TITLE: Fallout from Fallujah
DATE: 11/18/2004 06:54:00 PM
Some military officials pointed out that while US forces have followed the international laws of war -- and will continue to do so -- their enemy in Fallujah broke them repeatedly. They hid behind civilians, took over places of worship, booby-trapped corpses, and feigned surrender as a means to attack. --The Boston Globe
"Gah," she says, turning the volume down on the radio. She's kind enough to drive me to get my sick car. Turning the knob means she cuts short a rant by Jay Severin about the latest shitstorm from Iraq.
"It's so sickening over there."
Once again, I find myself in the middle of a highly contentious issue. Although I can agree with her last statement, at least, wholeheartedly.
I mean, it is sickening. It's disgusting. It's a terrible place where humanity doesn't seem to apply. It invites ghastly new comparisons, analogies and parallels by the day. It's a place where--to continue with the terrible echoes--it's difficult to tell who is friendly or at least neutral, and who is deadly.
And in the middle of it all is this Marine.
"I'd have shot the guy, too," she says.
"Yeah, me too, probably."
Booby-trapped bodies. Being shot in the face the day before. Adrenaline rushes that blow out your glands completely. Nightmares. Camel spiders and sand in everything and blazing heat. Yeah, I'd have shot the guy too, probably.
But the reactions I've heard so far to the incident have taken one of two forms: This is an ATROCITY, and it is A WAR CRIME and this Marine represents EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA and HER BLOODY WAR.
Perhaps. The incident is the kind of thing that radicalize the opposition to the war, domestically and especially abroad.
And so in reaction to that, the equal and opposite response I've also heard is that the photographer is RESPONSIBLE for the UNFAIR PUBLIC CRUCIFIXION of this HEROIC MARINE and just another example of the LIBERAL MEDIA CONSPIRACY.
Or, as she put it, "The second thing he should have done is shot the photographer."
A pause. A silence.
"I think if your tax dollars are supporting a war, you should probably know what's going on," I finally say quietly.
I have yet to meet a person or read / hear a point of view with which I completely, 100% agree, especially on politics. Is this a good thing? A bad thing? A neither thing?
One thing it is, is lonely.
Kevin Sites, the photographer who took the video of the shooting in Fallujah, has a blog.