Friday, June 22, 2012

HANWAY FILMS MOVIE: Battle For Haditha

This is a fictional film based upon the Haditha killings, which involved U.S. Marines shooting unarmed Iraqi civilians, including three women and seven children in Haditha, Anbar in November 2005. The event started after a roadside bomb hit a squad of Marines. Eight Marines were eventually charged for the incident, but most of them were either given immunity in return for their testimony, made to resign from the service, were acquitted or had their rank lowered in court cases that dragged on all the way to January 2012. None spent any time in jail, causing consternation back in Iraq. As the American military was withdrawing from Iraq at the end of 2011, it dumped hundreds of secret documents about the investigation into dumpsters, which were discovered by the New York Times. The papers showed that as the insurgency picked up pace in Anbar, the Americans loosened their rules of engagement. If there was shooting from a building for example, they would usually destroy the entire house. If cars didn’t stop appropriately at checkpoints, they were assumed to be militants and fired upon. One Marine interviewed said they had shot children in vehicles as a result of this policy, which had scarred his troops. It was this mix of increasing violence, losses by the Marines, and their willingness to open up on innocents that led to the Haditha massacre.


Associated Press, “7 Marines granted immunity in Haditha killings,” 4/20/07

Al Jazeera, “US troops ‘told to lie’ about Iraqi killings,” 1/12/12

Kami, Aseel, “Iraq says to take legal action for Haditha victims,” Reuters, 1/26/12

Marine Corps Times, “Lt. col. in Haditha case can retire at rank,” 12/11/09

Perry, Tony, “Marine gets no jail time in killing of 24 Iraqi civilians,” Los Angeles Times, 1/25/12

Schmidt, Michael, “Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq,” New York Times, 12/14/11

Surk, Barbara and Mohammed, Faris, “Iraqi town says justice failed victims of US raid,” Associated Press, 1/25/12

Tanner, Adam, “U.S. office charges dismissed in Haditha killings,” Reuters, 9/18/07

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