[Paleopsych] Fallujah video comment

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Sat Nov 20 14:22:00 UTC 2004

Absolutely true from our point of view.

Makes absolutely no difference on the Arab street.

It defines "quagmire."

Steve Hovland

-----Original Message-----
From:	Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. [SMTP:ljohnson at solution-consulting.com]
Sent:	Saturday, November 20, 2004 5:56 AM
To:	The new improved paleopsych list
Subject:	[Paleopsych] Fallujah video comment

 From www.opinionjournal.com
Semper Fi
The story of Fallujah isn't on that NBC videotape.

Thursday, November 18, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

Some 40 Marines have just lost their lives cleaning out one of the 
world's worst terror dens, in Fallujah, yet all the world wants to talk 
about is the NBC videotape of a Marine shooting a prostrate Iraqi inside 
a mosque. Have we lost all sense of moral proportion?

The al-Zarqawi TV network, also known as Al-Jazeera, has broadcast the 
tape to the Arab world, and U.S. media have also played it up. The point 
seems to be to conjure up images again of Abu Ghraib, further maligning 
the American purpose in Iraq. Never mind that the pictures don't come 
close to telling us about the context of the incident, much less what 
was on the mind of the soldier after days of combat.

Put yourself in that Marine's boots. He and his mates have had to endure 
some of the toughest infantry duty imaginable, house-to-house urban 
fighting against an enemy that neither wears a uniform nor obeys any 
normal rules of war. Here is how that enemy fights, according to an 
account in the Times of London:

"In the south of Fallujah yesterday, U.S. Marines found the armless, 
legless body of a blonde woman, her throat slashed and her entrails cut 
out. Benjamin Finnell, a hospital apprentice with the U.S. Navy Corps, 
said that she had been dead for a while, but at that location for only a 
day or two. The woman was wearing a blue dress; her face had been 
disfigured. It was unclear if the remains were the body of the 
Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, 59, or of Teresa Borcz, 54, a 
Pole abducted two weeks ago. Both were married to Iraqis and held Iraqi 
citizenship; both were kidnapped in Baghdad last month."

When not disemboweling Iraqi women, these killers hide in mosques and 
hospitals, booby-trap dead bodies, and open fire as they pretend to 
surrender. Their snipers kill U.S. soldiers out of nowhere. According to 
one account, the Marine in the videotape had seen a member of his unit 
killed by another insurgent pretending to be dead. Who from the safety 
of his Manhattan sofa has standing to judge what that Marine did in that 

Beyond the one incident, think of what the Marine and Army units just 
accomplished in Fallujah. In a single week, they killed as many as 1,200 
of the enemy and captured 1,000 more. They did this despite forfeiting 
the element of surprise, so civilians could escape, and while taking 
precautions to protect Iraqis that no doubt made their own mission more 
difficult and hazardous. And they did all of this not for personal 
advantage, and certainly not to get rich, but only out of a sense of 
duty to their comrades, their mission and their country.

In a more grateful age, this would be hailed as one of the great battles 
in Marine history--with Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Hue City and the Chosin 
Reservoir. We'd know the names of these military units, and of many of 
the soldiers too. Instead, the name we know belongs to the NBC 
correspondent, Kevin Sites.

We suppose he was only doing his job, too. But that doesn't mean the 
rest of us have to indulge in the moral abdication that would equate 
deliberate televised beheadings of civilians with a Marine shooting a 
terrorist, who may or may not have been armed, amid the ferocity of battle.
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