Not-Vietnam now has its own Not-My-Lai:
WASHINGTON – A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood,” a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.
From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.
One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents.Â â€œThe Americans came into the room where my father was praying,â€ she said, â€œand shot him.â€
On Wednesday, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said the accounts are true.
Military officials told NBC News that the Marine Corps’ own evidence appears to show Murtha is right.
A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.
The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.
On Nov. 20, U.S. Marines spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Pool issued a statement saying that on the previous day a roadside bomb had killed 15 civilians and a Marine. In a later gunbattle, U.S. and Iraqi troops killed eight insurgents, he said.
U.S. military officials later confirmed that the version of events was wrong.
Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources within the military have told him that an internal investigation will show that “there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”
… I see that Billmon had a similar response.
Ugly? That doesn’t even begin to cover it. Dick Cheney is ugly. The Pentagon is ugly. An Abrams tank is ugly. Executing helpless women and children while they’re huddled on the floor, praying to their God, is a war crime committed by terrorists. It’s Lidice and Rwanda and Srebrenica and, of course, My Lai. The men who committed this crime aren’t really human any more — they shed their humanity like a snake sheds its skin when they walked into those houses and started shooting. All that’s left of them is a dark pit at the center of their reptilian brain stems, a place that knows no pity or remorse or even self-awareness. They’re lost souls — lost to the world and to themselves.
And this is worth noting as well:
As for the excuse making, well, it’s just Abu Ghraib, not to mention My Lai, all over again. There’s something about war atrocities (ours as well as the other side’s) that brings out the absolute worst in the keyboard commandos. If they could only hear themselves, they might realize they sound just like a bunch of Serbian paramilitary groupies, arguing that their boys couldn’t have raped and murdered their way through Bosnia because Serbian fighters are men of honor, that everybody knows the foreign media made those stories up, and that the “Turks” just got what was coming to them — all at the same time.
But then, if they could hear themselves, if they understood what role they are playing in the degradation of a nation and its armed forces, they probably wouldn’t be doing it. Or at least, I prefer to think so. Better to believe we’re living in the same country with a movement of fools, rather than out-and-out fascists.