BREAKDOWN IN COMMON SENSE AND DISCIPLINE: TOO COMMON IN HISTORY OF WAR


BREAKDOWN IN COMMON SENSE AND DISCIPLINE:  TOO COMMON IN HISTORY OF WAR

 

By Kevin Stoda, in the Philippines Dateline July 29, 2009

 

The story in today’s  THE GAZETTE of Colorado Springs notes, With each roadside bombing, [Colorado Unit] soldiers would fire in all directions ‘and just light the whole area up,’ said Anthony Marquez, a friend of Freeman in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. ‘If anyone was around, that was their fault. We smoked ’em.’”

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090727/ap_on_re_us/us_soldier_slayings

 

The problem of not holding officers and presidents [or vice presidents] accountable for bad behavior certainly led to the  Colorado unit in Iraq running amok and killing and hurting so many Iraqis needlessly—i.e as well as doing all this with an apparent (at the time) belief of untouchability.  Many of these same American soldiers will suffer in the USA for years to come with their consciences and memories.  Iraqi victims will suffer even more, of course. Leaders who set the standards must be judged by juries and courts for those decisions.  This is the American way.  Perpetrators who make the decisions—starting with former President Bush, Vice President Cheney and several serving generals in the USA armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq—need to be brought to the U.S. courts so America can begin to forgive and move on.

 

The story, entitled “Soldiers in Colorado Slayings Tell of Iraq Horrors” from Colorado Springs  is the sort of story Filipinos recall from WWII—whether from actions of the Japanese occupiers or from the supposed [American] saving forces.  At least that is the case of memories in Lingayen.That Colorado tale concerns: “soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday.”

 

Moreover, the article writer adds, “Some Fort Carson, Colo.-based soldiers have had trouble adjusting to life back in the United States, saying they refused to seek help, or were belittled or punished for seeking help. Others say they were ignored by their commanders, or coped through drug and alcohol abuse before they allegedly committed crimes, The Gazette of Colorado Springs said.”  This is not an uncommon story in times of war (and due to be expected repercussions of war), but American stories that create myths about American purity of motive and action have made it worse in the days since WWII when the US first really began bombing and attacking foreign enemies in mass targeted and untargeted slaughters.

 

THE BEACHES OF LINGAYEN

Yesterday, I was at the beaches of Lingayen in Pangasinan and the Philippine historians there tell a much different story than the more official or traditional. U.S. tale of what happened there in January 1945.  There is a memorial on the Beach Lingayen to the many locals who were killed in that invasion.  Apparently more civilians than Japanese were killed during this attack on occupied Philippines.  The U.S. history makers claimed it was a great sea and land assault.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A02E0DE1230EE32A25751C1A9649D94689ED7CF

In late 1944 and during the first week in January 1945, the Filipino freedom fighters had sent word to USA military planners and leaders and right up through the weeks of the massive USA landing.  The Filipino Freedom fighters—including soldiers abandoned by MacArthur three years earlier—stated time-and-again in their messages to the U.S. Sea Command that the Japanese had virtually pulled out of the Pangasinan coastal region and had relocated in the mountains. 

These same freedom fighters indicated to U.S. leadership in their various messages that there was no need to bomb civilians at all as there were only token forces of Japanese in the area. Furthermore, these same Filipino freedom fighters were monitoring those handful of Japanese troops in and around Lingayen quite well.

On the other hand, it was true that the Japanese occupiers  in January attacked the U.S. invaders heavily—with well-over 100 USA ships hit and sunk—mostly by kamikaze attacks.  By comparison however, the American landing itself, had been a cake-walk because the Filipino freedom fighters were correct. 

In short, it was nothing at all like D-Day in Europe–a half a year earlier. This is because the Japanese had taken their troops in to the mountains nearer to Manila in anticipation of the Allied force’s landing—and they had essentially given up the coast to the massing USA troop force out at sea.

Today—in 2009—the photos on Lingayen Beach Exhibition show Filipino non-combatants  being carted off by caribou-drawn wagons for burial.  In contrast to the sad scenes of devastation of Pangasinan towns along the sea coast, there are some other photos which showed that some local people pulled out old USA flags to welcome the landing forces.  Meanwhile, whole towns along the coast had been wiped out by U.S. bombers on the northern coast of Pangasinan, Philippines in a matter of days.

Interestingly,  American military historians have often considered the whole adventure at Lingayen to be a total success in January 1945, Filipino historians recall often that more Filipinos were killed in U.S. bombings and coastal strafing fire than Japanese soldiers in that month at Lingayen, Pangasinan.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/NAVAER/Lingayen/index.html

 

“WE HAD TO FOLLOW THE PLANS”

When asked again and again why U.S. forces had attacked the towns along the Pangasinan coast so mercilessly.  I.e. these were towns which were mostly totally evacuated by the Japanese  military. U.S. commanders could only shake their heads and say, “We had to follow our plans.”

I’m sure that might be a good enough statement for privates during a wartime—but for USA commanders, such lame excuses, as “We were just following the playbook written by others”  are the logic of weaklings and followers or incompetents.  Such Admirals and generals certainly lacked any sense of accountability and responsibility.  This lack of use of military intelligence to me verges on war criminality. (The Japanese are justly condemned for blowing up and killing Filipinos without conscience during their invasion and occupation.)

However, when over decades every single American war has the same crimes of negligence and irresponsibility.  The senseless killing and torturing of Asians and others goes on and on by the same military.

