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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rules of Engagement

Today my company had some pre-deployment required classes regarding the escalation of force and the Rules of Engagement as they pertain to the Laws of War. Pretty important stuff, no matter how obvious the rules and guidelines may seem. This, especially in light of recent incidents that have taken place in Iraq, with several Marine units under investigation for alleged war crimes. I won't comment on those particular cases, I don't know the facts. But I do know what I learned today. I learned that if I am on a patrol and I see an Iraqi man walking towards me with an AK47 or RPG (rocket propelled grenade) I am NOT ALLOWED to shoot him. Why? Because in todays media frenzy he has expressed no hostile intention. Nevermind the fact that he is walking towards me with an automatic weapon or rocket propelled explosive.

Is that ridiculous?

There are some people in this country that are toeing the line of a major double standard. "Too many of our young men are dying in Iraq" combined with "We should take all precautions to avoid armed and violent conflict with the Iraqi people" I'm sorry but we are going to continue to take casualties if we are forced to fight this war with our hands tied behind our backs. Of course, if we fight this war like it ought to be fought, we will come home shamed by the media and drug through the muddy waters of some public and national court-martial, which will probably end in either life or execution. What a great choice-risk death at the hands of the terrorists, or at the hands of our fellow Americans.

The bottom line.

I have the solution. I call it the "Jack Bauer Doctrine". With this Rules of Engagement philosophy, America's fighting men will be allowed to pistol whip, drill knee caps, use drugs to produce confession and gain intel, shoot to kill, shoot to maim, ask questions later, save the world, disarm nuclear bombs, talk directly to the president, link everything to our Sat phon, scream "There's NO time!", whisper "you're gonna have to trust me!", have a heroin problem, die twice and find Nina. Of course this is a joke. But seriously, Jack Bauer don't give a damn.

1 comment:

  1. Jokes, like dreams, have a way of expressing sentiments we normally censor. Clearly such jokes and notions -- which are common in the media -- express a wish to imitate the terrorists, to simply wipe out people we suspect or dislike.

    Of course there is a "double standard." Do you think Americans ought to live by the moral standards of terrorists, who kill who and when they like? If you do, then you ought to return home now, since that is not representative of real American values.

    This notion, which I run across all the time, that somehow "liberals" want to "coddle" terrorists while "holding back" our soldiers is unbelievable. What drives such opinions is a corrupt moral relativism of the conservative right. The relativism goes like this:

    maybe it was wrong to wipe out entire cities with nuclear bombs at the end of world war two. But just look at what that enemy did to us!!

    Or: maybe locking up people for years without any legal process isn't so great. But it still beats what the terrorists do!

    Message: as long as we beat the morality curve set by terrorists, we are fine. We can pat ourselves on the back as fine and civilized and God fearing, when the truth is, Jesus never taught to torture, to invade, to occupy. Not once. It is a slippery slope to throw away moral values.

    Court martials are the only means of justice for civilians who are murdered by our troops -- you act as if they are ridiculous and unnecessary.

    I find this worship of hyper-violent solutions -- even as a "joke" -- sick.

    Thank god for double standards. For the day people like you succeed in becoming every bit as brutal as terrorists, this country is really finished. This is Bin Laden's plan: not to wipe us out physically -- this is impossible -- but to wipe us out morally. He is already half way there. Hysterical fear of terrorism rules politics, rather than rational discussion.

    Democracy forever.