The US occupation of Iraq is spiraling out of control.
Just when it seems like America couldn't be any more unpopular in Iraq, and around the world, comes the word Haditha. A horrific massacre, and an even more despicable cover-up.
The new Iraqi ambassador to the US, Samir Al-Sumaidaie, claims Marines killed his cousin, a second year engineering university student, in a separate incident in Haditha, his hometown. "I believe he was killed intentionally," Al-Sumaidaie told CNN on Sunday. "I believe that he was killed unnecessarily. And unfortunately, the investigations that took place after that sort of took a different course and concluded that there was no unlawful killing."
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that US troops shot to death a pregnant woman rushing to the hospital to give birth.
The US Army long ago lost control of Iraq's security. Now it's losing a grip on its own soldiers, who are exhausted and demoralized by everything they've seen. According to a study at the Army's own Walter Reed Hospital, nearly twenty percent of soldiers returning from Iraq screened positive for potential mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress syndrome. In a break with past policy, some of these troops are being sent back into combat.
Haditha probably would've remained a secret, to Americans at least, if it wasn't for the repeated warnings of Rep. John Murtha, who's been called a coward, a traitor and worse by right-wing chickenhawks. This week Senator Barbara Boxer joined Murtha's call for a swift redeployment of troops out of Iraq.
We've been told over and over by mindless pundits that the next six months will be "make or break" in Iraq. If ever there was a question of whether the US occupation was doing more harm than good, this week provided a heartbreaking answer. Iraq is brutally broken, and the US is incapable of handling the repairs.
In the next six months, it's time to give Iraq back to the Iraqis.