Friday, June 30, 2006
Pie-eyed Optimist or Cynic?
No doubt many will take offense at what I am about to write, but it has never stopped me before, so why should I pause now, at this juncture?

Let us press on...

I am not sure if I am a pie-eyed optimist or a cynic. Let me explain.

Everytime I see a report like today's that suggests (in a judgement-is-in-all-that's-left-is-the-evidence-and-trial sort of way) that five US servicemen raped and burned the body of an Iraqi girl and then killed her family, I get this tickle in the back of my mind. The same thing happens when I read about the alleged incidents at Hamdania by the Camp Pendleton 8 or Haditha.

I almost am ashamed to admit it, but I am highly suspicious of the Iraqi claims. I don't doubt that people died in each instance. I just doubt the Murtha-approved Soldier/Sailor/Marine=Murderer partyline. Rather, I wonder if the recent spate of these "investigations" doesn't have to do with Iraqi Get Rich Quick schemes. You see, the US Government pays off these claims. If we accidently bomb your house, you can collect on Uncle Sam's insurance policy. So, I'm wondering if perhaps, just perhaps, all of these claims are exactly legit.

I mean, maybe some of them were aiding and abetting the enemy and have now decided to collect on their misfortune. And, it is also possible that the victims were killed by the insurgency, but the insurgency doesn't do death benefits. It is also possible that they were killed accidently by American forces in a genuine mistake.

But I refuse to believe that any of these cases were malicious murders at American hands. For one thing, we are far enough along in the Iraq War that if those sorts of things were happening, we wouldn't suddenly get a rash of them in a few weeks, but would have had on-going reports from day 1. The other reason I am doubtful is directly due to the length of the engagement.

We have reached the point where the men and women in Iraq are serving their second or third tours. If there were hotheads or psych issues, the military would have barred them from redeploying or they would have gotten out on their own.

I am suspicious, that's all. I'm not sure if that makes me a naive optimist or a cynic, but I don't believe our troops are capable of these sorts of malicious and heinous crimes. I could be wrong, of course, but my gut says that I'm not.
posted by Phoenix | 9:45 AM


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