Thursday, November 18, 2004

A Marine writes home about the 'shooting caught on tape'

Powerline has a very powerful letter home from a Marine in Iraq who is on his second tour of duty. He talks about the shooting incident caught on tape and immediately broadcast by Kevin Sites and NBC. Read It.

For more on Kevin Sites, Little Green Footballs has it.

I guess I have been wondering if it would kill Kevin Sites, the reporter, to say to himself, "for the safety of these troops, I'm not going to broadcast this and hand these savages a PR recruitment tool they will be able to misuse and misrepresent for years." Is Kevin Sites career so damn important? Is he doing us a public service by broadcasting this? Who has anything to gain from broadcasting this other than the terrorists and Kevin Sites himself?

Instapundit linked to this great round-up on the subject from Chapomatic who observes,


This is an information war; just as Al-Jazeera didn’t play the Italian or
CARE snuff film murders and nobody showed the pictures of the horror we
stopped in Falluja, and just as the pornographic obsession with Abu Ghraib
dominated media, this will become a way to weaken the American center of gravity of public support. This is a warfare tactic as surely as cryptography use or artillery employment.

The Wall Street Journal has a terrific editorial on the subject today,

Beyond the one incident, think of what the Marine and Army units just
accomplished in Fallujah. In a single week, they killed as many as 1,200 of the
enemy and captured 1,000 more. They did this despite forfeiting the element of
surprise, so civilians could escape, and while taking precautions to protect
Iraqis that no doubt made their own mission more difficult and hazardous. And
they did all of this not for personal advantage, and certainly not to get rich,
but only out of a sense of duty to their comrades, their mission and their
country.

In a more grateful age, this would be hailed as one of the great
battles in Marine history--with Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Hue City and the Chosin
Reservoir. We'd know the names of these military units, and of many of the
soldiers too. Instead, the name we know belongs to the NBC correspondent, Kevin
Sites.

We suppose he was only doing his job, too. But that doesn't mean the
rest of us have to indulge in the moral abdication that would equate deliberate
televised beheadings of civilians with a Marine shooting a terrorist, who may or
may not have been armed, amid the ferocity of battle.

And Thomas Sowell has this for bleeding hearts like Chris Matthews of Hardball, who has been asking,

"what may be the illegal killing of a wounded, unarmed insurgent" and "Is there ever a justification for shooting an unarmed enemy?"
The unreality of this question is breath-taking, both logically and
historically. The rules of war, the Geneva Convention, do not protect
soldiers who are not wearing their own country's uniforms. To get the protection
of rules, you have to play by the rules. Terrorists are not enemy soldiers
covered by the rules of war. Nor should they be. They observe no rules.