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A story on Marine Capt. James Kimber, recently relieved of command of a company of Marines in Iraq.
Kimber said he was told he was being relieved because of comments his Marines made to a British news crew that spent five weeks with his India Company. The report aired by Sky News in Britain included one Marine under his command criticizing the Iraqi security forces he was training, and another berating a subordinate after a Humvee had rolled over in a traffic accident.Any US military member who speaks to media representatives does so at great risk - the odds of their comments used in context - or even accurately reported - are exceptionally slim.
Kimber has filed a rebuttal to the decision to relieve him of his command, taking issue with the Marine Corps' interpretation of the Sky News video, which his lawyer said forms the lion's share of the case against Kimber.
But Capt Kimber was relieved a the same time as two other officers, "Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani and Capt. Luke McConnell, were directly responsible for the dozen or so Marines under investigation for the Haditha shootings".
And Kimber was involved in combat nearby:
But that day, at about the same time, Iraqi insurgents attacked all three Marine companies patrolling in the Haditha area--one of them commanded by Kimber. He said he could hear over his radio the shots being fired during a running gun battle in Haditha. "They weren't just Marine weapons. You can tell from the sound," he said.Read the full story - which reinforces the fact that we don't know all the facts.
As for questions about whether battle stress affected the Marines, Kimber said his company was exhausted after its first two months in Iraq; the fighting and patrolling were non-stop, he said.
After that, however, Marines were given a three-day break every nine days.
One of those three days, he said, was devoted to sessions "on escalation of force, rules of engagement."
Training on use of force
"This was a huge thing that we hit on in our training," he said, "that this was not Fallujah. That there are going to be innocent people here. If you don't win the battle for the people, you're not going to win the counterinsurgency fight."
This stinks awfully bad. The worst of this episode may likely turn out to be that the troops find that they cannot look to their superiors for backup. Loyalty must flow both up the chain (to the USMC) and down the chain (where the LTCs and CPTs take responsibility for what their Men do under their command). And when that loyalty is lost, so is the desire to serve something greater than ourselves. We all become cynics, and lose our good intentions. Recovery of our Honor is much harder to achieve once it has been blasphemed across the world by Liars who try to sell wood pulp and false ideas as news.
All that this story has proven to the Men in the Marine Corps (and the Army, as well) is that whatever they do, however hard they work to be honorable, just, and compassionate, their country will throw them under a bus at the first sign that the vaunted press is going to go bad in any wartime situation.
I don't doubt that a SGT wanted to make a statement, to try to tell bad people what might happen to them should they continue to kill indiscriminately. I don't doubt the handful who are yet to be charged with a crime may have gone off the reservation and killed innocent people. I don't doubt they were under a lot of stress (it is a war with bullets and bombs going off). I may even subscribe to the sentiments Mr. Kipling espoused in his "Grave of the Hundred Head". None of these things excuses bad conduct.
What I do doubt is that the press will wait for a result of the investigation. I doubt the Congressmen who want to make political hay of this will apologize once they are shown to be wrong (and they are wrong, no matter how the facts turn out). I doubt the Iraqi people will believe that most Americans are good souls doing a hard job, with lousy benefit to themselves, and with tremendous sacrifices being made to people who won't appreciate it.
And I doubt this event and the consequent press coverage will have ANY positive effect on the good order and discipline under which our youngsters will serve, will have NO positive effect on prosecution of the war, and will have NO positive effect on the ability of our troops to win this counterinsurgency and then, and only then, come home.
If the press would quit spinning, sensationalizing, and fabricating stories to sell papers and just print facts and sources, we'd all feel a lot better.
But I doubt there is an ounce of Integrity in any journalist today, and that is a shame for them, especially since most of the worst Liars are Americans and live amongst us.
SubsunkPosted by Subsunk at June 4, 2006 02:00 PM
How can anyone ever know all the facts when the Marine Corps took four months to request a criminal investigation? Justice delayed is justice denied, and I think that's exactly what the Marine Corps wanted with respect to Haditha. If they'd wanted to get "all the facts," there'd have been an immediate investigation. But no, the Marine Corps waited four months.
