Shock and Awe

This piece by Arwa Damon is worth reading:

It actually took me a while to put all the pieces together — that I know these guys, the U.S. Marines at the heart of the alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians in Haditha.

I don’t know why it didn’t register with me until now. It was only after scrolling through the tapes that we shot in Haditha last fall, and I found footage of some of the officers that had been relieved of their command, that it hit me.

I know the Marines that were operating in western al Anbar, from Husayba all the way to Haditha. I went on countless operations in 2005 up and down the Euphrates River Valley. I was pinned on rooftops with them in Ubeydi for hours taking incoming fire, and I’ve seen them not fire a shot back because they did not have positive identification on a target.

***

I was with them in Husayba as they went house to house in an area where insurgents would booby-trap doors, or lie in wait behind closed doors with an AK-47, basically on suicide missions, just waiting for the Marines to come through and open fire. There were civilians in the city as well, and the Marines were always keenly aware of that fact. How they didn’t fire at shadows, not knowing what was waiting in each house, I don’t know. But they didn’t.

And I was with them in Haditha, a month before the alleged killings last November of some 24 Iraqi civilians.

I’m told that investigators now strongly suspect a rampage by a small number of Marines who snapped after one of their own was killed by a roadside bomb.

Haditha was full of IEDs. It seemed they were everywhere, like a minefield. In fact, the number of times that we were told that we were standing right on top of an IED minutes before it was found turned into a dark joke between my CNN team and me.

This story confirms a great deal of what I already believe (but do not know for sure), and also illustrates the benefits and the downfalls of a press that establishes a personal relationship with the subjects they cover.

I really do think Damon is probably painting the most accurate description of events (at least from the evidence I have seen)- that it was, as she wrote, “a rampage by a small number of Marines who snapped after one of their own was killed by a roadside bomb.” This is what I think happened- a small group of frazzled Marines, under a great deal of stress and pressure, lost control when one of their buddies was killed and went on a “rampage.” It does not excuse their behavior, but it does help to explain it.

What is more interesting to me is the tone of this piece- the personal nature of it, and I think that reflects what is good and bad about reporters having an intimiate knowledge of their subjects. It is possible that this reporter (and those like her), having had the experiences she did with Marines being very careful to hold their fire, being careful to avoid collateral damage, etc., may have been slower than a reporter with no experience with these Marines to pick up on the massacre. However, on the positive side, her experiences with the troops gave her a depth of experience which allowed her to write such an interesting yet careful piece such as the one linked, rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here.






203 replies
  1. 1
    Slide says:

    rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here

    no matter what the story is John manages to find some a-hole comment made by some anonymous idiot and that is perhaps supported by .05% of the population. Why? Guess its his feeble attempt to somehow discredit the left. What else does he have? The party he supported… the President he supported.. the invasion he supported.. .are all abject failures of historic proportions. Guess its time to find some strawman on the left to attack. John may have been gone for a while but his tactics never seem to change.

  2. 2
    John Cole says:

    Ummm, I am not so sure what you find objectionable about my attempts to applaud the mainstream media for good coverage.

    Perhaps it is my attempt to discredit ‘jackasses.’ I can see how that would strike a little close to home.

  3. 3
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    Agree with Slide. No one thinks this is anything like the norm, and more or less everyone assumes this is a function of a great deal of stress. No news organization that I’m aware of has reported in any fashion that isn’t consistent with the story quoted above.

    What’s worrisome is the Republican tendency to start at shadows that aren’t there, be they Dems or non-existent WMD stockpiles in Iraq. It makes for bad decisions.

  4. 4
    John S. says:

    rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here

    I love this particular technique of rhetorical flourish. There are some who say that the Marines in question were part of a larger systematic effort to commit genocide, but to date we cannot find these people…

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    I think you guys need a refresher course in what a strawman argument is…

    I was not distorting the press coverage, thereby creating a strawman. I was praising the coverage for their sensitivity, specifically highlighting this piece, as well as discussing some of the issues related to reporters being comfortable with their subjects. As a comparison (in order to demonstrate why their efforts to date were praiseworthy), I offered up what some jackasses stated in the comments as something the media could be doing, but is not.

    That you can not tell the difference between a strawman argument and praise is a reflection on you, and not an indictment of me. I really do think some of you just skim through what I write in order to find something to flame about interminably.

  6. 6
    Par R says:

    SomeCallMeTom says:

    No news organization that I’m aware of has reported in any fashion that isn’t consistent with the story quoted above.

    He then goes on to agree with Sludge’s comment that was hypercritical of John’s post. SomeCalletc. apparently missed a key part of John’s post, namely that he was talking about “…what some jackasses have done in the comments section here.” He wasn’t talking about the MSM news organizations, but rather some of the jerks that are regulars here.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    I love this particular technique of rhetorical flourish. There are some who say that the Marines in question were part of a larger systematic effort to commit genocide, but to date we cannot find these people…

    Found one:

    John, this is bullshit. This wasn’t one unbalanced guy going batshit, it was an organized unit of the US marine corps going around slaughtering civilians with impunity.

    …..and it happened six months ago, and was covered up since then—- unless the entire Marine Corps is so corrupt that everyone who knew what because they were there had happened helped to cover it up.

    Again, that you all are incapable of reading and comprehending speaks more about you than it does me.

  8. 8
    searp says:

    I agree with Murtha. The combatant troops are in an untenable position. I am waiting for a list of our Iraqi friends, for some reason I think that soon it will fit on a single piece of paper. All the others will shoot at the troops occasionally, or set IEDs.

    I had a friend who was in Iraq. I asked what he did. He said they walked around waiting to get shot. Good strategy.

  9. 9
    Krista says:

    You said “some” jackasses, so you’re going to have to provide more than one jackass in order to placate everybody, you know that right? :)

    Either way, it WAS a very well-written piece about a very tragic situation.

  10. 10
    John S. says:

    Again, that you all are incapable of reading and comprehending speaks more about you than it does me.

    Yes, because one anonymous commenter represents what, other than that one anonymous person out there is a lunatic?

    But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume that your comment was meant to be applied on a very small scale – namely the miniscule commentariat on your blog.

  11. 11
    MattM says:

    It does not excuse their behavior, but it does help to explain it.

    Why is it that so many people have so much trouble seeing this distinction?

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume that your comment was meant to be applied on a very small scale – namely the miniscule commentariat on your blog.

    Gee, John. That is really rather big of you, considering I wrote this:

    rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here.

    I am glad you are giving me the ‘benefit of the doubt.’

  13. 13
    Pooh says:

    Guys, gives John a break here, there were indeed jackasses in that thread – he directly quoted one of them above (closed circuit to John, link in the main body of the post so it’s not just ‘some people’ but ‘some people including this particular person)

    This is what I think happened- a small group of frazzled Marines, under a great deal of stress and pressure, lost control when one of their buddies was killed and went on a “rampage.” It does not excuse their behavior, but it does help to explain it.

    Just so. To be honest, and not meant as a slam on our soldiers at all, I’m surprised that this hasn’t happened more just due to the nature of the engagement.

  14. 14
    John S. says:

    Why is it that so many people have so much trouble seeing this distinction?

    I wonder how the families and friends of those murdered will reconcile the distinction.

  15. 15
    John S. says:

    Gee, John. That is really rather big of you

    Thanks. I try.

    Now let’s see how big you are in not pretending that your often ambiguous writing style that has been the source of many a fray here is not merely a lack of the comprehension of your readers.

  16. 16
    John S. says:

    * due to a lack

    Sometimes, we all don’t say exactly what we mean to.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    Now let’s see how big you are in not pretending that your often ambiguous writing style that has been the source of many a fray here is not merely a lack of the comprehension of your readers.

    There are times, more often than I would like, that what I write is sloppy or could be interpreted in many ways. Often, though, people choose to see ambiguity when there is none, and this is one of those cases. There was no ambiguity in the following statement:

    rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here.

    None whatsoever. Any misinterpretation was not the fault of the author (yours truly), but with readers coming in with their own preconceptions.

  18. 18
    John S. says:

    Any misinterpretation was not the fault of the author (yours truly), but with readers coming in with their own preconceptions.

    Well, almost big of you.

    Enough of this stupid exchange. It detracts from important matters related to this topic.

  19. 19
    Ancient Purple says:

    While I am sure that some will claim there are organized units, there are plenty on the other side that are all but excusing the actions of these Marines.

    On my way into work, I was listening to the audio feed from MSNBC on my satellite radio. The host was interviewing a former Vietnam vet (Marine) and the veteran said there was no excuse for what they did and the host was doing everything she could to get him to admit that “these things just happen sometimes.” She mentioned the emails MSNBC has received from viewer saying things like, “Well, this is war, so what do you expect?” etc.

    Sorry, but killing innocent civilians in cold blood is ALWAYS wrong. War or not. You simply don’t do it. Ever.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is insane, an idiot, or both.

  20. 20
    chefrad says:

    The fact that David Duke liked a Harvard study* of the Israeli lobby does not inavalidate the study. Similarly, the fact that “jackasses” may make hay with the story does not mean there was no massacre.

    More than that, this journalist is doing what Karl Rove deplored, seeking to understand rather than punish bad behavior. Apparently Rove was wrong in saying this was the exclusive province of Democrats.

    * Without reading it.

  21. 21
    jg says:

    You just cannot simply post and make a point. You have to drop a line in there that will satisfy…someone. Last week you dropped the superfluous Jesse Macbeth and today the shot at a lefty commenter. Its like you get to the end of your post, get concerned you sopund to much like someone who wouldn’t be getting PJ money so you toss a zinger in there. Your zingers become the post, the whole point is lost.

    I’m going to call you Saddam Cole from now on since I think you drop those one offs in there for the same reason Saddam ‘supported’ terrorism. To maintain credibility among cetain circles. Throw them a bone and they’ll fight for me if the shit goes down.

  22. 22
    ppGaz says:

    I agree with John, pretty much. Although I am not sure that taking the personal element out of reporting is either doable, or a good idea. I have no problem with personal bias as long as it is honestly presented, and consistent.

    I stand on what I said last week during the Mighty Flame War: Wait for the all the facts of this case to come out, then make judgments. Not until. Antying said in speculation or haste now is just worthless, and possibly harmful.

  23. 23
    lily says:

    It is possible to view the acts of the Marines as murder and at the same time recognize the context. The Marines are professionals. They are also volunteers. They chose to be soldiers, so, presumably, they were prepared to face the stresses. So, if found guilty, they should be punished and stress is not an excuse.

    On the other hand those who created the context for this tragedy also need to be brought to justice. To start an unnecessary war is even less unforgiveable.

  24. 24
    Par R says:

    I’m getting very concerned. Again, I find myself in substantive agreement with ppGaz, a discomforting position as always.

  25. 25

    rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here.

    Let’s see, one lone commentator says something, and that proves that everybody who is upset by this occurence is a loonie tune.

    Does the word strawman have any meaning here?

  26. 26
    canuckistani says:

    If I may, John, I see ambiguities here:

    rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here

    and

    it was an organized unit of the US marine corps going around slaughtering civilians with impunity.

    The key word here is systematically. The implication, as I see it, is that the claim is being made that massacres are taking place within the bounds of the military operations, with the implied approval of higher command. The ambiguity in the second statement lies in the word “Organized”; I see it as meaning a squad of men under an NCO, but one could read it as “A unit which has been delegated the task of killing civilians”
    Either statement can be read in different ways guaranteed to enrage either side of a debate.

    As for the reporter, I can’t tell if she’s saying “Even good men like this can crack under the strain” or “These are good boys who would never hurt a child”. I’m just seeing ambiguity everywhere today.

  27. 27

    Here, maybe you’d like some news out of Kabul, from a soldier stationed there who happens to be a dKos user.

    I have some new information for you–

    1–The truck that was involved in the fatal accident suffered a braking system failure. The report that the truck was broadsided as the primary cause seems to be erroneous, and you have my apologies, but the vehicle was apparently hit by something on one side of the cargo deck at some point.

