Sunday, May 28, 2006


I have been out of the loop for several days now because my in-service teacher training starts officially on June 19, and I have much preparation to do still. Today was my first chance to do more than scan headlines, and I see that the massacre of 24 civilians at Haditha has been getting a lot of blogger and media attention.

When Time magazine reported on March 19 that Marines in Haditha, Iraq, had killed 15 unarmed civilians (later upped to 24) back in November (November 19, curiously enough), liberal bloggers took heat from some on the right for treating the report seriously.

When Rep. John Murtha announced, about 10 days ago, that he had been told by military insiders that the investigation was going to reveal the reports of a Marine massacre were true, bloggers on the right condemned Murtha for prejudging the conclusions of a not-yet-completed investigation.

Now, major articles in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, are reporting that photographs taken by a Marine intelligence team immediately after the killings have convinced investigators that the massacre was real.

To their credit, many of the same bloggers who doubted that the reports were true and who criticized anyone who discussed them from the standpoint that they might be true, are now acknowledging the near-certainty that a Marine unit really did slaughter about two dozen innocent men, women, and children.

Unfortunately, others are still trying to argue that the massacre reports may yet prove to be a pack of lies, or that the reports are wild exaggerations and anyway, these things happen in war (an argument never used, you'll notice, to excuse the murder of civilians when it's insurgents doing the murdering). Some on the right still appear to believe that talking about the results of an investigation into a wartime atrocity is worse than the actual atrocity.

Such bloggers might want to remember that it was the article published in the March 19 issue of Time magazine that triggered the military investigation in the first place. Before that, the military had accepted a trumped-up version of the incident put together after the massacre by the Marine unit responsible for it.

No comments: