Got This Article emailed to me this week by Chief Regan. It is some of the good news in Iraq. It seems like the only thing that ever makes the newspaper or the internet headlines is when something bad happens like Haditha or the recent rape and murder allegations. Don't get me wrong, these 2 instances are terrible and are a black spot on our service here. Every soldier over here feels the pain of what a handful of bad soldiers are reported to have done. It is sad because there have been over 500,000 U.S. Soldiers / Airmen / Sailors / Marines to serve in Iraq, and a handful have very effectively cast doubt upon our integrity, morals, and professionalism.
Unfortunately, terrible things happen during war, and I imagine that these events permantely scar the soldiers that are involved in them. Their decision making is then altered, and ideas and thoughts that seem incredibly foreign to someone that hasn't experienced war fester and gain hold. Now, I don't want to make excuses for this reprehensible behavior and am confident that the overwhelimg majority of soldiers when placed in a simliar situation would make the right decision. However, it is difficult to judge someone or even understand why they do what they do when you can't understand their day to day existence. Even being in Iraq I don't pretend to know what it is like to be out on a convoy every night or performing combat raids in a hostile city, knowing that today could be the day that an IED hits your Humvee. And of course, even in the Military, you are considered innocent until proven guilty, and it seems to me like the media has already pronounced guilt upon those involved. The military justice system works, and the soldiers that are alleged to commited these atrocities will be given a fair trial and then punished if found guilty. I would think the worst punishment would be the internal grief of knowing what they did was terrible and wrong.