olio

"How long do you have to get hit in the head before you start asking who's hitting you in the head?"

Friday, June 02, 2006

A Terrible Admission

I didn’t want to post about Haditha or any of the other, similar stories that are currently making headlines. I didn’t want to think about them, even. But I can’t stop, and I’m overwhelmed with emotion: I feel for the young men and women who fight to survive in a hostile land, and I seethe with anger toward those who sent them there. And I think about the countless “official” reports I’ve read of death in Iraq, each so similar to this one:
The bombing in Haditha on Saturday was aimed at a convoy of American marines and Iraqi soldiers, a Marine spokesman, Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, said. After the explosion, gunmen opened fire on the convoy. At least eight insurgents were killed in the firefight, the captain said.
or this one, filed just a day later:
On Sunday, the Marine Corps said 15 Iraqi civilians and a marine were killed the previous day when a roadside bomb exploded in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. At least 11 other Iraqis were killed or discovered dead on Sunday in various incidents, and military officials reported the deaths of two more Americans and a British soldier.
And whenever I read such reports in the future, I fear that a little part of me will wonder: Is that what really happened?


There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense; for war is the slaughter of human beings, temporarily regarded as enemies, on as large a scale as possible. [Jeanette Rankin, 1929]

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