The Horror of the War in Iraq

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Horror of the War in Iraq

The painful story that is Haditha has fueled animosity around the world and within the borders of the United States.  Political pundits on the left have disparaged American troops as a whole, while bloggers on the right blame the media for reporting the story.  The left points to the atrocities as reason not to be in Iraq; the right refuses to acknowledge that these atrocities even exist.

   Neither side is entirely correct in this argument.  Whether the Haditha story is true or not, we must come to grips with the fact that civilians do get murdered during wars and it is not always the enemy that is committing these crimes.  The media needs to cover these atrocities so that they do not continue to occur.  The media will, of course, sensationalize the story to no end, but that is what they do with every story they get.

This war in Iraq gives people up close and personal coverage of a real war in real time.  Reporters throughout the world are embedded with troops or out on their own covering the violence.  It brings the war into our living rooms. They say that Vietnam was the first war we could watch on television, but back then, there were only three major networks, limited international coverage, and no cable news.

What we're seeing now is the horror of war.  It's painful to say, but there have been many, many rumors of American troops randomly killing Iraqi civilians in the last three years.  To be fair, most of these stories could not be corroborated.  However, with the allegations of murder in Haditha and of other incidents, the spotlight is now on the conduct of the U.S. armed forces.

Like I stated in a previous post, the vast majority of American soldiers are great people.  However, they have been put in a position to fail in Iraq.  They have never had enough support on the ground in Iraq and have been forced to be more aggressive in order to stay alive.  For some, that aggression has led down the wrong path, a path to unprovoked killings.

If these allegations are true, America will no longer be able to stand on the high moral ground in the world.  There is already an enormous amount of anti-Americanism in the world today.  These tragedies will only further erode world opinion of this country.

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