FIRST GULF WAR, BUSH1: 1991
AT FIRST IT WAS DENIED, BUT THEN A COUPLE OF VERY PROUD ARMY COMMANDERS BEGAN "FIGHTING BACK' WHEN MEDIA PUSHED FOR DISCLOSURE.
NUMBERS VARY AS TO HOW MANY WERE ACTUALLY BURIED ALIVE, BUT 8,000-12,000 SEEMS TO BE A "NICE, CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE".
THE 12,000 THUS DISPOSED OF ARE NOT IN THE NUMBER OF AN ESTIMATED 15,000 WHO WERE KILLED UNDER WHITE FLAGS IN THE "NEUTRAL ZONE" NEAR KUWAIT.
CERTAINLY WE CAN CALL THE THOUSANDS BURIED IN THOSE SANDS "CASUALTIES OF WAR", BUT MY THOUGHT IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE,
"IF THIS HAD BEEN DONE TO AMERICAN SOLDIERS, TO MY SON, TO MY GRANDSON, IF ANYONE I LOVED HAD BEEN BURIED ALIVE WITHOUT CHANCE OF SURRENDER, HOW LONG WOULD MY ANGER LAST, MY RAGE, MY INTENSE HATRED FOR THOSE WHO KILLED 'ONE OF MINE' LIKE THIS?
HOW LONG IS ETERNITY?"
DO I AGREE WITH THE COMMANDER OF THE FORCES WHO DID THIS THAT WE OUGHT TO SAVE EVERY AMERICAN SOLDIER THAT WE CAN?
BUT THERE HAD TO BE A BETTER WAY!
September 15, 1991, U.S. ARMY BURIED IRAQI SOLDIERS ALIVE IN GULF WAR
<<The Army said it knew the operation would kill Iraqis who did not surrender or otherwise get out of the way, but said the tactic spared the lives of American soldiers who would have had to leave the safety of their armored vehicles and fight Iraqi troops hand to hand in the trenches.
In most cases M1-A1 Abrams tanks mounted with a plow were positioned on either side of and parallel to the Iraqi trenches, the colonel said. The ditches were typically several hundred yards long, three feet wide and four feet deep. Operating like snowplows, the tanks drove alongside the ditches, filling them in. Colonel Lon Maggart said that in most cases, Iraqi troops had enough time to see the plows coming, jump out of the trenches and surrender.
[SOME MAY HAVE SURRENDERED... EXCEPT THAT GUNNERS FLANKED THE TANKS, AS SOLDIERS LATER REPORTED, AND SHOT THOSE WHO TRIED TO RUN]
"People somehow have the notion that burying guys alive is nastier than blowing them up with hand grenades or sticking them in gut with bayonets," said Col. Lon Maggart. "Well it's not."
Colonel Maggart, commander of one of two brigades that led assaults on a key line of Iraqi defenses, said in a telephone interview from Fort Riley, Kan., that between 80 and 250 Iraqis had been buried alive.
[HE LATER WOULD ADMIT TO "MAYBE 1,000]
Army officials said the First Infantry's experiences had been the only incidents of live burials during the war.
At a news conference here on Thursday, the Pentagon spokesman, Pete Williams, defended the tactic and said it did not violate the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of warfare. "I don't mean to be flippant, but there's no nice way to kill somebody in war," Mr. Williams said.
The disclosure of the live burials, which were first reported in Newsday this week, seems likely to add to the debate about how forthcoming the Pentagon has been in providing details about the toll suffered by the Iraqi Army at the hands of American forces.
Colonel Maggart estimated that the Iraqi forces he had faced had numbered between 800 and 1,000 -- the 110th Brigade of the 26th Iraqi Infantry Division -- and had had four T-55 tanks. No one was killed in Colonel Maggart's brigade, which consisted of 5,222 soldiers, 125 M1-A1 tanks and more than 50 Bradley fighting vehicles.
He said that the daytime breaching operation, including the ditch filling, had been completed in about three hours, and that the brigade had continued its advance after securing its breach zone, an area of roughly 35 square miles.>>
[NO, IT WAS MORE LIKE 70 MILES OF TRENCHES, 70 MILES, NOT 35, ACCORDING TO TESTIMONY OF SOLDIERS THERE AND A PHOTOJOURNALIST.]
