History Reveals US Military Uninterested in Preventing Proxy War Crimes

© AFP 2023 / MICHAL CIZEKA US soldier looks from the armored vehicle Humvee as US military convoy arrives to the Czech army barracks on March 30, 2015 in Prague after entering the Czech Republic at the border crossing in Harrachov on the way from Baltic countries to base in Vilseck, southern Germany
A US soldier looks from the armored vehicle Humvee as US military convoy arrives to the Czech army barracks on March 30, 2015 in Prague after entering the Czech Republic at the border crossing in Harrachov on the way from Baltic countries to base in Vilseck, southern Germany - Sputnik International
Reports of war crimes committed by an Iraq army regular division trained by US advisers is not surprising because Washington is more concerned about achieving objectives than it is protecting human rights abuses by proxy fighters, analysts told Sputnik.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — An Iraqi army division trained by the US government allegedly executed several dozen prisoners in Mosul’s Old City, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Thursday.


"It shouldn't surprise us that the US, or US proxy forces commit atrocities," White Rose journal editor and conflict analyst Paul Gottinger said on Friday. "The US supports militant groups to fulfill its ends: It is not interested in human rights. The history is clear on this."

US-backed rebel forces in Syria had been described to the public as secular moderates but in reality many of them were ultra-violent religious extremists who slaughtered civilians and prisoners too, Gotitnger observed.

"As is predictable, the US-supported rebels engaged in beheadings, torture, and other rights abuses. Yet the US media pushed the narrative that these ‘rebels’ were freedom fighters. But the truth is these were radical groups fighting alongside al Qaeda," he said.

The arms the US provided these groups even ended up in the hands of groups like al Qaeda, Gottinger stated.

The US military had a long history of the use of torture and other atrocities, Gottinger recalled.

"In the US colonial war in the Philippines in 1898 the US tortured captives using a form of water torture called ‘water cure.’ More recently, of course, is the Bush administration's use of CIA black sites, Guantanamo, and Abu Ghraib," he said.

The Obama administration spoke a lot about ending torture, but it blocked the release of the Senate Intelligence Report on torture headed by Senator Diane Feinstein and made large use of drone assassinations, Gottinger pointed out.

Current President Donald Trump has repeatedly indicated that he would like to restore torture procedures that had been banned in recent years, Gottinger warned.

"Trump has called for the return of waterboarding and has vowed to fill up [the detention center at] Guantanamo Bay," he said.

In Cameroon, Amnesty International has reported that US troops are present as US-trained forces are carrying out torture, Gottigner remarked.

"The US-supported jihadi groups in Syria were supported by the US, and Persian Gulf allies, because they believed these groups could be used to overthrow Assad," he said.

US policymakers had hoped that if they could topple the legitimate government of Syria the outcome would be a new regime in Damascus that would be obedient to the US and Persian Gulf countries, Gottinger explained.

"The attempt has so far failed. The effort has, however, caused unimaginable destruction and devastation for the people of Syria," he said.

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Earlier this month, the US media reported that Trump had decided to end the half a billion dollar a year CIA-run military training program for the Syrian rebels. Gottinger praised the move as a step in the right direction.

"If Trump's claim that he ended support for the jihadist rebels in Syria is true, this is a very positive development. It will allow the Syrian government to continue defeating the jihadists and begin creating stability in Syria," he said.

Trump appeared confused in his policies about fighting the Islamic State (IS), also known as Daesh which is outlawed in Russia, Gottinger said.

"In one sense, Trump seems to be rightly focusing on defeating IS, instead of empowering them in Syria. Yet at the same time, he continues to obsess over isolating and weakening Iran and Hezbollah, two important members of the coalition fighting IS," he said.

Washington’s military support and training for jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria had created a dilemma for US forces and their commanders operating there, Gottinger said.

"In Iraq, US troops seem to be keeping silent about executions and torture they are witnessing from US-trained Iraqi troops they are embedded with," he said.

Trump was so focused on driving IS out of the city of Mosul, it the Iraqi capital of its self-proclaimed "caliphate" – that he appeared not be concerned about how many civilians were killed in the fighting, Gottinger cautioned.

"It's important that the US push out IS from Mosul, Trump doesn't seem to particularly care if a large number of civilians are killed. More evidence of this is the huge increase in civilian casualties that has come about from US airstrikes in the battle against ISIS across Iraq and Syria," he said.

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US leaders were oblivious to killing civilians and prisoners and other human rights offenses by forces they had trained because their own military record was already filled with such outrages, University of Houston Chair of History and African American Studies Professor Gerald Horne told Sputnik.

"[The] US military [was] born in genocidal wars against indigenous peoples and enslaving Africans and still reflects this odious practice," he said.

In June, the US media reported that US forces were interrogating Yemeni detainees in facilities where United Arab Emirate (UAE) forces are conducting torture.

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