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Friday, June 02, 2006

Thoughts on Haditha 

Why are we as a society so quick to assume the worst about our own troops?

At this moment, only those who were there know what actually happened at Haditha, and their memory of the events may be flawed or biased. (cf. Rashomon) I certainly don't know what happened, but others, e.g., most of the lamestream media, Rep. Murtha and the Kos Kids are absolutely certain that the atrocities were committed by the Marines. Why?

We know that the followers of Zarqawi are brutal murderers who have butchered innocent civilians regularly over the past several years. They have demonstrated that killing women and children in furtherance of their agenda bothers them not one whit. We also know that Zarqawi and his ilk are masters at manipulating the lamestream media (which, by the way, are more than willing to push any story that damages America). Ergo, it is certainly not beyond possibility that the whole thing is a frameup to damage the public perceptions of the Marines and the United States in general, and weaken American public support for the war. At this point, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, how do we know that those civilians who were killed at Haditha were not murdered by the "insurgents" who had attacked our Marines? Even if the victims were shot by American weapons, that is not proof that the Marines committed the crime, as al-Qaeda certainly has taken weapons from dead Americans over the past 3 years.

I say, let the investigation run its course before we condemn our brave Marines. If after full investigation and a court martial they are found guilty of committing war crimes, then they should be punished as severely as their deeds deserve. But until then, the troops are entitled to the same presumption of innocence that we all expect in our justice system, and the Rep. Murthas of the world should refrain from aiding and abetting the enemy by publicly and prematurely announcing their guilt.

UPDATE: WELCOME, INSTAPUNDIT READERS! I'm honored to get a link from The Professor. I hope you are not disappointed. Feel free to look around my humble blog and to come back often (well, weekly or so) if you like what you see.

Comments:
On May 30, 26, the NY Times reported that American military officals now say that the attack by the Marines appears to have been unprovoked. There is evidence that Marines involved lied about the cause of death of the victims.

You are absolutely right that the Marines have not been proven guilty but the military investigators did found enough contradictions in their stories to continue the investigation.

Al Qaeda did not create this story nor did it shoot the victims. An anonymous senior military official did not "leak" the results of the military's investigation without permission from the Defense Department.

The Defense Department was advised in February that the attack appears to have been unprovoked. Given the potential impact of the story, I am sure the DoD has verified and re-verified the facts.

I will wait for the results of the investigation to be released before I assume anything about the case. I did a read an LA Times report from an Iraqi journalist who went to Hidatha that gave an account of the events based information from Iraqi eyewitneses. The Times indicated the ir account of the events is similar to the details in the military's report on the investigation.

From what I've read, there apears to be a fair amount of hard evidence which hopefully will eliminate a lot of conjecture as to what occurred and further the prospects of a fair trial if charges are brought agaisnt the Marines.
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