Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Times That Try Men's Souls

So should I have linked the torture and killing of our two soldiers with the report that the press and terrorism have a symbiotic relationship?

Truly, our rare crimes get far more condemnation than the enemy policy of always committing atrocities.

And there is a peril if our troops react to the torture and murder of their comrades by turning against the Iraqi people in general, seeing all of them as potential murderers. Have no doubt that our enemies would get the better out of the press coverage if our troops committed more crimes as a result of this latest outrage even as the enemy continues on business-as-usual with atrocities against civilians and soldiers alike.

First, this would push neutrals to the enemy side of the ledger and push friendlies to neutrality. Our enemy would be happy to see this happen. We've been doing the opposite with success and if we can keep this up, Iraqi soldiers and police will win this war for us and give democracy a chance to take root and grow in Iraq.

Second, as a result, our anti-war side at home would begin to abandon their at-least-official mantra of supporting the troops while opposing the war. I've worried that in time they would turn on the troops as well.

So our troops have a duty to behave with the professionalism and honor we expect them to display every day in the most trying of circumstances. As hard as it must be, our soldiers and Marines must fight with restraint amidst a population that cannot be judged on sight as friendly, indifferent, or enemy. Fight and kill armed enemies ruthlessly. But don't make the situation worse by killing them all and letting Allah sort them out.