I’m really trying not to write about politics or the war or the election or anything that has the potential to get me down. All of these things require a great deal of thought and many times hours of research in order for me to come up with something even remotely interesting to say. Combine that with the fact that most of it is pretty depressing and you can see why I have been trying to avoid it.
Unfortunately, things have a way of changing my mind. I really want to talk about an incident that happened recently in Fallujah. Some of you may have heard that a U.S. Marine shot and killed what appeared to be an unarmed and defenseless civilian who was hiding in a Mosque. This incident would be tragic enough in itself. But to makes things far worse, we have video.
The video is not fun to watch and and if the Marine in question is found guilty of violating the rules of engagement, he should be punished. And I’m sure he will. I may not necessarily agree with his actions, but I can understand them. Our troops are thousands of miles away doing a job that no Congressmen or Senator would let their son do. It is a brutal and often terrifying conflict that must, at times, be what many imagine hell to be like.
This incident, I feel, is just one of those things that happens during war. You might not be able to defend the Marine’s actions on a moral basis, but you have to understand them on a Psychological one. Do I condone cold-blooded murder? Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t think that’s what this was.
Try fighting house to house where at any second someone could pop out and kill you or the next car you stop could explode in your face. Try doing this for months and months longer than anyone predicted with no end in sight. Then, try to understand that most of these soldiers are just kids who have never been in combat before against an enemy like this. Then, try to judge them. You can’t. We can’t.
Compare his actions with the things done at Abu Ghraib and you can see the difference. One is a judgment made under the extremist of circumstances, under the most horrific of conditions with only a fraction of a second to decide and the other is premeditated abuse and murder of prisoners who our soldiers were supposed to be protecting and caring for. I hope you will be able to see the difference.
And finally, as if the hypocrisy couldn’t get any bigger, the reporter who first blogged the story and who shot the video, Kevin Sites, is now getting death threats and verbal abuse. Come on people, he is just reporting what he saw and that’s all. It’s the people at Al Jazerra or the other networks that spin the story for their own uses that should be condemned.
Well, I tried to be upbeat but it just didn’t work. At least I learned how to spell Fallujah.