Friday, October 19, 2007

The Neo-Nazi-Avnery Axis of Evil

1. From Israel Academia Monitor:
Israeli Law Professor makes career of smearing Israel:

2. The Left is Having Conniptions over Being Monitored and Exposed:
"Academic colleagues, get used to it," warned the pro-Israel activist
Martin Kramer in March 2004. "Yes, you are being watched. Those obscure
articles in campus newspapers are now available on the Internet, and they
will be harvested. Your syllabi, which you've also posted, will be
scrutinized. Your Web sites will be visited late at night."

So let's have more of it! Support Israel Academia Monitor and Campus

3. Interesting how the moonbats take any story they think might make
Israel look bad and shoot it up into a banner headline. This past week a
minor story was making the rounds about a mentally ill person in Israel
who was once a member of some Kahanist factions but was kicked out for
being a crackpot and a kook. Embittered he started posting messages on
the web about how all the Ashkenazim are evil and how it is a shame that
Hitler did not finish off the Ashkenazim.

A single psychotic is ordinarily not news. But anti-Israel web sites
all over the world immediately featured the "story." Norman Finkelstein,
the unemployed Neo-Nazi ex-professor, has it at the top of his web page.
And today, Haaretz has a full cover story in its weekend magazine devoted
to the "story." See this:

Notice how Haaretz never devotes any space to the blatantly anti-Semitic
pronouncements of Israeli far leftists, including tenured traitors!

Earlier another "story" that was making the headlines concerned a
handful of non-Jewish Russian teenagers living in Israel who like to write
nazi graffiti on walls and like to give Heil Hitlers when they think it
will get them some press attention. These are basically bored teenage
guttersnipes, of the sort that one can find stealing hubcaps and guzzling
beer and piercing their nipples in any city in the world. But yahoos and
hooligans in Israel are
declared by the media to be a "Nazi Party forming in Israel," and make the
headlines. Why? Because it makes Israel look like a sick evil society
falling apart.

Oh and speaking of REAL Israeli Nazis, let us remind you of Herr Uri
Avnery, Israel's longtime Lord Haw Haw. In recent days he was denounced
by Avigdor Lieberman as a "kapo," to the bellowing and shrieks of all the
Bleeding Hearts upset by such rhetoric except when it is directed against
Zionists. Recently stories have emerged about how Avnery published a
nazi magazine in Germany in the 1930s:

Now it turns out that Avnery's Bash-Israel propaganda is being
distributed by bona fide Neo-Nazi organizations and web sites. The
following was sent out this week to a long list of Neo-Nazi groups (see
the ending especially!):

Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 13:44:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [JihadNewsDesk] An Honest Jew Reviews "The Israel Lobby
and US Foreign Policy"

An Honest Jew Reviews "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy"

Uri Avnery (illustration) is a journalist, peace activist, former member
of the Knesset, and leader of Gush Shalom, a peace movement in Israel .
Two Knights and a Dragon -- by Uri Avnery (Wednesday, October 3, 2007)
"The two professors take the bull by the horns. They deal with a subject
which is absolutely taboo in the United States , a subject nobody in his
right mind would even mention: the enormous influence of the pro-Israel
lobby on American foreign policy."
There are books that change people's consciousness and change history.
Some tell a story, like Harriet Beech Stowe's 1851 "Uncle Tom's Cabin",
which gave a huge impetus to the campaign for the abolition of slavery.
Others take the form of a political treatise, like Theodor Herzl's "Der
Judenstaat", which gave birth to the Zionist movement. Or they can be
scientific in nature, like Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species", which
changed the way humanity sees itself. And perhaps political satire, too,
can shake the world, like "1984" by George Orwell.
The impact of these books was amplified by their timing. They appeared
exactly at the right time, when a large public was ready to absorb their
message. It may well turn out that the book by the two professors, John
Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy", is
just such a book.
It is a dry scientific research report, 355 pages long, backed by 106
further pages containing some thousand references to sources.
It is not a bellicose book. On the contrary, its style is restrained and
factual. The authors take great care not to utter a single negative
comment on the legitimacy of the Lobby, and indeed bend over backwards to
stress their support for the existence and security of Israel . They let
the facts speak for themselves. With the skill of experienced masons, they
systematically lay brick upon brick, row upon row, leaving no gap in their

