I’ve taken a lot of flak for my post, No More Killed In Action #NoMoreKIAs, from August. Several of those for whom I have the deepest respect for their service to our country told me they feel almost betrayed. They remind me that risking their lives is part of the package, a risk they willingly take for their belief in our country. At the same time, these honorable veterans of combat are also being kind to me, chalking up my sudden dove-ishness to a mother’s broken heart.
I’ve responded privately, but I know there are others who may feel the same way and deserve a fuller explanation as well.
First, I have not become a dove. Nor was I ever a hawk. I was and remain a realist. I understand, just as you do, there are people and forces in this world who want to kill us. Not because we are Imperialist, Capitalist, Democrat or Republican. Merely because we are Americans and free to be Imperialist, Capitalist, Democrat or Republican, or anything else we choose.
I know this enemy trains with one goal – the complete annihilation of all of us, of all we are, of all we represent. Their goal is to end freedom. Of religion. Of choice. Of thought. Unless of course, we define those things according to their 7th Century view.
And I know, just as you do, that the only way to stop them is to kill them first. We must kill enough of them to render them incapable of carrying out their plans in our children’s children’s lifetime. This war is merely the latest incarnation of a conflict that began more than a millennium ago. I know this too, just as you do.
Still, I say no more KIA’s. That is a message, not to withdraw our troops to protect them, or because I think we can’t win. It is a message to the Commander in Chief.
Do. Not. Send. Any. More. Troops.
Do not, not because it is the wrong thing to do or because of some academic and unrealistic argument about not being able to kill an idea.
Do not, because the current rules of engagement will not allow our troops to do the job that needs doing.
This enemy, and the civilian population we would like to protect, nurture and welcome to the second millennium, not even the 21st Century, respect power above all else.
Respect and fear are nearly interchangeable in that sentence.
If this enemy does not fear us, they will not respect us. If they do not respect us, fear what we can and will do to them, they will not stop. Ever. Not until they have attained their goals.
Our fighting force is the best trained, equipped and capable this world has ever seen. This is fact, not hubris. If the United States were to unleash the full force and fury of our armed forces, the threats we currently face in Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere would cease to exist.
Would there be civilian casualties? Certainly. Lots. But, not because of our actions, because of the cowardly tactics this enemy employs. Somehow, we allow ourselves to be blamed and shamed because the enemy hides behind women and children in what has come to be known as the Diaper Defense.
Unless or until our rules of engagement change, I repeat my statement of no more KIA’s. Those who understand these things better than I are saying that I will get my wish, probably sooner than later. It is only a matter of time, they say, until something happens here, on our soil, that will precipitate the unleashing of our troops. The only questions is, how many of those abhorrent civilian casualties will be Americans, on US soil.
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