September 13, 1991, Iraqi Casualty Story Begins to Emerge; Both Sides in Gulf War Reluctant to Address Sensitive Subject
R. Jeffrey Smith
<<The Pentagon's confirmation yesterday that "many" Iraqi soldiers
were probably buried alive in their trenches by U.S. tank plows adds
new detail to earlier, spare U.S. descriptions of Iraqi combat
casualties and deaths.
In June, the Pentagon disclosed that U.S. forces had buried
corpses of more than 570 Iraqi soldiers.
U.S. officials acknowledged this was only a tiny fraction of
any credible estimate of the total number of Iraqis who had
probably been killed, but the Pentagon declined to reveal how
many Iraqis had been buried by other allied forces, including
British troops or Saudi "burial teams" operating under U.S.
and allied command. The Saudi government has also
declined to disclose a tally.
"It really bugs me that this has turned into a big national
expose' all of a sudden, that the Army killed Iraqis," said Maj. Bill
McCormick, a division spokesman who led a press pool through the
breach in Iraqi lines about an hour after it took place.
"Would it have been better if we had dismounted [from armored vehicles] and
gone into the trenches with our rifles and bayonets and taken
probably hundreds of American casualties?"
"That is the whole point to this story," Maggart said.
"I put my guys through the most critical point on the battlefield and it took
only 29 minutes. . . .
Given the option of having my guys shot and
blown up, I will tell you I would do it this way every time."
13 February 2003
<<On February 25 1991 the war correspondent Leon Daniel arrived at a battlefield at the tip of the neutral zone between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Daniel was one of a pool of journalists who had been held back from witnessing action the previous day, when Desert Storm's ground war had been launched.
There, right where he was standing, 8,400 soldiers of the US First Infantry Division - known as the Big Red One - had attacked an estimated 8,000 Iraqis with 3,000 Abrams main battle tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Humvees and armoured personnel carriers.
Daniel had seen the aftermath of modest firefights in Vietnam. "The bodies would be stacked up like cordwood," he recalled.
Yet this ferocious attack had not produced a single visible body.
It was a battlefield without the stench of urine, faeces, blood and bits of flesh.
Daniel wondered what happened to the estimated 6,000 Iraqi defenders who had vanished. "Where are the bodies?" he finally asked the First Division's public affairs officer, an army major.
"What bodies?" the major replied.
Two other brigades used the same tank-mounted ploughs and Bradleys to obliterate an estimated 70 miles of defensive trenches.
They moved swiftly.
The operation had been rehearsed repeatedly, weeks before, on a mile-long trench line built according to satellite photographs.
The finishing touches were made by armoured combat earth-movers (ACEs).
These massive bulldozers, with armoured cockpits impervious to small-arms fire, smoothed away any hint of the carnage.
"A lot of guys were scared, but I enjoyed it," said PFC Joe Queen, an ACE driver awarded a Bronze Star for his performance in the battle.
"They wouldn't let us see anything," said Daniel, who has seen just about everything there is to see in war.
Not a single eyewitness account, photograph or strip of video of combat between 400,000 soldiers in the desert was produced by this battalion of professional observers.
Most of the grisly photos from Desert Storm seen today were the work of independent journalists who raced to the "Highway of Death" north of Kuwait, where war planes had destroyed thousands of vehicles in which Iraqi soldiers had fled after the start of the ground war.
The area was free of the military handlers who routinely interrupted interviews to chastise soldiers into changing their statements while reporters stood back, or forcibly removed film from cameras that captured images deemed offensive by an Army public affairs officer.>>
ALSO REPORTED BY
;,,It wasn’t until late in the afternoon of Feb. 25 that the press
pool was permitted to see where the attack occurred. There were groups
of Iraqi prisoners. About 2,000 had surrendered. But there were no bodies,
no stench of feces that hovers on a battlefield, no blood stains, no
bits of human beings. “You get a little firefight in Vietnam and
the bodies would be stacked up like cordwood,” Daniel said. Finally,
Daniel found the Division public affairs officer, an Army major.
“Where the hell are all the bodies?” Daniel said.
