Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A No Comment Commentary

I was with the Marine rifle company named in the Haditha incident. During the month of October 2005, up to the Iraqi constitutional referendum vote, I patrolled the streets of Haditha with them. Due to blog entries here at Fire and Ice back in October several news organizations have contacted me for comments. I had intended to make a statement here with my personal reflections, but will not do so at this time.

The Public Affairs Office and Judge Advocate General of the Marine Corps have asked Marines
to temporarily refrain from publicly speaking about the November 19, 2005 incident in Haditha, Iraq. Here is their request, which I will gladly honor.

All Marines are trained in the Law of Armed Conflict and are expected to fully comply with its provisions. The Marine Corps takes allegations of wrong-doing by Marines very seriously and is committed to thoroughly investigating such allegations. The Marine Corps also prides itself on holding its members to the highest levels of accountability. If the allegations are substantiated, the Marine Corps will pursue appropriate legal and administrative actions against those responsible.

The investigations are on-going, therefore any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process. As soon as the facts are known and decisions on future actions are made, we will make that information available to the public to the fullest extent allowable.

What I will give you as a commentary of sorts are three links which will hopefully give you; 1 a sense of my personal experience with K/3/1 echoed by a CNN journalist, 2 my opinion about the bullypulpit politicizing taking place, and 3 what I've done with $100 of my hard earned money as a response to items 1 and 2.

Oh, I almost forgot! My good friend and associate, the Ernie Pyle of Gonzo documentary film making, Pat Dollard, has finally set up a website where hopefully we'll soon be seeing trailers for his forthcoming Young Americans project.


Samantha West said...

Mike - Thanks for your update.


KJ Battles said...

Excellent post once again, sir.

I enjoyed reading your comments on your vocation. It is a true calling, isn't it?

I also enjoyed the links you provided on the Haditha situation.

Semper Fi

PS- I pray to soon come under your direct tutelage.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Commentaries don't need to be long to be deep.
Derek Simmons

Anonymous said...

I think the Marines are now no different than the SS. These are the same tactics used by the SS in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe. I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in this massacre. How many more atrocities until America wakes up from this disgusting chapter in our history?

Laurie said...

"How many more atrocities until America wakes up from this disgusting chapter in our history?"

I suppose Hussein's genocide wasn't a disgusting atrocity. Oh, right, none of our business. But somehow Bosnia and Somolia was our business?

Samantha West said...

Anonymous #2:

More foaming at the mouth, rabid Marines at this link:

Scary Marine

The problem anonymous is that you don't think, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN thinks for you.


mdfay said...

Again we are treated to the hit and run tactics of our friends on the left who seem to enjoy hiding behind "Anonymous" postings as much as terrorists prefer covering their faces. "Tip of the iceberg" and references to the Nazis are rhetorical devices as predictable of late as conspiracy theories, and as boring as a bad B movie. But I allow anonymous postings and leave this stuff up as illustrative of the knee-jerk, limited and mean-spirited thinking coming from the supposed open-minded progressive left.

One of the reasons I am heartened by something called The Euston Manifesto
is because it addresses the Liberal West's failure to condemn the terroristic excesses of totalitarian and leftist governments, its tendency to be apologists for such movements and nations, and its misdirected blame America first mentality. Our "Anonymous" would be well advised to read this enlightened document.

If Marines in Haditha did in fact act in a criminal SS stormtrooper fashion then they will be held accountable. If Marines in Haditha did in fact commit an atrocity it will prove to be the reprehensible acts of identifiable individuals and not part of some greater faceless strategy....that's the providence of our enemy...which are SS-like.

Samantha West said...

Anon #2,

Every heard of CAP Marines from the Vietnam War? It was a positive stategy to win the Vietnam war quickly as small platoons of Marines lived in villages and helped the Vietnamese people. These villages were seldom attacked once the CAP Marines were on the scene. This was a Marine strategy that would have won the war quickly, cheaply and saved lives. Unfortunately Gen. Westmoreland didn't want to do it.

Before you bash the Marines you should learn their history. It's full of compassion for the indigenous peoples of the lands they fight in. Read Chesty, or Force Recon, Sunrise at Midnight, or about a zillion other books about the Marines and you will see it.

Sorry Mike, I just get pissy about these things!


the artist's wife said...

