Trigger-Happy US Soldiers 'Will Create Cycle of Revenge'

By Hennessy, Patrick; Sawer, Patrick | The Evening Standard (London, England), June 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

Trigger-Happy US Soldiers 'Will Create Cycle of Revenge'


Hennessy, Patrick, Sawer, Patrick, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: PATRICK HENNESSY;PATRICK SAWER

MPs FROM across the political spectrum today reacted with shock and concern to revelations that triggerhappy US troops in Iraq regularly kill civilians.

Yesterday the Evening Standard published confessions from American soldiers that they have fired indiscriminately at non-combatants and left wounded fighters to die or even shot them.

The GIs said they were often unable to tell civilians from enemy troops.

However, former government whip Graham Allen, who led Labour backbenchers in opposition to the war against Saddam, said the Americans' conduct was creating a "cycle of hatred and revenge".

Mr Allen said President Bush had "failed in his responsibility to prepare properly for the occupation of Iraq when Saddam Hussein had gone", adding: "Mr Bush never told his army or his people what to expect.

"The result is the terrible and growing toll of casualties of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians, and a cycle of mistrust, hatred and revenge reminiscent of Vietnam.

This situation is intolerably dangerous, not only for the Americans and the Iraqis but for British forces, administrators and aid workers."

Mr Allen said there was now only one answer - the full-scale takeover of Iraq's administration by the United Nations.

Another leading Labour antiwar rebel, former defence minister Peter Kilfoyle, said: "I think the Standard's report shows, sadly, that the predictions many of us made - that the invasion of Iraq would increase chaos - have been coming true.

"While the British have their own difficulties, their experience in peacekeeping makes them far more disciplined than their American counterparts. …

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