American Marine "Ashamed" Of Iraq Experience

CAIRO, April 17 ( – Ever since his return home last April, U.S. Marine Jimmy Massey has had a hard time sleeping, feeling "ashamed" of involvement in killing no less than 30 Iraqi civilians during his one-month mission.

"We had no qualms about opening fire on any car crossing a checkpoint without hauling up," he told the French newspaper L’Humanite on Tuesday, April 13.

"We, soldiers in the battalion, shot dead 30 people in one month, during our mission to seal off cities and lay a tight siege on villages," Massey recalled.

Several of such harrowing accounts still jut clear into his memory.

Massey quit on April 18, 2003 – nine days after U.S.-led occupation forces rolled into Baghdad, after a 12-year service in the army.

He could not forget impassioned pleas of one Baghdad resident after he and his colleagues manning a checkpoint killed three other passengers in his car.

"Why did you kill my brother. We did not do any thing," Massy remembered the man screaming despite his injuries.

Much painful to his conscience, the scene stood a repeat twice the same day.

"We fired at two other cars. Three civilians were killed," Massey regretted.

U.S. and British officials argue that former Iraqi soldiers dress in civvies and that ambulance vehicles are loaded with explosives, he said.

However, for Massey, there is more than a thin line between allegedly precautionary measure and a "war of genocide" and a virtual stench of civilian deaths.

"This is not the way for liberating Iraqis and achieving democracy," he called telling his commander who declined to respond.

Food & Fire

Massey cited instructions of commanders disregarding lives of Iraq civilians as one of many reasons still driving him nuts.

"Throw candies in the school courtyard, and open fire on children rushing to snatch them. Crush them," he recalled officers as saying during drills.

The U.S. Marine said the message came always mixed to the ordinary Iraqis.

He asserted that they would distributed foodstuffs and do other humanitarian activities for only three hours while spend the rest of the day fighting the Iraqis.

"Once, we swept into one town and set up a checkpoint there. Next day we began our humanitarian mission."

"Of course, they refused to take food from the same hands that had earlier killed their mothers or brothers."

With self-tormenting memories, Massey turned down an offer to do paper works in the Marine Corps and insisted to resign though this lost him his pension.

Massey can not even find solace in current news spreading out in media outlets on Iraq.

In Fallujah, a western Baghdad city besieged sine April 5, U.S. bombardment claimed the lives of at least 600 people and left more than 1,500 others injured.

A doctor in the town told on Monday, April 12, that most of those killed in the U.S. military offensive were women and children.

British forces, joining the invasion of the oil-rich country under the orders of U.S.-staunch ally Prime Minister Tony Blair, have their own harrowing record.

On May 30, a British soldier was questioned over sickening "torture" photos of Iraqi prisoners, including an Iraqi PoW dangling from a fork-lift truck, and others depict soldiers committing sex acts near captured Iraqis.

Suicide Option

With a mixed feeling of guilt and desperation, several American soldiers chose taking their own lives.

Some 23 soldiers committed suicide in 2003, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Marines in Iraq.

A large number of soldiers want to escape from Iraq, and several of those allowed to leave the war-scarred country never came back, said Luke Hiken, a lawyer in San Francisco and an expert on military affairs.

The soldiers are coming under pressures of non-stop resistance operations, growing anti-American sentiments and feelings of homesickness.

"I think I had enough. It's time for us to go home," Private First Class Joe Cruz, 18, from the Second Brigade of the Army's Third Infantry Division, had said.

The U.S. military has lost at least 92 troops in resistance fighters since March 31 - more than the total killed in the three-week invasion.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted that the recent U.S. military death toll was beyond expectations.

Extracted 04/26/04 from Islam Online


E-mail your comments to