Thursday, June 01, 2006

Haditha

I've been following this story for some time now...

Recently, Martin Terrazas, father of Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas, the Marine killed in the IED attack in Haditha speaks out about the alleged incident:

Exactly what happened that day remains unclear. Miguel Terrazas’ father, Martin, said the Marines his son fought with told him that after the car bomb exploded the Marines took a defensive position around his son’s battered vehicle. Insurgents immediately started shooting from nearby buildings, and the insurgents were using women and children as human shields, Martin said he was told.

The Marines shot back because “it was going to be them or” the insurgents, Martin said of what his son’s fellow Marines briefly described to him.

“It’s very hard for me, I don’t even listen to the news,” Terrazas said of reports of the mass killings.

Marine officials initially gave the same story, that 15 civilians were killed Nov. 19 in the explosion and a subsequent firefight that also killed eight insurgents. Several months later Time magazine and then Arab television stations obtained a videotape of the scene, showing the bodies of women and children. The video, Iraqis’ accounts of the day and other emerging details sparked a criminal investigation.

Terrazas said he has met with many from his son’s unit who told him they did only what was necessary to survive. He wouldn’t say when he spoke with them.

“Those Marines just did their job,” he said. “Some of these kids were saying, ‘We have to live with it’.”

Former Marine Luis Terrazas, Miguel’s uncle, said Marines are trained to stay cool under pressure. “Jarheads don’t just go out and kill because they get frustrated,” Luis Terrazas said. “Their training is exquisite. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Please note the “Iraqis’ accounts.” Let’s see, if I have to choose who I’m going to believe, since I’m not involved with the actual investigation and only have media reports to go from, I’ll believe the Marines loooooong before I’ll believe the Iraqis from Haditha. As I’ve said before, nobody–not Time magazine, not Murtha, not the New York Times, and not the Arab media–nobody knows what actually happened except those who were present. Even the young Marine, Lance Cpl James Crossan, who was injured in the IED attack that killed Lance Cpl Terrazas, doesn’t know–he didn’t even know about it until February, and even then just from the media reports.

To the “antiwar” left who hold this ALLEGED incident up as somehow symbolic: you make me sick. For all you or any of us know, those Marines may have been totally justified in their actions, as Martin Terrazas’ commentary might indicate. Until there has been a complete investigation and disposition of the case, I would certainly rather err on the side of "innocent until proven guilty" rather than vice-versa. The soldiers in Iraq are risking their lives for us; I have tremendous respect, admiration, and appreciation for them and what they are doing. So, before you start holding this up as something to wave your “antiwar” flags over lets get the facts straight. You were wrong about Ilario Pantano. You were wrong about Newsweek’s “Koran flushing” story. But that doesn’t matter, does it? Because if you can turn public opinion towards your point of view; regardless of American lives at stake; that’s all that matters, right?

“All it does is make our jobs harder out here,” said Capt. Andrew Del Gaudio, commander of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. “Every Iraqi will assume Marines will act like that. It’s a perception that in this part of the world is hard to overcome.”

War is hell. Civilian casualties sometimes do occur.

Worse, they might have even been authorized by your very government...anyone recall Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

For those of you who will mistakely read into this that I condone executing innocent civilians: Try this for further explanation; it may help you understand.

I certainly don't condone military attacks on civilians in any way, shape, or form and I'm not saying something terrible didn't happen in Haditha. But, given the town's history, I'm also unprepared to accept that some don't want to make as much of this as they can for propaganda purposes. I hope the military gets the report out soon, no matter how bad. Everyone deserves to know the full truth.

9 Comments:

Blogger KMAN said...

The problem with today's media is that they will twist any story in favor to sell copies. Whatever the spin is to make the bottom line, often times before verification. The ITV video seems too rehearsed and a muslim girl would not be showing her body to strangers. I, too, believe the Marines over anything the iraqi's might say. And for the general U.S. public, WAR IS HELL AND PEOPLE DIE! That's how it is. Better them than us.
Not that I agree with this war, but we have to stand behind our military!

And That's What I Think!

2/6/06 14:49  
Anonymous Sabo said...

Wow! That was a timely response. I guess this is where people should message you to carry on the “good old days” dialogue that we used to in email. This sounds to me just to be a “casualty of war” and it is always better them than us. Our government sent them over there so they should just accept that crap like that will happen to the civilians in iraq<--(Does not deserve to be capitalized). I wish we would go back to carpet bombing and show them what civilian casualties are. It used to be a hell of a lot worse than what it is now. (+ +) (+ +)<--(enemy) Two civilian brethren of mine had two separate successful enemy combatant encounters this week and won. Good job guys keep sharp and safe.

Oh, by the way. I have still been lurking the net. I have just been Gaming a lot on the Xbox 360. I noticed the "Ministry of Truth" declaration had a hint of Halo in it. Are you a player or is this a coincidence.

3/6/06 08:10  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

I'm not trying to defend the indefensible...

