War is ugly. You often have no idea what is happening besides what you can see in front of you. And when a man or woman (in counterterrorism you don’t differentiate, you have targets) come for you with a rifle you don’t talk - you shoot first. Yes, but at some stage, you have to stop shooting which I found is the hardest part. Men often must be kicked in the ribs to stop shooting once it starts – they keep shooting at nothing. During Vietnam, it took, at one stage, 250,000 American bullets to get one confirmed Vietcong dead. In modern times, with the fancy optical sights? Well, some studies say 400,000 rounds for each Taliban confirmed dead. Yet, that is part of combat and I am the last one to deny or decry death in combat. It happens all the time. Unless you saw the damage done by military conflict on the human body you will not be able to comprehend the ugliness.
A lot is expected from those commanding a military unit. They are usually young men and women, inexperienced and super patriotic, looking for trouble / contact with the enemy. When the two groups meet a shootout is inevitable. It is not as easy or clear cut as the lawyers think when they write their Rules of Engagement. No, it is often a split-second decision on what to do. Therefore, things can go wrong very quickly. Yet there is a very visible pattern where a war crime is committed. It is mostly conducted against captives aka POWs as well as civilians, most often females and children. As such it is a very specific type of crime that is measured against the rules of war / Geneva Conventions carrying severe penalties, even death. You have no excuse either since every soldier is trained to know what is allowed and what is not. You cannot even say that you “followed orders” because it was established at the notoriously unfair Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal that you don’t need to follow illegal orders. In fact, you must refuse them (extremely hard to do in a disciplined military). Those are the standards though and that is what you are to be measured against, end of story. Should you fail you are not a soldier but a gangster. Your army is not an army but a criminal enterprise / mob, or in other words, what is despised by the rest of the world.
I had the very disagreeable task to write a 450- page book on war crimes committed by the US Military, VOICES – War Crimes USA. I wrote it after finding out that one out of every three US servicewomen will be raped or otherwise sexually abused by their own male comrades. One out of every three! That is what is known and accepted as statistics. The real figures are probably much higher. As it happened, it was a shockingly easy book to research since there is an abundance of evidence available on the war crimes. And if you think it is only the US version that does such things or this generation, please read Code Name Alphabet 32 where I looked at World War Two Allied War Crimes. Yes, your grandfather almost certainly was no innocent hero or the “greatest generation that defeated Hitler of the Japs.” No, he committed war crimes as much as anyone else before and after him. After the war ended the average American GI raped a great many German women by offering food for sex. Yes, the same as what despised UN Forces are doing this very moment in Africa and other places. A real man would have offered food without expecting sex in return. It is disgusting what happened and is happening but read the book or do some research. Wake up to reality and stop thinking only the other side does such things. It is simply not true. I recall debriefing security contractors coming back from wherever the US Military is deployed during the War on Terror. The contractors were shaking their heads at the amount of (sexual) screwing going on (it was not lovemaking). Trust me, extremely few US military men are capable of being faithful to their wives or girlfriends. No, they must have sex all the time for reasons that are puzzling to me since that makes you the same as an animal and not a human being able to make a sober judgment call. There is ample other evidence supporting the above. We know how many millions of dollars are paid every year by the US Military for “sex drive medicine.” You must wonder why a young man has a need for such drugs but anyway. We know of the outright and shocking abuse of prescription drugs (see Code Name Green 41) and more. I even looked at what they eat (they are the fattest soldiers in the world, they eat junk food besides smoking) to understand what the hell is wrong with them.
