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11.16.2004

Good Kill or Bad Soldier


A video showing a marine shooting an unarmed and wounded insurgent is causing an uproar in the media and around the world. The video, taken by an NBC pool photographer shows several marines meeting up outside a mosque. The speak to each other about the wounded insurgents inside. One marine asks, "Did you shoot any of them?". The video then follows the Marines inside where one can be heard shouting, "He's fucking faking dead!", the camerman then captures the Marine shooting the unarmed and wounded insurgent.

There is alot of supposition going on about this incident. Some people are saying it is a war crime and a violation of the Geneva Convention. To shoot an unarmed non-combative enemy is a violation but we don't know what happened prior to or actually during the event.

A marine was killed earlier in the week after a dead body that was booby trapped exploded. Some people are saying the marine did his job and may have saved his fellow marines from being hurt or killed. I don't know what happened or why. I don't like to second guess our military men and women who are facing life and death decisions every day in Iraq. I think the military will handle the investigation and make it's findings public.

Until then, I hope the soldiers, airmen and marines follow the rules and conventions of war and represent our country and their respective services with honor, dignity and pride. I will never know the pressure this young marine felt and I would never be so arrogant as to say what I would have done. If he screwed up and shot a man out of vengeance or anger, he deserves to be punished and removed from the military. If he acted out of a genuine belief that his fellow marines lives were in danger, then he should carry on with his mission and be allowed to live his life privately without this incident hanging over his head for the rest of his life.

I think the real crime is that our young men and women were put into this position by our government in an unneccessary war that will drag on for years and produce many more incidents like this, most of which will never be made public but will scar these young men and women for the rest of their lives. Those will be the unseen casualties of this war and we won't recognize the consequences of these wounds until many years after this is over and these soldiers are home.

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