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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Haditha, the Laws of War, and the Terrorists

From Blogcritics (excerpt):

First, a military uniform was not created to give something for the woman to ogle (though it is certainly effective at that). A uniform is a public statement to the enemy that you can shoot the person wearing it. Plain and simple, a military uniform is a full-body bull's-eye. Why would any government want their soldiers to wear them then? Simple. It let's both sides easily figure out who the civilians are so they don't engage them. When the terrorists don't wear uniforms, they might be able to seek out another kill or two, but they also put their own civilian population at risk, because it becomes impossible to tell who is a combatant and who is not.

Second, the logic of war dictates that you not attack civilian structures such as schools, houses, and churches. It should be obvious why this is so, but the laws of war comes with a caveat. The price for not getting your residential areas attacked is that you don't use them for fighting to begin with. Many like to make much of the fact that the U.S. military has attacked mosques. What those same people refuse to acknowledge is that those buildings were used as weapons stores, sniper nests, and central places to coordinate attacks on the U.S. military. The military was left with two options: either engage the enemy, or surrender. It is not the U.S.'s fault that fighting involved mosques, it was the terrorists who defiled those buildings, turning them from houses of worship to dens of killing.

Third, when an enemy surrenders, the fighting is over. Once an enemy surrenders by throwing up a white flag, raising his arms, or getting wounded, they are no longer valid targets of attack. This also comes with a caveat. The surrendering person may no longer fight. Once they pick up a weapon, they are a fair target again. When the terrorists use our mercy against us, they put at risk those who legitimately want to surrender. Is this one going to pull out a grenade on us when we get close, or does he really want medical care?

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