an American war criminal
Online Journal Contributing Writer
to Alternative Reader Index
In the euphoria over the U.S. conquest of Baghdad, people everywhere should be
introduced to the major war criminals of the war. Although, the Bush
administration dearly wanted the Iraqis to use weapons of mass destruction to
justify later claims of war crimes, no such weapons or attacks using them ever
materialized. So the scene of parading Iraqi generals in front of tribunals may
not have much of a legal basis.
Instead, the world witnessed a different kind of atrocity. US tanks opened fire
on foreign TV and wire service offices that were already identified as "no
fire" zones by the US Central Command. It did not matter. Tanks belonging
to the US Army's Third Infantry Division destroyed media offices and killed and
injured a number of journalists.
The man who ordered his tanks to open fire on the Baghdad offices of Al Jazeera,
Abu Dhabi TV, and Reuters is Major General Buford "Buff" Blount III.
Like his three bosses, General Tommy Franks, General
Richard Myers, and George W. Bush, Blount is a native of Texas. After the war is
over, Blount will return amid ruffles and flourishes to accolades from Bush
administration officials and a doting media. It must never be forgotten what
crimes Blount perpetrated on April 8 in Baghdad.
We should all know what kind of person Blount is. He is the top military officer
in the Savannah, Georgia region. His command includes Fort Stewart and Hunter
Army Airfield. Blount is a 1971 graduate of the University of Southern
Mississippi, the Hattiesburg college that did not integrate its student body
until 1965, three years before Blount enrolled as a student and three years
after the University of Mississippi was forced to admit its first black student.
Blount's wife, Anita Barr, is also a native Mississippian. Hailing from Collins,
Mississippi, she graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1970.
"Buff" and Anita, who is a school teacher, have two children.
The Third Infantry Division commander comes from a politically-connected family.
His father, Buford Blount II, is a former Air Force colonel who was once the
deputy commander of Keesler Air Force Base, and is now mayor of Bassfield,
Mississippi. General Blount's sister, Lisa, told the Jackson Clarion Ledger that
she was worried about the lives of her brother's troops, however, the story made
no mention of any concern for the lives of the civilians which they encountered.
General Blount's uncle was also an Army general. He was Major General Dr. Robert
E. Blount, who after his Army career became dean of the University of
Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
Blount must have had a certain disdain for Al Jazeera, the independent Arab
satellite news network that has been the bane of the Saudi Royal Family. Before
assuming command of the Third Infantry Division, Blount was the program manager
for the Saudi National Guard. Unlike the US National Guard, the Saudi Guard are
the shock troops for the Saudi royals. They are every much as committed to the
Saudi princes as Iraq's Republican Guards were committed to Saddam Hussein.
Blount undoubtedly sympathized with his Saudi benefactors when they disparaged
Al Jazeera and its Qatari financial backers. There have been a number of heated
exchanges between Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and Qatar's Emir Hamad bin Khalifa
al Thani over the coverage of the Saudis by Al Jazeera.
Blount probably did not have to think twice about teaching Al Jazeera a lesson
on behalf of his Saudi friends. For at the same time Blount lorded over the
Saudi National Guard, he was also a top military adviser to Abdullah. Blount's
connections to the Saudis and his disregard for the safety of Al Jazeera
journalists may appear to be highly unprofessional. However, in considering that
officers like Blount are merely modern-day mercenaries, acting on behalf of
corrupt royal regimes, oil company interests, and neo-conservative political
operatives, his actions in Baghdad are very understandable, painfully so.
So when the parades are held on behalf of Blount in Hinesville, Georgia, the
bedroom community of Savannah that sits outside of Fort Stewart's front gate,
the local Hinesville Coastal Courier, in covering the military homecoming,
should remember that General Blount is, as far the international press and the
maimed civilians of Iraq are concerned, the real "Butcher of Baghdad."
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative reporter. He was also the
Operations Officer at Naval Facility Coos Head, Oregon from 1980 to 1982 and
assisted the FBI and NIS in the investigation as a
temporary special agent.
Copyright 1998-2003 Online Journal
All rights reserved.
want to know what you think of this article.