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In praise of civilian casualties

All over the news and the blogosphere are accounts of the battle of Fallujah. And one recurring theme is the cost in the lives of innocents this battle will incur. We're already being shown pictures of wounded and crippled children, struck down in the battle.

I'm going to risk outraging a great number of the readers here, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I don't give a damn how many civilians get killed in Fallujah, as long as we get the bastards.

There's an old saying: "once you pay the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane." Once we have established that we will refrain from pursuing our enemies when they hide among civilians, we threaten all civilians in the future. Any time one side in a battle publicly imposes limits on itself, the other side will immediately exploit it.

Earlier on in Iraq, we showed respect for mosques. Shortly thereafter, mosques suddenly became the centers of the resistance, being converted into fortresses and arsenals. Had we blown up the first few they occupied, I'd be willing to bet that there would be hundreds more that would now have been left alone.

We have long shown that we respect hospitals. When we took the main hospital in Fallujah, it had been converted into a headquarters for the insurgents. And as soon as the Iraqi commandos had taken the hospital and raised the Iraqi flag, they started shelling the hospital even as we were turning it back into its original purpose.

Now we come down to the insurgents hiding behind civilians in the heart of Fallujah. If we show restraint and allow them to escape, we will have shown that taking hostages is a successful tactic and endanger God knows how many more innocents down the line. We have to stand firm and show them that there is no escape, no shelter, no sanctuary.

I don't want there to be a single innocent death in Fallujah. And having faith in our military's equipment, training, and scruples, I know they will be minimized as much as possible. But there will be many heart-breaking stories and images from this battle. We mustn't let them cloud the real issue -- if we let it stop us now, there will be many more Fallujahs in the future, and eventually we'll have to disregard hostages or simply give up. And we can't afford to surrender in this war.


(Author's note: before you excoriate me over this posting, please know I hated writing it even more than you hated reading it. But I have a moral obligation to speak the truth as I see it, no matter how much I'd like to ignore it. It's an ugly world these days, and saying otherwise merely postpones the inevitable.)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference In praise of civilian casualties:

» Right Wingnuthouse linked with DRAWING FIRE

» it comes in pints? linked with I really didn't want to write it

» FlashBang linked with Jay Tea strikes a chord

» rightpundit.com linked with The Price of Freedom

» King of Fools linked with Uncovered in Fallujah

» Winds of Change.NET linked with Special Report: The Battle of Fallujah (v2.3)

» Spicedsass linked with No More Mr. Nice Guy

Comments (90)

I enjoyed reading you post.... (Below threshold)

I enjoyed reading you post. I believe this should have been done long ago, it would have saved countless lives on both sides. As for the current operation, I would have named it "Operation Flatlujah".

I, too, agree with you 100%... (Below threshold)

I, too, agree with you 100%. Enough kid gloves, let's get the bastards wherever they are.

Don't apologize. You are r... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

Don't apologize. You are right.

Corky Boyd
Sanibel FL

If I'm willing to sacrifice... (Below threshold)

If I'm willing to sacrifice my son, the Marine, for the War on Terror, I'm certainly willing to sacrifice a few of theirs, too.

(To make sure no one misunderstands the above statement, my son won't deploy to Iraq until next year. He's not in Fallujah — yet.)

Reports say that over 100,0... (Below threshold)

Reports say that over 100,000 people have left Falluja already. It's not like they didn't know what was coming.

I would suspect that most of the civilians left behind were physically forced to stay; or they were families of the combatants, mandated to stay by the head of the family.

If the combatants were even a smidge decent, they would have sent their families on to another town.

I don't want any innocent person killed either. There was a way for the townsfolk to avoid it.

Boyd,While I under... (Below threshold)


While I understand your sentiment, your son's life is not your's to sacrifice. It is his. He is an adult and can and has made his decision.

Semper Fidelis

Let's not forget that the I... (Below threshold)

Let's not forget that the Iraqi soldiers are fighting side by side or probably in front of (at least who we send into buildings and tunnels first) the US forces (and coalition forces if they are part of this operation). So it wouldn't surprise me if they are the ones shooting the terrorists and those that protect the terrorists.

And let's not forget babykiller Kerry, and other soldiers that are faced with terrorists that aren't adults, and those that defend and protect terrorists who aren't adults need to be dealt with. Including those who carry or resupply arms and ammo.

It was Danny Boy & the Canadian who reported and showed pictures night after night, of the highway of death, and the reporters hammering away at the press conferences that forced the hand of Bush Sr. who told Schwartzkopf (whatever) to sign the peace agreement (who screwed it up by giving Saddam air control for "civil control" which cost the kurds many lives). Danny Boy, the Canadian, AP, Reuters, UPI, BrokenBrain, and others kept hammering away about the highway of death, how it was shooting fish in a barrel, the international outrage, and all the other rather (oops, I meant blather).

Bring back carpet bombing. ... (Below threshold)

Bring back carpet bombing. Start at all sides and work your way to the middle.

Le tht bulldozers clean up the mess.

Your comments are soooo tru... (Below threshold)

Your comments are soooo true - war is hell but if you dont want to win done get into this conflict.

