Being himself a leading member of the few-and-the-proud community, the Babe was not amused with the recent rush to judgment on the part of the usual suspects of their betters who serve in the United States Marine Corps. Above he raises a paw of solidarity in support of an early supper hour.
"Now it isn't just that the war on terror has proven hard; the men and women fighting for us, the magnificent 99%, are being soiled in a repetitive, public way that is unbearable," writes Daniel Henninger in Opinion Journal in a bitter and trenchant rumination on the deadly "Iraq Syndrome" that is spreading over the media landscape like some Avian Flu of the consciousness, insinuating itself into the popular imagination both here and abroad:
Haditha is indeed the new Abu Ghraib. What this most importantly means is that any U.S. military action overseas now, no matter its level of justification, can be taken down by the significance assigned to events by the modern machinery of publicity. This explains why the U.S. commanders in Iraq announced yesterday that all soldiers in the next 30 days would take what the headlines are calling "ethics training." Of the some 150,000 U.S.-led troops there, Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the U.S. combat commander in Iraq, said "99.9% of them perform their jobs magnificently." Yes, and 99.9% of them, after all they've been through, will deeply resent the clear inference they lack "core values." Is that different than standard "Corps values"?
Stories of apparently malfeasant U.S. troop behavior are arriving daily now. And there begins the Iraq Syndrome. Some elements of the newly ascendant Democratic left may welcome it, but no serious person in American politics should.
We adore Richard/Wretchard of The Belmont Club, of course, but if his Wikipedia blurb is to be believed, he doesn't know the first thing about cats: "Wretchard is the name of an imaginary cat, in the words of Fernandez 'the symbol of that entire race of stoic, yet somewhat foolish creatures.'" We suppose it depends upon what your definition of foolish is. Like Baby, Tiny -- meeping the Mac monitor in the countdown to supper this afternoon -- is not amused.
Murtha makes me sick to my stomach. What a low-down slimy weasel he is to betray our Marines that way. Over at Blackfive -- many Marines are calling him an ex-Marine (no greater insult can ever be handed to any Marine).
One internal problem with the Nation’s narrative, which will be invariant to any outcome of the investigation, immediately jumps out. The assertion that it was all “willful, targeted brutality designed to send a message to Iraqis” is immediately contradicted by a recitation of how it was "covered up" . . . Any halfwit knows that the right way to sow terror is to leave corpses hanging from lampposts, skulls piled before the city gates or decapitate victims in a studio and distribute the video through Al Jazeera.
We agree with PJM's Seattle editor:
Perhaps The Nation needs to hire more halfwits.
"The violence continues to spiral in Iraq. But, instead of a deadline to bring our troops home and put the future of Iraq in the hands of Iraqi leaders, we get half-hearted comments about past mistakes, and cynical political calculation," writes the ever inspiring - and ever projecting -- John Kerry in his latest "Dear Donot" email. Baby obviously has larger fish to fry as he vies for our ham sandwich midday.
Our look-at-me blogger's heart thrilled to discover our own previous post cited at both The Belmont Club and its sister FrontPage War Blog:
Sissy Willis raises the interesting question of how much rules of engagement have contributed to the context -- not to the justification -- but the context of any possible massacre that may have occurred . . .
But much more interesting is her link to a King 5 news interview with one of the survivors of the actual Haditha incident. Interesting because the roadside bomb which precipitated the incident may have ironically killed or incapacitated the very NCOs tasked with enforcing the payment of this restraint.
Excellent point not raised anywhere else as far as we know. As for the second of Richard Fernandez' twofer referenced above, lend him your ears for this excellent, exclusive "PJM Podcast - Live from Kabul!" with blogger Bill Roggio of Counterterrorism Blog, who has just arrived in Kabul to report, first hand, on the situation there. "The riots in Kabul have been in the news for the last few days. Can you tell us a little about that?" asked Richard/Wretchard:
Bill Roggio: I spoke to a lot of folks about this, including people that live in the actual neighborhood where the riots occurred, and the consensus is that the riots were basically organized and staged by a group known as the Hazaris, who basically have been marginalized by the Karzai administration. This is a group that fought with the Northern Alliance . . . fought the Taliban for years and fought on our side . . . during Operation Enduring Freedom . . . What we saw immediately the day after these riots was the city returned to normal almost immediately.
A lot of the anger seems to be directed at the US military right now, at least from the Afghan people. The Parliament, you know has demanded that justice be served here and that the people responsible for the accident be punished, so it's really difficult to say . . . My guess is [Karzai] will probably reach out to this group.
"There was a recent New York Times article which suggested that things were going sour in Afghanistan. Now I know you've only been there a few days, but do you have any impressions that might tend to confirm or not confirm that impression?"
Bill Roggio: Yes. I do not get a bad vibe. I mean I felt when I was in Iraq, I felt the security situation there was much more tenuous than it was here. I mean I've been driving around town every day since I've been here, several times a day. It's safe enough for Americans to go out and basically walk the streets here . . . . There hasn't been an American or Western death, I believe, or a kidnapping or a murder since, I believe it was May of 2005. So I think that that's a bit hyperbolic to look at the security situation as unraveling.
What's happening now in southeast Afghanistan . . . the media's conflating our offensive operations [into previously unpatrolled areas] with a Taliban offensive [mostly against the Afghan police]. So I definitely think, you know, the New York Times has this story wrong.
The New York Times has this story and every important story out there wrong and has had, wilfully, for some time. It gives us courage and the will to go on to know there are Bill Roggios and Michael Yons and Blackfives and all the other milbloggers and knowledge-based bloggers out there doing their darnedest to make the world safe for you know what: As we know, it isn't free.
Update: Steve at Modulator is doing his darnedest to make the world safe for all creatures great and small at the Friday Ark.