Good News from Iraq
How's this for good news, Mr. Bush?
Baghdad provincial Governor Husayn al-Tahan said he is suspending all cooperation with U.S. forces until an independent investigation is launched into the killing of 20 Shi'a, allegedly in or near a mosque.This is just one incident in which the U.S. military is being investigated for murdering innocent Iraqi civilians, but you probably won't hear about this on TV because the media are afraid their reporting is too negative:
Speaking to reporters in Baghdad, al-Tahan said, "Today we decided to stop all political and service cooperation with the U.S. forces until a legal committee is formed to investigate this incident."
He said the inquiry panel should include representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi Defense Ministry, but not the U.S. military.
Followers of radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr blame U.S. forces for killing the 20 Shi'a in and around a mosque in Baghdad on March 26.
The U.S. military denies the charges, saying Iraqi forces backed by U.S. advisers killed 16 insurgents in an operation in the same neighborhood.
US military investigators are examining allegations that Marines shot unarmed Iraqis, then claimed they were "enemy fighters". In the same incident, eyewitnesses say, one man bled to death over a period of hours as soldiers ignored his pleas for help.
American military officials in Iraq have already admitted that 15 civilians who died in the incident in the western town of Haditha last November were killed by Marines, and not by a roadside bomb, as had previously been claimed. The only victim of the remotely triggered bomb, it is now conceded, was a 20-year-old Marine, Lance-Corporal Miguel Terrazas, from El Paso, Texas.
An inquiry has been launched by the US Navy's Criminal Investigation Service after the military was presented with evidence that the 15 civilians, including seven women and three children still in their nightclothes, had been killed in their homes in the wake of the bombing. If it is proved that they died in a rampage by the Marines, and not as a result of "collateral damage", it would rank as the worst case of deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians by US armed forces since the invasion three years ago.