Sunday, November 06, 2005

Let’s Stop Prosecuting Soldiers Who Kill or Interrogate the Enemy

Finally: A Piece in the (British) MSM about the Legal Oppression of Our Soldiers

Or:  Let’s Stop Prosecuting Soldiers Who Kill or Interrogate the Enemy

I have posted repeatedly on this blog about my disgust with the Bush/Rumsfeld Pentagon’s limp-wristed/politically-correct prosecution of the war in Iraq (and Afghanistan).

Let us first acknowledge that the bulk of those writing for the MSM (e.g., AP, Reuters, NYT, Time, etc) viscerally hate the ongoing war against Islamofascism and criticize Bush and Rumsfeld for fighting the war at all, continually lobbying and editorializing (even in alleged “news” releases) about how badly the war is going and how highly motivated the enemy is with the obvious purpose of discouraging our military, encouraging the enemy, and – ultimately – catalyzing a complete withdrawal of our military from Iraq.  Let it be established at the outset that these people are seditionists who are to be rightly opposed, and in some cases, prosecuted for sedition.

Unfortunately, the Bush/Rumsfeld Pentagon has responded to the MSM’s constant drumming of antiwar hysteria by prosecuting a limp-wristed, politically-correct, and soldier-jeopardizing war in Iraq.  First, they have failed aggressively to avenge the deaths of our soldiers and contractors.  When a city participates openly in the ambushing of US (or other coalition) soldiers or contractors, with open participation by the populace – as happened at Fallujah and elsewhere – the Rumsfeld approach has largely been impotent.  

When we belatedly did go against Fallujah (after aborting our first attack on the city), we did so at unnecessary cost to our fighting men on the ground.  After allowing the civilian populace to depart (something – to the best of my knowledge – we rarely did in World War II), instead of using our Air Force to reduce the “City of Mosques” to rubble before sending in our troops, we unnecessarily asked our men to face vicious, close-quarters, house-to-house, urban combat.

I read one report by an Army artillery captain supporting the Marines in Iraq who – upon seeing Marines on the ground being attacked by enemy fighters positioned on top of a mosque in a certain sector of Fallujah, was – due to the Rules of Engagement (ROE) in effect at the time – NOT permitted to simply open fire and destroy the mosque-cum-fortress.  Instead, he had first to REQUEST permission to level the mosque.  A full hour later, after his request had been elevated several levels, he was finally given the go-ahead to target the mosque – which he did with great efficacy.  The problem is: How many Marines may have been unnecessarily killed or wounded in that intervening hour?  Why in God’s name are we not empowering our troops to fight as they want to, using the resources that we have to their fullest capacity?

Curiously, BOTH the MSM and the conservatives in the world of blogging seem largely oblivious to the growing number of people like myself (and, more prominently, Michael Savage), who VERY much see the war on Jihadism as the premier struggle of our generation, but who quite logically want to see this war prosecuted aggressively, and who are, frankly, just as disgusted with the Bush/Rumsfeld Pentagon as the seditionists who work for the Washington Post and Knight-Ridder – only for exactly the opposite reason: We want to WIN this war, not lose it.

If the Bush Administration should ever wake up and begin to take the gloves off in Iraq, they would doubtless find their poll numbers skyrocketing among the American voters who – like myself – have sons currently serving in Iraq, even as he would have to endure even higher-decibel shrieking from the MSM and United Nations types.  

There are three obvious things that the Administration is doing wrong in Iraq at this time of which I am aware (and I do not pretend to be trained in the methods of combat).  

First, our generals are requiring our troops to patrol in vehicles up and down the same roads repeatedly as so many targets in an old-fashioned shooting gallery.  The bad guys know the routes our troops will be patrolling and they keep burying their ever more powerful IEDS on those routes – and we keep losing men.  This idiocy is similar to the approach of the Pentagon years ago, who refused to vary the routes that our B-52s took on bombing runs from Guam to North VietNam.  The enemy was thereby able to erect permanent missile emplacements below where they knew our Buffs would be flying on a daily basis and take some of them out.

Second, we have basically set up our military lawyers in Iraq as a hostile force against our own troops, as this Michael Smith article in the Sunday Times (London) points out.  Although Smith’s article is exclusively about the problems that British troops our having with their own military legal system virtually every time they dare discharge a weapon against the enemy, the problem is also very much present among US troops in Iraq today, as well.  

