Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Haditha: A cowardly attack

The controversy surrounding the killings at Haditha has raised a storm of protest from around the world. There is no doubt that civillians were killed. There is no doubt that women and children were killed. What is in doubt, is the manner in which they were killed.
The fact is that the only people who can answer that question are the US Marines. No one else was close enough to see what was going on. Journalists could only take pictures of the aftermath.
A few things bother me about Haditha. The first is that people seem to think that this is something out of the ordinary - civillians getting killed. When you deploy an army into a civillian area it usually follows that civillians get killed.
In the press the term "innocent civillians" is used, over and over, as if these were people who were somehow saints. Insurgents don't wear uniforms. So while I admit that obviously the children were not insurgents, after that, it's anyone's guess as to how many insurgents were actually killed by the marines. We don't know that the adults were "innocent" for all we know they could all have been insurgents.
Then there are the half mumbled excuses of the US military brass. Battle fatigue. Combat Stress. And a host of other psychobabble that in itself is an aspersion on the professionalism of the entire marine corps. How that must eat at the morale of these highly trained men and women who, with one stroke of a pen are relegated to the ranks of amateurs.
The question remains as to whether anyone would be prosecuted for this "atrocity". My feeling is that they will, and they probably don't deserve to be.
Marines at the scene say that after the explosion they were fired upon and gave chase, using the methods they had been taught, to clear the houses of hostiles. The facts, even from civillian eye witnesses would seem to bear this out.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?