The War Party(s)?

August 27, 2008 – 6 min 47 sec

Stephen Zunes: Obama’s anti Iraq war stance wiped out by choosing hawk Biden

Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus (www.fpif.org). From 1996 to 1999, he served as chair of the Board of Peaceworkers, a US-based group supporting the non-violent struggle of the Kosovar Albanians and other non-violent movements and peacemakers in areas of conflict.

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    • Edger on August 27, 2008 at 3:48 pm
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    • Edger on August 27, 2008 at 4:34 pm
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    U.S. Soldiers Executed Iraqis, Statements Say

    NYT, August 26, 2008

    In their sworn statements, Sergeants Mayo and Leahy described the events that preceded the shooting of the Iraqi men, who apparently were Shiite fighters linked to the Mahdi Army militia, which controlled the West Rashid area of southwest Baghdad.

    After taking small-arms fire, the patrol chased some men into a building, arresting them and finding several automatic weapons, grenades and a sniper rifle, they said. On the way to their combat outpost, Sergeant Hatley’s convoy was informed by Army superiors that the evidence to detain the Iraqis was insufficient, Sergeant Leahy said in his statement. The unit was told to release the men, according to the statement.

    “First Sergeant Hatley then made the call to take the detainees to a canal and kill them,” Sergeant Leahy said, as retribution for the deaths of two soldiers from the unit: Staff Sgt. Karl O. Soto-Pinedo, who died from a sniper’s bullet, and Specialist Marieo Guerrero, killed by a roadside bomb.

    “So the patrol went to the canal, and First Sergeant, Sgt. First Class Mayo and I took the detainees out of the back of the Bradley, lined them up and shot them,” Sergeant Leahy said, referring to a Bradley fighting vehicle. “We then pushed the bodies into the canal and left.”

    Sergeant Mayo, in his statement, attributed his decision to kill the men to “anger,” apparently at the recent deaths of his two comrades.

    Sergeant Leahy, in his statement, said, “I’m ashamed of what I’ve done,” later adding: “When I did it, I thought I was doing it for my family. Now I realize that I’m hurting my family more now than if I wouldn’t have done it.”

    Hat tip to Warren at They gave us a republic… for this

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