The latest technical foul caught by cameras in Iraq is all over the news. Nasty business; a Marine appears to have shot a wounded enemy. And there are pictures of dismembered toddlers, accounts of starvation and disease, descriptions of the use of dreadful weapons. If you’re a person of any empathy these things make you choke. Here’s the odd part. The news media covers these as shocking aberrations. My politically liberal anti-war friends cite all of these as evidence of the brutal inhumanity of the current administration and the wickedness of the current war.
What did any of you think a war was like? Have you ever even read a good book about one? The strangest ones are the people who back the war but say “we have to do this by the book” or “these abuses can’t go on”. Well of course they can go on. That’s what a war is. The “rules” are a polite Victorian fiction.
Real wars consist of the following: pants-filling terror, rage, uncontrollable killing rampages, rape, the slaughter of prisoners, the deliberate burning to death of other humans, torture, dead babies, useless mass death, the destruction of every useful thing within reach, theft, and insanity. When you agree to send soldiers into battle you sign off on all of the above and more.
Every time this foolishness comes up I’m reminded of the first Gulf War and the attempt by that sad madman Ramsey Clark to prove that the U.S. forces were war criminals for using combat bulldozers against earthworks, thereby burying enemy soldiers alive. One general’s response was basically: “It is indeed horrible. Most of what happens here is horrible. You might think from watching war movies that dying from a gunshot or a grenade blast is a relatively quick and clean death; I can assure you otherwise.”
The “boys” over there shooting dying prisoners or mortaring infants are doing exactly what you asked them to. Just admit it already.