But following its own inquiries into the Ishaqi operation, the Pentagon enraged Iraqi officials by issuing a statement declaring that allegations that US troops "executed a family ... and then hid the alleged crimes by directing an air strike, are absolutely false".Not enough salt in your wounds? Here, let the Pentagon rub it in (emphasis mine):
US spokesman Major General William Caldwell said the US investigation into events in Ishaqi, where the military says it was attempting to capture insurgents, had found no wrongdoing on the part of the troops.
He said troops had been fired on as they raided a house to arrest an al-Qaeda suspect. They returned fire and called in air support, which destroyed the building, killing one militant and resulting in "up to nine collateral deaths."And by "collateral deaths," Caldwell means Iraqi women and children.
It's gonna get uglier, no doubt. I doubt the "few bad apples" defense is going to work with the Iraqis:
"Ishaqi is just another reason why we shouldn't trust the Americans," said Abdullah Hussein, an engineer in Baghdad. "First they lied about the weapons of mass destruction, then there was the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and now it's clear to the world they were guilty in Haditha."I know, man. I know.
UPDATE 6/5: A dear friend pointed out to me that Haditha and Ishaqi are two different incidents. I know this (and didn't have time to elucidate), but my point is that Iraq is a mess, a weeping sore of ugliness and disarray, and yet, U.S. forces are completely blameless in all of this? Yeah right. Anyway, I've updated this post to make better sense. If that's possible. (Many thanks to said Dear Friend for keeping me honest. And factual.)