|War is Hell
|Jerry R Curry
|Major General US Army Retired
War is violence, killing, death and destruction.
It should be resorted to as a very … very … last resort, when all else
has failed. The United States should never embark on a war unless it is
willing to win it in as short a time as possible.
You don’t amputate a shattered leg one inch today, another tomorrow, and
another inch the following day. You amputate it below the groin in one
operation, getting the trauma over with as quickly as possible so the
healing can begin.
Here’s how this applies. The president
wants to pacify Baghdad, He turns to his military commander and says,
“You are in charge of Iraq, not the State Department. The American
ambassador and all representatives of all other departments of the U.S.
Government operating in Iraq take orders directly from you, not after
they’ve cleared your orders with their bosses in Washington. Anyone who
refuses your orders will immediately be put on a plane and returned to
the U.S.” Use whatever force is necessary and if you require additional
troops, the Secretary of Defense will supply them.”
What are the rules of engagement and what do I mean by “whatever force
is necessary?” If a terrorist fires at our soldiers with a rifle, they
should return fire with a machinegun. If they fire at us with a rocket
launcher, we return fire with a tank gun. If a terrorist sniper in a
window kills one of our soldiers, we aim a tank gun at a place about one
meter below the window sill, fire one round and take out the sniper,
wall and all. Of course we have to accept the fact that the
anti-American mainstream news media and Washington elites will spin our
actions to make us out to be the terrorists and make the terrorists out
to be saintly, freedom fighter patriots.
Too often events are misunderstood or misinterpreted, often by those who
For example, for years the Abu Ghraib fiasco has been limping toward an
ignominious end. Abu Ghraib is the Iraqi prison that was taken
over by U.S. Forces at the end of the war and used to intern terrorists.
Some of the American guards decided to have perverse fun at the
prisoners’ expense. So they used police dogs in fake assaults on the
prisoners. Other guards humiliated the prisoners by doing such things as
parading them around naked.
Guantanamo is a U.S. military base in Cuba where a prison to house
terrorists has been built. The basic charge there is that the terrorists
are not treated humanely. An investigation by the United Nations
concluded that while the treatment of inmates was not torture in the
legal or normal sense, the conditions under which they were held could
be misconstrued by some as “amounting to torture.” Webster’s dictionary
defines torture as, “The infliction of intense pain (as from burning,
crushing, or wounding).” None of that happened to prisoners at either
Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. Accusations of torture at either facility are
without a basis in fact. Abuse and harsh interrogation tactics are not
the same as torture. Water boarding may be scary, but it’s not life
The chief job of the President of the United States is to protect the
American people, not coddle terrorists who go around beheading innocent women and children. Were I president and were
there a nuclear bomb hidden somewhere in Manhattan and about to explode
and should I be faced with the choice of saving fifty thousand American
lives by water boarding the terrorist who planted the bomb, I’d
personally turn on the spigot. That’s what the American people deserve
and what they expect from their leaders.
Torture consists of such things as pulling out fingernails with pliers,
cutting off ears and toes, applying electrical shocks or blowtorches to
genitals or gouging out eyes. We do not and should not torture, period.
Being nude or threatened but not harmed by a dog or water is not torture
in any sense or definition of the word. Taking pictures of naked
prisoners may be humiliating and is certainly wrong and improper, but it
is not burning, crushing or wounding. Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib
are necessary and, for the most part, properly run detention centers and
cannot be compared to the horrors of Auschwitz or Dachau.
The overplayed stories told about prisoner conditions and maltreatment
at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo do not just reflect on the conduct of the
few soldiers who broke the law. They reflect on the honor, integrity and
international reputation of the American military and of the United
States of America as a whole.
For the record we investigated the allegations, got the facts, corrected
what needed to be corrected and punished those who deserved punishing.
But we should make no apologies to terrorists caught in the act of
attacking, murdering, and beheading innocents.
What we are trying to do in Iraq is to bring freedom, security and
stability to an oppressed people. That is a good thing to do even if,
unfortunately, some of our actions went wrong and a few of our soldiers
broke the law.
Let the country whose armed forces or national
government has never broken a law or done a wrong thing cast the first
stone at us. Until then, we should refuse to listen to the misplaced
whining of weak, overly ambitious politicians – national and
international -- and malignant special interest groups, or to grovel at
the feet of self-serving elites. What happened - happened. It’s been
fixed and punishment has been meted out. Now let’s move on!