The so-called Milblogosphere, which exists mainly to be the Bush administration's propaganda megaphone on the Internet, will seize upon a "lack of facts" to deny the obvious, which is that marines committed a massacre of civilians at Haditha.
Even a crime that is promptly investigated almost always has missing facts, contradictions and unexplainables. Ask any cop, and that's what he or she will tell you. Once it gets more complicated than aiming the radar gun as you drive by at 95 mph, there will always be questions. And even with the radar gun, someone's going to be asking when it was last calibrated and what the standard error is.
The so-called Milblogosphere would have seized on any ambiguity to deny the truth. But it really doesn't matter, because the Iraq War is over. George W. Bush has lost that war. Basra is out of control; Ramadi is in insurgent hands; Baghdad is disintegrating.
The only question now is that manner and timing of the U.S. withdrawal to come. Will it be orderly, as with, say, the Korean armistice, or will it be chaotic in the sense of American helicopters perched on the roof of the Saigon embassy circa 1975?
Well, maybe there's a second question: Who will the Milblogosphere blame for the defeat? Obviously, they'll blame the news media. No doubt about that. They'll blame Rep. Murtha for telling the truth, and they'll say that Cindy Sheehan ruined American morale. And they'll find a way to blame Hillary Clinton. Always.
Might as well start up the right-wing blame machine, folks, because the war's over and the United States lost. In a country of 25 million shell-shocked people, with no army and no significant outside supplier. If the U.S. military can't win there, we've got a problem. Big one.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 03:21 PM
Is Jack Murtha your father? Or do you just sound like Darth Vader because you are an [deleted]?
SubsunkPosted by Subsunk at June 4, 2006 03:37 PM
Jack Murtha ain't my dad, but he's one of the heroes here. Call me what you will -- come on, how about some more grade school playground insults? -- but I've always had a soft spot for Americans who piss people off by telling the truth.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 03:48 PM
And I love feeding the trolls. It is their favorite food. Namecalling makes me feel so good. Especially when I get to choke the living **** out of someone who so desperately needs it.
Your opinions and rants stink, Willy. You are an [del]. With a Capital A. And I'm not too PC to say so, boy.
SubsunkPosted by Subsunk at June 4, 2006 03:57 PM
"...Americans who piss people off by telling the truth."
Just like John Kerry and his supporters got pissed off when the Swift Boat Veterans told the truth right?
Or were Kerry and his supporters pissed off because the Swift Boat Veterans were spreading lies that affected him politically?
The reason Americans and Marines are pissed off at Murtha has nothing to do with whether or not he is telling the truth about Haditha. It has to do with the fact that he uses the Haditha investigation to smear all Marines in Iraq and the war effort in Iraq.Posted by Michael in MI at June 4, 2006 03:57 PM
Michael, after reading your comments in the various threads I am wondering how old you are. So, how old are you? Thanks.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 04:45 PM
30Posted by Michael in MI at June 4, 2006 04:47 PM
The rough language bit is reserved for the site owner. Kindly refrain.
As you know, 'hawk, I have a skin thick as an alligator's and don't care what people call me. I only request the a moderator operate with an even hand. In that vein, you might look in some of the other threads. Thus far, I've refrained from replying in kind to the subster, et al., if for no other reason than to make it clear that I have more wit, brains and self-control than he and like-mouthed others do.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 05:20 PM
Willy, I haven't had to edit your comments at all - lately. The edits I've made have been actually directed at you.Posted by Greyhawk at June 4, 2006 05:44 PM
So score that for Willy. Ding - next round.Posted by Greyhawk at June 4, 2006 05:45 PM
Such nobility, ww. Such martyrdom.
We're not worthy.
Willy -- I just have to ask, "why do you hang around here?" You think you are going to say those magical words that will influence us to change our opinions? We know we won't change yours. So, why the waste of your valuable time? This seems to be a conversation that really has no compromise position available.
Again, what is your purpose, just what is your mission, and what is your exist strategy from Mudville?
