Heroic inaction 47

Bush was right to go to war against the Taliban after 9/11.

The enemy was defeated quickly. Then Bush went wrong. American forces should have been withdrawn immediately, the Afghans left with a warning that if the slightest attempt was made by any group on their territory to attack America again – or Americans anywhere in the world – all hell would be unloosed on them, each time harder than the last.

The idea of democratizing Afghanistan is foolish. “Winning hearts and minds” is ingenuous idealism, or to put it more bluntly, sentimental tosh. And no, it has not been achieved in Iraq. The Iraqis do not love Americans, and their “democracy” is a sliver-thin veneer.

Forcing soldiers to be social workers is an insult and an abuse.

And now they are to be used even worse.

The job of a soldier, throughout history, has been to kill the enemy. But the politically correct ladies – of either sex – in charge of the Afghan engagement don’t approve of killing.

They think it would be nicer if a soldier refrained from killing or hurting. He should not shoot even when he’s being shot at, if there’s the least danger that a civilian might be caught in the fire.

How do you recognize a civilian? He or she is not in military uniform. But no terrorists wear uniforms, and they deliberately and habitually shoot from among families and even hospital patients, in order to use the higher morality of our side against ourselves.

What then should an American soldier do when he’s fired at from among civilians?

The ladies say that for not shooting, not killing, and not hurting the enemy, he should get a medal.

Here’s part of an Investors’ Business Daily editorial:

Some would reward timidity and cowardice with a medal for “courageous restraint” under fire.

A nonsensical proposal circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Forces in Afghanistan would give a medal to soldiers in battle who show restraint in the use of deadly force in situations where civilian casualties might result.

This will not protect civilians as much as it will endanger the lives of our troops.

Our soldiers are already disciplined and trained not to wantonly kill civilians. In Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ve placed themselves repeatedly at risk in an environment in which the enemy wears civilian clothes and uses civilians as human shields. Such an award would embolden the Taliban to continue, knowing that our soldiers will have an extra incentive to hesitate.

Giving a medal for not shooting after having been shot at was proposed by British Major Gen. Nick Carter, ISAF’s regional commander, during a recent visit to Sgt. Maj. Mike Hall of the Kandahar Army Command and the top U.S. enlisted member in Afghanistan. That it was not laughed right out of the tent is as disturbing as the idea itself.

“In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Sholtis, a command spokesman, such restraint “is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those combat actions that merit awards for valor.”

We beg to differ. The persecution of the Haditha Marines and the Navy SEALs has already added an element of fear to doing what our soldiers are trained to do: win battles and kill the enemy. Rewarding them for showing hesitation under fire gives the enemy an added battlefield advantage and places our soldiers and those they are fighting for at added risk.

In Haditha, Iraq, on Nov. 19, 2005, a Marine convoy was ambushed by insurgents after a roadside bomb destroyed a Humvee, killing one Marine. The Marines returned fire coming from insurgents hiding in civilian homes. In the ensuing house-by-house, room-by-room battle, eight insurgents and several civilians used as human shields were killed.

For their bravery and doing what they were trained to do — use deadly force to subdue an enemy — the Haditha Marines were rewarded with courts-martial and the threat of prison. [They have all been found not guilty – JB.] Is it seriously being suggested that if they had run away, they’d have been given medals?

“The enemy already hides among noncombatants, and targets them too,” says Joe Davis, a spokesman for the 2.2-million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The creation of such an award will only embolden their actions and put more American and noncombatant lives in jeopardy.” …

This medal is a slap in the face because it implies that discipline and concern for civilians is rare … This is war by political correctness, and it will get our soldiers killed.

Of course the commander-in-chief is a model of heroic inaction. He was honored and rewarded in advance, by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, presumably for not winning the war in Afghanistan, not making war on Iran, not discouraging the Palestinians from attacking Israel, not recognizing that Islam is waging war on the rest of the world, and not keeping America militarily strong.