While I’m Gobschmacked Whose Mouth It Came Out Of

…I agree with the sentiment 100%.

…”I am troubled if we are putting our troops at greater risk in order to go to such extremes to avoid Afghan casualties,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who at a hearing last week urged Pentagon leaders to determine whether new rules of engagement — the classified directives that guide the use of force — are unnecessarily endangering U.S. troops.

It’s a W.A.R. and all the horror that entails. But we already fight a thousand times smarter and cleaner than at any time in history! For God’s sake let them fight it to WIN…or get the flock out of there.

…Collins asked Mullen, in particular, to respond to a letter she received in July from retired Marine Corps 1st Sgt. John Bernard, whose son was serving in the restive southern province of Helmand. In the letter, Bernard criticizes McChrystal’s rules of engagement, calling them “nothing less than disgraceful, immoral and fatal for our Marines, sailors and soldiers on the ground.”

The Marines and soldiers that are ‘holding’ territories of dubious worth like Now Zad and Golestan without reinforcement, denial of fire-support and refusal to allow them to hunt and kill the very enemy we are there to confront are nothing more than sitting ducks,” Bernard wrote. He denounced “the insanity of the current situation and the suicidal position this administration has placed these warriors in.”

A month after Bernard wrote to Collins, his son, Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade when Taliban insurgents ambushed his platoon. Bernard said that in one of his last phone calls from Afghanistan, his son had complained that his unit had been denied supporting fire and that Marines had been wounded.

“They are in between a rock and a hard place, with minimal support and maximum exposure,” Bernard said in a telephone interview. “With 175 guys there and then to be denied fire missions is inexplicable,” he said, describing his son’s company, stationed near the Taliban sanctuary of Now Zad in Helmand. “We’ve hamstrung ourselves in fear of angering a population that hates us anyway.”

Oh, words fail. I would be sick with grief and rage.

Though I pretty much am every night the NewsHour presents pictures of the brave souls who, through their deaths, made the “Honor Roll”. major dad and I stop everything to watch those pictures with names and hometowns scroll by. It’s their due, at the very least ~ our quiet moment and gratitude. And, while I know it’s not possible on this physical plane, I hope somehow in the existential one that the heartbroken mom or dad who sent that picture in knows that we watched and read every name. Every age. Every hometown and every service. And noted every theater where they lost their baby boy or schweet baby girl for us.

But how is it to be born, how is that terrible loss to be reconciled, if you feel that the actions of those responsible for the well being of your Marine or soldier consciously put him in more peril? As a matter of policy, devalued that precious life to appease a culture that values life very little, worthy only as a bargaining chip to their own ends?

I would be crazy with rage. This has to change.

3 Responses to “While I’m Gobschmacked Whose Mouth It Came Out Of”

  1. Skyler says:

    The problem isn’t the rules of engagement. The problem is not having enough people to support using those rules. The rules work if you have enough presence to be effective.

    If you don’t have enough people, there’s no way to win even – or especially – if you relax the use of deadly force. The insurgents will take advantage of your itchy trigger finger and set you up to be “accidentally” killing more kids and women, thus inflaming local hatred and international condemnation.

    Despite what the defense industry would have you believe, this war is being waged the same way wars have been waged for thousands of years. Men with weapons must control or protect a population against an insurgency. There are no shortcuts. It takes a lot of men and a lot of time.

    The problem isn’t the rules of engagement, it’s the insane insistence on using bookkeeping to drive tactics. War is expensive and cutting costs and manpower isn’t like in business. Lowering costs might help your business survive, but it doesn’t help you win wars.

  2. Skyler says:

    It sure makes people feel better to complain about the ROE, and we can see it makes headlines, but the practical matter is that there must be SOME rules of how to use deadly force.

    The people complaining about the ROE rarely give good advice on how to win the war and relax the rules at the same time.

    The rules aren’t always drafted well, but we should trust the on scene commanders. They’re generally not insane or have an intent to kill our own people.

  3. Dave J. says:

    It’s Collins, not Snowe. Snowe is a pure RINO. Collins follows whichever way she thinks the political wind is blowing.

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