On May 18, the country was stunned by statements made by an irresponsible US Congressman from Pennsylvania. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) began making public statements that a group of Marines on patrol in Haditha, Iraq had “killed innocent civilians, women and children, in cold blood” after reading a story in Time Magazine. “Innocent civilians”? Are not the terrorists we are fighting in Iraq “civilians”? I have yet to see one in a military uniform.
The March 27th Time magazine report published claims by an Iraqi civil rights group that on Nov. 19, 2005 the Marines barged into houses near the bomb strike, throwing grenades and shooting civilians as they cowered in fear. The incident has been under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Multi-National Forces Iraq Since last February.
“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported. "One man was killed with an [improvised explosive device] and after that they actually went into the houses and killed women and children."
The Marine Corps originally claimed that a convoy from the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, hit a roadside bomb that killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso, Texas, and the ensuing firefight killed 15 Iraqi civilians — casualties the Corps at first claimed were killed in the bomb blast — including seven women and three children.
No official investigation report has been released by the Pentagon and a spokesman for Murtha was unable to add to the congressman’s remarks. "I do not know where Rep. Murtha is obtaining is information,” said Lt. Col. Sean Gibson, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Central Command in Tampa, Fla. “Thoroughness will drive the investigation."
What is the matter with that man? His remarks are despicable. How would he know what happened in Haditha any more that the rest of us? Was he there" No, he certainly wasn't. Does he even know anyone who was there? He has never made that claim.
Murtha is not sane. One little suggestion of Soldiers or Marines doing something wrong and up pops Jack Murtha in front of the cameras and microphones to condemn our brave men and women in Iraq with his concocted version of what he thinks has happened. Osama bin Ladden couldn’t do a better propaganda job.
But frankly, with no evidence to support anything in his story, he must have either imagined it or dreamed it. He has put this scenario into his head and goes public with it as though it was fact.
Can you say "senility"? Or is it just made up lies by a Democrat Bush hater and Iraq war critic to promote his antiwar agenda? Murtha will grab onto anything he can use to smear our soldiers and Marines, who defend our country and his right to make a fool of himself in public.
Everything Murtha has said is all based on assumption, as are the statements of the Iraqi Prime Minister after hearing about Murtha and reading about it in al Jazeera and other pro terrorist newspapers.
At the same time Marc Galasco, researcher and spokesman for "Human Rights Watch" is saying publicly "Marines murdered innocent civilians, women and children in cold blood" and has posted it on his website. He is not willing even to wait for the investigation to conclude. Where is Galasco's concern for the human rights of the Marine's , to be considered innocent until proven guilty? That’s not Galasco’s concern. The concern of Human Rights Watch is to defend the enemies of America and those who object to the American way of life. Galasco has admitted in an interview with Sean Hannity that he doesn’t know any of the facts, but still sticks to his statements.
The story being told by these uninformed sources is that after the bomb attack on the convoy, Marines assassinated 4 or 5 men sitting in a nearby taxi, then barged into two adjacent houses and brutally murdered everyone inside. This is based on reports from anti-American locals who claim to be witnesses and were paid for their interviews. For all we know, they could just as well be more insurgents or terrorist sympathizers.
Let's look at the facts, and what we do know about this incident that Murtha, the New York Times, and the Washington Post are calling the "massacre of innocent Iraqi civilians", and the "Iraq Mea Lai massacre".
That is all we really know. What we don't know are the circumstances under which these people were killed. We don't know that they were innocent civilians, and we don't even know that they were all Iraqis. We don’t know what the Marines knew about the people who were killed. We don’t know if the attack on them was provoked by them. We don’t even know that they were all killed by the Marines. How do we know that terrorists in the houses didn’t kill the civilians and our Marines killed the terrorists? We don’t.
The fact is, we don't know what really happened. No one does except those marines who were there. It is outrageous and un-American for Murtha and the media to be making these judgments without any facts or evidence. But when did facts matter to people like John Murtha? "Don't annoy me with the facts, I have an agenda!"
We know an IED roadside bomb was detonated along side a Marine convoy.
And because we know that, there is something else we also know. Someone triggered that blast and that person had to be in close proximity to know exactly when to press the button. The Marines knew that as well. From that, it's not difficult to conclude that not all people involved were "innocent civilians".
We know that bomb cut Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas in half in front of his buddies.
Other Marines suffered injuries as well. The instinctive human reaction is anger and increased adrenaline flow but Marines are trained to deal with this. They react to their training, not their instincts. This was not the first time they experienced this and they did what they were trained to do. Go after the enemy attackers.
We know that somewhere between 15 and 24 people were killed in the aftermath including several men sitting in a nearby taxi.
This is where we don't know the details, but should we assume as John Murtha did, that our Marines just went on a wild killing spree and murdered everyone in sight without good cause? This goes contrary to everything a Marine is and what he has been trained for. It doesn't make sense.
In the first place, every Marine knows full well that he can't get away with cold blooded murder and will be held accountable, even in a war. In the second place, the US Marine is the best trained professional soldier in the world. They are trained to deal with this kind of situation without loosing their heads. In the third place, they knew that when there is a roadside bomb attack, the terrorists are nearby. It is reasonable to assume that whatever they did, they had good reason and cause for doing it.
We know that two days later, a detail was sent out to take pictures and clean up the mess.
A later interview with one of the men sent on this detail describes a gruesome scene, but was the information released in the media all one sided? They reported gunshots to the heads of some of the victims and the media has interpreted that as "assassination style killings". There were a lot of American shell casings found at the scene which would indicate some sort of a firefight, it's only natural that some would have received a bullet in the head. That doesn’t prove they were lined up and assassinated.