This wall cannot be torn down by reasoned argument. Nobody has tried, and
nobody is going to. Instead, the authors are being smeared and accused of
sinister motives. If the book could be ignored altogether, this would have
been done - as has happened to other books which have been buried alive.
(Some years ago, there appeared in Russia a large tome by Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn, the world-renowned laureate of the Nobel Prize for
Literature, about Russia and its Jews. This book, called "200 Years
Together", has been completely ignored. As far as I know, it has not been
translated into any language, certainly not into Hebrew. I asked several
of Israel 's leading intellectuals, and none of them had even heard of the
book. Neither does it appear on the list of, which includes all
the author's other works.)
The two professors take the bull by the horns. They deal with a subject
which is absolutely taboo in the United States , a subject nobody in his
right mind would even mention: the enormous influence of the pro-Israel
lobby on American foreign policy.
In a remorselessly systematical way, the book analyzes the Lobby, takes it
apart, describes its modus operandi, discloses its financial sources and
lays bare its relations with the White House, the two houses of Congress,
the leaders of the two major parties and leading media people.
The authors do not call into question the Lobby's legitimacy. On the
contrary, they show that hundreds of lobbies of this kind play an
essential role in the American democratic system. The gun and the medical
lobbies, for example, are also very powerful political forces. But the
pro-Israel lobby has grown out of all proportion. It has unparalleled
political power. It can silence all criticism of Israel in Congress and
the media, bring about the political demise of anyone who dares to break
the taboo, prevent any action that does not conform to the will of the
Israeli government.
In its second part, the book shows how the Lobby uses its tremendous power
in practice: how it has prevented the exertion of any pressure on Israel
to for peace with the Palestinians, how it pushed the US into the invasion
of Iraq, how it is now pushing for wars with Iran and Syria, how it
supported the Israeli leadership in the recent war in Lebanon and blocked
calls for a ceasefire when it didn't want it.
Each of these assertions is backed up by so much undeniable evidence and
quotations from written material (mainly from Israeli sources) that they
cannot be ignored.
Most of these disclosures are nothing new for those in Israel who deal
with these matters.
I myself could add to the book a whole chapter from personal experience.
In the late 50s, I visited the US for the first time. A major New York
radio station invited me for an interview. Later they cautioned me: "You
can criticize the President (Dwight D. Eisenhower) and the Secretary of
State (John Foster Dulles) to your heart's content, but please don't
criticize Israeli leaders!" At the last moment the interview was cancelled
altogether, and the Iraqi ambassador was invited instead. Criticism was
apparently tolerable when it came from an Arab, but absolutely not coming
from an Israeli.
In 1970, the respected American "Fellowship of Reconciliation" invited me
for a lecture tour of 30 universities, under the auspices of the Hillel
rabbis. When I arrived in New York , I was informed that 29 of the
lectures had been cancelled. The sole rabbi who did not cancel, Balfour
Brickner, showed me a secret communication of the "Anti-Defamation League"
that proscribed my lectures. It said: "While Knesset Member Avnery can in
no way be considered a traitor, his appearance at this time would be
deeply divisive." In the end, all the lectures took place under the
auspices of Christian chaplains.
I especially remember a depressing experience in Baltimore . A good Jew,
who had volunteered to host me, was angered by the cancellation of my
lecture in this city and obstinately insisted on putting it on. We combed
the streets of the Jewish quarters - mile upon mile of signs with Jewish
names - and did not find a single hall whose manager would agree to let
the lecture by a member of the Israeli Knesset take place. In the end, we
did hold the lecture in the basement of the building of my host's
apartment - and functionaries of the Jewish community came to protest.
That year, during Black September, I held a press conference in Washington
DC , under the auspices of the Quakers. It seemed to be a huge success.
The journalists came straight from a press conference with Prime Minister
Golda Meir, and showered me with questions. Almost all the important media
were represented - TV networks, radio, the major newspapers. After the
planned hour was up, they would not let me go and kept me talking for
another hour and a half. But the next day, not a single word appeared in
any of the media. Thirty-one years later, in October 2001 I held a press
conference on Capitol Hill in Washington , and exactly the same thing
happened: many of the media were there, they held me for another hour -
and not a word, not a single word, was published.
In 1968, a very respected American publishing house (Macmillan) brought
out a book of mine' "Israel Without Zionists", which was later translated
into eight other languages. The book described the Israeli-Arab conflict
in a very different way and proposed the establishment of a Palestinian
state next to Israel - a revolutionary idea at the time. Not a single
review appeared in the American media. I checked in one of the most
important book stores in New York and did not find the book. When I asked
