Iraq War Vet: We shot women and children. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-26-2004, 06:24 PM
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http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/mass1.htm





Soldiers tell stories about Iraq



Monday, July 26, 2004



By NATALIA MUÑOZ

[email protected]



NORTHAMPTON - When his turn came to speak at the community dialogue on the Iraq War, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey of the United States Marines Corps chewed his gum slowly and slowly scanned the 150 people in the audience.

What he was about to say required deliberation.



"We shot a man with his hands up," he said, "We even shot women and children."



Massey was one of three Iraq War veterans to speak yesterday at a forum sponsored by the Veterans Education Project and the American Friends Service Committee.



The event, held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Michael Curtin Post, in the Florence neighborhood, offered the audience and opportunity to hear first-hand experiences of veterans who hold varying opinions on the war in Iraq.



Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Pablo Rodriguez, a Northampton police officer, and Army National Guard Sgt. Richard Riley of Amherst, spoke about their experiences in Iraq.



Both Rodriguez and Riley said they were proud to serve in Iraq, and if called they would go back.



"I'm glad I had an opportunity to serve," said Rodriguez, who did security details at the Baghdad Airport.



Riley, who served with the Guard's 180th Engineering Detachment, built bridges as well as housing and other facilities for GIs in Iraq and Kuwait.



Massey told the audience of his disillusionment with the war. The only one of the three to engage in combat, the 12-year veteran from North Carolina said he was fully prepared to kill or be killed. But that was before the war.



Today he said he takes five different anti-depressant and anti-anxiety pills to help him deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.



Firing on civilians and securing oil fields was not the duty he signed up for, he said.



"Why are Marines learning to shut down oil wells - are we the Environmental Protection Agency now?" he asked as he told the audience of his realization that this war was not one he agreed with.



He started asking questions and was reassigned to combat duty.



"I'm in the desert, I'm gung-ho, ready to kill," he said, putting "your tax dollars to work. Unfortunately, your tax dollars went into a lot of civilians. I was there. I pulled the trigger.



"My main purpose in life, for 12 years, was to meet the enemy on the battlefield and destroy him," he said. "When I left to go to Iraq I didn't care whether or not I died. If you die in combat, that's an honor."



There were days when he thought to himself, "Today is a good day to die," said Massey, who received an honorable discharge.



But earlier in the evening, as people streamed into the hall and the sun lit up his face he realized yet again, "I'm glad to be in the sun." Soldiers tell stories about Iraq.
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#2 Old 07-26-2004, 06:29 PM
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"I'm in the desert, I'm gung-ho, ready to kill," he said, putting "your tax dollars to work. Unfortunately, your tax dollars went into a lot of civilians. I was there. I pulled the trigger.



"We shot a man with his hands up," he said, "We even shot women and children."





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#3 Old 07-26-2004, 06:39 PM
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So they shot at women and children. That's pretty vague. Those women and children could have had guns, grenades, could have been otherwise suspicious.



I'm sure all of the people who read that assume that the women and children were "innocent." Why were they approaching the soldiers, anyway? Who knows what kind of bombs or whatever either side has at any time by any gender or age?
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#4 Old 07-26-2004, 07:14 PM
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I don't know why this stuff keeps surprising people. It's war!! Of course it's horrific! Of course innocent people were killed. Of course women and children were raped. War ain't mankind at his best, people. It's awful, terrible, hellish insanity, and it always will be. What, do you think all those protesters are railing against the institution to be cool?



Imagine an awful thing one person can do to another, and it happens in war. The sooner we can take that fact for granted, the sooner war will be a thing of the past.







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#5 Old 07-26-2004, 08:08 PM
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Excellent points... just being women and children does not mean innocent. It could have been shooting in self defense. I don't believe our military just opens up fire on innocent people. And it is war, crap is going to happen.
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#6 Old 07-26-2004, 10:01 PM
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Kids are always innocent. Some may be affected or armed, but they are all innocent.
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#7 Old 07-26-2004, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RedWingsFan View Post

Excellent points... just being women and children does not mean innocent. It could have been shooting in self defense. I don't believe our military just opens up fire on innocent people. And it is war, crap is going to happen.



it could have been, but you would need evidence to support that...and our military has admittedly (the soldiers,not the government) done so in the past,so it cant so easily be ruled out



and honestly i dont understand why that is some type of excuse, they shouldn't be there in the first place, a majority of the war has been a failure, so i dont really see why they should even be there to be targetted by children (assuming thats even what is going on is that the children are armed)
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#8 Old 07-26-2004, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Artichoke47 View Post

So they shot at women and children. That's pretty vague. Those women and children could have had guns, grenades, could have been otherwise suspicious.



