US Military Personnel Do More Good Than Harm ; Alleged Violence at Haditha Is Shameful, but US Aid in Disaster Relief Is Laudable

By Hughes, John | The Christian Science Monitor, June 7, 2006 | Go to article overview

US Military Personnel Do More Good Than Harm ; Alleged Violence at Haditha Is Shameful, but US Aid in Disaster Relief Is Laudable


Hughes, John, The Christian Science Monitor


The headlines last week were front page and stark. US Marines had apparently gone on a murderous rampage months earlier in the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Haditha, killing as many as 24 civilians, including women and children. They did so after one of their Humvees in which they were patrolling was blown up by a roadside bomb, killing one marine and wounding two others. There was no evidence that the civilians they massacred were culpable.

There are grounds for belief that after the deadly action, the marines and some of their superiors tried to cover it up. The tragedy was uncovered by reporters for Time magazine. Senior US military officers launched investigations into the event itself and the coverup. President Bush said that those who are guilty must be punished. Though the investigations are proceeding, Pentagon sources say that charges of murder could be brought against some of the marines involved.

If the charges are true, the killings at Haditha could become as shameful a chapter in the Iraq war as was the Vietnam War's My Lai - where US soldiers massacred a whole village. Following the scandal of prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib, such actions sully and undermine the selfless efforts by many other US military men and women to rebuild Iraq and bring it some semblance of democracy.

Also in the news last week, but generally not making the front pages, was the relief effort by US Marines and US personnel, along with other international donors, on Indonesia's big island of Java, which was hit by a devastating earthquake. Thousands of Indonesians were killed, thousands more injured, and perhaps as many as 200,000 left homeless.

Marine cargo planes flew a mobile field hospital into the city of Yogyakarta, closest to the quake area. Other marines started distributing emergency supplies to the needy. The amphibious assault ship USS Essex, which has extensive medical facilities, was routed to the area.

The two contrasting stories, one of senseless murder in Iraq, and the other of humanitarian aid to save life in Indonesia, underline for Americans both the agonies and the triumphs of being the most powerful nation in the world with sweeping international responsibilities.

This is not the first time the US has offered an outstretched hand to Indonesia in its time of need. After a giant tsunami hit Indonesia in 2004, the US mounted a massive relief operation, sending aircraft and ships with supplies and manpower to the scene.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

US Military Personnel Do More Good Than Harm ; Alleged Violence at Haditha Is Shameful, but US Aid in Disaster Relief Is Laudable
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.