A clear picture emerged from the debriefings. I made notes of war crimes witnessed, the panic shooting and pissing in the pants in fright, the calling of unnecessary airstrikes and artillery against everything that moved… as well as the heavy drinking, screwing, use of hard and soft drugs. It was an education in contempt towards those calling themselves the “best army in the world.” And we cross-checked the statements, obviously. They were confirmed, time after time. Therefore, the conclusion was made that although superbly equipped and well paid, the US Military in general is a low standards outfit which frighten no one. Their standards are much lower than our own standards. “Pathetic in every aspect except an overabundance of equipment and food” was the most common rating given to the different units assigned to. Every single one so debriefed said that the US Military knows nothing of counterinsurgency and even less of counterterrorism. They predicted that they will lose the War on Terror as well as any fight against a First World Army as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow. They also said there were no good generals or ideas coming from above. The men giving me these reports were all highly experienced soldiers, professionals, without any grudges – they were grateful for a high paying job. They sounded sad, disillusioned and fed up. The illusion of US invincibility was broken forever. You may be sure that my reports were given to the other BRICS countries, Russia & China among them but I warned before.
For myself, let me be on record once again. I will never agree to the pardoning of war crimes and neither should you. Once you go on that road you lower your standards to Third World ones. You lose control and your army becomes nothing else but a mob, a gang, and not an honourable profession. And you will create new terrorists that will at some time in the future kill you or your comrades. We saw something dreadful in VOICES - War Crimes USA, Chapter 4. I described (these are facts) of a young Iraqi girl raped and then murdered with her family, mom, dad, younger brother, her body burned after the foul deed by US soldiers. A month or so later, other (completely innocent) soldiers of the same regiment were captured and tortured to death because of the above incident. There are many other incidents described in the book and frankly, there could have been tens of thousands. A clear pattern emerged which is extremely shameful and highly significant – the coverups. It is always the same pattern. A war crime is committed and immediately lied about by those committing it as well as the superior officers that ought to know better. Then when forced to do something, a slap on the wrist is most often the case with “deals” being made by the prosecutors. I assure you, this is from the very highest levels downwards. There is a culture of not taking responsibility and of abusing those that report the crime. Those that stand up are told to shut up or threatened with death. It is a dreadfully bad scenario for them. It cannot be condoned. Therefore, I was outraged when I heard that Donald J Trump once again pardoned war criminals that disgraced the uniform they wore. It is all over the news, I don’t need to repeat the names. Ironically, these pardons were issued against the stated desires of the Pentagon – a place known to cover up all the time. He is probably doing so for political reasons with an election coming up. By reading the comments on many websites his decision is very popular among Americans and seen as “the right thing to do.” It is not. Wake up to reality before war crimes are committed against your children, women, and POWs. I wonder what they would say if Mr Putin did the same for Russian soldiers or if this happened during Apartheid South Africa? Yep, another story entirely and there lies the problem, your double standards combined with a low standards military. I am not the only one warning and explaining that the consequences for pardoning war criminals will lead to a further reduction of standards and ultimately defeat in battle:
“This is a shameful use of presidential powers. It sends a clear message of disrespect for the law, morality, the military justice system, and those in the military who abide by the laws of war. With this use of his powers, Trump has sent a clear message of disrespect for law, morality, the military justice system, and those in the military who abide by the laws of war. I would include the victims of these crimes but have no illusion he cares for them.” ACLU's National Security Project director, Hina Shamsi.
Journalist and activist Glenn Greenwald, “The grand American tradition of immunizing its war criminals - while preaching morality to the world - continues with these vile pardons by Trump.”
Journalist Akmal Dawi, “The Trump admin has blocked (the International Criminal Court's) investigations into war crimes in Afghanistan, now POTUS has pardoned individuals accused of murdering Afghans. The US government doesn't even record Afghan civilian casualties as if they don't even happen.”
Yes, you can read of the reprehensible blocking of the proposed ICC, International Criminal Court, investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan in my books. VOICES – War Crimes USA, has an entire chapter on it. And another thing, that argument of “you did so too” or “the Russians / Germans / Taliban were worse, etc.” has no standing in law. It was rejected as a defence at Nuremberg. Admit guilt and raise your standards. Make examples of those disgracing your uniform and the flag on their shoulder. Pardons are not the answer.