Monday, May 29, 2006

Of Marines and Congress"men"

Lately a lot of media coverage has been directed towards the actions of a few marines in Haditha, Iraq last November. The marines killed 24 Iraqis after a roadside bomb hit their convoy on November 19th 2005. After the dust settled on that day 1 marine and 24 Iraqis were dead, and of the 24 dead Iraqis 15 of them were supposedly innocent civilians. Since then an investigation has been opened concerning the events and everyone has an opinion about what happened that day. Congressman, ex-marine, and failed human being John Murtha has already publicly declared that the marines killed the civilians “in cold blood.” All this before the trial has even taken place.

What you will not hear in the media and what no one but someone in the military could understand is that sometimes, and I am most likely hanging myself out to dry here, the killing of innocent people in a war zone is understandable. Now notice that I did not condone the killing of innocent people but instead I said that it is understandable coming from the viewpoint of someone who has served in a combat zone. In no way is killing an innocent person right, rather, it is a morally reprehensible thing to do. However, in the heat of the moment, when split second decisions mean the difference between life and death, your mind can become cluttered and the will to survive takes over.

Most of the marines there that day were on their third deployment to Iraq and most likely had seen their fill of death and destruction. I am speaking from the viewpoint of someone who has seen limited combat action but I also understand what it is like to venture back into a combat zone after making it out safely once before. On my first deployment I sought out as much adventure as I could possibly get, which wasn’t much. The whole year was a new adventure for me and was possibly the best time of my life. My second deployment has been much different though. I do my job without question but I often have feelings of restraint and at times simply want to make it back home in one functional piece.

The thing to understand about combat veterans is that they can grow tiresome of the day-to-day bullcrap that they have to put up with i.e. ever changing Rules of Engagement, an unidentified enemy, and the restraints placed upon them in the name of “winning hearts and minds.” Oftentimes it can become too much to continually watch your buddies die or get hurt when there is nothing you can do in their defense. Such is the nature of IED’s. When convoys are hit with roadside bombs there is oftentimes nothing that can be done at the moment. Terrorists or criminals, however you want to look at them, hide some distance away out of sight and detonate IED’s or even place the IED’s in such a manner that they are victim detonated i.e. land mines, trip wires, and laser beams. It is a frustrating situation when someone you know gets hurt and there is nothing you can do about it.

I imagine the marines that day were fed up with all of the aforementioned things. Sometimes it simply becomes too much to deal with day after day. Have you ever had a bad day at work and wanted to snap at the smallest thing? Have you ever been fed up with your spouse and snapped at your children as a result? Although not on the same scale as killing, these examples are much like what soldiers face daily. There is only so much you can expect of 18-25 year olds given the task to kill bad guys. When you were 18 did you have the benefit of a lifetime of experiences and wisdom? Do you think you would be able to watch your best friend die and then restrain yourself when you knew his killer was within a quarter mile of you?

And we wonder why the media is so incapable of reporting on such issues. Have they themselves lived through the things they are reporting on? Have they ever spent time in the military? Are they professional enough to report what happens day in and day out without interjecting their own opinion? Most of the time I would say no to each one of these questions. There are a few exceptional reporters but for the most part they fail miserably when it comes to military matters, and these past few years it is the military that matters whether you believe we should be in Iraq or not.

Now the likes of John Murtha and the rest of the pathetic lefties want to turn this incident into another Abu Gharib so that the president’s approval rating will drop even further and will give them an edge when they put up whatever pitiful candidate they can muster in 2008. The state of politics is so pathetic that politicians are willing to see the lives of heroic soldiers ruined in order to keep their job. They are willing to damage the reputation of America and make a mockery of it’s military in order stay in Washington.

I asked the Iraqis I work with the other day what they thought about the incident at Abu Gharib and they replied that is was a shameful thing. When they finished answering I asked them what they thought about Iraqis killing American contractors and then dragging their bodies through the streets and celebrating. They looked at me and replied that that was also a shameful thing. When I told them that Americans were horrified about the actions of the soldiers at Abu Gharib they looked bewildered and ashamed that their own people celebrated the death of American civilians. When are we going to start applying the same standards to the Iraqis that we do to our soldiers? Is it okay for them to kill our civilians while we bemoan even the accidental deaths of Iraqi civilians?

Is it too much to ask that our politicians defend their military when it sacrifices so much for them? Is it too much to ask that our government stand behind these marines when they need their help the most? Is it too much to ask that the marines be given a fair trial before lowlifes like John Murtha condemn them in the court of public opinion before their real trial even takes place?

