Haditha Update

The NYT reports that Pentagon officials confirm that a military investigation is “expected to find,” as Rep. Murtha suggested last week, that two dozen Iraqi civilians were killed in cold blood by US marines last November. The deaths, which were originally ascribed to a makeshift bomb, and then to crossfire between marines and insurgents, actually look to be the result of “a sustained sweep by a small group of marines that lasted three to five hours and included shootings of five men standing near a taxi at a checkpoint, and killings inside at least two homes that included women and children.”

A separate inquiry is looking into the cover-up, and yet another inquiry this week has found “sufficient information” to recommend the commission of the formal criminal probe into the killing of another Iraqi civilian near Hamandiyah.

I’ve spent awhile reading some of the responses to this story by conservative bloggers, and every one I read (which should not be conflated with every one, period) has taken the position that this happens in all wars, move along, blah blah. You know, I don’t think they’re wrong—but while they use this ghastly fact to continue to defend the Iraq war, I have always used it to approach all war very carefully indeed. It’s jarring to see the ultimate betrayal of troops meant to be liberators invoked as a misguided justification of the alleged liberation.

More from TBogg, The Heretik, Tom Tomorrow.

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