Mindset of the marines?
What about the mindset of the media?
Personally I am sick of hysterical media who shout off about the injustices without actually putting the matter into context.
I had read that the marines involved had been awake and fighting for over 24hours, the guy was in a shoot or be shot frame of mind
Injured fighters would lie on hand granades and explode them when marines came close, that was common knowledge.
In this unit's case, one early lesson in Fallujah was to avoid Iraqis altogether, dead or alive. Iraqis wearing National Guard uniforms had ambushed
them, killing one of their own. Another Marine had been killed when an explosive detonated under an insurgent corpse.
Several insurgents had
continued desperate fights notwithstanding gruesome wounds. Others tried to exploit the civil-military moral gap, acting as soldiers at 500 meters and
as civilians when the Marines closed in. The Iraqis in the mosque may have been immobile, but to the Marines, they posed a threat.
Further, the Marines were fighting in an enemy city with little uncontested territory. There were no "friendly lines" behind which they could rest.
The Marine in question had been wounded already. He was no doubt exhausted by five days of continuous fighting
by the time he risked his life
and burst into the mosque on Saturday. A well-rested man would have faced a dilemma inside, filled with shades of gray. A sleep-deprived man weary
from days of combat saw only a binary choice: shoot or don't shoot, life or death.
So context is crucial when judging actions under fire. The very job of a rifleman is to close with and destroy his enemy—in essence, to kill the bad
guy before he can kill you. But what separates the Marines from the rabble is their professional discipline—what a Harvard political scientist called
the "management of violence" in describing the U.S. military. And so, this incident stands out for two reasons.
First, it shows a breach of discipline, albeit under very stressful circumstances. But it also shows the extent to which the U.S. military will throw
the book at one of its own. Already, the entire 1st Marine Division staff is involved with the case, and the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Tuesday
that "[I]t's being investigated, and justice will be done."