Hardcore Marine Speaks Out Against Iraq Invasion

Discussion in 'America Attacks!' started by LaughinWillow, May 24, 2004.

  1. LaughinWillow

    LaughinWillow Member

    http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18730

    A Soldier of Conscience (edited for length - stupid new forums)
    By Paul Rockwell, Sacramento Bee
    May 18, 2004

    Editor's Note: For nearly 12 years, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey was a hard-core, some say gung-ho, Marine. For three years, he trained fellow Marines in one of the most grueling indoctrination rituals in military life: Marine boot camp. The Iraq war changed Massey. The brutality of the U.S. invasion touched his conscience and transformed him forever. He was honorably discharged with full severance last Dec. 31 and is now back in his hometown, Waynsville, N.C. We are republishing the following interview from the May 16 Sacramento Bee because it is a rare first-hand account of the carnage taking place in Iraq, especially the killing of innocent civilians.



    [​IMG]You spent 12 years in the Marines. When were you sent to Iraq?



    I went to Kuwait around Jan. 17. I was in Iraq from the get-go. And I was involved in the initial invasion.



    What does the public need to know about your experiences as a Marine?



    The cause of the Iraqi revolt against the American occupation. What they need to know is we killed a lot of innocent people.



    Killing Civilians



    What experiences turned you against the war and made you leave the Marines?



    I was in charge of a platoon that consists of machine gunners and missile men. Our job was to go into certain areas of the towns and secure the roadways. There was this one particular incident – and there's many more – the one that really pushed me over the edge. It involved a car with Iraqi civilians. From all the intelligence reports we were getting, the cars were loaded down with suicide bombs or material. That's the rhetoric we received from intelligence. They came upon our checkpoint. We fired some warning shots. They didn't slow down. So, we lit them up.



    Lit up? You mean you fired machine guns?



    Right. Every car that we lit up we were expecting ammunition to go off. But we never heard any. Well, this particular vehicle we didn't destroy completely, and one gentleman looked up at me and said: "Why did you kill my brother? We didn't do anything wrong." That hit me like a ton of bricks.



    Baghdad was being bombed. The civilians were trying to get out, right?



    Yes. They received pamphlets, propaganda we dropped on them. It said, "Just throw up your hands, lay down weapons." That's what they were doing, but we were still lighting them up. They weren't in uniform. We never found any weapons.



    You got to see the bodies and casualties?



    Yeah, firsthand. I helped throw them in a ditch.



    Over what period did all this take place?



    During the invasion of Baghdad.



    How many times were you involved in checkpoint "light-ups"?



    Five times. There was Rekha. The gentleman was driving a stolen work utility van. He didn't stop. With us being trigger happy, we didn't really give this guy much of a chance. We lit him up pretty good. Then we inspected the back of the van. We found nothing. No explosives.



    The reports said the cars were loaded with explosives. In all the incidents did you find that to be the case?



    Never. Not once. There were no secondary explosions. As a matter of fact, we lit up a rally after we heard a stray gunshot.



    A demonstration? Where?



    On the outskirts of Baghdad. Near a military compound. There were demonstrators at the end of the street. They were young and they had no weapons. And when we rolled onto the scene, there was already a tank that was parked on the side of the road. If the Iraqis wanted to do something, they could have blown up the tank. But they didn't. They were only holding a demonstration. Down at the end of the road, we saw some RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) lined up against the wall. That put us at ease because we thought: "Wow, if they were going to blow us up, they would have done it."



    Who gave the order to wipe the demonstrators out?



    Higher command. We were told to be on the lookout for the civilians because a lot of the Fedayeen and the Republican Guards had tossed away uniforms and put on civilian clothes and were mounting terrorist attacks on American soldiers. The intelligence reports that were given to us were basically known by every member of the chain of command. The rank structure that was implemented in Iraq by the chain of command was evident to every Marine in Iraq. The order to shoot the demonstrators, I believe, came from senior government officials, including intelligence communities within the military and the U.S. government.



    [​IMG]You fired into six or ten kids? Were they all taken out?



    Oh, yeah. Well, I had a "mercy" on one guy. When we rolled up, he was hiding behind a concrete pillar. I saw him and raised my weapon up, and he put up his hands. He ran off. I told everybody, "Don't shoot." Half of his foot was trailing behind him. So, he was running with half of his foot cut off.