Not that it really matters, tho. I usually just scroll pass most of what you write. But I am interested in your response.
Thank you.Posted by Sherry at June 4, 2006 06:26 PM
I hang around here for two reasons. One is that, just like everyone else who posts, I enjoy debates on the Internet. Second, is that there is far too little cross-talk on the Internet. This observation applies to left-wing sites just as much as it applies to right-wing sites.
Unchallenged opinions are worthless.
And yes, Greyhawk, I know that.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 06:38 PM
At this point no one really knows what happened and we never know what happened. But to many people and much of the media, both national and international, it won't matter what really happened. The United States, the US Military and what is being done in Iraq has been tainted once again.Posted by CarolinaGirl at June 4, 2006 08:19 PM
Those "who don't know what happened" don't know because they don't want to know. It's true that we don't know the names of the trigger-pullers. But we know that marines massacred civilians at Haditha. Your refusal to confront it is a cowardly evasion of the truth. Nations that hide from the truth lose their wars, just like ours is losing the Iraq War.
War's a nasty thing, but it does serve the purpose of separating the bull from the bullshit. "We don't know what happened" ain't part of the animal.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 09:16 PM
What is insanity? Repeating something over and over expecting a different result?
WW - You can keep on saying we are losing the war and keep on saying Marines massacred innocent civilians and keep on hoping for both results. That does not make them true.
In every war in history, there have been points where the good guys were losing. But in every war that the civilian population gave the military enough time to win, the military won. Every military person I have talked to or read of their experience, they tell me they will win, they just need the time. I take the word of people who are there, rather than yours, who is wishing and waiting for their defeat.Posted by Michael in MI at June 4, 2006 09:28 PM
Someone's always doing to say they just needed more time. The classic example of that one in the civilian world is what the Democrats said about the 1968 election: If it had only been held a week later, Humphrey would have won.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. It's one of the many ways that losers run from their loss. Self delusion is one of the more tempting mistresses out there.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 09:37 PM
Any chance that management has a way of banning/blocking out WW who is not bringing anything to the party but argumentative spam?Posted by NahnCee at June 4, 2006 09:51 PM
"It's one of the many ways that losers run from their loss."
So now you are calling our military men and women losers. Very nice, WW. You true colors keep shining brighter and brighter with every post.
As I said, I take the word of those in the middle of the battle over yours. If you are going to say that you know better than them about the progress in Iraq, that is beyond arrogance and discredits you completely.Posted by Michael in MI at June 4, 2006 09:56 PM
They continue to just defend anything and everything that is Bush and fight anything and everything that is pro US but anti-Bush. What they do not realize is this little jaunt in Iraq has cost the US huge. It has cost us hundreds of billions of dollars (mostly financed by the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans), it has cost us our reputation in Europe and, now, the Middle East and it is preventing us from doing anything about the guy who is truly trying to get nuclear weapons (Iran). We have no credibility in the world so even Britain will not support us in Iran.
Sherry asks why you hang around here. She admits that nothing will change her mind. Interesting thought. I hang around here because I use it to challenge my thinking. I want to hear the other side to see if my ideas may change or not. Obviously, Sherry is of the belief you should only hang around with those who believe in exactly what you believe in. Diversity of thought?
This group is interesting in that the arguments have changed over time but no one will ever say, "My God, maybe we were wrong". First it was WMD then we found out none. Then this board went to "We are bringing Democracy to the world" yet they ignore that Iraq is quickly becoming a Theocracy aligning with Iran. Then it was we are helping people (building schools etc.) but they ignore the massacres and Abu Ghraib etc.
My favorite is that even Bush, Rice, Wolfowitz and Blair have all admitted this has been a big mistake bust since we are there, we need to finish it. No one here will touch that with a ten foot pole.
