Thursday, December 21, 2006

When the Truth is Tardy


When the United States military acts without integrity, it is a huge blow to the integrity of the entire mission of the United States. We thought we had learned this with the Abu Ghraib embarrassment. Then came Haditha. It's good that finally today justice is served, but the atrocities were hidden for way too long.

Whenever I pray for the United States military troops, I pray not only for their success and safety, but also that they act with as much dignity and aplomb as they can under the duress of the situation.

When we don't act as we should, it undermines everything we are trying to accomplish. But when something such as the Haditha murders are covered up for several months, it is a major embarrassment to the United States. The Abu Ghraib travesty was more than enough. In retrospect of both Abu Ghraib and Haditha, all we can say is that our best attempt at retro-active justice is complete. But the lives lost can never be replaced.

It is far past time that today 8 Marines were charged either with murder or with complicity in its cover-up of the incident that occurred just over 13 months ago.

I tend to agree with the sentiments of some of the Iraqis.

"Are they terrorists or are they fighting terrorism?" said Jamal al-Obaidi, a 40-year-old teacher. "The trial is not fair because it is taking place in America.
"The American troops should be brought here, in front of an Iraqi court," Naji al-Ani, a 36-year-old laborer, said by telephone from Haditha. "They committed a horrible crime against innocents."


Der Speigel writes recently that the US Army is teaching what it has learned from its mistakes. Let's hope that avoiding future travesties such as Haditha is a required course.

3 comments:

Rich Warnick said...

We've seen this horror movie before. Why couldn't everyone learn from the mistakes of the Vietnam War?

PJ said...

Not all the facts are in on this tragedy. I suggest that if you want to truly understand this incident that you do further research. Many articles are available on blogs and the internet. Unfortunately, justice is sacrificed by the mass media exposure and their bias. Further, holding a trial of these soldiers in Iraq would only inflame the insurgancy and give them a cause celeb to create further violence. Don't get me wrong, if these men are found at the end of the investigation and trial to be guilty, they should pay the full penalty. However, no one should merely jump through the hoops supplied by a biased media.

Frank Staheli said...

Richard,

I agree. The same mistakes are being made as in Vietnam, but I don't think the mistakes are the same ones you are thinking of.

PJ,

Thanks for your comments. I really do hope that I am wrong. If you have some good places to start my research into the subject in more detail, I would be appreciative.