Occupation has it’s rewards

Saturday’s report in the Washington Post by Josh White, describes a secret report, completed in June 2006, on the conduct of the 2nd Marine Division in the Haditha massacre:

Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell’s 104-page report on Haditha is scathing in its criticism of the Marines’ actions, from the enlisted men who were involved in the shootings on Nov. 19, 2005, to the two-star general who commanded the 2nd Marine Division in Iraq at the time. Bargewell’s previously undisclosed report, obtained by The Washington Post, found that officers may have willfully ignored reports of the civilian deaths to protect themselves and their units from blame. Though Bargewell found no specific coverup, he concluded that there also was no interest at any level in investigating allegations of a massacre.

White reports that Bargewell’s analysis shows that the chain of command consistently misrepresented or refused to investigate the massacre:

Then, no one asked any further questions, Bargewell wrote, despite gruesome photographs circulating among junior Marines that showed that women and children had been killed in their beds. He cited several opportunities to investigate that were not taken, such as when more than $40,000 in condolence payments went to Iraqis after the killings.

There are certain benefits that come with being judge and jury in your own trial, while being immune from the laws of the land you’re occupying.

Military prosecutors have granted immunity to at least seven Marines connected to an attack that killed 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha, the deadliest criminal case against U.S. troops in the Iraq war.

Firedoglake has a solid theory:

Now, I don’t know the conditions of the legal case being built against the Marines in question but the idea that 7 or 8 of the alleged participants in the massacre including the commanding officer on the scene have been granted immunity certainly suggests yet another move to deny responsibility for the actions of our military. When will we see an investigation into the continuing slaughter of Iraqi civilians by US troops and the apparent inability or unwillingness of the US military command to enforce the Fourth Geneva Convention?

Then again, how can you expect US troops to treat Iraqi’s with any respect or regards for their human rights when female members of the military live in fear of being raped:

On March 18, the New York Times ran a lengthy cover story in its heralded Sunday Magazine about widespread sexual harassment and rape of female U.S. soldiers by their male colleagues in Iraq. Written by a reporter, Sarah Corbett, the article combined the available official studies, and statements of specialists, with poignant narratives by women soldiers whom she interviewed intensively.

I can’t for the life of me figure ut why those pesky Iraqis still reject our Western values.