Their world is imploding on them and they cannot see it.Posted by Kevin at June 4, 2006 10:41 PM
Kinda reminds me of Saddam sitting in that courtroom and insisting that he's still the president of Iraq.Posted by WW at June 4, 2006 10:49 PM
You sure do, WW. You sure do.Posted by Deamon at June 5, 2006 02:30 AM
What is really funny is that now, after almost 3,000 dead and almost 20,000 maimed US soldiers, the new Prime Minister of Iraq will NOT support us in a war with Iran. On "Meet The Press" today, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki was asked if he would support military action against Iran launched from Iraqi territory. His answer:
"PRIME MINISTER NOURI AL-MALIKI: (Through translator) Iraq will not be a platform for any military action against its neighboring countries, including Iran, because such action would drag the region, and Iraq, into catastrophes."
Very thankful person. Hell, we launched the US into a "Catastrophe" for him. WTF?Posted by cptkevin at June 5, 2006 02:38 AM
Speaking of Saddam.Posted by Michael in MI at June 5, 2006 04:29 AM
cptkevin, it's hard to say why the Liar-in-Chief invaded Iraq. We now know that the WMD and Saddam-al Qaeda stuff were lies (not impeachable -- only lies about blowjobs are impeachable). We know that human rights sure as hell wasn't a reason. Could it be that the real aim was a quick conquering of Iraq to prepare for the Big Kahuna, an attack on Iran?
Guess what? The new Iraqi government is saying no dice to that. Like every stupid American Bushbot who never bothered to read even recent history let alone anything before Saint Ronald took office in 1981, you seem to forget the Iran-Iraq War and claimed 1 million dead.
Do ya just think that maybe the Iraqis don't want another one of them? Do you just think? Or dodes being "cpt" kevin mean that you put your brain in a storage locker pending retirement?Posted by WW at June 5, 2006 04:54 AM
One other thing, cap: What in hell do the Iraqis have to be grareful for? We destroyed their country. By no measure are they anywhere near as well off as they were before the invasion. I'm no fan of Saddam in the least, but stuff like water, food, medical care and sewage treatment are more basic. So is safety on the streets.
The U.S. invasion and occupation has brought nothing but misery to that country.Posted by WW at June 5, 2006 05:02 AM
Don't mistake a Theocracy with a Democracy/Republic based on Sharia Law. Even our Constitution was based on Christian Ideals/Morals. A Theocracy is run by Theocratic Officials, I haven't read any where that the Iraqi people want a Theocracy government. But I would be interested if you have information that contradicts this.
If you would like credibility then you should show people some respect. "Liar-in-Chief", Bushbot, et al. are very disrepectful terms, that in general will turn a reader off of your message (I know it does for me and believe it or not I do read your post with interest and amusement). You may not like Pres. Bush but I think your message would be received better if you turn down the personal attacks. I know that I personally am not a big fan of Pres. Clinton but I show him the respect that he earned as my former Commander-in-Chief. I know I would personally appreciate if you show my current Commander-in-Chief at least the respect that he has earned as leader of the USA, whether you like him and his policies or not.
SpectreCodePosted by SpectreCode at June 5, 2006 03:46 PM
SpectreCode, my experience on the so-called Milblogosphere tells me that it really doesn't matter what sort of language one uses. The retired nut-scratchin' wingnuts who make up the large majority of posters will stomp on dissenting views no matter how they are phrased, not to mention freely toss around the worst sort of insults toward those they oppose.
This presents people like me with something of a dilemma. My approach is to be detailed and direct; to try to use some wit and some brains; to attempt self-control while giving as good as I get. One thing I've noticed on ALL of the ideological sites of the Internet, be they lefty or wingnutty, is a tendency to be quick to dish it out while affecting outrage when it's served back.
'tis the way o'the world.Posted by WW at June 5, 2006 04:54 PM
p.s.: Your president (how does it feel, by the way, to hear what I heard from wingnuts when Clinton was in office?) never met a lie he couldn't tell. I think "Liar-in-Chief" is almost required, given the man's history.Posted by WW at June 5, 2006 04:56 PM
OK, I'll watch my langauge.
Willy, you're still an a******. You and Kevin have not clue one what a successful military campaign would look like. You ignore all previous military history from the time Christ was a buck private. Your naysaying about losing in Iraq, or winning under the force of arms bears no credibility, and your claims that even Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld admit the war was a mistake are equivalent lies to the protestations you make regarding the reasons for war. No such claims have ever been made and you can't produce a full quote or transcript which wouldn't automatically repudiate everything you say.