Semper Fi

We gave the people of Fallu... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

We gave the people of Fallujah plenty of notice that we were coming. The Iraqi government has said that if you are male and old enough to carry a gun, you better not show your face in public.

I think you are absolutely right, Jay. We should give no greater level of deference to civilians, hospitals and mosques than the enemy.

Don't apologize for your th... (Below threshold)
CrankyOld Conservative:

Don't apologize for your thoughts....you've nailed it here, and it's about damn time someone did. War is war, and people die....the sooner we understand the truth of kill or be killed, the sooner our boys can be successful with less casualties. We should let them turn Fallujah into a parking lot and kill all the cockroaches.

War is hell. We're all sor... (Below threshold)

War is hell. We're all sorry for the innocent people that get killed during wars. But I am more sorry for the 3,000 who died on 9/11 than for any Iraqi child. We did not start this war; but we've got to finish it.

JT:You can bet som... (Below threshold)


You can bet some moonbat is going to get a hold of this post and offer it is "proof" of the right's bloodlust.

While I agree with the thrust of your post, I'm afraid we're being a little shortsighted. The point is that the terrorists DON'T CARE what any of us think...they're playing to a broader audience through al Jazeera and the rest of the arab media and trying to reach Abdul in the street. The arab media will dutifully carry out the terrorists wishes and we'll be stuck looking like blood-crazed crusaders, blowing up arab children to satisfy our need to kill arabs.

I honestly don't know whether you are right or wrong in positing this..I do know it took some courage. For that, you have my thanks.

Bonnie, your comment will b... (Below threshold)

Bonnie, your comment will be jumped on by somebody, I'm sure. "We did not start this war..." You are right, and when the comments come in making the point that the USA invaded Iraq, you won't need to apologize to anybody. The failure to grasp the full ethical and geopolitical implications of the current conflict in Fallujah is a prime indicator of the of the malice of the West-hating "progressives." Even Kerry, the most liberal Senator, did not go as far as accusing the USA of being the aggressor in Iraq. It's the nutcases who spout the "imperialist neo-colonialist unilateralist hegemony" rubbish.

As for civilian casualties. others have already said it here. I hope for a decisive and quick conclusion with a stunningly low casualty rate....for our warriors. I'm so proud of them I could burst....

Amen!You are eithe... (Below threshold)


You are either for terrorism or against it. The "civilians' of Fallujah who tolerate terrorists in their midst certainly are not showing that they are against terrorism--therefore, they must be for it--and are not innocent "civilians."

J, what can I say, other th... (Below threshold)

J, what can I say, other than that you haven't got a fucking clue about this war. I don't know what small one horse town that you come from, but if it's filled with non personalities such as yourself then I hope to never set foot in it. I am not a bleeding heart liberal, or leftie, terms bandied about on this blog like new catch phrases. Your views are those of an ignorant NAZI pig. Get a paasport, see the world and you will realise that there is more to this world than planet America. What, too scared to venture further than Mexico?. Scared of the reception you might receive in Europe, Australia. With views espoused such as yours, no wonder the American people are the subject of ridicule. You are a sad inadequate little man who adds only fuel to the fires of hatred.

"If you kill enough of them... (Below threshold)
Dan Patterson:

"If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting."
Gen. Curtis LeMay

The death of anyone not directly involved in the battle is a tragic consequence of the enemy's decision to engage. All the sob's have to do is surrender and no one gets hurt. It is a fact that the most humane choice, once a battle has begun, is to end it as quickly as possible. End it with a decisive destruction of the enemy.

Dan Patterson
Winston-Salem, NC

Your views are those of ... (Below threshold)

Your views are those of an ignorant NAZI pig.

Feel the love.

In the end, we're going to ... (Below threshold)

In the end, we're going to cut bait with the Sunnis and Shiites and instead focus on a stable Kurdistan.

The Syrians and Iranians will seethe, and we'll see how weak an ally the Turks really were.

You are a sad inadequate... (Below threshold)

You are a sad inadequate little man who adds only fuel to the fires of hatred.

Talking to yourself is one of the signs of insanity, James.

Every criminal, nutj... (Below threshold)

Every criminal, nutjob, crackpot, and will-eyed terrorist flocked to Fallujah since April. Those are the baddest of all the Bad Guys filtered from the rest of Iraq. Plus the city has been a magnet to Al Qaida types from Syria and Iran.

They have raped and pillaged the city. They have executed thousands since April. As a consequence, the citizens fed our troops a constant flow of intelligence. This intelligence was entered our computers and now is a great help to us in taking the city.

Our liberation of Fallujah will save ten's of thousands of innocent lives. The faster we get it done, the more lives we will save.

I posted about this late la... (Below threshold)

I posted about this late last night. Go to Michael Moore's site for some disgusting lopsidedness.

Another thought...... (Below threshold)

Another thought...

Perhaps your post should have been entitled "In Defense of Civilian Casualties." Less inflammatory and more to the point, I think.

Mcgehee......I'm sure you w... (Below threshold)

Mcgehee......I'm sure you would know all about insanity. Clearly you have access to the internet, I just wonder if the doctors in your institution are aware this fact. Now run along and take your medication like a good little patient.

