Friday, June 09, 2006

Haditha Part Deux

Unlikely the progressive liberal blogs will chat up this story on Haditha. It goes against their current beliefs.

ATLANTA Jun 9, 2006 (AP)— A minister embedded with some of the Marines who are alleged to have killed up to two dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq, after one of their own died in a roadside explosion says he heard about the dead civilians but saw no distress among Iraqis or Marines in Haditha several weeks after the killings.

Rev. Christopher Price of suburban Atlanta recalled Friday of his conversations with Marines in Haditha in January. "As it was presented, it seemed a normal part of what happened. It seemed a sort of regrettable but also fairly typical incident. I saw nothing that betrayed any difficulty between the Marines and the people of Haditha."

Price couldn't recall who exactly told him about the killed civilians and said he didn't ask for details. Price and the Rev. Ben Mathes, a minister from Dawsonville, Ga., and the father of the executive officer of the Marines' Kilo Company Marine in Haditha, spent Jan. 2 to Jan. 23 in Iraq as embedded reporters for Sacramento, Calif.-based K-Love Christian Radio Network. They are both Presbyterian pastors.

"If this thing had been as horrible as it's been made out to be, the people of Haditha would have been up in arms when we were there," said Mathes, who said he first learned of the accusations when they recently became public.

The ministers said they saw good relations and no bitterness between the Marines, whose morale seemed high, and the friendly Iraqis.

"Nobody disparaged the Iraqis while we were there," Price said. "They were proud stores were beginning to open, the town was coming back to life." While out on patrol with Marines, the ministers were invited to share tea and bread in many Iraqi homes.

..... But, the question is - can you believe Presbyterians?

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