I just keep seeing references to this as an unprovoked attack. Regardless of what happened, unless there was no bomb, unless Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas wasn't really killed, unless Lance Cpl. James Crossan wasn't really wounded, there was a provocation that the Marines responded too. To the best of my knowledge, no one disputes the IED attack that started this incident, and no one disputes that civilians were killed. It seems indisputable that the attack was indeed provoked - a point that's actually a substantial factor in answering other questions regarding the ensuing events.

It's not semantics, there's a distinction between provoked and unprovoked...it doesn't excuse illegal action, but it is a fact that seems to be left out by the media. I've actually been to Haditha, it's not a nice place. I also don't recall any media outrage over the nineteen Iraqis murdered at the Haditha soccer stadium by insurgents. Why the big fuss now? Oh yeah, because the military are the ones accused.

There's another Arabic language interview of the child who survived. She was saying that she had put her fingers in her ears because she knew the IED was going to explode and make a loud noise. If the surviving girl knew the IED was about to go off, who in the house told her. If someone in the house told her then they can no longer be defined as innocent. Can they?

Briscoe, the "Ministry of Truth" reference was an allusion to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four..."Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" :)

3/6/06 09:56  
Anonymous Zelda said...

I am not about to judge these marines. They are fighting an cowardly enemy who purposely blends into crowds of civillians. All bets are off as far as guerilla warfare goes, but for some unexplainable reason, we are holding our soldiers to standards that will ensure their deaths, while the uniformless enemy gets a free pass. It is so shameful and disgusting. I hate Bush for not standing up for them. He should pardon them immediately just to let people know that you are never going to be safe as long as terrorists are in your midst, because if they don't kill you, we will.

3/6/06 10:42  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

This just in...

Military clears troops in Ishaqi raid investigation

The U.S. military said Saturday that it had found no wrongdoing by American troops accused of intentionally killing civilians during a raid in a village north of Baghdad that left up to 13 Iraqis dead.

The investigation of the attack in Ishaqi concluded that the U.S. troops followed normal procedures in raising the level of force after they came under fire while approaching a building where they believed an al-Qaida terrorist was hiding.

3/6/06 13:24  
Anonymous kevin federline's wife said...

If I wasn't pregnant again I'd soooo do a USO show for the troops. :)

3/6/06 22:37  
Anonymous Sarah said...

There can be zero tolerance for anything close to what has been talked about in Haditha, but the military had this well in hand with two investigations underway. While a look at any possible tragedies is appropriate this should not devolve into open season turning every combat action we have undertaken into a masssacre until proven otherwise.

7/6/06 09:33  
Anonymous MRE said...

Here's my unpopular view of Haditha.

What the Left (and other worthless institutions like the UN, etc.) are doing is to force Marines — and every other branch of our military — to fight a war as though it were a rough football match, with rules and penalties and punts from their own end zone if they hurt someone during the game.

Here’s the problem: War is not a game, and by its very nature, it demands that people be hurt.

To paraphrase a great saying, “The more brutal war is, the sooner it will be over.” Once war begins, the only option is absolute and total victory. Total vanquishing of the enemy. There can be no in between, no waffling of purpose, no “playing nice.”

It’s easy for you here in the States, fat and happy in your recliner, to say those Marines killed in cold blood. Here’s my response: How dare you? Have you ever talked to someone just before their head exploded? Have you had to wipe your friend’s brains off your face? Have you risked your own life to save someone else? Do you even have a clue how you would react in that situation? I’ll give you a hint: You don’t have a damn idea.

We train our boys – and they are boys, so many of them – to kill the enemy somewhere else so we don’t have enemies in our homes, killing our children. We train these men to do the job that needs to be done because most of America doesn’t have the stomach for it. These boys and men volunteer to do something we can never fathom, and we have no right to tell them how to do their job if we have never stood in their boots, covered in the blood of our friends.

In order to win a war, you must destroy the enemy’s will to fight. This is accepted fact. The terrorists know this, and they are well on their way to destroying our will. Even while they attack our cities and kill our innocents, we scream that “American troops must take the high road! We must not torture! We must not strike the enemy preemptively! We must only react to them if fired upon!”

If it comes out that those Marines did kill women and children, I will still support them.

7/6/06 10:52  
Anonymous CPL M said...

Terrorists can be women, they can be children. There’s no law saying terrorists are only Arab males between 17-30. They have no right to tell soldiers in a combat zone that they have to answer to them back in the States about their actions in a combat zone against an enemy that takes any form, uses any tactic, and breaks every rule.

The Iraqi is always an innocent civilian in the press though, although they only publish the family members accounts stating that they were not an insurgents or terrorists. Of course, they’ll say that. I can’t tell you how many times, when I was with 1st Cavalry in Baghdad, I heard that when we’d catch terrorists IN THE ACT, then raid their home. The remaining family members would insist that the man we had wasn’t a terrorist. The weapons he were caught with weren’t his. He only shot at us because he was scared. Oddly enough, the only people the media refer to as sources of this allegation are conveniently tied into the whole incident; the family and the neighbors. The neighbor just happened to have his door knocked on as well. AND the weapon the Marines “planted” belonged to him. Interesting…

7/6/06 11:36  

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