Sunday, May 15, 2005

We don't need no stinking rules of engagement!

Speaking of the U.S. Military, this weekend's London Telegraph has a fairly disturbing article about how the British have been unsuccessfully trying to get the Americans to revise their rules of engagement in Iraq, which have overwhelmingly favored the notion of "force protection" to the detriment of hundreds if not thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians who simply ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Brits, who have extensive experience in how not to occupy a country and/or fight a native insurgency, utilize a doctrine of minimal force in their own Iraq operations, and military commanders who do resort to violence are expected to justify their actions after the fact or face criminal charges.

Apparently the British military has been warning us on a regular basis that our tactics are only serving to fuel the ongoing insurgency which has raged undiminished since the fall of Baghdad some two-odd years ago, but we've been either ignoring them or laughing in their faces when they dare to offer some illumination based on hard-earned practical experience. Yes, laughing at them:

A British officer said that some of the tactics employed by American forces would not be approved by British commanders.

The officer said: "US troops have the attitude of shoot first and ask questions later. They simply won't take any risk.

"It has been explained to US commanders that we made mistakes in Northern Ireland, namely Bloody Sunday, and paid the price.

"I explained that their tactics were alienating the civil population and could lengthen the insurgency by a decade. Unfortunately, when we ex-plained our rules of engagement which are based around the principle of minimum force, the US troops just laughed."

Doesn't that just sum up our nation in a nutshell? We'll do anything to prevent any harm to come to our own, up to and including the wanton and haphazard taking of innocent life, and don't you dare expect us to apologize for doing so. No wonder they just love us over there...

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