US military personnel deployed in Iraq are being ordered to undergo training in moral and ethical standards, according to a Pentagon spokesman. The training is a result of concerns over the mounting furor over the alleged killing of 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha last November.
General George Casey -- commanding officer of Iraqi military operations -- ordered the training two days after US troops shot dead a pregnant mother and her cousin as they traveled to a maternity hospital.
Nabiha Nisaif Jassim was killed along with her cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, when they failed to stop at a checkpoint in Samarra, north of Baghdad. According to The Guardian, a military spokesman said troops had fired at the car, which was being driven by the pregnant woman's brother, in an attempt to "disable" it.
Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, said the ethics training, to take place over the next 30 days, would reinforce the education that troops receive before being sent into battle. It would emphasize "professional military values and the importance of disciplined, professional conduct in combat," he said.
"As military professionals, it is important that we take time to reflect on the values that separate us from our enemies," he said. "The challenge for us is to make sure the actions of a few do not tarnish the good work of the many."
The program is an obvious overreaction to the killing of "innocent civilians" by US Marines, and it amounts to no more than "Sensitivity Training for Combat Soldiers." In short, it's a program initiated to appease the left-wingers who will never be appeased.
A soldier's first duty -- the same as a police officer's -- is to stay alive. Police officers know that in a combat situation, you are defending yourself against the unknown and your ultimate goal is to go home at the end of your tour. It must be much more intense for soldiers and Marines deployed in the hellhole known as Haditha, where brutal killings occur on a daily basis -- killings not perpetrated by US Marines.
The alleged massacre is already being compared to the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, by left-wing politicians, the elite news media and others, who are using the incident to continue their assault on an organization -- the US military -- to which they pay lip-service, but in reality despise.
The American media -- in their rush to judgment -- have constantly denigrated the military as a result of the Haditha incident. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) stated that the incident was "cold-blooded murder." The darling of the left-wing media apparently doesn't know the meaning of the term. On one hand the media claim the Marines were out-of-control -- which indicates a "heated" reaction to their situation -- on the other we are bombarded with Murtha's tirades about "cold-blooded murder," something about which he admits he knows nothing. He even admitted he never bothered to read the preliminary report on Haditha. He prefers reading his reports in the arguably treasonous New York Times and Washington Post.
Meanwhile, only one newspaper -- a British one at that -- decided to print a story about Haditha. It is a terrorist stronghold where executions are a common occurrence. These public murders are attended by "innocent" civilians, including children, who cheer the executioners on.
While the news media fail to describe the hellish environment of Haditha, Paul Robinson, a former army intelligence officer and an expert on military ethics, is being courted by reporters as he warns that the effects of formal "sensitivity" training would be "blunted by peer pressure, military loyalty, and public desire in the US for revenge and forceful action."
"Teaching the individual soldiers is not enough," he's quoted in The Guardian as saying, "Moral leadership needs to be exerted from on high, all the way down the chain of command.
His statement fits right in with the American news media's template for covering warfare in the 21st Century, including a slam at the American people -- as opposed to the American elite -- for being vengeful.
Do we really want to turn our fighting forces into "sensitive" wimps or do we want the toughest, fiercest fighting force in world?
Unlike the clowns who make statements about "cold-blooded murder," "innocent civilians," and other comments, I don't know what happened in Haditha. I do know that generalizing about US Marines -- or any military service -- based on the actions of a few is wrong. Same as it's wrong to judge all police officers based on the actions of a few; or judging an entire group such as Muslims based on the actions of a few.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.