Skip to comments.RUSH TO JUDGMENT BELIES THE MARINES WE KNOW
Posted on 06/20/2006 4:43:44 PM PDT by neverdem
COMMENTARY ON THE RIGHT
What we have here is (a) failure to communicate.
That famous line from the 1967 Paul Newman classic, Cool Hand Luke, might well apply to Iraq today, and specifically, to Haditha, where U.S. Marines are alleged to have massacred innocent Iraqi civilians last November.
Not only do we not know what happened in Haditha, but weve failed to communicate effectively to the rest of the world what we do know: that our Marines always deserve the benefit of the doubt. And that if something did go terribly wrong in Haditha, it was a rare exception.
The failure to communicate responsibly and strategically in this case, coupled with the rush to judgment in the international court of public opinion, has hurt not only the Marines under investigation, but also all our military men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The drill is too familiar by now. The action begins with someone making an accusation; next come the cameras and the media saturation; and, voila: we have a conviction before we have a formal charge.
Whether the alleged perpetrators are prison guards at Abu Ghraib, lacrosse players at Duke University or Marines in Haditha, we are predisposed to assume guilt.
In Iraq, we might add to our failure to communicate a failure of confidence in ourselves and of faith in our own. Given that Haditha is dense with insurgents whose tactics do not come from the Marine Corps playbook, is it possible that they, not we, killed the civilians, or that they used them as human shields? Is it also possible that some of our Marines lost control and did the worst? Of course. Prolonged exposure to combat takes a toll on the human psyche.
Even so, todays Marines are as well trained and disciplined as any fighting force in human history. What is alleged to have happened simply doesnt jibe with what we know about the Corps in general and about Haditha in particular.
Consider this recent letter from Capt. Andrew D. Lynch, commanding officer of India Co. (3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines), written from Haditha to friends and family of India Company:
The Marines immediately recognized the key to success would be to establish themselves as the dominant entity in the city, the alpha male, who by their professionalism and aggressive posture would foster trust with the local population and command respect from our enemy.
The type of fight India Company is engaged in requires a special brand of fighter. Brash displays of firepower and unharnessed aggression are not only ineffective but also counterproductive. Self-discipline, tireless vigilance, prudent judgment and the patience of a hunter are the most valued skills, and Marines have learned to trust the hairs on the back of their neck more than anything else.
We dont know what we dont know, but those Marines dont sound like the kind of men who would knowingly mow down 24 innocent men, women and children.
Thats what we should be communicating to the world instead of allowing a tiny minority to define us or telegraphing to our enemies that our military needs ethics training.
Not that continuing education isnt always a good idea. In that spirit, perhaps Lynch could perform some alpha male training with certain faithless officers next time hes in Washington.
©2006 Tribune Media Services
To reach Kathleen Parker, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think the whole thing was a set-up from beginning to end, Just like the shelling in gaza.
I also think John Murtha should look into retirement.
Perhaps an asisted living home. He sure has no business walking around unattended.
I'm not going to believe these Marines are guilty unless I see iron-clad evidence. And I don't think I will.
All of the people who mouth the platitude "I support our troops" should have this one rammed down their throats.
I think Murtha and a few others should face a firing squad after being tried for treason, Hopeful thinking on my part.
Wrong.....John Murtha has far more justification to pull an Adm. Jeremy Michael Boordah - than did Adm. Boordah.
But, knowing the shameless Murtha doesn't have the character to off himself -- he should be tried for his traitorous stupidity... Semper Fi
IMHO Murtha is short one blanket party
Before anyone judge them, one must walk a mile in their shoes.
Rest of the world? Even the U.S. media has the Marines in question, tried and convicted of murder.
I agree with you, when I first heard the story the FIRST thought that came to mind was, set up.