In Five Minutes The United States Army Will Obliterate Your Home,
What Will You Save?

by James Glaser
November 26, 2003

In the middle of the night, the foreign army occupying your country, breaks down your door and a interpreter yells that you have five minutes to clear out before they destroy everything you have. You can't try to reason with these people because they don't speak your language and their interpreter is from a different tribe and could care less about what happens to you.

For sure the children are first, but you can't think of what else to grab. Where is that paper work that proves this is your property? Where are the photos of your mom and dad? No time to grab any furniture or that picture painted of your wife.

As you run out the door carrying your daughter, your mind in running at top speed. You only have time for one more trip back in. Why is this happening? What have I done?

That foreign army is the Unites States Army and it is now in the process of administering "Collective Punishment." Amnesty International has written the Pentagon to ask if it is officially permitted to destroy homes as collective punishment or deterrence. If these charges are true it would constitute a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law.

Amnesty reports that in the town of Tikrit at least 15 homes have been destroyed since November 16th and in the village of al-Haweda, a family was given five minutes to evacuate their house before it was destroyed.

Israeli Troops have been destroying the homes of the relatives of suspected terrorists for years. If your brother or uncle is a terrorist, you could lose your home, even if you haven't seen him for years.

This form of Punishment has not worked for Israel and it will not work for our country either. In this age of video cameras the first thing that happens, is that people interview the family soon after the destruction of their home, when the are still filled with the terror of what has happened.

They interview the children about lost dolls, pets, little childhood treasures and then the parents about everything they lost. Remember there is no insurance in Iraq. Many of these homes have been passed down for generations and while they are nothing by our standards, they are all these people have.

What happens to these videos? Well first they are shown on Arab Television and they then become recruiting tools for terrorists or for fund raising by terrorists.

I would like to know who was the brilliant person in Washington that decided that the United States could out terrorize the terrorists and win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

What would you do if this was happening right here in our country? Which side would you be on if several of your neighbors had their homes destroyed by F-16s or a tank started firing at your neighbors house until there was nothing left?

Washington will tell you that we have come to Iraq to bring freedom and democracy. Does this sound anything like freedom. Are these the kind of tactics that you would expect from our country?

Well to tell you the truth I would. Of course I have seen our country torture women and children to death. I have seen our country burn every house in a town and leave the people lucky enough to be alive to fend for themselves. I have seen us drop napalm on villages and fire 155s on towns full of civilians.

I hate to see what we are doing to the Iraqi people, but I am happy that the American people are starting to learn what our government is doing to other people in our names. You wonder why terrorists attacked our country and killed civilians. Well we have been doing the same thing to other countries for decades. No, we don't use terrorists, we use the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army. For some reason Washington believes that if the killers of little children and women and old people and young men are wearing uniforms, then those murders are OK.

For some reason our leaders in Washington believe that is OK for us to drop bombs on civilian cities because we are not trying to kill innocent people, even though we do kill innocent people by the thousands in war after war after war. The rest of the world has been watching us do this for a long time.

I keep repeating this and hope some day it will sink in to the American people. Our Armed forces killed over one million innocent civilians in Vietnam.. We also sent in teams of murderers into Vietnamese towns and villages to slit the throats of thousands of politicians and their families because they were not on our side. This was called Operation Phoenix and it went on for years.

The rest of the world knows how we act in war zones. Everybody acts this way in war, it is just that the American public has never seen a war up close and personal. We are so lucky that has never happened, but millions of people the world over have seen what our troops are capable of, up close and personal.

Now our troops are not trained to kill civilians and it does tear them up inside and will effect them for the rest of their lives. Our leaders in Washington don't have to worry about these killings because our leaders in Washington have idea of what goes on in a war. Most likely they have never seen a killing or even a body that was killed in a War zone.

You see our leaders in Washington are from a different class of people than we are. Washington is filled with men and women that wave our flag up and down, but never had the time to get out in front of that flag and fight for America, They would find that distasteful. Maybe that is why we now have over 30,000 foreigners in our Armed Forces. Not enough "real" Americans will answer their countries call to arms. Please don't even think that a President or a Congressman would send one of their kids. Everyone knows that poor white kids and black and brown kids are more suited for that type of work.

But back to our troops and how they fall into the killing of civilians. Nobody wants to kill a child, in fact most people in the service don't want to kill anyone. But something happens to you after you start putting friends into body bags. Seeing a close friend lose his leg or get blinded makes you start to think about your own body. Fear sets in. SELF PRESERVATION becomes your number one motivation. It is you and those close to you against the whole world.

After sliding down into hell for a while, American troops become as ruthless as any fighting man every was in any war in history. Our troops are no different than any other nation's troops. Our guys and now women want more than anything to come home in one piece and they will do whatever it takes. So killing women and children, although a bummer, becomes part of the job. The job is to live long enough to rotate home.

Our Troops are no longer trying to bring freedom to anybody. Our troops are no longer trying to win anything. Our troops are trying to get back to those they love. They wish they could be the same person that went off to war, but they are not and they never will be. Going to hell changes you. The guys in Washington that sent these Americans to Iraq don't change and they can look at this war as a win or lose situation, but the people we sent over there, all lose. It might take them a few years to believe that, but they will.

Killing people exacts a toll all warriors have to pay. American Indians have known this for centuries and in many tribes there is a ceremony for returning warriors in which the whole tribe takes on a collective guilt for the killings done in battle.

We don't do that for our troops. We might give them a shining medal and some might get a free drink, but after that, they are on their own, with a mind filled with bad memories and thoughts of what might have been.


Yes, I do watch the nightly news and see the stories of our troops giving our soccer balls to kids and their attempts at building homes for Iraqi people. We did the same in Vietnam, but that is propaganda and those films are shot for Americans to see. If every day on average a couple of Americans are killed and about ten wounded, how many Iraqis do you think we kill and how many do we wound. Iraq does not have 21st century medical care. How many children are wounded and must suffer their pain without any medication. How many parents must watch as their children die. You can build a mansion and give it to some one whose child you have killed and they will hate you forever.

BACK to the Politics Columns.