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

47 comments:

mamaworecombatboots said...

Tim
We are thinking of you and all your comrades today--thank you for your dedication, service and sacrifice. You are right, no one can know what you are facing without having been in your shoes. None of us know for sure what the real story is behind the Marines and the civilians, and no one may ever know except those who were there and even they will almost certainly have differing recollections. War is an impossibly ugly thing. The best you can do is the best you can do. Keep thinking, keep reaching out, try to keep feeling and most of all, keep safe. Our prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

This is by far your best writing Sgt. Boggs. Loud and clear! You are of course correct on EVERY point. The politicians and MSM will not listen though because they indeed have selfish motives and have somewhere along the line swallowed the Old Liberal Lies. They are blind to reality. And if you get right down to it - -God help those Marines and God help America because those in power today will not. Your supporters, Sgt. Boggs, are the little people out here in America. We are in this all the way with you and we will write our emails to politicians and News Media but it will change no minds there. Our hope is that individual Americans will stand up against the powerful and say NO MORE. Will it be enough? - -I don't know - -but if we go down it will be fighting for what we believe in - -the old American Way. Thank you Sgt. Boggs for everything you do and especially for this blog on Memorial Day.
Annie & Neatie

Elizabeth said...

I agree with you that prejudging people is wrong. There needs to be an investigation before passing judgment.

On your other point: operating under great stress may be a mitigating factor, but it does not absolve people of guilt if they have committed crimes. There are rules in war.

I also don't think you are correct in your belief that no one knows, or can imagine, the stress the soldiers are under. It's not like this is the first war that has ever been fought. Most people don't serve in the military, but most people know someone who has.

Anonymous said...

Tim,
I remember when those two terrorists snipers went on a killing benge in America, and I remember how afraid all the Amreican people were I knew at the time. Some wouldn't go outdoors. I was living back East then. I moved. I was shot at once in my life and I remember the panic because I couldn't see who was shooting at me. I shook for 24 hours. Usually I just don't say much but this time I can't think of any song lyrics that fit. I agree with you. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes because I know how scared I'd stay all the time.
Tom Canterbury

Anonymous said...

On defense of Boggs, Elizabeth he wasn't saying noone knows obviously their were prior wars, and conflicts. What he was saying was that not everyone with an opinion on the matter exactly knows the situation. And No you will never know the stress unless you are in the shoes of a soldier. A man can show his son how to be a parent by example, and the son may think he knows how it is to be a father and may think he could do a better job. But unless you are a parent and in the shoes as one, you will never quite know the kind of work or stress that is upon you. And knowing a parent doesn't make you one. So please if you've never served in a combat situation don't fool yourself. YOU DO NOT KNOW. Watching band of brothers or Over There does not give you combat experience.

A person in those boots

Mary S. said...

Excellent commentary. You made a lot of good points that I, as someone living in a nice, safe environment back home in the US, never thought about. Thank you!

strykeraunt said...

Elizabeth,

I agree with Boggs and the commenter above. There is absolutely no way you can understand what it is like to be a soldier in a war zone unless you have been there yourself.

I have two nephews who served in Iraq. I followed their deployment closely, was in somewhat frequent contact with them during their deployment and have listened as they shared their experiences with me after their return. (And, I have even watched Band of Brothers). However, with all of this knowledge I do not know what it is like to be a soldier in a warzone. No matter how much I educate myself, I will never know what it is like.

One thing I have learned from my own experience is that it is not up to me to pass judgement because I am not there. I would never pass judgement on any choices my nephews had to make, and I will not pass judgement on these Marines. This is exactly what the Murtha types have done, they have decided to judge and that is just plain wrong.

T.F.,

I agree that what is going on with Murtha, and the other "anonymous sources" is all about politics. I have gotten to the point where I loathe politics because it completely disregards compassion and respect.

The investigation will not be complete until sometime in June, and if there is a trial it will not occur until a later date. These Marines are innocent until proven guilty, period. If Murtha or anyone has received some type of insider information they need to keep their traps shut!! Investigative files ARE NOT a public disclosable until the investigation is complete, and should not be "leaked" to the media, or anyone else, in any shape or form.

I also know that sometimes innocent people die in war zones, even when soldiers follow ROE. And, this may be more true in Iraq because the enemy does not wear a uniform, and they do not follow the rules.

