Haditha massacre

Great, that’ll help.

A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood,” a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children . . .

On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.

Military officials told NBC News that the Marine Corps’ own evidence appears to show Murtha is right . . .

Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources within the military have told him that an internal investigation will show that “there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

Military officials say Marine Corp photos taken immediately after the incident show many of the victims were shot at close range, in the head and chest, execution-style. One photo shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer, shot dead, said the officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn’t been completed.

One military official says it appears the civilians were deliberately killed by the Marines, who were outraged at the death of their fellow Marine.

“This one is ugly," one official told NBC News.

Well, if those Marines are tried and shot, it will help.

We probably agree on how likely that is, though.

If this is true, they need to be publically executed. In Iraq.

Meh, I wont say ‘nthing will happen to them’ but nothing that would happen to a civilian murderer who killed women and children will happen to them. I’d say one or two guys get 10 years, maybe.

The men who committed this crime aren’t really human any more – they shed their humanity like a snake sheds its skin when they walked into those houses and started shooting. All that’s left of them is a dark pit at the center of their reptilian brain stems, a place that knows no pity or remorse or even self-awareness.

It must be very comforting to think like this.

I’ve got a buddy who’s an active service Marine who was in some heavy action (shot once, survived a roadside bomb.) He’s home, and he said that even under all the pressure, it’s hard to believe any of “his guys” could or would intentionally walk up and execute women and children. He said “if they did, I’d be willing to be on their firing squad.”

I think your friend is probably much more representative of our troops than the horror stories we hear. It’s a shame that those horror stories will get much more attention and that other soldiers will be judged poorly as a result.

What’s scary isn’t that these people snapped and massacred civilians, though it is certainly deplorable and the killers should face the full weight of the law. What scares me is the not insignificant group of apologists and people saying “they had it coming” that is ever so eager to defend this outrage, as seen in the blog links in the story.

Another fucking one.

In related news, Iraq’s new prime minister demanded that American officials turn over their files on the Haditha massacre so that Iraq can conduct its own investigation.
We have set up the legalities in Iraq and this war in such a way that I think they can actually do this, at least according to the law. I’m interested to see exactly how we blow them off.

The possibilities are:

  1. “Security reasons.”
  2. Stonewall.
  3. Kidnap and torture them, and their wives, and their children. Oh, and rape the kids.

If you look at it that way, the first two would really be victories for human rights. Initiate Operation Pat-on-the-Back… GO! GO! GO!

What’s good enough for the American public is good enough for the Iraqis, innit?

And vice versa, in the case of option number three.

The fact that some people are suggesting that Marines who line up and execute women and children in cold blood are A-OK in their books is very disappointing, to say the least.

I can understand the impersonality of dropping bombs on an enemy population center, but to line up women and children and put bullets between their eyes, people the soldiers are actually there to protect, whose futures our soldiers are supposed to ensure; that’s just wrong.

ITV News was the first to interview Iman Walid, the 10-year-old who witnessed the killing of seven family members. Here is her firsthand account of the incident.

Interview with Haditha massacre survivor

IMHO the US has already clearly lost the war in Iraq, for the same reason it lost in Vietnam – treat the civilians like subhumans and they won’t rest until you are gone.

The US Military is great about policing their own.

Not to excuse what these soldiers have done in the slightest, but it wouldn’t have happened were we not in the midst of a thankless, pointless counterinsurgency against an enemy we refuse to admit even exists (the national resistance vrs. “terrorists”, as our publicity machine insists on terming Iraqi insurgents). When we dehumanize the people we’re supposedly trying to be fighting for, it’s not surprising that young men under lethal stress (they had just lost their seargeant to a boobytrap bomb, I believe) go nuts and start killing people at random.

I’m sure we have a nice show trial of the people who committed the war crimes, much as we did in Abu Ghraib, and as there, the people actually responsible for the atrocity will go unpunished. And we’ll continue to have troops die fighting for a corrupt regime against people who hate us for destroying their country. Yay.

That’s it, straight up.

This sort of aberation is pretty much garunteed to happen once you start dehumanizing people, judging from past wars (e.g. the recent revelations about the Korean War), and I bet this is far from a lone killing spree. Reports of such atrocities have been steadily pouring out since we invaded Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, cases of torturing people to death, etc.

I certainly wouldn’t absolve those actually commiting these crimes, but the source of the beast rests higher up the chain of command than I think the US is willing to face. The carless, reckless, wanton, and even crusading manner in which we carried out the invasion in the first place is largely to blame – barely even bothering to pay lip service to Iraqi civilians rights or even lives, and at every turn treating them in subhuman ways we would never accept ourselves. It’s no surprise that the locals hate us, or that half our soldiers want out while the other half sees it as “us vs. them”.

What Lum said. You can also see this to some extent in the differing “rules of war” the US used when fighting Japan vs. fighting Germany.

Anyway, depressing. We should just leave, or maybe move all the soldiers to Kurdistan.

More or less agree with Lum. Abu Ghraib set the tone.

But, cheer up! Soon we’ll have soldiers in Iran too, maybe.