Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In the Sandbox...

Realistic Rules of Engagement
"I was surprised that the article on an international arrest order issued by a Spanish judge for three tankers was on Page 5 of the Oct. 20 Stars and Stripes (“Arrest order issued for 3 GIs over journalist’s death in Iraq,” Associated Press article). This blatant political action affects all combat soldiers who are required to make immediate decisions to ensure their safety and make “stuff happen.” They cannot leave the country without being arrested and risk any overseas assets that they may have being confiscated. Under a Kerry presidency, they probably would have been extradited to Spain to stand trial for murder.

Having just completed the rules of engagement course, I’m in a quandary over the appropriate response to hostile action — for example in the situation involving four contractors killed [in September] by Iraqi insurgents, or may I say terrorists. I’ve read several news articles that said: “Killing one of the men with a rifle fired into the back of his head, they doused the other with petrol and set it afire, barefoot children, yelping in delight, piled straw on the screaming man’s body to stoke the flames. The crowd then dragged their corpses through the streets, chanting anti-U.S. slogans.”

Since we’re presently tried by the international press and judged by the international court, what do we do? Use minimal lethal force to drive off the armed terrorists and risk killing or maiming these sweet children? Attempt to intervene with nonlethal means to separate the armed men and pyromaniac children from the burning U.S. contractor? By then the contractor, who was squirming on the ground, probably had his eyes, nose, ears, lips, private parts, fingers and toes burned off. Do you put him out with a fire extinguisher or just put a mercy bullet in his brain? I believe an officer is on his way to Leavenworth for such a decision.

Lastly, should we cordon the area and call the child protection services to tenderly extract the children from this horrendous situation? Heaven forbid that the children become emotionally scarred for life."

-Chief Warrant Officer 4 Miles A. Caughey, Camp Buehring, Kuwait (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor)

...girls of the USMC...
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

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