    2–NO US forces fired into crowds of people ANYWHERE in the Kabul area. That is just flat-assed fact. One or more vehicles from the accident scene did fire a short burst over the heads of the crowd. (I don’t like warning shots in the air–they have to come down somewhere you know) Warning shots into the ground were probably not possible with all of the people around.

    Yup, those troops hating Dumbocrats are just trashing on our brave soldiers!

  28. 28
    Kimmitt says:

    I agree about the zingers; they serve to undermine the post, even if they are essentially accurate.

    That said,

    I wonder how the families and friends of those murdered will reconcile the distinction.

    I don’t expect them to. That’s why we have things like tribunals and investigations by uninterested third parties, so that people who are caught up in grief aren’t required to display saintlike comprehension in order for justice to be served.

    This only serves to demonstrate how untenable our situation in Iraq is. If combat units with the kind of experience and control this unit did commit atrocity due to combat stress . . . there just doesn’t seem to be anything resembling an end to this thing.

  29. 29
    demimondian says:

    It is possible to view the acts of the Marines as murder and at the same time recognize the context. The Marines are professionals.

    Which has nothing to do with whether they will be held accountable or not. None of us knows what combat will do to us, because it is an indescribably horrible experience. Professionalism can only help up to a point; we are all human, and each of us can break, draftee or volunteer.

    None of which means the military won’t pound these guys into the sand. Nothing excuses murder, if murders actually happened. You can be very sure that the members of any group of thugs in uniform would have been punished if they were draftees, and they will be punished if they are volunteers.

  30. 30
    Faux News says:

    It does not excuse their behavior, but it does help to explain it.

    Why is it that so many people have so much trouble seeing this distinction?

    While we can all congratulate ourselves on figuring out the motive here, I’m sure it will be utterly meaningless to the arabs and muslims in the mideast who are now outraged by this incident.

  31. 31

    I’m really not interested in this argument because both sides are jackasses.

  32. 32
    demimondian says:

    I’m sure it will be utterly meaningless to the arabs and muslims in the mideast who are now outraged by this incident

    Look, a Jackalope!

  33. 33
    ppGaz says:

    I find myself in substantive agreement with ppGaz, a discomforting position as always

    I hear ya, buddy. I feel your pain.

    Next round is on me.

  34. 34
    HyperIon says:

    john cole wrote:

    rather than simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here

    yesterday i read a comment by ppGaz about how this “screaming”

    plays right into the hands of your political enemies while at the same time providing you NO benefit whatever

    now i am NOT characterizing Cole as a political enemy. but his remarks above DO seem to be just what ppGaz was predicting.

    people on all sides do horrible things happen in war.
    for me, the military’s response to the incident is more important that discussions of how something like this could happen.

    and the initial indications are not encouraging. they convey the impression that the military is most interested in not looking bad.

    when will they learn that “tell the truth and shame the devil” is an effective PR strategy?

  35. 35
    ppGaz says:

    I don’t see how “screaming” anything about this incident, at this point, accomplishes anything on any side of any argument.

    I’m even going to go against my former trend here and say that even Jack Murtha could take it down a notch. I’ve been with Murtha on this until the last couple days, but his beating of the “who said what to whom” drum is getting on my nerves. I don’t see what possible good can come of that until all the facts are out. Unless he is just so anxious to make some hay out of the situation, which I believed he was above. Maybe I was wrong about him. In any case I think right now would be a good time for him to shut the hell up.

  36. 36
    John S. says:

    I hear ya, buddy. I feel your pain.

    Damn it, ppGaz, why can’t you just play into the stereotype that ParR has invented for you rather than break ranks with all (one?) the crazed lefties screaming about organized Marine death squads?

  37. 37
    ppGaz says:

    I don’t know, ask DougJ, he writes Par.

  38. 38
    jg says:

    I’ve been with Murtha on this until the last couple days, but his beating of the “who said what to whom” drum is getting on my nerves. I don’t see what possible good can come of that until all the facts are out.

    The only good I can see is that if he didn’t keep up about it the facts might never come out. This will be buried by a missing white woman story if the noise doesn’t get louder.

  39. 39
    ppGaz says:

    The only good I can see is that if he didn’t keep up about it the facts might never come out.

    That was one of the themes in last week’s Mother(Uncle, Godfather) Of All Flame Wars, but I don’t buy it because in March we had
    this story in March

    Considering that these guys had to be working on the story for at least a couple weeks, and given the published date on the story which is about a week ahead of real time, that means that within 90 days of the incident civilians were looking into it. Call that what you will, that is not the result of any effective coverup or big problem. That’s pretty fast turnaround for information of this type. And did I see Murtha’s name in the Time story? I don’t remember, and now I have to pay to see the damned thing, which I am not going to do.

  40. 40

    You can remove it from the US news, but you can’t remove it from world news. Ignoring it won’t make the problem go away, not matter how many times you wish for a pony. It’s far better to get this out in the open now, investigate it swiftly, and to those who are guilty provide quick swift punishment.

    Wouldn’t be the first time a soldier was executed for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....s_military

  41. 41
    Slide says:

    My point with John’s gratuitous comment,

    “simply screaming that “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” as some jackasses have done in the comments section here.

    is that it creates the impression that that comment is somehow reflective of a body of thought out there (on the left of course). The President often uses this same tactic when he says, “Some say. . .” and then follows that with something that very very few people actually say. For example he has said all of the following:

    “Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day,”

    “Some say that if you’re Muslim you can’t be free.”

    “There are some really decent people,” the president said earlier this year, “who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care … for all people.”

    A recent article on the subject says this:

    The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Mr. Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

    He typically then says he “strongly disagrees,” conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.

    Because the “some” often go unnamed, Mr. Bush can argue that his statements are true in an era of blogs and talk radio. Even so, “‘some’ suggests a number much larger than is actually out there,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania

    Same tactic as Professor Cole.

  42. 42
    Slide says:

    ppGaz:

    I don’t see what possible good can come of that until all the facts are out. Unless he is just so anxious to make some hay out of the situation, which I believed he was above. Maybe I was wrong about him. In any case I think right now would be a good time for him to shut the hell up

    I couldn’t disagree more. Silence and cover up will destroy the military a lot quicker than full disclosure. The incident in Haditha may have not been known in the USA but it would be no secret to the soldiers and marines in Iraq. Word travels fast. What would it say to those 99% of our military if the incident was covered up (as it apparently was) and these officers got away with it? That is how discipline breaks down. That is a slippery slope. That will destroy our military, and Murtha, who LOVES our military understands that. His anger is not so much focused on the marines involved but the stupid stupid coverup. And NO….. we should be SHOUTING about this from every roof top so that everyone… including our military men and women, know that it is unaccpetable.

  43. 43
    ppGaz says:

    Well Slide old buddy, sometimes the Perfessor is arguing something, and sometimes he is just pointing out that somebody else argued something.

    We tend to muddy that distinction whenever it suits our immediate purpose. He manages to put up with this without setting out to kill all of us, which is what I would do under the same circumstances.

  44. 44
    ppGaz says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. Silence and cover up will destroy the military a lot quicker than full disclosure

    You’re right, we couldn’t disagree more on that point. But more specifically related to this case … we don’t have a big silence and coverup in effect. We were reading about the thing in a national news magazine in March, and we are about to see (what we hope will be) a thorough investigative report rather soon.

    You can join the crowd of gratuitous self-serving chest beaters over this if you want to … and apparently you do. But you’ll get nothing but turd grenades from me in return.

  45. 45
    ppGaz says:

    ….. we should be SHOUTING about this from every roof top

    Jesus, what absolute bullshit. Murders are happening everywhere in the world every day, right now as we speak. Get up on your rooftop and shout about those, why don’t you? Murder is murder, crime is crime.

    Really, that is just complete bullshit, and it’s exactly what I was flaming about last week. If you are going to do that routine here, I will be glad to give you the same treatment.

  46. 46
    JoeTx says:

    Who is more patriotic? The person who keeps a lie to themself, or the person who exposes it?

    The Ethics of Iraq: Moral Strength vs. Material Strength

    “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” – Matthew 16:26

    The unbridgeable divide between the left and right’s approach to Iraq and the WoT is, among other things, a disagreement over the value of moral and material strength, with the left placing a premium on the former and the right on the latter. The right (broadly speaking) can’t fathom why the left is driven into fits of rage over every Abu Ghraib, every Gitmo, every secret rendition, every breach of civil liberties, every shifting rationale for war, every soldier and civilian killed in that war, every Bush platitude in support of it, every attempt to squelch dissent. They see the left’s protestations as appeasement of a ruthless enemy. For the left (broadly speaking), America’s moral strength is of paramount importance; without it, all the brute force in the world won’t keep us safe, defeat our enemies, and preserve our role as the world’s moral leader.

    War hawks squeal about America-haters and traitors, heaping scorn on the so-called “blame America first” crowd, but they fail to comprehend that the left reserves the deepest disdain for those who squander our moral authority. The scars of a terrorist attack heal and we are sadder but stronger for having lived through it. When our moral leadership is compromised by people draped in the American flag, America is weakened. The loss of our moral compass leaves us rudderless, open to attacks on our character and our basic decency. And nothing makes our enemies prouder. They can’t kill us all, but if they permanently stain our dignity, they’ve done irreparable harm to America.

    The antiwar critique of Iraq is that it is an immoral war and every resulting death is a wrongful one. Opponents of the war view the invasion and occupation as a dangerous and shameful violation of international law. Iraq saps our moral strength and the sooner we leave the better. Opposing the invasion on the grounds that the administration lied its way into it, they see every subsequent death, American or foreign, as an ethical travesty and a stain on America’s good name.

  47. 47
    Slide says:

    we don’t have a big silence and coverup in effect. We were reading about the thing in a national news magazine in March

    huh? lol… yeah.. we were reading in Time Magazine the TRUE story of what happened after the military “investigation” did a cover-up. The story put out by the Army was that on the 19th of November, a road side bomb went off at Haditha killing one marine. In the fire fight thaat followed some civilians were killed.

    wake up PP.

  48. 48
    ppGaz says:

    Attempts to “link” the acts in Haditha to the larger lies about the war are just self-serving bullcrap at this juncture.

    If I have to be the only person here with enough sense to point that out to all the chestbeaters, fine, I’ll do it, and I can keep it up all day and all night. Cut the crap for crissakes. Haditha is not about “Bush lied and people died.” I happen to be one of those who has said that he did since BEFORE THE FUCKING WAR STARTED.

  49. 49

    Some say ppGaz is a self-indulgent pompous ass.

    I don’t really agree with them, of course, but it does seem to me that trying to kiss right winger ass instead of standing up to do the right thing seems like an awful political tactic.

  50. 50
    Slide says:

    you see the trouble with cover-ups and lies is that causes a problem with credibility. Thank god for great patriots like Murtha that are not afraid of the inevitable attacks he knows he will get, for speaking up and telling the unvarnished truth.

  51. 51
    ppGaz says:

    wake up PP.

    You’re an ass.

  52. 52

    Attempts to “link” the acts in Haditha to the larger lies about the war are just self-serving bullcrap at this juncture.

    We can only hope to defeat the strawmen if we fight straw with fire. Otherwise the strawmen win, which we don’t want, quite obviously.

  53. 53
    Slide says:

    this is a very very stupid comment:

    Jesus, what absolute bullshit. Murders are happening everywhere in the world every day, right now as we speak. Get up on your rooftop and shout about those, why don’t you? Murder is murder, crime is crime.

    I’ll leave it at that.

  54. 54
    ppGaz says:

    Some say ppGaz is a self-indulgent pompous ass.

    When this turns into another all day flame war, remember this stupid post. Say whatever you want, you guys are wrong about this.

    And as I said last week, not just wrong … but wrong to the point where I am ashamed to be on the same side of the political fence with you. Seriously.

