Boden backer takes exception to free pass for Haditha Marines

To the Editor:

Regarding the so-called controversy in Haditha, Iraq: Willfully killing women and children or elderly people in wheelchairs is WRONG! No matter what the circumstances, a 3-year-old child should never be attacked by anyone, especially a man or woman wearing the uniform of another country, either at peace or at war with the child’s nation.

I have read many fine pieces in your newspaper written by Dave Boden. I believe he is a very intelligent individual whose personal views I share, but not unequivocally. This topic is one of the times I strongly disagree.

To take Mr. Boden’s stance that it is very hard if not impossible to fight an enemy who deigns not to wear a uniform begs the question: How is it possible that the nation’s police departments, be they city, county or state, fight enemies each and every day who wear civilian clothing and carry concealed weapons with murderous intent, yet they can carry out their duties with no shameful act as willfully shooting innocent civilians? If a police officer of any of our local municipalities were, God forbid, murdered by a person who thus ran into a building containing children and elderly people, his or her brother officers would not dare and would never consider murdering everyone in the building in revenge or fear. A scenario such as this would be broadcast throughout the world and the officers would be legally held responsible for their actions. This scenario does not take place due to the moral convictions and responsible behavior of our fine policemen and women, who carry the code of “To serve and protect” with HONOR.

It must be a traumatizing experience to have to fight a war against unseen enemies, under the most horrid conditions imaginable. But the circumstances should never allow for the willful slaughter of innocent people, regardless of the color of their skin or their nationality. A civilian is a civilian by choice. Using the premise of danger coming from a 3-year-old child is ludicrous. Even if the 3-year-old were strapped up with bombs, that child had no cognizant choice.

The most irresponsible statement Mr. Boden wrote was the one that stated: “...and in their deaths these ‘murdered civilians’ become even more valuable to the insurgency, as our own press does more to hurt our troops in Iraq than any car bombing in downtown Baghdad could ever possibly accomplish.”

Mr. Boden, shame on you! Could you possibly look the families of the 2,500 U.S. troops killed in Iraq to date in the face and dare to compare their lives given for this country to a malicious media? I imagine the response of the loved ones left behind would be unprintable. Whether the media agree or disagree on this conflict never usurps the ultimate sacrifice of the dead. A life is so much more precious than mere words.

If there be any doubt of punishment on the part of those responsible for the outrage in Haditha, please think back just a year or so ago and remember locals England and Graner. They killed no one and are incarcerated. Why should this current situation result in anything less?

John D. Parrill, Jr., Keyser, W.Va.

’Till you’ve walked in their boots, don’t judge Haditha Marines

To the Editor:

I do not think these young people should be prosecuted. They are doing a job that most of us would not do. I have always felt that unless you do the job, you have no knowledge of what is going on.

The military has to be able to do its job. Not many of us have experienced seeing a brother in arms blown to bits. Not many of us have experienced not knowing whether a person is friendly or enemy. We don’t fear walking up to someone and being blown away. These people use the women and children as shields. How is a person to know?

If we are going to investigate these as murders, then we need to start investigating the murders of 2,500 innocent young people that have been murdered over there. They are there, after all, to keep us free. It isn’t up to us to sit on our butts and make judgments on anything that we have no personal knowledge of. These people will attack us again, and I feel we are just making it easier for them by this conflict. Political people need to find something and someone else to use to further their careers and votes. Maybe working and doing something for the people who elect them would be a start.

I will back these Marines 100 percent forever. Neither they nor America needs this.

Pamela Dustin, Bakersfield, Calif

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