People with kids fighting in Iraq have, let us say, above-average interest in the Rules of Engagement that lay down the circumstances and the manner in which our soldiers are permitted to use lethal force. We tend to get upset when we hear that many of these decisions are made by lawyers, often in response to politically unpleasant headlines. We don’t like it when we hear from Iraq vets that they’re permitted to shoot BACK, but far less often to shoot. And we worry that, for example, whenever lethal force is used, the Marines are required to file a detailed report and, if possible, to photograph everything.
We don’t think they should have to linger on a battlefield just because some guy in the JAG might bring charges (or, worse yet, because the terrorists are odds-on to show up and reset the stage to make it look like a massacre…a deception almost guaranteed to get favorable coverage from certain mass media).
Herschel Smith, whose Marine son is now deployed to Iraq, has been working hard on this story, and he has some first-hand data from soldiers in the field.