The only thing they fear is... (Below threshold)

The only thing they fear is fear. Any signs of weakness they grasp onto and use to their advantage. We fire bombed and nuked civilian centers in Japan, mainly to destroy moral. The Brits Carpet bombed Dresden to destroy the enemys will to fight. Anyone who cries about civilian losses in this war should never again bitch about the 1,100 dead Americans. If we treated this like a war and not some PC police action, we would save alot of American lives and in the long run, Iraqi lives. We could not have won WWll if we had the MSM we have now.

War is grim. There's a cert... (Below threshold)

War is grim. There's a certain calculation that has to be done, and it sucks, but it's necessary. The fire bombing of Dresden, for instance- lots of moral ambiguity, yet we were determined to destroy the enemies' will to fight. By the time the shooting starts, normal, humane, civilized means of conflict resolution have failed. Having regrets about the human toll is not the same as deciding that the goal should not be met.

What irony, that the left, the side that chants "By any means neccessary", generator of Stalinist purges and Cambodian killing fields, presumes to lecture anyone about hate.

As others (not in this thre... (Below threshold)

As others (not in this thread) have commented, we are on a crusade right now, one to save the Arab world. We are smacking down Fallujah right now so that we don't have to carpet bomb the place later. And we are putting our soldiers' and Marine's lives at great risk so that we don't have to turn the Middle East into a glass parking lot.

If the terrorists get a nuke or chem/bio of sufficient proportions through to one of our cities, there will be little choice but to retaliate with overwhelming force. I suspect that the American people would care even less about civilian casualties after 3 million death toll here then they are now. In fact, I think we would be screaming "Nuke Them All!" and our government would not have much of a choice.

So if certain people don't like it, it's because they aren't fully aware of the actual alternative.

Also, James says that J should get a passport. Maybe James should get a history book.

A character in a book I once read said: "It's better to do something small and violent right away then to have to do something evel!î’re violent later." Good advice when you are at war.

I fought in a war that we w... (Below threshold)

I fought in a war that we were not allowed to prosecute (VietNam). I have always said if you have to go to war, then you must fight to win. There is no second place in armed conflict-there is no "consolation" prize. When we bombed Germany in WWII and leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki we killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Today our technology allows us to "pinpoint" armaments to a specific destination. Collateral damage will be minimized due to this technology. Those civilians who are remaining not only do so at their peril, they share some culpability for the entrenched terrorists. The have had an opportunity to deliver "real time" intelligence to the Coalition and have not done so. If they were so concerned about their own safety, they would have cooperated to rermove the threat.

Our boys and the brave Iraqi soldiers MUST stop at nothing short of total victory-second place is six feet under.

You are correct. Don't apol... (Below threshold)

You are correct. Don't apologize...It needs to be done.

Your sentiment is correct; ... (Below threshold)

Your sentiment is correct; it's absolutely essential to clean out that rat's nest, and there will unavoidably be civilian casualties. The latter is a horrible, but necessary, cost of the former.

You say two contrary things in this post, though, and it looks to me like you're setting yourself up.

You DO give a damn how many civilian casualties there are, but you open the piece by saying exactly the opposite. If I read far enough down, you say you'd prefer there to be NO civilian casualties if the goal of killing the bad guys could be achieved without it.

That sentiment is a long way away from your "I don't give a damn" statement. If I'm a leftie, I'd stop reading after, "I don't give a damn how many civilians get killed in Fallujah, as long as we get the bastards." You come off looking like Screw'em Kos.

And if I'm MSM, the only part I'll quote is, "I don't give a damn how many civilians get killed in Fallujah."
They will certainly leave off "I don't want there to be a single innocent death" from five paragraphs down. Hell, they can make this post look like Kos-type hate on steroids.

Bottom line: I agree with what you're saying here: civilian deaths are an unavoidable cost because of how the terrorists have conducted themselves, using civilians as shields. I think the way you've said it here is unnecessarily provocative, though.

JT-You're right on... (Below threshold)


You're right on track; no need to apologize.

America's enemies learned a valuable lesson in Viet Nam; kill enough Americans while keeping tangible objectives just out of their grasp, and we will give up and quit fighting. And if you want the Americans to quit even sooner, ensure that plenty of civilians are killed as well.

The central theme of Osama Bin Laden's messages of encouragement to his Al Qaeda and Taliban allies was that the American soldier is a paper tiger who runs away at the sight of casualties.

(Though his latest message made no mention of the cowardice of Americans ... could it be that wiping out terrorists in Iraq with a 100:1 kill ratio is having a negative effect on terrorist morale?)

Whenever we hesitate on the battlefield, we give our enemies yet another tool to use as they try to defeat us.

Though it does not give us the rigtht to do likewise, we should remember that the terrorists we are fighting in Fallujah have no concept of human rights and do not give any value to the lives of civilians. After the smoke and dust clears, it will be the terrorists who have caused the vast majority of civilian deaths.

misterhung:Methink... (Below threshold)


Methinks you're splitting hairs there. Of course it's my son's choice to serve in the Marines and risk his life for his country. I'm just saying that I support him in his position. He and I both believe that there are things that are bigger than ourselves, worth fighting and dying for.

