However, as Chris Floyd/Imperial Burlesque has remarked today, things are not always (or even very often) as the Pentagon portrays them:
It seems that the Pentagon, that veritable fount of veracity, has probed itself for the alleged execution-style slaying of civilians in Ishaqi, and found that the operation -- which left 11 civilians dead, including five children under the age of five -- was in fact an exemplary feat of arms, strictly by the book.
(According to military investigators) (e)verything happened pretty much the way they originally said it happened: soldiers seeking a dastardly al-Qaeda operative (now more circumspectly described as a man suspected of being an al-Qaeda operative) took fire during the pursuit and responded with heavy force: air power and ground assault on the suspect's redoubt, which just happened to be someone's house. In the course of the textbook op, which we're told killed the al-Qaednik and a local bombmaker, there were also three "noncombatant" deaths, and an estimated nine "collateral deaths." (The difference between these two categories is not explained. And of course it doesn't matter to the innocent people killed; whether they are "non-combatants" or "collaterals," they're still just as dead. No doubt there are strict bureaucratic guidelines behind these distinctions.) These deaths are regrettable, of course, but such things happen as unintended consequences of noble causes, and no doubt there will be a bit of loose change doled out to the innocent victims' families.
As Floyd notes, if true, that should come as a relief to everyone who wishes the best for our troops--if not in their feats of arms, at least in the efforts to preserve their sanity:
So that's that then. Nothing to see here, time to move on... And you know, I really wish we could. No one here takes any pleasure or satisfaction from reports of yet another egregious failure of the human spirit, yet another eruption of the bestiality that lies buried in the mud of our brains. This is true in any case, anywhere, but it is doubly true if the crimes are done in the name of your own country. And any time that such a report turns out to be mistaken is a cause for joy.
Unfortunately, however, facts gathered at the scene and some horrific photos from the event seem to offer a version of events which is not quite as laudatory as the one the Pentagon itself had manufactured:
...So yes, it would be nice to be able to accept at face value the Pentagon's exonerating version of the incident at Ishaqi. (Relatively speaking, of course; that is to say, in the murderous context of the vast atrocity that is the Iraq war itself, it would be better to accept the Pentagon's assertion that the deaths of up these innocent people were simply the inevitable and unintended by-product of urban warfare, rather than the more grisly alternative. It would be good to have this slight mitigation of the general horror.) But a commitment to the truth -- and a refusal to succumb to historical amnesia -- prevents such an automatic acceptance.
For this is the same Pentagon that whitewashed the Haditha killings not once, but twice (with two different stories) after the massacre there last year. This is the same Pentagon whose innumerable investigations into itself during these crimeful Bush years have only managed to peel a few "bad apples" plucked from the bottom of the barrel, despite the extraordinarily vast and systematic nature of the regimens of torture and atrocity established by the Bush Administration, as Amnesty International has pointed out in an important new study.
Such elaborate systems cannot have been constructed and operated without orders -- direct and implied -- from the very highest reaches of government and the military command. Yet the Pentagon has employed oceans of whitewash to protect the brass, while grudgingly throwing a few bits of cannon fodder and trailer trash -- as the Bushist elite would see them -- on the fire to serve, in the words of Breaker Morant, as "scapegoats of the empire."
The Bushevik regime desparately needed some event to confound truth of the Haditha massacre, and it has now flogged this new Pentagon report in such a way that the drones of the lumpenproletariat may be forgiven if they now think all those pesky allegations of military murder by our sterling troops can be discounted. Confusion is the friend of the fascists, and clarity is its worst enemy. The SCUM--WaPo, in this case, quite unsurprisingly--are doing all they can to obfuscate in favor of the Pentagon's claims...
They really are bastards...every last stinking one of 'em...