“What bodies?” the officer replied.
Daniel and the rest of the world would not find out until months later
why the dead had vanished. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers, some of them
alive and firing their weapons from World War I-style trenches, were
buried by plows mounted on Abrams main battle tanks. The Abrams flanked
the trench lines so that tons of sand from the plow spoil funneled into
Just behind the tanks, actually straddling the trench
line, came M2 Bradleys pumping 7.62mm machine gun bullets into the Iraqi
“I came through right after the lead company,” said Army
Col. Anthony Moreno, who commanded the lead brigade during the 1st Mech’s
“What you saw was a bunch of buried trenches with people’s
arms and legs sticking out of them. For all I know, we could have killed
By the next day, the 3rd Brigade
joined in the grisly innovation. “A lot of people were killed,”’
said Col. David Weisman, the unit commander.
One reason there was no trace of what happened in the Neutral Zone on
those two days were the ACEs. It stands for Armored Combat Earth movers
and they came behind the armored burial brigade leveling the ground
and smoothing away projecting Iraqi arms, legs and equipment.
PFC Joe Queen of the 1st Engineers was impervious to small arms fire
inside the cockpit of the massive earth mover. He remained cool and
professional as he smoothed away all signs of the carnage. Queen won
the Bronze Star for his efforts. “A lot of guys were scared,”
Queen said, “but I enjoyed it.” Col. Moreno estimated more
than 70 miles of trenches and earthen bunkers were attacked, filled
in and smoothed over on Feb. 24-25.>>
(NOTE: Patrick J Sloyan's reporting on the war after the end of Desert Storm won the Pulitzer prize for international reporting in 1992. )
Reporters were banned from Iraq's initial invasion just as they had been banned in Grenada. Those who tried to land on the island, such as Morris Thompson of Newsday, were arrested and imprisoned on US ships offshore.
All details and videos were supplied by military reporters and photographers at Pentagon briefings.
The media barons howled, but little changed.
When Bush Sr invaded Panama in 1989, journalists were once again banned.
Democratic congressman Charles Rangle of New York still insists that as many as 5,000 civilians in Panama City were killed by US invaders. But there are no pictures, no eyewitness accounts.
WHAT'S TO HIDE?
IF NO BREACHES OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION, NO WAR CRIMES WERE COMMITTED, NO MURDERS DONE, WHY NOT INVITE THE PRESS TO SHOW THE 'FIERCE FIGHTING SKILLS' OF ALLIED FORCES?
BOTTOM LINE: IRAQI TROOPS, AS MANY AS MAYBE 12,000, SURELY AT LEAST 8,000, WERE BURIED ALIVE.
WE CAN SAY "ALL IS FAIR IN WAR", BUT THAT DOESN'T HELP ME MUCH ON THIS ONE.
IN BOTH "GULF WARS" MORE TROOPS SPOKE OUT ON THE KILLING OF IRAQI TROOPS AND CIVILIANS WHO WERE WAVING WHITE FLAGS OF SURRENDER, OR WHO WERE VISIBLY UNARMED AND POSED NO THREAT.
THESE MEN WERE BRANDED AND MOST WERE DISCREDITED AS BEST THE PENTAGON CAN DISCREDIT ANY VETERAN.
THE FACT REMAINS, MANY HAVE SPOKEN OUT, WE DO KNOW THE TRUTH FROM THE MOUTHS OF THOSE WHO WERE THERE, UNLIKE PROBABLY ALL OF US,, WHO NEVER SAW WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
<<1991 massacre of thousands of fleeing Iraqi troops was part of U.S. 'total war'
BY Mike Buckingham, 8 Febuary 2003
<<It was like going down an American highway--people were all mixed up in cars in trucks. People got out of their cars and ran away. We shot them.... The Iraqis were getting massacred."--Pfc. Charles>>
<<Sheehan-Miles, describing March 2, 1991, assault on retreating Iraqi column at Rumaila, Iraq, two days after cease-fire in Gulf War. "We've blown away a busload of kids."--Unidentified platoon sergeant during March 2 assault.>>
<<"We're yelling on the radio, 'They're firing at the prisoners! They're firing at the prisoners!'"--Specialist 4 Edward Walker, describing February 27, 1991, incident during ground invasion of Iraq.>>
<<Specialist 4 Edward Walker was ordered to blow up weapons confiscated from the Iraqi soldiers. Shortly after destroying a truck holding these weapons, the platoon was abruptly ordered to move on. The U.S. GIs, greatly outnumbered by the Iraqis, left after giving them surrender leaflets printed in Arabic.