Of course, I'm also a firm believer in the words of General George S. Patton, Jr. (as channeled by George C. Scott): "I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

I'm a liberal, but I'd be w... (Below threshold)

I'm a liberal, but I'd be willing to give up my First Amendment rights if it meant that people like you would not be allowed to speak.

One word: Moron.

Keep up the hatred - hopefully it will get you killed someday.

Sorry guys, but I think you... (Below threshold)

Sorry guys, but I think your government has grossly overplayed the war on terrorism. They have made a great number of otherwise good people paranoid. 9/11 was a shocking event but it did not give Bush carte blanche to start a war in Iraq. Going after Bin Laden was perfectly legitimate, but little has been said about the effort involved in his eventual capture or death since the build up to the war in Iraq.

Do you honestly feel safer now Saddam has been deposed? Sure you can install a puppet for several months, years perhaps. But in case you are not aware even moderate Muslim opinion is hardening to America's stance. The coalition is but a joke. it is comprised of countries which to be honest, most Americans have never even heard of, never mind point out on a map. Even the UK's contribution is token compared to the size of the total operation.

Wake up guys, you have been duped into this war. You are so gullible that if Bush told you shit was custard, the queues would be 100 miles long with people with their begging bowls. As they say "Only in America".

Keep up the hatred - hop... (Below threshold)

Keep up the hatred - hopefully it will get you killed someday.

Ooooh, yeah. Feel the love from the peace-lovin' left!

JT, Fallujah is now basical... (Below threshold)

JT, Fallujah is now basically under a "total war" situation. Civilians in such a case are guilty of complicity with the enemy, if not more. Such is the rule of the game. Allawi has given this lawless city enough time to save itself. This isn't the reckless, vengeful act that the terrorists were counting we'd do in a fit of losing self-control back in April. Surely this is vengeful today, but it is also a symbolic battle: the last bastion of organized terrorism, a microcosm of state sponsorship worldwide, in Iraq.

The choice is not between w... (Below threshold)

The choice is not between what will happen if we fight this war to win and what would have happened had we chosen not to fight it. That choice is long past. The choice now is between what happens if we act with purpose and determination and what happens if we do not. If the latter, the cost in human lives from an insurgency drunk on victory drawing angry young men from across the breadth of the Middle East will be incalculable. The free world cannot afford to loose the battle for Falluja and Iraqi democracy. We win this one or things get much, much harder.

James:You ARE a ble... (Below threshold)

James:You ARE a bleeding heart lefty.Just admit it, you will feel better.

Immolate....there is lttle ... (Below threshold)

Immolate....there is lttle question of the battle of Fallujah being lost by the allies. They will win at whatever cost. The question is how will they deal with Muslim extremism in other countries and in the future. At some stage the US will become overstretched militarily and will have no option but to sit down with these people. An option that has never been pursued. In Northern Ireland, both the leaders of Britain and the Republic of Ireland sat down with terrorists from both camps. Dropping bombs from 5 miles in the sky is not going to solve anything. Apologies for typos, dont have time to proof read

Love the expression "peace ... (Below threshold)

Love the expression "peace loving leftie" What does that make you guys war loving nazis. Presumably peace is on the agenda, or do you knob heads get off on war, perhaps its a fascination with men in uniforms with guns? Tossers

AS to this "james" guy do y... (Below threshold)

AS to this "james" guy do you get the feel that he "knows" it all? It just ozzes with the words: "if I kiss your ass will you not hurt me any more:-typical bootlicking liberal talk-thats all they know. Get over it LOSER you lost!!!!

It is impossible to defeat ... (Below threshold)

It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

~William G. McAdoo

So I won't even try...

Why does all the leftist ta... (Below threshold)

Why does all the leftist talk about peace in Iraq only involve the U.S. giving up and leaving? What about the "insurgent" monsters who occupy hospitals, turn mosques into armories, and booby-trap schools? Why don't the moonbats call upon those people to give up and leave?

jhow66......get over what? ... (Below threshold)

jhow66......get over what? Haven't lost anything recently? As for knowing everything, I never professed that, at all. You,however give the impression of not knowing anything. Best keep quiet loud mouth, you will embarrass yourself even less.

Well there's certainly o... (Below threshold)

Well there's certainly one thing James knows: ad hominem attacks.

Jay Tea...I must commend yo... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea...I must commend you on the post. With your permission, I'd like to repost this on my own personal blog with my own comments. As a reader who never commented before, I feel I must comment now, as I believe that this really does represent the situation in Fallujah right now.

I wholeheartedly agree with what you've put on the table here. It's natural that you'd feel bad because we're talking about civilan casualties here. But, like the old saying goes, "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs."

Again, thank you for the good insights.

Oh I see. You didn't vote s... (Below threshold)

Oh I see. You didn't vote so you didn't lose anything. So why all your bellyaching? As for keeping guite should not you kiss my ass first before you tell me to keep quite.(that way I will not hurt you) Be hard to embarrass myself around the likes of you poor little bootlicking losers. Have good "4 more years".

