Civilians Soldiers and the Rules of War

The rules of war are … there are NO rules of war. A man who kills a dozen young people in a school is awarded the death penalty, while a soldier who kills a dozen young people on the battlefield is awarded a medal. The war against terrorism proves that all the international rules of war mean absolutely nothing, except in America. Our GIs and Marines live in the fear and confusion of combat and sudden death by terrorists daily. Yet they must adhere to totally outdated regulations or face trial and prison if they shoot an alleged civilian. The terrorist have no such rules, and they’re free to kill uniformed soldiers, people of other religious sects and anyone who shows cooperation with foreign troops. It is insanity when GIs must comply with rules written to apply to past wars and enforced by officials who have no concept of what it means to be in today’s combat situations.

In World War II, we “good guys” killed millions of civilians … deliberately or otherwise … in air raids and artillery bombardments. The biggest, and still most controversial killings took place in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where 300,000 people died in the world’s first atomic bombings. The anti-war advocates have used those atrocities for the past 62 years as their basis for protests and marches. They always ignore the fact that in the weeks before those atomic attacks, US air raids and ship bombardments killed at least as many residents of Tokyo in what was laughingly called conventional warfare. Of course, World War II casualties were 30 million, with 15 million of them civilians.

The basic problem today is that the terrorists come from radical religion-driven cultures where killing dissenters and unbelievers has been the norm for a thousand years. But they’ve made enormous advances in the past 50 years, certainly not in civilized, “by the rules” behavior, but in acquisition of oil-backed resources and modern weapons.