Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Abu Ghraib redux

Is this going to be the Abu Ghraib of Fallujah?
The military command launched an investigation after video footage showed a U.S. Marine shooting a wounded and unarmed man in a mosque in the city on Saturday. The man was one of five wounded and left in the mosque after Marines fought their way through the area.
We discover enemy slaughter houses, a mutilated female corpse in the street, and one American shooting an injured insurgent is the what catches the headline as a morally reprehensible action of the day, with accompanying lurid footage and hyperbolic reaction shots from enraged Muslims?

I agree, America should be held to a higher standard than our enemy, and that this should be investigated vigorously by the Army (well, actually it already is being investigated), but this isolated incident is in no way indicative of the general behavior of our troops, and is no doubt the result of combat stress rather than the perverse bloodlust that inspires our enemies.

Error Theory (found via LGF) writes:

If the Marine was right that the Iraqi was feigning death, or if he drew a reasonable inference of the same, then shooting the wounded man first and asking questions later might well have been the correct thing to do. War is not like police work where an officer has a duty not to kill unless he absolutely has to. A soldier's duty is to kill every enemy he can who is not actively trying to surrender. Feigning death is not trying to surrender, and a fighter in such circumstances could very well inflict terrible damage. Some of the fighters in Fallujah have been strapped with suicide bomber belts. In this circumstance, any covert activity, like feigning death, would seem to call for instant death.


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