Slip-Sliding Away

I haven’t been posting much lately, about Fallujah or much else; I guess I haven’t had the heart for it. But I don’t want you to think I’ve vanished off the face of the Earth.

Here’s the most memorable thing (for me, I mean) that I’ve seen on the war in the last few days: Michael Williams (he of the well-earned victory over my horror-stricken Bush-Cheney sign clutch), on the non-issue of shooting the wounded: Killing on the battlefield.

Still sliding. No bottom in sight.

4 Responses to “Slip-Sliding Away”

  1. thomas Says:

    Your friend (?) is not the most well read fellow I take it. If he had read the reports he would know that the Marines had been there two days before, treated the wounded and notified others that there were captives in the building. The insurgent, and according to reports these guys were definitely combatants, may have just been unconscious or too weak to move. Mr. Williams is quite a sick fellow to suggest that executing and injured prisoner is acceptable behavior. More evidence of the Geneva Conventions being quaint I suppose.

  2. a_stupid_box Says:

    Mr. Williams is right when he says that an enemy that’s playing possum should be treated as an enemy attempting an ambush.

    The problem is that Mr. Williams assumes this was the intent and uses that as justification. As thomas pointed out, there may have been other reasons for the enemy’s immobility. I’m not saying that every enemy combatant should be coddled and inspected — indeed, some may be laying on an IED — but at least minimal effort should be put into finding out the individual’s status. Someone who’s playing dead can easily be captured or rendered unconscious.

    Executing an injured prisoner is wrong unless the injury is to the extent that it cannot be treated and would result in a prolonged, agonizing death.

    It seems to me that this is likely not that kind of case. This was murder as much as it was self defense.

  3. Eric Says:

    Yeah, but the insurgents had been back to the mosque since the marines cleared it the first time. They could have given the wounded a bomb. In fact, they had pulled a similar trick the day before, killing one marine and wounding several others.

    Put yourself in the marine’s shoes. You don’t want to be in Iraq, but you have to be. You’ve watched your friends die because the enemy uses the Geneva Convention as an asymetrical tactic against you (and likely feels justified since your side broke it too). You’ve probably seen innocents get blown away by mistake, and seen this considered acceptable “collateral damage.” So now you’re in this mosque with a dying and potentially booby-trapped insurgent who was shooting at you only two days ago. You’re 20 years old. Do you risk dying, or risk a court marshal for breaking the “rules of war?” Everyone needs to go watch Apocalypse Now again.

    I’m not saying the incident was justified, just that it’s a sad, sad clusterfuck over there. Maybe the best option is to pull out and let Iraq go to shit without us. It looks like that’s the way it’s going regardless. Would anyone blame us? We can do no right in the eyes of the world, so who cares.

  4. Patriot Says:

    You’re in a COMBAT ZONE.

    Somebody’s pretending to be dead.
    One of your buddies was blown up the other day by an islamo-facist pretending to be dead in order to kill infidel Americans with a grenade.

    He is now enjoying his 72 you-know-whats.

    You do the math.
    He’s dead now.

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