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An Unpopular View of Haditha

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My co-writer Heidi and I have been watching the Haditha situation unfold over at Euphoric Reality, and we’ve held our tongues until now. However, after reading some of the military bloggers’ comments and seeing the cover-my-ass-in-case-I’m-wrong crap from some other conservative bloggers, I’ve decided I can’t be silent anymore. Our view is unpopular, it’s intolerant, it’s anything but understanding. But it’s realistic. Take it as you will.

A year ago, we watched Ilario Pantano fight to clear his name of ridiculous charges. He was ultimately vindicated by autopsy evidence, but the damage had already been done.  The idea of putting a Marine on trial for killing the enemy in a time of war is asinine. Haditha, in my opinion, is no different.

Marines are trained to kill. Total demolition and obliteration of the enemy is what they excel at. They are not Air Force technicians. They are not Navy radar operators. They are not hostage negotiators. They are killers, trained to win wars by killing the enemy preemptively, NOT reactively. Battles like Iwo Jima were won because Marines are “bold, bloody, and resolute,” not “understanding, tolerant, and merciful.” The Pacific front of World War II was a filthy, gory, stunningly real display of the realities of war. The Marines lived it, breathed it, slept in it for many, many months on end. They did what they had to do to survive, but more importantly, they did what they had to do to win. Were it not for their courage and their testicular fortitude, we would never have won against the Japanese. That means, at this very moment, you would not be free.

What the Left (and other worthless institutions like the UN, etc.) are doing is to force Marines — and every other branch of our military — to fight a war as though it were a rough football match, with rules and penalties and punts from their own end zone if they hurt someone during the game.

Here’s the problem: War is not a game, and by its very nature, it demands that people be hurt.

To paraphrase a great saying, “The more brutal war is, the sooner it will be over.” Once war begins, the only option is absolute and total victory. Total vanquishing of the enemy. There can be no in between, no waffling of purpose, no “playing nice.”

It’s easy for you here in the States, fat and happy in your recliner, to say those Marines killed in cold blood. Here’s my response: How dare you? Have you ever talked to someone just before their head exploded? Have you had to wipe your friend’s brains off your face? Have you risked your own life to save someone else? Do you even have a clue how you would react in that situation? I’ll give you a hint: You don’t have a damn idea.

We train our boys – and they are boys, so many of them – to kill the enemy somewhere else so we don’t have enemies in our homes, killing our children. We train these men to do the job that needs to be done because most of America doesn’t have the stomach for it. These boys and men volunteer to do something we can never fathom, and we have no right to tell them how to do their job if we have never stood in their boots, covered in the blood of our friends.

In order to win a war, you must destroy the enemy’s will to fight. This is accepted fact. The terrorists know this, and they are well on their way to destroying our will. Even while they attack our cities and kill our innocents, we scream that “American troops must take the high road! We must not torture! We must not strike the enemy preemptively! We must only react to them if fired upon!”

And then you wonder why we’re still in Iraq.

This war is becoming like Vietnam, but not in the way you think. The media have wanted their My Lai ever since the beginning. They wanted a poster child to parade, someone to play scapegoat for their game of “Pin the war crimes on the military.” The Left is worse, claiming they support the troops even as they call them babykillers and murderers. Even conservatives, normally so pro-troop, are backing away from Haditha like it’s a hot potato. Suddenly no one wants to get caught holding the unpopular bag that says “I support the Marines.” You know, “just in case they really did it.”

So what if they did? Who knows? Who cares?

Remember: The more brutal a war is, the sooner it will be over. We are still in Iraq because our military, our Marines, are not allowed to do the job they were trained to do. War is a contact sport. It’s not golf. Women get killed. Children get killed. Hospitals get bombed. It is heartbreaking, it’s sad, but it’s reality. To ask our men and women to fight a war without hurting anyone is insane. People keep using the phrase “killed in cold blood,” like war is somehow, something other than killing in cold blood. What the hell do you expect them to do? Go over there and only kill in self-defense?

If it comes out that those Marines did kill women and children, I will still support them. Terrorists are everywhere. You all know this, folks, I’m not telling you something revolutionary here. Terrorists can be women, they can be children. There’s no law saying terrorists are only Arab males between 17-30. I have no right to tell Marines in a combat zone that they have to answer to me back here in the States about their actions in a combat zone against an enemy that takes any form, uses any tactic, and breaks every rule. And as much as it may pain you to hear this, you don’t have a right to demand it either.

