I've got a lot of things to say about the Marine massacre in Haditha, and a more recent case in Hamdaniyah in which Marines will be charged for taking an unarmed man from his house, shooting him, and planting an AK-47 beside the body to make it appear he was a combatant. But I'm going to wait a few days before saying them.
However, I have to respond to this, in Saturday's L.A. Times article on the Haditha investigation:
As Marines moved across the desert into Iraq on March 19, 2003, each Marine received a signed statement from then-Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, exhorting his troops to fight vigorously but to treat noncombatants with "decency … chivalry and soldierly compassion."
The relevance of Mattis' statement is that the Marines in Haditha are part of the 1st Division. But the general's name rang a little bell. Wasn't he the one who had to be rebuked for saying it was fun to shoot some people? Why, yes he was:
"Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. ... It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling," he said at the forum in San Diego. "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," he added. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."
Did the L.A. Times reporters remember that, too? I wonder.
Labels: Iraq mil