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11 July 2011

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Tony C.

Admittedly off-topic, but I would be interested in the Colonel's response to the following remarkable portion of a letter just written and released by former Army Specialist Ethan McCord, who served in Bravo Company 2-16, the ground troops involved in the "Collateral Murder" video released by Wikileaks:

"Serving with my unit 2nd battalion 16th infantry in New Baghdad Iraq, I vividly remember the moment in 2007, when our Battalion Commander walked into the room and announced our new rules of engagement:

"Listen up, new battalion SOP (standing operating procedure) from now on: Anytime your convoy gets hit by an IED, I want 360 degree rotational fire. You kill every [expletive] in the street!"

We weren't trained extensively to recognize an unlawful order, or how to report one. But many of us could not believe what we had just been told to do. Those of us who knew it was morally wrong struggled to figure out a way to avoid shooting innocent civilians, while also dodging repercussions from the non-commissioned officers who enforced the policy. In such situations, we determined to fire our weapons, but into rooftops or abandoned vehicles, giving the impression that we were following procedure.

On April 5, 2010 American citizens and people around the world got a taste of the fruits of this standing operating procedure when WikiLeaks released the now-famous Collateral Murder video. This video showed the horrific and wholly unnecessary killing of unarmed Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists.

I was part of the unit that was responsible for this atrocity. In the video, I can be seen attempting to carry wounded children to safety in the aftermath.

The video released by WikiLeaks belongs in the public record. Covering up this incident is a matter deserving of criminal inquiry. Whoever revealed it is an American hero in my book."

Patrick Lang

Tony C

It is your duty to bring this matter to the attention of officials in the offices of the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff. There is no statute of limitations for murder under UCMJ. pl

jonst

I'm with you Col...I would respond..."ok, I intend to keep it'. And further...I would not give them a dime..not a dime. You want to do something for them...reduce the tariff on their apparel. Put it at the same rate it is for India. That way, in theory, we help them, but we send no money and set up no bureaucracy. But then again, the entire idea on our end is precisely to set up parties along the food chain that can take their cut. Legal or otherwise.

jonst

Tony C, if possible, can you provide the link to the document your mention?

par4

We are NOT 'hard up' for money at home. Our government created trillions out of thin air to prop up Wall Street. As far as ME foreign aid goes I say Israel can be cut off first.

J

Colonel, Jonst,

(Correct me if I'm wrong) I believe that Tony C is quoting entirely from Corporal McCord's eyewitness statement, and not his own personal account.

Corporal McCord's eyewitness account can be seen below:


See:
http://collateralmurder.com/

The site also has backgrounder as well as a video of Corporal McCord's eyewitness story.

Michael McIntyre

I see it as extensive face-saving on their part, while of course their groveling palm stretches for us. I can't believe we had to pay them to staff their own border with their own soldiers. Do we, I wonder, have the guts to cut the cord with them?

Basilisk

"Do we, I wonder, have the guts to cut the cord with them?"

Not so simple to find that cord. What about the Khyber convoys that carry the $400 a gallon gasoline to the ISAF in Afghanistan? Everything ripples back.

AGK

Colonel, many around the globe want your military machine out of their lands.. many. I am not having an intention to criticize their behaviour or the military tactics employed by the army but the very way and purpose for deploying them here and there. Iraq was total fiasco.. total. Just remember the propaganda campaign, the way even the very basic civilian infrastructure like grain silos, power stations was targeted. The way the main beneficiary's like Haliburton and the rest of same kind structured their contracts with the state.. And as a citizen of a country where US had recently established base I can tell you that if our politicians were not such a marionettes, there wouldn't be even a talk about the existence of such structure.

Arun

But this is what former Pakistan ambassador to the US Maleeha Lodhi said:

""I think it hurts Washington more than it hurts Islamabad," said Lodhi, the former ambassador. "Assistance is influence, and when you withhold it or suspend it, you deprive yourself of influence."

:)) Do you really want to hurt yourself more than you hurt Pakistan???? :))

jonst

Basilisk,

I got an answer for that....no men there...no convey/money making scheme needed.

My response would be the same...come hell or high water, whatever it cost, to whomever it cost (and I was in the Marines too...I know what I'm saying) no matter what....we're done. You are own your own. And so are we. And I'd live or die with it.

Ok...talk is cheap. But at 61 it is all I basically got. But I stand by it and I mean it.

walrus

So we intend to repeat the same mistake we made after the defeat of the Russians?

I am of the opinion that Pakistan can make infinitely more trouble for us than we can for them, starting with increasing their facilitation of the Heroin trade and increasing the Chinese presence in the region.

I guess if they then wish to really rattle our cage, they can announce that weapons grade fissionable material has been stolen from one of their plants..

Tony C.

jonst,

Here is a link to my source:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

Patrick Lang

walrus

We cannot let them keep dragging us around with such possibilities. pl

Basilisk

jonst,
I hear you, and I sympathize. There is just no way to flip a switch and do this. There's got to be a process, and rash action and posturing by both sides just makes it so much harder.

