Saturday, November 20, 2004

A matter of priorities

A US Marine shot and killed an Iraqi combatant. Good, you say. But this man was lying on the ground, wounded but not critically so, and perhaps unarmed.

The dead man may have been an 'insurgent'. He may well have been a terrorist who sawed heads off innocent men and women.

What no one disputed is that he chose to engage in an armed conflict with the US Marine Corps. You don't want to make a decision like this lightly.

Another thing no one disputes is that under similar circumstances US armed forces personell have been wounded and killed by 'insurgents' pretending to be dead, only to detonate themselves and everyone around them when they saw their chance.

The Marine who dispatched the 'insurgent' was prudent, and right.

It's Abu Ghraib all over. The huge discrepancy between what the media pay attention to, and what SHOULD make the news.
"In the south of Fallujah yesterday, U.S. Marines found the armless, legless body of a blonde woman, her throat slashed and her entrails cut out. Benjamin Finnell, a hospital apprentice with the U.S. Navy Corps, said that she had been dead for a while, but at that location for only a day or two. The woman was wearing a blue dress; her face had been disfigured. It was unclear if the remains were the body of the Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, 59, or of Teresa Borcz, 54, a Pole abducted two weeks ago. Both were married to Iraqis and held Iraqi citizenship; both were kidnapped in Baghdad last month."
A woman. Arms and legs cut off. Disembowled.

These are the people the US Marines are fighting in Fallujah. A combatant being dispatched in a scene of war gets unlimited airtime and attention, while an atrocity such as committed against this as yet unidentified woman is not even mentionened in some papers. Such an atrocity is virtually unheard of in modern days, yet the media all but ignore it. The real problem is not the Marines doing what is necessary to rid the world of the cancer that is radical Islam. The problem in this case is the media, taking sides in this war by downplaying or ignoring the horrificly gruesome but all too common behaviour of the 'insurgents', while pouncing on every (perceived or real) trespass the US forces commit.

Tens of thousands of corpes are discovered in mass graves, and it is a day's worth of news, if that.

Iraqi soldiers are 'humiliated' in a prison, and the news does not go away for months.

And now this.

The Western media are the terrorists best hope for a prolonged conflict. The tiptoeing by the US forces earlier in the war in Iraq is brought on only by excessive media attention, the necessity to explain and motivate every move, and the fear that any misstep, no matter how small, will cause delays, inquiries and investigations. It is no way to conduct a war. And that, after all, is still what this is.


Post a Comment

<< Home