week in these pages I argued that U.S. unconditional surrender policy
and refusal to negotiate with Saddam Hussein had cost hundreds of
Iraqi civilian lives and led to the despicable atrocities such as
the loss of priceless and irreplaceable 5,000 year old artifacts.
Surrender leads to Atrocities."
now ABC News has uncovered the "smoking gun" (or in this
smoking ruins of a house) showing that the U.S. in fact did everything
possible to prevent a negotiated surrender. "Missed
Opportunity? U.S. Attack May
Have Ended Saddam Surrender Attempt."
to ABC news, Hussein sent his head of intelligence, Gen. Taher Haboush,
to meet and to try to work out a surrender deal with a tribal chieftain
who had previously worked with the CIA. After Gen. Haboush, left
the house of the intermediary, the chieftain apparently tried to
get in touch with his CIA contact on a satellite telephone and mentioned
the name of Gen Haboush. U.S. military intelligence apparently intercepted
the call and sent in an air-strike to bomb the house. ABC reports
that the chieftain and 17 of his family members died during the
attack, but Gen. Haboush escaped uninjured. The incident reportedly
occurred on April 11.
incident only underscores two facts, which were probably already
well established. First, the Pentagon simply had no interest in
a negotiated surrender. They were more interested in killing Haboush
than in negotiating with him Secondly, U.S. forces were homicidally
"trigger happy" and would drop bombs on houses when they
really had no idea who or what was in them. The U.S. may not have
deliberately targeted civilians, but on the other hand, the Pentagon
never would go too far out of its way to protect civilians when
they were in the line of fire.
few weeks ago, the Pentagon made a great deal out of Iraqi forces
apparently pretending to surrender, but then firing on U.S. soldiers
when they came to accept the surrender. The Pentagon called that
a war crime. Is the Pentagon going to characterize it as a war crime
to kill people who were trying to surrender, including dropping
a bomb on a house full of civilians?
Clark (send him mail) is
a veteran of Desert Storm and holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He is
currently Director of Coalition for Local Sovereignty in Washington.