Sunday, June 04, 2006

Really, nothing in the news in the last several years has infuriated me as much as the "Haditha massacre" story now dancing its way through the media. It's not that I don't believe that Marines could have done such a thing--it's the eagerness of the media and left-wing politicians the world over to believe it with only the dubious "confirmation" of apparent insurgent sympathizers.. In one sense the story is highly revealing, because it exposes the "We hate the war but we don't hate the troops" mantra from the Left as a lie: If you are ready to believe the most horrible stories about someone with only the flimsiest of evidence, then don't tell me you're not predisposed to hate them.

I have a problem with the whole massacre meme primarily because the accusers can't seem to get their story straight.

VERSION # 1: Bush's Fault. This is the one used by most Democratic politicians like John Murtha who don't want to be seen as obviously hostile to the troops. As the version goes, the Marines simply snapped and went crazy after the multiple deployments forced on them by the evil Bush administration:

"I feel that the tremendous pressure and the redeployment over and over again is a big part of this.

"These guys are under tremendous strain, more strain than I can conceive of. And this strain has caused them to crack in situations like this"

VERSION # 2: "Execution." Eagerly picked up on by the insurgents and their sympathizers: The Iraqi civilians were killed "execution-style" in "cold blood". This is the version preferred by the international Left, which doesn't need to pretend that it cares about American troops. In this version, the heartless Marines calmly went around shooting Iraqi civilians "execution-style".

VERSION # 3: The bound prisoners.The ridiculous June 1st story ("Massacre Marines Blinded by Hate") in the London Times--devastated by Michelle Malkin so thoroughly that it got an almost immediate apology from the editor-- featured a photo--captioned "Victims at al-Haditha"--of dead Iraqis lying on the ground against a wall, hands tied, clearly having been shot. Even someone with the most minimal knowledge of the story would notice that these couldn't possibly be the alleged November 2005 Haditha victims. There would be absolutely no point in the middle of a "massacre" for the Marines to stop and tie people up before shooting them. Clearly--one would think that it would be obvious to a child--these were people who had been imprisoned and were taken out to be shot.

The Times editor, Gerard Baker, admitted that they had used an AP photograph from a 2004 execution by Sunni insurgents in Haditha of 19 Shia fishermen.

The problem with all of these versions is that they are EXTREMELY hard to reconcile with each other. So I want to know: Which story do they want to stick with?

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