Rules of Engagement

From "Lone Survivor"(Little Brown) by LPO Marcus Luttrell, U.S. Navy SEal

These are drawn up for us to follow by some politician sitting in some distant committee room in Washington D.C. And thats a very long way from the battlefield, where a sniper's bullet can blast your head, where the slightest mistake can cost you your life, where you need to kill your enemy before he kills you.

And those ROE are very specific: we may not open fire until we are fired upon or have positively identified our enemy and have proof of his intentions. Now, that's all very gallant. But how about a group of U.S. soldiers who have been on patrol for several days; have been fired upon; have dodged rocket-propelled grenades and homemade bombs; have sustained casulaties; and who are very nearly exhausted and maybe slightly scared?

How about a bunch of guys wearing colored towels around their heads and brandishing AK-47s come charging over the horizon staright toward you? Do you wait for them to start killing your team, or do you mow the bastards down before they get a chance to do so?

The situation might look simple in Washington, where the human rights of terrorists are often given high priority. And I am certain liberal politicians would defend their position to the death. Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them anytime....

...The entire business of modern war crimes, as identified by the liberal wings of politics and the media, began in Iraq, and has been running downhill ever since. Everyone's got to have his little hands in it, blathering on about the public's right to know.

Well, in the view of most Navy SEALs, the public does not have that right to know, not if it means placing our lives in unnecessary peril because someone in Washington is driving himself mad worrying about the human rights of some cold-hearted terrosit fanatic who would kill us as soon as look at us, as well as any other American at whom he could point that wonky old AK of his.

If the public insists it has the right to know, which I very much doubt, perhaps the people should go and face for themselves armed terrosits hell-bent on killing every single American they can.
Thank you Thomaska

These are words understood within my family group - whether others believe or understand is inconsequential to us.

They are our truth. We live them.

Whether they are right or wrong - as those two judgments change with our times - they are the responsibility of a few who carry them out. One cannot go into battle doubting.

There is enough time for questioning when the work is done.
A friendly fire incident that killed one Canadian soldier and wounded 36 others in Afghanistan last fall could have been prevented, Canada's Department of National Defence said in a report released late Friday.
Had the American pilot been using his equipment properly, Trooper Mark Anthony Graham would not have been killed when a garbage fire lit by Charlie Company was mistaken for the smoke and fire of an intended target and strafed by the U.S. air force, the report said

How many Americans have been killed by "friendly fire" from Canadian forces in Afghanistan?

We have a truth we believe as well.

War isn't some choreographed ballet pristine and untouched by violence, error and the ugliest we humans can be....

Why is there still a question that should be so?

Why is there war still?

We have no more evolved than our bent over ancestors who discovered clubs could damage efficiently.

Only the clubs have become magnificent works by mankind - venerated killing machines.

Do you have the numbers?

Can we agree that the Sept.11/2001 terrorist attack was committed by a radical fundamentalist (criminal) organization as opposed to an attack instigated and executed by any national government or national military?

Can we agree that folk like Paul Wolfowitz Richard Pearle and the Carlyle Group were eager as early as 1991 to invade Iraq?

When did the "people of America" decide to invade Iraq and Afghanistan?

You don't think that America was manipulated?

You don't think that you were lied to?

I will not get into an argument with you regarding this. The war is begun - is in full blown ugliness.

You want to go back to the beginning and start laying blame?

How does this help the military who are still in that hell hole by having such an argument?

I will not enter it - nor will I attempt to dissuade you from the answers you wish to receive - but not from me.
Well, the civil war that just about everyone warned about if Saddam was deposed is underway full tilt. Iraqis are now for the most part, being killed by Iraqis of a different stripe and there is no obvious end in sight. If the Americans left tomorrow that battle will still go on for years. The Americans pushed like hell to get this war started, so where to lay blame is fairly simple.

Sounds like denial to me.

If we can't acknowledge how we got to where we are, how can we possibly avoid it in the future?

Nothing you or I or anyone of the common people of this earth "want" in terms of these terrible times has been listened to or actualized by people who have the power and the intent to further their own agendas.

If I've upset you, I appologize.

The target for a far greater upset and legitimate anger exists much closer to home than an old man thousands of miles away...

I have to live with denial as you call it - I could not exist these days without my commitment to the decisions made by others. A commitment which does not end when the military are withdrawn from the war.

I wrote before we can review all we wish when the military are returned to their homes - nothing has been learned over the ages about war - why do you think anything will be learned from this one?

My hope has to outweigh my anger Mikey - that my family will be restored to me. I don't have time for righteous pontification over which I have no control.


You write: The target for a far greater upset and legitimate anger exists much closer to home than an old man thousands of miles away...

I have no idea what you refer to - closer to home has already happened.

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