On another note, I have been thinking about you and all of the soldiers this Memorial Day weekend. You are all in my heart.

Anonymous said...

If "anyone" watched Baghdad ER in the last few days, their blame our soldiers mouths would be shut for good unless they are the enemy or insane. What our men and others are enduring from these mad dog terrorist over there is the most horrid thing you can immagine! I hope we do not endure more of terrorist murder in our own country but if we do I will have no sympathy for those who have supported them in any way if out of stupidity or otherwise.

Bag Blog said...

Last year I read a military blog (sorry can't remember which one) where a soldier described his feelings when his vehicles hit an IED. He described his "red hot anger", wanting to hurt someone for what they had done to his men and himself. He described having a gun in his hands and Iraqy civilians standing around watching and his anger and not knowing who the enemy was. It was a powerful blog.

I once broke up a gang related fight (one of the many actually) in a public school and took a roundhouse to the ear which pushed my earing into my head. Talk about angry. I wanted to hurt someone, yet I was the teacher who was suppose to keep the peace. It was definitely not a combat situation, nor was it on the same level as anything our military has done, but it gave me a glimps of the anger and helpless feeling you can have while trying to keep the peace in an unpeaceful situation.

Boggs, you have a lot of insight. Know that although our media is a mess, people support you.

Melinda said...

Thanks for the honest insight yet again, Boggs. I think that there are lots of veterans of other wars who would be able to relate to the fact that when everyone isn't playing by the rules and the terrorists and civilians sometimes interchange their roles, use each other as cover and the terrorists have no qualms about putting even their own families in danger, it changes the rules of war inexplicably.
I cannot imagine the stress nor do I envy anyone sweating his or her arse off in the sandbox day in and day out, toting 70 pounds worth of stuff and trying to maintain composure whether it is their first tour or third.
You have my utmost respect as do the Marines whose character have been called into question. As a very close member of my family is about to embark on the journey to become a Marine, I am watching this story even more closely than I normally would.
Keep on keeping on.

tfdad said...

Tim, You know what a blubbering idiot I can be when I get emotional and so you'll have no problem imagining me typing this with one hand and a kleenex in the other.

Your last couple paragraphs are as eloquent as you've ever been and as profound as anyone could be. Why we don't trust you guys to do your absolute best under the toughest of circumstances, without standing in our judgment, is far,far beyond me.

I think it was sometime around the Vietnam War that the concept arose of a "silent majority". I pray that you guys can hear its voice and know that we believe there is no military force on earth other than yours that can do the incredibly difficult task of being as merciless to the evil and as merciful to the innocent, as is possible in this fallen world.

I still maintain that if all the good that's been accomplished in Afghanistan and Iraq, since 2001, were to be tallied and credited to the Church, it would be the most significantly productive time for the achievement of good and the defeat of evil, in its 2000 year history.

Elizabeth said...

I wonder what would be the outcome if more older people and more women served in combat?

Anonymous said...

Hey Elizabeth, Lets get real here. Quit asking questions, and forming broken images of the way things are in a combat situation and Join. If you seek the truth quit wondering what if from behind a computer and serve your country in some other way than pointless debates about what if more older people were to serve or even even if more woman were to serve. Well What If a man wearing a muslim man detonated a bomb and killed your family for likes of ALA and because you were american? Would cowards like you join the us soldiers over here now, or would you still just sit back and wonder?

A Soldier in those boots ;)

Anonymous said...

I know personally several older men, some 50 years of age even, who tried to get back into the service after 9/11. They couldn't because they couldn't handle the physical toughness part. So several of those same men are doing other great things to support the troops. Besides if we keep listening to people like Elizabeth maybe her original idea will come to fruition and we can all, young and old,male and female, be fighting them right here on our own soil. But I have a feeling there would be many even then who would roll over and give up their freedom before they would fight.

t.h. snure said...

Tim,
You continue to amaze me. Just when I think you've written the post of the century, you out do yourself once again.

I've had so many things in my head that I wanted to tell Murtha and his ilk that at times I think my head is going to explode with rage. Although knowing you I'm sure there is a bit of rage behind the words of your post, you did an admirable job of keeping most of that to yourself.