I'm sure all of the people who read that assume that the women and children were "innocent." Why were they approaching the soldiers, anyway? Who knows what kind of bombs or whatever either side has at any time by any gender or age?



he didnt say shot at he said shot
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#9 Old 07-26-2004, 10:36 PM
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Kids are always innocent. Some may be affected or armed, but they are all innocent.



Well if some "innocent kid" is toting a claymore, grenade or block of C4 and running in my direction, my sense of self preservation is going to cause me to have to frag this youngster and then take the psychological toll for the rest of my life. War sucks, for sure. Nobody knows it more than the soldiers in the field.
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#10 Old 07-26-2004, 10:55 PM
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Kids are always innocent. Some may be affected or armed, but they are all innocent.



I agree with Bank. I don't care who it is, if they're armed, I'm defending myself. This just reminds me - a few days ago I was watching a major news station (don't remember which) that had it set up so soldiers could talk to their loved ones back here. One lady was worried about her kind-hearted husband and reminded him not to trust anyone, no matter how friendly they seemed, man, woman or child.
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#11 Old 07-26-2004, 11:09 PM
 
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Agreed that the kids are innocent (that is that they are pawns). However, Bank's comment is true as well - if a 14 year old is going to blow you away, you don't have many options. One of my college mates served in Somalia and faced many many child soldiers, some as young as 8 or 9. ((shudder)) When I was in Ethiopia, pre-teens with guns were a common sight, since it was during the Eritrean indepence fight. It's very surreal to see a kid playing soccer one minute and walking down the road with an automatic weapon a few minutes later. I don't know that I could ever kill a child, but I don't begrudge anyone who does in that kind of situation.

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#12 Old 07-27-2004, 12:50 AM
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Agreed that the kids are innocent (that is that they are pawns). However, Bank's comment is true as well - if a 14 year old is going to blow you away, you don't have many options. One of my college mates served in Somalia and faced many many child soldiers, some as young as 8 or 9. ((shudder)) When I was in Ethiopia, pre-teens with guns were a common sight, since it was during the Eritrean indepence fight. It's very surreal to see a kid playing soccer one minute and walking down the road with an automatic weapon a few minutes later. I don't know that I could ever kill a child, but I don't begrudge anyone who does in that kind of situation.



a question for you, did they accomplish anything in somalia...or was it just a waste of life?



im not just worried about the children being shot, but also the soldiers, these are our family and friends..how can they ever live a normal life after things such as that..and what has it accomplished..and also.. i dont know if i would want my kids around people who had shot children personally..i realize its not the same thing but after going through something like that i dont know if anyone can be sane
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#13 Old 07-27-2004, 05:17 AM
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Read into the article a bit. I'm pretty sure he's saying that they shot innocent civilians. He says that they shot a man with his hands up, even women and children. Hinting that the women and children were more innocent than the man with his hands up. That combined with the fact that the whole article is about how he basically regrets what he has done, make it seem pretty likely that they were in fact, innocent.



Maybe it's hard for some to face, that American soldiers could shoot innocent people, but it can and does happen. Like The Rev said, war brings out the worst in humanity.
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#14 Old 07-27-2004, 08:44 AM
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a question for you, did they accomplish anything in somalia...or was it just a waste of life?



A waste because we bailed before finishing the job. We also gave bin Laden and Company the blue print on how to get us to back out.



Quote:

im not just worried about the children being shot, but also the soldiers, these are our family and friends..how can they ever live a normal life after things such as that..and what has it accomplished..and also.. i dont know if i would want my kids around people who had shot children personally..i realize its not the same thing but after going through something like that i dont know if anyone can be sane



Do you think this didn't happen in every other war?
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#15 Old 07-27-2004, 08:44 AM
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Read into the article a bit. I'm pretty sure he's saying that they shot innocent civilians. He says that they shot a man with his hands up, even women and children. Hinting that the women and children were more innocent than the man with his hands up. That combined with the fact that the whole article is about how he basically regrets what he has done, make it seem pretty likely that they were in fact, innocent.



