THE LAW OF WAR. Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani is in court today to testify about what happened when a group of Marines went "out of control" in violating the law of war, killing 24 Iraqi civilians, "some of them children still in their pajamas." Chessani is under scrutiny because he didn't report the killings as anything different than the ordinary acts of war. Prosecutors in court are going to ask, how many civilian deaths would it take to raise alarm? In a place where a certain level of violence is expected every day, it will become harder and harder to determine which acts are intolerable. It's likely a question we will be struggling to answer for years to come.
-- Kay Steiger