As i have posted before, I ... (Below threshold)

As i have posted before, I will now reiterate:

When they are still breathing, every one of them claims to be a "freedom fighter": Cowards in masks, and some women and children included. When they are lying dead on the ground as a result of their actions, they all instantly become "innocent civilians". We can thank Al Jazeera and Michael Moore for this distinction.

The world needs to know that we will not take the loss of our soldiers lightly. We are not playing games here. When diplomacy fails, as it has so obviously in Iraq (under Saddam), we fight, and we fight to win. No more pussy-footing around the subject. No more "I voted for it, before I voted against it". No more liberal pansy-ass bullshit.

Any one who even indirectly implies that our troops are not doing everything in their power to avoid civilian casualties, should be immmediately deported. Such a low specimen of human dung does not deserve to eat the peanuts that I had just before dinner last night.

So, how about some beheadings? When we convict these a-holes in Gitmo, why not chop some heads off for the MSM? Lethal injection, frying 'em in the chair, what's the difference? Put the fear of Allah into these cowardous bastards.

I'm a liberal, but I'd b... (Below threshold)

I'm a liberal, but I'd be willing to give up my First Amendment rights if it meant that people like you would not be allowed to speak.

Sarah, there are places in this world where such "morons" arent allowed to speak. Cuba is the closest. Pack your bags and live there like a native "liberal" for a year or two. Im sure you'll see things a little differently.

You are pathetic.

Sarah, I'm a rightie and I ... (Below threshold)

Sarah, I'm a rightie and I refuse to give up my 1st Ad. rights even though it allows people like you to speak.

I think that says a lot more about my tolerance than it does yours.

And James, you're a moron. And the great thing is I don't have to give a shit what you think and don't. Tonight, I will go home, spend some quality time with my daughter then go see a movie with my wife. On my 45 minutes drive home in my gas guzzling SUV, I won't worry about a terrorist attack nor will I be worrying about the plight of the homeless. I know it bugs you to hear this, but I am content and happy with life right now (i.e. I have peace). I am glad to know that my fellow Marines are out there along with the rest of the military doing a fine job of keeping us safe.

Just because you are a coward and afraid to fight for anything (well, except anonymous postings on a blog. You act big here) doesn't mean the rest of the world should cower as well.

"If we lose this war we wil... (Below threshold)

"If we lose this war we will all be tried as war criminals."
Gen. Curtis LeMay

Superhawk: You're probably ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Superhawk: You're probably right about the title. I tend to let myself get a little sensationalistic in my titles. It's a bad habit.

Sarah: It's a cliche' that "liberals feel, while conservatives think." The gist of your argument seems to be that I make you feel bad, so I must be wrong. Go ahead, prove me wrong. I'd dearly love to be proven wrong on this one. But my argument is based on what I perceive as simple logic and reason. If you can point out the flaw, I'd be very grateful.

And Sarah, my First Amendment rights aren't yours (or anyone's) to trade away. This pesky thing called The Constitution of the United States says so. Give it a read some time.


James, exactly how long has... (Below threshold)

James, exactly how long has it been since the government of your country was THE major player on the international scene? Go sit down and quit sniping at those who actually fight for the future of Western Civilization. We don't have to travel. We don't have to care what you think. I'd be much more prone to care if you foreigners weren't so friggin' condescending all the time. "Operation Clark County" by the Guardian was a prime example. Look down your pointy nose at us dumb Americans all you want. While you're doing that, we'll be saving your ass by making sure the terrorists stay close to their home bases in the Middle East rather than exporting it to Western nations.

Get a clue: we don't care what you say.

If you respond to me, it'll just reinforce my point that you really do think we care what you say. If you think the U.S. is wrong to invade Iraq, go join the forces trying to expel us. Good luck with that.

"Those who study history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it."

Actually, James, to be fair... (Below threshold)

Actually, James, to be fair, please tell us what country you are from and explain to us dumb Americans what your nation has done to secure the rights of freedom-loving people around the world in the past 300 years, along with what your nation is doing to secure the spread of consensual government and end oppression?

(Note: sipping espresso in an internet cafe in a European capital and complaining about the American cowboys doesn't count)

I'm watching a press confer... (Below threshold)

I'm watching a press conference being held by Lt. Gen. Tom Metz in Iraq. And all the reporters are asking is about casualities and how many civilians are being killed and other dumbass questions. General Metz has more patience than I. Personally, I'd tell the reporters to "eat sh*t." Is there a group of people more contemptable than the denizens of the news media. Ooops, here's a female reporter asking General Metz a really dumb question. These press conferences are a waste of time. These reporters are going to make up stories anyway.

"In my life, I have prayed ... (Below threshold)

"In my life, I have prayed but one prayer: 'Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
-- Voltaire

I apologize for using quotes, but it comforts me to know that great minds before me have suffered the same pain.

Yeah, thanks for saving our asses in the Middle East. When I watched the news this morning, I kept thinking, GREAT JOB! Yeah, my ass feels saved.

