June 30, 2006
More Soldiers Accused of Crimes in Iraq: MSM Propagating Blood Libel
UPDATE: One arrested. I still don't want to believe it.
More U.S. soldiers accused of mass murder in Iraq. It's time for General Casey to go. Not because of the alleged mass murder, but because it looks like the U.S. is taking these types of allegations far too seriously and doing so publicly.
It's bad enough that the mainstream press has begun to buy into the lies and slander levied at our troops, but for the U.S. military to take them seriously is a strategy for defeat. Every time a civilian dies, Islamists call it murder. Every time.
Many of you may not be aware of this, but al Jazeera has been carrying these types of stories since the day the U.S. toppled the Saddam Hussein regime. Long time readers may remember the blood libels levied by Giulana Sgrena against the U.S. in our Fallujah campaign.
There is a reason our enemies fight us. They fight us because they think we are the bad guys. These types of stories only reinforce that viewpoint.
There is a good argument to be made that by investigating these types of allegations the U.S. is shown to be the "good guys". All crimes ought to be investigated and prosecuted. Not because this is a good public relations strategy--it isn't--but because it is the right thing to do.
However, since every time a civilian is killed an accusation is levelled, how can the military possibly hope to sustain a policy of investigation in an urban military operation zone? It's simply impossible.
The specifics of this particular case, at least as reported by the AP, are too fantastic to take seriously, even if a soldier has allegedly confessed to being part of some of it.
It is quite likely that women in Iraq have been raped by U.S. soldiers. It's just a matter of statistical probabilities. For every X number of men, there are Y number of perverts and criminals. Even in the military. So, when hundreds of thousands of men are rotated into a nearly lawless situation, it is only a matter of time and opportunity that misdeeds will occur.
But to take seriously the notion that FIVE soldiers gang-raped a girl, murdered her, burned her body, and then murdered her family to cover up the crime is simply beyond the pale. It would make a good movie script, but it's just too far out there to even begin to take seriously.
And if the accusation is not that this is what happened, then the AP has done an excellent job of making their story sound as if that is what happened--which is a crime in itself.
To even begin to think something like this could occur is to buy into the Islamist stereotype of the barbaric U.S. military. It is to think the very worst about our professional and citizen-soldiers.
A soldier might murder, a soldier might rape, but not five. Five soldiers might accidentally kill a family and then cover up the evidence, but not murder them.
If the post-Abu Ghraib / post-Haditha strategy is to publicly investigate all accusations in an effort to win over world & local opinion, then those orchestrating this strategy are far more naive then I ever imagined. There is nothing we can do that will ever please our Islamist and Leftist enemies.
Public investigations can only demoralize the American people because it lends the authority of the U.S. military to our enemies who make the accusations. The American people are simply unaware that these types of accusations--and worse--are levied on a near daily basis. It's part of our enemy's strategy. When they see the news that soldiers have been accused of crimes and that the military is investigating, the only conclusion that can come from it is that there must be some merit to those accusations.
If crimes have been committed investigate them and prosecute those responsible. But since the public's information about these investigations are mediated through a hostile press, then do the investigations in private. If no charges are filed, then our soldiers ought not be subjected to media criticisms over accusations.
In war civilians die. If you cannot accept that, then you shouldn't go to war. You cannot ask our military to defeat the enemy, but only on condition that civilians are not killed. Tying one arm of our soldiers behind their backs on the battlefield with the cords of an ill conceived public-relations campaign is both immoral and a strategy for certain defeat.
Did our entire military learn nothing from Vietnam, or just the ones in charge?
AP, with thanks to George:
Five U.S. Army soldiers are being investigated for allegedly raping a young woman, then killing her and three members of her family in Iraq, a U.S. military official said Friday.
The soldiers also allegedly burned the body of the woman they are accused of assaulting in the March incident, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
The U.S. command issued a sparse statement, saying Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of coalition troops in Baghdad, had ordered a criminal investigation into the alleged killing of a family of four in Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad. The statement had no other details.
"The entire investigation will encompass everything that could have happened that evening. We're not releasing any specifics of an ongoing investigation," military spokesman Maj. Todd Breasseale said of the Mahmoudiyah allegations.
"There is no indication what led soldiers to this home. The investigation just cracked open. We're just beginning to dig into the details."
However, a U.S. official close to the investigation said at least one of the soldiers, all assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, has admitted his role and been arrested. ...
One of the accused soldiers already has been discharged and is believed to be in the United States, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The others have had their weapons taken away and are confined to Forward Operating Base Mahmoudiyah.