Friday, May 26, 2006

Our Country's Folly

This is going to go down as one of the most shameful periods in our nation's history. It makes me nostalgic for A Few Good Men. No, not the nutty actor, but the ideal.
Don't Become Them - New York Times: "The investigation indicates that members of the Third Battalion, First Marines, lost it after one of their men was killed by a roadside bomb, going on a vengeful killing spree over about five hours, shooting five men who had been riding in a taxi and mowing down the residents of two nearby houses.

They blew off the Geneva Conventions, following the lead of the president's lawyer.

It was inevitable. Marines are trained to take the hill and destroy the enemy. It is not their forte to be policemen while battling a ghostly foe, suicide bombers, ever more ingenious explosive devices, insurgents embedded among civilians, and rifle blasts fired from behind closed doors and minarets. They don't know who the enemy is. Is it a pregnant woman? A child? An Iraqi policeman? They don't know how to win, or what a win would entail.

Gen. Michael Hagee, the Marine Corps commandant, who has flown to Iraq to talk to his troops about 'core values' in the wake of Haditha and a second incident being investigated, noted that the effect of this combat 'can be numbing.'

A new A&E documentary chronicles the searing story of the marines of Lima Company, 184 Ohio reservists who won 59 Purple Hearts, 23 posthumously. Sgt. Guy Zierk recounts kicking in a door after an insurgent attack. Enraged over the death of his pals, he says he nearly killed two women and a 16-year-old boy. 'I am so close, so close to shooting, but I don't.' he says. 'It would make me no better than the people we're trying to fight.'

Retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, one of those who called for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation, told Chris Matthews that blame for Haditha and Abu Ghraib lay with 'the incredible strain bad decisions and bad judgment is putting on our incredible military.'

While it was nice to hear President Bush admit he had made mistakes, he was talking mostly about mistakes of tone. Saying he wanted Osama bin Laden 'dead or alive' would have been O.K. if he had acted on it, rather than letting Osama go at Tora Bora and diverting the Army to Iraq."
It took a while, but her claws did come out. So, bin Forgotten is traipsing around five years after 9/11 and all we have to show for it are some incriminating photos, collateral damage of thousands of innocent civilians, some deliberately and with malice aforethought, plus worldwide condemnation? What's up with that?

Is this the American ideal (not Idol!) you want to be proud of? Are you sure?

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