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  1.    #1  
    this is another of those very very uncomfortable to conceptualize and grasp stories.

    Its for me not so much about this particular war necessarily -- its about the nature of war in general -- the terror that anyone participating in it feels continuously. Its about the anticipation of violence, the fear of unexpected danger -- things that over time are sometimes worse than the blood curdling episodes of full on battle itself.

    Like My Lai, this happened when american soldiers were fighting a guerilla enemy indistinguishable physically, linguistically, and culturally from the civilians who ostensibly were the people they were supposed to protect.

    A military history prof. of mine once said something that I, who never was in the military, heard as profound -- but which is likely obvious to any genuine war veteran:

    “...men sacrifice and risk their lives for each other, not for a cause, not for their country...”

    What happened at Haditha, especially as more and more details emerge from the investigation, is unexplainable, incomprehensible, and maybe unforgivable -- unless you were one of the Marines there that day, that time, that place -- where none of them wanted to be -- where a friend they loved was sacrificed for a cause they didn’t understand and were indifferent to.

    It now seems likely that at least a few of them will be prosecuted for the atrocities that they are responsible for there. Horrors like the shooting of an unarmed mother defensively attempting to protect her child (as ABC news reported) surely warrant investigation and punishment, but why does it always seem as though its the lowest level people who are punished, scapegoated, and again sacrificed -- whilst their commanders and the politicians above (yes rumy, junior) are allowed to glide on by.

    Again, I’d like discussed not so much Iraq specifically, but the nature of a guerilla war in a foreign land -- something that I remember voicing last summer in a discussion about asymmetric warfare.

    Are these ventures always doomed inherently to tragic, awful outcomes ??

    Does anyone have any thoughts on all this ???


    New Witness Describes Alleged Iraq Atrocity
    Girl, 12, Was Sole Survivor When Her Family Was Killed in Haditha; Congressman Says 'Mass Murder' Was Covered Up
    By JONATHAN KARL

    May 28, 2006 — After a small group of Marines stormed the Younis family home in Haditha last November, everybody inside was killed — except one person.

    ABC News has obtained an interview with the sole survivor, 12-year-old Safa Younis. The interview was done by a local Iraqi journalism student about one week after the killings on Nov. 19, 2005.

    The U.S. military continues to investigate what happened in Haditha, where a total of 24 civilians died. But one congressman, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said today that he's convinced the incident was mass murder and that it was covered up.

    "There has to have been a cover-up," Murtha told ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." "There's no question about it."

    'I Pretended to Be Dead'
    On the new tape shot by an Iraqi journalism student and given to ABC News by the Hammurabi Human Rights Group in Iraq, Younis, soft-spoken, with rounded cheeks and a headscarf, begins by calmly telling the interviewer, "My name is Safa Younis. I'm 12 years old."

    The interviewer asks, "What did the American soldiers do when they broke into the house?"

    "They knocked at the door," Younis says. "My father went to open it, they shot him dead from behind the door, and then they shot him again after they opened the door."
    She describes hearing the Marines go through the rest of the house, shooting and setting off a grenade before getting to the bedroom where she was with her mother and siblings.

    "Then comes one American soldier and shot [at] us all," she says. "I pretended to be dead … and he did not know about me."...


    What happened in Haditha?
    Witnesses, others tell consistent story as Pentagon investigation continues
    By Richard Engel NBC News Middle East bureau chief

    HADITHA, Iraq - On Tuesday, for the first time, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke about the Haditha case. He said that Iraqi and multinational forces must respect human rights and the rights of Iraqi citizens, and a family cannot be killed because someone is fighting terrorists. “We have to be more careful,” he said.

    Haditha is now the subject of two U.S. military investigations — one into what happened, the other into a possible cover-up.
    Witnesses, doctors and an Iraqi human rights group tell NBC News a consistent story, but one we have not been able to verify independently.

    A crater is all that's left of a roadside bomb attack on Nov. 19, 2005, but controversy remains over the chain of events it triggered

    7:15 a.m.: A convoy from the 1st Marine Division is hit by a roadside bomb — a Humvee is destroyed, and 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas is killed.

    7:25 a.m.: Witnesses say Marines search the area for the bomber. They storm a house directly across from the attack, shooting as they approach.

