What has come to be known as the Haditha massacre was one of the worst atrocities committed by US forces in Iraq in which 24 unarmed Iraqis – including old men, women, and children – were killed in revenge for a roadside bombing attack.
The trial for the leader of that squad has just ended with a plea bargain in which he admitted to the minor charge of negligent dereliction of duty and will serve at most three months in jail, if at all. Needless to say, the residents of Haditha are outraged.
This reminds me of how the perpetrators of the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war were also giving the most minimal punishment.
Of course, for some people even this punishment will be too great because of their belief that the US is ‘exceptional’ and being exceptional means never having to say you are sorry or even admitting you were wrong because ‘we’ are always better than ‘them’.
They will continue to believe this despite the somber documentary Winter Soldier of the 1971 hearings in which 125 US soldiers testified that they personally witnessed and participated in such atrocities, and that they were routinely committed.