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.