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Socialist Christian Donating Member (383 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 03:30 PM
Original message
Rights group questions house demolitions in Iraq, Pentagon denies collecti
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1520&nc...

<snip>
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Amnesty International said US forces appeared to be destroying houses in Iraq (news - web sites) as a form of collective punishment for attacks on US troops and warned that that would violate the Geneva Conventions. A Pentagon (news - web sites) spokesman emphatically denied it.

The human rights group said it had sent a letter to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld demanding clarification whether the demolitions as a form of collective punishment or deterrence was officially permitted.


"If such proved to be the case, it would constitute a clear violation of international humanitarian law," the group said in the letter.


A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged that US forces had destroyed "facilities," including houses, in the course of recent military operations but emphatically denied they were intended as a form of collective punishment or retaliation for attacks.

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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. rating this a 5
:grr:

:mad:
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Pentagon (or it's spokespersons) have already admitted this
They've already used the word 'collective punishment' to describe what they are doing (at least the people on the ground in Iraq have said so), and what about the widespread use of the word 'retaliate' to describe things like Operation Eisenhammer?

Just today, there was a thread with a link to an article where a US commander threatened to cut off a town's electricity if there were any more attacks there...

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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. If I remember correctly...
some of our soldiers were admitting that they are using retaliation by destroying homes. I don't have a link, sorry, but there have been several interviews with soldiers which left me with that clear interpretation.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. You're right. We've read at least one article posted at D.U.
They moved on to houses AFTER they had destroyed farmers' fields and crops.

You might remember the graphic description offered in one article on soldiers destroying fields in which a U.S. soldier was reported to actually be crying with grief at having to do it.

Too many people have already heard about this for the military to suddenly claim it hasn't happened.
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MrSoundAndVision Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. fiver
Surprised to see that on Yahoo! really.
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MrSoundAndVision Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. fiver
Surprised to see that on Yahoo! really.
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Socialist Christian Donating Member (383 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. 5
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. O.K. First we read about the farms getting bulldozed
I found a story we read, in some form, right here:

They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while they were cutting down the trees," said one man. Ambushes of US troops have taken place around Dhuluaya. But Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh al-Jabouri, a member of a delegation that went to the nearby US base to ask for compensation for the loss of the fruit trees, said American officers described what had happened as "a punishment of local people because 'you know who is in the resistance and do not tell us'." What the Israelis had done by way of collective punishment of Palestinians was now happening in Iraq, Sheikh Hussein added.

The destruction of the fruit trees took place in the second half of last month but, like much which happens in rural Iraq, word of what occurred has only slowly filtered out. The destruction of crops took place along a kilometre-long stretch of road just after it passes over a bridge.

Farmers say that 50 families lost their livelihoods, but a petition addressed to the coalition forces in Dhuluaya pleading in erratic English for compensation, lists only 32 people. The petition says: "Tens of poor families depend completely on earning their life on these orchards and now they became very poor and have nothing and waiting for hunger and death."

The children of one woman who owned some fruit trees lay down in front of a bulldozer but were dragged away, according to eyewitnesses who did not want to give their names. They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us." (snip/...)


http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/iraq/1164.html

Then we read about houses getting razed, with "punishment" clearly defined, in later articles.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. O.K. First we read about the farms getting bulldozed
I found a story we read, in some form, right here:

They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while they were cutting down the trees," said one man. Ambushes of US troops have taken place around Dhuluaya. But Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh al-Jabouri, a member of a delegation that went to the nearby US base to ask for compensation for the loss of the fruit trees, said American officers described what had happened as "a punishment of local people because 'you know who is in the resistance and do not tell us'." What the Israelis had done by way of collective punishment of Palestinians was now happening in Iraq, Sheikh Hussein added.

The destruction of the fruit trees took place in the second half of last month but, like much which happens in rural Iraq, word of what occurred has only slowly filtered out. The destruction of crops took place along a kilometre-long stretch of road just after it passes over a bridge.

Farmers say that 50 families lost their livelihoods, but a petition addressed to the coalition forces in Dhuluaya pleading in erratic English for compensation, lists only 32 people. The petition says: "Tens of poor families depend completely on earning their life on these orchards and now they became very poor and have nothing and waiting for hunger and death."

The children of one woman who owned some fruit trees lay down in front of a bulldozer but were dragged away, according to eyewitnesses who did not want to give their names. They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us." (snip/...)


http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/iraq/1164.html

Then we read about houses getting razed, with "punishment" clearly defined, in later articles.

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. Does this sound like collective punishment?
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=1...

U.S. Military Juggles Everything in Iraq


"We are going tough, but we are fair," Swannack said. "If a whole town is supporting insurgents, I'll put tanks there and cut off its electricity."

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-03 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
11. U.S. forces demolish suspicious Iraqi houses
Edited on Fri Nov-21-03 05:26 PM by JudiLyn

U.S. forces demolish suspicious Iraqi houses
The State Department has criticized similar Israeli actions.

Jeff Wilkinson - Knight-Ridder Tribune
November 21, 2003


TIKRIT, IraqThe decision to destroy at least a dozen homes belonging to family members of guerrilla suspects in and around Tikrit was within the rules of war and was approved by the commander of the 4th Infantry Division and probably by the overall commander for U.S. forces in Iraq, a spokesman for the division said Tuesday.

But some military officers acknowledged that the tactic had caused debate over whether it would inflame opposition rather than tamp it down. One officer referred to the demolitions as unprecedented.

The destruction of the homes is a sensitive issue because the tactic resembles a controversial Israeli practice of destroying the houses of families of suicide bombers in the West Bank and Gaza. The U.S. State Department previously has denounced the Israeli actions.

U.S. forces destroyed the homes on Sunday and Monday, after evacuating women and children, as part of an aggressive crackdown on anti-U.S. guerrilla forces. Those forces have shot down at least two helicopters in recent weeks and planted scores, if not hundreds, of roadside bombs in the area known as the Sunni Triangle. (snip)

(snip) Soldiers reduced the houses to rubble with large-caliber rounds from Apache helicopters and tanks while families watched in near-freezing temperatures. In some cases, the residents, mostly women and children, were given five minutes to evacuate. The soldiers left the families to be cared for by neighbors and relatives. (snip/)

http://www.oudaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/11/21/3...

Another article, very sad:

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/front/7288591.h...





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