The march of historic parallels with Vietnam continues, with the following headline greeting me in this morning’s LA Times: Photos indicate civilians slain execution-style.
WASHINGTON — Photographs taken by a Marine intelligence team have convinced investigators that a Marine unit killed as many as 24 unarmed Iraqis, some of them “execution-style,” in the insurgent stronghold of Haditha after a roadside bomb killed an American in November, officials close to the investigation said Friday.
The pictures are said to show wounds to the upper bodies of the victims, who included several women and six children. Some were shot in the head and some in the back, congressional and defense officials said.
One government official said the pictures showed that infantry Marines from Camp Pendleton “suffered a total breakdown in morality and leadership, with tragic results.”
No, it’s not exactly like My Lai, which saw more deaths, more official complicity, and more of a cover-up.
It’s not exactly like My Lai. It’s just horrible beyond description in the same way My Lai was.
- USA Today: Reports: Probe to cite Marines
- Washington Post: In Haditha, memories of a massacre
- New York Times: Military to report Marines killed Iraqi civilians
I also found this piece from blogger Polimom interesting: War is hell. Seriously.
Just two days before this incident apparently occurred in November, I wrote a rare rant. At the time, I was ticked off about reports coming out of Iraq about the use of white phosphorous in Fallujah, and stories of torture. I said:
Bad enough that the American public was “dismayed” and “disturbed” when our little Janeys and Johnnys were discovered torturing their prisoners (remember Abu Ghraib?). Now, we’re hearing about lions, too. (LIONS????)
Folks, if you think our sons and daughters are being sent to a war with anything less than a targeted, focused hatred for the “enemy”, you are clueless. In basic training, they are given bayonets, with which they charge, screaming vicious epithets, at a straw dummy. Years ago, that straw dummy was a “Red” named Ivan. Any guesses what names they use today to dehumanize their “targets”?
War cannot be waged without virulent hate. It is not an academic exercise.
To kill, as we’ve asked our children to do in Iraq, requires hate, and whatever comes of the investigation in Haditha, we cannot forget that along with all the other losses and deaths, this is also the price we pay to wage war.
We sent them into hell, and the devil is running free. Surely we didn’t expect something different… did we?