Such negligence in thinking is certainly a crime carried out by criminals-of-sorts.  What do readers think or have to say?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REAKDOWN IN COMMON SENSE AND DISCIPLINE: TOO COMMON IN HISTORY OF WAR By Kevin Stoda, in the Philippines Dateline July 29, 2009 The story in today’s THE GAZETTE of Colorado Springs notes, “With each roadside bombing, [Colorado Unit] soldiers would fire in all directions ‘and just light the whole area up,’ said Anthony Marquez, a friend of Freeman in the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. ‘If anyone was around, that was their fault. We smoked ’em.’” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090727/ap_on_re_us/us_soldier_slayings The problem of not holding officers and presidents [or vice presidents] accountable for bad behavior certainly led to the Colorado unit in Iraq running amok and killing and hurting so many Iraqis needlessly—i.e as well as doing all this with an apparent (at the time) belief of untouchability. Many of these same American soldiers will suffer in the USA for years to come with their consciences and memories. Iraqi victims will suffer even more, of course. Leaders who set the standards must be judged by juries and courts for those decisions. This is the American way. Perpetrators who make the decisions—starting with former President Bush, Vice President Cheney and several serving generals in the USA armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq—need to be brought to the U.S. courts so America can begin to forgive and move on. The story, entitled “Soldiers in Colorado Slayings Tell of Iraq Horrors” from Colorado Springs is the sort of story Filipinos recall from WWII—whether from actions of the Japanese occupiers or from the supposed [American] saving forces. At least that is the case of memories in Lingayen.That Colorado tale concerns: “soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday.” Moreover, the article writer adds, “Some Fort Carson, Colo.-based soldiers have had trouble adjusting to life back in the United States, saying they refused to seek help, or were belittled or punished for seeking help. Others say they were ignored by their commanders, or coped through drug and alcohol abuse before they allegedly committed crimes, The Gazette of Colorado Springs said.” This is not an uncommon story in times of war (and due to be expected repercussions of war), but American stories that create myths about American purity of motive and action have made it worse in the days since WWII when the US first really began bombing and attacking foreign enemies in mass targeted and untargeted slaughters. THE BEACHES OF LINGAYEN Yesterday, I was at the beaches of Lingayen in Pangasinan and the Philippine historians there tell a much different story than the more official or traditional. U.S. tale of what happened there in January 1945. There is a memorial on the Beach Lingayen to the many locals who were killed in that invasion. Apparently more civilians than Japanese were killed during this attack on occupied Philippines. The U.S. history makers claimed it was a great sea and land assault. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A02E0DE1230EE32A25751C1A9649D94689ED7CF In late 1944 and during the first week in January 1945, the Filipino freedom fighters had sent word to USA military planners and leaders and right up through the weeks of the massive USA landing. The Filipino Freedom fighters—including soldiers abandoned by MacArthur three years earlier—stated time-and-again in their messages to the U.S. Sea Command that the Japanese had virtually pulled out of the Pangasinan coastal region and had relocated in the mountains. These same freedom fighters indicated to U.S. leadership in their various messages that there was no need to bomb civilians at all as there were only token forces of Japanese in the area. Furthermore, these same Filipino freedom fighters were monitoring those handful of Japanese troops in and around Lingayen quite well. On the other hand, it was true that the Japanese occupiers in January attacked the U.S. invaders heavily—with well-over 100 USA ships hit and sunk—mostly by kamikaze attacks. By comparison however, the American landing itself, had been a cake-walk because the Filipino freedom fighters were correct. In short, it was nothing at all like D-Day in Europe–a half a year earlier. This is because the Japanese had taken their troops in to the mountains nearer to Manila in anticipation of the Allied force’s landing—and they had essentially given up the coast to the massing USA troop force out at sea. Today—in 2009—the photos on Lingayen Beach Exhibition show Filipino non-combatants being carted off by caribou-drawn wagons for burial. In contrast to the sad scenes of devastation of Pangasinan towns along the sea coast, there are some other photos which showed that some local people pulled out old USA flags to welcome the landing forces. Meanwhile, whole towns along the coast had been wiped out by U.S. bombers on the northern coast of Pangasinan, Philippines in a matter of days. Interestingly, American military historians have often considered the whole adventure at Lingayen to be a total success in January 1945, Filipino historians recall often that more Filipinos were killed in U.S. bombings and coastal strafing fire than Japanese soldiers in that month at Lingayen, Pangasinan. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/NAVAER/Lingayen/index.html “WE HAD TO FOLLOW THE PLANS” When asked again and again why U.S. forces had attacked the towns along the Pangasinan coast so mercilessly. I.e. these were towns which were mostly totally evacuated by the Japanese military. U.S. commanders could only shake their heads and say, “We had to follow our plans.” I’m sure that might be a good enough statement for privates during a wartime—but for USA commanders, such lame excuses, as “We were just following the playbook written by others” are the logic of weaklings and followers or incompetents. Such Admirals and generals certainly lacked any sense of accountability and responsibility. This lack of use of military intelligence to me verges on war criminality. (The Japanese are justly condemned for blowing up and killing Filipinos without conscience during their invasion and occupation.) However, when over decades every single American war has the same crimes of negligence and irresponsibility. The senseless killing and torturing of Asians and others goes on and on by the same military. Such negligence in thinking is certainly a crime carried out by criminals-of-sorts. What do readers think or have to say?

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to BREAKDOWN IN COMMON SENSE AND DISCIPLINE: TOO COMMON IN HISTORY OF WAR

  1. Pingback: Dear Friends and Family, I am in Bolinao on a Forced Honeymoon « Eslkevin’s Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.