I count myself fortunate to have served in the Navy and Naval Reserve for the better part of the last 25 years, but there is still no way I could imagine the day-to-day stress that is a part of combat since I have not had to deal with that part of military life. Having heard and read stories of those who have, gives only a hint of the reality of war. I don't know what (if any) combat experience Murtha had, but if he did have any, it is unlikely that it resembled what you guys (and girls) are up against in this conflict. He has no standing to make judgements against anyone. As for Elizabeth and her media crowd, they have even less.

I again find it impossible to fully express how proud I am of you and how much I love you as my nephew, my brother and my friend.

Todd

CJ said...

Thank You Sgt Boggs!! This is the kind of response to the likes of Murtha, etc, that America needs to hear! Thank you for saying so well what many of us feel. And thank you, too, for doing what you do. Semper Gratus.

Elizabeth said...

Well, actually, we are fighting them here. The NYPD apprehended someone not too long ago who has now been convicted of plotting to blow up a major subway intersection here in NYC. The Sept. 11 bombers were living in New Jersey while they were plotting their attack--before which they were living in Europe. It isn't as simple as "fight them over there or fight them here." Some might prefer to attack U.S. troops in Iraq, some prefer to attack U.S. citizens here. Apparently terrorists like variety.

windypoo said...

Sgt. Boggs, I salute you.
I stand 100% behind these Marines and am continually nauseated by the despicable, attention-hungry politicians who live for opportunities to belittle my Soldiers. The day shall come when these worthless, unappreciative scabs will be on their knees begging for the protection of the same Soldiers they've disrespected so. And, American Soldiers being as they are, the protection will be granted with a sense of duty that parasites like Murtha will never be able to comprehend.

Elizabeth said...

btw, I doubt I'd be accepted in the military due to a bad arm and bad feet. And if I were, I'd be sent over as a mental health specialist most likely, doing the same type of things I do here...

I do things to "fight terrorism" but what I do is too complicated to explain to people in the comments section of this blog.

strykeraunt said...

Elizabeth, what point are you trying to make here? I usually don't say this on someone else's blog, but you are over the top. Why don't your holy than thou arse and move to a blog where someone may give a rip what you think.

P.S. With your attitude I have to really feel for your patients!!

bmcworldcitizen said...

Guys ...I'm a professed Boggs fan, but I won't condone murder. Eye witness account below.

http://worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1629&Itemid=181

Boggs I have to disagree with yout comments on John Murtha, he has assessed the situation and come to the conclusion that is best for both the Iraqis and the US troops if you guys are pulled out. He is for the troops, not against them.

Anonymous said...

Tim
Thank you for all you do for our freedom. The truth will come out someday and it won't be from John Murtha.

Bag Blog said...

There are different degrees of murder (wow, what a harsh word). Whole situations must be looked at or investigated before judgements can be passed. Those rushing to judgement seem to have the old "mob mentality" of "hang 'em high" which is much more worrisome than anything our military has done. How many lives have been saved by our military's presence in Iraq? How about all the good that they are doing? No, now is not the time to pull out. Stand, ye, and be men. bmcworldcitizen and Murtha are way off.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Elizabeth can give bmcworldcitizen and Murtha some of her expert help in the mentle health department. She's right on one thing - -she can't help us at all. For a minute there though she must have mistaken us for someone who gave a dam*. Hang in there Boggs. As you know we are still counting on you to keep us safe from the enemies without while we battle the ones here at home.

strykeraunt said...

bmcworldcitizen,

This is not about condoning murder. And, it is not about whether Murtha thinks our soldiers should leave Iraq. It is about Murtha coming out and pretty much saying these Marines are guilty before they have even been charged or had their day in court. In this country we have a thing called due process. For some reason Murtha doesn't believe it applies to these Marines.

Anonymous said...

Rainman

Execellent blog & great insight into a story we will be hearing alot about very soon.

After reading some of the stupid comments by people like Elizabeth, "I also don't think you are correct in your belief that no one knows, or can imagine, the stress the soldiers are under. It's not like this is the first war that has ever been fought. Most people don't serve in the military, but most people know someone who has", I just shake my head in disbelief reading that BS. What does knowing someone who has served, have to do with understanding what its like?
Absolutly nothing!

I'm sure she has never been shot at or in fear of losing her life. I'm also sure she is typing this from the comfort of her office in the States. Elizabeth I dare you to take a trip to Iraq to get first hand knowledge of what its like having people shoot at you. Get real if you think you can know what its like from the comfort of you office or by knowing someone who served????