a salesman, he found it buried under a heap of volumes and put it on top.
Half an hour later it was hidden again.
The book dealt with the "Two States for Two peoples" solution long before
it became a world-wide consensus, and with my proposal for Israel 's
integration in "the Semitic Region". True, I am an Israeli patriot and was
elected to the Knesset by Israeli voters. But I criticized the Israeli
government - and that was enough.
The book by the two professors, who criticize the Israeli government from
a different angle, cannot be buried anymore. This fact, by itself, speaks
The book is based on an essay by the two that appeared last year in a
British journal, after no American publication dared to touch it. Now a
respected American publishing house has released it - an indication that
something is moving. The situation has not changed, but it seems that it
is now possible at least to talk about it.
Everything depends on timing - and apparently the time is now ripe for
such a book, which will shock many good people in America . It is now
causing an uproar.
The two professors are, of course, accused of anti-Semitism, racism and
hatred of Israel . What Israel ? It is the Lobby itself that hates a large
part of Israel . In recent years is has shifted even more to the Right.
Some of its constituent groups - such as the neo-cons who pushed the US
into the Iraq war - are openly connected with the right-wing Likud, and
especially with Binyamin Netanyahu. The billionaires who finance the Lobby
are the same people who finance the extreme Israeli Right, and most of all
the settlers.
The small, determined Jewish groups in the US who support the Israeli
peace movements are remorselessly persecuted. Some of them fold after a
few years. Members of Israeli peace groups who are sent to America are
boycotted and slandered as "self-hating- Jews".
The political views of the two professors, which are briefly stated at the
end of the book, are identical with the stand of the Israeli peace forces:
the Two-State Solution, ending the occupation, borders based on the Green
Line, and international support for the peace settlement.
If this is anti-Semitism, then we here are all anti-Semites. And only the
Christian Zionists - those who openly demand the return of the Jews to
this country but secretly prophesy the annihilation of the unconverted
Jews at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ - are the true Lovers of Zion.
Even if not a single bad word about the pro-Israel lobby can be uttered in
the US , it is far from being a secret society, hatching conspiracies like
the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion". On the contrary, AIPAC, the
Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Federation and the other organizations
vociferously boast about their actions and publicly proclaim their
incredible successes.
Quite naturally, the diverse components of the Lobby compete with each
other - Who has the biggest influence on the White House, Who scares the
most senators, Who controls more journalists and commentators. This
competition causes a permanent escalation - because every success by one
group spurs the others to redouble their efforts.
This could be very dangerous. A balloon that is inflated to monstrous
dimensions can one day burst in the face of American Jews (who, by the
way, according to the polls, object to many positions adopted by the Lobby
that claims to speak in their name.)
Most of the American public now opposes the Iraq war and considers it a
disaster. This majority still does not connect the war with the actions of
the pro-Israel lobby. No newspaper and no politician dares to hint at such
a connection - yet. But if this taboo is broken, the result may be very
dangerous for the Jews and for Israel .
Beneath the surface, a lot of anger directed against the Lobby is
accumulating. The presidential candidates, who are compelled to grovel at
the feet of AIPAC, the senators and congressmen, who have become slaves of
the Lobby, the media people, who are forbidden to write what they really
think - all these secretly detest the Lobby. If this anger explodes, it
may hurt us, too.
This lobby has become a Golem. And like the Golem in legend, in the end it
will bring disaster on its maker.
If I may be permitted to voice some criticism of my own:
When the original article by the two professors appeared, I argued that
"the tail is wagging the dog and the dog is wagging the tail". The tail,
of course, is Israel .
The two professors confirm the first part of the equation, but
emphatically deny the second. The central thesis of the book is that the
pressure of the Lobby causes the United States to act against its own
interests (and, in the long run, also against the true interests of
Israel.) They do not accept my contention, quoted in the book that Israel
acted in Lebanon as . America .s Rottweiler. (to Hizbullah as . Iran .s
I agree that the US is acting against its true interest (and the true
interests of Israel ) - but the American leadership does not see it that
way. Bush and his people believe - even without the input of the Lobby -
that it would be advantageous for the US to establish a permanent American
military presence in the middle of this region of huge oil reserves. In my
view, this counter-productive act at was one of the main objectives of the
war, side by side with the desire to eliminate one of Israel's most
dangerous enemies. Unfortunately, the book deals only very briefly with
this issue.
That does not diminish in any way my profound admiration for the
intellectual qualities, integrity and courage of Mearsheimer and Walt, two
knights who, like St. George, who have sallied forth to face the fearful
Media Link

