Dec 22, 2006

What are we doing? 

Didn't I just say "the year's not over - we could squeeze some more in"? I just never expected US to be helping the perpetually outraged...

If you don't want to read the words of a pissed off individual, best you skip down past this post.

What's got me bent are the Haditha charges that just came down against eight Marines. A year ago, 24 people got killed in what could be best described as a house-clearing gone bad. Charges and allegations didn't didn't surface for months until Time magazine got wind of a rumor and some uncorroborated video of dead bodies - both of which are present in excess in Iraq.

But why would anybody in that town lie, right? It's not like it's an insurgent hideout and waystation on the road from Syria into central Iraq or anything... It's not like my cousin was filled full of shrapnel on it's outskirts two years ago by some dirty bastard who was just out for a pleasant afternoon drive in a car with 4 artillery rounds wired up in the trunk. No no. They all must be pillars of virtue. Right?

For those who don't know, in Iraq - and the Middle East as a whole - rumors are endless, nobody was actually there but "knows a guy who saw the whole thing," and everybody believes whatever their buddy told them about whatever the hell it was that happened. In other words, it's a lot like junior high... but with IEDs. You want irresponsible journalism? Look no further than the AP:
As word spread that charges were imminent, some Iraqis said Thursday that American troops should face justice in Iraq.

"They committed a horrible crime against innocents," Naji al-Ani, a 36-year-old laborer, said by telephone from Haditha.

Other residents of Haditha agreed.

"Are they terrorists or are they fighting terrorism?" said Jamal al-Obaidi, a 40-year-old teacher. "The trial is not fair because it is taking place in America. Executing them is the minimum penalty."
The only thing that's missing is the name of their homeroom teacher and what table they sit at in the cafeteria. Asking two random dudes in Haditha for their opinion and then throwing it into this story is some of the finest bullshit I've ever seen. Way to go AP. I knew you guys would come through.

This whole thing stinks to hell of political ass kissing. The Hamdaniya thing? Okay, I'll buy a crime and a coverup. I don't like it, but I'll buy it. It was small. This? This is huge. You want to talk about the rumor-mill going to instant high spool? THIS should have set off bells and whistles across the town, the province, and the country almost immediately. And yet somehow... NO.

I have a bad feeling we're gonna let good men swing for doing what their training called for and having a shitty outcome. To steal a line from Black Hawk Down, "It's just war." This is the nature of the beast. Bad things happen when they shouldn't. People that possibly had no reason to be killed were. But if you lock these Marines away, you're going to have to reinstate the draft, because nobody is going to want to stay in a military where you can be prosecuted for doing your job in a warzone. Hesitation gets you killed. Litigation gets you locked up. So why not stay home, right?

Merry f'n Christmas.

more at Euphoric Reality

UPDATE: The Euphoric Reality link above seems to be broken is fixed. I hope they fix it because it was damn good. Until then, read this. Like I said, junior high.

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