Another day, another tragic story from this war on Iraq and this war on our own American child soldiers. From CNN, “All Iraqi men viewed as insurgents

A corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to “crank up the violence level.”
Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.
“We were told to crank up the violence level,” said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.
When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: “We beat people, sir.”

Trent Thomas is black, BTW. It gets worse. When this unit was hunting for an insurgent, here’s what went down:

Unable to find him, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it appear he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.


Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.
“I don’t see it as an execution, sir,” he told the judge. “I see it as killing the enemy.”
He said Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency.

This is a frighteningly familiar and popular refrain issued by every oppressive power that ever was. All Palestinian boys are terrorists, right? All African-American boys are gang members, right? Let’s continue with the carnage:

Lopezromo said a procedure called “dead-checking” was routine. If Marines entered a house where a man was wounded, instead of checking to see whether he needed medical aid, they shot him to make sure he was dead, he testified.
“If somebody is worth shooting once, they’re worth shooting twice,” he said.

Our soldiers, many of whom are barely of legal drinking age, are not monsters by nature, but war does this to people, and we always either forget or don’t care. The trauma inflected by and on these young people doesn’t end when they leave Iraq, and it doesn’t stop with their own families. Our neighborhoods and streets will soon be flooded with highly trained killers who say things like “if somebody is worth shooting once, they’re worth shooting twice.” We’re building the foundation of domestic terrorism every day.

It’s time to end this thing.

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