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4. Hitler spoke at Columbia:

5. Conference outs the Jewish leftist Anti-Semites:

6. Oxford's Jihadniks:

7. The Left is Soiling itself over Islamofascist Awareness Week:
See also

8. The Jews of Iwo Jima
February 20, 2005

Yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the start of the battle for Iwo
Jima. I thought it appropriate to spotlight some news and information
about the Jews who fought and died in the five-week battle between 70,000
American Marines (1,500 of which were Jewish) and an unknown number of
deeply entrenched Japanese defenders.

The Metro West Daily writes about Sam Bernstein, a 20-year-old (Jewish)
Marine corporal at the time of the battle.

Bernstein chuckles when he remembers the Tootsie Rolls he put in his
cartridge belt.

I chose Tootsie Rolls because they wouldn't melt and they were just the
size of a bullet. At the same time, I strapped on three or four bandoliers
full of ammunition. Still, if the officers had known what I was doing,
they probably would have shot me instead of the Japanese!
He does not chuckle when he remembers the two men who were killed in his
foxhole. Or the day he helped the Jewish chaplain bury some Marines.

An interesting fact that many of you may be unaware of is the historic
events that surrounded a Jewish chaplain on the island.
Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, assigned to the Fifth Marine Division, was the
first Jewish chaplain the Marine Corps ever appointed. Rabbi Gittelsohn
was in the thick of the fray, ministering to Marines of all faiths in the
combat zone. His tireless efforts to comfort the wounded and encourage
the fearful won him three service ribbons. When the fighting was over,
Rabbi Gittelsohn was asked to deliver the memorial sermon at a combined
religious service dedicating the Marine Cemetery.

Unfortunately, racial and religious prejudice led to problems with the
ceremony. What happened next immortalized Rabbi Gittelsohn and his sermon

It was Division Chaplain Warren Cuthriell, a Protestant minister, who
originally asked Rabbi Gittelsohn to deliver the memorial sermon.
Cuthriel wanted all the fallen Marines (black and white, Protestant,
Catholic and Jewish) honored in a single, nondenominational ceremony.
However, according to Rabbi Gittelsohn's autobiography, the majority of
Christian chaplains objected to having a rabbi preach over predominantly
Christian graves The Catholic chaplains, in keeping with church doctrine
opposed any form of joint religious service.

To his credit, Cuthriell refused to alter his plans. Gittelsohn, on the
other hand, wanted to save his friend Cuthriell further embarrassment and
so decided it was best not to deliver his sermon. Instead, three separate
religious services were held. At the Jewish service, to a congregation of
70 or so who attended, Rabbi Gittelsohn delivered the powerful eulogy he
originally wrote for the combined service:

"Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago
helped in her founding. And other men who loved her with equal passion
because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to
her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, Negroes and Whites, rich
men and poor, together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews
together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises
him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each
group are admitted or allowed.

"Among these men there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred.
Theirs is the highest and purest democracy! Whosoever of us lifts his
hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those
who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody
sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this then, as our
solemn sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves: To the right
of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of White men and Negroes alike, to
enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price.
"We here solemnly swear this shall not be in vain. Out of this and from
the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come, we promise,
the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere."

