Sunday, January 21, 2007

Shoot first and ask questions later?

Five G.I.'s died when fired on by Iraqis who were dressed in Iraqi military uniforms and driving a vehicle that appeared to be a diplomatic car, so that the U.S. soldiers might have dropped their guard, mistaking its occupants for American dignitaries. As a result, real diplomatic cars are now suspect, so don't be surprised if our troops kill a few of our own statesmen in the coming weeks.

Questions: How do you fight such an enemy? How can you blame our troops for being trigger-happy? How do you train our soldiers, or Iraqi soldiers, to avoid such attacks, while still following orders to patrol hostile neighborhoods? How do Iraqis avoid even the slightest appearance of insurgency, when any move--speeding toward or avoiding a roadblock because it might be kidnappers; driving too fast; driving too slow; not following U.S. soldiers' commands (in English) instantly; etc.--could lead to being shot by our troops?

This quagmire isn't just Bush's. It's an ugly mess for our troops, the Iraqi civilians and army and police. It's our second-worst nightmare, second only to the dreaded "ground war in Asia"--and it's catching up fast.

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