The New York Times Mourns the Loss of Their "Defining Atrocity"

The New York Times can’t be satisfied with some insignificant Al-Qaeda atrocity.
It must be an atrocity committed by the Americans.
And, they lost it this week in Haditha.

The Haditha Marines

The New York Times
May 26, 2006:

A military investigation into the deaths of two dozen Iraqis last November is expected to find that a small number of marines in western Iraq carried out extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians, Congressional, military and Pentagon officials said Thursday…

That evidence, described by Congressional, Pentagon and military officials briefed on the inquiry, suggested to one Congressional official that the killings were “methodical in nature.”

The New York Times
June 4, 2006:

The apparent cold-blooded killing last November of 24 Iraqi civilians by United States marines at Haditha will be hard to dispose of with another Washington damage control operation. The Iraqi government has made clear that it will not sit still for one, and neither should the American people. This affair cannot simply be dismissed as the spontaneous cruelty of a few bad men.

This is the nightmare that everyone worried about when the Iraq invasion took place. Critics of the war predicted that American troops would become an occupying force, unable to distinguish between innocent civilians and murderous insurgents, propelled down the same path that led the British to disaster in Northern Ireland and American troops to grief in Vietnam.

The New York Times
December 22, 2006

Though this was not the first instance of American forces being charged with killing Iraqi civilians, the charges announced yesterday, including 13 counts of murder against one sergeant alone, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, 26, suggest that military prosecutors view the Haditha killings as being among the most serious breaches of military rules in the nearly four-year war.

The New York Times
October 6, 2007

Last year, when accounts of the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha by a group of marines came to light, it seemed that the Iraq war had produced its defining atrocity, just as the conflict in Vietnam had spawned the My Lai massacre a generation ago.

But on Thursday, a senior military investigator recommended dropping murder charges against the ranking enlisted marine accused in the 2005 killings, just as he had done earlier in the cases of two other marines charged in the case. The recommendation may well have ended prosecutors’ chances of winning any murder convictions in the killings of the apparently unarmed men, women and children.

That’s The New York Times special way of saying “I’m sorry” for condemning the Haditha Marines to hell for the “apparent” cold-blooded murder of innocents before their trial even started.

And, isn’t it interesting how The New York Times is still searching for an atrocity to define the War in Iraq?

An Al-Qaeda atrocity like the Yazidi bombings, the murder of a brave young Sunni Sheik, torture chamber drawings, or dismembering and booby-trapping dead soldier’s bodies just won’t do.

It must be an American atrocity.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out just who they are rooting for.

Democracy Project thinks The New York Times has just excused itself.

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