21 Jun 2006

Marines Charged in Haditha Affair; Bloggers Will Defend

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Foreign and domestic news agencies are reporting that the US Marine Corps has charged seven Marines and a Navy sailor with murder over the death of an Iraqi civilian.

BBC News

Crosspatch (a neighbor here in California) recently commented on the work already done by bloggers to investigate the irresponsible coverage of this matter in the MSM.

I have seen bloggers spending hours of their own time digging, fact checking, comparing, and publishing their findings for peer review and discussion. These are people that have jobs and other things in their lives that place demands on their time and energy but have answered what is apparently to them the call of an important mission, a call of duty.

While professional journalists should be doing the work that is being done by members of the general public in trying to get the story straight, we are already seeing results. Respected media giants such as Time are beginning to back off of some of their initial claims and distance themselves from initial sources.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am simply in awe. This spontaneous and most honest display of devotion by members of our community for our service members in seeing they get a fair shake is enough to make an old grouch misty.

Those troops are at risk every day defending us and it is wonderful to see such an outpouring of support when we have a chance to defend them in return. There are too many people out there doing whatever they can to list because I am afraid of leaving someone out and thereby diminishing their contribution, but they know who they are and honestly, it is events such as this that make me proud to be an American.

This is a real living example of the love and devotion America has for their armed forces members. If someone is going to make accusations that would bring dishonor on the institution of our military, they are going to need to run a gauntlet of ordinary Americans who are going to want to make darned sure they have done their homework first.

Unlike times not so far in the past, we now live in an America that really does support its troops, in both word and deed.

To those of you spending your own time and effort on this issue, I thank you with all my heart.

The battle will continue.

One Feedback on "Marines Charged in Haditha Affair; Bloggers Will Defend"


Folks, we should not be surprised by this incident. We are involved in a war and specifically, a counterinsurgency war that, by its nature, is fought in and among the civilian population. Counter-insurgency battles tend to be decentralized with small units operating on their own, fighting against an enemy that seeks concealment within the population. The stress and challenges for small unit leaders is enormous. Squad leaders are called upon to make decisions that most Americans, comfortable on their TV couch or peering into internet computer screens, sipping lattes, can not comprehend and should not judge without all the facts. In combat, small unit leaders must make frequent risk filled; split second; friend or foe decisions. I am betting that the intent of the Marines involved in the Haditha incident was not to murder but to destroy a perceived foe. Mistakes in combat happen and bad mistakes are punished. Historically, counter-insurgencies last from ten to twelve years. Folks, we are three years into that process and over the next seven to nine years, this is going to happen again. As citizens of a country that has sent service men to fight this war, let us not make the same mistake as the Viet Nam War, where we used service men and women; our own sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and neighbors as political sacrificial pawns to gain momentum for an antiwar movement.
Former Commanding Officer (1981-1982): Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment


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