It seems clear now that in Haditha, northeast of Baghdad, a Marine lance corporal was killed by a roadside bomb. And his enraged buddies swept through three nearby houses shooting point-blank at residents, men, women, children, old, young. It didn't seem to matter.
Wow. Really? I seems clear? A squad of Marines is a town teeming with terrorists, terrorists who think nothing of hiding in and among innocents, terrorists who aren't exclusively male or adult, terrorists who wear no uniforms and are perfectly willing to sacrifice innocent Iraqi lives for their fascist cause. A bomb had gone off just minutes before, killing one of them. They are trying to catch who set the explosive, because there may be more. They must act quickly, before the trigger man who set off the IED can escape. Clarity, it seems, is not something that we can count on in such a situation, even from the men who were there. Shorr, an Army intelligence officer in WWII, ought to know better about the fog of war.
How about a little benefit of the doubt here, for people who deserve it the most and are in a situation we can understand the least? No one has even been charged yet. We don't know what happened. To do otherwise, especially when it's a government official (equally sans investigation report) recklessly throwing out the accusations of "murder in cold blood," represents a deep and unforgivable betrayal. The only thing worse is when that official had also once been a Marine, and knows better. (He's now that rarest of animals, an Ex-Marine.) Semper fi, indeed.
But as bad as all of this is, Mr. Shorr takes it to the next, unpardonable level:
Although on a much smaller scale, Haditha brings back My Lai, 1968, the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese villagers, which came to symbolize American disregard for innocent human life.
(Emphasis mine.) "American disregard for innocent human life." Wow. He doesn't qualify this statement. He simply states it as a given. And just in case you think he meant only that it left people with the incorrect symbolism, he ends his piece with a backhanded assertion that we've been the bad guy all along:
And, undoubtedly, Haditha will add to the pressures for withdrawal from Iraq among Americans, many of whom are already dubious about the assertion that the American mission is liberation.
The only people who are dubious that our mission is liberation are the unhinged lefties who can only see the worst in America and her defenders. He doesn't remind people that the vast majority of soldiers, however fatigued, would never think of doing such a thing. He doesn't note that My Lai was a gross anomaly (despite what John Kerry said), still remembered today because what it represents is so rare and shameful to Americans. He doesn't mention how hard OIF Marines and soldiers work to prevent civilian casualties at great risk to themselves, despite the fact the enemy hides behind them. And he ignores that it is our enemies who target innocent civilians as a matter of policy, sawing off heads in the name of Allah. If our soldiers commit an atrocity, they are court martialed. When theirs do it, they're promised virgins in heaven and lauded as martyrs. And that includes Shorr's "humanitarians," Hamas.
In other words, this knee jerk reaction is a revealing look at how the far left REALLY views our folks in uniform. A quick perusal through the left side of the blogosphere contains barely contained glee at the revelations.
If we lose this war and run home with our tail between our legs because we were not at all times perfect, the innocents Shorr and his fellow travelers have such empathy for will find themselves subject to a fascist failed state, where terror is official policy, political dissent is answered with wood chippers, and purple fingers are cut off. And that's before the innocent Americans start dying here at home because the terrorists have regained a training ground. Spare us your moral cluck-clucking, Mr. Shorr.
Let me be clear. No one will hate these Marines more than me if the investigation reveals "cold blooded murder." Such an act, like that at Abu Ghraib, is not only deeply immoral for its own sake, but it's a sin against history and humanity as it stalls the progress of freedom and security, and helps the fascists in their evil cause. But in our zeal to stay on the high road, sometimes innocent warriors are accused of war crimes, only to be acquited at trial. So until the court martial, how about we let the system work, ignore the Dan Shorrs of the world who root for our defeat and wantonly slime our troops for the sake of "I told you so," and not hope for or see the worst in the best of our citizens.