The military does a dirty, disgusting job so we don’t have to. The very least we can do is let them do it the way they were trained to do it – the way it needs to be done. The sooner the enemy’s will is broken, the sooner our troops all come home for good.

The military will make its decision based on facts that you and I may never know.  However, until I am shown irrefutable, concrete evidence that the Marines did something against the laws of war, then I shall support them, their mission, and their conduct.  They alone, out of all of us, know for sure what happened that day.

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About Kit Jarrell

  • Jacob

    I should certainly hope that your view is unpopular — you’ve just condoned the killing of one year old child. And, contrary to your opinion, there are actually “rules” to war. They are called “The Geneva Convention”, and they outline acceptable behaviour on the part of soldiers. Finally, we are allowed to demand that soldiers act within the rules because they represent the US, not themselves or their buddies. Since they represent their country, they must do so in the most honorable and ethical way possible.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Kit,

    I’m not writing from my easy chair in America. Less than a kilometer away from me are three Arab towns where a Jew risks his life to enter without a loaded and cocked rifle.

    The problem with Haditha is not Marines were too efficient in their jobs. The problem is that American soldiers remain in Mesopotamia on questionable grounds to begin with, and massacring civilians does not strengthen the authority of any regime that the US is trying to nurture there. Haditha and acts like it put the American installed regime in the awkward position of having to call for the withdrawal of its protectors.

  • http://euphoricreality.net Kit Jarrell

    Jacob,

    I appreciate your comment, and understand your point, but you’ve missed the point of my post. I am not condoning the indiscriminate killing of children. I agree wholeheartedly that soldiers should conduct themselves honorably.

    That being said, it is low and premature to castigate Marines for what MAY have been just doing their job. There are several scenarios that could have gone on that day that do not include killing innocent people. The point is, no one knows for sure what happened, and the American people aren’t in a position to cast judgment upon the Marines until the facts are known.

    Also, where in my post did I say there are no rules to war? I’m well aware of the Geneva Convention, and actually well-versed in it. However, that means I’m also aware that terrorists break it on a daily basis. How many uniformed terrorists has the coalition killed since the war began? How many of the enemy are under the age of 16? You’d be surprised. Another thing: since you brought up the RULES of war, do you know what the “FOG of war” is?

    Every day, I talk to men who have been there, on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the thick of the combat. My article above echoes many of their sentiments and their frustration at being told to fight a war against terrorists without being given the freedom to do just that. Is every Iraqi a terrorist? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean that there are not women and children who do participate in the war, every single day. These men and women do the best they can, every day, with their lives on the line. How many civilians were killed during World War 2? There is no such thing as a “safe” war, no way to ensure beyond a shadow of a doubt that innocent people will not get killed.

    Did the Marines make a mistake? It’s possible. But ASSUMING that they willingly targeted uncombatant children is a slap in the face. Americans don’t target children. That’s what the enemy does, over and over and over. They kill them and stuff them with explosives. They run their bomb-laden cars into them. They do any number of horrifying things, and the world just shrugs. But let an American even POSSIBLY have amde a mistake, and the world screams cold-blooded murder. We don’t even treat our serial killers this poorly. Our society wants counseling and “treatment” for people who habitually prey on children, and you’re going to tell me that the Marines should burn in hell for potentially making a mistake?

    The rest of the world loves the chance to highlight every instance where there is a possibility that an American soldier or Marine made an error. It is repeated over and over like a game of telephone until no one knows what the truth is anymore. When the enemy saws off heads, no one wants to hear about it. When they use children as shields, it’s ignored.

    I don’t know WHAT happened over there. But I refuse to jump on the “U.S. Marines are bad” bandwagon simply because one day, after watching their friends blown up in front of them, they may have made a mistake.

  • http://euphoricreality.net Kit Jarrell

    Ruvy,

    Thanks for the comment. I sympathize with your mention of the Arab towns. I’ve always been a very big supporter of Israel, and my heart goes out to any Jew who deals with that on a day to day basis.

    As for the presence of American troops being “on questionable grounds,” that’s not for me to argue at this point, and it’s counterproductive to the discussion at hand. Arguing whether troops should be in Iraq in the face of Haditha is like arguing whether or not your teenage daughter should be having sex once she’s told you she’s pregnant. There’s a more pressing issue at stake.

