Una llamada desde Irak

Seymour Hersh es el enemigo público número uno (periodístico) de la Administración de Bush. Hace unos días, pronunció una conferencia en la universidad de Berkeley, donde se habló, sobre todo, de la matanza de My Lai, en Vietnam, y las torturas de Abú Ghraib.

Hersh puso los pelos de punta al auditorio al contar una llamada telefónica que recibió de un teniente destinado en Irak:

In the evening's most emotional moment, Hersh talked about a call he had gotten from a first lieutenant in charge of a unit stationed halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border. His group was bivouacking outside of town in an agricultural area, and had hired 30 or so Iraqis to guard a local granary. A few weeks passed. They got to know the men they hired, and to like them. Then orders came down from Baghdad that the village would be "cleared." Another platoon from the soldier's company came and executed the Iraqi granary guards. All of them.

"He said they just shot them one by one. And his people, and he, and the villagers of course, went nuts," Hersh said quietly. "He was hysterical, totally hysterical. He went to the company captain, who said, 'No, you don't understand, that's a kill. We got 36 insurgents. Don't you read those stories when the Americans say we had a combat maneuver and 15 insurgents were killed?'

"It's shades of Vietnam again, folks: body counts," Hersh continued. "You know what I told him? I said, 'Fella, you blamed the captain, he knows that you think he committed murder, your troops know that their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Complete your tour. Just shut up! You're going to get a bullet in the back.' And that's where we are in this war."

¿Cuánto tarda un Ejército en corromperse cuando se convierte en una fuerza de ocupación?