Marines 'to face charges over the Haditha massacre'
By Toby Harnden
"Pentagon officials confirmed that 24 civilians, rather than the previous given figure of 15, died in Haditha, in western Iraq, last November when troops from Kilo Company, of the 3rd Bn, 1st Marine Regiment, apparently ran amok after one of their men was killed."
While there will be some who will want to blame the troops, please remember that well trained, and disciplined troops, led by competent commanders do not "run amok". Blame here lies squarely on a flawed policy and failed leadership that starts at the top.
"Duncan Hunter, the Republican chairman of the House armed services committee, has said that he will hold public hearings on the incident, which appears to have been covered up initially by those involved."
While this incident will certainly cast an unfavorable light on the Marines and lead to questions about "command and control" in the field, the Bush Administration has an even greater concern:
"The Bush administration fears that the growing scandal over the shootings could lead to war crimes trials and a wave of international condemnation that will further diminish support for the Iraq war in the run-up to the mid-term congressional elections."
Chad (The Left) Shue