    Again, I agree that soldiers should conduct their jobs honorably. I’m simply saying that I do not believe that they targeted those civilians with the intent and malice aforethought of murdering them. The whole point is whether or not they perceived a threat. Terrorists ARE civilians. They are everywhere. You are the last person I would have to convince of this, so I won’t belabor the point.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    Great, you support them no matter what they do. Many people do. I’ve seen “A Few Good Men”, so I’m not sure what the point of you rehashing the “you need me on that wall” speech is.

    Considering we don’t have all the facts, you have no idea if Haditha is any different or not from the Pantano incident, but I don’t see where you mention a cover-up there, which is where the larger problem of Haditha arises. Blind support and premature damning don’t help the cause. It’s just more noise added to the cacphony of ignorant voices.

    If what they did was right, just and a natural part of war, then they should tell the story. If they lied about it, then even they knew what they did was wrong. In your list of what Marines don’t do, did you leave out telling the truth?

    If you wonder where people get the gall to question the actions of the Marines, it’s from those very Marines. Is it fair? Absolutley not, but they fight for the freedoms of the people they disagree with, not ones they do.

  • Brian

    Killing civilians is a practice that prolongs war, intensifies the resistance and hardens the resolve of insurgents. It is not an act of heroism, it is not an act of solidarity with wounded or fallen comrades – it is a condemnation of others who will suffer because of the impulsiveness of the perpetrator. Losing it is just that – losing it. Let us not rush to condemnation or defence, let us seek objective justice. The no blame game is just as irrational as the blame game. This is not a game.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Kit,

    Thnk you for the kind words.

    The issue is not what I think of the presence of American troops. Neither your nor my thoughts on the issue matter at all. The issue is what the locals think of America’s presence, and more to the point, how the local regime defends America’s presence in the face of these actions.

    I do not need to be convinced that terorists are all over the place, but after a while, the average Iraqi is liable to think it should be his soldiers who get rid of them, not the corn-fed boys from the States.

    I don’t disagree with what you have written at all in terms of the need to viciously get rid of the enemy. But there is a question that you and many others, on both sides of the fence in terms of America’s presence in Iraq are missing, and that is the precise question I raise.

    How does the American installed regime justify the behavior of its protectors?

  • Clavos

    …”Killing civilians is a practice that prolongs war,”…

    Not if it’s done massively enough…Hiroshima, Nagasaki.

  • http://euphoricreality.net Kit Jarrell

    Ignatius: You said, “If what they did was right, just and a natural part of war, then they should tell the story.”

    Why should they? There are still people who think a movie about Flight 93 is “too soon.” If you’re wanting to bring up A Few Good Men, there’s another worthy quote in there. “You can’t handle the truth.” People in general in this country (not you specifically) cannot handle the truth of what happens in war. They don’t understand the confusion and instinct and primal urges that make up the actions of soldiers in war, and they can’t deal with the blood and gore. My asking the question “Have you ever talked to someone just before their head was blown off?” was not rhetorical. A good friend of mine explained to me once what it literally was like to try and return fire in a coherent manner while wearing someone’s blood and brains on your face.

    It is not lying to NOT broadcast every detail of a firefight. Then again, maybe we should. Maybe if the American people are presented with enough real imagery, they’ll get the point that this war is being fought there so it’s not fought in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    By the way, I liked Col. Jessup. ;)

  • http://euphoricreality.net Kit Jarrell

    Ruvy,

    You said, “…after a while, the average Iraqi is liable to think it should be his soldiers who get rid of them, not the corn-fed boys from the States.”

    That is exactly why we’re trying to train their army to do the job. It SHOULD be their own people.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Kit,

    On this we are agreed.

  • http://samueljames.blogspot.com Samuel James

    Kit, the Left hates the military. Nothing new there.

    Murtha wants it to be true so badly it’s obvious. He’s convinced he can make this incident reflect on the war, and then on Bush, and then ultimately on the GOP. That’s what its about. Do you think Murtha gives a rip about the Iraqi people? Guess again: or where was he when Saddam’s sons indulged in rape of the week?

    Nice Piece.

  • http://www.culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Let me ask you this, Kit–have You ever known battle? Have YOU ever made a tourniquet out of shirt sleeves to stop a brother’s bleeding in the heat of combat? Have YOU ever smelled thermite whizzing by your face so closely that you absolutely knew the next one would take you out?
    I have.
    And don’t be so presumptious as to presume what war is about–it’s not your videogame scoreboard mindset of the universe.
    On the plus side, there are many, thankfully, dead dictators that would share your that war is brutal, so kill everybody quickly and get it over with mentality.
    War is not a videogame.

