Downplaying alleged Haditha massacre, Gibson declared Iraq "was in on the massacre game early, played it often"

Video ››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

During his "My Word" segment on Fox News' The Big Story, John Gibson sought to downplay the significance of recent allegations that U.S. Marines contributed to the deaths of innocent civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha, stating that while "I'm against massacres of civilians ... [i]f Iraqis know their own history, they know massacres have been committed in Iraq by warring parties for millennia piled on millennia."

Loading the player reg...

During his "My Word" segment on May 30 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson sought to downplay the significance of recent allegations that U.S. Marines contributed to the deaths of innocent civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha, stating that while "I'm against massacres of civilians ... [i]f Iraqis know their own history, they know massacres have been committed in Iraq by warring parties for millennia piled on millennia." Gibson then added: "This is the part of the world that was in on the massacre game early, played it often, and the last character to be up to his eyeballs in massacres was the very guy we went in to regime change [sic], Saddam [Hussein] himself." Gibson also said that the alleged Haditha killings constitute "an arguably criminal act," and added that, much like the massacre of hundreds of civilians in the South Vietnamese village of My Lai at the hands of the American military in March 1968, outrage over the reported Haditha massacre "fits together neatly in a slime-fest designed to win elections and set the direction of the history books."

As the weblog ThinkProgress has noted, during the segment, Fox also posted onscreen text that read, "My Word: I'm Against Massacres of Civilians & Cover-ups."

From the May 30 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:

GIBSON: Now it's time for "My Word." My Lai, the name of the place in South Vietnam where a massacre occurred, a massacre carried out by American troops. For many people, the entire war in Vietnam came down to those two words: My Lai; and one more: massacre. Same thing is about to happen in Iraq, and this time the name is Haditha. It was last November, and according to the story that is now shaping up, Marines went on a rampage after one of their own was killed by a roadside bomb. In the end, it appears, allegedly, they killed 24 people, including women and children.

The original story of the incident said the civilians were also killed by the roadside bomb that killed the Marine. That appears to not be true, and the military is now running a full-scale investigation. If it turns out to not be true, then the crime is doubled. First the massacre, then the cover-up.

I'm against massacres of civilians. I think we all are. I'm against cover-ups. You probably are too. But I'm also against taking an incident in which our troops overreact and commit an arguably criminal act and make it stand for the entire war. The war in Iraq is not the story of massacres by Americans. If Iraqis know their own history, they know massacres have been committed in Iraq by warring parties for millennia piled on millennia. This is the part of the world that was in on the massacre game early, played it often, and the last character to be up to his eyeballs in massacres was the very guy we went in to regime change, Saddam himself.

Those people who opposed the war and want to make those who support it pay with shame, embarrassment, and a complete loss of credibility and reputation want desperately for this massacre, if that's what it turns out to be, to be the name this war is known by forever. Haditha, My Lai, Iraq, Vietnam -- it all fits together neatly in a slime-fest designed to win elections and set the direction of the history books.

The Iraq war may not be the best war we ever fought. When the dust settles, we'll know for sure. But it accomplished a great goal that no one else had managed for 15 years at least, ridding the world of Saddam. No matter what the political spinners say, that was a great thing, and the Iraq war should be known for that fact. Saddam is gone. Haditha was bad, but it was a bad thing in an otherwise -- in a war that we have otherwise much to be proud of. That's "My Word."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
John Gibson
Show/Publication
The Big Story with John Gibson
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.