You have no proof. You have no morals. You have no backbone. You would run from a terrorist who jumped out of the bushes in a white sheet. If you leave this fight before it is over, you will die, and you will cause the deaths of many of your countrymen. You are traitorous scum who deserve to be scraped off the bottom of my shoe and fed to the ducks so I can see your true forms when you come out the other end.
You are sheep. Loud braying sheep, but sheep nonetheless. If you have to spray your foulsmelling excrement over here, then you need a course in logic. (Kevin, I bet you know where to get one).
Sorry, but I won't have time for several days to fisk any of your claims. I just want to keep feeding you manure because I love the way it comes out the other end. Twisted up, smells like &&&&, and is only valuable to spread on the ground and grow tubers.
OK, Hawk? Have I been civil enough? It ain't always wrong to chastise someone who desperately needs it. And I don't believe America needs to put up with traitors continuously. Three strikes and your out should apply.
I'm ready to receive any NonJudicial Punishment you require, but I'm not retracting my opinions or a single word. My free speech rights are just as valuable as theirs.
SubsunkPosted by Subsunk at June 6, 2006 11:07 PM
Willy, you're still an a******
Yes, and you're a nut-scratchin' retired idiot. See how much more fun it can be when you find words that don't get replaced by asterisks? It does take literacy, which you are also missing. Now: Have I been too cruel, everyone, or may we all agree that if the subster can't take the heat he shouldn't enter the kitchen? What a jerk.
You ignore all previous military history from the time Christ was a buck private.
Hmm. You mean like the French experience in Algeria, when they learned that torture won't stop an insurgency? Or the French experience in Vietnam, when they learned that the Vietnamese have never been successfully conquered? Or the British experience in Iraq, where they were kicked out after two years?
Can I let you in on a little secret? Please promise not to tell anyone, okay? Here goes: American history didn't begin on Jan. 20, 1981, the day Reagan was inaugurated.
Your naysaying about losing in Iraq, or winning under the force of arms bears no credibility
Soon enough Faux News will admit it, and then you'll be changing your tune. Just wait. Meantime, how successful is this occupation when insurgents can kidnap 50+ people in broad daylight in the capital of the occupied country, load them into minibuses and take them out of town?
What if someone did that in your city, subster? What would you think about law & order then? Would you suspect that it was broken down? Oh, wait. You'd turn on Faux News and see what they told you to think, right?
You have no proof.
You have no morals.
My morals are these: Torture is wrong. Murder is wrong. No matter who does it.Unfortunately you seem to be one of those 1960s hippies who believes in situational ethics.
You are traitorous scum who deserve to be scraped off the bottom of my shoe and fed to the ducks so I can see your true forms when you come out the other end.
*wiping coffee off keyboard yet again*
You remind me of an old country song:
If the river were whisky
And I was a duck
I'd live to the bottom
And I'd never come up
What is it about the old farts who get loaded and post semi-coherent nonsense here, anyway? What happened, guys, did they close the bar at the VFW post? Sheesh.Posted by WW at June 7, 2006 03:31 AM
If the river were whisky
And I was a duck
I'd dive to the bottom
And I'd never come up
So subster, did your boat sink in Malt Lake? Was that 40 proof or cask strength?Posted by WW at June 7, 2006 03:34 AM
Yup, that's it. I'm drunk. I'm stupid. And I'm a helluva lot better citizen than you are.
Feel free to keep spanking your mental monkey, boy. Your words have no meaning. Your thoughts have no logic. And your opinions stink like your a******.
Have a nice day.
SubsunkPosted by Subsunk at June 7, 2006 11:05 AM
Yup, that's it. I'm drunk. I'm stupid.
Aren't you forgetting ugly?Posted by WW at June 7, 2006 06:49 PM
Guess you'll never know.
SubsunkPosted by Subsunk at June 9, 2006 04:42 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(37) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)