  • EmbersFire

    So now we’ve got to the stage where even a 4 year old kid or a 75 year old grandfather is now a terrorist? I know this war is a lost cause when people start justifying that level of violence.

    Just remember what’s going on in Iraq isn’t a conventional. It’s a counter insurgency campaign your army is supposed to be fighting. Killing innocent civillians is the fastest way to lose one of those. To root out the terrorists in their midst, you need their help. So like it or not, you do not have the luxury of being able to say: ‘war is hell, civillians will inevitably be killed by our troop’.

    “You can’t handle the truth.” People in general in this country (not you specifically) cannot handle the truth of what happens in war. They don’t understand the confusion and instinct and primal urges that make up the actions of soldiers in war, and they can’t deal with the blood and gore. My asking the question “Have you ever talked to someone just before their head was blown off?” was not rhetorical. A good friend of mine explained to me once what it literally was like to try and return fire in a coherent manner while wearing someone’s blood and brains on your face.”

    That’s where discipline, training and good leadership comes in. No professional military wants a bunch of glorified thugs who fly off the handle and slaughter the nearest bunch of civilians whenever one of their buddies gets slotted. What they need is a bunch professionals who can focus their firepower on the real enemy and turn it on and off when necessary. If they can’t do that much in a place like Iraq, they’re just going to fuck the place up even more than it has been fucked up already.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Kit, I’m sympathetic to your needful re-hashing of the “you need me on that wall” speech, as another commenter put it. We do need the Marines on that wall, and I’m inclined to put the brakes on until we see exactly what happened, and to give our guys every possible reasonable benefit of the doubt.

    However, you’re flatly WRONG here, and it’s an important point: “I have no right to tell Marines in a combat zone that they have to answer to me back here in the States…” That is incorrect. The principle of civilian control of the military is absolutely critical. They work for US. We need to appreciate and support them, but they are under our employ and authority.

  • http://www.culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    I believe that that any comment issued by the
    administration at this point is suspect, and I base that on a track record paved by lies.

  • Lumpy

    Then you’ve just completely discredited yourself from the conversation on the grounds of kneejerkism, ray.

  • http://euphoria.jarkolicious.com Kit Jarrell

    Ray,

    You said, “And don’t be so presumptious as to presume what war is about–it’s not your videogame scoreboard mindset of the universe.
    On the plus side, there are many, thankfully, dead dictators that would share your that war is brutal, so kill everybody quickly and get it over with mentality.
    War is not a videogame.”

    1. Dictators who share my view on war being brutal? You mean like William Tecumseh Sherman, who said the original quote that I mentioned?

    It’s not just “dictators” who believe in war being brutal and horrifying so that it’s over soon.

    As for whether I’ve seen combat, no I have not. That’s the point of my post. No one who hasn’t seen combat can judge those who make decisions in the thick of it.

    Which have you been longest: a combat veteran, or a liberal who’s bought into the ChimpyMcHitlerHalliburton theory?

  • J.Roth

    Hi,
    Not wanting to rush to judgement, nor deny justice its due, I have to ask, what does the physical evidence imply?? The media and My Lai Murtha have all but tried and convicted these Marines on sketchy testimony from a couple of Iraqi villagers. Has anyone ran a ballistics check on the victims’ bodies to determine what caliber of round was used? The results might be very telling. If indeed the results indicate a 5.56mm round, than that certainly points to a US M-16 (though doesn’t prove it.) If the results indicate a 7.62mm round, than that likely indicates a Kalashnikov assault rifle, better known as the “AK 47″, which is widely used in the middle east.
    I do not wish to cast aspersions here, but it would be not unlike the ‘insurgents’ to actually do the killing and attempt to pin it on the US to whip up the locals into a frenzy and create further anti military sentiment amongst the western media.
    If this sounds cold hearted, just remember that the jihadists have sent their children out with bombs in their backpacks to blow up military and civilian targets.
    As for me, I will reserve judgement until the ALL of the evidence has been seen.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    More than just ballistics, a full post mortem might be a good idea in order to determine if the bodies were shot after they died from other causes.

    The problem with cover-ups is that they more often than not screw the people responsible for them. If the unit commander had immediately called in the JAG investigators then if there was any exonerating evidence it would have been found. Putting it off and covering it up massively reduces the chance of the marines being cleared based on any physical evidence.

