Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Killing subhumans

Boys and girls, some of you will remember that Spotty talked about the inevitability of atrocities taking place in Iraq in a post he called Avoiding the kick. In another post virtually guaranteed to anger Dave, more on that today.

Eric Margolis, a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Sun, wrote an op-ed piece a few days ago called Massacre of civilians was inevitable. Here are the opening grafs:
NEW YORK -- Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and now a new name on the roster of shame, Haditha.

Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment was patrolling the Iraqi town of Haditha last November when a roadside bomb killed one of its members. Kilo's men allegedly burst into the nearest house and gunned down 24 men, women and children cowering inside.

Accused of initially trying to cover up this killing (and other civilian killings in Iraq), the military last month began conducting a criminal investigation.

Many Americans are outraged and are demanding the Marines involved and superior officers face prosecution.

The U.S. military responded with sensitivity sessions about "core values." What a sick joke. Anyone who needs such instruction belongs in jail, not the armed forces.

If Kilo Company's men did murder 24 civilians, they must face trial for murder, and their superior officers for covering it up. But the soldiers' punishment should be mitigated by the fact they were sent into a dirty guerilla war fought in the middle of a largely hostile civilian population in which such atrocities are inevitable. [italics are Spot’s]

Your ol’ friend Spotty just loves it when somebody with a lot more experience that Spot agrees with him:

Iraq -- and the campaign in Afghanistan -- are just like typical 20th-century colonial guerilla wars. Faced with frequent sniping, mines, ambushes and treachery by supposed local "allies," even the best-trained occupation armies soon became brutalized, sadistic, cynical, then demoralized.

I have witnessed this same pattern in every guerilla war I covered or observed: Algeria, Vietnam, Kashmir, Angola, Namibia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Chechnya, Kurdistan, South Africa, Kosovo and the Palestinian territories.

Villages that sheltered rebels were destroyed, hostages shot. Civilians quickly became identified with the enemy and considered fair game for increasingly trigger-happy troops.

Margolis concludes with this:
The real blame for Haditha, of course, belongs to an administration that plunged the U.S. into an unnecessary, no-win war in Iraq, and with Pentagon brass. And with those senior Washington officials who spit on the Geneva Conventions and laws of war and telegraphed their contempt right down the line. [italics are Spot’s]

Which brings Spotty to a correspondent in today’s Star Tribune:
So David Luban is concerned about the force used in the killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ("No need to be at war with the law in Iraq," June 19)?

He says the United States should have captured Al-Zarqawi and turned him over to the Iraqi government to administer its own justice rather than bombing his hideout.

Luban does not realize just how dangerous a job it is for our great military to have to locate, fight and eliminate these less-than-human killers. Rather than be captured alive, Al-Zarqawi more than likely would have put up a fierce fight before blowing himself up. Bombing and killing this madman was the best course of action to take; it greatly reduced the risk to ground forces. [italics are Spot’s]

To the fighter pilot who dropped the bombs, I say "Job well done!"


The moment you define your enemy, and the people he lives with, as less than human, the atrocity will naturally follow. This doesn’t happen to any but a few of our service people. But it only takes a few.


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