Third, our military policies in Iraq – in our desire not to appear as aggressors or imperialists – have led to the absurd situation where people that we capture as suspected terrorists are turned over to a very uneven Iraqi civil justice system.  Unfortunately, there are judges in the Iraqi system who do not support the American presence in Iraq or – even worse – are sympathetic to our enemies.  The result is that we have captured people who have been detained for trial, only to be released by the Iraqi courts to fight again.  Or, even more absurd, when they capture detainees, our troops our required to turn them over to Americans for interrogation, rather than letting the Iraqi police have a go at them.  Iraqi police – a primary target of the terrorists – have no love for the terrorists, and they are not restricted from using brutal physical force in the course of their interrogations.  Why are we, on the one hand, permitting our detainees to be tried and released by sympathetic Iraqi judges, but protecting them from our Iraqi allies who would deal harshly with them?

You may ask, but do we not read of aggressive operations currently being conducted in Western Iraq by our troops?  The answer is yes, but what about the rest of our 160,000-plus troops, who are NOT involved in those campaigns.  These troops are the ones who must treat suspected enemy fighters with kid gloves lest they be prosecuted.  While not every soldier who is read his rights is actually court-martialed – some receive letters of counseling or other forms of legal harassment – they are all aware that a misstep with a detainee or other enemy fighter will land them on the unfriendly end of US military JAG officers.  

More than one US fighting man has been read his rights and investigated for – get this – unholstering a sidearm in the presence of a detainee.  I did not say for discharging his weapon, but for UNHOLSTERING it!  That we are criminalizing hostile behavior toward the enemy by our fighting men is criminal in itself.  As Smith points out, the stress levels of British troops in Iraq sometimes tops that of what soldiers in WWII were required to endure.

Clearly, the Bush Administration has foolishly squandered a great deal of political capital among its potential supporters by not prosecuting the war in Iraq forcibly, aggressively, and, yes – in a more MASCULINE manner.  While the MSM reporters would have us believe that all the increasing popular discontent with the war effort is driven by their appeasing, seditionist, anti-American cowardice, the fact of the matter is that there is a considerable number of Americans who, like myself, supported Bush fully in his decision to invade Iraq (WMD or no WMD), but who refuse to support a politically-correct, feminized, hand-wringing strategy that offers up our troops as truck-borne targets as they patrol up and down the same roads on a daily basis, while at the same time preventing them from treating detained suspects for that they are: The enemy.

What is to be done?  Certainly, a great deal.  

However, for starters, President Bush needs to ask Mr. Rumsfeld for his immediate resignation.  The President needs to appoint someone who will prosecute the war FAR more aggressively.  There are several retired Army generals – some of them Democrats – who would do just fine.  (Rumsfeld has alienated a host of Army generals in the past five years.)  Retired Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki’s name comes to mind, among others.  (However, for the record: Wesley Clark’s name does NOT come to mind!)

Second, President Bush needs to get back to Task #1: Defeating the enemy in Iraq.  Nation-building is fine, but we have now gotten the cart before the horse.  We are giving the current interim Iraqi Government veto power over our military missions.  This has to stop.  

Third, President Bush needs to order the Pentagon to have our JAG Corps back off our troops in Iraq and let them fight like men.

Fourth, President Bush needs to announce to the world that the gloves are coming off – at long last.  As a demonstration of that fact, he should give the residents of Ar-Ramadi ten days to evacuate before turning that long-time hotbed of terrorist activity into a parking lot – literally.

Mr. President, we are at WAR with an enemy who is active WORLD-WIDE – and enemy who would gladly slit your throat given the chance!  Time to take the fight to the enemy – in earnest.

Another piece needs to be written on how we need to begin prosecution of seditionist reporters who render emotional aid to the enemy while undermining our troops’ morale.


Anonymous EXDemocrat said...

Thank you for that, it was due.

Sun Nov 06, 03:11:00 AM PST  
Blogger GunJam said...

Hi, exdemocrat: Thank you for the visit and the (favorable) comment! -- gunjam

Sun Nov 06, 04:12:00 AM PST  

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