Monday, June 05, 2006

Defining Combat via FR

Part one is here, concerning Haditha.

And then the author offers a 'part Two' or maybe a footnote in Defining Combat

Above all the articles make a powerful attempt at presenting a picture or perhaps a foundation for what might have happened in Haditha (and other places).

I wonder if the Navy guys at Okinawa, or the Air Force flyers heading 'downtown' to Hanoi would agree with the the narrow definition of 'combat' the author presents, but that's a bit of a nit-pick on my part.


Now, I’m not excusing what may—with “may” being the optimum word here—prove to be a shameful day in the history of our Marine Corps. But it benefits no one if we do not attempt to understand the men involved and the dynamics of the system, and how it all could have temporarily broken down, if it did. Nor is there any justifiable reason to publicly convict the Marines—as we have seen in the rhetoric of Congressman John Murtha (D., Penn)—before those Marines have had their day in court.

Murtha contends the Marines killed civilians in “cold blood.” But based on my understanding of killing in “cold blood”—which is “deliberate” and with “a complete lack of emotion”—that would have been impossible under the circumstances. And any former Marine like Murtha should know better.


Are Marine infantrymen, by virtue of the nature of their work, “cold-blooded” killers?

On the contrary: It is because of the nature of their work—usually performed under extreme stress and fatigue—that Marines truly have to be some of the most moral men on the planet if they are going to be effective warriors. That doesn’t mean they are flawless.

Give them both a read for some perspective.


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