Subject: Living in the Now
This is reality in Fallujah.
In response to the news blurb about the Marine who put two rounds in a wounded insurgent's head in Fallujah, here's a response from a Marine:
It's a safety issue pure and simple. After assaulting through a target, we put a security round in everybody's head. Sorry al-Reuters, there's no paddy wagon rolling around Fallujah picking up "prisoners" and offering them a hot cup a joe, falafel, and a blanket. There's no time to dick around on the target. You clear the space, dump the chumps, and moveon.org.
Are Corpsman expected to treat wounded terrorists? Negative. Hey libs, worried about the defense budget? Well, it would be waste, fraud, and abuse for a Corpsman to expend one man-minute or a battle dressing on a terrorist. Its much cheaper to just spend the $.02 on a 5.56mm FMJ.
By the way, in our view, terrorists who chop off civilian's heads are not prisoners, they are carcasses. Chopping off a civilian's head is another reason why these idiots are known as "unlawful combatants." It seems that most of the world's journalists have forgotten that fact.
Let me be very clear about this issue. I have looked around the web, and many people get this concept, but there are some stragglers.
Here is your situation Marine: You just took fire from unlawful combatants (no uniform - breaking every Geneva Convention rule there is) shooting from a religious building attempting to use the sanctuary status of their position as protection. But you're in Fallujah now, and the Marine Corps has decided that they're not playing that game this time. That was Najaf. So you set the mosque on fire and you hose down the terrorists with small arms, launch some AT-4s (Rockets), some 40MM grenades into the building and things quiet down. So you run over there, and find some tangos (bad guys) wounded and pretending to be dead. You are aware that suicide martyrdom is like really popular with these idiots, and they think taking some Marines with them would be really cool. So you can either risk your life and your fire team's lives by having them cover you while you bend down and search a guy that you think is pretending to be dead for some reason. Most of the time these are the guys with the grenade or vest made of explosives. Also, you don't know who or what is in the next room. You're already speaking English to the rest of your fire team or squad which lets the terrorist know you are there and you are his enemy. You are speaking loud because your hearing is poor from shooting people for several days. So you know that there are many other rooms to enter, and that if anyone is still alive in those rooms, they know that Americans are in the mosque. Meanwhile (3 seconds later), you still have this terrorist (that was just shooting at you from a mosque) playing possum. What do you do?
You double tap his head, and you go to the next room, that's what!!!
What about the Geneva Convention and all that Law of Land Warfare stuff? What about it. Without even addressing the issues at hand, your first thought should be, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."
Bear in mind that this tactic of double tapping a fallen terrorist is a perpetual mindset that is reinforced by experience on a minute by minute basis. Secondly, you are fighting an unlawful combatant in a Sanctuary, which is a double No-No on his part. Third, tactically you are in no position to take "prisoners" because there are more rooms to search and clear, and the behavior of said terrorist indicates that he is up to no good. No good in Fallujah is a very large place and the low end of no good and the high end of no good are fundamentally the same ... Marines end up getting hurt or die. So there is no compelling reason for you to do anything but double tap this idiot and get on with the mission.
If you are a veteran, then everything I have just written is self evident. If you are not a veteran, then at least try to put yourself in the situation. Remember, in Fallujah there is no yesterday, there is no tomorrow, there is only now. Right NOW. Have you ever lived in NOW for a week? It is really, really not easy. If you have never lived in NOW for longer than it takes to finish the big roller coaster at Six Flags, then shut your hole about putting Marines in jail for "war crimes."
For those who would criticize this position, there is no question that the Marine's would take prisoners if the terrorists presented thenselves unarmed, hands open, and arms extended above their heads with their clothing open to allow inspection from a distance.
Barring that, the terrorists must be considered as hostile, imminently dangerous combatants. They choose to eschew the portions of the Law of Land Warfare that require combatants to wear a clearly distinguishable uniform and to use legally proscribed weapons for combat. These choices remove them from the protections of the Laws and Conventions regarding warfare and justify the actions that the Marines have taken to protect themselves.