{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Friday, November 11, 2005

support "Hands Off Dave!"

David Airhart on the killing civilians in Iraq, the abuse of detainees, his transformation to an antiwar activist, and his nonviolent protest at Kent State

November 9th, 2005

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While we were there, we were supposedly fighting Iraqi rebels and Iraqi military personnel, but I can%u2019t really remember ever seeing any actual Iraqi soldier that we were fighting during the supposed firefight. What I do remember, we were mostly being shot at by our own close air support and helicopters. 95% [of the soldiers who were killed in my unit were] killed by friendly fire and I%u2019d say 98% of the casualties I saw weren%u2019t fighters of any kind - they were civilian, women, children and people who had nothing to do with the fighting. They were just innocent bystanders.

When I realized how over the top it was, was after An Nasiriyah. We were supposed to set up a perimeter around the city. We were out of sand bags. We didn%u2019t have enough sand bags to protect our holes from small arms fire and things like that. Conveniently, there was a flour truck driver riding a truck down the highway that was full of canvas flour bags. And sand bags are made out of canvas, so this was perfect for sand bags. We were ordered to open fire on this man - just say, a working family man, and to use his flour bags as sand bags. A lot of guys in my platoon opened fire and the man was killed. And the individuals who didn%u2019t open fire on this man were ordered to remove his body from the truck and throw it off in a ditch on the side of the road and throw some dirt on top of it. And after that, I was an extreme, I guess, sort of anti-war marine (applause).

After An Nasiriyah, we spent most of our time doing vehicle check points where you just stop random civilian drivers and search their vehicles for weapons and things like that. Oftentimes if it was a very confusing situation and the drivers of the vehicles would not understand what we were saying when we told them to stop. And when they wouldn%u2019t stop, we were ordered to open fire on these individuals. That happened on a daily basis. And never once out of all these occasions were there any weapons in these individual%u2019s cars. Usually it was full of family, a husband and a wife and children and they would all be killed. This happened on a daily basis.
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Now Dave is being charged with "disorderly conduct" and might be expelled from Kent State. Why? He had the audacity to hang a banner reading "Kent State For Peace" on the fun mountain-climbing game set up by the military recruiters on his campus to get students to sign their lives away.

Click here to sign the petition in support of Dave

More info here:

Traprock Peace Center

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