Sent Tuesday, June 6, 2006 5:29 pm
Subject "Wallowing in Haditha"
Dear Mr. Lowry,
This morning in your National Review Online piece entitled "Wallowing in Haditha," you wrote, "If Marines in Haditha did what they are accused of, it’s a terrible crime unrepresentative of the American military. Period." Really, that's all there is to it? (Makes one wonder why you bothered with your op-ed piece then.) No, i'm afraid there's more to it. But true to form, conservatives oversimplify and condone. Confident in the inherent correctness and righteousness of all their policy blunders, they find no occasion for reflection, reconsideration, or rethinking, preferring instead to downplay the reality of the facts on the ground while denouncing the so-called liberal media's supposed schadenfreude over yet another failure in military judgment.
Clearly Americans want answers and accountability for what happened at Haditha: instead your colleages Ms. Malkin and Mr. O'Reilly assert respectively that "there are puddles of drool in the offices of the L.A. Times and The New York Times" and "predictably the left-wing press has run with the alleged massacre at Haditha." Mr. Hannity swift-boats Jack Murtha, and Mr. Gibson speaks out of both sides of his mouth: "I'm against massacres of civilians" he says at first, only to give Iraqis a lesson in their own history:
"If Iraqis know their own history, they know massacres have been committed in Iraq by warring parties for millennia piled on millennia. This is the part of the world that was in on the massacre game early, played it often, and the last character to be up to his eyeballs in massacres was the very guy we went in to regime change, Saddam himself."Essentially, so this argument goes, Iraqis have wielded plenty of war crimes upon themselves over the millennia, so what's the harm in a few more?
Although your brand of apologetics, Mr. Lowry, is not quite as callous, your logic is no less mistaken. "No military in the history of the planet has ever been as observant of the rules of warfare and as discriminate in its use of force as ours," you claim, though I have no idea what factual support you could possibly marshall to support such a claim. (I wonder what the victims of the Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki would offer?) Naturally, the apologetics follow: "But no large organization can be utterly free of weak or evil men." And the conclusion? Blame the liberals: "In their rush to find a broader meaning in such horrible events, liberals weirdly attenuate their own ability to condemn the perpetrators."
If you want to see someone "weirdly attentuate their own ability to condemn the perpetrators," that is, condemn and in the same breath condone rather than condemn unconditionally as they should, I suggest you turn your gaze away from liberals and have a look in your own mirror.