  55. 55
    ppGaz says:

    this is a very very stupid comment:

    No, yours are the stupid, self serving, gratuitous, harmful, juvenile comments. In every way.

    Until you convince me that the average American and average American serviceman and woman needs to be told by the likes of you loudmouth asshole lefties in here that murder is bad, and a crime … then what you are doing is just pathetic and disgusting.

    Fuck you and your “shout from the rooftops.” Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, and get away from the progressive movement, because you are toxic.

  56. 56

    The story put out by the Army was that on the 19th of November, a road side bomb went off at Haditha killing one marine. In the fire fight thaat followed some civilians were killed.

    If there was a coverup it’s probably localized to the involved battalion. The Army report was probably just what the battalion commander submitted, given that said commander has been relieved of command along with two company commanders involved.

    Nobody is saying there is any broader conspiracy here to cover this up. The point is simply that someone did try to cover the evidence of a crime.

  57. 57
    Slide says:

    pee pee.. I really dont’ know what the fuck you are talking about. I’m not linking Haditha to anything else. I take no pleasure in the horrendous incident. It is an abberation. It is not reflective of the vast vast majority of our brave men and women fighting in Iraq of which I have nothing but respect. So stop trying to put me someplace I am not. YOU do them a disservice by wanting to hush this up. Sunlight is the best disinfective. We need to show the world that the USA does NOT think this is a minor issue. That we DON”T think this is “just murder”. That we are NOT minimizing the coverup. You do our soldiers a great disservice by your ridiculous position of attacking the person that brought this to light. There is NO ONE that the military loves and respects more than John Murtha.

  58. 58

    When this turns into another all day flame war, remember this stupid post. Say whatever you want, you guys are wrong about this.

    What!? I never actually called you a stupid pompous ass, I just pointed out that there appears to be some people who think that.

    I’m trying to defend you ppGaz, really I am. But with all the people out there calling you a stupid pompous ass, it’s difficult. You could at least show some appreciation for what I’m doing for you.

  59. 59

    pee pee.. I really dont’ know what the fuck you are talking about. I’m not linking Haditha to anything else. I take no pleasure in the horrendous incident. It is an abberation. It is not reflective of the vast vast majority of our brave men and women fighting in Iraq of which I have nothing but respect.

    You’d think he’d understand that, but apparently that argument isn’t interesting to him so he resorts to the war on straw.

  60. 60
    ppGaz says:

    The point is simply that someone did try to cover the evidence of a crime.

    No that is not the point, thickskulled one. The point is that some people think that that ordinary lying about a murder is justification for them to go “to the rooftops” to “shout” about it as if they have some moral high ground and want to prove how fucking self righteous they are.

    They don’t have that high ground, and they are not righteous. They are just stupid loud people trying to make hay out of a tragedy, and hurting the cause I’m here for, in the process. It’s gratuitous and ill timed bullshit.

    It’s crap on both counts … the gratuitous count, and the timing count.

  61. 61
    Slide says:

    pee pee…. take your meds you are very irrational today.

  62. 62

    No that is not the point, thickskulled one. The point is that some people think that that ordinary lying about a murder is justification for them to go “to the rooftops” to “shout” about it as if they have some moral high ground and want to prove how fucking self righteous they are.

    Actually no. That’s the strawman you have created in order to create an argument.

  63. 63
    ppGaz says:

    I really dont’ know what the fuck you are talking about. I’m not linking Haditha to

    I was responding to JoeTx.

  64. 64
    MattM says:

    While we can all congratulate ourselves on figuring out the motive here, I’m sure it will be utterly meaningless to the arabs and muslims in the mideast who are now outraged by this incident.

    And they should be outraged. But at the soldiers responsible, not at those examining what might have led to the incident. That’s the point–too many people mistake explaining behavior with excusing behavior. In my initial post, I was initially going to muse that this phenomenon was more prevalent on the Right (see: examining the motives of 9/11 hijackers). Now I’m glad I didn’t.

  65. 65

    pee pee…. take your meds you are very irrational today.

    I think that’s uncalled for.

    Yeah, ppGaz is tossing strawmen around like he’s on fire, but I think it’s because he thinks it makes him sound reasonable. He’s not clinically insane, per se.

  66. 66
    ppGaz says:

    That’s the strawman

    WTF? It’s a quote from slide. Not a strawman, you idiot.

    we should be SHOUTING about this from every roof top

    That one. WTF are you talking about?

  67. 67
    JoeTx says:

    If you ask me, Bin Laden didn’t do as much damage to the US on 9/11 than what has been done by our current administration afterward.

    In the name of fighting “terrorism” we invaded a country that did NOT attack us. Al Queda wasn’t in Iraq until AFTER we took out Saddam.

    In the name of fighting “terrorism” our government has severly limited our freedoms by enacting 2 Patriot Acts.

    In the name of fighting “terrorism” our government tosses aside the Genieva Conventions and tortures without conscience.

    In the name of fighting “terrorism” our government can hold you without charge indefinately.

    In the name of fighting “terrorism” our government can spy on you and search you without a warrant of any kind.

    In the name of fighting “terrorism” our government has rob our treasury of billions of dollars and passed it out to only well connected corporations.

    In the name of fighting “terrorism” socially redeeming programs are cut so that more money can be funnelled into defense.

    Bin Laden doesn’t have to attack us again, we are imploding from the inside and doing more to ourselves than Bin Laden could ever do…

  68. 68
    Slide says:

    pee pee

    They don’t have that high ground, and they are not righteous. They are just stupid loud people trying to make hay out of a tragedy, and hurting the cause I’m here for, in the process. It’s gratuitous and ill timed bullshit.

    The guy trying to make “hay” out of this tragedy:

    He was born in New Martinsville, West Virginia, near the border with Ohio, and grew up in the Pittsburgh suburbs of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania where as a youth he became an Eagle Scout. He also worked delivering newspapers and at a gas station before graduating from The Kiski School, a well respected all-boys boarding school in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania.

    He left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marines during the Korean War. There he earned the American Spirit Honor Medal. He rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. He then was assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

    After his service, he ran a small business, Johnstown Minute Car Wash, attended the University of Pittsburgh on the GI Bill, and received a degree in economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Murtha married his wife Joyce on June 10, 1955. (They now have three children and live in Johnstown.)

    US Marine and decorated Vietnam War veteran
    Murtha remained in the Marine Corps Reserves. In 1959, then Captain Murtha took command of the 34th Special Infantry Company, Marine Corps Reserves, in Johnstown. He remained in the Reserves after his discharge from active duty until he volunteered for service in Vietnam in 1966-67, serving as a battalion staff officer (S-2 Intelligence Section), receiving the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for valor in combat, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He retired from the Reserves as a colonel in 1990, receiving the Navy Distinguished Service Medal

    fuck you pee pee.. .you couldn’t carry his canteen.

  69. 69
    ppGaz says:

    fuck you pee pee.. .you couldn’t carry his canteen.

    Fuck you, you piece of shit. I wasn’t talking about him, I was talking about you. You. Not him.

  70. 70

    And they should be outraged. But at the soldiers responsible, not at those examining what might have led to the incident. That’s the point—too many people mistake explaining behavior with excusing behavior. In my initial post, I was initially going to muse that this phenomenon was more prevalent on the Right (see: examining the motives of 9/11 hijackers). Now I’m glad I didn’t.

    Well it is a trait more common on the right.

    The left here is not claiming that this is anything but a small handful of bad people.

    What we are concerned with though, is how obviously anybody who is not in the United States is going to treat this as the fault of the entire US presence, unless we take this seriously.

    You ever hear of the Bostom Massacre? Read up on our own history.

  71. 71

    WTF? It’s a quote from slide. Not a strawman, you idiot.

    Only about 10% of what you wrote was a quote. I was referring to how you tried to spin it.

    The war on straw has begun, it has.

  72. 72
    Slide says:

    pee pee:

    I’ve been with Murtha on this until the last couple days, but his beating of the “who said what to whom” drum is getting on my nerves. I don’t see what possible good can come of that until all the facts are out. Unless he is just so anxious to make some hay out of the situation, which I believed he was above. Maybe I was wrong about him

    pee pee again:

    Fuck you, you piece of shit. I wasn’t talking about him, I was talking about you. You. Not him.

    lots of hay being made today

  73. 73
    ppGaz says:

    The left here is not claiming

    I’m sorry, when did you become the spokesman for “the left” here?

  74. 74
    Faux News says:

    And they should be outraged. But at the soldiers responsible, not at those examining what might have led to the incident. That’s the point—too many people mistake explaining behavior with excusing behavior. In my initial post, I was initially going to muse that this phenomenon was more prevalent on the Right (see: examining the motives of 9/11 hijackers). Now I’m glad I didn’t.

    My whole point is that the outrage will be directed to ALL of our soliders in Iraq. Not at the nattering naybobs of negativity here on BJ. This may come as a shock to you, but what we say here on BJ has absolutely no effect on world events…

  75. 75
    ppGaz says:

    lots of hay being made today

    You know what, man? You suck. Don’t try to connect what I said about Murtha to what I said about you. I admire Murtha too, and that’s exactly why I would not confuse him with you … because what you are doing here is crap.

    You suck. You seriously suck. I have no fucking respect for you.

  76. 76

    I’m sorry, when did you become the spokesman for “the left” here?

    When you started tossing out strawmen instead of engaging in well reasoned argument.

  77. 77

    My whole point is that the outrage will be directed to ALL of our soliders in Iraq. Not at the nattering naybobs of negativity here on BJ. This may come as a shock to you, but what we say here on BJ has absolutely no effect on world events…

    Amazing thing, that.

    What the Iraqis think will not be influenced by how we say they should be thinking.

  78. 78
    ppGaz says:

    started tossing out strawmen

    Describe the strawman. Or else shut the fuck up.

  79. 79
    jg says:

    The Other Steve Says:

    I’m sorry, when did you become the spokesman for “the left” here?

    When you started tossing out strawmen instead of engaging in well reasoned argument.

    The Other Steve is the Jane Hamsher of the left on Balloon Juice?

  80. 80
    Slide says:

    You suck. You seriously suck. I have no fucking respect for you

    I’m shattered.

    Listen asswipe, your complaints about me are the same complaints you have with Murtha, you don’t think anybody should be talking about this. Head in the sand position. I, and Murtha, strongly disagree. We think it is in the BEST INTEREST of the military that this all come out. I showed you his bio. There is no one that loves the military more than he does. So.. if I had to choose between Murtha and an asswipe like you, as to what is the best approcah regarding this incident for the sake of the military, I hope you don’t mind if I side with the guy with all the medals and not with the guy who’s name is pee pee.

  81. 81
    Punchy says:

    it was an organized unit of the US marine corps going around slaughtering civilians with impunity.

    Dr. Cole, what is wrong with this statement? First of all, it doesn’t say “systematically”, as you do, which is an extremely important adverb, as it implies premediation and repetition.

    Second of all, most importantly, it was a division (organized), it was the US Marines, they killed, the victims were civilians, and until very recently, they didn’t face any charges for it.

    And there was a cover-up.

  82. 82
    MattM says:

    My whole point is that the outrage will be directed to ALL of our soliders in Iraq. Not at the nattering naybobs of negativity here on BJ. This may come as a shock to you, but what we say here on BJ has absolutely no effect on world events…

    And where, exactly, did I assume anything to the contrary? I simply made an observation that not enough people can see the distinction between “explain” and “excuse,” mostly as a tip of the cap to John, and you and others read some kind of motive into it.

  83. 83
    Slide says:

    pee pee:

    Describe the strawman. Or else shut the fuck up

    straw man:

    Attempts to “link” the acts in Haditha to the larger lies about the war are just self-serving bullcrap at this juncture.

    If I have to be the only person here with enough sense to point that out to all the chestbeaters, fine, I’ll do it, and I can keep it up all day and all night. Cut the crap for crissakes. Haditha is not about “Bush lied and people died.”

