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« Is the Iran Nuke Deal North Korea Redux? | Main | The Generals Speak - What Has Gone Wrong in Iraq »

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Comments

Ethan Stock

I wrote:

I am an enormous fan of the U.S. Marine Corps (Dad and lots of relatives served there) and I am either neutral or accepting of the actions of the single Marine caught on video which have caused such a stir. I also, incidentally, don't give a hoot whether the soldiers and Marines smoke in combat. Despite all those ?red? leanings, I feel obliged to call you on the wording of your piece:

You wrote,

"...the marine who fired on an Iraqi insurgent lying among the wounded, faking injury..."

I have seen no report, not even a non-credible report, which states that the Iraqi who was killed was "faking injury". What is clear is that he was not dead; and what appears to be true is that he was in fact injured. Since I am fully aware that injured people are just as potentially deadly as the robustly non-injured, I don't think that changes the equation much; but to state it as you do feels like an ad hominem attack in support of an action that is, at the very least, questionable (in the literal sense of worthy of being questioned).

In support of the "Red View" petition circulating, I would again say that I agree that "The lives of our soldiers should be the single most important factor in this war against terrorism." and I would further ask, why did President Bush announce the forthcoming siege of Falluja before the election, when it would take weeks to prepare for that battle? I can only presume that he is either incompetent as a military commander, or that he was seeking partisan political advantage (appearance of strength before the election without risk of casualties before the election), and in either case is risking the lives of our troops unnecessarily in this necessary war on terror. That is the primary reason that I voted against Bush, and I expect, in a resigned manner, that either deliberately or accidentally, he will put the lives of plenty of our troops second, third, or fourth in many battles yet to come.

Duncan replied:

Both points are good ones. BTW in the sound track of the video, which I heard several times, I believe the soldier does say 'he is faking he is faking' or words to the effect. So whether the Iraqi was faking the Marine thought he was. Or maybe I miss-heard it.

I replied to Duncan:

I think the Marine meant "he is faking being dead" which is a reasonable (mis)interpretation of a wounded guy lying on the floor. That is very different than him faking being wounded, which would suggest that the entire reason he was lying on the floor was with hostile intent.

BTW, I *highly* recommend John Dower's "War Without Mercy" about the U.S. and Japan in WWII for anyone who thinks this is new/different. The most striking episode from that book is the GI who sent a flute carved from the thighbone of a dead Japanese soldier to President Roosevelt as a present... and the President's office wrote back to thank him for the trophy. People have an extremely bad record when fighting wars against distinctly different ethnic groups; one reason that I think WWII in Europe was so 'clean' is that it was all white people.

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