Patrick Lang

Basilisk

No dump'em and move on. pl

Patrick Lang

Basilisk

We tend to exagerate the importance of these 3rd world countries. i know how much you are concerned with the CT issues here but we really must stop playing softball with countries like Pakistan. Let India deal with them. pl

mbrenner

Pakistan obviously raises passions. Yet if we step back and reflect, there is little reason to get worked up. I suggest that we begin with these premises:

1. the al-Qaeda terrorist threat is greatly exaggerated is scope, magnitude and probability. The remnants of 'classic' al-Qaeda are haunting the AfPak borderlands like old Brooklyn Dodger fans used to haunt the derelict premises of Ebbets Field. The so-called al-Qaeda franchises seem to have nil capability to mount any significant attack on the US. Any competent organization so inclined in the future is as likely to originate in Hamburg as in the Hindu Kush. So why not occupy Hamburg and conduct intensive operations against anyone with a Muslim name who calls us dirty names and sits around coffee shops fantasizing about blowing up Disneyland.

2. At the end of the day, it is the Pakistanis' country not ours. They're better able to manage their affairs than we are. We can't even manage our own - check the headlines. If there ever is anything of a tangible nature going on there that genuinely poses a clear danger to America, then we have the time and means to deal with it.

Yet, audaciously, the White House and veteran Pakistan expert Leon Panetta are convinced that they know better than the Pakistanis themselves what path leads to political stability in that increasing fractured country. Instruction and admonition have become the standard mode of address.

Since the hotel bombing in Kabul, a specious excuse to slam the Pakistanis via the Haqqani people, it has been an all-out campaign against the Pakistani government. Washington sources explain that it is meant to “chasten” Pakistan for expelling American trainers and to press the army to take on the entire array of militants on Pakistani soil.

In effect,the heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan want to take de facto control of Pakistani’s intelligence operations and military missions in the Northwest. The reply: not on your life, this is our country, we are not Fatah and we are sovereign here. That Pakistani retort leaves the White House unmoved.

What we are doing is foreign policy by adrenaline rush – the high produced by slaying Osama bin Laden. It has no grounding in understanding or logic. It betrays monumental ignorance of the Pakistani elite - of what makes them tick. It reflects no cost/benefit calculus or estimate of probabilities. It lacks all proportion and perspective. It reeks of hubris. What lkse is new?

Ken Hoop

Evidently, "playing the game honestly" with us meant lying to Pakistan's own people about sanctioning what the people regard as terror e.g. drone bombing. Seems like many governments from Saddam to Mubarek on are learning that playing the game honestly with America isn't self-preserving, because America's end game is always keeping the American-Israeli imperium going at any cost, which is unpopular in the extreme on the Arab-Moslem street.

jonst

Bring it on Walrus....I want out. I don't care what happened to the Russians...though I believe the mistake they made was not leaving, rather, it was going in. In the first place.

My feeling is..we will NOT be blackmailed any more by hobgoblins of what might happen. We will take what comes. And I believe we can deal with what does come.

Further....I would focus on what is going on here. On the home front. There is much pain and much anger. We disregard it at our peril. It is time to fix the home front.

jonst

And, further, and finally, as to "let India deal with them" is concerned...no truer, or wiser, words were ever spoken.

Fred

Tony C.

I second the Colonel's comments.

JYD

mbrenner,

Your claim that the threat from Al Qaeda and its affiliates is exaggerated flies in the face of recent events. We're just a year removed from the day when a Pakistani jihadist almost blew up Times Square, with just his ineptitude saving us. This guy was not even on the radar and he almost got through. Add to this the dozens of thwarted plots that all trace back to that hellhole.

It is easy for a layperson to get away with underestimating the probability of a given threat, but for an elected President it would be criminal irresponsibility.

While COIN to CT is the right move, we are destined to maintain a presence in AfPak for the forseeable future. Given that, it is not surprising that the aid lever is being used to persuade Pakistan to abandon some of their proxies (not all - just the ones that support those seeking to blow up our cities).

confusedponderer

JYD,
Tim McVeigh was under the radar also, and yet his very serious terrorist act didn't trigger the US to wage war on the anti-state radicals in the heartland and to send Predator drones after them.

The existence of terrorism doesn't compel the US to conduct a policy that necessitates a military presence in AfPak.

The open question left unaddressed is to which extent the terrorism the US experiences in AfPak is simply because the US are there.

With those who fight the US because they are there a deal can be reached. Those who are irreconcilable the US will have to fight anyway. It is probably only sensible to keep an eye on them, and if that necessitates troops, so be it.

But that is not the policy that currently justifies the presence of US troops in AfPak. As of now, the US fight the Taleban i.e. the Pashtun tribes in order to prop up the Afghan state. I don't think that it is a mission in which the US can succeeded.

walrus

Lets go back to the acid test; what is in Americas best interests in relation to Pakistan?

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