  84. 84
    ppGaz says:

    Listen asswipe, your complaints about me are the same complaints you have with Murtha

    No, you listen to me: The are not the same. At all.

    Not even close. Not even remotely in the same ballpark.

    First of all, Murtha is somebody I respect. You are not.

    Second, he is doing something as an influential congressman with strong military connections. You are blogging and shooting your mouth off in a blog.

    Third, I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. I am not inclined to do that for you, any more than you are apparently willing to do for me.

    Fourth, I agree with General Pace: When the facts are in, and I still have confidence that they will be, then there will be plenty of time for judgments. Until then, the screaming … or what you call “shouting from the rooftops” …. is just crap.

  85. 85
    ppGaz says:

    Slide, the strawman charge is not yours. Why are you answering it … with something that had nothing to do with what I was talking about?

  86. 86
    rilkefan says:

    Christ, don’t you people have better things to do than argue like 5th graders?

  87. 87
    Darrell says:

    Well it is a trait more common on the right.

    The left here is not claiming that this is anything but a small handful of bad people.

    Bullshit. In addition to the “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” quote cited by John Cole, on the very first thread on this subject there were many other examples from the left:

    RSA Says:
    What happened to the “a few bad apples” explanation? Odds-on favorite, in my opinion.

    Of course the “few bad apples” theory must be ridiculed as everyone knows how widespread this problem must be, right? And this:

    Punchy wrote: The Marines shot some people. On purpose. For sport

    And this:

    Mark Says:
    There are a number of people treating this incident, sensibly, as something arising from the stresses of war. There are a few others, Brian most vocally, who regard it as the isolated doings of a few very bad apples. Unfortunately, at some level, these two propositions conflict. The stresses suffered by the murderous marines were hardly theirs alone, and if other Marines aren’t massacring children in cold blood, it is nevertheless likely that many of them do commit acts from time to time that would, as John says, “make you turn off the television for a few days and pretend you never supported the invasion of Iraq.”

    And here another reminder that it has to be more than a few bad seeds

    jg wrote: My point is just that its not clear and shouldn’t be used as some kind of reasoning, that these are bad seeds, the type who would probably do this type of thing if they weren’t in theatre

    And more wild-eyed conclusion jumping so typical of the left:

    Kevin K wrote: The involved marines are still murdering psychotic douchebags.

    Note to lefties – since the investigation is not closed and the marines haven’t even presented their defense yet, it’s a bit premature to so quickly be jumping to conclusions that the marines are “murdering psychotic douchebags”. No doubt Kevin claims to ‘support the troops’. Lots of this shit on the left (although certainly not all lefties), not just some tiny handful

  88. 88
    Slide says:

    Third, I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being

    I’m sure he appreciates that.

    pee pee, with all due respect, you are a self righteous blow hard of the first order. I’m not going to let you or anyone else try to paint me as something I am not. My intentions are the same as Murtha’s whether you want to believe that or not. I have tremendous respect for the military. I have NEVER said anything againt the men and women that serve this nation unlike the chickenhawks that sent them into battle. I HATE what Bush/Rumsfeld is doing to the military. When an abberation like Haditha happens (and it will always happen in war) it is very important that the military IMMEDIATELY investigate and report what happened in a very transparent way. That SERVES the military men and women in uniform. Covering up HARMS them. It clouds right and wrong. It sends mixed signals to the troops. It breaks down discipline. EXACTLY what happened in Abu Gharib. The military must be UNFLINCHINGLY CLEAR as to what is acceptable behavior. That they did NOT do this is disturbing and I lay the blame on Rummy and the civilian leadership in the Pentagon.

  89. 89
    ppGaz says:

    Welp, I have things to do today, so I have to bail until at least 7:00 EDT. In the mean time the lefty bonesmokers in their echo chamber can knock themselves out telling each other how rotten I am for pointing out the obvious and embarassing truth. Just to make sure you keep somewhere in the vicinity of the actual points:

    See my last line in my 2:23. That and only that is what I am arguing about. What you guys are arguing about is basically your “right” to jump up and down and scream trash about Haditha.

    1) TOS “strawman” charge. I don’t even think HE knows what that is, it just sounded good when he wrote it. My rant at Slide was centered on the “shout from the rooftops” bullshit … same thing I said last week. To somebody else. Nothing straw about it. It’s quite real and quite disgusting.

    2) Link to Al Qaeda … er, Bush. That was my take on the JoeTx post, and if Joe wants to argue that I took it wrong, fine, I’ll consider the argument later. But it has NO connection to the Slide argument AFAIC. If I failed to make that clear, then my bad, and points off. However, I have made it clear now.

  90. 90
    Punchy says:

    On the other hand those who created the context for this tragedy also need to be brought to justice.

    Surprise!! Not going to happen….Just a few (really bad) apples. But they were stressed out. Really frazzled. Nothing that blowing 4 childrens’ heads apart can’t fix. Nothing that offing old men in wheelchairs and 4 dumbstruck taxi occupants can’t cure.

    I’m thinking the Army psychologist needs to look into this….medication? Nah. Treatment? Nah. Vacation? Psshaw. Civilian Iraqi targets!!!

  91. 91
    ppGaz says:

    pee pee, with all due respect, you are a self righteous blow hard of the first order. I’m not going to let you or anyone else try to paint me as something I am not.

    “Shout it from the rooftops.” Maybe that will work?

  92. 92
    Slide says:

    ok… now that Darrell is here that is my cue to get back to work. One asshole is annoying… two are beyond my level of tolerance. Darrell and Pee pee…. enjoy each other, very similiar is so many ways.

    adios

  93. 93
    Punchy says:

    Punchy wrote: The Marines shot some people. On purpose. For sport

    Uh, they did. Not every Marine, of course. Just bad apples. A few of them. And before Dr. Cole excoriates me, let me add: not systematically. And perhaps only partially organized. Becuase, obviously, they were stressed out. Like during finals week. There….a fully qualified statement…

  94. 94
    p.lukasiak says:

    guys, john was trying to “explain away” the deliberate murder of civilians by a Marine unit. I called him on that bullshit — we weren’t talking about a group of poorly trained National Guardsmen and women abusing prisoners, we’re talking about highly trained, elite, professional soldiers going on a murder spree (and the fact that, according to Murtha, there was a coverup of the murder spree.)

    John wants us to empathise with these murderers — not to “excuse” them, but to “feel their pain” — basically, he’d presenting the defense argument that will be made by the lawyers for these killers; a defense argument that, given the military “justice” system, is likely to be perceived in a positive fashion.

    Its the “Dear Officer Krupke” defense — and Sondheim and Bernstein showed how ridiculous it is in West Side Story.

  95. 95
    Vladi G says:

    Good work, John. Make a bullshit claim about what a few people have supposedly said about Haditha to placate the nutjobs on the right that still come around here, then when pressed to back it up, pick out a post that in no way validates your original comment. Pure genius.

  96. 96
    Darrell says:

    Uh, they did. Not every Marine, of course. Just bad apples

    Punchy, with no details of the situation, where do you get off claiming those marines shot people “for sport”? Given that terrorists have an established history of hiding among civilians, do you feel you’re speaking ‘truth to power’ saying that those marines were shooting people for sport? Please explain this

  97. 97
    Mike S says:

    The comic genious of Redstate.

    Time to pull out of Wisconsin
    By: crosspatch · Section: Diaries

    From the diaries…

    There were 28 shootings this past weekend in Milwaukee. After 175 years of occupation, we are seemingly unable to extract ourselves from the quagmire that apparently is Wisconsin. I say it is time America cut its losses and pulled out of Wisconsin NOW. We currently have over 7000 Army National Guard troops based there yet there seems to be no end to the carnage.

    Please join me in writing to Rep. Jack Murtha to get this terrible situation the attention it deserves. 15 in Haditha is nothing compared to the horrors perpetrated month after month after month after month in Wisconsin. It’s time we brought our people home.

    Golly. That is just so darn funny. And the truely sad thing is that they promoted it to the front page.

  98. 98
    Punchy says:

    Punchy, with no details of the situation

    Here:

    Military investigators have evidence that points toward unprovoked murders by Marines, a senior defense official said last week.

    If confirmed as unjustified killings, the episode could be the most serious case of criminal misconduct by U.S. troops during three years of combat in Iraq.

    or here:

    But senior Pentagon officials said last week that the investigation tends to support allegations that the Americans carried out an unprovoked massacre.

    Semantics. I call an unprovoked massacre killing for sport. Not for survival, not for protection, not for self-defense, but because they wanted to. Felt like a good thing to do. Seemed reasonable.

    Remember, they didn’t just barge into ONE house and misfire. THey unloaded in one house, THEN went to the next house, offed everyone who couldn’t escape, THEN took out every single occupant of some random taxi. Justify that.

    Oh yeah. Lots and lots of stress. Perhaps a kid’s raw brain tissue has a calming effect.

  99. 99
    John S. says:

    Wow, John, looks like a lot of people have ‘misinterpreted’ your comment by coming in here with their own pre-conceived notions. On both sides.

  100. 100

    Bullshit. In addition to the “Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!” quote cited by John Cole, on the very first thread on this subject there were many other examples from the left:

    Cherry picking quotes to build strawmen is not evidence of a grand conspiracy.

  101. 101
    demimondian says:

    There is a world of difference between a hypothetical mass murder (which is what we are talking about here) and “killing for sport”. In the latter case, the murderer hunts down his victims for fun or for some sick pleasure, not in a rage. None of the descriptions of the events include claims that people were hunted.

    So, no, I don’t think that the phrase “killing for sport” is warranted on the basis of what we’ve heard to date.

  102. 102

    The Other Steve is the Jane Hamsher of the left on Balloon Juice?

    I only play Jane Hamsher when on TV.

  103. 103

    1) TOS “strawman” charge. I don’t even think HE knows what that is, it just sounded good when he wrote it. My rant at Slide was centered on the “shout from the rooftops” bullshit … same thing I said last week. To somebody else. Nothing straw about it. It’s quite real and quite disgusting.

    Oh no, I know exactly what I was talking about, and I think you do too or you wouldn’t be back pedaling from smearing Murtha and trying to claim we’re all part of this giant leftist conspiracy to smear soldiers.

    Still, I’m just not sure I can respond to you on that charge while at the same time defending you from all the accusations that you are a pompous asshole. I’ll have to consult my attorney.

  104. 104
    Punchy says:

    In the latter case, the murderer hunts down his victims for fun or for some sick pleasure

    They went (allegedly) from house to house to taxi. Killing every human they saw/ran into. They didn’t stop at house #1–they continued on. Apparently they hadn’t killed (hunted?) enough humans at that point. We’ll disagree on the meaning of “sport”, and I’ll grant you they were surely in a rage.

    Next time I’m stressed, I’m going to look into buying some wallpaper painted to look like blood and human brain remains. Apparently, it’s a good stress reliever. Nothing’s the matter when one has grey matter.

  105. 105
    Darrell says:

    Semantics. I call an unprovoked massacre killing for sport

    Bullshit. According to your Yahoo news link, the investigation is STILL ONGOING. That is, they are still gathering facts and evidence. At this point, we don’t know for sure if it was an “unprovoked massacre” or whether there were terrorists hiding among civilians, or whether it was even marines who killed all those people. We don’t know. Furthermore, the marines haven’t even had a chance to offer their defense.

    Given so many uncertainties, I think it’s shitty, but typical of many on the left like you ‘Punchy’, to start throwing around accusations of “unprovoked” massacres, shooting innocents “for sport” type of allegations..

  106. 106

    The comic genious of Redstate.

    Thank you Redstate for spitting on the honor of the Marine Corps.

  107. 107

    Given so many uncertainties, I think it’s shitty, but typical of many on the left like you ‘Punchy’, to start throwing around accusations of “unprovoked” massacres, shooting innocents “for sport” type of allegations..

