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        Wednesday, June 21, 2006

       Troops Cheer Murtha, Haditha No My Lai, Soldiers Charged With Murder

Murtha Cheered by Troops Returning Home.

congressman was calling the war a lost cause.
Sixteen-term Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), a decorated Vietnam veteran and military hawk, has become the face of the Democrats' anti-war movement since he called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops last fall. His oft-repeated criticism of the Bush administration's war policies also has earned him the wrath of Republicans.
In Murtha's southwest Pennsylvania district, however, many share the war critic's views.
At a welcome home ceremony this week for Myers and other troops from the Johnstown, Pa.-based 876th Engineer Battalion, the crowd cheered when a Murtha aide welcomed the troops on the congressman's behalf.
Myers said he backs Murtha, an opinion echoed by a number of other troops and their families. Several share his frustration with the conflict.
"I'm not sure we're doing a whole lot of good," Myers, 46, said of the U.S. presence in Iraq.

Frist: Surrender in Iraq 'not a solution'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Some Democrats are having second thoughts about Hillary Clinton as their 2008 presidential candidate, wracked by doubts about her cross-party appeal, and disappointed by her position on US troops in Iraq.
Those reservations were given expression last week at a forum in Washington of liberal Democrats, where the New York senator was roundly booed when she expressed her opposition to setting a date for withdrawing US troops from Iraq.

Robert Scheer: Hillary's Shameful Straddling on Iraq

How do you triangulate among death, hypocrisy and stupidity? Not at all logically, which is why Hillary Clinton’s dissembling on Iraq has become a fatal embarrassment not only for her but for anyone who hopes she can provide progressive leadership for the nation. If she has still not found the courage to reverse course on this disastrous war, why assume that as president she would behave any differently?
It is unconscionable that those who can accurately measure the true cost of the Iraq folly in wasted lives and resources — more than 2,500 Americans, tens of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of billions of dollars — dare prefer her to potential 2008 presidential election rivals John Kerry, Al Gore, Russ Feingold and John Edwards, who have all come to speak honestly of this quagmire and our need to extricate ourselves from it.

Soldiers For The Truth
Haditha And My Lai - No Comparison


When the news broke on allegations of Marine misconduct at the Iraqi village of Haditha, It did not take today's generation of mass media morons even half a news cycle to vaguely recall that something bad had happened at a Vietnamese village called My Lai….
It is in this current PR campaign being waged by the political factions -- those for and those against the current policies -- that My Lai and Haditha most closely resemble each other.
"Pro-war" and "Anti-war" faced off over My Lai, and the same is happening today. What is best and fairest, i.e., justice for the troops involved, does not seem to be a factor…. To save Defense Watch readers from having to do their own research on My Lai, although it is strongly encouraged, here's some of the most pertinent data to keep in mind as the Haditha case slowly plays itself out…
On March 16, 1968, an infantry company under the immediate command of Task Force Barker (named after Lt, Col Frank Barker, the TF commander) of the American Division's 11th Light Infantry Brigade entered an undefended hamlet in central Vietnam near the South China Sea. In the space of four hours, members of the company murdered around 500 Vietnamese non-combatants -- old men, women and children. At the time the actual butchery was underway, there was no pretense that these victims were collateral casualties who were dying as the consequence of legitimate military actions....
The company commander, Captain Ernest Medina, knew, or should have known, that mass murder was erupting all around him....
The principal subordinate "executioner," Lieutenant William Calley not only knew full well that mass murder was occurring, but actively participated in the slaughter. As one book put it, "It was Calley who, seeing a baby at My Lai crawling away from a ditch already filled with dead and dying villagers, seized the child by the leg, threw it back in the pit, and shot it." (From an excellent book, "Four Hours in My Lai," by two British authors who also did a riveting television documentary that aired in the UK and on PBS here.)
In an aspect little noted until decades later, the misconduct at My Lai included numerous sexual assaults, both rape and sodomy.
Additionally, mutilations and other barbaric acts bespoke a unit totally without appropriate leadership. Good order and discipline, such as it existed, focused on ensuring that the innocents died.

Washington Post
New Book Reveals Inner Workings of Bush Administration.

Here's another telling tale: "The book's opening anecdote tells of an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush's Texas ranch during the scary summer of 2001, amid a flurry of reports of a pending al-Qaeda attack, to call the president's attention personally to the now-famous Aug. 6, 2001, memo titled 'Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.' Bush reportedly heard the briefer out and replied: 'All right. You've covered your ass, now.'

7 Marines, 1 sailor charged with murder

The case is separate from the alleged killing by other Marines of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha last November. A pair of investigations related to that case are still under way and no criminal charges have been filed.


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