    A video shot by a local journalism student purports to show the bloody aftermath of what happened. Inside are 76-year-old Abdul Hamid — blind and in a wheelchair — his 66-year-old wife and nine of their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
    Local coroners’ reports obtained by NBC News say Abdul Hamid was shot in the stomach and head. The reports say his wife and five other relatives were also killed by multiple gunshot wounds.
    Four inside the house survived, including 10-year-old Iman.

    “The Americans came into the room where my father was praying and shot him. They went to my grandmother and killed her, too,” Iman says.

    During the raid, Abdul Hamid's house caught fire. Witnesses say Marines then moved next door to the house of Younis Hamid. Nine people were inside, and eight were killed — five of them children.

    Twelve-year-old Safa says she survived by hiding under the bed.
    “They came in and shot all of us,” she says. “I pretended I was dead.”

    Witnesses say Marines then moves to a third location — a taxi parked by the side of the road. In it, residents say, were four university students and a driver. A witness watching from a nearby rooftop says Marines took the five men out of the car and executed them.

    One witness says the driver screamed in English, “Please, please!” but they shot him in the body...
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  2. #2  
    Um, can we wait until the facts are in...including autopsies?
    Among those facts will be overhead imagery from a Predator and the radio logs.

    Does anyone else remember Lieutenant Ilario Pantano? Does anyone else thing there may be exculpatory evidence?

    If these guys went ballistic I want them hammered. But I think comparisons between My Lai and Haditha are premature, and smack of agenda.
    Last edited by 1911sforever; 05/31/2006 at 06:55 AM.
  3. #3  
    OMG!!! r Lieutenant Ilario Pantano's zombie did it!! Revenge from the grave!!! That explains it!!!

    Surur
  4. #4  
    Uh...Pantano was court martialled for murder. The charges were dropped.

    Your ignorance astounds. It scares me that people like you can vote.
  5. #5  
    You did ask if anyone remebered him. Bviously not.

    Surur
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    Um, can we wait until the facts are in...including autopsies? Among those facts will be overhead imagery from a Predator and the radio logs.
    there were no autopsies done after the incident -- and requests to unbury the bodies for that purpose have been (understandably) refused by their families.

    The predator imagery has been reported as from too high an altitude to show anything useful.

    Does anyone else remember Lieutenant Ilario Pantano? Does anyone else thing there may be exculpatory evidence?
    until you mentioned it I hadn't heard of the Pantano case.

    A quick look at some googled sites appears to show a good man, with a good life who volunteered to become involved in a war. (he shot 2 men under disputed circumstances, charges that were later dropped).

    If these guys went ballistic I want them hammered. But I think comparisons between My Lai and Haditha are premature, and smack of agenda.
    What I'm interested in is whether in anti-guerilla asymmetric war, savagery is inherently a natural progression.
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    Does anyone else remember Lieutenant Ilario Pantano?
    Pantano isn't really a shining example of noble conduct, even if he was not proven guilty.
    Major Winn recommended to Major General Huck, commander of Lieutenant Pantano's division that the murder charges be dropped. ... He did however recommend that Pantano receive nonjudicial punishment for conduct unbecoming an officer, for the sign he left on the corpses. He described Lieutenant Pantano's treatment of his captive's corpses as a "desecration".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilario_Pantano
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    Does anyone else thing there may be exculpatory evidence?
    There doesn't seem to be any hope for exculpatory evidence. I am sure it would have been brought forward by now...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    You did ask if anyone remebered him. Bviously not.

    Surur
    And apparently your Google subscription lapsed. But I really suspect that you thought I was equating this alleged massacre with revenge for Lieutenant Pantano.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    What I'm interested in is whether in anti-guerilla asymmetric war, savagery is inherently a natural progression.
    It seems very difficult to maintain discipline and prevent savagery at all times under such circumstances. I am sure the US are good at it, but the strain can obviously be too much under the prevailing conditions in Iraq.

    Not enough troops, no good enough plan for post-invasion Iraq led to this.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  10. #10  
    No excuses if this atrocity occurred; and I'm sure the Marines invovled will be punished. What drives me nuts is:

    WHERE WERE ALL YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS KEEPERS OF CIVILIZATION AND HUMANITY WHEN AL-ZARQAWI LED TERRORISTS WERE BEHEADING HOSTAGES IN LIVE VIDEOS ON THE INTERNET.

    I am so glad you are on guard to protect the planet from the misdeeds of the United States.

