If you've been following events in Iraq, you are probably aware of the brouhaha surrounding the apparent marine shooting of a subdued, unarmed insurgent. In times of war, these things -inexcusable as they are- do happen. The idea that somehow 150,000 heavily armed, trained and primed soldiers mostly in their late teens and early twenties under severe stress somehow posses the diplomatic skills and judgment of an ambassador under hellish conditions is ridiculous. These kids make mistakes. Some of these mistakes are criminal in nature, if not intent. We shall see what U.S. Military justice decides the appropriate fate for the individual under investigation is. What we should not do is somehow draw the conclusion that we are no different than the enemy we face. We are quite different and clearly on the side of moral and civil values in this conflict. There should be no mistake about that. Additionally, we should not shoot the messenger. Kevin Sites, the MSNBC reporter who shot the footage of the incident has been an exemplary correspondent throughout this conflict. At all times he has shown respect, admiration and forged deep friendships with the soldiers he embeds with. To suggest that his actions are traitorous and agenda-driven is odious to me as it should be to anyone who has been following Kevin's adventures on his blog. His recounting of the story can be found here.
UPDATE: From a Marine who was there.
UPDATE II: This is from a US Army future combat systems scenario demonstration. It's worth noting that all of the systems being used in the animation are either in service now or in active development. The small peanut-shaped drone, in particular, has eerie shades of Star Wars in it. Life is not going to be getting any easier for enemies of the US Armed Forces anytime soon.