    There was an incident with one of the cars. We shot an individual with his hands up. He got out of the car. He was badly shot. We lit him up. I don't know who started shooting first. One of the Marines came running over to where we were and said: "You all just shot a guy with his hands up."



    What can you tell me about depleted uranium?



    Depleted uranium. I know what it does. It's basically like leaving plutonium rods around. I have 80 percent of my lung capacity. I ache all the time. I don't feel like a healthy 32-year-old.



    Were you in the vicinity of depleted uranium?



    Oh, yeah. It's everywhere. If you hit a tank, there's dust.

    And if DU is affecting you or our troops, it's impacting Iraqi civilians.


    Oh, yeah. They got a big wasteland problem.



    Cluster bombs are also controversial. U.N. commissions have called for a ban. Were you acquainted with cluster bombs?



    I had one of my Marines in my battalion who lost his leg from an intermittent cluster bomb.



    What happened?



    He stepped on it. We didn't get to training about clusters until about a month before I left.

    Are they dropped far away from cities, or inside the cities?


    They are used everywhere. Now if you talked to a Marine artillery officer, he would give you the runaround, the politically correct answer. But they're everywhere.



    Including inside the towns and cities?



    Yes, if you were going into a city, you knew there were going to be intermittent cluster bombs.



    Cluster bombs are anti-personnel weapons. They are not precise. They don't injure buildings, or hurt tanks. Only people and living things.



    Once the round leaves the tube, the cluster bomb has a mind of its own. There's always human error. It's starting to leak out about the civilian casualties that are taking place. The Iraqis know. I keep hearing reports from my Marine buddies inside that there were 200-something civilians killed in Fallujah. The military is scrambling right now to keep the wraps on that. My understanding is Fallujah is just littered with civilian bodies.



    I would like to go back to the first incident, when the survivor asked why did you kill his brother. Was that the incident that pushed you over the edge, as you put it?



    Oh, yeah. Later on I found out that was a typical day. I talked with my commanding officer after the incident. He came up to me and says: "Are you OK?" I said: "No, today is not a good day. We killed a bunch of civilians." He goes: "No, today was a good day."



    Your feelings changed during the invasion. What was your state of mind before the invasion?



    I was like every other troop. My president told me they got weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam threatened the free world, that he had all this might and could reach us anywhere. I just bought into the whole thing.



    Did the revelations that we didn't find any proof about Iraq's weapons affect the troops?



    Yes. I killed innocent people for our government. For what? What did I do? Where is the good coming out of it? I feel like I've had a hand in some sort of evil lie at the hands of our government. I just feel embarrassed, ashamed about it.



    I understand that all the incidents – killing civilians at checkpoints, itchy fingers at the rally – weigh on you. What happened with your commanding officers? How did you deal with them?



    There was an incident. It was right after the fall of Baghdad, when we went back down south. On the outskirts of Karbala, we had a morning meeting on the battle plan. I was not in a good mindset. All these things were going through my head – about what we were doing over there. About some of the things my troops were asking. I was holding it all inside. My lieutenant and I got into a conversation. The conversation was striking me wrong. And I lashed out. I looked at him and told him: "You know, I honestly feel that what we're doing is wrong over here. We're committing genocide."



    I want to help people. I felt strongly about it. I had to say something. When I was sent back to stateside, I went in front of the sergeant major. He's in charge of 3,500-plus Marines. "Sir," I told him, "I don't want your money. I don't want your benefits. What you did was wrong."



    It was just a personal conviction with me. I've had an impeccable career. I chose to get out. I blame the president of the U.S. It's not the grunt. I blame the president because he said they had weapons of mass destruction. It was a lie.
     
  2. Maverick

    Maverick Banned

    The Sacremento Bee? Come back with a real news source(CNN, BBC, MSNBC, FOX, etc).
     
  3. paradigm

    paradigm Member

    Hmm....and these are accurate and not biased?
     
  4. Maverick

    Maverick Banned

    But they are real news sources.
     
  5. LaughinWillow

    LaughinWillow Member

    And this marine is a real marine. What the hell is your point? That because the interview took place in Sacramento, it's invalid? Maybe there's a REASON most media outlets aren't rushing to interview the military folks who are refusing to serve in this illegal invasion.
     
