Friday, November 19, 2004
Newsflash: Soldiers Actually Kill People
Why is it that whenever U.S. soldiers actually do their jobs, there are outcries of torture and abuse? A story which has been in wide circulation involves the video of a U.S. soldier shooting and killing a terrorist. There are cries of abuse, and complaints of a disintegrated chain of command.
I simply refer to a little red book kept in my desk drawer: a dictionary, and the definition of "war":
Well, there it is in black and white. Even the people who write dictionaries seem to understand the nature of war. In armed conflicts, people die. Especially rogue dimwits opposing U.S. Marines.
the waging of armed conflict against an enemy; "thousands of people were killed in the war"
What the video showed was a Marine shooting a man on the ground. We didn't see what happened 10 seconds earlier, 20 seconds earlier, 1 minute earlier. What had this man done previously? The whole world is chomping at the bit to convict our neighbor, when to me the circumstantial evidence says he had every reason to take the actions he did. Well done, Marine.
Some months ago I spoke with a reservist returned from Iraq. Shortly after the U.S. Forces took control of Iraq, this young man was sent in to Baghdad. They spent their days driving up and down the city streets, waiting for people to shoot at them. When someone was naive enough to open fire, they were promptly eliminated.
One day as they drove up a street, a boy, about 10 years of age, ran out of an alley, holding something in his hand, and he had his arm wound back to throw it at them. The reservist I spoke with didn't hesitate one second. He fired, struck the boy, who later died.
As it turns out, the boy was holding a rock. But, as the reservist said, given the nature of the threats they had been facing over the previous weeks, he had every reason to believe it was a grenade or something even worse. As he said to me:
"I'm not about to wait and see what it was he was holding. It would have been too late. And I'm certainly not going to write a letter to the wife of one of my men, explaining that I 'could have saved your husband, but instead decided to make sure he was going to die before I defended him.'"I'd add the following: When I was 10, I knew enough not to throw rocks at big guys in armored vehicles carrying automatic weapons.
Newsflash: Mosques aren't holy when used as military fortresses
This is another subject which I have discussed previously. If a building, considered sacred by a given group of people, is used as a military fortress, the sacred nature of the building is no longer of importance. Indeed, the term "desecration" means to make "not holy". From my limited understanding of Islam, these buildings are not sacred once they have been hijacked for the purposes of terrorism.
Why, then, are Muslim communities outraged when we go in and remove the offenders who desecrated the place to begin with? Once we've done our job, they can put their places of worship back in order and continue on with life.
Yet the world media shows our troops storming into mosques and raiding hospitals, without offering the perspective that once we've done this, those buildings can again be employed for the peaceful purposes for which they were constructed.
Unfortunately for terrorists (and those of you on the left who whine every time we kill someone), John Kerry lost the election. There will be no "more compassionate" war on terror. In this war, people will die. In this war, people will be taken out of their hiding places. In this war, freedom and democracy will prevail.