The Haditha massacre is turning out to be this generation’s My Lai

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.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    An astonishingly light sentence, considering the defendant is almost certainly a non-millionaire.

  2. Zinc Avenger says

    @Pierce R. Butler, #2:

    It’ll give them a few years on the Republican convention speaking circuit, they might be able to make a little money before the three-ring circus moves on to fresher acts.

  3. Tony says

    American exceptionalism at it’s horrifying finest. All those involved need to face punishment. And it needs to be longer than three months.

  4. Dave Huntsman says

    Today, I am ashamed to be an American. There was no ‘heat of battle’ here; they went on a rampage, and everyone – from the generals on down – were let off with wrist-slaps. We have foreign defense personnel on our soil; what would happen if, after a bomb goes off, killing one of them, the rest went to nearby houses and killed two dozen innocent men, women, and children? And then those folks are ‘tried’ back in their home countries – by their home militaries – who happen to give them only wrist-slaps. Can you imagine the shrieking outcry, especially from Republican Presidential candidates?

  5. F says

    Such things are constantly swept under the carpet. I’m surprised anyone even bothered prosecuting this in the first place. USA! USA!

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