The NY Times has coverage of the awful story about the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians by US Marines.
I don't have time to be sure I am expressing myself correctly, but I don't want to duck this, either, so let me blurt this out - this sort of incident is a deplorable but predictable consequence of putting people in a violent and confusing situation. Obviously, almost all of our troops conduct themselves with a high degree of professionalism and appropriate restraint, but this sort of incident can not be a complete surprise. Folks who supported this war (as I did) need to shoulder some responsibility for the consequences.
Well. An excerpt:
A military investigation into the deaths of two dozen Iraqis last November is expected to find that a small number of marines in western Iraq carried out extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians, Congressional, military and Pentagon officials said Thursday.
Two lawyers involved in discussions about individual marines' defenses said they thought the investigation could result in charges of murder, a capital offense. That possibility and the emerging details of the killings have raised fears that the incident could be the gravest case involving misconduct by American ground forces in Iraq.
Evidence indicates that the civilians were killed during a sustained sweep by a small group of marines that lasted three to five hours and included shootings of five men standing near a taxi at a checkpoint, and killings inside at least two homes that included women and children, officials said.
That evidence, described by Congressional, Pentagon and military officials briefed on the inquiry, suggested to one Congressional official that the killings were "methodical in nature."
Congressional and military officials say the Naval Criminal Investigative Service inquiry is focusing on the actions of a Marine Corps staff sergeant serving as squad leader at the time, but that Marine officials have told members of Congress that up to a dozen other marines in the unit are also under investigation. Officials briefed on the inquiry said that most of the bullets that killed the civilians were now thought to have been "fired by a couple of rifles," as one of them put it.
...Women and children were among those killed, as well as five men who had been traveling in a taxi near the bomb, which killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas of El Paso.