Sunday, April 10, 2005
I Can Stop Any Time I Want

MODERATOR. One more question on that. The training--What did you consider the Vietnamese? Were they equal with you?

CAMPBELL. The Vietnamese were gooks. We didn't just call the VC or the NVA gooks. All Vietnamese were gooks and they were slant eyes. They were zips. They were Orientals and they were inferior to us. We were Americans. We were the civilized people. We didn't give a ------ about those people.

MODERATOR. Mr. Eckert, you stated that you witnessed an old Vietnamese woman shot by security guards in Quang Tri Province. Could you elaborate and tell us if she was a VC or a civilian?

ECKERT. I was up in Quang Tri visiting a friend of mine who was on security, which is like a rat patrol. They go out in the little jeeps and patrol the perimeter. We were out about five o'clock in the morning, just about coming in, when they spotted this old woman about--she looked about fifty but she was probably about twenty-five--and she was running across some trees and everyone in the jeep--no one was supposed to be out there, of course, it was not a free fire zone but from the hours from dusk to dawn there's not supposed to be anybody out there, and if there is, you're supposed to stop them, check them out, and eliminate them if you have to. So these guys decided that they would kind of play a little game and they let her run about fifty yards and they'd fire in front of her so she'd have to turn around, and then they'd let her run another direction and then they'd cut her off. This went on about a half hour until the time the sun started to come up. So then they decided it best to eliminate her as soon as possible, so they just ripped her off right there, and then the guy, the corporal that was in charge, he decided that they'd better check her out for an ID card just to be safe about it and they went over and, of course, she didn't have an ID card; she didn't have anything. Her only crime was being out probably tending to her buffalo before the time she should have been. These guys just took it upon themselves to waste her.

Winter Soldier Investigation

Q: When did you begin to turn against the military and the war?

DELGADO: From the very earliest time I was in Iraq, I began to see ugly strains of racism among our troops--anti-Arab, anti-Muslim sentiments.

Q: What are some examples?

DELGADO: There was a Master Sergeant. A Master Sergeant is one of the highest enlisted ranks. He whipped this group of Iraqi children with a steel Humvee antenna. He just lashed them with it because they were crowding around, bothering him, and he was tired of talking. Another time, a Marine, a Lance Corporal - a big guy about six-foot-two - planted a boot on a kid's chest, when a kid came up to him and asked him for a soda. The First Sergeant said, "That won't be necessary Lance Corporal." And that was the end of that. It was a matter of routine for guys in my unit to drive by in a Humvee and shatter bottles over Iraqis heads as they went by. And these were guys I considered friends. And I told them:" What the hell are you doing? What does that accomplish?" One said back:" I hate being here. I hate looking at them. I hate being surrounded by all these Hajjis."

Q: They refer to Iraqis as "Hajjis"?

DELGADO: "Hajji" is the new slur, the new ethnic slur for Arabs and Muslims. It is used extensively in the military. The Arabic word refers to one who has gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca. But it is used in the military with the same kind of connotation as "gook," "Charlie," or the n-word. Official Army documents now use it in reference to Iraqis or Arabs. It's real common. There was really a thick aura of racism.

(...)

Q: How were the civilians killed?

DELGADO: It was common practice to set up blockades. The Third Infantry would block off a road. In advance of the assault, civilians would flee the city in a panic. As they approached us, someone would yell: "Stop, stop!" In English. Of course they couldn't understand. Their cars were blown up with cannons, or crushed with tanks. Killing noncombatants at checkpoints happened routinely, not only with the Third Infantry, but the First Marines. And it is still going on today. If you check last week's MSNBC, they dug out a father and mother and her six children. We were constantly getting reports of vehicles that were destroyed (with people in them) at checkpoints.

Read the whole thing.
8:49 PM ::
Amy :: permalink
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