    See there you go again, trying to claim there’s some grand conspiracy amongst the left.

    Prove it.

  108. 108
    Darrell says:

    Cherry picking quotes to build strawmen is not evidence of a grand conspiracy.

    What you claimed was this

    The left here is not claiming that this is anything but a small handful of bad people.

    I then provided 1/2 dozen verbatim in-context quotes of leftists arguing that it was much more than a ‘few bad apples’.

    So all you’ve got is some half-baked claim that all those quotes were cherry picked.. whatever that means

  109. 109
    Darrell says:

    trying to claim there’s some grand conspiracy amongst the left.

    Talk about strawmen, I never said or inferred there was some grand conspiracy amongst the left.. I did dispute your bullshit claim that “The left here is not claiming that this is anything but a small handful of bad people” providing verbatim quotes demonstrating that many on the left (although not all) most definitely claiming otherwise.

  110. 110
    jg says:

    I then provided 1/2 dozen verbatim in-context quotes of leftists arguing that it was much more than a ‘few bad apples’.

    You got my quote wrong. I wasn’t saying it was more than a few bad apples. You’re an idiot.

  111. 111
    Darrell says:

    You got my quote wrong. I wasn’t saying it was more than a few bad apples. You’re an idiot.

    Re-reading your quote, it does appear I owe you an apology. You were suggesting that under battle pressure many soldiers could potentially commit massacres

    You don’t have to be a bad apple to snap. Anyone of us could be a soldier at My Lai, we aren’t better than them, we just weren’t there

    Not sure I agree with that one, as most soldiers conduct themselves honorably even in the most horrific of circumstances. But you were arguing something at least somewhat different than what I accused you of, and for that I apologize

  112. 112

    I then provided 1/2 dozen verbatim in-context quotes of leftists arguing that it was much more than a ‘few bad apples’.

    You’re cherry picking quotes and then slurring all the good members of the left with the work of a few bad apples.

    Can’t you see that this is wrong?

  113. 113

    Talk about strawmen, I never said or inferred there was some grand conspiracy amongst the left..

    Cherry picking quotes from a handful of people in order to smear millions of people? You don’t call that conspiracy mongering and strawman generation?

  114. 114

    Oh man, I’m really having some fun now!

  115. 115
    Darrell says:

    You’re cherry picking quotes and then slurring all the good members of the left with the work of a few bad apples.

    It was a significant percentage of the leftists posting here, not “one commenter” as you claimed on this thread.. If you weren’t so dishonest you’d own up to that reality

    Not to mention similar whackjob-ness from other lefties I didn’t quote earlier

    JoeTx Says:

    If you ask me, Bin Laden didn’t do as much damage to the US on 9/11 than what has been done by our current administration afterward.

    Again, not 1 or 2 whacky or uncalled comments and accusations from the left, but many. Others on the left have more considered opinions. I never alleged a ‘leftist conspiracy’ as you said earlier.

  116. 116
    John Cole says:

    guys, john was trying to “explain away” the deliberate murder of civilians by a Marine unit. I called him on that bullshit—we weren’t talking about a group of poorly trained National Guardsmen and women abusing prisoners, we’re talking about highly trained, elite, professional soldiers going on a murder spree (and the fact that, according to Murtha, there was a coverup of the murder spree.)

    John wants us to empathise with these murderers—- not to “excuse” them, but to “feel their pain”—- basically, he’d presenting the defense argument that will be made by the lawyers for these killers; a defense argument that, given the military “justice” system, is likely to be perceived in a positive fashion.

    Its the “Dear Officer Krupke” defense—and Sondheim and Bernstein showed how ridiculous it is in West Side Story.

    That settles it. You are an insane crazy person.

  117. 117
    Par R says:

    It looks as though the New York Times supports much of what ppGaz has been saying here today. The Times notes, for example, that the Haditha investigation started even earlier than previously thought after a Marine Corps investigator noticed key discrepancies between the physical evidence and the reports from the Marines involved. The NYT reveals that the Pentagon had already referred the matter to criminal investigators weeks before Time Magazine reported the alleged atrocities at the end of March.

    Perhaps it would be appropriate, as ppGaz has suggested, to await facts.

  118. 118
    John Cole says:

    Good work, John. Make a bullshit claim about what a few people have supposedly said about Haditha to placate the nutjobs on the right that still come around here, then when pressed to back it up, pick out a post that in no way validates your original comment. Pure genius.

    A.) It was not a bullshit claim. I linked to the actual statement by Lukasiak.

    B.) Not sure why you think this is going to placate the nutjobs on the right, since I was not claiming the ‘left’ was saying anything and was praising the press for good coverage (remember, in your black/white world,. the ‘right’ hates the media)

    C.) All this post did was reflect that I thought there were plusses and minuses to reporters having a relationship with the troops they covered,. and to point out that I am happy the press (and the left, for the most part,. save Lukasiak and a few wingnuts) are treating this as it should be- a regrettable abomination, albeit one that can be understood how it occurred, although that in no way excuses it.

    I officially hate this website now. I post about positive coverage in the media, and get attacked by lefty assholes all day for hidden meanings in my post that only they see. When I point out they are insane, I am accused of unclear or ambiguous writing. You can all go to hell.

    Was that clear enough, or is there some hidden meaning or some ulterior motive behind that statement that some of you are sensing? Try this on, then.

    Fuck off.

    If I am the enemy to you guys, you can just go see how long your bullshit lasts at ACTUAL right wing sites, or someplace where folks aren’t attempting to work with those of varying political persuasions and really can not handle opposing viewpoints. I try to find middle ground,. understand where many of you on the left are coming from., and all I get is the same hostility you launch at those who don’t even try.

    Not worth it at all.

  119. 119
    Punchy says:

    (and the left, for the most part,. save Lukasiak and a few wingnuts)

    Wait…aren’t wingnuts what we call extreme righties? Aren’t crazy lefties “moonbats” or something? I can never keep these terms straight…

    I try to find middle ground,. understand where many of you on the left are coming from., and all I get is the same hostility you launch at those who don’t even try.

    You’re doing a damn good job, Dr. Cole. This is the ONLY site I know of that even tolerates both sides. Keep posting, and keep cussing out and threatening your posters…it’s like a right of passage. No one’s “official” until you’ve blasted them for misreading you. It’s the old “how far can we go until we piss off the teacher” trick from grade school…

    Honestly, this has become one of THE Great Blogs. Keep it up, and thicken up that skin. No one wants to see this thing end.

  120. 120
    Some Other Brian Guy says:

    It was a significant percentage of the leftists posting here, not “one commenter” as you claimed on this thread.. If you weren’t so dishonest you’d own up to that reality

    You’re only counting posters? What about the lurkers. Don’t you think that there are problem hundreds if not thousands of lurkers who didn’t say what you accused them of saying?

    This is just pushing things a bit far seriously. Painting a whole swath of the community with a broad brush, claiming they all said something when you only have evidence against a single lone individual.

    Look, if you want to promote conspiracy mongering, that’s fine. But do it somewhere else, like alt.conspiracy.kooks or something.

  121. 121
    Some Other Brian Guy says:

    Again, not 1 or 2 whacky or uncalled comments and accusations from the left, but many.

    This is just insane. It’s not enough that you go just to find one guy, you claim that 10 comments made by one guy is equivalent to 10 comments made by an entire community?

    Look, enough with the conspiracy mongering. You’re just making yourself look ridiculous.

  122. 122
    Some Other Brian Guy says:

    All this post did was reflect that I thought there were plusses and minuses to reporters having a relationship with the troops they covered,. and to point out that I am happy the press

    Honestly, that would have been a great post.

    I just wish you hadn’t tried to smear all the lefties with something one guy said.

    I officially hate this website now. I post about positive coverage in the media, and get attacked by lefty assholes all day for hidden meanings in my post that only they see. When I point out they are insane, I am accused of unclear or ambiguous writing. You can all go to hell.

    We’re already in hell. After all, we’re stuck in this website and have nowhere else to go.

    :-)

  123. 123
    rilkefan says:

    Darrell:

    We don’t know.

    Murtha and Kline don’t leave any room for doubt here. They’re not gettting fed false damaging data by the armed forces for fun. A group of our elite guys pulled civilians from a car and executed them. They went through a house and shot up women and children. They tried to cover it up, and got some help from the chain of command. But so what? It’s a bad thing but by the standards of the neighborhood no big deal. And bad things happen in war – you put away the perps and try to improve your training and monitoring of morale. The interesting argument isn’t whether this happened, but whether there are other such incidents and whether we can do anything about it before it becomes as symbolic as Abu Ghraib. Surely that’s what the higher-ups who told Murtha and Kline would want the civilian command and the electorate to be thinking about.

  124. 124
    Pooh says:

    John, why do you get all upset by what some douchebag writes in comments, especially when said douchebag has a history of er, douchebaggery?

  125. 125
    Some Other Brian Guy says:

    Oh dear…

    So much for the culture of life

    I do hope the Republicans are not so crass as to bring charges against this soldier for the death caused to the fetus.

  126. 126
    Vladi G says:

    Fuck off.

    John, others have pointed it out, but Lukasiak’s comment was very different than your characterization of his comment, and I’m not sure why you’re having a hard time figuring that out. Let’s break it down:

    John, this is bullshit. This wasn’t one unbalanced guy going batshit, it was an organized unit (1) of the US marine corps (2) going around slaughtering civilians (3) with impunity.

    What part of 1, 2, and 3 aren’t accurate. Was it not an organized unit? Were they not Marines? Were they not slaughtering civilians?

    Now let’s look at your characterization of his comment, or at least what you feel his comment represents:

    Organized units of marines are systematically executing civilians!

    Where in Paul’s comment does he say this is systematic? That word implies that a) they did it as part of something they planned, or b) that they did it as part of their greater mission. His comment implies neither of those things, yet you use it as support for your argument that people like Paul believe that the killings were systematic. Don’t you see how that’s a little disengenuous?

  127. 127
    Vladi G says:

    If I am the enemy to you guys, you can just go see how long your bullshit lasts at ACTUAL right wing sites, or someplace where folks aren’t attempting to work with those of varying political persuasions and really can not handle opposing viewpoints.

    And good lord, enough of the martyr complex. We don’t come here to bust your balls. We come here because we like you, and we think you can be reasoned with. These arguments don’t last on wingnut sites because they delete and ban everything that doesn’t fit into their little “the Iraq war is perfect” worldview. I come here because I think you can be called on your BS without going all batshit insane, but it appears I’m wrong.

    If Paul had said that these Marines were systematically going around killing civilians, I wouldn’t have disagreed with you. But he didn’t say that. If anything, he implies that these killings were anything but systematic. They were just blowing away anything they saw. There’s nothing systematic about that.

  128. 128
    p.lukasiak says:

    That settles it. You are an insane crazy person.

    ao you didn’t try to explain away (but “not excuse”) the behavior of the killer marines with this statement…

    It should be pointed out that if you have 100,000 people, a certain number of them are going to turn out to be lawless murderers. Even with Marines.

    Add to that the stress of combat, the stress of the asymmetrical warfare and daily terrorism in Iraq, the frustration caused by culture shock and language barriers,

    there is no question that out of 100,000 people, you are going to have a few nutcases. But, as I pointed out originally, this was not the act of a random individual with a screw loose, but cold blooded murder performed by highly trained, elite, organised professional soldiers.

    …..where in this squadron was the soldier of conscious who said “NO”! where in this squadron was the soldier who reported the murders to his superior officers immediately?

    That is what bothers me about this. The fact that our military has failed to ensure that each individual knows that cold-blooded murder — even when you are stressed out — is absolutely, and unquestionably, an atrocity that no member of the Marine Corps would ever participate in. Instead, they all just “went along” with the killing spree.