My 18-year-old cousin visit... (Below threshold)

My 18-year-old cousin visited this weekend and just couldn't accept the notion of civilian casualties. If we accidentally bomb someone's house, he said, won't he hate US instead of the terrorists we were trying to get? Aren't we just creating more hatred and animosity?

So I asked him to consider the alternative. We DON'T attack an area because of a concern for the innocent. That gives our enemies a stronghold from which they can coordinate attacks. From there they build IEDs. They set up kidnapping operations. They behead civilians on camera. They plan assassinations. Heck, maybe they even take over the innocent man's house at the end of the block for their own operations. What now is the cost of sparing that man's house?

He quoted the old aphorism, "Better to let ten guilty go free than condemn one innocent." But when those ten guilty go forth and murder 20 innocents, you have not SAVED an innocent life; you've merely traded one for twenty.

It's a hard world that often requires hard choices. He knows it; he just doesn't want to believe it. He's young. It's tough. If he asks again, though, I'll direct him to your post, Jay Tea.

uuhh wonder where our "wise... (Below threshold)

uuhh wonder where our "wiseman" james went? (could be the time of day when he does his ass kissing)

"Some asses may req... (Below threshold)

"Some asses may require several wars to be saved"

Yikes!While I disagr... (Below threshold)

While I disagree completely with the sentiments expressed in this article, I am even more disgusted with people like James who seem allergic to any form of civilized discourse. Coming here with talk about 'Nazi-pigs' is just utterly indefensible.
That said, I respectfully submit my opinion that you are dead wrong and you do give truth to the 'conservatives think, liberals feel'cliche. "As long as we go in and kill all those terrorists, it doesnt matter who else dies...why didnt they get out anyway...many are even aiding the terrorists...etc... Seen from a strictly pragmatic view, your analysis would be correct. However morals do dictate that gung-ho warfare is not the most important thing. That frightened six year old girl trapped in her house by the fighting should not be sacrificed because you feel you have no choice....and this is coming from someone who was fairly sympathetic to the war mind you.
So yes, even though they will-and should- storm Fallujah, please don't suddenly start throwing around the 'collateral damage in the name of the greater good argument.

A few thoughts. This is 10... (Below threshold)

A few thoughts. This is 100% RIGHT, the civilians in Fallujah knew we were coming and therefore those that are there are either there WITH THE TERRORISTS by choice, or are hostage.

Second, to the Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors who have CHOSEN to serve this country, THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!

"When I watched the news... (Below threshold)
Easy 8:

"When I watched the news this morning, I kept thinking, GREAT JOB! Yeah, my ass feels saved."

Such a shame. Perhaps if it weren't we would be spared the misery of your talking out of it.

We should make it clear to ... (Below threshold)

We should make it clear to the leaders of the muslim world, that they need to tear down the madrasas, cut off the terrorists funding and sanctuary. We need to impress upon the leaders of the muslim world that if we are hit in America with weapons of mass distruction, we will strike Meca as a response. This would go a long way in cutting the support of the Islamic facists. We can no longer pretend that this terror is not supported by the Saudi and Iranian governments.

Right on Chuck! We have to ... (Below threshold)

Right on Chuck! We have to stop pussy footing around,and threatening their beloved Mecca should wake them up to reality.

I think that a Britney Spea... (Below threshold)

I think that a Britney Spears tour in the middle east would tear down a lot of walls. "To Mecca or Busts" should be our rallying cry.

Inside any besieged city th... (Below threshold)

Inside any besieged city there are NO civilians. Everyone is a combatant....think Stalingrad, Moscow, Jerico.

God Bless the Marines/Army

I disagree. The insurgents ... (Below threshold)

I disagree. The insurgents will no doubt be defeated but in the end, the innocent will still pay a heavy price. That's the way things work and it sucks.

"It's an ugly world these d... (Below threshold)

"It's an ugly world these days..."

Precisely when wasn't the world ugly, Jay?

As Jay Tea's favorite liberal for the moment, I thought I'd respond to his poorly titled and clumsily worded argument.


James and Sarah,"A... (Below threshold)

James and Sarah,

"America, Fuck, Yeah! Lick my butt and suck on my balls." - Trey Parker & Matt Stone

Just since you liked quotes so much.

Or better yet "Only a dick can fuck an asshole. And sometimes, pussies get so full of shit they turn into assholes." - Trey Parker & Matt Stone

No one should be celebrating the deaths of innocents, and Jay isn't. You are incredibly naive and intellectually shallow if you fail to recognize the essential weakness of your positions (if you are indeed 2 different people) given the ruthlessness and global pretentions of militant islam.

Being blinded by your hatred of the President and this country is no way to go through life.

(sorry for the profanity, Kevin and Jay, but that 's the way Team America was)

This thread is getting tire... (Below threshold)

This thread is getting tiresome...the nauseating smugness and snobbish superiority of Sarah and James...well, what can one say of someone with the brains of a marmoset and the moral compass of an alley cat.

Sarah's quoting of Voltaire is especially revealing since he was one of Rousseau's biggest detractors (he of the "natural rights of man" theory). Besides being a descpicable human being, Voltaire was a mediocre author raised to literary god status by people who lived 150 years after he died.