"How many more atrocities until America wakes up from this disgusting chapter in our history?"

I guess anon #2 doesn't remember what BOTH left and right was saying at the end of Clinton's term? Didn't our congress vote on our actions in Iraq BEFORE we deployed the marines?

In the American culture of DSL and "have it your way right away," so many think we should be out of Iraq by now. What a scary thought. Wars aren't fought on a timeline like a Google 1.3 second search.

Men and women are giving up their lives for the cause of freedom . . . ours, the Iraqis, the next generation.

Yes, many people are dying in Iraq. But how many people are NOT being tortured any longer by Saddam? How many people have freedoms they never would have enjoyed? Yeah, what an "atrocity"!

Thank you, Mike Fay, for your service. Thank you for standing firm on your positions. I support you and all of our troops fighting for the cause.

I must say, though, that if the Marines are found guilty (which has NOT been found yet) of an "atrocity," they will be punished and rightly so. I believe in freedom AND justice!

Joyce from NJ said...

Mike I think you've chosen a good use for your very hard earned money.

EdoRiver said...

War is hell. You can't control hell. No matter how hard you try. Of course some of these guys will probably be found (yeah, I am leaving the door open a crack) guilty as hel....because look where they are!!!! If you expect the training all those guys received to control the conditions of war...I think that is a fantasy. And that's ok, this is America, and we all have our rights to a fantasy. It may even be a fantasy that those people who died were terrorists or their sympathetic relatives. It was probably their fantasy that they could live in Iraq and not expect problems like this happening to at least some of them sooner or later. And they've never lived in America. Yet they already have a kind of freedom to fantasize... Did we give them this freedom? Are we resonsible?

Anonymous said...

Sir, and I do claim the right to call you that. I am personally acquainted with someone who was with you in Ramadi. He speaks highly of you and your reporting. I just wish others in the socalled media would try reporting the truth.

Rob W said...

I am disappointed by a lot about this entry and these comments. First, someone who complains about the politicization of the Haditha incident shouldn't then turn around and link to a political candidate.

Second, I think all parties need to wait for the report of the investigation and any legal proceedings that may follow.

Third, if the reports of what happened in that sad hamlet are true, any persons responsible should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Our national values demand no less.

Fourth, it is clear that the U.S. Marines are not like the SS in meaningful way and those comparsions to the SS are being made by persons who aren't to be taken seriously and using the rants of obviously disturbed persons to characterize persons of various political persuasions has no place in rational public discourse. I'm certain that you would agree that every political persuasion has their share of these idiots.

Finally, the Marine Corps should be judged as much on their reaction after the fact as much as the day these things happened. That includes any potential failure to act at the time, as well as any later investigation and punishment of any persons found to have violated the Code of Military Justice. That's my leftist perspective.

Laurie said...

Rob W said: "First, someone who complains about the politicization of the Haditha incident shouldn't then turn around and link to a political candidate."

And why not? The politicians are supposed to be working for the people of the United States. Not their own self-serving agendas. If we do not like the job they are doing, our recourse is to get them voted out. We do not like the job Murtha is doing. He needs to go.

mdfay said...

To our fiend Rob W.

I appreciate the thoughtful and measured way you've posted a comment. The tone of your thoughts are more "centerist" to my way of thinking than "leftist".

My complaint with a Certain Western Pennsylvanian Politician lies with the greater issue of prejudice prior to investigation and rush to judgement. This sort of thing is a far greater threat to our civil liberties than NSA wiretapping, at least to my way of thinking. I certainly wouldn't want to be tried in the court of public opinion with a politician as the prosecuter, would you?

I have it on good authority from a close friend, very leftist herself, who's the editor of a local newspaper. She has recently told me that the media, at least at the editor/managerial level, have known that about the Haditha investigation for along time, way before a CWPP, glommed onto the story and decided to use it for his political purposes. They did not go public with it out of respect for the ongoing investigation.

Also, I was in Iraq when this CWPP visited last Fall and have some first hand knowledge of what he witnessed and know the Marine Public Affairs Officer who escorted him. Upon his return to the US he made his now legendary "cut and run" speech. The Marine PAO was quite taken aback....apparently this CSPP must have snuck away numerous times without anyone's knowledge while in country.