    Dave

  • EmbersFire

    Of course the should be judged. Because if they aren’t, then they are completely unaccountable. Nobody said life as a soldier would be fair. If they have a problem with that, they shouldn’t have volunteered for service in an army controlled by civilians in the first place. If you applied the same logic to the Wehrmact in 1945, nobody could judge them either because neither of us experienced what the average German landser went through in WWII.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    If it comes out that those Marines did kill women and children, I will still support them.

    I will be ashamed of them. They will have acted much like the terrorists they’re supposed to be fighting. Attempting to fight those terrorists does not justify becoming like them.

    I have no right to tell Marines in a combat zone that they have to answer to me back here in the States about their actions in a combat zone against an enemy that takes any form, uses any tactic, and breaks every rule. And as much as it may pain you to hear this, you don’t have a right to demand it either.

    THE HELL I DON’T. I am paying for their equipment, their transportation, their food, their uniforms, their shelter, the salaries wages that pay for their families, their GI and veterans’ benefits. “Their actions in a combat zone,” as you put it, are being taken by MY GOVERNMENT in MY NAME and the name of MY COUNTRY, ostensibly for MY BENEFIT, MY SAFETY, MY FREEDOM.

    God damn it, I don’t just have the right to tell the Marines in the combat zone that they have to answer to me. I have the duty as an American citizen to MAKE them answer to me.

    And as much as it may pain you to hear this, you have the duty to demand it too.

  • troll

    *If it comes out that those Marines did kill women and children, I will still support them.*

    I’m not sure how much good your ‘support’ will be to those who in years to come wake up at night with uncontrollable shakes and despair from their personal nightmares

    troll

  • djhubal

    Yes, trained to kill. That is their job and they have done it well. But you blame the left and Un for what??? Bush and BUMSfield are responsible for putting these young men and woman in the position they are in. They own that, no conservative spin can change that. This is an administration that did not understand what war really was. Our soldiers are paying the price
    They did their job, bring them home with honor, not leave them to be targets for zealots.

  • Baronius

    Kit, I completely agree with the last paragraph of your article. I’m glad to see someone saying it. However, saying “who cares if they did it” provides the same propaganda advantage to the enemy as anything Rep. Murtha has said.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    I have to agree with Embersfire – you are not fighting a stand-up war here, it is a counter-insurgency operation. Leaving aside the moral question (and there bloody well is a moral question involved here, so don’t just frame it as a black and white, left-right partisan dispute) if you study effective counter-insurgency operations through history, wanton and indiscriminate slaughter of the civilian population is not an effective tactic at reducing support for an insurgency. The Marines know this.

    So yes the Marines need to be able to fight a bloody Okinawa-style fight if they need to but they also need to be adapatable to a insurgency-based approach which from all accounts is the most likely type of warfare they will be facing int eh 21st century. If the Marines are not capable of this approach perhaps as a unit they are inappropriate for service in Iraq. I don’t think they are. My understanding the Marine’s probably have a better grasp on small arms warfare and COIN they most of the other units deployed in Iraq, no that’s a poor excuse.

    The reality is that mistakes can and do happen, as do moments when discipline breaks etc. It still doesn’t give them the excuse.

    The discipline breakdown at Abu Gahrib and now at Haditha (if it ends up being confirmed) have arguably done more damage to the US position in Iraq then any amount of insurgent bombs. It erodes support at home, destroys any moral ground the US might have been able to assume in displacing Saddam, feeds the perceptions of the US as an enemy across the Middle East, helps radicalize and recruit new terrorists and insurgents and weakens the existing iraqi government support.

    Where exactly do see you any benefits in all this? If the events at Hadathia unfolded as claimed and the Marines are found culpable, there is no valid excuse. If guilty, they violated their own precepts, discipline and honor…and they know it.

  • Baetrice

    Kit,

    I strongly agree with what you wrote here. And, I’m quite used to having ‘unpopular opinions’. :) As a Leftie who’s world has been shaken up by being in a relationship with a Marine combat vet, the Marines in this scenario have my empathy. I have actually spent a lot of time imagining what it must be like to be in Iraq day after day as a Military personnel constantly wondering where the next explosion is going to happen, or as an Iraqi civilian who wants from life exactly the same things I do…to live life without fear, and so have the opportunity to live out one’s dreams. I think most Americans don’t want to face the reality of war…or, how we all contribute to the universal consciousness that creates its reality. Yes, we set up rules of engagement so that we can believe in honorable killing, maiming, and destruction. But, I think that is truly a veiled distinction. I honor the Marines at Haditha. May we not put them out to dry as a salvo for our own collective guilt.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    May we not put them out to dry as a salvo for our own collective guilt.

