This is going to be a hard one to sweep under the carpet, or send down the memory hole.
Yesterday, at a forum on Iraq arranged by the U.S. Institute for Peace, I asked Samir al-Sumaidaie, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, about Haditha. In answering, he stepped out of his objective, diplomatic cadence–because Haditha, for Sumaidaie, is personal. “What happened in Haditha is a huge tragedy, for Haditha and for the United States,” he began. “I am from Haditha. I know the people, I know the neighborhood. One of my cousins in Haditha was killed by the Marines in Haditha not long before this.” Quiet and well-spoken, Sunni but not sectarian, Sumaidaie seemed ready to hold the Marines accountable not only for the November, 2005, atrocity but for the killing of his cousin and for other deaths in the town.
“The people of Haditha are squeezed between two huge threats,” he said. On the one hand, they face religious-extremist terrorists, “and on the other hand, there are the Marines, fighting them, shooting, going around killing people.” When he was asked if the revelations about the events of November would make him reevaluate what happened to his cousin, he answered in a steely voice. “I already know what happened to my cousin,” he said. “It might help others to reevaluate what happened.”
Read the rest of Robert Dreyfuss’s The Man From Haditha.
Thanks to The Poet for that one.