War is Hell

I have mixed feelings about what photojournalist Kevin Sites did with regard to the video he shot of the US Marine shooting a wounded, though potentially booby trapped, terrorist (Sorry, I refuse to call these animals “insurgents”). When you read his blog, he comes across a little bit lefty and a whole lot pompous. On the one hand, he has a duty as journalist to report what happens. On the other hand, he has a duty as an American to not do anything to endanger the lives of the young soldiers and marines that he’s embedded with. If it were me, I would’ve buried the story. This can do nothing but hurt our cause to bring freedom to Iraq. I’m just a civilian, so take it from people who know better that when in the heat of battle, you don’t take chances and give the enemy the benefit of the doubt. Fool me once, but not twice. It’s a safety issue. Doubt will kill either you or the other guys fighting with you. Especially if you give the benefit of the doubt to despicable group of people (term used lightly here) who fake surrender, suicide bomb, booby-trap dead or injured bodies, hide behind civilians, use supposedly “holy” religious sites and hospitals as sanctuaries and armories, and, oh yeah, decapitate innocent civilians on video. Let us not forget that Fallujah was where the American contractors were killed and their charred bodies were hung from a bridge to the delight of a crowd. And also remember one very important point, and this is only one major difference between the good guys and the bad guys: If this Marine did anything wrong, he will face justice. He’s already been pulled out of the battlefield. The terrorists meanwhile commit suicide and pass judgment according to some twisted, fundamentalist, Islamic logic. Logic that almost always ends up in a prisoner, whether or not they are a combatant, getting the death sentence.

The latest case in point is CARE worker Margaret Hassan’s murder. In cold blood. Not in any heat of battle. Like all the others, it was filmed and sent to Al Jazeera. She was an aide worker. She was Iraqi. She even opposed the war. Instead of this gruesome act making headlines in the Arab media, Al Jazeera instead decides to put the Marine incident on heavy rotation.

Note: That AP article on Yahoo linked to on the line above is truly disturbing. From the lead-in calling the Marine action “chilling” to the quotes from various Arabs and the “journalistic objectivity” portrayed in the reaction by the Al Jazeera anchor. The most precious quote is from some Jordanian car rental clerk: “The Americans are criminals, they don’t distinguish between a mosque and their places of battle….” Is that a joke or are people that stupid? The rhetoric and illogic continues to boggle the mind.

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