Sometimes people make me want to puke. I mean that. Just plain sick to my stomach. Those soldiers have been all but forgotten in that land of fun and sun Iraq, but now when it looks like there might be an oppurtunity to exploit a bad situation the self righteous, the ghouls, the useless naysayers who thrive on, revel in and feed off the suffering of others are doing a little jig.
Courtesy of Hugh Hewitt :
This Guardian article, written in August 2005, describes Haditha as it was a couple months before the incident. It is not pretty:
The executions are carried out at dawn on Haqlania bridge, the entrance to Haditha. A small crowd usually turns up to watch even though the killings are filmed and made available on DVD in the market the same afternoon.
One of last week's victims was a young man in a black tracksuit. Like the others he was left on his belly by the blue iron railings at the bridge's southern end. His severed head rested on his back, facing Baghdad. Children cheered when they heard that the next day's spectacle would be a double bill: two decapitations. A man named Watban and his brother had been found guilty of spying.
With so many alleged American agents dying here Haqlania bridge was renamed Agents' bridge. Then a local wag dubbed it Agents' fridge, evoking a mortuary, and that name has stuck.
A three-day visit by a reporter working for the Guardian last week established what neither the Iraqi government nor the US military has admitted: Haditha, a farming town of 90,000 people by the Euphrates river, is an insurgent citadel.
That Islamist guerrillas were active in the area was no secret but only now has the extent of their control been revealed. They are the sole authority, running the town's security, administration and communications.
A three-hour drive north from Baghdad, under the nose of an American base, it is a miniature Taliban-like state. Insurgents decide who lives and dies, which salaries get paid, what people wear, what they watch and listen to.
Scroll through this casualty list to meet the 20 Marines who lost their lives in August in this insurgent stronghold. They died in two separate attacks: 14 died "when a roadside bomb exploded beneath their Amphibious Assault Vehicle during combat operations south of Haditha, Iraq, on August 3, 2005," and six "sniper team members killed by enemy small-arms fire in an ambush outside Haditha, Iraq, on August 1, 2005."
I have no idea what happened there but it would be nice if these young men could get the same oppurtunity to defend themselves that Saddam Hussein is getting. People do crack, it happens. If charged with a crime these soldiers will have to face military justice.
I hope the people who oppose the liberation of Iraq will try to restrain themselves from using this incident for political posturing. But I suppose that is asking too much. It just amazes how some crackpot dictator can use his own population as target practice without a peep out of these people, but by God if the oppurtunity comes along to champion terrorists, defame the US military and criticize Bush they are never hesitant to jump right in there. And if they can inspire some more hatred, get a few more people killed, make the job of stabilizing Iraq that much more difficult..well I guess that is just icing on the cake.