Sort of a strange post, because I don't want to elaborate much...but I wanted to get out in front of anybody's temptation to counter the emerging story of the (predictable) Haditha massacre with the (equally predictable) argument that, hey, Islamic terrorists do much worse things than that before breakfast and high-five each other in glee.
Yes. They do. And it's also, again, predictable in advance that when wars happen -- particularly ill-considered, open-ended wars that drag on and on -- you're going to get war crimes.
But before engaging in the logical (and moral) fallacy of excusing war crimes -- whether by focusing on the obvious evils of terrorists, or the horrible pressures of war itself -- please be aware of two things:
1. My Lai was a great deal worse -- but Haditha is, I am informed and believe, very bad indeed. When you eventually hear all the details, I can virtually guarantee you won't want to have defended it.
2. The laws of war were accepted in the first place to protect not only "civilization," but warriors themselves. They don't always work, of course, and terrorists couldn't give a damn about them. We still need them: because they minimize the number of atrocities even in war, keep us from becoming the Nazis our enemies would like to make us out to be -- and, crucially, thereby minimize the resistance our forces encounter. Had the Nazis not been systematic war criminals, they'd be ruling the world today; because they were, everybody (thank God) fought them down to destruction.
'Nuff said, I hope.
Hadithas happen. When they happen, they have to be punished, or they'll keep happening, which benefits nobody at all...even in the coldest, most practical of terms.
93 93/93 -- AJ