Today's Blogs

Tribunal on Haditha

Bloggers are worked up over the disclosure of new evidence in the Haditha massacre investigation. They’re also thoroughly creeped out by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust obsession in a recent interview with Der Spiegel and greeting the news that Batwoman is into chicks with heroic good humor.

Tribunal on Haditha:More disclosures have been made regarding the questionable killing of 24 civilians in the insurgent stronghold town of Haditha last November. In what many are calling the “My Lai of Iraq,” U.S. Marines of Kilo Company fired on those they claimed showed hostile intent near the site of a detonated roadside bomb. However, a three-week inquiry indicates that the Marines were probably unprovoked.

Liberal Steve Soto at The Left Coaster is pessimistic: “Things have shifted against us in the region since the beginning of the year, and the Bush Administration now finds itself with a less-forgiving Iraqi government than it has had in the past. Evidence of a Pentagon cover-up of a massacre will only make that relationship worse, at a time when the new government is already angry at the Bush Administration’s shifting allegiances inside the country, and our inability to improve security.”

Retired Navy Cmdr. Jeff Huber at Pen and Sword argues that the stain attaching itself to the accused Marines ought not to spread to the rest of the corps: “Yeah, these guys are trained to fight like demons, but they’re also disciplined. For that discipline to have broken down in Haditha, as it appears to have, signals to me that something terribly wrong happened—most likely a complex set of circumstances that caused these Marines to react ‘incorrectly’ in the conduct of a type of tactical mission that has shown time and again to produce little if any operational or strategic benefit.”

50Cals, a Marine who has been stationed in the region for more than two years, writes on his MySpace page: “I’ll be the first to tell you that if the press and investigating authorities are getting all of their info from the people in that town, then 90 percent of it is probably not true. I’ve met some good people over there. There were a couple of translators whom I really didn’t want to leave there and also some Soldiers and Border Guards. However, for the most part, I would not trust anything that the people in that town had to say.”

Cassandra, a conservative “dyspeptic Marine wife/tech wench” at Villainous Company favors an exhaustive investigation over speedy answers. For one thing, “[i]f 15 of the victims were deemed ‘not to be involved in combat,’ then one might draw the inference that 9 of them were deemed to have been involved in combat. Or one might not be justified in drawing that inference at all, and this is the danger in poring over incomplete facts in advance of the trial.”

Read more about the Haditha revelations.

Tehran calling: Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an unprecedented interview to German magazine Der Spiegel in which he declared that the jury’s still out on those 6 million dead Jews from the Holocaust, and that while Iran doesn’t “need” nuclear weapons, the West has no right to deny it such weapons.

Conservative Kobayashi Maru was initially tempted to do a “thorough fisking” of the exchange but decided that “[w]ith a ratio of three questions by Ahmadinejad for every two that Spiegel posed—it could be deemed an interview, just not the one that was advertised. Who wants to hear three obscure reporters meekly attempting to defend the principles of Western Civilization with ignorant crowd-pleasing quips such as, ‘The United States has suffered a de facto defeat in Iraq’?”

Conservative Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters notes Ahmadinejad’s subject change when confronted with the question of whether Iran wants the bomb: “One would think that he would take the opportunity to categorically deny his pursuit of nuclear weapons. Instead, he tries to launch into a debate on global politics and the tyranny of the Western democracies. The only topic he truly embraces with DS is Holocaust denial and the removal of Jews in Israel to Europe, towards which he manipulates the DS interviewer in the last third of the piece. … Ahmadinjad is obsessed with Israel and the Jews. Der Speigel does us a service in demonstrating this, and people had better start taking it seriously.”

Sterling at memefirst raises an eyebrow at Ahmadinejad’s tilted head on the cover of the German weekly: “Is it likening Ahmadinejad to Hitler negatively, or is it trying to evoke the strong man imagery to which Germans have historically shown such unfortunate attraction?”

Read more about the Der Spiegel interview.

Sorry, boys: Winged vixen of the night Batwoman will be resurrected by DC Comics as a “lipstick lesbian,” according to the BBC. So much for the subtle allegory of the X-Men as gay-rights exemplars.

“Okay, we all knew that Robin was gay and Batman was some sort of chicken hawk,” says Seoul resident Nori Sumi Park at nori knows nada. Sam at Sam-A-Rama sees the humor in it: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. If anything, fanboys around the comics world are already saying that the character is just one more woman that will never go out with them. Thank you. I’m here all week.”

“How ironic,” adds conservative New York Post columnist Robert George at his blog Ragged Thots. “The Golden Age of comics essentially ended in the early 1950s partly due to a backlash created by psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham … [who] charged that comic books—especially the EC horror line—helped fuel the burgeoning issue of the time—juvenile delinquency! … However, this means that DC—which has historically been the more ‘traditional’ or ‘conservative’ of the two main publishers—is now attaching a gay identity to a member of one of its signature ‘family’ of titles—the ‘Bat’-brand. A really big move.”

Read more about Batwoman’s coming out.