Saturday, February 16, 2008

Inside Iraq: Haditha

This week's Inside Iraq program on Al Jazeera English focuses on a docu-drama about the events leading up to the killing of 24 innocent Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha on 2005-11-19. Nick Broomfield, a British filmmaker, has produced Battle for Haditha, an attempt to place the incident in context, showing the perspectives of both the Iraqis and the American soldiers. Host Jasim Azzawi alternates clips of the film with a one-on-one interview with Broomfield. It's difficult to watch, seeing the impossible situations in which people on both sides find themselves, especially knowing the tragic outcome. However, it is a reality from which we must not shy away if we are to have any hope of mitigating the disaster that has followed in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Video clips embedded below the fold.

The Iraq War has been a slow-motion train wreck from the very beginning, but the Bush Administration's response has been "full steam ahead!" The only legitimate questions remaining for the United States are:

  1. How do we get all U.S. troops (sorry, I mean "coalition forces") out of Iraq, as quickly as possible, but with the minimum possible further mayhem left in our wake?

  2. How can we encourage other countries and the Iraqi people themselves to step into the void in a way that helps Iraq return as quickly as possible to security and prosperity?
The idea that our military presence in Iraq for another decade, never mind another century, will somehow magically transform the country into a peaceful, democratic land of milk and honey is nothing but fantasy. There is simply too much bad blood between the Iraqis and the United States, most especially the U.S. military.

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