“The great uncertainty of all data in war is a peculiar difficulty, because all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight, which in addition not infrequently—like the effect of a fog or moonshine—gives to things exaggerated dimensions and unnatural appearance.” Carl Von Clausewitz.

by Daniel Russ on April 5, 2010

I am not trying to glaze over the tragedy here. I can understand how back in 2007 when insurgents were killing soldiers left and right, just hanging out with armed men made you look like an enemy.

I understand that. But this is a terrible thing, and it sure doesn’t help when people laugh at corpses rolled over with tanks. Or when you attack a city and pat your self on the back with a slogan called “Shock and Awe”, as if the warfare was somehow emotionally not unlike motivating a Friday night football team.

This news comes right on the heels of two bad weeks in Afghanistan. One in which the Taliban have literally retaken a city from us. And the news that a February ISAF SOF raid killed pregnant women and the SOF dug the bullets out of their carcasses to hide the evidence.

If the price of this war is that we abandon not only the underpinnings of what we think we mean when we say American Justice, but also abandon the conventions of humanity itself, then we should leave. Or deal swiftly and harshly with this.

We have to ask ourselves if this is really where we ought to be. If fighting a insurgency with a parade ground war is the best way to win. We have to ask ourselves if we really are invincible.

Whatever we decide, we have to remember that might one day become the very thing we decry.


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