We know that at least one AK-47 was found at the scene.
Do we know for a fact that there weren't other AK-47s used in the fight that may have been picked up by other locals after the Marines left the scene? Do we know that that AK-47 wasn’t fired at the Marines before they returned fire? The Marines involved have claimed that they found terrorists trying to hide among the women and children in the two houses. This is consistent with terrorist tactics and the Marines know full well that terrorists will usually try to pass themselves off as innocent civilians. They have dealt with this tactic before and are not often fooled by it. “If you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists”.
We know there was one 12 year old female Iraqi survivor.
This 12 year old girl may have provided the best evidence yet that what happened in Haditha was not as our media has described. In a later interview, the girl described what happened that morning:
"I was getting ready to go to school. It was time to go but I didn't want to leave the house because I knew the bomb was out there. So I waited and soon the American convoy was approaching. I covered my ears because I knew the bomb was going to explode."
If this 12 year old girl knew there was a bomb out there, and it was going to explode when the Marines drove by, doesn't it make sense that everyone else in the house knew about it too? That can mean only one thing: Either the terrorists who planted the bomb were living in that house, or were hiding in that house and no one reported it. That bomb didn’t dig it’s own hole in the road and plant itself there. The neighborhood locals must have been complicit in the attack. They must have known about it to avoid being in the area when the Marines came through and the blast went off. This was not the first time this sort of thing has happened in Haditha.
The men in Kilo Company were veterans of ferocious house-to-house fighting in Fallujah. Their combat experience seemed to prepare them for the ordeal of serving in an insurgent stronghold like Haditha, the kind of place where the enemy attacks U.S. troops from the cover of mosques, schools and homes and uses civilians as shields, complicating Marine engagement rules to shoot only when threatened. In Haditha, says a Marine who has been there twice, "you can't tell a bad guy until he shoots you." This, according to the June 3rd article in Time Magazine.
Our Marines deserve the American tradition to be considered innocent until the evidence shows they did something wrong and they are proven guilty, that hasn‘t happened yet. Instead of berating our Marines and painting them as cold blooded killers as Murtha and the Media are doing, they should be applauded, and this should serve as putting places like Haditha on notice that if you harbor terrorists and allow them to live in your town, there will be consequences.
We don't know how many of those allegedly killed by Marines in Haditha were terrorists, but Murtha and the media would like us to believe that they were all innocent civilians and our Marines are the bad guys. I don't think so! Murtha has again jumped to conclusions without any evidence to support his outrageous accusations. Our Marines deserve the benefit of the doubt, Murtha and our media should be ashamed of themselves.
The real "bad guys" here are Jack Murtha and the media. Any damage done to America by what the Marines of Kilo Company may or may not have done is minor compared to the damage done by Murtha and the media. Lou Dobbs on CNN is portraying this as possibly the final event that secures our defeat in Iraq and prompts our withdrawal. That seems to be just what he and his cohorts are hoping for, but then he takes on a sad appearance and says "This is just heart wrenching".
Well which is it Lou, a sad turn of events, or the defeat that you and your CNN crew has been hoping for? CNN has said noting in defense of the Marines of Kilo Company but rather chooses to put their faith in what Jack Murtha has said and hold discussions based on that premise, just accepting it as fact. This is just typical of what the entire mainstream media is doing with the possible exception of Fox News.
I keep asking myself, why is this event and others like it even in the news? Do we really need to know this? Does our enemy in the propaganda war need to hear this from us? Are we not at war? Left politicians and the media don’t seem to think so.
Who's side is the media and much of the Democratic party on? Can you imagine this kind of thing being covered in the newspapers during WWII? If it had been, there is no way we could have won that war. If the media was on Americas side, they would be publishing positive and heroic news about our military actions in Iraq, and not stories that harm our country and the war effort. But obviously, the media is not interested in supporting American interests in this war.
With this subversive, politically charged climate, it might be a good idea to get the media out of Iraq and let our military do their job without liberal, antiwar, interference. The Defense Department should clear all news releases on the war and make sure that they do not contain views and opinions beneficial to the enemy and harmful to America. Call it censorship if you wish, perhaps a little censorship is what is needed to win this war and stop the liberal anti-American propaganda.
If we fail to get a grip on this propaganda war against America both by our enemy and the American media and left wing politicians, our fighting troops will suffer more casualties than need be, and we may not be able to win. The more the American left and their media provides propaganda to the enemy, the more enemies they create that our soldiers and Marines will have to deal with. If the American media cannot do a fair job of reporting on this war, then it’s the responsibility of the Defense Department to cut off their sources.
Had all Americans and the media supported our country in this war as they did during WWII, I suggest that we would have won in Iraq by now and our troops could be coming home. By showing overwhelming support for the American war effort, the enemy would have been demoralized and defeated by now, instead of being encouraged by our media and asinine idiots like Jack Murtha who go off half cocked at every opportunity to get in front of the cameras.
The brave Marines of Kilo Company, and all the soldiers and Marines serving in Iraq deserve our full support and the full support of this country they are serving to protect. Anything less is nothing less than treason and support for the enemy. It's time our government realized that, and take steps to end it. We are at war and the media has to be taught to respect war time rules because most of them have never seen war before and don’t seem to understand it. Nor do they seem to understand the damage they are doing to our country with their antiwar bias reporting.
Considering the serious lack of understanding in the media, can we really have any confidence in anything they report? Perhaps that is why media retractions have become commonplace in recent years after something they have published has been corrected by others who simply know better than they do. Today, we have to question everything we see and read in the media and ask ourselves - do they really know what they’re talking about or are they just talking to hear themselves talk?
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