I have followed the case of the Marines accused of murder in Haditha from the first day the story hit the media. I sat in open mouthed disbelief when John Murtha accused the Marines of cold blooded murder. I still shake my head at the unconditional acceptance of the words of Haditha residents over the Marines. Even when the “witnesses” have proven ties to less than upstanding organizations in Iraq, their word is taken as the truth while the Marines are being portrayed as criminals.
Darryl Sharratt, the father of accused Marine Justin Sharratt, recently posted an article on Free Republic. Near the end of the article, Mr. Sharratt asked the following questions…
Why has the media vilified these Marines? Why have the politicians branded them as expendable? Why has the Marine Corps abandoned these brave men?
I have been doing some research for a possible third book. This research has given me a new perspective on the Haditha incident and may help answer a portion of Mr. Sharratt’s questions.
The anti-war left has a lot invested in the outcome of Haditha. It is used as an example of the mistreatment and crimes against civilians in Iraq. It is used as an excuse for some Iraq vets to suddenly turn “anti-war”. Some have used it to justify reasons for cutting and running. Even more important, it is used as a stick to beat the impeachment drum.
If the soldiers are found not guilty, a huge support beam for the anti-war platform will be snatched away. The anti-war crowd will be left with one wobbly little leg to stand on. Haditha is the Rosetta Stone for the anti-war Left.
Abu Ghraib did not have the result the Left wanted. Despite extreme efforts to make the US military, as a whole, the bad guys, we stayed in Iraq. Haditha was a gift to the Left – all wrapped up in a shiny ribbon dipped in soldiers’ blood with a card from the terrorists saying “Thanks for your support”.
Without Haditha, Murtha is nothing more than an aging corrupt Congressman. Without Haditha, Abu Ghraib is nothing more than a few bad apples with an inept commander. Without Haditha, the war resisters and AWOL military members are nothing more than slackers who could not handle a real battle. Without Haditha, the anti-war organizations are simply socialists and terrorist enablers. Without Haditha, the Left loses its excuse for its anti-war stance and is exposed as simply wishing for failure for political power.
It is a tragedy that good Marines are being sacrificed for political posturing and media exposure. It is a tragedy that the families of the young men are being subjected to additional stress and heartbreak despite their sons coming home safe from war. The Marines have always stood strong when we needed them. We owe it to them to stand up for them now.