    I don’t want us to do that either. I’d rather we put them out to dry as a salvo for THEIR guilt, if such be proven.

  • Baetrice

    Hi Michael…I definitely feel very conflicted about what should happen if guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is proven. I’ve no doubt the Marine Corps/Military justice system will act with swift and sure punishment. I’m just not sure that there is a more swift and sure punishment than what those young men will be carrying in their minds and souls for the rest of their lives.

    On a more general note…when does humanity start to choose forgiveness over punishment? What changes would that concept bring to the world? Just thinking out loud.

  • carolyn

    I agree with EVERYTHING you said.
    How DARE, we as AMERICANS, turn our back on those who defend our freedoms.
    I am a mother of a soldier. And I know what these men and women go through day to day.
    the thought of killing innocent women and children curdle their blood. But those same “INONOCENT” women abd children are blowing up IED’s to kill or troops.
    The parents of the children put them in harms wat EVERY DAY.
    Our Military dosn’t, the Iraqi people do.
    I am in TOTAL SUUPORT OF OUR MARINES.
    God Bless every Soldier that continues tofight for our right to live.

  • zingzing

    holy shit. you really have blind faith in people with guns? i’m not screaming “burn them! burn them!” but i am saying that you had better wait til the facts are clear. a murderer is a murderer, no matter if he wears a uniform or not. you even say you would still support them in the case that they did kill them. that’s sick. i hope you can live with yourself. can you even say “innocent” and “iraqi” in the same sentence? what does that make you?

    break the will of the enemy? by killing innocent children? their parents?

    ugh. i have 24 yachts to sell you.

    carolyn–remember every story has two sides. why do those parents put their children in harm’s way? maybe… because extremists will kill their children if they don’t? possible? these people are fucked either way, so don’t fucking judge something you don’t know about. these people are living with terror all around them. we don’t need to add to it.

  • patrick3333

    zingzing— “a murderer is a murderer, no matter if he wears a uniform or not.”
    actually, no. it’s a war. people die in war —that’s kind of the point. sometimes the wrong people die. most often the “wrong” people die because they’re hanging around with bad people.
    until you have had .5 seconds to decide whether to shoot someone or possibly get shot yourself, how dare you make such a statement.
    Americans want to walk around as citizens of the greatest nation on the planet, but most are not willing to do anything to deserve that honor. And as soon as things turn gray, instead of black and white, they’ll sell out the people far braver than them who are earning the honor for them.
    I am so sick of people like you, sitting in the comfort of your air conditioned, threat-free home, second-guessing the actions of guys who are doing things you’ve only done on video games.
    Here in the U.S. even the worst of murderers are innocent until proven guilty. A journalist wouldn’t dare base a story that implies guilt based only on a police detective’s investigation —but that’s exactly what has happened with Haditha.
    There is such a rush to judgement here that no one has bothered to recall that our enemies often use women and children as bomb carriers. That it is not at all unusual to see women, children, old people as conduits for destruction. Or —on the simplest of levels —in the fog of war sometimes mistakes are made. And mistakes are not murder. They’re mistakes. Our criminal justice system here in the U.S. recognizes that —why can’t you?
    No —you’d rather smear a bunch of most-likely honorable Marines –like Pantano —than give them the benefit of the doubt.
    People like you do not the deserve the freedom you have because you have done nothing to gain it and only criticize those willing to do the dirty work for you. Shame on you. I hope you have the opportunity to meet one of these guys some day. I’d bet every penny I have that you’d regret the way you’re treating them now. I’ve met many, many Marines and have yet to be anything but impressed.

  • Papa Ray

    There is an article at the Washington Post that contains statements made by some of the Marines lawyers.

    Its a registration only article.

    Bottom line what the lawyers say is the the Marines followed the ROE and the killing of the civilians was not intentional, but in response to being fired on.

    Which is what you would expect them to say in any event. So everyone, including the Military will have to give them their turn at justice in the Military system.

    There are requests out for assistance in getting money together for civilian attorneys. I intend to give as much as I can, as I think they will not get a “fair” trial because of the outside pressure being exerted from all directions on the Military about this.

    At this point, I believe that they did their duty and followed the ROE and didn’t intend to kill civilians.

    You will have to decide what you think.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA