Battlepanda: Guilty of calling a spade a spade


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Guilty of calling a spade a spade

Predictably, the usual suspects on the right-wing has gone into a lather over Murtha's statements regarding Haditha. More precisely, he said that the marines involved in that incident had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood”.

Is that really such a controversial statement given what has transpired? First, the military tried to claim in November that the civilians were killed in an insurgent attack. Then they admitted that they lied their initial assessment did not conform with what happened. They next story was that the civilians were killed in a firefight, which does not jibe with the video showing no bullet holes outside of the house. Now the military is not saying much at all. But given the volumous accounts from Iraqis on the ground of victims, including children, being shot in their nightcloths at close range and an unnamed commander in the military admitting that "this one is going to be ugly" and that it appears the marines did not follow the rules of engagement, is what Murtha said so implausable as to be characterized as a pack of lies?

I have two questions for this representative of the 101st chairborne division: given the facts we already know and the statements already released by the military, can you give me a viable scenario in which the marines in question did not shoot the civilians, including a three year old girl, in cold blood? Secondly, you called Murtha a "sellout" and a "traitor" who deserved to be "ridiculed, excoriated and frog-marched off Capitol Hill, then remanded to jail. No bail." because he commented on an ongoing investigation. I don't suppose that it crossed your mind that he might know more about the case than you do. If it turns out that Murtha is right and you have wrongly maligned an upright American, honorable marine and public servant, are you even going to have the decency to apologize, or are you going to shrug your shoulders and move on to the next feeding frenzy? Just a bunch of dead Iraqis after all

Ali, 76, whose left leg was amputated years ago because of diabetes, died after being shot in the stomach and chest. His wife, Khamisa, 66, was shot in the back. Ali's son, Jahid, 43, was hit in the head and chest. Son Walid, 37, was burned to death after a grenade was thrown into his room, and a third son, 28-year-old Rashid, died after he was shot in the head and chest, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Also among the dead were son Walid's wife, Asma, 32, who was shot in the head, and their son Abdullah, 4, who was shot in the chest, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Walid's 8-year-old daughter, Iman, and his 6-year-old son, Abdul-Rahman, were wounded and U.S. troops took them to Baghdad for treatment. The only person who escaped unharmed was Walid's 5-month-old daughter, Asia. The three children now live with their maternal grandparents, Rsayef and Hamza said.

Rsayef said those killed in the second house were his brother Younis, 43, who was shot in the stomach and chest, the brother's wife Aida, 40, who was shot in the neck and chest while still in bed where she was recuperating from bladder surgery. Their 8-year-old son Mohammed bled to death after being shot in the right arm, Rsayef said.

Also killed were Younis's daughters, Nour, 14, who was shot in the head; Seba, 10, who was hit in the chest; Zeinab, 5, shot in the chest and stomach; and Aisha, 3, who was shot in the chest. Hoda Yassin, a visiting relative, was also killed, Rsayef and Hamza said.

The only survivor from Younis's family was his 15-year-old daughter Safa, who pretended she was dead. She is living with her grandparents, Rsayef said.