Backtalk, June 5, 2006

The Meaning of Haditha

This needs to be published on the front page of every newspaper in the U.S., read from the pulpit of every church and synagogue and in every school classroom in the land for the duration until it is as well known as the Gettysburg Address. This is the most frank and unmistakable statement of true American moral principle I have read in six years of Bush and Neocon blather and bunkum. I am reminded of Mark Twain’s “War Prayer.” Well said! I salute you.

~ David A. Jones

I just read your excellent article. I served four years and four months on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1961 to 1966. I am now 63 years of age, and have (hopefully) some of the wisdom that comes from surviving this long. I am NOT a so-called “bleeding heart liberal” nor a so-called “compassionate conservative” (nor am I a Republican or Democrat).

The committed atrocities, that you speak of, could have been predicted by anyone that has been paying attention to the “mindset” of the U.S. government for the past 30 years. The government is able to do anything, including committing abominable atrocities, and excuse them with the asinine, stupid statement: “Mistakes were made! I take full responsibility.” This should motivate any reasonably intelligent person to ask the question: Why is it that if you or I would commit a murder, “the people” could not wait to execute us or throw us in prison to rot, BUT, when the government does it, it is shrugged-off with: “Mistakes were made! I take full responsibility” (à la Janet Reno at Waco)? Of course, they take full “responsibility” because there are NO CONSEQUENCES. In fact, if you take the aforementioned “RENO EXCUSE,” there is not only “no consequences,” but the perpetrators (BATF and the FBI agents) were promoted. If a government can murder its own people (and, I may add, most Americans “cheered the government on”) and dismiss it with this asinine statement, then what would lead anyone to be surprised that they (the U.S. government) would do it to people in foreign lands and dismiss it with the RENO EXCUSE: “Mistakes were made! I take full responsibility.”

~ James Lewis, Dayton, Ohio

George Washington Had It Right

While I agree with the vast majority of Charley Reese’s comments in his recent article, I must say that his remarks with regard to religion are incredibly simplistic and off topic.

He is obviously of the opinion that, as he says himself, “religion is the best way to instill virtue in the masses.” Maybe he somehow missed the past 25 or so years of polling data that show that the U.S. is overwhelmingly of Christian persuasion when it comes to religion. Or maybe he missed the dozens of times that Bush has alluded to the fact that he pursued the Iraq war in large part because of his own sense of divine mission. Or perhaps that a good chunk of America’s “Christian” population has been unequivocally for the war effort, both before it began and now.

While Mr. Reese is right about just about everything else he said, for him to imply that it’s obvious that “anyone who is against religion is against the republican form of government” is downright insulting to the many secular people and atheists who are 100 percent behind the antiwar movement. It somehow strikes me as unlikely that Jeremy Sapienza, for instance, is a regular churchgoer. I respect Mr. Reese’s right to believe what he wishes, but he shouldn’t act as if those who reject bronze-age superstitions cannot be moral.

~ Tyler DiPietrantonio

A&E Documentary Focuses on Ohio Unit in Iraq

Last night on A&E, I watched a documentary made by Marines in Iraq.

The scenes were filmed in August 2005 just south of Haditha where the massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians occurred in November 2005.

One scene showed an amtrac hitting an IED and killing many of the Marines shown in previous video shots. Of interest was a Marine filmed immediately after who stated that they were mad and wanted to kill anyone they saw. Later in the film there is a scene where one of the Marines who was then attending school was fishing in Montana and stated that he wanted to go back to Iraq to get “revenge.”

As an infantry veteran of Vietnam in 1968, I am familiar with the emotions expressed by these Marines. I also appreciate how George Bush is directly responsible for the Haditha and other murders in Iraq. Putting people in stressful, life-threatening situations causes good people to become war criminals. In Vietnam soldiers would kill women and children and justify it by saying that the children would not grow up and kill their younger brothers in a few years from then. When I was in 7th grade, I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I wondered how German people could be so cruel and barbarous. Years later in Vietnam, my question was answered. People under threat of being killed will kill to preserve themselves. That is why war should be a last resort.…

~ Mark Culverhouse

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