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thedrifter
07-22-07, 06:55 AM
Iraq: Marines Can Get Away With Killing Civilians
Ray Hanania, Arab News


A military tribunal at Camp Pendelton, released Cpl. Trent Thomas this week without ordering him to prison, despite his conviction in the murder of an Iraqi civilian last year in Hamdaniya, Iraq.

Thomas is typical of most American soldiers charged with murdering Iraqi civilians.

In Thomas’ case, the civilian was kidnapped and murdered in cold blood.

There are even many who believe that there are far more cases of Iraqi civilians who are murdered by American soldiers, but that those cases are hushed up to minimize the embarrassment.

I mean, let’s face it. American Marines allegedly came to Iraq to topple the government of Saddam Hussein that was involved in the murder of Iraqi civilians.

How would it look if it turned out that more Iraqi civilians might be murdered at the hands of their so-called liberators than killed at the hands of the so-called dictator, Saddam Hussein?

Yet, even when American soldiers are caught red-handed and can’t avoid prosecution — most cases take months and even years before the facts are even made public and prosecutions can be made — most are released with minor punishments.

I wonder how Americans would feel if a foreign country just released, with only a slap on their hand, some of the suspects we allege were involved in Sept. 11, 2001?

We wouldn’t be too happy, of course.

In Thomas’ trial, he was able to bring in his relatives, wife and family and friends to plead his case. The poor corporal has suffered enough.

Yet nowhere in the stories did I read the name of the man Thomas and his Marine thugs kidnapped and then shot in cold blood.

His wife and children were never given the opportunity to tell the public, let alone the jury in the case, how their lives have been destroyed by the loss of their father.

Maybe his mother and father are alive, too. I wonder how his murder affects them?

What about his friends? What kind of life did he lead?

Why was he killed?

Who gives a **** when the victim is an Arab? Not American soldiers.

Even those who called for Thomas to serve jail time argued that the criminal actions of a “few” shouldn’t reflect badly on the conduct of the many good American soldiers and Marines.

We hear that all the time, like when an American police officer is exposed as being behind a series of murders, too.

The corrupt police are often prosecuted to the fullest extent of American law. And when a criminal is punished fairly, then his or her criminal actions do not reflect badly on the organization.

But in the case of American police sent to jail for years, the murder victims there are Americans.

Who cares about Iraqi civilians who are murdered? The Americans who said they invaded the country because they care about them?

I say no one cares for them.

Not the American soldiers. Not the Marines fighting in Iraq. Not the American media. And certainly not the American people who scream about the actions of a handful of Islamic— terrorists, but suddenly find quiet time when the terrorists turn out to be one of their own.

— Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist and author. He can be reached at www.hanania.com.

Ellie