Ya see, the Haditha massacre is not attributable to nascent racism within the Marine Corps, a lack of training, or the use of shock troops for policing.
The Haditha massacre happened because the Iraqi PM has not yet chosen his Defense and Interior Ministers.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki charged on Thursday that American forces had regularly attacked Iraqi civilians and said that the Iraqi government would take this conduct into account in determining how long American troops should remain in Iraq
Mr. Rumsfeld declined to respond directly to Mr. Maliki’s assertions, saying that he had not read them. He also declined to discuss the specifics of the Haditha deaths, saying that he did not want to interfere in the ongoing investigations.
But the American defense secretary sought to dispel the notion that there is a systemic problem involving the conduct of United States troops in Iraq or heightened concerns over the ability of American forces to maintain security in the Anbar province west of Baghdad. The major obstacle to progress in Iraq, he suggested, was not the United States, but rather the slow efforts by Mr. Maliki’s government to appoint Defense and Interior Ministers, two ministries that are central to securing Iraq.
“My assessment of the situation is that the government that has been elected under the new constitution needs to appoint a defense minister and a minister of interior and get about the task of governing the country,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.
While the investigations proceed, senior American commanders in Iraq have ordered that all 150,000 coalition troops receive mandatory refresher training on the “legal, moral and ethnical standards on the battlefield.”
Mr. Rumsfeld said that such measures were useful as a reminder. But he insisted that American forces that leave for Iraq already have a sound grounding in the laws of war and the discriminate use of force against an enemy that hides among the civilian population. “I know they are trained,” he said. “The services train them, the training commands train them, and their leaders are required to see that they’re properly trained.”