The Incident in Haditha

NPR.org, June 2, 2006 · Claims that Marines murdered two dozen Iraqi civilians last year in the city of Haditha have sparked speculation about what really happened there. A report in Time magazine in March prompted the military investigations that are under way. Below, a sampling of opinions on the incident:

 
 

Slaughter in Haditha

Editorial

The Australian

There is no excuse for the complete breakdown in military discipline.... Nor is there any room for arguments along moral equivalency lines. Certainly, terrorists and insurgents are guilty of countless heinous crimes... But as the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal demonstrated, any erosion of the U.S. force's moral authority in Iraq damages the coalition cause. It is essential, as commentators have noted in recent days, that Iraqis know the U.S. military holds itself to a higher standard than the insurgents they are battling.

The Haditha Story

by Jed Babbin

RealClearPolitics.com

Because of the media hype here and around the world, Haditha could become a synonym for American brutality equal to My Lai and will damage our ability to fight radical Islam around the world... if as now appears likely, Marines are convicted of war crimes, Haditha could be a major blow to the morale of American troops everywhere.

Defending America

by Bill O'Reilly

O'Reilly Factor, FOX News

Why do so many rejoice when bad things happen to the USA? That's the key question, and the answer is that some Americans, including many in the press, honestly feel the Bush administration is evil and its policies have led to Abu Ghraib and now Haditha. Most honest people acknowledge that the U.S. military has performed heroically and humanely under extremely difficult circumstances in Iraq and Afghanistan...

Haditha: What's Disturbing?

by Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy Commander (Ret.)

Blog: Pen and Sword

Don't get too taken by all the 'devil dog, steely-eyed killer' image of the standard United States Marine you may have [been] exposed to over the years. Yeah, these guys are trained to fight like demons, but they're also disciplined. For that discipline to have broken down in Haditha, as it appears to have, signals to me that something terribly wrong happened...

Remembering the Marine Battalion Accused in Haditha Killings

by Antonio Castaneda

The Associated Press

Before the 3rd Battalion's arrival, the lethality of Haditha already was clear. Over three days last August, 20 Marines from an Ohio-based reserve unit were killed... I've heard other Marines talk about the temptation to seek reckless vengeance, often fueled by exasperation toward an unhelpful Iraqi public either too fearful of insurgents or spiteful toward the Americans. On that day in August, the powerful, raw emotion that sought revenge was quelled. But, if investigators are right, the rage in Haditha wasn't contained for much longer.

Death in Haditha

Editorial

The Boston Globe

The war in Iraq has become a long, violent occupation, and U.S. troops are under intense strain. But that is no excuse for massacre. If the killings in Haditha were unprovoked, as they seem to have been, the U.S. Marines responsible should be prosecuted with the full power of military law. Anyone who tried to cover up a war crime should be held to account as well.
 

 

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