Thursday June 1, 2006
The My Lai massacre will always be associated with worldwide outrage and the loss of public support in the US for the Vietnam war. What happened in March 1968, when soldiers of Charlie Company, 11th brigade, Americal Division killed more than 300 villagers, did not become public knowledge until November 1969.
The killing of 24 innocent Iraqis at Haditha on the Euphrates took place last November, and though reported in some detail since March, it is only now that the whole grim story, including the full death toll, is emerging.
Even allowing for the uncertainties of an incomplete investigation, into the incident itself and a possible cover-up, this is without doubt another massacre that will be long remembered. US forces have killed many Iraqi non-combatants since March 2003, by being trigger-happy, by using overwhelming force in residential areas, and by sheer accident. But Haditha, where the alleged perpetrators were men of Kilo Company, 3rd battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, is the worst known incident involving the unprovoked killing of unarmed civilians. ....................read more