[Marxism] From the McGill University paper

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Fri Nov 3 17:59:39 MST 2006

"There has never been an American army as violent 
and murderous as the one in Iraq"

Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour 
Hersh slams Bush in McGill University address

By Martin Lukacs

10/31/06 "The McGill Daily" -- -- "The bad news," 
investigative reporter Seymour Hersh told a 
Montreal audience last Wednesday, "is that there 
are 816 days left in the reign of King George II of America."

The good news? "When we wake up tomorrow morning, there will be one less day."

Hersh, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and 
regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine, 
has been a thorn in the side of the U.S. 
government for nearly 40 years. Since his 1969 
exposé of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, which 
is widely believed to have helped turn American 
public opinion against the Vietnam War, he has 
broken news about the secret U.S. bombing of 
Cambodia, covert C.I.A. attempts to overthrow 
Chilean president Salvador Allende, and, more 
recently, the first details about American 
soldiers abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

During his hour-and-a-half lecture - part of the 
launch of an interdisciplinary media and 
communications studies program called 
Media at McGill - Hersh described video footage 
depicting U.S. atrocities in Iraq, which he had 
viewed, but not yet published a story about.

He described one video in which American soldiers 
massacre a group of people playing soccer.

"Three U.S. armed vehicles, eight soldiers in 
each, are driving through a village, passing 
candy out to kids," he began. "Suddenly the first 
vehicle explodes, and there are soldiers 
screaming. Sixteen soldiers come out of the other 
vehicles, and they do what they’re told to do, 
which is look for running people."

"Never mind that the bomb was detonated by remote 
control," Hersh continued. "[The soldiers] open 
up fire; [the] cameras show it was a soccer game."

"About ten minutes later, [the soldiers] begin 
dragging bodies together, and they drop weapons 
there. It was reported as 20 or 30 insurgents killed that day," he said.

If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. 
criminal conduct, they would receive returning 
Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.

"In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were 
reviled as baby killers, in shame and 
humiliation," he said. "It isn’t happening now, 
but I will tell you - there has never been an 
[American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq."

Hersh came out hard against President Bush for 
his involvement in the Middle East.

"In Washington, you can’t expect any rationality. 
I don’t know if he's in Iraq because God told him 
to, because his father didn't do it, or because 
it’s the next step in his 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program," he said.

Hersh hinted that the responsibility for the 
invasion of Iraq lies with eight or nine members 
of the administration who have a 
"neo-conservative agenda" and dictate the U.S.'s 
post-September 11 foreign policy.

"You have a collapsed Congress, you have a 
collapsed press. The military is going to do what 
the President wants," Hersh said. "How fragile is 
democracy in America, if a president can come in 
with an agenda controlled by a few cultists?"

Throughout his talk Hersh remained pessimistic, 
predicting that the U.S. will initiate an attack 
against Iran, and that the situation in Iraq will deteriorate further.

"There's no reason to see a change in policy 
about Iraq. [Bush] thinks that, in twenty years, 
he's going to be recognized for the leader he was 
- the analogy he uses is Churchill," Hersh said. 
"If you read the public statements of the 
leadership, they're so confident and so calm. It’s pretty scary."

Copyright 2006, Daily Publication Society

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Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

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