There is a whole hell of a lot that we don't know about the alleged massacre at Haditha. But there are a lot of things that we do know.
First, people like Congressman Murtha, who is accusing our guys of being war criminals based largely on press reports and leaks, need to be taken out and beaten. I mean, its all well and good to get out "in front" of the news cycle, but Murtha's unseemly haste to score political points out of what looks like a tragedy for all concerned has caused him to lose whatever respect I may have had for him.
Second, its like that old joke that starts out, "you can build a thousand bridges, and nobody ever calls you a bridge builder, but all you have to do is . . . . . (you either know how the joke goes, or you don't, this is a family blog). The Marines in Iraq have shown countless examples of restraint, valor, and compassion. Much of this sort of thing, for example the remarkable exploits of Brian Chontosh get virtually ignored in the press (for Heaven's sake, there are some people who think he is an urban legend). But everyone in the world knows who Lyndie England is.
Finally, whatever these kids might have done, there isn't anyone out there as alone and friendless right now. The anti-war left is prepared to crucify them, because it helps advance the agenda. The pro-war crowd is going after them too, as a damage control measure, in order to assure "world opinion" that there is accountability, and that these are just a few "bad apples".
Lets remember a couple of things, please. First off, these are not "bad apples". These guys are good Marines, as testified to by a CNN reporter that was embedded with them last year.
And remember that we gave these kids guns and taught them how to use them. We taught them to bond with each other like family, because that makes for an effective fighting unit. Then we put them out on patrol in a terrorist stronghold, where everyone hates them and where the bad guys don't wear uniform, are masters of the sneak attack and might be anywhere. And this is a place where their comrades have been killed in the not too distant past, amid much glee and rejoicing by the locals.
Then lets add in a sudden explosion that kills one of their number, and wounds a bunch more. Then all of a sudden there is gunfire, and you think someone is shooting at you or your buddies.
Well, okay, you are still not supposed to over-react, you are still supposed to be a "professional". And I am not suggesting that anyone condone war crimes, if this is what happened here. But these young Marines were put (by us) into an insanely dangerous situation. It would be nice if all the armchair critics could recognize that, and maybe recognize that they might not have done a whole lot better in the same situation.