Friday, April 13, 2007

Paying for "mistakes" in Iraq

The news overnight that there was a bombing inside the Iraqi parliament building as well as a major bridge over the Tigris bombed, leaves the recent "surge" in Iraq somewhat in tatters. Never mind says George Bush, in effect, this morning, we are pressing on to save the Iraqis and Americans from the terrorists....

Meanwhile, the NY Times reports on a dimension to the Iraqi war not previously revealed - that us, paying compensation, of one sort or another, for "mistakes" made by US forces in killing or maiming Iraqis or destroying their property.

"In February 2006, nervous American soldiers in Tikrit killed an Iraqi fisherman on the Tigris River after he leaned over to switch off his engine. A year earlier, a civilian filling his car and an Iraqi Army officer directing traffic were shot by American soldiers in a passing convoy in Balad, for no apparent reason.

The incidents are among many thousands of claims submitted to the Army by Iraqi and Afghan civilians seeking payment for noncombat killings, injuries or property damage American forces inflicted on them or their relatives.

The claims provide a rare window into the daily chaos and violence faced by civilians and troops in the two war zones. Recently, the Army disclosed roughly 500 claims to the American Civil Liberties Union in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. They are the first to be made public.

They represent only a small fraction of the claims filed. In all, the military has paid more than $32 million to Iraqi and Afghan civilians for noncombat-related killings, injuries and property damage, an Army spokeswoman said. That figure does not include condolence payments made at a unit commander’s discretion."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

amusing, if you liked 'the addams family'.

do find out the difference between tiber and tigris, it would add a gloss of depth to your observations.