The way the article is written, you could make that assumption. Of course, it could be written that way for a reason.
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#16 Old 07-27-2004, 09:04 AM
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I don't know why this stuff keeps surprising people. It's war!! Of course it's horrific! Of course innocent people were killed. Of course women and children were raped. War ain't mankind at his best, people. It's awful, terrible, hellish insanity, and it always will be. What, do you think all those protesters are railing against the institution to be cool?



Imagine an awful thing one person can do to another, and it happens in war. The sooner we can take that fact for granted, the sooner war will be a thing of the past.







The Rev



Yup....couldn't agree more. This is what happens when people kill other people. I don't think we're meant to kill each other, and that when we do, it simply becomes a slippery slope morally, ethically, what we're capable of as humans. Once you've done the thing you shouldn't do...lots of other stuff happens and it just doesn't seem like a big deal anymore. If there's one thing I learned in the military, that was it.



B
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#17 Old 07-27-2004, 09:31 AM
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I'm with Rev and bethanie. War sucks.
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#18 Old 07-27-2004, 11:23 AM
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Kids are always innocent. Some may be affected or armed, but they are all innocent.



<---- with Bank and Wolfie. If a kid, in those conditions, points a gun at your head, you've got no choice but to blow his/hers off first. I seem to remember kids with guns on a lot of the news footage. It's sad yeh, but their minds have been warped by Sadam.
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#19 Old 07-27-2004, 11:43 AM
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<---- with Bank and Wolfie. If a kid, in those conditions, points a gun at your head, you've got no choice but to blow his/hers off first. I seem to remember kids with guns on a lot of the news footage. It's sad yeh, but their minds have been warped by Sadam.





Or maybe they're sick of the U.S. military forcefully occupying their villages and towns, destroying their land and homes?
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#20 Old 07-27-2004, 12:13 PM
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There seem to be pluenty that where sick living in fear of Saddam.
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#21 Old 07-27-2004, 02:47 PM
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<---- with Bank and Wolfie. If a kid, in those conditions, points a gun at your head, you've got no choice but to blow his/hers off first. I seem to remember kids with guns on a lot of the news footage. It's sad yeh, but their minds have been warped by Sadam.



Or more likely we dropped a bomb on their parents. Kids are always innocent, but that doesn't mean our soldiers are at fault for killing them. At fault are dirty politicians and businesses who have no regard for human life.
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#22 Old 07-27-2004, 02:56 PM
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This is bs...I am sorry but kids are not always innocent. I am tired of hearing this. When I was a teenager i knew what was right and wrong. If i would have shot someone i wasnt inncent. Kids are always innocent...give me a break.
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#23 Old 07-27-2004, 03:09 PM
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Mikeyvt...I think what people are trying to say here is that children are at mercy of circumstances...different than never doing anything wrong. I work with children and so I kind of get this point. I've never seen a bad kid. What I have seen a lot of is screwed up circumstances and bad parenting. And when you get enough of that for long enough, yes, you're bound to come to think of that as normal and...much as we say here, "just the way things are." I see kids who don't get loved enough, who never have any security in their lives, who don't know where they're living tomorrow.



I think it does something to a person, whether it's necessary or not (meaning as you said before...or whoever said it), to shoot another human being, particularly a child...imagine the soldiers that are parents, having to shoot a child who has a gun aimed at them if that's the stance you're taking, that these children pose a real threat to allied soldiers. Imagine the mark that leaves on the human being who does the shooting, to look at another person and end their life...a life thta hasn't even really begun yet, and now never will.



It's a paradox we can't get out of, and why soldiers always come back messed up...because the quandry is, we're not supposed to kill....but in war, well...you have to kill. That's the point of war....killing enough people....making the other side say "uncle."
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#24 Old 07-27-2004, 03:22 PM
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Mikeyvt...I think what people are trying to say here is that children are at mercy of circumstances...



