My co-writer Heidi and I have been watching the Haditha situation unfold over at Euphoric Reality, and we’ve held our tongues until now. However, after reading some of the military bloggers’ comments and seeing the cover-my-ass-in-case-I’m-wrong crap from some other conservative bloggers, I’ve decided I can’t be silent anymore. Our view is unpopular, it’s intolerant, it’s anything but understanding. But it’s realistic. Take it as you will.
A year ago, we watched Ilario Pantano fight to clear his name of ridiculous charges. He was ultimately vindicated by autopsy evidence, but the damage had already been done. The idea of putting a Marine on trial for killing the enemy in a time of war is asinine. Haditha, in my opinion, is no different.
Marines are trained to kill. Total demolition and obliteration of the enemy is what they excel at. They are not Air Force technicians. They are not Navy radar operators. They are not hostage negotiators. They are killers, trained to win wars by killing the enemy preemptively, NOT reactively. Battles like Iwo Jima were won because Marines are “bold, bloody, and resolute,” not “understanding, tolerant, and merciful.” The Pacific front of World War II was a filthy, gory, stunningly real display of the realities of war. The Marines lived it, breathed it, slept in it for many, many months on end. They did what they had to do to survive, but more importantly, they did what they had to do to win. Were it not for their courage and their testicular fortitude, we would never have won against the Japanese. That means, at this very moment, you would not be free.
What the Left (and other worthless institutions like the UN, etc.) are doing is to force Marines — and every other branch of our military — to fight a war as though it were a rough football match, with rules and penalties and punts from their own end zone if they hurt someone during the game.
Here’s the problem: War is not a game, and by its very nature, it demands that people be hurt.
To paraphrase a great saying, “The more brutal war is, the sooner it will be over.” Once war begins, the only option is absolute and total victory. Total vanquishing of the enemy. There can be no in between, no waffling of purpose, no “playing nice.”
It’s easy for you here in the States, fat and happy in your recliner, to say those Marines killed in cold blood. Here’s my response: How dare you? Have you ever talked to someone just before their head exploded? Have you had to wipe your friend’s brains off your face? Have you risked your own life to save someone else? Do you even have a clue how you would react in that situation? I’ll give you a hint: You don’t have a damn idea.
We train our boys – and they are boys, so many of them – to kill the enemy somewhere else so we don’t have enemies in our homes, killing our children. We train these men to do the job that needs to be done because most of America doesn’t have the stomach for it. These boys and men volunteer to do something we can never fathom, and we have no right to tell them how to do their job if we have never stood in their boots, covered in the blood of our friends.
In order to win a war, you must destroy the enemy’s will to fight. This is accepted fact. The terrorists know this, and they are well on their way to destroying our will. Even while they attack our cities and kill our innocents, we scream that “American troops must take the high road! We must not torture! We must not strike the enemy preemptively! We must only react to them if fired upon!”
And then you wonder why we’re still in Iraq.
This war is becoming like Vietnam, but not in the way you think. The media have wanted their My Lai ever since the beginning. They wanted a poster child to parade, someone to play scapegoat for their game of “Pin the war crimes on the military.” The Left is worse, claiming they support the troops even as they call them babykillers and murderers. Even conservatives, normally so pro-troop, are backing away from Haditha like it’s a hot potato. Suddenly no one wants to get caught holding the unpopular bag that says “I support the Marines.” You know, “just in case they really did it.”
So what if they did? Who knows? Who cares?
Remember: The more brutal a war is, the sooner it will be over. We are still in Iraq because our military, our Marines, are not allowed to do the job they were trained to do. War is a contact sport. It’s not golf. Women get killed. Children get killed. Hospitals get bombed. It is heartbreaking, it’s sad, but it’s reality. To ask our men and women to fight a war without hurting anyone is insane. People keep using the phrase “killed in cold blood,” like war is somehow, something other than killing in cold blood. What the hell do you expect them to do? Go over there and only kill in self-defense?
If it comes out that those Marines did kill women and children, I will still support them. Terrorists are everywhere. You all know this, folks, I’m not telling you something revolutionary here. Terrorists can be women, they can be children. There’s no law saying terrorists are only Arab males between 17-30. I have no right to tell Marines in a combat zone that they have to answer to me back here in the States about their actions in a combat zone against an enemy that takes any form, uses any tactic, and breaks every rule. And as much as it may pain you to hear this, you don’t have a right to demand it either.
The military does a dirty, disgusting job so we don’t have to. The very least we can do is let them do it the way they were trained to do it – the way it needs to be done. The sooner the enemy’s will is broken, the sooner our troops all come home for good.
The military will make its decision based on facts that you and I may never know. However, until I am shown irrefutable, concrete evidence that the Marines did something against the laws of war, then I shall support them, their mission, and their conduct. They alone, out of all of us, know for sure what happened that day.