ast week a number of newspapers published a picture of U.S. Marines
relaxing inside the Khulafah Al Rashid mosque in Fallujah after storming
it. The Marines, shown in full-battle gear trampling prayer carpets with
their boots, were members of Charlie Company, First Battalion, Eighth
Marine Regiment. Some were shown lying nonchalantly on the carpets of the
holy site, eating and drinking with their weapons next to them, or
brandished by those standing and still entering the mosque.
The photographer, Louis Binco, who took the picture, did his job. It was a
very good shot, one for which he should be complimented. The Los Angeles
Times, one of the many papers that published it, also did its job too. It
was part of a very good story. But the folks in the military who allowed
those Marines to sit, sleep, keep their boots and weapons and have their
pictures taken inside a holy site in Fallujah, did the United States a huge
This picture has since developed a life of its own.
Just as those other pictures of abused Iraqi prisoners inside the now
infamous Abu Ghraib prison, a picture speaks volumes during a war,
especially as it has now migrated from website to website, as well as being
published repeatedly, sent and resent over the internet a million times to
become part of a solid wall of hatred against America among Muslims.
Very few things can be more provocative than an enemy soiling your place of
worship, especially as it is sent out with the subject identification that
says: "Get Your Feet Out of My Mosque…"