Lately I received a notice from Greyhawk asking military bloggers to offer their two cents worth on this story being linked to at the site of an Iraqi blogger.
First, the bottom line of the story. What is said to be an Iraqi mother writes about the murder of her son at the hands of American forces. In part the story goes:
And this is where the first chapter of the tragedy takes place.
An American army patrol stood in their way, and after they went through the whole procedure of searching my son and his cousin, and inspecting the cargo load, they tied them up both and led them to an area about three kilometres from the scene and...in front of one of the gates of the Tharthar dam where water flows at its strongest rate and to my son and his cousin's horror, they ordered them to jump into the water, it was midnight and the cold was unbearable, when they hesitated, they were pushed by the soldiers. Unfortunately my boy cannot swim, even though swimming at this time of the year wouldn't have helped.
Yet my sons cousin survived miraculously after he got stuck in a tree branch to give us his account of this tragic event which could have went untold. He tried saving my son, but the water current was stronger than him...After days of search we found my sons jacket floating with the stream, it shall remain with me as a memory and a symbol of the injustice brought against him by soldiers of the United States of America's army, who came to our country under the banners of human rights and democracy only to send my son to his demise on his wedding days...
Well, they say if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...it is probably a duck.
I wasn't there...but I bring my own 27 years affiliation with the US Army to the table and have to conclude that if it smells like BS and it sticks to your shoe like BS ... it is probably BS.
Consider the context of the story, from the point of view of a US Soldier. Since we've been in Iraq we have:
- just nearly courtmartialed a fast rising Battalion Commander (LTC West) for merely discharging his weapon in the vicinity of an EPW in order to obtain information to immediately save the lives of his solders.. Instead we stripped him of command, throttled his career, fined him a month's pay and made him retire.
- courtmartialed and stripped of their status as US Soldiers three enlisted folks - including a couple of WOMEN - for mistreating Iraqi Enemy Prisoners of War (EPWs).
- might be courtmartialling two Florida Guardsmen for taking a moment out from patrols to get married for crying out loud.
And now these folks want us to believe a story involving deliberate, premeditated murder on the part of our soldiers...
Sorry - I did a lot of years in uniform...and haven't been out that long. CPT Patti is commanding a company in Baghdad right now...she was home for one week over Christmas. I consider myself in touch.
And this modern day story about US Soldiers requiring some hapless Iraqi teenager to essentially walk the plank...It doesn't add up.
This is the same Army that refused to engage the mortarmen who earlier this week wounded 34 at Log Base Seitz because the shelling came from a built-up, populated area.
This is the same Army that respects their bleedin' Mosques more than the Iraqis do for crying out loud.
What such allegations do are two fold:
First, they appeal to the seemingly endless capacity of the Arab mind to deceive itself when it is convenient.
Secondly, from the enemy's perspective it conveniently puts the US Army in the impossible position of disproving a negative (that is, proving it "didn't" happen.)
No such burden of proof has been required of the one who alleges this nonsense.
While that might not be sufficient to mollify Zeyad, or whatever the Iraqi blogger's name is, the fact is he has certain responsibilities as well...among them is the responsibility to be able to exercise a modicum of judgment.
I don' t for a minute doubt that some touchy-feely Berkely type can cite a hundred reasons why such "urban, cultural symbolic stories arise", much of which no doubt centers on the veritable overnight meltdown of the Arab mythology, the crumbling of the house of cards that has served as so-called Arab "leadership" for three or more decades and the lack of a noble leader since Saladin (who was a Kurd, by the way...go figure...) but the point is still to be made. We live on this Earth. It behooves each of us to finagle some grasp on the rational and the true. And it will continue to benefit us all to prosecute those who libel and slander due to their "agenda".
We've all grown up being advised that if it "sounds to good to be true" it probably is. Well, that advice works the same when trying to pin attrocities on your enemies.
I, for one, don't suffer the lame accusations of fools lightly.
I won't say it absolutely couldn't happen...but I've lived long enough to know that the highly unlikely is...well, highly unlikely.
I will publicly apologise and admit my mistake if this ever, EVER is proven to have happened.
Until then, sign me...