Taking Lessons From the Mafia

From Ranger Against War

Murder, Incorporated

And the battle’s just begun
There’s many lost, but tell me who has won?
The trench is dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart!
–Sunday, Bloody Sunday, U2

When asked by the AP if U.S. operations against Shiite Militias would consist of targeted raids or broader military engagements, U.S. Major General William Caldwell is quoted as saying “It’ll be a combination of targeted killings and more traditional large-force operations.”

What democratic principle is embodied by the phrase “targeted killing”? Targeted killings seem a great way to stop the killing (thank you, Joseph Heller), but you don’t win hearts and minds when people are left wondering if they’re a target of this killing machine. If targeted killings are the objective, then it is safe to say our soldiers are made into contractual killers. Targeted hits are best left to the Mafia.

Soldiers are not judges, juries, nor executioners. MG Caldwell cannot administer Western justice in such a cavalier manner. Execution is not a soldierly function. Taxpayers need to call a halt to this criminal behavior.

Further, Caldwell said, “traditional large-force operations” will be used in sweeping up Baghdad. So much for the vaunted counterinsurgency qualities Lieutenant General Patraeus promised to bring to the job. Sounds like the same old soft shoe, with murder thrown into the mix.


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