Friday, August 25, 2006

Iraq - "Have a Plan to Kill Everyone You Meet"

1.) Be polite,
2.) Be professional
3.) Have a plan to kill everyone you meet

These are words from the wall of the Marine base in Barwana, Iraq (NY Times Magazine, August 20, 2006, page 37).

How can anyone say that we are the saviors of Iraq, when everyone is a potential enemy?

What gives us the right to intervene now in the struggles for power there?

How benevolent are we?

We certainly help create a more extensive terrorist network throughout Islamic Communities in many countries by consistently alienating many through our actions in Iraq, in Lebanon-Israel-Palestine and elsewhere.

Our "benevolence" seems strangely tied to "strategic interests" - e.g. oil in the Middle East and the money to be made by many U.S. and multi-national business interests. "Democracy" as I think of it seems irrelevant when what it really means is how can we and our allies profit generally at the expense of the poor of Third World Countries as well as the United States.

We are destroying the lives of many in the Middle East through our actions and inactions. We also are destroying the lives of many idealistic young people and their families in our country who are killed, injured and traumatized by their experiences in Iraq.

I try to trust everyone I meet. I try to be supportive of everyone I meet.



Jason Christopher Hartley said...


This admonition, "Be polite, be professional, have a plan to kill everyone you meet", is the best way I have yet seen to articulate what a soldier in Iraq must do to have any measure of success, both morally and militarily. Iraq is a clusterfuck and we should have never invaded. However, the troops who are there still have to deal with the shit sandwhich the best they can and neither pure idealism (trust everyone) nor pure destruction (kill everyone) are production philosophies. I served in Iraq for a year as an infantryman in the Sunni Triangle and it was not uncommon for me to be on missions alongside Iraqi policemen who were known insurgents. For strategic reasons it was more advantageous to not immediately 'out' ours enemies within our own ranks in certain situations. My command knew that when playing your cards, sometimes you bluff, sometimes you fold, and sometimes you pre-emptively shoot Greedo under the table. Contemplate this for a moment. Your enemy and your allies look the same, and in some cases, they are the same. The theory behind loyalties and the appearance of loyalties are complex in Iraq. There's a calculus to it, but to the Western outsider, it seems absurd, but to the Iraqis, there's a perfect method to the madness. In a nutshell, the pursuit of station and/or money could pull any individual Iraqi man in a Mandelbrot-like set of various directions, something not easy for US analysts to predict or to contain.

I challenge you to come up with an aphorism for the troops more effective than the one you criticize.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Jason. You a truly living in hippie tardland if you think trusting a pregnant woman with a bomb strapped to her back is going actually accomplish anything.

I think that motto applies to all people in harm's way. And in reality, it applies to everyone in or out of harm's way. Darwin doesn't fuck around. And happy happy joy joy won't save you for being dead.

Avarice said...

This phrase is actually a reference to the game "team fortress 2", specifically the 'meet the sniper' video.
Te end result of transferring fantasy to reality in this instance is, is anyone's guess.

Anonymous said...

*sigh*. It's the other way around, jackass. Get it straight.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing in the world is Barney Fife with a bullet in his gun. “Oh God! I might have to kill him!” The correct response is this: “I think I’m going to have to kill this guy. I knew it might come to this some day.” By completely accepting the possibility, you maintain control of yourself and are better able to deter your opponent. Deterrence is something that law enforcement officers do over and over as peacekeepers in the streets of America, and it is something that soldiers do in the volatile streets of foreign lands. When people know that warriors are present, they slow their cars, they do not rob convenience stores, and they are less likely to commit deadly acts in the name of politics and religion. Warriors daunt and deter. Their very presence can save lives and stop killing.

-Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, On Combat

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can see you have no clue about the real world. Long before anyone went over there, they were already butchering people. With that said, you have no nothing about tactics as well.