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Cry Me A Riverbend II

Thursday, November 18, 2004

My last word on the innocent harmless terrorist killed by a Marine

The shooting of an unarmed Iraqi was a tragedy. But was it a war crime?
By Owen West and Phillip Carter

The Watchdogs of Fallujah
by Bing West

[Update] Marine Just Doing His Job
by Diana West (Washington Times)

[Update] Power Line Blog posts a message from a Baghdad resident regarding his opinion of the killing of the poor innocent, harmless terrorist:
I just got of the phone with my father in Baghdad. I asked him what is the reaction of the Marine killing the injured Iraqi in the Mosque in Felujah. His first words were "Good riddance."

Incidentally they also post a link to Diana West's article so I guess we're reading the same stuff.

[Update] When the Margaret Hassan video is available on the net, I will post a link to it AND one of the Marine shooting the innocent harmless terrorist. But not until then.

I've said here and here and here that my considered opinion is that that Marine's action was a tragedy for him and and a minor setback in the broad scope of things for our efforts in Fallujeh. But it was not a crime. If you're still unconvinced by me, then you should read the articles above from that leftist rag, Slate.com.

It strikes me as absurd that this Marine might be in any way punished for killing that "innocent" terrorist that had only just before been shooting at them from that mosque (kiss my sphincter, Riverbend and Khalid and all your Saddam-whoring families!) as though a wounded terrorist never killed anyone; as though a wounded terrorist never pulled a grenade when a soldier got close enough to check on him.

Here's what I think of the job performance of Kevin Sites, the photographer who filmed the scene:

If I had been in his shoes, I would have erased the tape and reported the action to the soldier's commanding officer. That would be it. The Marine committed no crime, used instincts that could have saved his unit in similar situations, and certainly did not cost Iraq any thing but a single woman-slaughtering, car-bombing, house-mortaring terrorist.

Kevin Sites has, in his own little way, done the following:

  • Hurt the Marines who may die by pausing a little too long before shooting,
  • Hurt the cause of Iraqi democracy by giving it's enemies something to crow about.
If this post gets read in a newsroom somewhere, I'm sure I'll hear their gasps all the way to my little office. But their legendary reporter heroes of WWII would not have put out this sort of propaganda to help the Nazis.

[Update] Zeyad is unimpressed with arguments like mine. He says:

We also watched with horror the video of the Marine soldier shooting an injured Iraqi inside a Fallujah mosque. Everyone in Baghdad was talking about the incident. The casual manner in which it was done suggests that this was not something out of the ordinary.

I heard all the justifications from the US military; insurgents were placing booby traps on their dead and injured, the soldier was disturbed, he had a bad day, etc. None of them stand the test. This was a vile and despicable act, a crime of war, pure and simple. True, the man might have been a foreign fighter, a potential suicide bomber, a baby killer, whatever, but he might have also been an injured civilian caught in cross fire during the heat of battle crawling to what he perceived a safe area. Such questions are irrelevant in war, though. We can write a whole book about the subject but it would still achieve nothing.

Whatever, Zeyad. It didn't seem to be done "casually" to me. Maybe people are more high-strung in Zeyad's family and seem to be "freaking out" in normal conversation.

I don't think it likely the guy was a non-combatant, but if he were, it is still not a war crime or an atrocity. If one side in a war zone starts using ambulances as troop carriers and bombs (a war crime), and ambulances lose their military targeting exemption because of that which then caused a legitimate ambulance driver with a sick patient to get killed....it's not the fault of the soldier who shot him. It's the fault of the war criminals who used ambulances as troop carriers and the fault of the war criminal terrorists using wounded and dead (and pretended so) as bombs.


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