No, no, no…it’s not a retrospective of Tiger’s romance with that Norwegian bombshell, a somber look back at their engagement. If it were, though, I would probably title it “Tiger’s Wood”, however, as titillating as the story is, we’ve got bigger fish to fry this week. No, no, no…I was not using the notion of “frying fish” as a segue into the global warming debate, either. I still consider the term “global warming” to be a euphemism for a man wetting his pants, anyway, or at least that’s my idea of warm globes. There’s a connection between warm globes and Tiger Woods somewhere in there, but let’s get back on point.
I’m talking “engaged”, as in military parlance for being actively involved in a battle. A real-life situation where your life is on the line. We all know that President Obama has ordered more troops into Afghanistan, giving the military brass almost everything they wanted, troops-wise. Naturally, the order came with the usual double-talk about predetermined withdrawal dates and how best to “conclude” the war in Afghanistan. Not one mention of the word “victory” or “winning”, just concluding. This causes me to conclude that some sort of victory will not be a factor in determining when to withdraw. Just throw more troops in, tip the hour glass…and wait.
I am less and less convinced that there is anything “winnable” about Afghanistan. I find myself more and more in favor of establishing a couple of bases there, our own airfield, and planting a strong military presence, enough to keep some sort of containment there and keep the rampant re-growth of terrorist cells that would be the sure result if we up and left, from happening. I don’t know. I’m not a military strategist. I’m not even a community organizer. But unless we get to the heart of the matter, what it is that is truly causing these excruciatingly long and deadly wars in these tiny countries, then we may as well pack up and go home.
The problem is our ludicrously stringent “rules of engagement” policy that we harness our soldiers with as they march onto the battlefield. No where is our over-zealous effort to be loved by the world for our Christ-like compassion, and our penchant for lawyers, laws and liabilities more evident, than in the ridiculous battlefield rules we try to impose on our military.
Imagine fighting a war where you cannot fire at the enemy unless he shoots at you first. As a soldier, your first line of defense is simply hoping he’s a bad shot. We are charging Navy Seals who may have roughed up one of the terrorists who was guilty of burning four Blackwater workers, and then hanging their charred bodies from a bridge as a public and news spectacle. That’s right…we’re going after the Navy elite who may have bloodied a lip. It’s not enough, apparently, to have to fear for your life as you protect your country, you must be thinking “lawsuit” or “court martial” in the back of your mind at the same time.
It is obscene that we ask our young men and women, who volunteer…that’s volunteer…to leave their families, train, sacrifice, risk never coming home or coming home with less limbs, and then ask them not to hurt anyone or damage someone’s self-esteem while they are at war. We could never have won World War II with this mindset, with the media and the lawyers tripping over themselves, busying ourselves with arresting our own soldiers, over the more important task of killing bad guys.
I’ll never understand why we think it is somehow better, once having made the dreadful decision to use military force against another country, to drag it on and on as opposed to going in hard and getting it over with. It’s like taking six months to rip a band-aid off. There needs to be some kind of effort made to revisit the military rulebooks, because many of these new rules have “politician” written all over them. If I had a son or daughter serving our country and looking down the barrel of an enemy rifle, my advice would be to shoot first and worry about the court martial later.
And, of course, the last person you’ll ever see in combat gear, hunkered down in a foxhole while bullets fly right over head…is a politician or a lawyer. Then again, they’re already using their deadliest weapon right here at home…their pen.