    Remember, the "P" in PDA stands for personal.
    If it works for you, it is "P"erfect.
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    It seems very difficult to maintain discipline and prevent savagery at all times under such circumstances. I am sure the US are good at it, but the strain can obviously be too much under the prevailing conditions in Iraq.

    Not enough troops, no good enough plan for post-invasion Iraq led to this.
    agree with all of that.

    Their war was likely lost the day rumy mused that the wholesale looting was just a little celebratory "letting off steam"

    its nearly impossible to stop things from devolving from bad to atrocious (pun intended) under these conditions.
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  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by dstrauss
    No excuses if this atrocity occurred; and I'm sure the Marines invovled will be punished. What drives me nuts is:

    WHERE WERE ALL YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS KEEPERS OF CIVILIZATION AND HUMANITY WHEN AL-ZARQAWI LED TERRORISTS WERE BEHEADING HOSTAGES IN LIVE VIDEOS ON THE INTERNET.

    I am so glad you are on guard to protect the planet from the misdeeds of the United States.
    dstrauss, that's the point of asymmetrical war -- to commit horror and brutality and so enrage your more powerful opponent that he over reacts and recruits more enemies for himself.

    Remember the 4 Blackwater men dragged through the streets of Fallujah??
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    #13  
    Not enough troops, no good enough plan for post-invasion Iraq led to this.

    Arm-chair generals here today with absolutely no military experience should be carefull on making any recomendations about how to conduct a very difficult war.

    As for the marines, I say innocent until proven guilty. If proven guilty, they should be punished.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    dstrauss, that's the point of asymmetrical war -- to commit horror and brutality and so enrage your more powerful opponent that he over reacts and recruits more enemies for himself.

    Remember the 4 Blackwater men dragged through the streets of Fallujah??
    I understand your point - mine is just that there is no SYMMETRY in the moral outrage in the world over the brutality of the terrorist tactics relative to every U.S. misdeed. What occurred at Abu Grab is inconsequential compared to the horror and death visited upon the hostages and general population of Iraq by the terrorists - yet it garners 54 straight days of front page coverage in the New York Times vs minimalist coverage of the beheadings.

    Some wave that off as "don't give them the coverage they seek" while I truly believe it is just a furtherance of the blame the U.S. first mentality.

    Thanks for tolerating my rant.
    Remember, the "P" in PDA stands for personal.
    If it works for you, it is "P"erfect.
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by dstrauss
    I understand your point - mine is just that there is no SYMMETRY in the moral outrage in the world over the brutality of the terrorist tactics relative to every U.S. misdeed. What occurred at Abu Grab is inconsequential compared to the horror and death visited upon the hostages and general population of Iraq by the terrorists - yet it garners 54 straight days of front page coverage in the New York Times vs minimalist coverage of the beheadings...
    how could there be --

    there will never be an apropriate level of comparable outrage between what we do in the name of civilization and democracy -- and what monstrousities the terrorists commit within their god sanctioned horror.

    (thanks for the b-day greet btw... )
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by TomUps
    Arm-chair generals here today with absolutely no military experience should be carefull on making any recomendations about how to conduct a very difficult war.

    As for the marines, I say innocent until proven guilty. If proven guilty, they should be punished.
    maybe to reenforce your opinion of armchair generals like me, here's something of what I wrote last year about the battle in Fallujah:

    ...Fallujah represents not just the heroism of those Marines, but also the failure of US strategy and vision in Iraq that has wasted that bravery.

    As you probably remember, the first battle of Fallujah grew from an atrocity committed against 4 Blackwater mercenaries. Deliberately “lost” by their guide, they were lead into an ambush. The 4 were savagely attacked, their bodies mutilated, burnt, and hung from a bridge. Ordinary townspeople and children joined insurgents in the orgy of brutality.

    The Marines who had until then tried to maintain a relatively low profile non-antagonistic relationship with the people of Fallujah, felt pressured to interject themselves aggressively into the city. Washington insisted that they capture and punish the perpetrators, and assert control. Rumsfield and junior felt that it was an intolerable affront to the image of american strength for this event to go unpunished.

    But it was a trap. The atrocity was planned to provoke the americans. It was an atrocity designed to induce our forces to transform from civil engineers into leather booted storm troopers. This atrocity was a lure to draw us into a tar pit of blood, vengeance and death where we could only finish as losers. It was a trap where the insurgents would reveal us as how they wanted us to be seen: as foreign crusaders who were the average Iraqi’s enemy.

