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Monday, March 20, 2006

Deadly Farce

Posted by on March 20 at 15:44 PM

Is it okay if we don’t support these troops?

After a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine in western Iraq, American troops went into nearby houses and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old-girl, residents told The Associated Press on Monday.

The military says about 12 Marines are under investigation for possible war crimes by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service following the Nov. 19 insurgent attack in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Hat tip: Americablog.

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This just illustrates, again, as if you think we'd need it after more than a decade in Vietnam, how impossible it is to fight a guerilla war. Surely these troops were trying to avenge their dead fellow soldiers, killed before their eyes. But with no visible enemy to go after, they vent their rage on the nearest potentially guilty people, who may or may not have been to blame. The whole thing is ugly, psychologically-pernicious, untenable.

And yet, as the President said today, "the United States will never abandon Iraq."

Supporting the troops has become a cliche. Something liberals and lefties like to say so that they are not seen as anti American, they dont wanna be reminded of hippies yelling at soldiers after they came home from Vietnam.

But the truth is that combat troops KILL civilians and lots of them. In Iraq they shoot at cars that look suspicious, they shoot at kids and I can bet you a case of IPA that they beat the crap out of people when theyre doing those searches.

Its a part of war. The longer a war lasts, the more, revenge instincts take over. Ideology goes out the window and your friends and comrades become your life, if they get shot than you want payback. The longer war lasts, the meaner combat soldiers become.

We all want to think of combat soldiers as nice guys, but nice guys change in war. It is a fact. No matter what side theyre fighting on. There is no Geneva convetion in War.

The problem is that North Americans dont like to think of our inocent boys as killers. But Mi Lai put that myth to rest loooooong ago.

The atrocities in Fallujah are hardly talked about, because we dont want to think of "our troops" as massacring thousands of civilians who have no where to hide. The longer the war continues, the meaner combat troops become.

This has always been the case. Soldiers go Berserk after long periods of combat. It was true in the Iliad:

"In his ecstasy of power he is mad for battle.. Pure frenzy fills him..."

...and is true in Iraq

I think Colonel Kurtz in Apocolypse Now said,
"We teach young men to drop fire on women and children, But their commanding officers don't let them write 'Fuck' on their planes because it is obscene."
Every war is just a series of attrocities. Mi-Lai was a drop in the ocean of attrocities committed in Vietnam, and without doubt this is the case in Iraq as well. The lethal combination of fear, racism and advanced marksmanship.
Supporting the troops would be not sending them to lethal shit storms for all the wrong reasons.

i sure hope those guys don't get the box of girl scout cookies i purchased and then donated back.

i did ask the sweet little girls pushing sugar if they could get george bush to personally deliver the thin mints to the troops.

the dad's look of amusement quickly changed to a prideful beam when one of the scouts answered, "he isn't a very good president."

My Lai.

I don't think it's possible for decent American soldiers to not commit atrocities in a guerrilla war.

That is the tragedy here. And it's a lesson that for some reason needs to be learned over and over and over and over, never sinking in.

Evil is not Nazi SS automatons cackling as they suck the marrow out of their innocent victims. Evil is ordinary people, good people, decent, upstanding moral people, put in situations where they don't have any boundaries or references anymore.

The tragedy of Viet Nam was a generation of unhinged, unconnected, morally abandoned boys. A lot of them didn't survive that, and the ones that did took twenty years to get back on the ground. Now we're doing it again.

If it was truly for a cause that made any sense, it might be worth it. But it's not. It's for nothing.

Support our troops - bring them home.

the only reason the investigation is happening: time magazine wrote a story about it. only reason time wrote about it: videotape. how many things like this happen daily? the us military does not investigate allegations of war crimes except to produce a media spectacle, and to exonerate its officers/ sacrifice its troops. that doesn't justify these troops for massacres. but prosecuting them shouldn't let the military establishment off for killing thousands of innocent civilians the last three years.

Seme writes "There is no Geneva convetion in War".

Um, yes, there is. The Geneva Conventions refer specifically to war. This is WHY there're Geneva Conventions in the first place: to prevent stuff like this from happening, and to deal with it when it (inevitably) does.

That's what's so completely, utterly fucked up about the Bush Administration's announced disregard of the Conventions and any other restrictions on torture and mistreatment of combatants and prisoners. "Oh, it's OK, because we would never do that -- we don't torture". That disregard absolutely MANDATES abuse. And lo and behold, here it is -- and over there, and over there, and over there.

That's the infuriating thing: Bush, the proud Christian moralist, deliberately CHOOSING EVIL.

The no-longer-existent Embeds would be shocked and awed.

The Swarm of last week? A stack of military hand-out photos.

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