  6. Maverick

    Maverick Banned

    I'm sure CNN would, and BBC.
     
  7. seamonster66

    seamonster66 discount dracula

    I found the article rather informative. I liked the perspective that the marine was able to give. I suspect in the future more will speak out like this, after this patriotic fever/uncomfortable atmosphere dies down.
     
  8. LaughinWillow

    LaughinWillow Member

    And you have to remember that military folks who are still in the military are certainly NOT permitted to tell these stories. They can be court marshalled for such. Massey is only able to tell his story because he was discharged.
     
  9. FireQuint

    FireQuint Member

    What!? It's no wonder....nah, nevermind.

    Hope to see 'banned' under your name bucko
     
  10. Maverick

    Maverick Banned

    As long as I follow the rules, Skip has no reason.
     
  11. Jetblack

    Jetblack Senior Member

    "The gentleman was driving a stolen work utility van. He didn't stop."if a fuking van was speeding at me and wasnt stopping well i would fuking shoot his ass up to, this story is bs, this marine is a disgrace, my dad is a marine and im a soon to be marine, he has his rite to voice his opinion but he left the marines for that? in my opinion he should of never joined the marines all these ppl leaving the armed forces cause of an oil war and all that shit should be banished to syberia like stalin
     
  12. Sera Michele

    Sera Michele Senior Member

    All i hear in that is ignorance.
     
  13. Pointbreak

    Pointbreak Banned

    There is no reporting involved here, it is a transcript of a question and answer interview. What difference would it make who published it? Yes the questions were loaded, as would be expected given the author's background, but ultimately it is just an interview.

    Some of the things this guy says make no sense though, like for example it is virtually impossible to lose 20% of your lung from DU in five months. Ignoring the fact that there is little proof battlefield exposure to DU ever causes health problems, that's like getting skin cancer while on summer holidays in Hawaii. It just couldn't happen that fast, and he has no basis whatsoever for making that claim.

    Secondly, he says nobody was given training not to step on cluster bombs. I mean I have no military training either, but I think a general rule of thumb is don't step on bombs of any kind.

    Finally, the reason he is so warmly welcomed here, and the reason this story is getting massively linked all over the "progressive" world is that he says what people want to hear. If anyone posted a personal account of a marine saying he supported the invasion and iraq was being made a better place, his opinion would be instantly rejected as illegitimate.
     
  14. mynameiskc

    mynameiskc way to go noogs!

    yeah, my cousin jimmy came back. he said it was unpleasant in the extreme, but he still felt it was the right thing to do. no one is questioning him for a newspaper.
     
  15. strawpuppy

    strawpuppy Member

    Rules of war...
    What rules,........there ain't none, thats why its so bloominig scary, and why we all don't want it.
    But with all the bollocks and bullshit, sometimes you have to fight for what at the end of the day, is the only right thing to do.........Sometimes the only alternative thing left to do. It aint nice, it aint clean, it's the last chance sometimes before history is re-written.
     
  16. strawpuppy

    strawpuppy Member

    I know it gets a little fired up, but this is supposed to be "An open discussion" site...

    There are a lot of hard held beliefs out there, and I think we all ought to get it out in the open....

    Hec if Hippies can't get fired up and talk openly to each other...then what hope is there left in the world...Please keep this thread open...I'm sure that somewhere out there, there are real people with real experiences that can educate us.....who really only have a gut feeling of what we think we believe the situation is....

    Come on....please,.. those who really have experienced it....PLEEEASE...educate us......

    What is going on in your bit of your of reality.....

    strawpuppy
     
  17. FTNW

    FTNW Member

    There are big problems with this guys statements. I am a veteran of the US Army and know many military people, there are many statements mad eby this guy that don't jive. The first is his referance to Missle Man, no such critter in an infantry unit.
    I do believe though that when the military goes to war and they actually do kill people they find out that they really didn't get what they bargained for. I also believe that many innocent Iraqis wre and are being killed but this story has to many mistakes in it for me to see it as truth...
     
  18. strawpuppy

    strawpuppy Member

    so i copied the words on the art and followed where it led......

    http://www.zendik.org/Home/home.html

    im too weak to get there, to burdened and ravaged from life to get to anywhere....




