Friday, June 02, 2006

Haditha Everyday...

...but the perpetrators wear no uniforms. They justify their attacks by insisting either the murdered civilians are all "enemy" or that those the mujihadeen kill by accident, since they are waging a holy war, will all go to heaven. They do not prosecute offenders. They do not pay compensation for destruction of people and property. But, demonstrated by their targets and number of dead, these are no accidents or even "revenge", but coldly planned attacks against civilians.

Bombs kill 4, wound 50 in Baghdad

Two bombs tore through a crowded marketplace in central Baghdad on Friday, killing at least four people and wounding 50 others, police said.

The site was a pet market, where vendors sell dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and other animals.

As you can see, the mujihadeen think that a pet market where people are bound to bring their children, makes an excellent strategic target. This was no accident. Two rounds were fired into the market. Once a spotter verified the first mortar was on target and many people had rushed to the area to assist the wounded, the second mortar was already on its way.

This happens everyday. It's on our local news and international news. Whether it is four killed and 50 wounded or 900 dead after bombers cause a stampede on a bridge over a river (which surely included men, women and children on a massive scale), the enemy routinely targets and murders civilians with no compunction or mercy. They have no ROEs. They do not practice fire control and, often, their version of civil affairs include extrajudicial trials for something as simple as shaving, torture and execution for suspected collaborators.

This is neither to defend nor abrogate anything that may or may not have occured in Haditha during operations by Marines with their Iraqi counterparts. Nor is it meant to conflate the Haditha incident with the continuing atrocities committed by insurgents every day. Though I could speculate along with the many others or try to piece together all the information with commentary, I believe there is not enough information to make any judgement on the incident. I sustpect, whatever the outcome of the investigation, neither the overzealous "My Lai" slobbers nor those defending the Marines will be happy with the outcome. Whatever it is, even if the Marines are exonerated, the damage from the incident is already done in the realm of the information war.

However, it is important to remember that we have over 135,000 troops in theater. Hundreds of patrols occur every day. Everything from armed security patrols to raids to convoys to building schools and clinics, etc, etc, etc. Even reports such as these hardly indicate an endemic problem within the entire military structure or with the ethics or training of the entire armed forces. The fact that military commanders are going to Iraq and Afghanistan to review "ethics" with our forces. It is important to re-enforce expectations when in difficult and confusing situations. It is important to insure that all parts of the military understand the mission. In a counterinsurgency, this includes restrictive ROEs based on AOs (area of operations) and tailored towards fighting a counterinsurgency.

When we hear over inflated, breathless pronouncements about the probability of many Haditha's that have gone unreported and unpunished, agree with them and remind them that the enemy commits a "Haditha" everyday with little or no reporting, no whining about the terribleness of the enemy's actions by either their supporters or the opposition here, no oversight or punishment of the "perpetrators" beyond our service members going out, facing bombs, shootings, diseases and many other attacks, in order to protect the people of Iraq and their fellow soldiers, bringing these men to justice.

Hamza Khair al-Aini, accused of killing dozens of Iraqi civilians and security forces, was hiding in the town of Abu Saydah north of Baghdad, where police said they caught him. They found a bloody saw and clothes in his hideout, the ministry said.

The ministry's statement did not say when the arrest took place.

The statement came a day after Iraq announced its forces had arrested Ahmed Hussein Dabash Samir al-Batawi, another "key terrorist," on Monday

Al-Batawi was involved in the March 2004 bombing of Karbala that killed more than 140 Iraqis, most of them Shiite pilgrims, according to Iraqi and U.S. military officials.

For another perspective on ROEs and the Marines of Haditha, read here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are responsible for those deaths without any sense, the world hates you and continue their war with their damn dumb excuses to kill innocent people destroying lives away families ...
Ball idiots