Take a look at the chain of command

Letter to the Editor

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 5:40am
  • Opinion

When Marine Cpl. James Crossan was seriously wounded at Haditha last November, the war in Iraq came home to Snoqualmie Valley.

Now we know Cpl. Crossan’s wounding and, most of all, the death of Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, were the detonator of a killing spree murdering innocent Iraqi men, women and children. On his unit’s third tour of duty in Iraq, Cpl. Crossan has said he thinks his comrades “snapped.” He has also said, “I’m pissed off that they sent us over there to do a police action.”

My question would be: who are “they?” (My other thought, as one who has experienced a little of the military culture, para-military duty in a faraway land, death and destruction, is that I, too, under similar circumstances, might have been one of those who “snapped.” As such, my heart goes out to those Marines almost certainly on their way to courts martial.)

Providing one current answer to who “they” are is Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who is refusing deployment from Ft. Lewis to Iraq. He is saying his participation in the war “would make me a party to war crimes.” Lt. Watada says he joined the army in 2003 because he trusted the president and his administration and believed it was the patriotic thing to do. Since then he’s studied all aspects of the situation and concluded that the administration misled the nation and we are engaged in an illegal war in Iraq. He supports our engagement in Afghanistan.

The “they” Cpl. Crossan is “pissed off” at can only be his up-line chain of command. I can only hope he has the vision to see it all the way up to his commander in chief. Ultimate responsibility for what happened in Haditha lies in the oval office. As Colin Powell so aptly warned the president before he ordered the invasion, “When you break it [Iraq], you own it.”

Dave Olson

North Bend

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