The papers promised that those who gave up would live to see their families again.
Lt. Kirk Allen, the platoon commander, notified the battalion's operations headquarters of the exact location of the Iraqi hospital bus.
As the confiscated weapons were destroyed in a massive explosion, according to Walker, several U.S. Bradley vehicles, armed with chain-driven machine guns capable of firing up to a thousand rounds a minute, rolled onto the scene.
The high-intensity weapons opened up.
'They knew there were prisoners there' Walker, who was convinced all the prisoners were mowed down, said the Bradleys also fired on him and the other GIs who were in a marked Humvee.
"They knew there were prisoners there. They knew they were unarmed," said Walker. "They knew the hospital bus was there, and they knew we were blowing the truck up."
Walker left the military in 1991, not permitted by the authorities at Fort Leonard Wood to re-enlist after spilling the beans on the killing. >>
"It's murder."--Unidentified U.S. soldier during February 27,1991 attack.
An extensive article in the May 22 issue of the New Yorker magazine by
journalist Seymour Hersh has exposed more facts about Washington's
slaughter in the Arab-Persian Gulf. >>
<<On March 2, deep inside Iraq, a five-mile-long retreating column of Iraqis approached the causeway across Lake Hammar, near the Rumaila oil field west of Basra. They ran into the U.S. forces McCaffrey had deployed right across the line of retreat. McCaffrey ordered a devastating attack.
The U.S. military forces sealed off the causeway with Apache attack helicopters and artillery fire, pinned the Iraqi column on the road, and pounded them for five hours with wave after wave of bomb, tank, artillery, and missile attacks.
At least 400 Iraqis were killed.
Some 700 Iraqi tanks, armored cars, and trucks were destroyed. Among them was a bus with civilians and children that was hit by a rocket.
No shots were fired at the U.S. forces, and there were no serious U.S. combat casualties.
[ARE WE TO IMAGINE THAT A 5-MILE LONG RETREATING COLUMN HAD ONLY 400 PEOPLE IN IT? REALLY?]
No reporters were allowed in the area at the time. During the Gulf War no media representatives were permitted on the battlefields without military escorts.
The massacre of unresisting Iraqis and the deaths of children deeply disturbed many U.S. soldiers. One platoon sergeant remarked, "We've blown away a busload of kids."
An officer in the 124th Military Intelligence Battalion said a captured Iraqi tank commander asked his U.S. interrogators several times, "Why are you killing us? All we were doing was going home."
Steven Larimore, a sergeant who headed a brigade assigned to the platoon, said his men noticed a group of villagers walking in the area. "One guy had a white bedsheet on a stick," Larimore stated. "Out of the blue sky, some guy from where we're sitting begins shooting" at the Iraqis. Other machine guns opened fire. In less than three or four minutes some 20 Iraqi civilians were mowed down.
But the events of March 2 were a continuation of the "total war" approach unleashed on the Iraqi people, culminating with the annihilation of tens of thousands fleeing on the highway from Kuwait City to Basra.
During this onslaught, described by pilots as a "turkey shoot," U.S. military forces bombed the front and back of Iraqi convoys, trapping thousands of vehicles in a "killing box."
A reporter for the London Independent who visited the scene of the carnage wrote, "I lost count of the Iraqi corpses crammed into the smouldering wreckage or slumped face down in the sand."
[THOUSANDS OF VEHICLES CARRYING HOW MANY IN EACH VEHICLE?
WE'LL NEVER KNOW.]
Far from being a rogue officer, McCaffrey simply carried out the "Powell Doctrine"--named for Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time--of using maximum force at the outset of a war to minimize U.S. casualties.
"Do we understand that when we use military force decisively, we are actually killing people and breaking up their equipment?" McCaffrey insisted in an interview published in the May 29 issue of Newsweek.
