Sunday, March 30, 2003

What a way to fight a war ... I cannot believe that our soldiers weren't told to stay away from Iraqis driving taxis or any other vehicles for that matter. The fact that a cab driver was able to lure U.S. soldiers to their deaths by motioning for them to help him is absurd. One of my co-workers said that every Iraqi, no matter their gender or age, should be made to get down on their bellies when approaching within 100 yards of any U.S. or British troops and crawl to the waiting soldiers. At NO TIME EVER should an American soldier approach an Iraqi without the express knowledge that that individual is unarmed and harmless. Now I realize that there's no perfect way to protect our troops but come on, give me a break. These soldiers were sacrificed in the name of an idiotic policy that requires them to behave "politely" toward the indigenous population. Well, I'm sorry but warfare is not a polite business. We can be civilized in so far as once we've got prisoners in hand we treat them with compassion and respect. But until we KNOW for a fact that an Iraqi - or any civilian wandering around the battlefield - is not a threat, then we must assume they are and treat them accordingly. Which does not mean we immediately open up on them. It means, as my friend suggested, we treat them with a high degree of suspicion and require that THEY prove their status as non-combatants.
Christ, it's bad enough that we're losing men and women to these people in the first place. Every wounded or dead American or British soldier, and particularly every captured friendly on our side, is gold to Saddam's propaganda machine. The fact that field commanders and/or tacticians (read generals and command and control personnel) allowed these troops (yes, allowed) to be slaughtered out of sheer ignorance is abominable and, in my opinion, legally actionable. The commanders should be held accountable for their actions; and if those actions stem from the White House, then the commander-in-chief should be held accountable for those deaths.
You cannot put a fighting force in the field and then tie their hands by asking them to behave like gentleman and ladies. It's just inconceivable that they can operate efficiently under those orders.
These people (U.S. and British warriors) are trained to kill as quickly and efficiently as they can. This policy of "polite" interaction with a people who hate Americans, as a rule, despite their similar hatred for Saddam, is lunacy!
So, Mr. president. Please untie our troops' hands and let them do the job you sent them to do, and if it's politically incorrect to kill civilians, then it's not worth fighting the war, because in every case of warfare throughout history, civilians are killed. It's ugly and it's unfortunate but it's a fact.
Hell, in World War II American bombers leveled Dresden, a German city whose claim to fame was its porcelein and glassware (beautiful, indeed!). It had very little strategic value as a military target. If memory serves, the bombing was ordered to cast terror into the hearts of German soldiers and civilians. We wanted to undermine the troops' morale by creating a moral conflict in their minds. Were their loved ones safe at home, or would America bomb the life out of their quaint German villages and wondrous cities where, in most cases, only civilians lived and worked.
I posit that the only moral war is one in which an army's leaders do everything within their power to protect their troops, the enemies' be damned.
Now I don't agree that this war was necessary, particularly at the time it was launched. But it's too late for that argument. The only question I have now is, how do we conduct it so as many American combatants as possible come home, not only alive, but with all their limbs and their psyches as intact as possible.
Yea, I admit I've been watching Bill Maher on HBO and I must say, he's become a voice of reason lately, especially since the war began. And he says he wants nothing more than live American troops to return to their loved ones after this terrible war concludes.
That said, how're things with you?
I'm struggling with bills - specifically an inability to pay them all and still have some 'joy' money left over. I can't even buy enough food to eat a meal once a day between paychecks. And I think I'm probably among the majority of Americans.
My healthcare package has gone up 40 percent and the benefits have gone down nearly equally, and that makes no sense at all to me, other than to explain the exorbitant salaries and perks that insurance CEOs receive each year. I'm actually wondering if I shouldn't drop my insurance coverage (crazy as that sounds) because I'm still on the hook for a large share of the bill when it's all said and done. Hell, maybe I could qualify for Medicaid and Medicare and get better coverage. I'll have to look into it. Perhaps the AARP has some answers for me in that regard.
The newspaper I work for is decidedly conservative and the coverage we select from wire stories, as well as the local assignments, reflect that leaning quite clearly. You might say we're the Fox of print journalism. Then again, you might not. What do I know?
But I am upset that my soulmate, my lady-in-waiting, my girlfriend if you will, is giving me the cold shoulder today. Jeez, I wish men and women could learn to communicate without arguing or escalating a disagreement into a brawl. I don't understand how I'm supposed to read her mind but that seems to be what's required of me. And when I miss a 'signal' or a 'hint' all hell breaks loose. What's up with that, ladies?
As my shrink tells me (and she's a she): Some women say no and mean no. Some women say yes and mean yes. And some women say no and mean maybe. And some women say yes and mean 'if you do [fill in the blank ...]'
It's all disconcerting and confusing to a poor fellow like me who tries to be honest and understanding, as well as sincere and supportive.
I caught hell last night because I did precisely what I was told to do (I went to a movie because D told me not to come over too soon as she was about to take a bath and her daughter (teenager) had friends over. "Why don't you go to a movie?" she asked. Now in almost every case when she's suggested something like that, I simply said no, I'll wait until you're ready to see me and, meanwhile, I'll just go home and read or watch the telly until she calls. But last night I was fidgety and felt like a movie would be a perfect escape for my agitated mind.
Bad move! When I arrived at D's I got the "Why don't you just go home" treatment.
Now it's been less than 24 hours - it's about 8:20 p.m. Sunday right now and this happened at 1 a.m. this morning - but I had hoped that she would have time to cool down, especially since I haven't seen her all day. But apparently I'm still a bullseye on her dartboard because, although she told me she'd call me in an hour (two hours ago) she hasn't called yet.
C'est la vie, or if you prefer, so it goes.
Meantime, it's time for "Alias," one of my favorite TV programs, so I'll say adios one and all. Good 'morrow to youse.
Willobewannabegonnabedonutholes: Right this way


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