    I guess that doesn’t bother you. Or perhaps it does, which is why you are so defensive about it. It must be really tough on the conscious of lemmings like yourself who unthinkingly supported this war for years, and only came to grips with the reality of the mess in Iraq when it was undeniable. Maybe your problem is that you can’t escape the sense of personal responsibility for thes murders?

    The fact is that unfortunately, these kinds of events are almost inevitable in the kind of situation we are in in Iraq. Its why its absolutely necessary to think long and hard before supporting something like the invasion of Iraq — something that you obviously never bothered to do (9-11 didn’t change everything, and one think it didn’t change was your obligation to think before supporting a foreign invasion.)

    You are sick of this blog because you are sick of yourself, and how the commenters on this blog relentlessly expose how foolish you were to support this war.

    Consider this blog part of your penance….

  129. 129

    Murtha and Kline don’t leave any room for doubt here.

    Whoa… Back track… processing.

    I didn’t know John Kline was involved in this. He’s my former Representative until I moved.

    I didn’t vote for him, and largely think he’s a stooge of the Bush administration. He’s a Republican, he’s a former Marine Corps Colonel, and he carried the football for Reagan. I do have some respect for him. It’s not political opportunism either, he lives in a pretty safe district.

    Man, this really makes the people still trying to whitewash this thing look bad. Kline’s the last person I’d expect to come out and condemn this unless it was really really bad.

  130. 130
    John Cole says:

    Honestly, that would have been a great post.

    I just wish you hadn’t tried to smear all the lefties with something one guy said

    Bonus points for anyone who can find where I bashed ‘the left.’ Double points for finding a reference to ‘the left’ in this post. Triple bonus points for finding a mention of the right.

    I singled out a jackass. This one:

    But, as I pointed out originally, this was not the act of a random individual with a screw loose, but cold blooded murder performed by highly trained, elite, organised professional soldiers.

    …..where in this squadron was the soldier of conscious who said “NO”! where in this squadron was the soldier who reported the murders to his superior officers immediately?

    That is what bothers me about this. The fact that our military has failed to ensure that each individual knows that cold-blooded murder—even when you are stressed out—is absolutely, and unquestionably, an atrocity that no member of the Marine Corps would ever participate in. Instead, they all just “went along” with the killing spree.

    Keep digging.

  131. 131
    rilkefan says:

    TOS, check out e.g. the Time article.

    Vladi G:

    Was it not an organized unit?

    Not clear to me at all. Sounds like some members of a patrol went bonkers – don’t see how that’s “a unit”, organized or otherwise.

  132. 132
    p.lukasiak says:

    The interesting argument isn’t whether this happened, but whether there are other such incidents and whether we can do anything about it before it becomes as symbolic as Abu Ghraib.

    one thing that should be pointed out…. unlike with Abu Ghraib, there is no reason to believe that this murder spree was the result of specific administration policies run amok, nor that its just the ‘tip of the iceberg.’

    in other words, Haditha isn’t Abu Ghraib. We are not going to see legal opinions emanating from the White House justifying the slaughter of civilians, we aren’t going to find out that the commander of this battallion had been sent to Iraq after implementing a new policy regarding civilian murders in Afghanistan, etc.

    This was an atrocity, pure and simple — something that usually happens during wars. But there is no “excuse”, no “context”, no “explanation” — and those who attempt to provide “context” or “explanations” are guilty of attempting to mitigate an atrocity.

  133. 133
    rilkefan says:

    From the Time link above:

    Military sources told TIME that the first probe is focusing on the unit’s leader, who was at the scene of virtually every shooting that day in Haditha. Pentagon officials say the sergeant has served more than seven years in the corps and was on his first Iraq tour. At least two other enlisted men may be directly involved, Pentagon officials say, and perhaps as many as nine others in the 13-man unit witnessed the shootings but neither attempted to step in nor reported them later.

    So a bit worse than “some members”, probably, but maybe not “an organized unit”.

  134. 134
    p.lukasiak says:

    So a bit worse than “some members”, probably, but maybe not “an organized unit”.

    a “patrol” is an organized unit. And, based on your Times quote, every member of this patrol either participated in, or acquiesced to, this atrocity.

  135. 135
    Tim F. says:

    My opinion: counterinsurgencies always spawn shit like this. Half of an insurgency’s training amounts to finding ways to freak out the occupying army until they start to shoot at shadows. When somebody eventually does, the shadow’s family goes apeshit and the insurgency grows that much more. Lather rinse repeat. Getting bent out of shape about this now strikes me as three years too late.

  136. 136
    rilkefan says:

    there is no reason to believe that this murder spree was the result of specific administration policies run amok, nor that its just the ‘tip of the iceberg.’

    Who knows? Hope you’re right about the iceberg part, but I wonder if elite US troops would have done this sort of thing in a more conventional, clearly-motivated war or if they had been trained for the mission they’ve ended up being assigned.

  137. 137
    John S. says:

    Bonus points for anyone who can find where I bashed ‘the left.’

    I didn’t see any such thing in your post, but later in the thread when you went completely unhinged:

    I post about positive coverage in the media, and get attacked by lefty assholes all day for hidden meanings in my post that only they see.

    Clearly, some of your righty assholes found hidden meaning in your post, too.

    But in your rant, you clearly take issue with ‘lefties’. If you examine this thread more closely I think you’ll find no unanimity amongst the ‘lefties’ on this issue that should cause you to lump them all together as ‘the problem’. But you did anyway.

  138. 138
    rilkefan says:

    And, based on your Times quote, every member of this patrol either participated in, or acquiesced to, this atrocity.

    What part of “perhaps” is unclear?

    Also, I at least have a different feeling about guys covering up for their (Damon suggests good-soldier) buddies and guys murdering civilians immediately after an attack.

  139. 139
    Punchy says:

    It just appears to be a bad time to be a woman, child, or fetus in Iraq. Talk about stopping the insurgency before it take hold! More like stopping the insurgency before it can take a breath, or take in solid food!

    Mission accomplished! (unless you’re a military investigator or lawyer!)

  140. 140
    Darrell says:

    Murtha and Kline don’t leave any room for doubt here.

    And I have a big problem with that, especially when the investigation hadn’t been completed, and the guys being accused haven’t been given an opportunity to give their side of the story.

    They’re not gettting fed false damaging data by the armed forces for fun.

    Or maybe all the facts weren’t known to those who fed Murtha and Kline the information. The investigation was, and still is today, ongoing. Being fed false data “for fun” doesn’t have to be the only alternative possibility unless you’re a simpleton. Maybe some Marines snapped and murdered children in cold blood or maybe terrorists were shooting while surrounding themselves w/civilians, or maybe terrorists not marines murdered those civilians, and/or witnesses lied, or any number of other possible explanations. We don’t know. Which makes Murtha a scumbag for making those allegations while the investigation was still ongoing, and before the marines even had a chance to offer a defense. Irregardless of whether Murtha’s preliminary accusations turn out to be true, he’s a dishonorable piece of shit for what he did.

  141. 141
    p.lukasiak says:

    Who knows? Hope you’re right about the iceberg part, but I wonder if elite US troops would have done this sort of thing in a more conventional, clearly-motivated war or if they had been trained for the mission they’ve ended up being assigned.

    The difference between the torture and abuse of prisoners, and this atrocity, is this….

    Abu Ghraib was the result of “amateurs” doing what only “professionals” were supposedly authorized to do (for one thing, “pros” don’t take trophy pics of their torture victims.

    But I cannot believe that the US military has “professionals” committing the cold-blooded murder of innocents in the way that we had “professionals” torturing and abusing prisoners. Even the fact that we ignore the fact that our indigenous “allies” in Iraq commit such atrocities does reach that level of official endorsement of these murders.

    (that being said, although JC wants to assure us that this was just a result of “stress”, the simple fact is that these murders may well have been intended to send the same kind of message as those mentioned in your cite. We don’t know if this was purely “irrational revenge killing”, or some twisted “warning” to the people of Haditha not to fuck with the Marines — but my guess is that the murderers thought they were “sending a message.)

  142. 142
    Ancient Purple says:

    My opinion: counterinsurgencies always spawn shit like this. Half of an insurgency’s training amounts to finding ways to freak out the occupying army until they start to shoot at shadows. When somebody eventually does, the shadow’s family goes apeshit and the insurgency grows that much more. Lather rinse repeat. Getting bent out of shape about this now strikes me as three years too late.

    Of course. But, if things turn out to be that innocent civilians were murdered in cold blood, then that mess needs to be cleaned up.

    Let’s hope that sweeping and rugs aren’t part of the M.O. of the cleaning crew.

  143. 143
    lard lad says:

    I look forward to the wingnut response(s) if the charges levelled by Murtha and Kline turn out to be 100% true…

    I’m betting on these:

    1) “Well, it’s war. These things happen. Look at all the good things we’re doing in Iraq.”

    2) “This is old news. The American people are tired of hearing about it. Look at all the good things we’re doing in Iraq.”

    3) “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” (I actually read a letter from some asshat in my local paper making that very point.)

    4) “Um… look at all the good things we’re doing in Iraq?”

  144. 144
    rilkefan says:

    “amateurs” doing what only “professionals” were supposedly authorized to do

    The argument was that Marines are not professional nation builders/police officers/whatever the hell it is they’ve been tasked to do in Iraq.

    Darrell:

    Which makes Murtha a scumbag

    Relying on high-ranking officers who wanted him to get out ahead of the story to put as positive a spin on it as reasonably possible makes Murtha a patriot. If you want to be at least consistent, you have to get angry not at Murtha but at the people telling him (and certified right-winger John Kline) that what happened is clear. As, reading the article I linked above, seems to be the case. Unless you’re in the “OJ is innocent” crowd.

  145. 145
    Darrell says:

    Relying on high-ranking officers who wanted him to get out ahead of the story to put as positive a spin on it as reasonably possible makes Murtha a patriot

    Murtha wasn’t putting any positive spin on the incident, just the opposite, as he compared it to the My Lai massacre. How does that in any way qualify as “positive spin”?

  146. 146
    Perry Como says:

    Murtha wasn’t putting any positive spin on the incident, just the opposite, as he compared it to the My Lai massacre. How does that in any way qualify as “positive spin”?

    If you start with the premise of “we need to get our troops out of there as soon as possible so nothing like this happens again”, it makes perfect sense.

  147. 147
    ppGaz says:

    Perhaps it would be appropriate, as ppGaz has suggested, to await facts.

    Oh God, supported by Par! Goodbye cruel world, I must now go and kill myself.

    It’s all farce now. Witness the uproar when a guy just basically says, Chill, wait for information. That’s it, the entire message behind two giant flame wars.

    Then comes the browbeating and the How Dare You bullshit.

    Hey, here’s the thing for this hour: I’ve put my phone number on my url just for this evening (see the text at the second “album”). Call me and let’s talk Haditha. Or whatever.

    I’ll take calls until 9:30 EDT. Meanwhile, keep making “the left” look stupid. Next time Darrell talks about the “stupid left” just come back here and you’ll see what he is talking about!

    Yes, Darrell, even you can call me.

  148. 148
    rilkefan says:

    he compared it to the My Lai massacre.

    Did he? This is what I’ve seen:

    Murtha:

    So it’s a very serious incident, unfortunately. It shows the tremendous pressure these guys are under every day when they’re out in combat and the stress and consequences.

    He said U.S. forces were under undue pressure in Iraq because of poor planning and allocation of resources by the Bush administration.

    and

    Military officials say Marine Corp photos taken immediately after the incident show many of the victims were shot at close range, in the head and chest, execution-style.

  149. 149
    rilkefan says:

    In happier news, the OB says my minus two week old son is practicing breathing. I’ll have to keep him away from the hot air emanating from here for a while…

  150. 150
    Darrell says:

    rilkefan, regarding Murtha’s “positive spin” on the Marine story, his initial comments a couple of weeks back was that the marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood”. He later compared the incident in an interview to My Lai. How ignorant or dishonest do you have to be to claim Murtha was merely putting a ‘positive spin’ on the story for the sake of the Marines.

