Haditha

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Marshall Wittmann, onetime staffer for the Christian Coalition, later an aide to Sen. John McCain, and now something of a "new Democrat," has an excellent post on Haditha on his "Bullmoose" blog. Let me quote the whole thing:

Marshall Wittmann, onetime staffer for the Christian Coalition, later an aide to Sen. John McCain, and now something of a "new Democrat," has an excellent post on Haditha on his "Bullmoose" blog. Let me quote the whole thing:

Haditha

The Moose comments on the Haditha story.

If Americans committed a war crime in Haditha, they should be tried and punished. America abides by certain ethical standards and prosecutes those who violate the rules of war–and that includes those who might cover up misdeeds.

At the moment, there is a press frenzy over the Haditha incident. It is the duty of the press to uncover wrongdoing, and they are doing their jobs. However, it is also their responsibility to avoid a rush to convict before all of the facts are known.

The media must also provide a sense of proportion. While the press will readily and properly condemn the improper or criminal actions of a few American soldiers, they too infrequently tell the stories of the heroism and altruism of our troops. This is particularly true of this war.

The bravery, heroism, and good works of our soldiers are awe inspiring. Each and every day in Iraq and Afghanistan they risk their lives so that strangers can enjoy a better life. Yes, in every war there are horrors, and this war has been no exception. But Americans are not fighting to gain territory or colonize others. Our troops are at war so that America can be more secure and so that democracy can rise in a part of the world that has only known tyranny.

These are bleak days in this war. And when we learn the facts about Haditha, we should keep this in mind–if we fail in Iraq, those who will benefit are Baathist and [Abu Musab] Zarqawi's moral monsters who have committed thousands of bloody massacres as their standard operating procedure.

We should never forget the extraordinary sacrifices of our marines and soldiers who we send into harm's way so that we can sleep peacefully at night. We are a nation deeply in their debt.

I concur with every word.