[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 theyre 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 isnt 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 cant expect any rationality.
I dont know if he's in Iraq because God told him
to, because his father didn't do it, or because
its 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. Its pretty scary."
Copyright 2006, Daily Publication Society
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Michael A. Lebowitz
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Currently based in Venezuela.
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