And James..."it's time we sit down and negotiate with these people..."? WHAT KIND OF A LOON WOULD SIT DOWN WITH THE BEHEADER ZARQAWI?

Perhaps we could arrange a dinner for just the two of you...just make sure you watch the silverware.

This thread is getting tire... (Below threshold)

This thread is getting tiresome...the nauseating smugness and snobbish superiority of Sarah and James...well, what can one say of someone with the brains of a marmoset and the moral compass of an alley cat.

Sarah's quoting of Voltaire is especially revealing since he was one of Rousseau's biggest detractors (he of the "natural rights of man" theory). Besides being a descpicable human being, Voltaire was a mediocre author raised to literary god status by people who lived 150 years after he died.

And James..."it's time we sit down and negotiate with these people..."? WHAT KIND OF A LOON WOULD SIT DOWN WITH THE BEHEADER ZARQAWI?

Perhaps we could arrange a dinner for just the two of you...just make sure you watch the silverware.

Its just the same sort of e... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

Its just the same sort of ethical problem as the entire invasion of Iraq, on a smaller scale. We knew civvies would die in this war. However, we felt the end outcome would be better for us all, in the long run.

People die in wars. We try to avoid it. Our enemies revel in death, and kill people even without our being around to fight with. Much of the left seems to lose sight of that.

"I'm a liberal, but I'd be ... (Below threshold)

"I'm a liberal, but I'd be willing to give up my First Amendment rights if it meant that people like you would not be allowed to speak."
Sarah, not only are you a liberal, you're also a card-carrying idiot.
So--your solution to deal with speech you disagree with is for everybody to be silenced. Riiiight.
"crayola thinking" seems to be something of a liberal talent.
On the subject of the post--Fallujah will simply cost what it costs in civilian casualties. And too damn bad. The West didn't pick this fight and as far as I'm concerned, the more civilian casualties the better. We still have a long way to go to catch up with 3000 dead on 9/11.

Jay, I can understand your ... (Below threshold)

Jay, I can understand your point of view, but I feel that we should all keep in mind that people with far more infomation than you and I are running this thing.

The end game is a stable Iraq and by extension a stable Middle East. If we stomp around Fallujah killing up everything that moves we will probably just delay that outcome.

I think the Bush administration knows what they're doing.

I hope.

Keith:You may or ma... (Below threshold)

Keith:You may or may not be a liberal.Who the 'F'cares.One thing that is obvious from your post is...You are a 'scumbag and a reprobate'.Your statement:["The west didnt pick this fight,and as far as I'm concerned the more civilian casualities the better.We still have a long way to go to catch up with 3000 dead on 9/11".]Is the sickest thing I have read in a while.It almost sounds like something a very immature person would make .If you are a kid, you are a dope and,I forgive you .If you are an adult I would like to sew your ass to your face.
We want to be sucessful in Iraq,but our brave Soldiers and Marines will do anything to avoid civilian casualities.

Deliberately killing... (Below threshold)
jack rudd:

Deliberately killing bystanders early in a battle could assure that the enemy will not continue to use them as shields, and in the long run such a policy could save the lives of more bystanders than it destroys.

However, such a policy would be evil. And as we have learned from liberals for decades, no act is so evil that it cannot be rationalized.

The best policy is that which our good military people are carrying out: Take care to avoid civilian casualties, while recognizing that some are inevitable. This way you can face yourself after the war, and meanwhile you will avoid turning more innocent civilians into enemies.

MahaRichie, actually, I was... (Below threshold)

MahaRichie, actually, I was being moderate.
My personal preference would be to drop a 5 megaton bucket of Instant Sunshine on Mecca.

Unfortunately, in this resp... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately, in this respect war is just like taxes. If you create incentives for terrorists to hide among civilians, they will. Unfortunately they are going to do so, because they know that it will force us to kill some innocent civilians. And then liberals will work to undermine the war. Sad.

To all my detractors. ... (Below threshold)

To all my detractors.

I would like to extend my apologies for any offence caused. I find it ironic though, that people with such hard line views can take offence so easily from a few innocuous words. Much more offensive is the blinkered views of those who support the war, yet have no idea of what it is the war is about.

When you fall (or are pushed) off your moral high horse I'm sure the world will embrace you again as the great country you once were. Until then I pity you.

" Much more offensive is th... (Below threshold)

" Much more offensive is the blinkered views of those who support the war, yet have no idea of what it is the war is about.

When you fall (or are pushed) off your moral high horse I'm sure the world will embrace you again as the great country you once were. Until then I pity you."
James, I'm Australian. not American and I support this war 100%. Perhaps in part because I have a bloody good idea what war is about, having served in another army and fought against "guerillas". Until and unless you've seen true evil up close and personal, I'd suggest you refrain from assuming that all of us have "blinkered views".
As for referring to the U.S. as the "great country you once were" I guess you're just confusing America with the tired, unprincipled ang gutless has-beens of Europe.

keith....I am Australian as... (Below threshold)

keith....I am Australian aswell. I hope it was the Australian Army that you fought for.

