The moral obtuseness of the Associated Press


The word "tragedy" gets abused a lot these days, but here's something truly tragic:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces killed two Iraqi women — one of them about to give birth — when the troops shot at a car that failed to stop at an observation post in a city north of Baghdad, Iraqi officials and relatives said Wednesday. Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, was being raced to the maternity hospital in Samarra by her brother when the shooting occurred Tuesday.
The U.S. military said coalition troops fired at a car after it entered a clearly marked prohibited area near an observation post but failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory warnings.

Given the frequency of suicide car bombings in Iraq, the rules of engagement are justified. That is no comfort to the family involved. And imagine if you were the gunner who killed the two women -- knowing that you acted properly, and in ignorance of what the vehicle was really doing, is no comfort either.

But there's a reason Kim Gamel of the AP filed an 800 word story on a simple incident: to blur the moral distinction between accidental killing and murder.

[The victim's brother] said the killings, like those in Haditha, were examples of random killings faced by Iraqis every day.
The killings at Haditha, a city that has been plagued by insurgents, came after a bomb rocked a military convoy on Nov. 19, killing a Marine. Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., a decorated war veteran who has been briefed by military officials, has said Marines shot and killed unarmed civilians in a taxi at the scene and went into two homes and shot others.

Kim didn't mention that the congressman, a living disgrace to the Marine Corps, declared that the Marines were guilty though none have been charged with anything yet, and he implicated the Marines' chain of command, too. Very discreet. Then she reveals her main theme:

Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi told the BBC that the allegations have "created a feeling of great shock and sadness and I believe that if what is alleged is true — and I have no reason to believe it's not — then I think something very drastic has to be done."
"There must be a level of discipline imposed on the American troops and change of mentality which seems to think that Iraqi lives are expendable," said Pachachi, a member of parliament.

Pachachi was being droll -- for if anyone considers Iraqi lives expendable, it's other Iraqis. And then can see this coming...Abu Ghraib!

If confirmed as unjustified killings, the episode could be the most serious case of criminal misconduct by U.S. troops during three years of combat in Iraq. Until now the most infamous occurrence was the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse involving Army soldiers, which came to light in April 2004 and which Bush said he considered to be the worst U.S. mistake of the entire war.

I wouldn't put barking dogs and naked Iraqi pyramids on the same level as mass murder, but the AP is as mainstream as journalism gets, and mainstream journalism decided two years ago that Abu Ghraib is equivalent to Dachau.

It's 5:00 a.m. in Baghdad as I type this. Thousands of Marines and soldiers have already woken for the day, and they are getting their gear ready to go out on patrol, man checkpoints, give fire support, render medical aid, and countless other tasks. Over the last three years, hundreds of thousands of men have risked their lives to save Iraqi civilians, and many more will in the future.

If Marines really committed murder in Haditha, people like Kim Gamel of the Associated Press will use their guilt to eradicate any good that servicemen did in Iraq. They've done a good job so far: most of the American public thinks that the war hasn't been worth the cost. Who can blame them? The feckless Big Media never ceases to highlight bad events in Iraq, and no one can answer them effectively.

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Something sounds very fishy about this Haditha situation. The left is so anxious to produce an anti American story, they are not vetting out the obvious scams(Jessie MacBeth anyone, hello
Mr Hand?).

Wait and see, I have faith in the men and women of the Marine corps, and the elected officials in Washington.

Someone needs to tell the people of the Left(Mr Hand, hello), that you are simply CONSUMERS of news, not privy to all of the details as the people we elect.


I agree with Matt. Of late the information coming out in the blogosphere indicates this could well be another "Rathergate" form of journalism (see

The obsession of the MSM with "they're guilty, let's prove it at any cost" is simply shameful.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric Johnson published on May 31, 2006 8:33 PM.

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