Sam at Yobbo makes a

Sam at Yobbo makes a point about US soldiers using trickery to achieve their aim. He thinks its reasonable but Tim Dunlop argues its immoral. In the original article from the Washington Post Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: “If you want your family released, turn yourself in.” Such tactics are justified, he said, because, “It’s an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info.” They would have been released in due course, he added later. Sam’s comment – Tim, with all due respect, neither of us have ever fought in a war is relevant. Unless you have been there and done it, it is unwise to comment so adamantly about these matters. An old Army expression talks about Johnny on the Spot being the best man to make the decisions. This rule says to the armchair generals and inexperienced commentators “if you don’t know the whole story – shut up! The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered. Good tactics. No one was hurt, particularly the soldiers taking the risks, and the bad guy was captured. Aims met, move on. On a similar thread, Orpheus, writing from Iraq and quoted at Chief Wiggles has something to say on the subject of reporting from the war zone. Orpheus quotes an article from the London Times and states The only words for the journalist’s work are willful deception, misrepresentation of information, and deliberate intellectual sabotage. In the article in question, the journalist goes on about the poor Iraqi prisoners being held in tents where the temperature exceded 120 degrees. Orpheus replies; Spoken of are prisoners who are held in tents with temperatures reaching “up to 122 degrees” with no relief. There’s a reason why it’s 122 degrees inside the tent, and that’s because the outside ambient temperature is 131, and there are precisely the same temperatures in my tent, and every soldier’s tent in this country. I know well what it is to wake up in the morning lying in a pool of sweat that the taut material of my cot cannot absorb. There are soldiers even now who don’t have tents to provide shade, who are rationed two MREs a day, who preciously horde their allotment of water, trying to figure out how keep enough water in their bodies when anything they drink immediately sweats out. For well over two months at the camp here, latrines consisted of ditches with wooden planks and tubes half-buried in the sand for urinals. Which goes to prove anybody can pen words to make the soldier look bad. In previous wars the soldiers have not had to put up with journalists questioning every move made in a sub-unit, say a platoon or rifle company. In war soldiers are obliged to do things that normal society would consider an afront to polite behaviour but folks, that is the nature of war and if some rules are bent to maintain the aim then so be it. If it gets hot at your favourite coffee joint you can seek airconditioning; the soldier can’t and where you rationalize the soldier’s poor behaviour from the cooler corner of the coffee shop with the biggest risk you face being an inexperienced cappucino maker; the soldier is being fired at, he is fearful of his life, he misses his wife/mother/girlfriend/mates at the pub. He is working under these conditions all day from sunup to sundown and at nights it gets worse. A word to journalists and commentators – get off the soldiers back. If you have a bitch then direct it at the politicians.