    The Fountain of Tears

    By Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

    1844-1881

    IF you go over desert and mountain,
    Far into the country of Sorrow,
    To-day and to-night and to-morrow,
    And maybe for months and for years;
    You shall come with a heart that is bursting
    For trouble and toiling and thirsting,
    You shall certainly come to the fountain
    At length,--to the Fountain of Tears.

    Very peaceful the place is, and solely
    For piteous lamenting and sighing,
    And those who come living or dying
    Alike from their hopes and their fears;
    Full of cypress-like shadows the place is,
    And statues that cover their faces:
    But out of the gloom springs the holy
    And beautiful Fountain of Tears.

    And it flows and it flows with a motion
    So gentle and lovely and listless,
    And murmurs a tune so resistless
    To him who hath suffer'd and hears--
    You shall surely--without a word spoken,
    Kneel down there and know your heart broken,
    And yield to the long-curb'd emotion
    That day by the Fountain of Tears.

    For it grows and it grows, as though leaping
    Up higher the more one is thinking;
    And ever its tunes go on sinking
    More poignantly into the ears:
    Yea, so blessed and good seems that fountain,
    Reach'd after dry desert and mountain,
    You shall fall down at length in your weeping
    And bathe your sad face in the tears.

    Then alas! while you lie there a season
    And sob between living and dying,
    And give up the land you were trying
    To find 'mid your hopes and your fears;
    --O the world shall come up and pass o'er you,
    Strong men shall not stay to care for you,
    Nor wonder indeed for what reason
    Your way should seem harder than theirs.

    But perhaps, while you lie, never lifting
    Your cheek from the wet leaves it presses,
    Nor caring to raise your wet tresses
    And look how the cold world appears--
    O perhaps the mere silences round you--
    All things in that place Grief hath found you--
    Yea, e'en to the clouds o'er you drifting,
    May soothe you somewhat through your tears.

    You may feel, when a falling leaf brushes
    Your face, as though some one had kiss'd you,
    Or think at least some one who miss'd you
    Had sent you a thought,--if that cheers;
    Or a bird's little song, faint and broken,
    May pass for a tender word spoken:
    --Enough, while around you there rushes
    That life-drowning torrent of tears.

    And the tears shall flow faster and faster,
    Brim over and baffle resistance,
    And roll down blear'd roads to each distance
    Of past desolation and years;
    Till they cover the place of each sorrow,
    And leave you no past and no morrow:
    For what man is able to master
    And stem the great Fountain of Tears?

    But the floods and the tears meet and gather;
    The sound of them all grows like thunder:
    --O into what bosom, I wonder,
    Is pour'd the whole sorrow of years?
    For Eternity only seems keeping
    Account of the great human weeping:
    May God, then, the Maker and Father--
    May He find a place for the tears!
     
  19. Jaque Imo

    Jaque Imo Up on The Lowdown

    Yes, it is his "rite" and maybe we should ban him to your mythical "Syberia"

    I have 4 or 5 friends that have come back from Iraq, including my brother. All supported it going in, but once they get they realize thats it wasn't just about the "threat", and then thier operations centered around the oil business. They were forced to kill people that shouldn't have been killed.

    YOU WERE NOT THERE, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND

    Just because you have a Marine in your family, and you yourself want to be one, doesn't give you special insight into the war....at all...

    I hope when you do join the Marines, you're put in a position where you have to decide whether to kill and innocent person or not. Maybe then you can come to understand what these other soldiers have faced. I don't pretend to understand it, I merely take thier word for it, given thier experience. They have a hell of a lot more fortitude than you do.
     
  20. DoggoD

    DoggoD Member

    As a former Marine, I have also never heard the statement "Missle Man", but...
    I know how it can be hard to explain things to civillians in terms that they understand, and this could very well be a case of that.

    I got an email from a Marine buddy of mine in Iraq yesterday. He didnt have much to say, but here it is anyway.

    "Right now I'm over in Baghdad incase anyone hadn't
    known. Pretty much just out here injoying the weather.
    115 degrees in the shade. ha. I'll e-mail you all
    again later, maybe even some pics.

    LAterz,
    Shaun"

    I will post the pics if he sends any.
     

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