Marine Kills Wounded Iraqi
On Monday November 15, NBC reported that the previous Saturday a Marine shot and killed an unarmed wounded Iraqi. The incident was caught on video by correspondent Kevin Sites of NBC television. According to Sites in the news accounts I read, the mosque was the location of a battle the previous day between insurgents and Marines in Fallujah. Ten insurgents had been killed and five wounded. The wounded had been treated and left behind. Saturday: “On the video as the camera moved into the mosque during the Saturday incident, a Marine can be heard shouting obscenities in the background, yelling that one of the men was only pretending to be dead.
The video then showed a Marine raising his rifle toward a prisoner laying on the floor of the mosque but neither NBC nor CNN showed the bullet hitting the man. At that moment the video was blacked out but the report of the rifle could be heard.
The blacked out portion of the video tape, provided later to Associated Press Television News and other members of the network pool, showed the bullet striking the man in the upper body, possibly the head. His blood splatters on the wall behind him and his body goes limp.”
Sites reports that a Marine in the same unit had been killed the day before when tending the booby-trapped dead body of an insurgent. A Rueters account of the incident reports that the same Marine had been shot in the face a day earlier. The marine had been removed from the field for questioning. The military ask that the Marine’s identity be protected and promised a full investigation of the incident. Sites said the shot prisoner “did not appear to be armed or threatening in any way.” (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=255312
Obviously all the facts are not in and no matter the circumstance it is hard to dismiss the shooting of an unarmed wounded person as OK. Yet one may come to understand how and why it happened without condoning the act. As I look at the recent violence of the athletes and entertainers during the past week and hear the excuses given about tremendous pressure etc. for the athletes I think about this Marine. The Detroit and Indiana players were not in a life and death situation. No matter who wins or loses the game, everyone will go home to see their families and friends unless there is an unexpected tragedy such as a car accident or plane crash. This is not the case for the soldiers and resistance fighters in Iraq. It is a life and death matter. Many people will never see their loved ones again. Perhaps Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O’Neal thought their lives were in danger, but it was a fantasy of sorts. A fantasy fed by our popular culture where athletes and entertainers are made to believe they are center stage and the world revolves around them. Well a cup of beer does not represent real danger, AK-47s, grenade launchers and 1000lb bombs do. If nothing else we need to remember that there are people in real danger fighting for their lives everyday in Iraq and around the world. War changes people. In the midst of violent life threatening confrontation one switches to survival mode. The pressure on this Marine is unimaginable to most. Many people will call for his head and in the end that call may be found justifiable. He will then pay the price. If the professional and college athletes want to know pressure and real fighting please join the military. If not then shut up and take your medicine.
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