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Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

Friday, June 09, 2006

Minister Says Haditha Iraqis Not Angry?

In the highlighted piece, Rev. Christopher Price of suburban Atlanta, who was embedded with the Marines in Haditha has said he saw no angst from the Marines or the Iraqi civilians in the town after the incident.

``I knew he had been killed and there had been a response. I got the impression insurgents were killed and also some civilians got killed,'' the 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.''

If true, why are there suddenly charges against the Marines months after the alleged atrocity?
Reverend Ben Mathes was there as well. He said this:

``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.

And this from the piece:

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.

``So many kept saying, 'I want to be part of doing something good in this country,' and when you walk the streets and you see how these folks would greet them and talk to them and the kids would come out and wanna play with them and stuff ... they just become part of the community,'' Mathes said.

``They weren't in the least bit jaded,'' Price said of the soldiers. ``I like the fact that Americans are that generous.''

So the Marines weren't going crazy and killing everybody in sight? Sounds more real than the current charges against them.

I'll be back



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