The senseless killing of Iraqi youths by American soldiers shocking, outrageous and deserves the greatest condemnation
by John Chung
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): I wish to express my shock and outrage at the news report that American soldiers had opened fire at Iraqi demonstrators in Falluja, killing 20 youths and injuring 70 others in the process.
Such senseless violence is unwarranted, unjustified and deserves the greatest condemnation. How could the American soldiers possibly retaliate by shooting at the Iraqi demonstrators who merely threw stones? This is a gross abuse of American firepower against an opposition who are at their very mercy not to mention the deep violation of human rights for the senseless and unnecessary loss of more innocent lives.
It is only natural for the Iraqis to vent their anger and outrage at the Americans and their allies for causing such devastating destruction to their country in the course of dethroning Saddam Hussein. The American troops are clearly guilty of overstaying whatever little welcome they may have received from the Iraqi people. And if the time has come for them to leave, they should not spend a single second more on Iraqi soil.
Indeed, the United Nations must investigate the atrocities committed by the American troops and bring them to justice. Otherwise, the perception of the increasing irrelevance of the world body will only be further strengthened. At the same time, it is the United Nations, not the US, that must play a more proactive and vigilant role in the maintenance of law and order in Iraq as well as the post-war reconstruction of the country.
The international community and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch must also send a strong message to the US authorities condemning the arbitrary use of force by their troops.
* John Chung, DAPSY International Secretary