In case anyone had any last, lingering doubts that Iraq is a parallel to that notable quagmire, Vietnam, we've just had the Iraqi equivalent of My Lai, in a place called Haditha. As with Abu Ghraib, it looks like the military command plans to blame it on the guys on the ground. And they wonder why they aren't meeting their enlistment quotas. Enlist, go to Iraq, a country where every household is allowed to have a Kalashnikov because there's no effective police force. Be in constant danger from IEDs and snipers, be entirely unable to tell the neighborhood regulars from the insurgents, and when you finally crack under the strain of losing one more buddy and shoot every Iraqi you can find, including an old man in a wheelchair and a 1 year old girl, it's your fault, and we'll send you to jail for it.
We did this to them, we the people of the United States. Even if we didn't vote for Dubya, and I didn't, we've sat by and muttered, and let this farce go on. These are our boys (leaving aside actual gender for a moment; besides, if there's been a woman in that squad I think it would have made the news). If they're like most Americans, they're kind, well meaning people who want to do the best job they can. Since they're Marines, we can further assume they are tough, seasoned professionals. They're even my neighbors: they're from Camp Pendleton, in California. And yet they did this: because we've put them in an impossible situation and left them there until they couldn't bear it any more.
When are we going to stop this? When are we going to impeach the President who got us into this? When are we going to admit that whatever happens in Iraq from now on is not up to us, and cut our losses? And by the way did anyone else notice the Iraqi foreign minister backing Iran's right to enrich uranium?? So much for a stable, democratic U.S. ally in the Middle East.