"Do you understand that when you actually apply power, you don't want a fair fight?"
McCaffrey came under investigation after the war when an officer in his unit filed a complaint about his post-cease-fire operations.
Military investigators filed a secret report and exonerated McCaffrey in 1991.
McCaffrey was promoted to four-star general in 1994 and served as commander of the U.S. military forces in Latin America.
President William Clinton named him White House "drug czar" two years later. >>
SECOND GULF WAR, BUSH2
The Iraq War documents leak is the WikiLeaks disclosure of a collection of 391,832 United States Army field reports, also called the Iraq War Logs, of the Iraq War from 2004 to 2009 to several international media organizations and published on the Internet by WikiLeaks on 22 October 2010.
The figures appear to contradict earlier claims that the US did not keep records of civilians killed.
DURING THE BUSH2 INVASION, ALLIED FORCES MAY HAVE SURPASSED BUSH1'S KILLINGS TENFOLD.
"Massacre of 150,000 Iraqi prisoners of war."
[NOTE: MANY OF THESE MAY BE "'THE SURRENDER OF 30,000 TROOPS OF THE IRAQI 5TH CORPS WHO WERE DEFENDING MOSUL IRAQ'".
WE KNOW THAT MANY OF THE 150,000 WERE SHOT DEAD WHILE SURRENDERING OR RETREATING BY ACCOUNTS FROM AMERICAN TROOPS, SIMILAR TO AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, BUT THE FATE OF THE 30,000 IS A BIT OF A "MYSTERY". ]
April 11, 2003, Associated Press
Mosul Falls After Iraqi Forces Disappear
The northern city of Mosul fell into U.S. and Kurdish hands Friday after an entire corps of the Iraqi army disappeared.
Although U.S. officials at Central Command said the Iraqis had surrendered, Lt. Col. Robert Waltemeyer -- commander of a Special Forces unit -- said there were no troops to surrender.]
The U.S.-organized massacre in Iraq was not an aberration or an excess. It was the product of the drive by the U.S. to eliminate the forces completely. The war announced subsequent military assaults like the U.S.-led war against Yugoslavia.
The US military knew of the abuses, the documents suggest, but reports were sent up the chain of command marked "no further investigation".
An April 2005 article by The Independent:
(April 20, 2005). "Aid Worker Uncovered America's Secret Tally of Iraqi Civilian Deaths". The Independent (via Common Dreams NewsCenter).
"A week before she was killed by a suicide bomber, humanitarian worker Marla Ruzicka forced military commanders to admit they did keep records of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces.
... in an essay Ms. Ruzicka wrote a week before her death on Saturday and published yesterday, the 28-year-old revealed that a Brigadier General told her it was 'standard operating procedure' for US troops to file a report when they shoot a non-combatant.
She obtained figures for the number of civilians killed in Baghdad between February 28 and April 5 , and discovered that 29 had been killed in firefights involving US forces and insurgents. This was four times the number of Iraqi police killed."
The December 2006 report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) found that the United States has filtered out reports of violence in order to disguise its policy failings in Iraq.
A December 7, 2006, McClatchy Newspapers article reports that the ISG found that U.S. officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence on one day in July 2006, yet "a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light more than 1,100 acts of violence."
AMERICA AND HER ALLIES KNEW BEFOREHAND WHAT THE "PRICE" OF THIS INVASION WOULD BE ON IRAQI CIVILIANS. THEY KNEW THE NUMBERS.
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL (Numbers are LINE numbers)
23. 500,000 IN NEED OF TREATMENT FOR TRAUMATIC INJURY
25. CASELOAD OF 5.2 MILLION, 4.2 MILLION UNDER AGE 5, 1 MILLION PREGNANT/LACTATING WOMEN,
27.NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF 3.03 MILLION DIRE
35.ESTIMATED 900,000 IRAQI REFUGEES
36. 900,000 NEW REFUGEES ADDED TO 130,000 THE UNHCR ALREADY CANNOT TAKE CARE OF
THE LANCET REPORTS, TWO OF ITS PEER-REVIEWED REPORTS OUT OF IRAQ:
The Lancet, one of the oldest scientific medical journals in the world, published two peer-reviewed studies on the effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation on the Iraqi mortality rate. The first was published in 2004; the second (by many of the same authors) in 2006.