  151. 151
    DougJ says:

    Hey, John — how about a request that people not say “Murtha is a scumbag” either?

  152. 152
    rilkefan says:

    Darrell, part of putting a positive spin on fact F is to openly declare fact F. If you say it’s A, then have to admit it’s really B, … really F, your listeners are going to believe it’s more like Z, and won’t pay any attention to the reasons why F happened and how it should be understood. A sophisticated concept perhaps, but no doubt you can grasp it.

    As to the My Lai bit, I don’t really trust you without seeing a cite – but if you’re right I’ll probably ascribe that to a) being open and b) Murtha being a blunt guy and c) Murtha’s formative experience in Viet Nam and d) possibly an unfortunate choice of reference but not without justification.

  153. 153
    ppGaz says:

    He later compared the incident in an interview to My Lai

    First, I’d like to see the transcript. Not suggesting that you have to provide it, but without it, your assertion means nothing. Because …

    Second, it would be almost impossible to discuss an event like this without some reference to the only big event of its kind in recent American memory, My Lai.

    If somebody asked me to “compare” the two events, whatever that means (and we don’t know what it means here until we see Murtha’s words, and not yours …) … then I’d say, I don’t know how comparable they are until I SEE THE DAMNED FACTS and have a much more complete view of the story than I have now.

    That admonition is for Murtha, for Lukasiak, for Slide, for you, and anyone else who needs it.

  154. 154

    Can we get a source for the Murtha compared this to My Lai on Aisle 4?

    I am unable to find any such source with google.

  155. 155

    It’s interesting that ppGaz is ready to condemn Murtha without the support of DAMNED FACTs, but admonishes everybody else for suggesting if something is true after the facts come out, we probably ought to get a rope.

    Just interesting. Now, I’m not saying ppGaz is a pompous asshole like others have been going around saying, but you know maybe we could at least wait for the DAMNED FACTS before deciding.

  156. 156
    ppGaz says:

    It’s interesting that ppGaz is ready to condemn Murtha

    “Condemn” Murtha? Fuck you, assbite. I am not “condemning” anybody. WTF is the matter with you?

    You starting this bullshit again? What a dickhead you are. Jesus.

  157. 157
    ppGaz says:

    we could at least wait for the DAMNED FACTS before deciding

    I thought we had to wait for your girlfriend to chime in?

  158. 158
    Darrell says:

    As to the My Lai bit, I don’t really trust you without seeing a cite

    CNN transcript here

    BLITZER: There are some who are already making comparisons between Haditha and My Lai in Vietnam, the massacre in which hundreds of Vietnamese civilians were killed, an incident that you well remember.

    Is that a fair comparison, a fair analogy?

    MURTHA: Well, I think it’s a fair analogy, except for the numbers

    but what’s worse is Murtha’s smear here:

    Now, there were payments made to victims, which aren’t made unless we kill them, one way or the other. And, secondly, they knew about it the day afterwards. So, there’s no excuse for not having this be more open and know exactly what — and the longer it goes, the worse it is for us, because it looks like it’s the policy of our troops to do something like this.

    Catch that? Murtha is actually suggesting that it might be the POLICY of our troops to murder innocent civilians. How’s that for ‘positive spin’?

  159. 159
    rilkefan says:

    Christ, Darrell, that stuff you quote makes you look like an idiot. Murtha doesn’t bring up My Lai, Blitzer does; and Murtha notes the numbers aren’t comparable. And the second quote is obviously saying that continuing the cover-up makes us look like this is our policy.

    Damn, can’t someone get better conservatives to argue with?

  160. 160
    tBone says:

    Murtha is actually suggesting that it might be the POLICY of our troops to murder innocent civilians.

    And you have the nerve to call the lefties here dishonest, Darrell? Jesus.

  161. 161
    Darrell says:

    Murtha doesn’t bring up My Lai, Blitzer does

    Whoa, Blitzer brings up the comparison made by extremists and Murtha readily agrees with it.. while the investigation was still ongoing.

    This Marine makes a damn good point about Murtha:

    So I know something about rushing to judgment, which is why I am so disturbed by the remarks of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) regarding the Haditha incident [“Death Toll Rises in Haditha Attack, GOP Leader Says,” news story, May 20]. Mr. Murtha said, “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

    In the United States, we have a civil and military court system that relies on an investigatory and judicial process to make determinations based on evidence. The system is not served by such grand pronouncements of horror and guilt without the accuser even having read the investigative report.

    Mr. Murtha’s position is particularly suspect when he is quoted by news services as saying that the strain of deployment “has caused them [the Marines] to crack in situations like this.” Not only is he certain of the Marines’ guilt but he claims to know the cause, which he conveniently attributes to a policy he opposes.

  162. 162
    Darrell says:

    And the second quote is obviously saying that continuing the cover-up makes us look like this is our policy.

    Our “policy” that is, of murdering innocent civilians and then paying to cover it up is what Murtha was saying.

  163. 163
    Slide says:

    Didn’t take long for John to pull out the old martyr shit again did it? He is the fucking most predictable person I have every seen in my life.

  164. 164
    DougJ says:

    It pains me to say this, because I like the other posters here — even the righties whom I mock, such as Stormy, Brian, OCSteve — and I like John and Tim F, but I can’t take any more of Darrell. The smearing of Murtha simply sickens me.

    Goodbye.

  165. 165
    rilkefan says:

    Slide, why not make an attempt to be productive here?

    Whatever.

  166. 166
    Ancient Purple says:

    Our “policy” that is, of murdering innocent civilians and then paying to cover it up is what Murtha was saying.

    That is NOT the policy Murtha was responding to, you dishonest prick.

    Here is more of the CNN transcript you conveniently left out:

    BLITZER: What about President Bush? While this investigation continues, what, if anything, should he say about it?

    MURTHA: The president should say that anybody that is involved in this, if they are found guilty, ought to be punished severely, because this helps recruit terrorists.

    If there’s anything that is going to recruit terrorists — he finally admitted Abu Ghraib was a mistake. He finally admitted he had untrained soldiers there, unsupervised, and undisciplined. And that was a tremendous public-relations problem for the United States.

    We started to lose credibility then. We’re fighting for the ideals of democracy. We’re fighting for the ideals of America. And when something like this happens, and then you try to cover it up, it makes it look like the United States doesn’t stand for those.

    Wolf, even when he signed the paper on torture and said we’re going to make an exception to torture, when both houses — both chambers passed that — against torture, that’s the kind of stuff that hurts us and unites the — the Muslims against the United States.

    God, what a disgrace of a human being you are, Darrell, you fucking lowlife.

  167. 167
    tBone says:

    Our “policy” that is, of murdering innocent civilians and then paying to cover it up is what Murtha was saying.

    Why don’t you shove this back in your ass where it came from, Darrell? This is a new low, even for you.

  168. 168
    Darrell says:

    Jack Murtha?

    not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command…they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan

    Lieutenant Palano had it exactly right about Murtha

    In the United States, we have a civil and military court system that relies on an investigatory and judicial process to make determinations based on evidence. The system is not served by such grand pronouncements of horror and guilt without the accuser even having read the investigative report.

  169. 169
    Par R says:

    Loopy DougJ says that Murtha was slimed by Darrell’s comments. I think the real problem for many of those who support the war is that they feel real pain at the prospect of even a tiny number of its soldiers stooping so low as is suggested by unfolding revelations out of Haditha. Part of that pain stems from a wish that every American serve nobly. The other part is from the prospect of our talented and committed military’s reputation damaged by the acts of so few.

    There is none of that sentiment in the finger-pointing of Mr. Murtha and his ilk – only the zealotry that looks for any angle, any story, any tragedy that can make the war effort look so bad that others might join their calls for retreat.

  170. 170
    Ancient Purple says:

    Jack Murtha?

    Nope. He never made that statement.

    But thanks for trying.

  171. 171
    Punchy says:

    2) “This is old news. The American people are tired of hearing about it. Look at all the good things we’re doing in Iraq.”

    This is SO dead-on. These righties and ppGaz (not one and the same, but Fact Finders nonetheless) are screaming “not enough evidence” and “let’s wait for facts”….

    And as SOON as that report sees daylight in 2 months, it’ll be “who cares, that was months ago” and “stop focusing on the past” and “Murtha got lucky” and…..

  172. 172
    ppGaz says:

    And as SOON as that report sees daylight in 2 months

    No, you are dead wrong.

    Haditha is going to be THE story of summer 2006, unless we have a terrorist attack on US soil.

  173. 173
    Punchy says:

    No, you are dead wrong

    What I meant was….this report will take awhile to come out, IMO. The Marines want it delayed (I’m guessing), the WH wants it to disappear altogether, and the media will be complicit in both. Not to mention, everything the gov’t in terms of “investigations” takes awhile, so that they can quietly lay it out after all the hype has died down.

    My 2 months was just a guess on how long the Bush Admin would wait to declare that ~24 bodies with gunshots to the head and US military bullet fragments, reports, pictures, interviews, witnesses, paperwork, capitulations, GPS data, PTSD cases, and approx. 50 “new insurgents” in Hiditha all coincidently related to these victims MIGHT be a case where solidiers MAY have overstepped their orders in a FEW houses with respect to a COUPLE of inhabitants.

  174. 174

    Haditha is going to be THE story of summer 2006, unless we have a terrorist attack on US soil.

    Don’t give Darrell any ideas.

    But really when you come to think about it. When was the last time we heard about all the good things that are happening in Iraq?

    Like the opening up of trade with Iran.

  175. 175
    ppGaz says:

    Don’t give Darrell any ideas.

    Don’t worry. When he’s done with them, they are good as new …. he won’t touch them.

  176. 176
    rilkefan says:

    Haditha is going to be THE story of summer 2006

    I’d be astounded. Some blonde spokesmodel will get abducted in Cancun, or a little puppy will find its way to its owners who moved from Alaska to Florida, or gas prices will hit $4/gallon, or someone will film the polar bears drowning as the Artic icecap melts – wait, that last’s actually a real story. Anyway, I don’t think this _is_ much of a story – a handful of Marines cracked and the chain of command was a little compromised. Pujols is more of story.

  177. 177
    Punchy says:

    Like the opening up of trade with Iran.

    I thought you were being serious. Wow, this doesn’t sound good…nice opening:

    In the past two weeks, Iran has been pumping into Iraq two types of extra-lethal weapons in very large quantities

  178. 178

    What’s always amazed me, and this goes back to the RNC convention last year with the little purple heart bandaids… is just how much people like Darrell love to trash on soldiers.

    It’s like they have absolutely no respect, they just use them as political pawns when it serves their purpose.

    Disgusting, really.

  179. 179

    I thought you were being serious. Wow, this doesn’t sound good…nice opening:

    It’s not a realiable source. But I was trying to find something that talked about the link of the SA-14 man-mobile AA missile that took down the British chopper and it’s possible source as being Iran.

  180. 180
    Steve says:

    Darrell just lies and lies and lies.

    Murtha very clearly said that the longer the investigation drags on in private, after we’ve already admitted guilt by making payments to the victims, the more it starts to appear like we have some kind of policy of covering up massacres, an impression we could avoid if we just came clean about the facts straightaway.

    And Darrell goes around screaming about how Murtha claimed the Marines have a policy of murdering civilians. What a fucking liar Darrell is.

  181. 181
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    I actually heard a report on the radio today from an Iraqi official who continually called these deaths an accident.

    Huh???

  182. 182
    fwiffo says:

    I think the article John quoted, and Murtha’s statements on the matter are exactly right. I’ve heard a lot of comments, many from the right or from people in the armed forces along the lines of “if this is true, they oughta hang.” I have considerably more empathy for the marines than that.

