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Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Battlefield Judgments
by Cordeiro
Much is being made today about the alleged 'execution' of an allegedly unarmed and wounded Iraqi insurgent in Falluja by a US Marine. The New York Times reports in some detail about this episode evidently filmed by an embedded NBC reporter.

If you bother to wade through the New York Times piece, you'll find the following statement:

Mr. Sites reported that a marine in the same unit had been killed just a day earlier when he tended to the booby-trapped dead body of an insurgent.
For the record - this is not a drug raid in South Central Los Angeles. This is a war. There are snap judgments to be made by men who are trained to do terrible things. These men have seen what this enemy can do. Far too many of their friends and countrymen have fallen prey to this enemy - an enemy who has no sense of honor or decency. Prisoners taken by our forces get a far better life than they had as insurgents. Prisoners taken by the insurgents are returned in body bags minus their heads.

That, dear reader, is the reality of this war. You may not like it, you may not want to face it or own up to it. The reality of war is very unforgiving.

Put yourself in the position of a US Marine storming an insurgent occupied Mosque in Falluja. In the past few days you have lost some of your best friends to booby-trapped wounded and corpses. Others of your unit have been seriously wounded by IEDs built by the people in this mosque.

You have a choice.

Choice #1 - You can take a chance on this guy, tie him up and leave him - all the while taking the additional chance that he may have booby trapped himself.

Choice #2 - You can shoot him. You live, he dies.

Remember, this is a pop quiz. You have five seconds to decide, maybe less. Procrastination can and will result in your immediate death.

Time's up.

In the end, it really depends on the value of a life. In my book, I'll take the life a US Marine over a slime ball insurgent terrorist bent on killing as many Americans as possible every single day of the week. It really is that simple.

Well done, Marine. Semper Fi.

Here endeth the lesson.
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