Welcome to the stone age ii

Two photo series document the cruel consequences of the war in Iraq for the civilian population

Of all things, the magazine Focus, which is really not suspected of being anti-American, describes in its online edition the murderous behavior of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. "U.S. soldiers killed civilians indiscriminately," the report says in its headline. And then: "Pushy U.S. soldiers are apparently part of everyday life in Iraq. But they are almost never punished and rarely reveal their atrocities, as now to a U.S. magazine."

The U.S. magazine is The Nation, which spoke with former soldiers in Iraq. The result of these discussions is truly frightening. Focus writes: "Dozens of those interviewed witnessed their comrades shooting Iraqi civilians, including children. Some have taken part themselves. While soldiers make a point of not all troops participating in the indiscriminate killing. But they describe the atrocities as commonplace – except that the incidents generally go unreported and are almost never punished."

"Every good cop carries a throwaway," said Hatcher, who served with the Fourth Cavalry Regiment, First Squadron, in Ad Dawar, halfway between Tikrit and Samarra, from February 2004 to March 2005. "If you kill someone and they’re unarmed, you just drop one on ’em." Those who survived such shootings then found themselves imprisoned as accused insurgents.

The fact that there are hardly any pictures of these atrocities – even in our media – seems to be part of the propaganda strategy of the US military. Finally, brutal pictures of cruelly killed people arouse pity, but also hatred. Hatred, which in Iraq could turn into further terror, and compassion, which in the West are making the call for an end to the war louder. But at least on the net you can find such collections of pictures. For example, the photos of the well-known British journalist Robert Fisk, which were taken in Iraq in the spring of 2003 – title "Pictures of Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq" and provided quite rightly with the note "Please note that some of these pictures are not suitable for small children and those who have weak hearts."

And in fact, the footage documents the cruelest consequences of a war waged in the name of freedom. One did not like, but one should look.

Another series of images comes from Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen – taken during a U.S. helicopter attack on alleged terrorists in southern Baghdad on 12. July of this year. It is also a terrible document of an even more terrible war. And during this work, for reasons that are not yet clear, the photographer and his driver also died. But they were by no means the only victims of this murderous peacekeeping operation.

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