Among Gittelsohn's listeners were three Protestant chaplains so incensed
by the prejudice voiced by their colleagues that they boycotted their own
service to attend Gittelsohn's. One of them borrowed the manuscript and,
unknown to Gittelsohn, circulated several thousand copies to his regiment.
Some Marines enclosed the copies in letters to their families. An
avalanche of coverage resulted. Time magazine published excerpts, which
wire services spread even further. The entire sermon was inserted into
the Congressional Record, the
Army released the eulogy for short-wave broadcast to American troops
throughout the world and radio commentator Robert St. John read it on his
program and on many succeeding Memorial Days.
In 1995, in his last major public appearance before his death, Gittelsohn
reread a portion of the eulogy at the 50th commemoration ceremony at the
Iwo Jima statue in Washington, D.C. In his autobiography, Gittelsohn
reflected, I have often wondered whether anyone would ever have heard of
my Iwo Jima sermon had it not been for the bigoted attempt to ban it.
Posted by Lt Rubin in Great Stories, History.

9. Subject: A history lesson

A little history lesson. If you don't know the answer make your best
Answer all the questions before looking at the answers.

Who said it?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few,
by the
few, and for the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility
for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We) ...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means
has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to
give up
a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most
profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Scroll down for answers


(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton

Be afraid, Be very afraid!!