IMO
Let these guys be soldiers and we wont have these kinds of things happen. Didnt we learn anything from Viet Nam?
All it will take is to change the ROE to the same rules that the Hadji's use. Next time a IED goes off, you blanket the area in a 1/4 mile radius with automatic weapons fire. No mercy. It will do two things, it will stop the civalians from helping the terrorist's and give them some food for thought next time they set one off. The learning curve will be very quick or alot of Hadji's will die until they do learn. I'm sure some will say thats a terrible attitude. Fuck them, they arnt getting shot at are they? The Hadji's dont give a shit when they blow up HumVees with IED's or when they blew up the Trade Towers and killed thousands of innocent people to start this shit. Give them back the same treatment they gave us, because thats all they will ever understand.

Ash said...

Don't many of you find it ironic that you are all up in arms about the Marines are 'innocent until proven guilty' and we must follow 'due process' yet you don't feel the same about those incarcerated at Guantanamo or even Saddam. Remember Saddam has yet to be convicted of a crime yet you feel no problem with condemning him for all sorts of crimes.

Of course the marines are to be considered innocent until proven guilty but we all, Murtha included, can discuss the ramifications of marines hunting down and killing unarmed men, women and children

Anonymous said...

ho humm

Anonymous said...

Great blogg Sgt. Boggs. Many of us agree with every word because we know the pattern of the liberals and they do like to tie the hands of our military and then say "See I told you so" if a soldier gets totally frustrated trying to do the impossible. I am not saying that is what happened with the Marines. If you check out a letter written by CSM Mellinger on the Michael Yon site he offers a seat in his humvee to anyone who wants to take the ride with him through Iraq giving an opportunity for the likes of Elizabeth and her ilk to see for themselves. He has few who take him up on it though. Come on Elizabeth, why don't you go. I volenteered but haven't heard back yet. Maybe we can get some time on the ground and really be of benifit to America.

Carole said...

It's a great post. I agree with you 100% I'm hoping the voters in PA vote Murtha out.

Elizabeth said...

First: What exactly is a "Haji"? Is that supposed to mean Arab? Could you explain exactly the origin of this word?

I would like to go to Iraq. But I'm not going to be driven around by a soldier when I don't think the soldiers should be there. If I knew a private group organizing trips to Iraq, I would go.

I see a contradiction here: A number of the commenters talk about the heroism of the troops, how valiant they are, but in discussing the event at Haditha, the comments then become, they're under so much stress, you can't imagine, it's easy to lose your temper, etc.

Which is it: The troops are valiant heroes, or the troops are people who crumble under pressure and deal with stress by understandably blowing children's heads off?

I don't agree with either of those descriptions. I don't believe in either idealizing people or in making excuses for them. The simplistic thinking of some of the commenters here is mind-boggling.

bmcworldcitizen said...

All it will take is to change the ROE to the same rules that the Hadji's use. Next time a IED goes off, you blanket the area in a 1/4 mile radius with automatic weapons fire. No mercy.

I have enormous respect for Sgt. Boggs. A brave individual in difficult circumstances reaching out to a culture other than his own, and making a damn good job it.

I have nothing but visceral, deep seated contempt for the kind of person that would call for the deliberate killing of civilians, innocent men, women and children to “teach them a lesson”.

Although I take issue with the administration on much of what has been done in Iraq, I thank God that the American people, and the American military are far, far better than that.

Anonymous, whomever you are, you are a disgrace, and a deeply damaged human being. May God have mercy on you.

Anonymous said...

Even the brave and heros can become frustrated. It is not an either or thing. Once again Sgt Boggs you have drawn fire from the propagandists. Must mean that you are doing things just right. Thank you for all that you are and do. CSM Mellinger is not just "a" soldier but the CSM over all of Iraq. But then wouldn't expect you to know that. You have been weighed in the balances and found lacking, Elizabeth and BMworldcitizen. Why don't you take your propaganda elsewhere. You are making no ground here.

bmcworldcitizen said...

Elizabeth and BMworldcitizen. Why don't you take your propaganda elsewhere. You are making no ground here.

