Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Collateral Damage or Murder?

Referencing the recent alleged deaths at the hands of U.S. Marines of apparent Iraqi civilians in Hamandiya & Haditha, don’t jump to conclusions. There are reports of Iraqi civilians found shot in the chest and head, some with their hands tied, and photos of dead bodies lined up along a wall. Taken in whole, these circumstances suggest execution as opposed to death during a battle. At this point, the information is unsubstantiated and not a replacement for competent investigations.

It is possible that some U.S. Marines could have engaged in what amounts to out-right murder. Even if that turns out to be true, it is not reflective of the conduct of the vast majority of U.S. fighting personnel.

What are the realities of fighting an enemy that dresses like, lives with, hides among, and strikes from within the civilian population? What are the realities of fighting an enemy that is willing and able to sacrifice the lives of civilian non-combatants at every turn? What are the realities of fighting an enemy that deliberately targets civilian non-combatants? The reality is collateral damage, also known as death and injury to non-combatants. The U.S. fighting forces must respond when attacked, and it is inevitable that civilians will die in the process. It is an unfortunate fact of war.

Don’t prejudge the incidents when you don’t have the full facts. The facts will eventually see the light of day, and the chips will fall where they may. Until that time, turn a deaf ear to the likes of alarmists like Jack Murtha, who is using these incidents for political fodder.

Update 6/6/06:

Read Michael Yon's posting "Hijacking Haditha."