Haditha -- Both An Aberration and a Totally Normal Day : Blog Of The Nation Another look at Haditha, and the "rules of war."
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Haditha -- Both An Aberration and a Totally Normal Day

Haditha — Both An Aberration and a Totally Normal Day

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/19144395/19147880" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Haditha has been a confusing and painful stain on the Marines. Source: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images hide caption

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Source: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

What actually happened on November 19th, 2005, is a matter of legal, military, and symbolic dispute. A land mine planted by insurgents exploded beneath a Humvee, killing a 20-year-old Marine, part of Kilo Company. What happened next is still unclear — but afterwards, 24 Iraqi men, women, and children lay dead. Last year we talked to the excellent William Langewiesche about his article Rules of Engagement, and he argued that the event wasn't an aberration — that it was, in fact, symbolic of how the Iraq war has been fought from the beginning. Now, a new Frontline documentary of the same name asks some more hard questions. Was it murder by the Marines? Or simply another day of war? Just what do "rules of war" mean?*

*Yes, I'm only linking to my boyfriends today. Except, I guess, for Frontline.