Ishaqi

ISHAQI….More bad news. The BBC has a videotape that seems to confirm another American massacre of civilians in Iraq, this time in the town of Ishaqi, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. Knight Ridder first reported on this back in March, but the official response from the military was to dismiss the story, which was based on Iraqi police reports: “We’re concerned to hear accusations like that, but it’s also highly unlikely that they’re true,” said Major Tim Keefe.

The BBC video is here. It comes from a “hardline Sunni group opposed to coalition forces,” but the BBC says that it “has been cross-checked with other images taken at the time of events and is believed to be genuine.” If that turns out to be the case, it directly contradicts the American version of events.

In related news, Iraq’s new prime minister demanded that American officials turn over their files on the Haditha massacre so that Iraq can conduct its own investigation. The New York Times reports:

The move also came as the new Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, lashed out at the American military in the harshest terms anyone in his office has so far used to condemn what he characterized as habitual atrocities against Iraqi civilians.

The American-led forces “do not respect the Iraqi people; they crush them by vehicles and kill them by suspicion,” Mr. Maliki said. “This is extremely unacceptable.”

At the risk of repeating the obvious, this is a very delicate situation. We desperately need to do the right thing.