What are you talking about you utter, utter lunatic? What propaganda? Or is fact and propaganda simply interchangeable for you?

mama wore combat boots said...

gElizabeth: First of all, a Haji is a pejorative term for the enemy, used in the same way and for the same purpose as all the other historical terms like "Charlie" "Nip" "Kraut" "Hun" "Yankee" "Secesh" "Boche" "Frog" "Poilu" etc. They are used to try and reconcile the real and terrible conflict of being a thinking, feeling, decent human being who is called to do the unthinkable—kill another human being. Another person with hopes, dreams, desires, family, just like you. You should know the only way to accomplish that is to dehumanize the one you are fighting, to see them as essentially different, alien, non-human, not “us.” Of course, adding to the quandary is our troops are called to kill the “bad guys” and win the hearts and minds of the “good guys.” Trouble is, it is almost impossible to tell the difference. So most do their level best to do their duty and come home without too much damage. Is every US servicemember a saint? Hardly. But most of them are just like Sgt Boggs; thoughtful, caring, thinking, & honorable. But they are every one there at the behest of their government—the orders of which they are sworn to uphold. All of them will carry the experience to the end of their days and some will never be able to reconcile it, many will die here from the mental wounds they acquired over there. Surely you know your beef isn’t with them, it is with the ones who send them. Was this war the right thing to do? History will ultimately tell. In the meantime, we are there now and until the government says come home, our men and women will do their best to do what they’ve been ordered to do. Don’t like those orders? Write your congressman.

reverse_vampyr said...

Sgt. Boggs,

Great blog here, and I really enjoyed your post. Just wanted to thank you for your service and let you know I linked your article.

Heralder said...

Guys ...I'm a professed Boggs fan, but I won't condone murder. Eye witness account below.

Hi BMC,

I don't believe Boggs was condoning murder.

What he did was explore, and perhaps give us an intellectual "bone" to chew on regarding what might be the cause of such an action. This does not dilute the gravity of the situation, or exonorate the soldiers in question, but it does give another angle to consider when looking at the story as we know it in the most balanced way possible.

Here's another link related to the story from an embedded reporter. Not proof, not a conviction or declaration of innocence...just some information:

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/05/30/damon.iraq.btsc/

Boggs I have to disagree with yout comments on John Murtha, he has assessed the situation and come to the conclusion that is best for both the Iraqis and the US troops if you guys are pulled out. He is for the troops, not against them.

Sorry if I seem I'm answering for Boggs, I'm not.
The problem with Murtha and his slip shot statements is they make it impossible to think he cares for the troops. Why would a man who cares so much for the troops say such things that will serve to enrage our enemies and kill more of our troops? Would Murtha gladly pay the price in blood if it means he will get what he wants? Apparently if it's not his blood but the blood of the soldiers that will suffer the blowback from his premature comments, then he's fine with that. Murtha seems also happy to sacrifice Iraqi lives for the same goal...I'll let you do the math on that one.

What a caring and nuanced man he must be...this man of half-measures.

If you can take Murtha at his word for assessing the situation, then you can also take my word for assessing the situation. What do we have in common you may ask? One very important thing:

neither of us was there

Anonymous said...

What is a hajji?

Actually a hajji is a term given to those muslims who have made the pilgrimmage to The Mecca. Also reffered to as the Hajj. If a a muslim is reffered to as a Hajji and hasn't yet made the trip it is taken very disrespectfully.

A Soldier In those Boots

Anonymous said...

Sgt. Boggs, I just found your blog today and I love it! Thanks for your service. The Marines and all serving have my support 100%. And to dear Elizabeth...you sure do seem to enjoy stirring the pot. All I can do is shake my head and thank God that you aren't there. I wouldn't want you endangering my soldier son. Army mom

bmcworldcitizen said...

I don't believe Boggs was condoning murder.

What he did was explore, and perhaps give us an intellectual "bone" to chew on regarding what might be the cause of such an action.


Actually I did not mean to suggest that this was the case. I didn't interpret Boggs comments as condoning murder. I agree with your assessment of the post.

I guess I have read fairly widely on the subject in the last several days, ITN in the UK have a particularly harrowing eye witness account from a young girl. I'm convinced is what I'm saying. Plus my post was more a rebuttal of some of the comments.

Now I fully accept that I'm not an objective observer, but I did dismiss the initial allegation pretty much out of hand. I just didn't think it likely, in this day and age, that you could get away with that. At least in that regard, I appear to have been correct, it just took longer for the truth to catch up:-(

There does seem to be a tendency to confuse telling it like it is with treason, or sedition. I think that is flat wrong, and dangerous.
To accept that, you must operate in an Orwellian world were black is white and up is down etc. This, from my remove appears to be partially true for large segments of the US population already.

However, you are fortunate indeed to live in a country that rejects that logic instinctivley.

