November 16, 2004

Watch Your Six


The full context and all relevant facts regarding the Marine-shoots-wounded-insurgent case are still not known, but the left-leaning mainstream media seem all too ready to turn the incident into the next Abu Ghraib scandal (as Charles Johnson put it). FoxNews reports: Military Probes Shooting of Prisoner.

The judge advocate general heading the investigation, Lt. Col. Bob Miller, told NBC News that depending on the evidence, it could be reasonable to conclude the Marine was acting in self-defense.

"The policy of the rules of engagement authorize the Marines to use force when presented with a hostile act or hostile intent," Miller said. "So they would have to be using force in self-defense, yes."

"Any wounded -- in this case insurgents -- who don't pose a threat would not be considered hostile," said Miller.

Charles Heyman, a senior defense analyst with Jane's Consultancy Group in Britain, defended the Marine's actions, saying it was possible the wounded man was concealing a firearm or grenade.

"You can hear the tension in those Marines' voices. One is showing, 'He's faking it. He's faking it,'" Heyman said. "In a combat infantry soldier's training, he is always taught that his enemy is at his most dangerous when he is severely wounded."

If the injured man makes even the slightest move, "in my estimation they would be justified in shooting him."

Meanwhile, little attention is given to incidents that are known and can be reported: the horror of insurgent rule in Fallujah.

UPDATE I -- November 18: This cartoon appears in today's (Thursday's) Investor's Business Daily.

UPDATE II: From today's Wall Street Journal: Semper Fi: The story of Fallujah isn't on that NBC videotape.

Some 40 Marines have just lost their lives cleaning out one of the world's worst terror dens, in Fallujah, yet all the world wants to talk about is the NBC videotape of a Marine shooting a prostrate Iraqi inside a mosque. Have we lost all sense of moral proportion?

The al-Zarqawi TV network, also known as Al-Jazeera, has broadcast the tape to the Arab world, and U.S. media have also played it up. The point seems to be to conjure up images again of Abu Ghraib, further maligning the American purpose in Iraq. Never mind that the pictures don't come close to telling us about the context of the incident, much less what was on the mind of the soldier after days of combat. ...

When not disemboweling Iraqi women, these killers hide in mosques and hospitals, booby-trap dead bodies, and open fire as they pretend to surrender. Their snipers kill U.S. soldiers out of nowhere. According to one account, the Marine in the videotape had seen a member of his unit killed by another insurgent pretending to be dead. Who from the safety of his Manhattan sofa has standing to judge what that Marine did in that mosque?

UPDATE III: Jack Wakeland from TIA Daily writes: Who Will Defend War?.

In what universe is it "horribly wrong"--even criminal--for a Marine Corps rifleman to shoot a wounded Iraqi militiaman lying on the floor of a mosque in a combat zone (a shooting that was captured on video by an NBC cameraman)?

Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's office felt the need to issue a statement that the Iraqi leader "is very concerned by allegations of an illegal killing by multinational forces in Fallujah." The interim prime minister brought up the incident with General George Casey, commander of the multinational force.

To make matters worse, US Ambassador John Negroponte told the press that "no one can be happy" about the incident "but the important point is that the individual in question will be dealt with."

This whole line of thinking comes from the rejection of war, as such.

Try TIA Daily for FREE:

Enter your e-mail address above and click on the arrow to receive a free 30-day trial of TIA Daily.

Posted by Forkum at November 16, 2004 07:56 PM