Saturday, June 03, 2006

Call It Treason

USA Today carries a story that relates how our fighting men are affected by stories of alleged atrocities. The incredible pressures of urban combat are bad enough. The enemy is roundly defeated every time he openly confronts our armed forces, so he hides behind the veneer of American abhorence of civilian casualties. It may be that this veneer is getting thinner and thinner.

"RAMADI, Iraq - Allegations that Marines killed civilians in the western Iraqi town of Hadithah last year could undo efforts to win the cooperation of locals in the volatile Anbar province, some Marines say.

"All it does is make our jobs harder out here," said Capt. Andrew Del Gaudio, commander of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. "Every Iraqi will assume Marines will act like that. It's a perception that in this part of the world is hard to overcome."

The allegations also highlight the rapid life-and-death decisions that soldiers and Marines make in the shadowy world of guerrilla warfare."

I cringed when I read this story. The self control exhibited by our soldiers while under fire is nothing short of miraculous.

"Hadithah is a village along the Euphrates River valley in Anbar province, one of the most dangerous regions in Iraq. The U.S. military announced Tuesday that it will send about 1,500 troops from its Kuwait-based reserve force to temporarily bolster forces in the province, which stretches from west of Baghdad to the Syrian border. It's a heavily Sunni area where outsiders are viewed suspiciously.

Fighting an elusive enemy while trying to persuade citizens to cooperate with Iraq's new government has proven difficult for U.S. forces in the region."

As difficult as it is for our troops to carry on with their mission, it is far easier for the traitorous scum in the MSM to ignore the courage of our people, to ignore all the good works being accomplished in Iraq, to ignore the countless Iraqis who truly appreciate the sacrifice our young men and women are making.

"Del Gaudio said he made a tough call after a roadside bomb killed four of his men in April. While securing the scene, he was shot at by a machine gun in a follow-up attack. When he aimed his weapon to return fire, he saw that the gunmen had a line of children standing in front of them and two men filming with video cameras. He held fire until the children moved out of the way but was shot in his hand, which was only inches from his face.

"Restraint almost cost me my life," he said."

I wish they had orders to shoot the men with the video cameras. They are providing comfort and support to the enemy. Kill them. Soon enough these cowards will learn that holding a camera will not spare their lives when it is used to "document" set up atrocities. Give them some incentive (staying alive) to videotape openings of schools and water purifying facilities instead.

"Cpl. Michael Compton, 22, of Kilo Company, said he was confronted with a tough choice when a colleague, Lance Cpl. Richard Caseltine, 20, was shot and injured.

A bullet went through Caseltine's helmet, tracing the inner lining, then exited out the back of the helmet. Shrapnel from the bullet casing was lodged in the back of Caseltine's neck. Compton had to remove Caseltine from the scene so he could receive medical care and be evacuated.

"My first reaction was to shoot everyone," Caseltine said. "I was scared, pissed off , every emotion was running high." He said it took about 10 seconds for him to settle down and return his focus on the gunbattle and getting to safety."

Ten seconds? I would be frothing at the mouth for a week. You're a much better man than I am Corporal.

"Marine Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee recently traveled to Marine bases in Iraq to underscore rules of combat. "We do not employ force just for the sake of employing force," Hagee said in a statement.

Goetz said he emphasizes professionalism with his men. "The decisions that they make are split-second," he said. "Sometimes restraint may make them hesitate.""

And hesitation can kill you in combat.

The Hadithah incident occurred six months ago. But the traitors in the MSM waited until the Memorial Day weekend to once again stigmatize our troops. In last Saturday's Post Standard we were treated to front page, above the fold headlines about a six month old story. Then the next day the paper switches tracks and publishes a soft piece on our soldiers.

What are the effects of this kind of partisan reporting? At what cost does the media pursue it's bash Bush at any cost policy? What effect does this constant, harping media assault have on our troops?

I wonder if this is the result of the feminization of the military initiated by the Clintons. I do not, repeat, do not impugn the professionalism and bravery of our armed forces. God forbid! But I do question the over cautious Rules of Engagement that appear to place our people at unnecessary risk. These considerations never would have arisen in wars fought by past generations.

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