ATROCITY IN KARBALA
January 27, 2007 -- Those who insist so loudly on following Geneva Conventions rules regarding captured terrorists need to take a long, hard look at the latest atrocity in Iraq, news of which broke yesterday.
Four U.S. soldiers, one of them a New Yorker, were captured - and promptly murdered - last Saturday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles from Baghdad, officials confirmed.
Two of the slain soldiers were found handcuffed together in the back of a vehicle.
Soldiers die in combat, of course.
But the murder of disarmed and helpless troops - killing POWs, in effect - is what's at issue here.
The killers traveled in vehicles used by U.S. government convoys, wore U.S. combat fatigues, had American weapons and spoke English. That got them past an army checkpoint and into a U.S. compound - where they opened fire with grenades and rifles.
Among those killed was Pfc. Shawn Falter, 25, of Homer in northern Westchester. Officials confirmed that he was killed last Saturday after being ambushed in Karbala, but didn't name the two victims of the atrocity.
The murder of helpless captives is a stark reminder of the barbaric nature of the enemy that American-led forces face in Iraq.
Indeed, it puts into perspective the complaints about U.S. "atrocities" committed against prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
Frankly, complaints about degrading photos and alleged desecration of the Koran can't hold a candle to the savage abduction and execution-style murders of brave soldiers.
Those who have led the outcry over what they hysterically decry as U.S. "war crimes" in Iraq have a particular obligation to speak out against genuine atrocities of the kind committed by these terrorist insurgents.
Their failure to do so will only serve to confirm their actual motive: not to hold America to the highest moral standard, but to undermine the U.S. effort and ensure a Vietnam-style defeat in Iraq.