Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hadji Girl

Seems the Marines in Iraq are making up their own songs (video). Now, I usually leave Affairs de Corps to Gord because they're his boys, but a lot of people are taking exception to the brutality inflicted in Haditha and other places in Iraq and this video will probably raise more Hell. Let me explain something, being I've been in combat with Marines. Remember this:

The Marine Corps is not a police orgainization. The Marines have one purpose, to kill the enemy by any means possible. If you expect them to be touchy-feely and 'community oriented' like your local cops, you're sadly mistaken.

Now, I'm not condoning or trying to justify anything that resembles a war crime, but I think some of us on the left have to develop stronger stomachs.


I worry about people who think like this coming back into society. That kind of thing cannot be considered gallantry on the battle field. It's ugly and dirty and ultimately is going to blow back on some of these guys. I hope the Republicans are prepared to spend as much on VA mental health as they've spent filling their right wing cronies' bank accounts because a lot of these guys are going to need help. Our troops are in danger of losing their humanity in a war being fought for bogus political reasons. Some of them are going to have a hard time living with that.


Note to Digby: War is ugly and dirty and if you want to win, you have to be prepared to kill women and children. That's just the way it is. If you don't want innocents killed, don't go to war, period. The guys on the ground don't have the luxury of debating whether the war is just or not.


It's a good deal for senior ground commanders, who get career boosts by dint of assignment to the war zone that used to be a relatively peaceful country, ruled by a dictator whose fangs had been pulled by 12 years of sanctions and UN weapons inspections. For the younger ground commanders at company level, and the EM [enlisted men], of course, it's just toughski shitski, so suck it up, troop.


While we rail against war, there is a sad fact that war (not this war), sometimes, has to be done. I don't want touchy-feely Marines. I don't want touchy-feely anybody in the combat disciplines, be they Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine. I want them to be comfortable enough with killing that they won't hesitate when the time comes. I was, once. Rightly or wrongly, and don't forget these guys hear what the government wants them to hear, the Jarheads in that meat grinder believe anybody brown over there is a potential enemy. Ask a Vietnam-era infantry troop how that goes. Ask him how you justify friend from foe when Hell is erupting all around you. I couldn't, not unless you were wearing the same uniform I was.

A few weeks back, I alluded to an op in Afghanistan many years ago where we took ground fire extracting a CIA operator from Waziristan. I lost a friend on that op and I had no qualms drawing a bead on anybody on the ground as the chopper tried to lift off. I didn't care who it was; Soviet, Afghani, goat herder, it didn't matter. Shit, thems on the ground probably thought we were Russians. All we knew was we were taking fire. The door gunners and ramp gunner opened up and all of us who could, found a spot on that damned Pave Low to fire from. There was brass flying and noise from the mini guns and rifles cracking and small arms fire puncturing the fuselage, the chopper's jets screaming to lift that heavy bitch adding to the din. It was fucking insane. I'm sure a lot of innocents died that day. Have a rifle in your hands in the same circumstances and tell me what you'd do.

If the Marines had been used properly, not interchangably with Army troops or Military Police, we would see far fewer of these horrors perpetrated upon innocent civilians. If it weren't for the Chimp's illegal war, none of the atrocities would have happened. While the Marines, if found guilty, must take responsibility for their actions, the ultimate responsibility lies at the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill.

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