Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Fox news is reporting on the incident where a Marine allegedly shot and killed a wounded terrorist in a mosque in Fallujah.

If our problem with Islamic fundamentalism is ultimately, truly, rooted in even just one percent of all the Muslims on the planet, that still works out to over a million jihadis to be taken out. Suiciders, decapitators, car swarmers, and shahids in general aren't going to be lining up to register to vote no matter how badly we beat them in the course of any war short of killing them. The foot troops of Allah have to be wiped out and whether we do it retail by rifle or wholesale by B-52 makes little difference. Draining the swamp by hot-boxing democratic governments is a strategy for addressing the true root causes of terror: despotism, hopelessness, and ignorance. The alumni of the old regimes aren't going to be swayed by political change, just like the SS at Malmedy or the Japanese in the Pacific theater. They have chosen their path. Note that those opponents were state agents, uniformed military formations operating under the aegis of a national command authority.

The jihadi are free agents; the closest historical parallel we can make concerning them might well be the pirates of the Caribbean or Barbary Coast. No nation, no rules, no mercy. There are going to be very few - if any - from this class of foes becoming good neighbors after the political decision of this war. Not from the ranks of the mulhajedeen.

We have battalions of SpecOps/Marines combing the Afghan border looking for more than one Guantanomo alumni right now.

What will be the outcome of this incident? The troop who pulled the trigger and his immediate chain of command will certainly be run through the UCMJ process. There may be convictions, reassignments, or reliefs depending on how far removed from the actual incident each individual was. That's the System, and the form will be followed.

What lessons will be learned? One, that we do operate under rule of law, even on the battlefield. Two, there will be orders reemphasizing correct PW procedures passed down the line. Three, troops will watch and learn and make sure they know where journos are before they get on with the business of making sure they stay alive another day on the battlefield.

1 comment:

lugh lampfhota said...

My father served with 22nd Marines and later 6th Marine Division in the Pacific during WW2. The Japs were notorious for chickshit tactics such as hiding in a gaggle of native women with a machine gun, stuffing a grenade in their diaper when surrendering and rising from the dead with either a grenade or pistol. It didn't take long for Marines to learn how to verify that the dead were really dead. It was a simple survival mechanism. Dad didn't like it, but as he said, they chose the rules and we played by them.

The illegal combatants in Iraq have rejected all of the rules of war. Those suggesting that they deserve protection under the same rules that they reject seem ready to accept unnecessary danger to our troops. Our soldiers should never put themselves in more danger to satisfy a code of behavior that the enemy rejects.