    With insufficient troops to completely seal the city’s parameter and contain escaping senior leaders, the Marines were sent in to fight block by block against fierce resistance. It was the first major organized combat in Iraq post the fall of Saddam.

    Images like that video’s -– but from the insurgent’s side –- dominated arab and Iraqi Satellite TVs. The gore, destruction, and horror of a battle amidst civilians was played nightly on the kitchen tables of Iraqis.

    Fallujah -– a Sunni place not universally loved –- got transformed in the minds of average Iraqis into this hero city -- a place defending Iraqi independence and honor to the death against impossible odds.

    Even Shiite leader Mokhtar al Sadr identified with Fallujah’s resistance and sent help to the insurgents.

    Though Marines had the battle nearly won, Washington decided that the damage caused by that onslaught of nightly images was taking too great a toll. The Marines are ordered to withdraw without completing their assigned mission.

    Fallujah was seen as victorious. Its citizens, left simmering in anger at the heavy damage wrought by our battle and the injuries and deaths to their sons and daughters, are a sympathetic ocean in which the insurgents swim.

    We leave, authorizing Iraqi troops to take over control of Fallujah -- but they are soon either coopted or killed. The insurgents reoccupy Fallujah and assert control even more flagrantly than before -- and openly use it as a base from which to support and launch attacks elsewhere against our forces.

    Eventually we go back to Fallujah to fight yet again.

    And as before they haven’t sufficient forces to circle the city to prevent the escape of people like Zarquawi, who was believed to have been there.

    This time the battle continues to a conclusion, and Fallujah is mostly destroyed. Gradually the people of Fallujah are allowed to return, though behind their outward smiles they secretly hate us.

    The battles create and recruit as many insurgents as we kill.

    Americans continue to die Fallujah.

    Like in Vietnam, our forces are pushed to deliver short term tactical victory at the cost of long term strategic defeat.
    Last edited by BARYE; 05/31/2006 at 08:54 AM.
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  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by TomUps
    Arm-chair generals here today with absolutely no military experience should be carefull on making any recomendations about how to conduct a very difficult war.
    Does the name General Eric Shinseki mean anything to you?

    How about...

    General Anthony Zinni
    Marine Lieutenant General Gregory Newbold
    Major General John Batiste

    Every war has it's critics. No one is perfect, no administration is perfect.
    Look at the bombing of Dresden in WWII.

    Let's not pretend that mistakes haven't, and aren't occurring. And let's not dismiss the opinions of others. That's probably why mistakes are being made now. We can all be a little smarter and a little wiser if we understand the points of view from others. IMHO!
    Last edited by gaffa; 05/31/2006 at 09:06 AM.
  18. #18  
    Not enough troops? Blame the "Peace Dividend" of the Clinton years.
    With a worldwide commitment, the cupboard was too bare to send the level of forces that Bush I committed to Desert Storm. If we had sent more, North Korea may have been emboldened. Plus, if you commit the majority of the force, who relieves them in a year?
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    how could there be --

    there will never be an apropriate level of comparable outrage between what we do in the name of civilization and democracy -- and what monstrousities the terrorists commit within their god sanctioned horror.

    (thanks for the b-day greet btw... )
    Hope it was agood one!

    I know most generations feel the same way, but don't this seem to be extremely sad times we live in?
    Remember, the "P" in PDA stands for personal.
    If it works for you, it is "P"erfect.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever
    Not enough troops? Blame the "Peace Dividend" of the Clinton years.
    With a worldwide commitment, the cupboard was too bare to send the level of forces that Bush I committed to Desert Storm. If we had sent more, North Korea may have been emboldened. Plus, if you commit the majority of the force, who relieves them in a year?
    It's somebody else's fault! Waaaaaaaa Waaaaaa!
    Everything negative has to tie back to a liberal or democrat. Can't you just take information as information and use it as knowledge rather than instigation?

    Okay, back on topic. It at least sounds like everyone agrees that there are no excuses for the murder of civillians. There may be reasons, but no excuses. And if acusations prove to be true, guilty parties must pay a price.

    I do wish we would hear about things straight from the military or whitehouse, to help dismiss rumors of coverup.
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