Friday, November 19, 2004

The Best Way

Confused about accusations about the American Marine in Fallujah? The issue (partial NBC video here) is well covered at Powerline, Command Post and Lucianne, by Ollie North and sudden blog-star baldilocks.

But the must-read article so far is from Slate, authored by Owen West and Phillip Carter:
In Vietnam, Sen. John Kerry earned his Silver Star in part because he chased down and shot a fleeing Viet Cong fighter who had fired on his boat only minutes before.

International law treats such breaches mildly, with the understanding that it's difficult to expect soldiers to fight fiercely, then instantly behave amicably at the first signal of surrender. And so, the defense will argue that the Marines did not really secure the building and that these Iraqis were not prisoners yet: They were still combatants and still lawful targets; thus there's no crime. . .

The twin essences of war are chaos and killing, so the very idea of placing inflexible constraints on the act of killing is at odds with the fundamental nature of warfare.
Diana West also provides some context, in today's Washington Times:
"In a combat infantry soldier's training, he is always taught that his enemy is at his most dangerous when he is severely wounded," commented Charles Heyman, a senior analyst with Jane's Consultancy Group in Britain. And the jihadist enemy we find in Iraq — comrade in both faith and arms with the terrorists of Beslan, Bali, Jerusalem, Madrid, and Manhattan — are even more dangerous wounded than others.

Some are rigged with suicide-belts to detonate in extremis. Boobytrapped corpses — a Judeo-Christian taboo Muslim jihadists overcome, I suspect, in their perverse belief that killing infidels on earth earns them virgins in paradise — are a common hazard in hotspots. Even one of our beheaded hostages in June, poor devil, was packed with explosives designed to detonate at an American soldier's touch.
So let's review costs and benefits, shall we? We've taken the former headquarters of terrorist-supremo Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. We captured Zaraqui's Al Qaeda terrorist training center, disproving for all time the Democrat canard decoupling Iraq and Al Qaeda. We've shut down Fallujah's slaughterhouses, where hostages were beheaded on video, one by one. We've seized ample evidence that will upend the rocks hiding remaining terrorists, including:
a laptop computer, stacks of CD-ROMs, and a number of telephones in an insurgent safe house Thursday, the trove is just one of many intelligence finds in Fallujah that are shedding light on the insurgency.

Those finds - along with that of a vast weapons cache and safe house operating under the cover of an Islamic medical charity, which contained flags of Al Qaeda affiliate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - are one reason US marine commanders want to keep pushing the offensive.
And, oh yeah, more than 1600 terrorists have been killed or captured, with fewer than 60 coalition deaths.

Most ordinary Iraqis support eradicating the killers now infesting their country. A Powerline reader reports:
I just got of the phone with my father in Baghdad. I asked him what is the reaction of the Marine killing the injured Iraqi in the Mosque in Felujah. His first words were "Good riddance."

People are not giving it a second thought. Any terrorist who attacks soldiers from Mosques has no sanctuary. Any terrorists who fake death to kill in a mosque deserve no mercy. He says Iraqis (including Sunnis) are fed up with the terrorists and want them eliminated.
So ignore howls from autocratic Arabs and biased reporting from the mainstream media--each is premised on a false moral equivalence between terrorists and coalition forces:
To compare them to the murderous thugs who kidnapped CARE worker Margaret Hassan, held her hostage, terrified her, and then killed her is frankly monstrous. The multinational forces are soldiers fighting a war in which they are targetting combatants and sometimes accidentally killing innocents. The hostage-takers are terrorists deliberately killing innocents. It is simply not the same thing.
The t-shirt I'm now wearing cuts to the chase: "The best way to stop terrorism is to kill terrorists." It doesn't get simpler.


NRO published the second must-read article, by Mackubin Thomas Owens: A Shooting in Fallujah.

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