I'm not an American, so I have no patriotic inclinations to protect the reputation of the US, I just want to know what is going on. Although I am totally opposed to the war, I find the example that Sgt. Boggs presents encouraging, and an important balance to my own irrational "I hate Americans" type feelings. I don't, but I do sometimes get emotionally very angry with you guys because there are better ways. Intellectually I know it's insane to inform my attitude to a great nation based on the aberrant actions of Bush in the last 3 years.

Antediluvia said...

One of your best posts yet! The MSM has been showing for decades it doesn't know much about war and this just emphasizes it. Imagine what would happen if the media reported like this in WWII (correct me if I'm wrong). That war cost so many lives on all sides, both soldiers and innocent, yet the people of the world stood by the troops until the war was over. By no means am I deminishing the signifigance of the losses in this war, but you have to admit the number of lives lost in most wars are less than have been lost so far in this war - for which I am thankfull. But the MSM, rather than being thrilled at how the war is going, exaggerates everything to sound as if the war is going badly and everyone in Iraq is going to die and we should never have gone there. I'm usually nicer than this, but the media is really making me angry today.

To keep things straight, I have never been in a battle, or anything remotely close to one. Boggs would be surprised if I have :-). I don't pretend to be an expert on war. But I know enough to agree that it's not a simple, black-and-white thing. In the situations Tim describes, it would be really hard to tell friend from foe. It's not a video game, terrorists aren't waving flags identifing them, same with civilians. I know games are a rather petty example compared to real-life conflict, but it is the same concept. Anyone who has played a game like Battlefield 2 or Halo is bound to have accidentally killed a few teammates. And these friendlies have big arrows above their heads, practically saying "don't shoot me!". Again, not the same thing, but it just shows how much the MSM has to learn about conflict. Keep up the great work, Tim.

Gypsy said...

Murtha isn't in country, he can "assess" the situation all he wants, but to open his piehole and unequivocally declare that these Marines murdered civilians in cold blood is wrong. Period.

t.f. every time I read a post and think you can't get "better"...you do. Take care of yourself.

Maria said...

Dear T.F. Boggs,
I was just introduced to your blogg today and I must say that you write beautifully. Your choice of words and your opinion are a breath of fresh air. As a 23 year old recent graduate of Radford University, I am heading into the “real world”. Being at my university we were some what closed off in a sense of the actions happening around the world. I was very moved by the argument you posed about civilian casualties in combat. I don’t think that people here in the safety of their homes understand the actual environment of what is taking place over there. If you left them to make those decisions in a split second what would they truly do? But the point is they can’t put themselves there because they just don’t understand. And because of that one point they really have no write to say that our military is at fault for those actions. I feel that if you really don’t have a first hand account of what is going on then you really have no right to say anything on the subject. So on an end note, please, watch out for yourself and the rest of our brave soldiers out there. We miss you all and thank you for taking a stand so that the rest of us may live our lives. It really is a true honor to be able to talk with you…

ET USN 71-78 said...

Good words. Let's just wait for the facts to surface, and view MSM reporting with a jaded eye due to their atrocious track record.

This is a very interesting report regarding a (the?) source of the Haditha charges: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=20853_Haditha_Reporter_Jailed_by_US&only
Be sure to follow the links in the article, too. Sounds like much of the information floating around may be inaccurate or manufactured. Like you said, let's wait and see.

Anonymous said...

How do you find time to “blog” and fight a war? I would think writing a letter home once a week would be difficult while in such danger. Sorry, but you joined the ‘all volunteer military’ no one drafted you or anyone in the military. If you do not agree with the Constitution then move to another country. That is what they said when I came home in 1969 to those who disagreed “love it or leave it” 1-1-Recon.As years pass you will understand.

johnnyb said...

Dear soldiers the the real iraq War he's you you see your dumb enough to support a War that you are losing but people hate you and they want you dead and very soon even the American people will call you killers and call you disgrace to this country I may not be a a soldier but I am also not stupid like you I support the New York Times because they are true patriots not like you who pretend to be patriots All you are is target practice that George Bush wanted to get rid of and turn you into this same disgrace that Kennedy Johnson and Nixon disgrace in the Vietnam War Good luck when you get home and maybe you will smarting up

Anonymous said...

Congressman, ex-marine, and failed human being John Murtha has already publicly declared that the marines killed the civilians “in cold blood.” All this before the trial has even taken place. softmod Wii | how to softmod Wii