Retired Navy SEAL Questions Nation’s Mental State
EDITOR’S NOTE: President Barack Obama outlined his new strategy for waging his surge-and-retreat style of war in Afghanistan Tuesday night. Because that strategy will involve the expedited deployment of 30,000 more troops under the cloud of an announced timetable for withdrawal, I’m eager to offer the important guest post below. Written by a friend, it’s especially timely in light of the news that broke one week ago about three Navy SEALs facing assault charges for doing their job in Iraq. For fear of reprisal, the author has insisted on anonymity.
Court-martial over a bloody lip?
The recent news regarding the U.S. Navy SEALs who are facing trial by court-martial raises many questions about the current mental state of America’s military, its civilian leadership and the thoughts and feelings of the American people in general.
Evidently, right and wrong have traded places on today’s moral compass. What kind of military or government sends its finest, most well-trained warriors to capture a heinous terrorist, only to bring those special operators up on charges for “mistreating” the despicable enemy mastermind of the murder, disfigurement and desecration of the four Blackwater contractors in March 2004?
Is giving an enemy terrorist a fat lip as bad as shooting and killing four American contractors on a food delivery run? Is a bloody lip equal to dragging dead American bodies through the streets of Fallujah and hanging them from a bridge? Are a few bruises, normally associated with apprehending a non-compliant enemy combatant, as bad as lighting dead American bodies on fire and chanting while videotaping for the world to see?
As a recently retired Navy SEAL with combat experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and numerous other countries the Middle East, I am appalled and disgusted with the current trend of many Americans blaming our service members for doing their jobs. It is a tragic state when Special Operations personnel are given orders to bring our enemies to justice, only to be punished for the most trivial “discomfort” administered to their captives. What message does this send to all the other Special Operations personnel or the rest of the armed forces who may receive orders to execute similar missions?
The ranks of the three SEALs who have been charged indicate that they have been in Naval Special Warfare for a significant period of time. It is normal to accumulate experience and advanced training in close-quarters combat and prisoner or detainee handling at these levels (E5 and E6) in Naval Special Warfare.
It is a testament to these SEALs’ experience and exercising of control that Ahmed Hashim Abed was brought back in such good shape, with no gunshot wounds or broken bones. Mixed martial arts fighters sustain much more serious injuries during a prize fight for entertainment than the minimal injury that this enemy combatant suffered.
Capturing hardened enemy combatants is always dangerous and frequently results in fatalities and/or injuries far worse than a fat or bloody lip. The enemy does not want to be caught and has been known to fight to the death. Need I mention the enemy’s treatment of Americans they have captured? How does a bloody lip compare to having ones head sawn off on Al-Jazeera “news”?
In addition to condemning our service members for performing the combat roles for which they were trained, is it the goal of the U.S. military or its civilian leadership to continuously burden our warriors with unrealistic and dangerous rules of engagement?
The current rules of engagement indicate that we are not willing to use our advantages and strengths to exploit the enemy’s weakness – a basic and ancient fundamental for winning in combat. Whose side is our leadership on? It would seem that they are stacking the deck in the favor of our enemies.
Will the future include more court-martial proceedings for our fighters as reward for executing orders? Should our brave warriors use half measures and tactics that endanger them in combat and give the advantage to the enemy? Not in a logical country that wants to defeat its enemies and win at war.
Political correctness is winning this war for our enemies and, without a doubt, it is a war and our enemies consider it one — even if the U.S. liberal left does not.
Regardless of the Obama administration’s new label, “overseas contingency operations,” most intelligent Americans still believe we are at WAR with Islamic radical fundamentalists bent on erasing the USA, Judeo-Christian culture and the western way of life.
Through actions like prosecuting our service members for doing their job to protect and defend, we are signing our own death warrant and signaling the end of western culture.
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