Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Common Sense of Common People

There are lots of opinions out there for our consumption. Some are informed opinions; some are uninformed opinions; some by professionals; others by amateurs. George Mosko, who is not a professional writer, wrote the letter to the editor that follows. It reflects a common sense perspective about war and fighting that escapes many people, both professional and amateur.

Benevolence may cost soldiers’ lives

I believe that America has a problem. I am reading where two U.S. soldiers were found dead, tortured and mutilated beyond recognition in lraq. On the other end, I am reading where our government has prosecuted seven U.S. Marines because of what is likely an accidental shooting of an Iraqi civilian.

If American soldiers are intentionally murdering Iraqi civilians, then they should be disciplined. It is, however, very difficult to determine who is innocent in a time of war in a foreign country. These soldiers were most likely acting on impulse during a time of insurgency in Iraq. I am sure that Osama bin Laden did not try to distinguish who was innocent and guilty when he ordered the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

This also sends a negative message to individuals who are thinking of a career in the military. I would be thinking twice about joining the military if I knew that, with one wrong decision, I could be in prison for defending my country.

In the time these seven Marines had to identify this civilian, it could have cost them their lives. We cannot win wars by running 30-day background checks on our enemies before we fire our weapons. If we have become that benevolent in combat, then the enemy has the advantage. This may be a factor in why we have lost 2,500 very good men in this conflict. Something to think about isn't it.

George Mosko

Good points, Mr. Mosko.

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