Marine Explains ViolenceEx-Marine's book lashes out at US troop training
AFP , PARIS
US military training has created troops so desensitized to violence that battleground brutality in Iraq is rampant -- and has helped fuel the bloody insurgency seen there today, a new book released yesterday in France by a former Marine says.
Jimmy Massey, a former staff sergeant, said that the daily attacks now doled out to US-led forces and Iraqi civilians are "because of the brutality that the Iraqi people saw at the start of the invasion."
In his book, Kill! Kill! Kill!, he says he and other Marines in his unit killed dozens of unarmed Iraqi civilians because of an exaggerated sense of threat, and that they often experienced sexual-type thrills doing so.
The book was being released first in France -- and in French -- because, he said, "I didn't find an American publisher."
Natasha Saulnier, the French journalist who helped Massey write the book, said she believed the US companies were reluctant to touch it because its "controversial" nature threatened commercial interests and the US public's image of their fighting forces.
Massey, who left Iraq in May 2003 shortly after US President George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished," wrote the book after being discharged from the Marines with a diagnosed case of post-trauma stress syndrome.
"It's been a healing experience," he said. "It's allowed me to close a lot of chapters and answer a lot of questions."
In the book, he claims he and a group of Marines were near Baghdad when a group of 10 Iraqi men started to protest near them, yelling out anti-US slogans. At the sound of a gunshot, he said he and his men fired on the group, killing most of them, only to find out later that none of them was armed.
He also recounts several episodes at checkpoints where civilian cars failed to stop and their unarmed occupants were shot to death.
At one point he says he told an officer that the US military campaign "resembles a genocide" and that "our only objective in Iraq is petrol and profits."