Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Thing That Should Not Be

Lawmaker: Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood’
Navy conducting war crimes probe into November violence in Haditha

NBC News
Updated: 9:27 p.m. ET May 17, 2006

WASHINGTON - 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.

One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,” she said, “and shot him.”

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.

The Marine Corps issued a statement in response to Murtha's remarks:

"There is an ongoing investigation; therefore, any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process. As soon as the facts are known and decisions on future actions are made, we will make that information available to the public to the fullest extent allowable."

Full Article

Headlines like that are troubling even if they aren't true. So much of the long term War on Terror is a PR war. Every headline like that is a short term loss. It stirs up anger and resentment both home and abroad, strengthens our enemies, and fuels the anti-war sentiment.

Am I saying that the press shouldn't report on this or similiar stories? No. Atrocities must be exposed wherever they occur regardless of who commits them. But sometimes when you ask good people to do bad things for good reasons lines get crossed. Which is understandable but not always forgivable.