    Explaing why it happened isn’t the same as excusing the behavior. Understanding that these things inevitably happen in any war, given enough time, isn’t the same as saying it’s not wrong. Recognizing that these men are only human, that their acts were borne of the impossible situation in which they work, and having compassion for them as fellow human beings is not the same as giving them a pass.

    —————————————————–

    Special Darrell sez:

    …the longer it goes, the worse it is for us, because it looks like it’s the policy of our troops to do something like this.

    Catch that? Murtha is actually suggesting that it might be the POLICY of our troops to murder innocent civilians. How’s that for ‘positive spin’?

    Wow, and John Cole complains about being misinterpreted. That’s an amazingly willful distortion of what Murtha said. You’ve managed to turn it completely inside out. Mighty fine hackery, even for Darrell.

    What he’s actually saying is that a failure to make a full and public accounting of what happened creates the appearance that this kind of thing is policy, and that appearance is bad for us. He’s in no way suggesting that it might actually be policy. He’s saying that it looks bad, and it sure as hell does. If that kind of misperception takes hold in Iraq, that’s obviously bad for us.

  183. 183
    Andrei says:

    Fuck you and your “shout from the rooftops.” Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, and get away from the progressive movement, because you are toxic.

    Easily the funniest thing I’ve read all week. It’s like listening to Keith Richards warn all the kiddies in little boy bands away from cocaine, hookers and alcohol because it’s “bad” for you.

    Gentlemen! There’ll be no fighting in the War Room!

    Oh… and so long and thanks for all the fish, DougJ! It was a great ride.

  184. 184
    Beej says:

    So, we’ve got an unknown number of Marines charged, tried and convicted, all on the basis of new reports that the events are being investigated. How about we change the venue to LA for example.
    “Police are investigating the charge that members of a youth gang invaded the homes of four families in Bel-Air and went on a killing rampage. Police sources state that there seems to be evidence the gang was reacting to taunts from a group of Bel-Air teens.”

    Let’s just run with it, okay? Why wait around for facts or evidence? There is no excuse for this!! Let’s crucify these murderers in the press and the blogs and everywhere. They deserve it!! After all, it makes the US look like a lawless, third-world country to others around the world. We can’t have that.

    Wait for the investigation to be finished? Why do you want to try to cover this up? That’s the worst thing you can do.
    Let’s just hang ’em now!

    No? You don’t care for that scenario? Funny thing, neither do I. And that, I think, is the point that pp gaz was trying to make earlier.

  185. 185
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    I find Damon’s account completely convincing. It’s important to remember that this country, and thus its soldiers, are tremendously less racist than they were during the days of the Vietnam War only four decades ago — a war in which deliberate massacres of civilians really did frequently occur and were covered up, with My Lai being only the tip of the iceberg.

    So: whose fault is it that our troops are being so strained trying to keep order in the current inferno that they occasionally snap? Well, we know the answer to that one, don’t we?

  186. 186
    ppGaz says:

    So: whose fault is it that our troops are being so strained trying to keep order in the current inferno that they occasionally snap? Well, we know the answer to that one, don’t we?

    Well, it was Saddam, of course. First he was our friend, then he was the Reincarnation of Hitler, then he was building Weapons of Mass Destruction so cleverly that we still have never found them, then he was annoying the inspectors, and finally he was being passive agressive with the sanctions. And he tried to kill our daddy.

    So, the imperative was clear, and the war was necessary.

  187. 187
    ppGaz says:

    Oh, I forgot, and he also was killing ten million of his own people a day. And we knew that freedom was God’s gift to mankind (which explains the several thousand years of unimpeded freedom) and also that the World Would Be Better Off Without Him ™ and so we had to invade.

    We expected flowers and instead got IEDs for some reason.

  188. 188
    ppGaz says:

    Oh, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction ™ which we think got moved either to Syria or possibly to Shangri La, but in either case we are still looking for them, that’s why we had to have the war. Well, unless we never find them, in which case it was the sanctions thing and the way he thumbed his nose at our demands. And there was a connection to 911 which only Dick Cheney and some people at Red State can really explain adequately. But mainly the WMDs and the really shitty attitude. And by that I mean his, and not ours.

  189. 189
    ppGaz says:

    At the end of the day, though, it was that The World Is Better OFf ™ which is irrefutable.

    For example, the apparent ongoing cough civil war cough calamity in Iraq which looks for all the world like the Iraqis were better off under Saddam than they are now in this ongoing clusterfuck is just an illusion perpetrated by your liberal media such as Fox News and Robert Novak.

    So, The World Is Better Off ™, that’s your main reason.

  190. 190
    chopper says:

    i personally think the marines did it. i honestly don’t care that there hasn’t been a trial yet.

    then again, i thought that OJ was guilty of murder long before his trial, and after. meh.

  191. 191
    ppGaz says:

    And apparently the Marines in Haditha might not have gotten the Mission Accomplished ™ telegram. That could be part of the problem. See, the terrorists, who Hate Us For Our Freedom ™, saw the Mission Accomplished banner and got really mad, and then they decided hey, America invaded Iraq and ran into basically no opposition, so why don’t we invade Iraq and fuck with it for a few years? So now Iraq is mostly Al Qaeda (well, okay, it’s one ten thousandth of one percent Al Qaeda, but as we all know, a little Al Qaeda goes a long, long way) and we have to Fight Them There So That We Don’t Have to Fight Them Here ™ which is not only clever, it is really aimed at winning over the people who are stuck living There ™ and have to put up with this bombing shit every day, plus no electricity and no running water and no gasoline and no government that can actually govern anything.

  192. 192
    ppGaz says:

    So when you get right down to it, the whole adventure over there has gone pretty well, as our government would say, with a few bumps in the road and a few annoyances which are things that some future president will have to deal with, according to Mister Bush, since he has no clue how to end the mess and get the hell out of there, and besides, according to his wife, the Mission Accomplised ™ thing really only referred to the landing that Bush had pretended to make that day on the carrier, and not to the war or anything. So it was that lousy landing and the way Bush looked in the goofy flight suit (a Michael Dukakis moment, as we say) that really was the last straw.

  193. 193

    You know, ppGaz, for a sissy little moonbat, you’re not so bad. I like the way you think. You see the big picture, instead of getting bogged down in details like the other kooks here. I know you understand the importance of taking the fight to the moose-worshipping Canuckofascists who blew up Santa in the horrific 5/29 attack. If it turns out that they didn’t have anything to do with it, well, at least we can allow the Canucki people to smell the sweet flowers of freedom and taste the delicious nectar of democracy.

    I could use a man like you in the Global Struggle Against Crazy Canuckis (GSACC). I’m thinking Information Minister. What do you say?

    Remember 5/29, bitches.

  194. 194
    ppGaz says:

    Information Minister is good. I would like to hire Darrell as my spokesperson, the Official Mouthpiece ™ of the Mission Accomplished World Better Off Global War on Terror WEapons of Mass Distractaction Hate Us For Our Freedoms God’s Gift to Mankind ™ Threat Level Yellow Which Means Stay Midly Scared At All Times So That We Can Lie To Your Fucking Face And Get You To Go Along With Anything campaign.

  195. 195

    Good idea, but let’s just shorten that to Official Mouth.

    As part of your orientation, I need you to practice the following phrases:
    “Freedom is on the march.”
    “The tundra-monkeys evildoers will be brought to justice.”
    “I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”
    “Peeps rule, bitches.”

  196. 196
    Darrell says:

    Darrell just lies and lies and lies.

    Murtha very clearly said that the longer the investigation drags on in private, after we’ve already admitted guilt by making payments to the victims, the more it starts to appear like we have some kind of policy of covering up massacres, an impression we could avoid if we just came clean about the facts straightaway.

    Whatever floats your boat Steve. Murtha was clearly over the top with his suggestion that the military was so rife with coverups, that if we didn’t do something immediately, despite a full investigation being nearly completed at the time of his accusation, that it would look like civilian murder and coverup was official US military policy.

    Is/was there evidence that civilian murder and coverup of murders is so rampant to justify Murtha’s smear? No, Murtha was politicizing the investigation (which was in it’s final stage at the time of his comments) to promote his own selfish agenda..

    What kind of man comes out in his first comment on the incident, publicly stating that the marines murdered those people “in cold blood” without having the final investigative report? Wouldn’t a more honorable man have said something like “it doesn’t look good now, but we don’t have all the facts in yet. We have a judicial system in place which will make that determination based on the evidence”. But that’s not what Jack “cold blooded murderers” Murtha said, was it? And as that Marine Lieutenant pointed out in the WP editorial:

    Mr. Murtha’s position is particularly suspect when he is quoted by news services as saying that the strain of deployment “has caused them [the Marines] to crack in situations like this.” Not only is he certain of the Marines’ guilt but he claims to know the cause, which he conveniently attributes to a policy he opposes.

    To Murtha, it’s all about advancing his agenda no matter what the cost to those Marines involved whose guilt had not been established.

  197. 197
    fwiffo says:

    I think it’s most healthy for me to just ignore Darrell from now on. See how I’m ignoring him? I’ve resisted the urge to further feed his crazy little monkey scribblings. I think I’ve grown as a person.

  198. 198
    Darrell says:

    fwiffo Says:

    I think it’s most healthy for me to just ignore Darrell from now on. See how I’m ignoring him? I’ve resisted the urge to further feed his crazy little monkey scribblings

    Such erudite argument, so typical of the left. Remember your rule – whenever you don’t have have facts or logic on your side, go straight to name calling. It’s who you are

  199. 199
    ppGaz says:

    To Murtha Darrell, it’s all about advancing his agenda no matter what the cost

    Fixed!

  200. 200
    ppGaz says:

    Such erudite argument, so typical of the left Darrell. Remember your DArrell’s rule – whenever you don’t have have facts or logic on your side, go straight to name calling. It’s who you are Darrell is

    Fixed!

  201. 201
  202. 202
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    The good news just keeps a’comin’:

    (1) Iraq’s prime minister has just publicly accused US troops of routine civilian massacres. Admittedly this guy is precisely the sort who would grossly exaggerate such a claim — he has close ties to Hezbollah, which gives you some idea of how desperate we are at this point to find ANYONE willing to try to run the place — but…

    (2) …The BBC now has a videotape which seems to show a second mass murder by US troops (although it comes from a source with an ax to grind)…

    (3) …And several more US soldiers have now been arrested in connection with the separate murder of a single innocent civilian.

    See the NY Times, Kevin Drum, and ABC for all the thrilling details.

    As for Darrell’s frothings, I wonder whether he was equally doubtful about O.J.’s guilt at the start. I also wonder whether he’s equally angry at Sen. Warner and GOP Rep. Kline of Minnesota, who have already publicly agreed with Murtha that the evidence of a civilian massacre is overwhelming. (This afternoon, CNN interviewed the mother of a US soldier assigned to investigate the Haditha incident immediately after it occurred. She says he told her back then that it was instantly obvious that there had been a massacre and coverup by the troops.)

  203. 203
    Darrell says:

    As for Darrell’s frothings, I wonder whether he was equally doubtful about O.J.’s guilt at the start

    OJ had Ron Goldman’s blood in his vehicle. Is there similar ‘smoking gun’ evidence on those marines that you are aware of? No? Because if you don’t have similar evidence against those marines, that would make you a scumbag sack of shit for making such a comparison, would it not?

    I also wonder whether he’s equally angry at Sen. Warner and GOP Rep. Kline of Minnesota

    Warner didn’t say much from what I read. Kline should STFU with his conclusion jumping until the final report of the investigation is presented and the Marines have a chance to present their defense.

    She says he told her back then that it was instantly obvious that there had been a massacre and coverup by the troops

    It looks like there were a lot of dead bodies. How do we, based on info available so far, know with any degree of confidence that is was marines who massacred them? Or whether terrorist insurgents were firing on marines while hiding among the civilians? Or whether or not witnesses lied?

    The accusations that have floated so far, like Marines shooting people who were begging for mercy, don’t ring true. Of course anything is possible, but it smells of bullshit.

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