The case against US Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich seems likely to fall apart. The charge of murder will be reduced to one of negligent homicide. So will end yet another trial of US soldiers accused of atrocities in Iraq. This was one of the worst. The cold-blooded murder of seventeen civilians, including women and children at Haditha, north of Baghdad.
Apparently, when America is at war, it’s fine to murder, torture, rape and pillage. After all, our beloved heroes are only human, and in war everyone is allowed to make mistakes.
Excuses for not proceeding in the case of Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich are legion:
Difficulty gathering evidence; insufficient forensic evidence; a lack of prosecution witnesses. Yes, because they were all dead, gunned down in cold blood by Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich and his merry band of US marines out on a killing spree in retaliation for the death of one of their mates in a roadside bombing.
But were they simply obeying orders; following their training procedures?
According to one of the marines, Lance Corporal Humberto M. Mendoza, “I fired because I had been told the house was hostile and I was following my training that all individuals in a hostile house are to be shot.”
Never mind if they are only three, or thirteen, or five years old.
According to a Washington Post of January 6th, 2007:
“Marine officials have accused the troops of failing to identify their targets before using grenades and guns to kill 14 unarmed people in the houses, including several young children in their pajamas, in a span of about 10 minutes, according to the documents.
Safah Yunis Salem, 13, who said she played dead to avoid being shot, was the only person to survive the Marine attack on the second house. Her sister Aisha, 3, was shot in the leg and died; her brother Zainab, 5, was killed by a shot to the head. She said she lost five other members of her family in the room, including her mother.
“He fired and killed everybody,” Safah said. “The American fired and killed everybody.”
It would seem US rules of engagement have little regard for innocent civilians. In other circumstances Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich and his merry band would have been guilty as hell. If they, as seems likely, escape the charges of cold-blooded murder leveled against them, it will be because America cannot bear to consider its “heroes” less than glorious super beings worthy of laurel wreaths and applause, and because the US military sees innocent civilians of the “other side’ as equally legitimate targets as those who carry the guns.
Little wonder they will never win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.
Three conflicting viewpoints on the Haditha incident are linked below. Personally, I go with the “Nation”.
Guardian report HERE.
Washington Post article HERE.
“The Nation” article HERE.
Filed under: Immoral values