Regarding the Nov. 17 article "Setback to US image in war": We should not condemn the marine who killed the Iraqi soldier until we know the specific circumstances. If his buddy had just been killed by a dead booby-trapped Iraqi soldier, perhaps the fear that this wounded Iraqi was also booby-trapped got the best of the marine. Or if the marine killed the man intentionally out of revenge, though that would be deplorable, who is to say that under the same circumstances we might not "lose it" in the same manner? It is a very sad situation in every respect.
I cannot put this young marine at fault for this incident, but I do find fault with his commander in chief. President Bush has given these young men and women a difficult choice: hold your fire and risk being the victim of a suicide attack, or kill people who may be innocent.
I have no qualms about the shooting of the terrorist in the mosque. It was no longer a place of worship the moment the terrorists chose to use it as a place to do battle. If the Muslims are offended by anyone, they should be offended by the terrorists who defiled the mosque in the first place.
I am very distressed that one of our own would kill a wounded defenseless man, no matter how upset or angry he could have been. Everyone is exclaiming outrage, especially in the Middle East. If this marine is indeed guilty, he will be punished.
There is other news suggesting charity worker Margaret Hassan has been executed. If this is true, I hope to see a massive demonstration on the part of the Iraqis whose families this woman was dedicated to helping. Ms. Hassan was involved only in the war against poverty and suffering. She was not armed. Also, she opposed this ill-conceived war and even the UN sanctions against Iraq, since they harmed the innocent more than they harmed Saddam Hussein.
If the Iraqis and Middle Eastern potentates do not condemn that killing for the injustice it represents, then they are morally bankrupt and clearly deserve no additional humanitarian help.
Angel O. Padilla
I'm sorry, but the US has no positive image to "set back" any further. We have seen American armed forces invade a crippled country on false pretenses, setting off a chain of irresponsibility that has left 100,000 civilians dead, according to one recent study. I have seen little discussion in America's public media about the clear violations of international law by Americans in Iraq that the rest of the world hears about.
It is necessary that Americans understand the true nature of their military involvement in Iraq and that they understand that this is not a "setback" to their image. This is one more sordid tale in a long list.
I, for one, am totally against any news organization being "embedded" with troops. I am especially appalled that this incident of the marine killing a wounded Iraqi even made the news. Personally, I would have done the same thing in the same situation after being shot at for days and nights on end. Wars are not pretty - that's why we try to avoid them at all costs.
We put our people in harm's way on a daily basis, and then expect them not to react in the way they were trained. I have never had the chance to serve in any military branch, but I feel for our men and women serving our country and I am proud of what they are doing.
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