The studies estimate the number of excess deaths caused by the occupation, both direct (combatants plus non-combatants) and indirect (due to increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poor healthcare, etc.).
The first survey published on 29 October 2004, estimated 98,000 excess Iraqi deaths (with a range of 8,000 to 194,000, using a 95% confidence interval (CI)) from the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq to that time, or about 50% higher than the death rate prior to the invasion.
The authors described this as a conservative estimate, because it excluded the extreme statistical outlier data from Falluja.
If the Falluja cluster were included, the mortality estimate would increase to 150% over pre-invasion rates (95% CI: 1.6 to 4.2).
The second survey published on 11 October 2006, estimated 654,965 excess IRAQI deaths related to the war, or 2.5% of the population, through the end of June 2006. The new study applied similar methods and involved surveys between May 20 and July 10, 2006.
More households were surveyed, allowing for a 95% confidence interval of 392,979 to 942,636 excess Iraqi deaths.
601,027 deaths (range of 426,369 to 793,663 using a 95% confidence interval) were due to violence.
31% (186,318) of those were attributed to the Coalition, 24% (144,246) to others, and
46% (276,472) unknown.
The causes of violent deaths were gunshot (56% or 336,575), car bomb (13% or 78,133), other explosion/ordnance (14%), air strike (13% or 78,133), accident (2% or 12,020), and unknown (2%).
The Lancet surveys are called "controversial" because their mortality figures are higher than most other reports, including those of the Iraqi Health Ministry and the United Nations.
The 2007 ORB survey of Iraq War casualties estimated more deaths than the Lancet, though it covered a longer period of the conflict.
Out of all the Iraqi casualty surveys so far, only the Lancet surveys and the Iraq Family Health Survey were peer-reviewed.
The Lancet surveys have triggered criticism and disbelief from some journalists, governments, the Iraq Body Count project, some epidemiologists and statisticians and others, but have also been supported by some journalists, governments, epidemiologists and statisticians.
On September 14, 2007, ORB (Opinion Research Business), an independent UK based polling agency, published an estimate of the total casualties of the Iraq war.
The figure suggested by ORB, which was based on survey responses from 1,499 adults, stands at 1,220,580 deaths, with a margin of error of 2.5%.
This estimate, although conducted independently, and using a different polling methodology, is consistent with the Lancet findings if accounting for the additional 14 months covered by the ORB poll.
On 28 January 2008, ORB published an update based on additional work carried out in rural areas of Iraq.
Some 600 additional interviews were undertaken and as a result of this the death estimate was revised to 1,033,000 with a given range of 946,000 to 1,120,000.
SO, WHY DOES ANY OF THIS MATTER, NOW?
IF YOU REALLY ASKED THAT QUESTION, NO ANSWER I CAN PROVIDE WILL EVER CHANGE THE FACT THAT, TO YOU, THIS SIMPLY DOES NOT MATTER.
IF YOU KNOW WHY IT MATTERS, YOU WILL BE, AS I AM, MORE CERTAIN THAN EVER THAT AMERICANS WILL NEVER AGAIN BE SAFE ANYWHERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
THE HATRED ALONE THERE FOR US SHOULD KILL US AS SOON AS WE SET FOOT ON THAT SANDY SOIL.
NO SHOTS WOULD HAVE TO BE FIRED IF HATRED COULD KILL AMERICANS.
AND WON'T THIS JUST MAKE IT WORSE FOR OUR TROOPS THERE?
THAT'S MY GREATEST CONCERN.
OTHER "WAR CRIMES" APPEARED IN OVER 40 PHOTOS PUBLISHED IN 2004, PHOTOS TAKEN IN FALLUJAH, IRAQ, PHOTOS OF U.S. MARINES BURNING BODIES, RIFLING THROUGH REMAINS, POSING WITH SKELETONS...
AND THEN THERE WAS THE PHOTO OF THE DOG EATING HUMAN REMAINS.
U.S. Central Command, which is in
charge of military operations in the Middle East, reviewed the photos to
determine if they had been brought to their attention before.
They determined they had not.