A novel idea: in war, kill the enemy

Ralph Peters, of course:

With Iraqi society decomposing — or, at best, reverting to a medieval state with cell phones — the debate in Washington over whether to try to save the day by deploying more troops or withdrawing some is of secondary relevance. What really matters is what our forces are ordered — and permitted — to do. With political correctness permeating our government and even the upper echelons of the military, we never tried the one technique that has a solid track record of defeating insurgents if applied consistently: the rigorous imposition of public order.

That means killing the bad guys. Not winning their hearts and minds, placating them or bringing them into the government. Killing them. If you’re not willing to lay down a rule that any Iraqi or foreign terrorist masquerading as a security official or military member will be shot, you can’t win.

One thing seems clear enough — killing them can’t generate a worse result than trying to win their hearts and minds in the way we have been doing.

4 Responses to “A novel idea: in war, kill the enemy”

  1. gs Says:

    Peters’ closing paragraphs are searing:

    Our “humanity” is cowardice masquerading as morality….We’re blind to the fundamental moral travesty in Iraq (and elsewhere): Spare the killers in the name of human rights, and you deprive the overwhelming majority of the population of their human rights. Instead of being proud of ourselves for our “moral superiority,” we should be ashamed to the depths of our souls…We’re not really the enemy of the terrorists, militiamen and insurgents. We’re their enablers….Any code of ethics that squanders the lives of tens of thousands and the future of millions so we can “claim the moral high ground” is hypocrisy worthy of the Europeans who made excuses for the Holocaust.

    Peters has identified the war crimes for which Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be tried if things continue as they are going.

    The focus of Peters’ column is humanitarian, but he surely knows that the situation is even graver than he describes: he does not discuss the role of Iran.

  2. Richard Cook Says:


    Get off the kool aid.

  3. gs Says:

    Get off the kool aid.

    That phrase can signal a busy, tough-minded, savvy, impatient realist…who can’t be expected to, you know, respond to the point he dismisses.

    Maybe my comment was too hard on George “Mission Accomplished” Bush, Dick “Greeted as Liberators” Cheney, and Don “Stuff Happens” Rumsfeld. Maybe. After all, no President or Union general was tried for the failure to enforce civil rights in the South after the Civl War.

    But it would sure be interesting if Iraq beat the odds and became a stable democracy–and called for their extradition because of the things Peters writes about.

  4. gs Says:

    My previous comment said, After all, no President or Union general was tried for the failure to enforce civil rights in the South after the Civl War.

    Actually, if my memory and Wikipedia are reliable (ha!), Andrew Johnson’s refusal to do that very thing was a key driver of the Radical Republicans’ decision to impeach him (although the legalistic rationale was Johnson’s dismissal of the Secretary of War).


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