Most American and British military personnel in Iraq will have behaved impeccably, I have no doubt at all. However, there are a few 'morons' amongst every group of humans ever assembled and the coalition fores in Iraq are, very sadly, no exception.
The news that:
- 3 American soldiers are to be charged with manslaughter, it being alleged they forced a male detainee to jump off a bridge into the River Tigris at Samarra last January and that the man drowned;
- a UK soldier faces charges of having shot a teenager in an unlawful manner at al-Uzayr in southern Iraq last September;
is a welcome demonstration that no-one is above the law. I hope and believe that all these people will receive a fair hearing and that the truth will in due course be revealed. If they are found culpable then it is essential that they be punished severely, but if the evidence does not justify their convictions then that must be accepted thankfully. We need neither witch-hunts nor cover-ups.
Incidentally the person who was allegedly killed in the incident involving the 3 US personnel is, I understand, the cousin Zeyad (who publishes the 'Healing Iraq' blog) wrote about at the time the incident occurred.