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Moral Authority

conway.jpgYou may remember the Pentagon Study  that reported that only "38 percent of Marines said noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect" and "thirty-nine percent of Marines and 36 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to gather important information from insurgents?"

Scarecrow and I had a few things to say at the time. 

Well, according to the AP, it seems the Marine Corps commandant was really disturbed by that report and "He is telling his officers to make sure their Marines understand the importance of ethics in the fight." So what moral message does Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant, want to "make sure" his Marines receive?

"I was a little bit disturbed by what I saw because, one, Marines were more likely to do those things than were soldiers," he said. "I want to get after that because, again, those things are things that either incite the population or, conversely, help to win the fight if you do them right." (emphasis mine) 

 He followed up this rigorous moral advice with advice for his fellow commanders:

At the same time, Conway said an Army commander in Afghanistan was wrong when he issued a public apology for an incident in March where Marines "killed and wounded innocent Afghan people."

Conway said Army Col. John Nicholson "was premature to apologize, in that there is an investigation ongoing to determine what happened. If the investigation should determine that there are charges that should be levied, then there will be a hearing, perhaps a court martial." Conway added that the military was not wrong to make $2,000 payments to the families of those killed.

Nicholson this month read to reporters an apology given to the families for an incident in Nangahar province that left as many as 19 Afghans dead and 50 injured.(emphasis mine) 

General Conway has already demonstrated his moral leadership – yesterday, he sent a memo to his officers "directing them to re-emphasize the importance of values." and on Monday, he'll hold a "Values Conference."

I am so relieved that we are regaining the moral highground in Iraq … perhaps it was this type of stellar values-based leadership which lead to yesterday's events in Fallujah where, according to Al Aswat, an independent and usually reliable Iraqi news service (h/tp for story and translation to the team members at GorillasGuides )

Doctors, nurses, administrators, and all other staff in Fallujah hospital have gone on indefinite strike after the second episode in as many months in which the American controlled, directed, trained, and financed, green zone forces and police in Fallujah supported by American troops violently stormed the hospital, severely beat staff, and destroyed equipment and supplies.

The strike was called as the result of an attack on members of the rescue crews by green zone forces and green zone police. The police and militia beat the doctors and staff, smashed doors and windows and destroyed quantities of  hospital supplies.

Accroding to the young doctor in the hospital who alerted the news agency to this latest attack the attackers: “justified their attacks on the pretext that hospital staff treated the gunmen inside it”

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Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com