“Black Hearts:”

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

A two part series, from Time magazine, of a total breakdown of a platoon and especially one soldier’s descent into madness in Iraq. The leadership vacuum, moral and the chain of command not recognizing what was happening. {I added ‘abeers’ photo’s}

I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more about this book in the coming weeks!

Collateral Damage: The Downward Spiral of Private Steven Green

The first of two excerpts from TIME contributing editor Jim Frederick’s new book, Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death

In late 2005, the 1st Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division’s fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment deployed to a 330 sq. mi. ribbon of land south of Baghdad that was dubbed the “Triangle of Death.” Underequipped and undermanned, the 1-502nd arrived in perhaps the most dangerous part of Iraq at its most dangerous moment.

Suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, a leadership vacuum and rapidly declining morale and discipline, four soldiers from the 1-502nd’s 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, would perpetrate one of the worst war crimes known to have been committed by U.S. forces during the Iraq war, or any war for that matter. On March 12, 2006, Specialist Paul Cortez, Specialist James Barker, Private First Class Jesse Spielman and Private First Class Steven Green raped 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamzah Rashid al-Janabi and murdered her, her parents and her 6-year-old sister.

As heinous as the crime was, it did not happen without warning. Again and again, leaders up and down the 1-502nd’s chain of command were either unable or unwilling to recognize the clear signs of breakdown that the unit’s soldiers were exhibiting, not to mention the increasing homicidal threat that Green was becoming to Iraqi civilians. As this first of two excerpts from TIME contributing editor Jim Frederick’s new book, Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death, demonstrates, Green should have been a soldier of concern for the unit’s leadership from the day he reported for duty …

And he starts this first, about Green, with this:

Twenty-one-year-old Steven Green was one of the weirdest men in the company. He was an okay soldier when he wanted to be, but the oddest thing about him was that he never stopped talking. And the stuff that came out of his mouth was some of the most outrageous, racist invective many of the men had ever heard. Green could discourse on any number of topics, but they usually involved hate in some way, including how Hitler should be admired, how “white culture” was under threat in multi-ethnic America, and how much he wanted to kill every last Iraqi on the planet. He would go on and on and on like this until somebody literally would have to order him to shut up. >>>>

As almost all conflict veterans recognize these extreme incidents, atrocities, war crimes……….., be they done by soldiers or private merc armies, not only recruit those fighting their occupation but create more blowback on fellow soldiers. And in these times, long before 9/11 and since, actions like this and policies of leaders create blowback on the civilian populations of the countries involved. Another of many reasons a Country never should order it’s military into Wars of Choice!!

2 comments

    • jimstaro on February 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm
      Author

    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Rhodes keeps pictures of the dead in his pockets.

    They’re the faces of young soldiers whose eyes stare out resolutely from photocopied pages worn and creased by the ritual of unfolding them, smoothing them flat and refolding them.

    They’re the faces of men who, haunted by problems at home or memories of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the dead children, the fallen comrades and the lingering smell of burnt flesh — pressed guns to their heads and pulled the triggers or tied ropes with military precision and hanged themselves. >>>>>

    This is in the Anchorage Daily News , someone the hockey puck should talk to seen as how none of her band of ‘teabaggers’ seem to ever mention either occupation nor veterans concerns!

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