Whenever a crazed gay murderer or psychopath, like Jeffrey Dahmer or Andrew Cunanan, dominates the news, extreme social conservatives are quick to seize on the story in order to show how horrible, no good and very bad “homosexuals” are. They delight in defining our community by its worst elements.
We’re seeing something similar in the MSM coverage of the alleged massacre at Haditha. While doing the StairMaster at my gym barely twenty-four hours before our troops took out one of the world’s most notorious mass-murderers, I watched CNN devote a long segment to this story, featuring an interview with General John Batiste, an outspoken critical of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, but not including anyone defending the Administration. It seemed that that “news” network’s coverage of the war focuses on our troops’ bad behavior with commentary coming primarily from critics of the coalition.
CNN & other MSM outlets reporting Haditha suggest not only that our Marines did indeed murder those civilians, but also imply (as have Murtha, the New York Times et al.) that this is not because the soldiers are themselves bad people per se, but because the stress of an unnecessary war whose execution was botched by Rumseld & Co. made them do bad things.
As Bruce pointed out earlier today, the accused Marines may not even be guilty of alleged atrocities. Even if they are (in which case, I agree with Bruce that they should be punished to the “full extent” of the law), these troops represent fewer than 1% of 1% of U.S. soldiers who have served in Iraq. If the circumstances of this particular war caused such atrocities, there would be many more “Hadithas.”
To be sure, there have been a few cases of American soldiers committing atrocities, but these actions have been exceptions. By and large, our soldiers have performed exaclty like those who took our Zarqawi earlier this week, bravely and honorably serving our country. Those committing such atrocities represent the average serviceman as well as Jeffrey Dahmer represents the average gay man.