New Internationalist

Battle for Haditha

March 2008

Insurgents plant a roadside bomb and wait in a nearby house. Local people debate what to do – some stay, others leave. The bomb explodes, killing US marines. Their comrades massacre men, women and children in nearby houses on the outskirts of the Iraqi town of Haditha.

Broomfield’s patient documentary style was gut-wrenching in Ghosts. Here, his sense of justice, his desire to pin down the strategists and officers higher up the command chain, sometimes leads him into shortcuts and speechifying. Otherwise it’s horribly real. This is what it’s like both to go berserk and to be scared shitless, while, on high, the manipulators remain untouched and spotless.

This column was published in the March 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 409

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