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Journalism Features - Book Report/Review Example

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Marine and 15 civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha. Immediately following the bombing, gunmen attacked the convoy with small arms fire. Iraqi army soldiers and Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another."
It was not until the Times began asking questions of the Marine Corps officials about the incident that an investigation was ordered into the incident. A parallel investigation was launched to determine if the Marines tried to cover up the truth about the shootings, and whether the commanders did enough to investigate the incident. Four marines were charged with murder in December 2006, and four officers on failing to properly investigate and report the incident.
While this group of eight awaits trial, and 21,000 new troops are being sent into Iraq, one wonders why there are increasing reports of supposed and proven atrocities coming to light, for instance, James Barker of the 101st Airborne Division, who was sentenced to 90 years' imprisonment for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, and the murder of her parents and a younger sibling. Interestingly, his partner-in-crime and alleged ringleader, Steven Green, was discharged from the Army for a "personality disorder" and is in a Kentucky prison pending civilian trial. Experts have alleged that some of the soldiers sent into Iraq have not been through adequate psychological screening, and examples like Green seem to prove their point.

One may also consider the age-group of the Haditha Marines, generally in their twenties, most of whom have never been out of their own country, and have not had enough close combat experience. The marines are trained for all-out war.

Unlike the Special Task Force, they totally lack the skills of counterinsurgency that the Iraqi situation demands, where a soldier is equal parts merciless fighter and friendly helping hand. There is also a telling strain on them born out of restrained rules of engagement on the one hand, and on the other, the possibility of facing an armed enemy who might be guised as a civilian.

The Marines at Haditha claim to have followed the rules of engagement. But one is left to wonder after seeing the bloody slaying of innocent people whether these young men sent into Iraq were capable of dealing with the unique demands of their situation, and make the correct decisions under pressure.

In the end, even if they are found guilty, they may not have been the only ones responsible for the massacre.

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Severe Drought Brings Environmental Insight to Australia
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You step into a five-star Executive suite shower ready for a long massaging bath and a discreet sign tells you: "In view of our present drought conditions, please support our efforts at water conservation". When this happens in Brisbane in Australia, a country known to have the highest per person water consumption in the world, you know you are looking at a water crisis.

Australia is no stranger to drought, but this time it is different. Signages for water conservation will meet your eyes wherever you go down south, from Brisbane to Melbourne and Perth. People are allowed to water their gardens only at certain times of ...Show more
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Summary

This was the statement by Wuterich as the squad leader of the Haditha marines, a statement that sounds chilling in the aftermath: 24 innocent civilians, including men in underwear, women, kids in pyjamas and even a year-old infant were killed in the morning of November 19, 2005.
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