Pochacco, you raise perfectly valid points.
However, you’re blaming the victims here. Oh, the poor poor wretched soldiers, driven to the brink. Why, those filthy little you-know-whats, they practically had it coming !
Please. The finger, it only gets pointed in one direction, ok? I pray you’re not blaming the torn up bits of flesh that’s all that is left of the people murdered… ? There’s this little thing called “accountability”. Odd word, I know, when talking about our mighty mighty armed forces and yet… we dream.
This is the modern-day Dayenu, the song sung on Passover. ( Dayenu means, " It would have been enough".
If the jarheads had killed the insurgent hiding in the house, it would have been enough.
If they had inadvertently shot a civillian while doing so, it would have been enough.
If they had shot in large mortars and killed a family while blowing up the house where a known insurgent was hiding who had just bombed their unit, it would have been enough.
If any of those things actually occurred, it would have been enough. Incredibly, none of those things occurred because there WAS NO INSURGENT ANYWHERE TO KILL IN THAT HOUSE.
If the jarheads killed all of those civillians and paid off the families ( they did. ), it would have been enough.
If they killed the civillians and paid off the families and then their immediate superiors found out and immediately launched a thorough and vigorous investigation, it would have been enough.
If the truth had come out weeks afterwards, late as that might be considering the survivor’s testimony already videotaped, the Marines who have spoken, the video footage and still photos, it would have been enough.
However… since it took many months and a newspaper article to out the story, uncover the cover-up, point the finger of light and truth towards the United States Marine Corps who had a chain of command dedicated to hiding the truth regardin this even, yanno what? It isn’t enough.
They won’t be killed as murderers, though apparently that is one recourse available in military prosecutions. They won’t even serve time in jail. They’re the Few, the Proud. The White House is aching to take a pass on this and if they get their way, that is exactly what shall happen.
Folks want to strut around proclaiming how the World’s Penultimate Leader In Military Force And Might And Right is over there, doing their dandiest? Goodie. I think the world just saw a prime example of their dandies and you know what?
It leaves me singularly unimpressed. As soldiers, as humans and as Americans, the Marines appear to have screwed the pooch. Interesting that you brought up My Lai. I’ve no doubt that will be the core of the defense that gets each and every one of them off scot-free.
We read it here first. The My Lai Syndrome. Excellent…
To answer the question asked directly by DiosaBellissima, yes. Absolutely. It is a complete culture of disrespect, disregard and disengagement from one’s fellow human. How can I say such a thing?
Why, look at the immediate response. Not a small investigation involving ONLY those Marines. They’re launching Core Values Training in Iraq. In the field. Why? Because it’s not just 9 or so Marines.
It is a culture. This is what is so painful to witness. We learned nothing from My Lai, except how to cover up, so the next time ( read: right now, in Iraq ) we could cover up for longer, and more efficiently.
The culture that demands respect and fear has gone homicidal, and that is so very sad. Sad indeed. For surely, if the DOD and Marine Commandant felt it was such an isolated incident involving 9 renegades, there would be absolutely NO NEED for Core Values Training.