10. From the Wall St Journal:

October 19, 2007



What Happened at Haditha
October 19, 2007; Page A18
The incident at Haditha -- or the massacre, as it is often called -- is
due for a wholesale rethinking. The allegations are that in 2005 U.S.
Marines went on a killing spree and deliberately executed 24 Iraqi
civilians. The casualties have drawn an extraordinary amount of political
attention, becoming an emblem for everything critics say is wrong with the
Iraq war -- in the common telling, another My Lai.
Thus Congressman Jack Murtha, a decorated combat veteran, made accusations
of war crimes and said the Marines had killed "in cold blood." These are
serious charges; and military justice continues to deal with them
seriously, though thankfully at a slower pace than politics. Now the
prosecutions have mostly unraveled. It seems Haditha, though tragic, was
exploited politically, and the allegations were exaggerated, if not
* * *
Here is what we know. On November 17, 2005, Kilo Company of the First
Marine Regiment's Third Battalion was returning from a routine logistics
mission in Haditha, a town 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. Haditha is in
Anbar province, a heart of the Sunni insurgency with one of the highest
U.S. casualty rates in Iraq. The security situation at the time was
Shortly after 7 a.m., an improvised explosive device detonated under the
last vehicle in Company K's four-Humvee convoy. It instantly killed Lance
Corporal Miguel Terrazas and wounded two others. Windows were shattered
for 150 yards, and smoke and debris were everywhere.
An oncoming white sedan had been waved over near the stalled convoy. Five
military-age occupants exited and disobeyed orders in Arabic to halt; at
least one began to run. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, the squad
commander, and Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz opened fire, killing all of them.
The men were suspected of being spotters for, or remotely detonating, the
As a quick reaction force arrived, headed by First Lieutenant William
Kallop, Company K began taking small arms fire from several locations on
either side of the convoy. While taking cover, they identified at least
one shooter in the vicinity of a nearby "trigger house." Lt. Kallop
ordered SSgt. Wuterich and a makeshift team to treat the building as
hostile and "clear" it.
They forced entry and shot a man on a flight of stairs, then another when
he made a movement toward a closet. The Marines say they heard the sound
of an AK-47 being racked, so threw grenades into a nearby room and fired;
they killed five occupants, with two others wounded by grenade fragments
and bullets.
SSgt. Wuterich and his men pursued a runner into an adjacent house. They
led the assault with grenades and gunfire, in the process killing another
man. Unknown to the Marines, two women and six children were in a back
room. Seven were killed. It was chaotic and fast-moving in the dark,
close-range quarters, and accounts diverge on the chronology and offensive
After the firefight ended, around 9:30, the Marines noted men suspected of
scouting for another attack "turkey peeking" behind the wall of a third
house. A team followed to find women and children inside (who were not
harmed). They moved to a fourth house off a courtyard and killed inside
two men wielding AK-47s and two others.
In March 2006, Time magazine broke the story, which erupted in the press.
The accounts relied on a narrative that the Marines had gone berserk after
the killing of Cpl. Terrazas and murdered Iraqis in retaliation.
"Eyewitnesses" reported that the riders in the car had been lined up and
executed, and that there had been a rampage through the houses targeting
women and children. A coverup by the top brass was also asserted.
* * *
After the incident became public, the military was unusually aggressive.
It launched at least two exhaustive, months-long inquiries. Four of the
enlisted men from Company K were charged with unpremeditated murder --
essentially, killings without sanction. Four Marine officers who were not
on the scene were charged with dereliction of duty for improperly
reporting and investigating.
Before courts martial, all charges are referred to Article 32 hearings,
the military equivalent of a grand jury. The senior investigating officer
for the infantrymen, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Ware, had a chance to look at
all the evidence, not just that selectively leaked or filtered. The result
is that the charges are being reduced or dismissed altogether.
In separate Article 32 proceedings, two of the officers have been
exonerated; one, the highest ranking, has been recommended for a court
martial, and the other case remains pending. Of the four infantrymen, two
have seen their charges dismissed (one in exchange for testimony); and
charges against a third have been recommended to be dismissed. Ten of
SSgt. Wuterich's indictments have been recommended for dismissal, and the
seven others reduced to negligent homicide, essentially, accidental or
negligent killings. Why?
The first imperative is to understand the complex, asymmetrical combat
conditions in Iraq. The Marines were (and are) facing a determined enemy
who dress as civilians and use homes, schools, hospitals and mosques as
their bases of operation. They try to goad killings among the civilian
population because it foments domestic opposition against U.S. troops
while undermining them with elite international opinion.
In this environment, accusations of U.S. atrocities against civilians
occur after almost every military operation. That partly explains why the
Marines did not immediately investigate the Haditha killings. They viewed
some Iraqi claims as part of insurgent "information operations" and did
not suspect any misconduct. That day also saw citywide violence and
multiple combat actions, and the killings seemed, regrettably but
realistically, routine.
Perhaps, ex post facto, the officers might have erred on the side of
scrutiny, though it is more exactly the duty of commanders to report
accurately up the chain of command. Aside from some glitches, such as an
erroneous public affairs statement that some of the civilians had been
killed by the roadside bomb, they seem to have done so. There are also
accusations that the delay in the full probe compromised the case. One
indication of affairs in Haditha is that the heavily guarded investigators
came under a coordinated insurgent attack.
Still, negligence, if proved, does not constitute a cover-up. Even the
most fault-finding Haditha inquiry, conducted by Army Major General Eldon
Bargewell, rejected the idea of some upper-level conspiracy. As for the
infantrymen at Haditha, Lt. Col. Ware's investigation concluded, in a
representative statement, that "No trier of fact can conclude SSgt
Wuterich formed the criminal intent to kill." The allegations of a
deliberate massacre are entirely unfounded. They are contradicted by
credible testimony, and remain a "story unsupported by evidence."
If any of the reduced cases do move to courts martial, as some likely
will, they will turn on the rules of engagement. Decisions made in the
heat of battle are hard to judge from the outside. At the critical moment,
hesitation can result in a soldier or his unit getting killed. Thus
military justice usually presumes a benefit of the doubt if decisions that
were reasonable in the line of fire appear wrong in hindsight. A bad
result does not imply a bad decision.
* * *
At Haditha, did the Marines act reasonably and appropriately based on
their training? They were in a hostile combat situation where deadly force
was authorized against suspected triggermen for the IED, and were ordered
to assault a suspected insurgent hideout. In retrospect, the men in the
car had no weapons or explosives; in retrospect, the people in the house
were not insurgents. No one knew at the time.
Innocents were killed at Haditha, as they inevitably are in all wars --
though that does not excuse or justify wrongdoing. Yet neither was Haditha
the atrocity or "massacre" that many assumed -- though errors in judgment
may well have been committed. And while some violent crimes have been
visited on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, overall the highly
disciplined U.S. military has conducted itself in an exemplary fashion.
When there have been aberrations, the services have typically held
themselves accountable.
The same cannot be said of the political and media classes. Many,
including Members of Congress, were looking for another moral bonfire to
discredit the cause in Iraq, and they found a pretext in Haditha. The
critics rushed to judgment; facts and evidence were discarded to fit the
antiwar template.
Most despicably, they created and stoked a political atmosphere that
exposes American soldiers in the line of duty, risking and often losing
their lives, to criminal liability for the chaos of war. This is the
deepest shame of Haditha, and the one for which apologies ought to be
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