You can bet one thing-"jame... (Below threshold)

You can bet one thing-"james" never served in any army. Why? I know of no army that accepts cowards. Glad to find out you do not live in the USA!

even still, Australi... (Below threshold)

even still, Australians need to mind their own business (concerning our choices for president).

James, nope..it was the Rho... (Below threshold)

James, nope..it was the Rhodesian Army. I dunno why it's a matter of "hope" that I fought with the Australian Army, though.'I fought in Mozambique, Rhodesia, Northern Ireland and one or two other places and it taught me that negotiation with terrorists is impossible.
It also taught me that they use civilians as cover when it suits them, knowing full well that a stupid and/or compliant media will blame the troops for civilian casualties.
Although my point of view comes across as "extreme" to some people (it obviously does to you) I strongly believe that until and unless the majority of Muslims publicly condemn acts such as bombing and shooting schoolchildren, beheading innocent civilians and using places of worship as firebases, then we have no choice but to treat Islam as a whole as the enemy. Read the Koran--Islam regards the West (infidels) as the enemy.
Sure, I might wish it were otherwise, but to stick to the norms of civilised behaviour in this conflict is to set ourselves up to lose Western civilisation.
The argument that it would "make us no better than them" doesn't wash--we flattened German and Japanese cities during WW2 and yet managed to keep our values, to revert to civilised behaviour after the war was won.
It takes what it takes.

The reason for this war is ... (Below threshold)

The reason for this war is because the alternative, doing nothing, was not exceptable. In taking down sadam we have sent a message to the rest of the muslim world. We have had enough. Kadaffi heard this message, Syria and Iran need to open their ears also. If we can establish a democracy in Afganistan and Iraq, we have a chance to change the course of the middle east. The enemys of the U.S. should know from history that we free people (France) defeat nations (Germany, Japan) then build them back up, set them on their feet. Then we leave, asking only for enough land to bury our dead. Thanks all you people from down under for your support. Also, thank God for the Brits.

You mean thank god that Ton... (Below threshold)

You mean thank god that Tony Blair is the current prime minister of Great Britain. The British people as a whole are a very socialistic society. I know two people who have "defected" to the United States (that is, they became United States naturalized citizens) from Great Britain because of the socialistic society in GB. One of them is a marine engineer (emeritus - aka retired) who currently teaches at my school (The California Maritime Academy), and the other is a woman who is my mother's friend (she's real classy).

Thank God that Tony Blair is the current prime minister to see that the war was just, and to stand by allies in time of stress and need.

I would also agree with you... (Below threshold)

I would also agree with you, but remember the only ass in this whole war is Bush! If we had gone after Bin Laden and Al Kaida to begin with the war would be over by now. Remember, 911 belongs to Bin Laden.

hey "joel' you been drinkin... (Below threshold)

hey "joel' you been drinking to much Kool-Aid.

Civilian Casualties are a d... (Below threshold)

Civilian Casualties are a difficult topic. Whether our focus is retribution for 9/11, removing WMD from the hands of a tyrant, or just removing the tyrant from his mass murders throne, the mother and child which are these casualties did little or nothing to warrant death. But the analysis cannot be did the civilian do anything to deserve death. Such a standard would obviate all war, justified or not. So, what is the analysis? The pacificist might say, “9/11 is not sufficient to require war, and no civilian casualties are acceptable.” Interesting but not my cup of tea. The warmonger might say, “the response to 9/11 is nuclear war on the enemies religious sites, and damn the civilian casualties.” Also interesting, and also not my cup of tea.

Regardless of your position on whether the US should have gone to war with Iraq, we went to war with Iraq and won. We now have a contentions post war reconstruction that is being undermined by foreign terrorists, criminals, as well as local Baathist elements who are killing civilians and allied troops (including Iraqi troops). The current status of Iraq is much like the status of Europe during the last half of WWII. Perhaps to better understand this argument we should ask Europeans whether they would have preferred to be liberated from Hitler’s dictatorship or whether they would have preferred to remain under his thrall? After all during WWII 60,000,000+ people died, and the vast majority of them were civilians. Was it worth it? Would modern Germans, or French, or Russians trade their civilian casualties for the return of Hitler? Of course not!

Civilian casualties are an inevitable and unwanted aspect of war. What is truly stunning in this war is that there are so few civilian casualties, so few allied combat casualties and so many enemy combat casualties. When Germany invaded France in 1940, the losses for both sides were staggering by today’s standards. Germany lost 156,000 with 27,000 dead and 18,000 missing (dead). France claimed a loss of 124,000 with 200,000 wounded. The British incurred 68,000 casualties. There are no known or accurate figures for civilian casualties but extrapolating from WWII stats, I suspect the French lost at least 250,000 civilian casualties.

On the other hand, in Iraq, the current total civilian body count is estimated by antiwar at about 15,000. Stunning, simply stunning!


I sincerely hope that Osama... (Below threshold)

I sincerely hope that Osama bombs all your houses and kills all your families. You are no better than bloodthirsty terrorists, although their English is much better than most of yours. If America is primarily made of this mentality, it's my sincere hope the US is nuked off the face of the earth.






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