Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tap tap taps (Updated)

There's been entirely too much chatter about the Marine who capped a terrorist captured at a mosque in Fallujah. The indications The Monk has are that the terrorist was not surrendering in an open and obvious manner, therefore there were doubts as to whether the terrorist was attempting to deceive the Marines such that he could escape, or worse, detonate himself and take a couple of grunts with him (LGF notes that on the NBC tape, after the one terrorist got whacked, his fellow nearby immediately made it obvious that he was surrendering; he lived). Some press reports are claiming this is a murder, that the Marine unjustly killed an unarmed man, etc.

Other press reports are hyperbolically (if not wistfully) comparing the NBC filming of the Marine to Nguyen Ngoc Loan's execution of a VC terrorist in Vietnam (and that execution was entirely justified under the laws of war). The anti-war and anti-administration press wishes it could have that effect. Indeed, as Bill from INDC Journal notes:

Most MSM outlets can't muster up the outrage to energetically condemn the extremist forces that decapitate innocents on camera and wave the severed heads in the air, or shoot blinfolded women in the head, but are all too ready to swarm over primarily non-fatal psychological abuse conducted by a cadre of undisciplined soldiers and their incompetent management, or the possibly criminal execution of a wounded Iraqi in the heat of urban combat, because the negative incidents selectively lend credence to their predetermined narrative: the war is a misguided, ignoble effort that dehumanizes all participants. And it's always more comfortable for liberal elitists to practice self-critical moral equivalence within their own societal sphere than to label extremist elements of a foreign culture as psycopathic murderers that demand extermination.

I have noted before that terrorists have no rights under the Geneva Convention and can be shot on sight, period. And they should be. Dead terrorists can't kill anyone else. Is this some cold nuke-them-all-and-let-G*d-sort-them-out reaction? No. It's pure legal analysis combined with hard reality: terrorists have no rights under the laws of war and this is so because the laws of war are designed to protect noncombatants and ensure humane treatment for combatants and legal combatants are those who are identifiable as the military of a state with a hierarchy that commands them. Terrorists are merely cold-blooded murderers who claim a "cause" and hide amongst civilians.

Meanwhile, now that we are in the Internet age, former Navy SEALs like Matt Heidt can put this whole issue into perspective:

What about the Geneva Conventions and all that Law of Land Warfare stuff? What about it[?] Without even addressing the issues at hand you[r] first thought should be, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6." Bear in mind that this is a perpetual mindset that is reinforced by experiences gained on a minute by minute basis. Secondly, you are fighting an unlawful combatant in a Sanctuary which is a double No No on his part. Third, tactically you are in no position to take "prisoners" because there are more rooms to search and clear, and the behavior of said terrorist indicates that he is up to no good. No good in Fallujah is a very large place and the low end of no good and the high end of no good are fundamentally the same... Marines get hurt or die. So there is no compelling reason for you to do anything but double tap this idiot and get on with the mission.

If you are a veteran[,] then everything I have just written is self evident, if you are not a veteran than at least try to put yourself in the situation. Remember, in Fallujah there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. Right NOW. Have you ever lived in NOW for a week? It is not easy, and if you have never lived in NOW for longer than it takes to finish the big roller coaster at Six Flags, then shut your hole about putting Marines in jail for war crimes.

That seems about right.

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