December 3rd, 2003


Soldier comes forward, confirms US Geneva Convention violations at Samarra.

A US solider who was part of the convoy in Samarra emailed, confirming that US troops fired indiscriminately upon civilian targets in Samarra.

"Most of the casualties were civilians, not insurgents or criminals as being reported. During the ambushes the tanks, brads and armored HUMVEES hosed down houses, buildings, and cars while using reflexive fire against the attackers." .... "The belief in superior firepower as a counter-insurgency tactic is then extended down to the average Iraqi, with the hope that the Iraqis will not support the guerillas and turn them in to coalition forces, knowing we will blow the hell out of their homes or towns if they don't. Of course in too many cases, if the insurgents bait us and goad us into leveling buildings and homes, the people inside will then hate us (even if they did not before) and we have created more recruits for the guerillas."

Of course, the fact that this doctrine is a clear violation of international law is overlooked. According to Additional Protocol 1 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, indiscriminate firing of this nature is specifically prohibited.

What we are accepting is an inhumane, illegal policy of collective punishment that knowingly and, indeed, intentionally results in the death of innocent civilians. It hearkens back to similar acts against the Bosnians by the Serbs, or, indeed, by German soldiers against civilians during World War II. What happened in Samarra would be considered excessive even by Israeli military standards, but, as witnessed by the soldier's statements, it's standard U.S. military policy now.