Civilian Slayings (.pdf)

LA Times – Nick Turse, Deborah Nelson and Janet Lundblad, August 6, 2006 http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-vietcases6aug06-story.html
Decades-old Pentagon records show that Army criminal investigators substantiated seven massacres of Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians by U.S. soldiers — in addition to the notorious 1968 My Lai massacre.
… And this is only what was officially reported and investigated

6. Hearing Begins For Five GIs In Rape-Slaying Case (.pdf) AP, Updated: 7:01 a.m. MT Aug 6, 2006

Unidentified Iraqi witnesses testify in case that has strained U.S.-Iraqi ties

BAGHDAD, Iraq – An Iraqi army medic told a U.S. military hearing Sunday he was sick for weeks after finding the naked and burned body of a 14-year-old girl allegedly raped and murdered by American soldiers south of Baghdad.
It is among the worst in a series of cases of alleged abuse of Iraqis by American soldiers.

7. War zone killing (.pdf) – Vets feel ‘alone’ in their guilt PAULINE JELINEK | February 22, 2013 12:32 PM EST

| http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130222/us-military-moral- injury/

WASHINGTON — A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, former Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo thinks of himself as a killer – and he carries the guilt every day.

“I can’t forgive myself,” he says. “And the people who can forgive me are dead.” With American troops at war for more than a decade, there’s been an unprecedented number of studies into war zone psychology and an evolving understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinicians suspect some troops are suffering from what they call “moral injuries” – wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something, that violates their moral code.

8. VIETNAM: THE WAR CRIMES FILES(.pdf) Civilian Killings Went Unpunished By Nick Turse and Deborah Nelson Special to The Times

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na- vietnam6aug06-story.html From the Los Angeles Times Declassified papers show U.S. atrocities went far beyond My Lai.

9. Gerry Condon, VFP Board Member, Interview Extracts, Oct ’11

http://www.innatenonviolence.org/readings/2011_11.shtml

I ended up jumping (enlisting) before I was pushed (drafted). Next things I knew I was in basic training in the army, running around in formation with rifles yelling “Kill the gooks!”. It was pretty shocking to me, there was blatant racism as part of our training, to learn how to hate the Asians we were going to be killing in Vietnam. In fact a friend of mine, a Chinese-American, actually got pulled out of the ranks in training and told, “Come up and stand here, Wong”, and “This is what a gook looks like”! My views on the war were reinforced by the racism and brutality of Army basic training.

Yeah. If you talk to Iraq veterans today you’ll hear very much the same thing, they talk about the ‘rag-heads’ that they’re going to kill in Iraq, and the ‘hajis’ in Afghanistan. At any rate I was very disturbed by that and I was recruited into Special Forces, trained as a medic, a year-long training, a Green Beret medic, we had to be like jungle doctors. It gave me a lot of time to think about what was going on, and I got to talk to returning veterans coming back from Vietnam, and they described atrocities against Vietnamese civilians. And some of them were very upset about it, things they had seen or even participated in. Others were bragging about it but they were telling the same story. That’s it, finally I said No, there’s no way I can go forward with this and began to speak out publicly against war and began to refuse all orders. I was kicked out of the Green Beret (Special Forces) training and given orders for Vietnam. I was court-martialed and sentenced to ten years in prison. But that sentence didn’t come until I had already escaped, went AWOL, deserted during the middle of my court-martial and made my to Canada and eventually to Europe.

I am quite involved with supporting young men, sometimes women now, who followed the same course as I did, forty some years ago.

A huge problem is the huge suicide rate among the young veterans at this particular time, as well as active duty military.

Of course the mass media doesn’t really tell people that there is a peace movement in the US, and we don’t hear what is going on in Europe. Generally speaking the media is corporate-owned, it’s very much concentrated media, in the hands of relatively few people and they do not have an interest in reporting on the activities of people who question war. In fact they have been very much involved with promoting the wars, even respected newspapers like the New York Times, for example, had to apologize publicly for falsely reporting that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in other words supporting the Bush administration’s rationale for going to war against Iraq, that was true of the Washington Post, a lot of media. We have out and out right wing media like Fox News in the US, a Murdoch-owned network, that is cheerleading for war and cheerleading for hatred against immigrants and always trying to stir up base right wing sentiments. So it is hard to get in the media.

We are now in the condition that many people refer to as ‘permanent war’. … and many war functions are now being privatized – so when they (our politicians) say they are withdrawing the troops, you have a bunch of troops coming in that are contractors, mercenaries, and actually less accountable. It’s the same thing in Afghanistan,

10. Don Chapin, Website Initiator, Statement

I signed up for the USAF Delayed Enlistment Program and, thinking I couldn’t get out of it for the state college scholarship I was informed of having earned three days before I was slated to leave for basic training on Sep 28, ’56, I turned the scholarship down. Three days into basic training I knew I’d made a HUGE mistake, but after a LOT of work in my free time in the next seven years, and a re-enlistment (which shocked everyone who knew me), I was on a college campus enrolled in an engineering program with a considerably better USAF scholarship than the one that I’d turned down. Before graduating with a BS, I had seriously thought of flight training (thinking of becoming a “jet- jockey”/combat pilot) and had passed the tests and physical (including another series of dreaded shots! 🙂 for that program.

However, in the back of my mind was the observed general attitude, behavior and stories of those combat pilots entering the college campus from tours in Vietnam… I wasn’t sure I wanted to be exhibiting such egos and laughing about chasing black-clad farmers out of their fields with an F-4 aircraft cannon simply out of boredom because there were no more North Vietnamese aircraft to engage.

O.K., so this may not be in the category of atrocities or war crimes, but I sensed a shifting moral compass and could recognize the internal process discussed in the above article “War Zone Killing.”

“Circumstances” intervened… the USAF offered and I quickly accepted another “scholarship” for an engineering Master’s Degree (MS) at the same school where I had just received my BS.

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