The United States Marines, America’s best and bravest, are about to land in the Town of Marja, southern Afghanistan. The news is already out. Meetings have gone on for weeks to alert the Marja townspeople. The tribal elders know about it. It’s in the Los Angeles Times. It’s all over Afghanistan. Hell and the entire World know it. And the Taliban Soldiers of Allah know it.
The Marines have been instructed not to shoot back if there are civilians in the line of fire. Protecting Afghanistan civilians’ lives must count for more than American lives. It’s CIC Barack Obama and General Stanley McChrystal’s standing order. The Taliban will probably position themselves among civilians. Or they may just run away, re-group and come back later. Knowing the invasion is coming they’ve had months to mine the terrain with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), like the one that sent my nephew home from his first Iraq tour with a Purple Heart. This is no way to win a War – not any War I ever heard of.
The Los Angeles Times’ Tony Perry and Laura King have the story here:
“Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan — Heading into battle to seize a Taliban stronghold, U.S. Marines are keenly aware of one factor that could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory: Afghan civilian casualties.
Deaths of noncombatants in clashes involving Western troops and insurgents are one of the bitterest points of contention between President Hamid Karzai and his foreign allies. So in the weeks leading up to the imminent offensive to take the Helmand River Valley town of Marja in southern Afghanistan, the Marines’ commander, Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, sat with dozens of Afghan tribal elders, drinking endless cups of sweet tea and offering reassurances that his top priority will be the safety of Afghan civilians…
… The Marja operation has been publicized for months by the Marines. One reason Nicholson has taken that unusual step is to give civilians plenty of warning, decreasing the chances they will be caught in crossfire…”
The Afghanistan front in this World War is a guerilla war, an “insurgency”, as it’s been called. The enemy wears no uniform. He lives among the non-combatants and dresses as they do. The Soviets invaded there once. Remember?
The United States Revolutionary War was a guerilla War. The Brits had the best equipped standing Army in the World. They lost to Washington’s rag-tag Continental Army and the militias.
Don’t get me wrong, here. I’m not any kind of pacifist. I come from a family with a U.S. military history that goes clear back to the Civil War. The United States Marine Corps is the finest fighting unit in the history of the World. But it was not created to act as a civilian police department in a Muslim State. This whole strategy is tantamount to putting a full-page announcement in The L.A. Times that the cops are about to do a big drug raid on a house full of dope and automatic weapons, complete with the address of the targeted house. You tell me what would happen next.