My point exactly. These kids were thrown into a world of sh*t that I'm pretty damn sure they didn't want to be in. It's real easy to say it's BS sitting in the comfort and safety of your home. Whether they know right from wrong is completely irrelevant. You don't know what they went through to get to the point of carrying a weapon to be used against our soldiers.



And I'm not talking about just teenagers, I'm talking about young kids, like 8-10ish years old also.
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#25 Old 07-27-2004, 03:41 PM
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Or maybe they're sick of the U.S. military forcefully occupying their villages and towns, destroying their land and homes?



Bingo!
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#26 Old 07-27-2004, 04:31 PM
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This is bs...I am sorry but kids are not always innocent. I am tired of hearing this. When I was a teenager i knew what was right and wrong. If i would have shot someone i wasnt inncent. Kids are always innocent...give me a break.



Exactly. Babies are innocent, but kids lose their innocence far sooner than most like to believe. I knew right from wrong well before I was a teenager, so I'm assuming today's kids should too.



I would never want to be in the position to need to kill anyone, but if a kid or adult was planning on killing me, it'd make no difference. I'd shoot the 'innocent' kid as quickly as the adult.
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#27 Old 07-27-2004, 05:16 PM
 
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Yeah, pre-teens do "know" right from wrong, but the youngest of these groups (7-10 year olds) are still grappling with the concept of death and kids/pre-teens do not have the same physiological tools for impulse control as do (healthy) adults.



As far as children hating someone bcause they're occupying their land...they're far more likely to hate someone because they've been taught that by their parents, etc. Granted, the adults may harbor hate because of political issues, but a child is ill-equipped to make decisions based on military actions, foreign policy, etc.

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#28 Old 07-27-2004, 06:16 PM
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Again I stress you have no idea what these kids have gone through. Living in a war zone is very much different than growing up in the suburbs. Kids learn right from wrong from their parents and their environment. The parents of the kids fighting probably are/were either a) Saddam supporters/anti-American or b) they were killed by US troops. In the case of a) they learned their hate of America by their parents, in which case it isn't their fault, it's their parents fault. In the case of b) I dont know about you, but if anyone killed my parents they would be hated by me. I wouldn't care what country they are from. Whether they know right from wrong is a non-issue.



I don't think anyone is arguing that a soldier shouldn't shoot a kid who is trying to kill them. Basically what I'm saying is that it's terrible that innocent kids are being driven to fight in a war, for whatever reason, and all the oil in the world is not worth the life of one kid(or adult) of any nationality. But unfortunately it seems to me that oil is what this war is all about, at least to the people who started it(Bush & Co.).
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#29 Old 07-28-2004, 07:56 AM
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My point exactly. These kids were thrown into a world of sh*t that I'm pretty damn sure they didn't want to be in. It's real easy to say it's BS sitting in the comfort and safety of your home. Whether they know right from wrong is completely irrelevant. You don't know what they went through to get to the point of carrying a weapon to be used against our soldiers.



So a 21 year old thrown into this same situation is innocent?
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#30 Old 07-29-2004, 09:35 AM
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Yeah, pre-teens do "know" right from wrong, but the youngest of these groups (7-10 year olds) are still grappling with the concept of death and kids/pre-teens do not have the same physiological tools for impulse control as do (healthy) adults.



As far as children hating someone bcause they're occupying their land...they're far more likely to hate someone because they've been taught that by their parents, etc. Granted, the adults may harbor hate because of political issues, but a child is ill-equipped to make decisions based on military actions, foreign policy, etc.



I remember when I was 4 years old and our basset hound Princess died. I knew what "dead" meant and I knew I didn't want to believe it when my brother told me and wouldn't believe it until my mom told me. (Hey, my brother liked to tease a lot.) I don't buy the story that 7-10 year olds don't understand what death is. I understood it at 4.



I'm not saying that Iraqi kids aren't just doing what adults told them to do and that they understand what's going on completely. But kids aren't so innocent as everyone likes to think. Maybe up to about 5 they're innocent. But a 6 year old that kills a newborn or a 12 year old that pushes a 6 year old out a window several stories high (both stories I remember from semi-recent news) are not innocent. They're warped.
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