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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Through Haditha Darkly, (part 2)

This morning I wrote a post worrying about a possible sudden flood of reports of questionable killings in the wake of the Haditha story breaking and the possible implications. That wave seems to be here.

BBC: The BBC has uncovered new video evidence that US forces may have been responsible for the deliberate killing of 11 innocent Iraqi civilians. (Ishaqi)

AP: Military prosecutors plan to file murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges against seven Marines and a Navy corpsman in the shooting death of an Iraqi man in April, a defense lawyer said Thursday. (unknown location)

AP: Separately, another group of five Marines in Kilo Company, including a lieutenant who commanded the platoon, are under investigation for injuring a suspect in their custody,....The Iraqi man was killed west of Baghdad on April 26, but few additional details have been released about his death.

NYTimes: Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki lashed out at the American military on Thursday, denouncing what he characterized as habitual attacks by troops against Iraqi civilians.

And, earlier today, Reuters: U.S. forces denied on Wednesday a new accusation, from Iraqi officers, that American troops killed unarmed civilians in their home this month. (Samarra)

AFP: BAGHDAD (AFP) - Two women, one pregnant, were killed by US troops on the way to the hospital in the central Iraqi city of Samarra when their car mistakenly took a road restricted to military traffic, police said.

WaPo: U.S. military officials acknowledged Wednesday that American troops had fired at an angry mob that surrounded the scene of a traffic accident in the Afghan capital Monday morning. Officials previously had said the troops fired only into the air.

I'm just really worried that the deplorable acts of a relative few will stain the honorable service of all the rest. There have been so many mistakes of Vietnam repeated, this is one I really don't want to see. I said it better here.


  • Mike, I'm not so sure how "isolated" this behavior actually is. I suspect it's not common. But at the same time, I suspect it's happened more often than we know. This certainly isn't the first story of atrocity, and likely not the last.

    Like it or not, it does say something about our military .... leadership as well as enlisted. No, you can't paint with a too broad brush. But I don't think it's inappropriate to question the ethics that permeate the military, from the Pentagon down to the grunt.

    It seems that everyone is so afraid of appearing to "not support the troops" that we may be missing a larger problem. Indeed, it starts with the leadership. But it's also a statement of the United States as a people that such brutality seems to be getting more natural. Everywhere.

    By Blogger GreyHair, at 10:45 AM  

  • Added:

    Perhaps the filter to which you refer was in place before Haditha, and is being removed (rather than the other way around).

    Just a thought.

    By Blogger GreyHair, at 11:20 AM  

  • Let me first say that I agree with your first point. Just in reports of questionable killings at checkpoints there have been tons of incidents.

    Also, I think you're right about the cultural issues, but the bottom line is I just fear the "baby killer" label.

    And, I think the filter is being removed rather than put on.

    Wow, I agree three for three. Great comment.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 12:34 PM  

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