Haditha: a question of standing

It appears that there is going to be bad news from Haditha.  Since this involves a war zone, we have to be very careful about coming to any conclusions before the fact.

But it appears that women and children may have been killed by our Marines.  The question arises, is this a bad thing?  More specifically, who would have standing to say it is a bad thing?

Not Hamas — it is dedicated to using terrorism to eliminate the state of Israel.  Their idea of warfare is to attack unarmed civilians going about their lives.  No standing there.

Not al—Qaeda — Osama bin Laden has issued a fatwa to kill Americans wherever they may be found.  No standing there.

Not Abu Musab al—Zarqawi — beheading defenseless people is his tactic.  No standing there.

Not the British professors' union — they think that it is beyond comprehension that Israel should defend itself against terrorism against its people.  No standing there.

Not the press, at least to the extent that this is treated as anything other than another 'incident' in Iraq — another bombing of a market.  Yes, those are reported, but simply as part of the passing scene.  No moral opprobrium is assessed.  No standing there.

The USMC.  It has standing.  The Marines are a disciplined fighting force that observes the rules of warfare and disciplines those who do not.  That is why this incident, if it occurred is so grievous — it is a breach of the values which the Marines represent and for which they are fighting on our behalf.  This incident, if it occurred, is so upsetting because it is a breach of the tremendous restraint our Armed Forces have practiced at great cost to themselves.

Greg Richards   6 1 06

It appears that there is going to be bad news from Haditha.  Since this involves a war zone, we have to be very careful about coming to any conclusions before the fact.

But it appears that women and children may have been killed by our Marines.  The question arises, is this a bad thing?  More specifically, who would have standing to say it is a bad thing?

Not Hamas — it is dedicated to using terrorism to eliminate the state of Israel.  Their idea of warfare is to attack unarmed civilians going about their lives.  No standing there.

Not al—Qaeda — Osama bin Laden has issued a fatwa to kill Americans wherever they may be found.  No standing there.

Not Abu Musab al—Zarqawi — beheading defenseless people is his tactic.  No standing there.

Not the British professors' union — they think that it is beyond comprehension that Israel should defend itself against terrorism against its people.  No standing there.

Not the press, at least to the extent that this is treated as anything other than another 'incident' in Iraq — another bombing of a market.  Yes, those are reported, but simply as part of the passing scene.  No moral opprobrium is assessed.  No standing there.

The USMC.  It has standing.  The Marines are a disciplined fighting force that observes the rules of warfare and disciplines those who do not.  That is why this incident, if it occurred is so grievous — it is a breach of the values which the Marines represent and for which they are fighting on our behalf.  This incident, if it occurred, is so upsetting because it is a breach of the tremendous restraint our Armed Forces have practiced at great cost to themselves.

Greg Richards   6 1 06