Monday, July 03, 2006

It's ignorance, stupid, that causes atrocities.

The following was reported by the news media since my last posting:

“BEIJI, IRAQ, July 1 --- Investigators believe American soldiers spent nearly a week plotting an attack in which they raped an Iraqi woman, then killed her and her family in an insurgent-ridden area south of Baghdad, a US military official said Saturday.

“The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the attack appeared ‘totally premeditated’ and that the soldiers apparently ‘studied’ the family for about a week before carrying out the attack.

“According to the official, the Sunni Arab family had just moved into a new home in the religiously mixed area about 20 miles south of Baghdad. The Americans entered the home, separated three family members from the woman, then raped her and set fire to her body, the official said. The three others were also slain. A senior Army official who also requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing said one of the victims was a child.”

If these allegations are true, they speak of a situation out of control regarding human rights. The US invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein because of his record of human rights violations. Oh, and because he supposedly had weapons of mass destruction and ties to the terrorists of 09/11/2001.

We know the last two reasons were lies spread by George W. Bush’s government.

But Saddam Hussein’s government DID have a documented record of human rights violations going back 20 years. The problem now for the US is that a record of human rights violations by the US in Iraq is being documented.

How could this happen? Why have Americans possibly become terrorists themselves?

Ignorance of the world has a lot to do with it. Americans simply are not educated about the rest of the world. We know nothing about other world religions, are not taught any other important language besides English, are in the dark about the customs of other peoples, cannot tell the difference between Tibet and Timor and couldn’t find Kuwait or Qatar on a map if our lives depended on it.

With education comes respect. We are not educated to respect others. Our servicemen and women are products of our poor educational system. When I was interviewed to become a sergeant E-5 in the Army in the sixties, my first sergeant, Russell Pearl Painter, Jr. asked me:

“If a soldier is a screw up, is it the Army’s fault or is it the fault of what he was taught and not taught in the civilian world before he joined the military?” In other words, is a screw up the product of his civilian environment, lack of education and parental training? The answer is yes.

What doesn’t help is that our enlisted men and women are almost all just high school graduates. We need better educated men and women in their ranks to help the less educated. And that is another reason why we need a universal draft of all young men in this country, with no loopholes. We have a better chance of having less atrocities committed in the name of the US if our enlisted forces contain college graduates.

But our military system currently looks suspiciously upon anyone in its ranks that might know something. Can you imagine what would happen to a soldier if it was discovered that he or she had Muslim or Iraqi friends and/or had worshipped in a Muslim mosque in Kabul? He would be investigated for his political proclivities.

How do I know that? Because when I was in the Army in the sixties, I was hauled before special agents of the Army intelligence service because I had met at least one Communist when I was serving my country in the Peace Corps.

The Communists were the Muslim terrorists of the sixties and the Army found out I had talked to the secretary of the local Communist Party organization in Jabalpur, India in December 1963 when serving in the US Peace Corps. I was forced to sign a statement that I wasn’t a Communist and that no one in my family was a Communist.

I thought you’d like to read the statement I had to sign and it follows. It says that I wasn’t forced to sign it but you can imagine what the remainder of my life in the Army would have been like if I hadn’t signed it. All of the facts in the 40 year old statement were uncovered by the Army and not supplied by me. The photos above right are of my friend V. P. Mohanan and me in 1964 in India.

(AR 190 451; AR 600-140)
Place: Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne, Darmstadt, Hesse, German Federal Republic
Date: 15 February, 1966
Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial: HAAN, Walter J.; Grade: PFC E-3
Organization: Company B, 93d Signal Battalion, APO US Forces 09175

I have been informed by Frank E. Kyper
Who Stated He is: (an) Intelligence Corps Special Agent
of the United States (Army), and that he’s conducting an investigation of
my association with Sri Mehrotra and my political proclivities.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 31 (has) been read and explained to me by Frank E. Kyper. I understand that I do not have to make any statement whatsoever and any statement I make may be used as evidence against me. I, Walter J. HAAN, Private First Class E-3, (service number here), assigned to Company B, 93d Signal Battalion, APO US Forces 09175, and being interviewed at the Darmstadt Resident Office, 165th Military Intelligence Company, 66th Intelligence Corps group, APO US Forces 09175, do make the following statement of my own free will without threat, coercion or unlawful influence:

My sole association with Shri Mehrotra, introduced to me as the secretary of the local Communist Party organization in Jabalpur (nca), India, for a period of approximately one-half hour in December 1963. At the time, I was working as a school teacher for the US Peace Corps in Allahabad, (nca), India. I was in Jabalpur with the friend of mine, V. P. Mohanan, a.k.a, Mohanan Panikkassery, born in approximately 1937, an Indian citizen. We were visiting with a friend of Mohanan’s, a lawyer whose name I cannot remember, in the lawyer’s house. While there, I was introduced to Mehrotra. For approximately a half-hour, Mehrotra and I discussed several subjects, including Goa, President Kennedy’s assassination, and several other subjects which I cannot remember. Mehrotra felt that the United States government was endeavoring to withhold information concerning President Kennedy’s death, an opinion I endeavored to refute. I never saw Mehrotra after this, although Mohanan did mention in several of his subsequent letters to me that Mehrotra was continuing to hold his belief that information was being withheld on President Kennedy’s assassination. In approximately March or April 1964, I mailed a booklet of collected newspaper accounts of the assassination prepared by the United States Information Service (USIS) to Mohanan, and requested that he forward it to Mehrotra. I never heard anything more from Mohanan concerning Mehrotra. I have continued to maintain contact with Mohanan, both through occasional exchanges of visits while I was still in India, and also through correspondence. I still correspond with Mohanan approximately once a month. His current address is Mohanan Panikkassery (address was inserted here). I do not believe that Mohanan is a communist or communist sympathizer.. I believe his father was killed by communists in India in the late 1940s and harbors a definite dislike for communists as a result of his father’s death and because of the disruption caused by the communists in Kerala state of India. I cannot explain his association with Mehrotra. I am not aware of any other persons I associated with in India, or any other persons with whom I have been in contact being communist or communist sympathizers. I have never corresponded with Mehrotra or received any literature from him. I have never been involved in any communist activities, nor have members of my family. I am not willing to undergo a polygraph examination concerning the affore-mentioned information because I believe there is a possibility that such an examination may give an incorrect reading, which may prove damaging to me in my later life. END OF STATEMENT.

I signed this statement and it was witnessed and signed by both:
Special Agent, INTC
Darmstadt Resident Office
165th MI Company, 66th INTC Group
APO US Forces 09175

Special Agent, INTC
Authority to administer oaths: Article 136b, UCMJ, 1951
---Walter Haan,


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