Friday, May 26, 2006

Marines To Stand Court Martial...

I won't apologize for any of the following, nor say that it did or did not happen. That's for a military court to decide.

"An administrative inquiry overseen by Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell found that several infantry Marines fatally shot as many as 24 Iraqis and that other Marines either failed to stop them or filed misleading or blatantly false reports.The report concludes that a dozen Marines acted improperly after a roadside bomb explosion killed a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas."

Nothing in the full story tells me much, other than some people believe that the use of force was excessive. Were I to have been there as a senior NCO, the rules of engagement would be pretty much the same as in all wars. If someone is unarmed and as long as they understand and follow your instructions, then your first thought is to determine if they should be allowed to go their way, or held for questioning, but always treated with due respect. That's the problem in fighting an enemy without a uniform, but all civilians must be protected. On the other hand, if you are in a fight and an unidentified civilian fails to follow instructions, then kill him. If the shit has hit the fan you are not there as a referee. Nor as a policeman. Give all the benefit of the doubt but only once. We don't issue summonses, and the situation must be under YOUR control at all times.

And I strongly disagreee with the statement attributed to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who reportedly said:

...Marines should overcome the tendency "of becoming indifferent to the loss of a human life" in their dealings with Iraqi civilians.

It may have been taken out of context, and I hope that is the case. Killing demands a certain measure of indifference or sane people could not do it for a living. We do NOT want weepy Marines. Now or ever.


Lemuel Calhoon said...

Assume the worst is true. Things like that happen in war. Think about the nature of the enemies we have fought and marvel at the fact that our military has done such things so rarely.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me. Malkin said if the reports are true then those responsible deserve the harshest punishment possible.

The people most responsible for this so called incident are the murdering bastards that placed those civilians at the front line with their bombing operation at the very outset

The leaks coming as they are are to me personally, a good sign , that the Time story is bogus, at least some parts of it are.

Likely outcome ( not even reading everything aout it) is some officers will be punished for failing to report, but I doubt it will go any farther than that.

Those men are at the frontline where the enemy is and prefers to have civilians there as well. The folks who placed them at the front line as more responsible than the Marines and I believe the eventual investigation will bear this out.

It by God better.

Everything in this "incident" has been placed in the wrong context. Marines do not fight in a vacuum. There is an enemy there and it is a difficult task to separate foe from neutral. Mistakes will be made, and to my thinking charges ( if any )had better include a deliberate execution and not much more than that.

I have spoken...

Fits said...

Thanks, men. Rational, well thought out replies and that's a wonder in and of itself these days.

It IS a wonder of wonders that this doesn't happen once a week. It is not possible to place young men in such a situation without the risk of them being too good at ahwt they do. Kill, kill, kill, is what these kids hear day in and day out, and all of this "punish them to the fullest extent of the law" is missing the point.

War is one of the few human endeavors where if one becomes really good at it the cry is raised to punish them. Sometimes,there really is only ONE way to assure that a town, or village gets the message. Hurt us, and we'll hurt you even harder.

I understand why certain conservatives feel the need to call for the heads of those responsible in order to appear fair and balanced, and we all could have offered a weepy rendition of the situation. But that doesn't address reality, and apologizing, especially when we do not know half the story, is glib and better left to the liberal side of the aisle.

If I were with a group of young men who didn't want to avenge the deaths of their fellow Marines I'd put in for a transfer. If they waltzed into town, sat and had some chow, then decided to kill for the fun of it then I'd personally shoot the ones responsible myself, but to my eye that is not what went down.