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Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Our Proper Role is Resumed
There is a new development in the world, something that hasn't happened for about sixty years or so. Marines in Kuwait have been killing people that have been shooting at them as they travel on public roads. It appears that not only have the rules of engagement changed, but the typical Status of Forces Agreement is not in effect in Kuwait. My Marines are killers again, and this is a good thing.
When I was on active duty, and for most of the years since then, and for most of the years after WWII, when Marines visited other nations that we were not at war with, they were very restricted in how they carried and used weapons. When the Marine Barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim fanatics in the early eighties, it was because the Marine sentries were not allowed to carry loaded weapons. The Marine Corps' reaction to this failure to protect itself was to issue an order that all weapons carried by Marines at any time were required to be loaded. I was a second lieutenant at the time and I was amazed that this was a new requirement.

But that was it. The use of those weapons was still very restricted, especially in other nations.

Now, in Kuwait we hear reports of Marines traveling on public roads being shot at by snipers. The Marines not only fire back, but chase down their attackers and kill them. In one incident, they fired at their attackers, probably killing them, and then continued on their way without pausing. In none of these reports do we hear of the local police or military being informed or involved until after the dust had long settled, if at all.

I suppose this new development is because we are no longer restrained by fear of Mutually Assured Destruction from the no longer existing USSR. There is one major military power in this world and it is spearheaded by Marines.

My Marines can now kill those that threaten or attack them. No longer are we Diplomats in Green, Caterers to Starving Populations, Habitat for Humanity with Helmets, or Border Guards with Amphibious Tractors. We are again killers, honed to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy with fire and manuever or repel his assault with fire and close combat.

I'm happy because oppressive, murderous Islamic peoples are being killed, and my beloved Marine Corps is at the forefront of doing the killing. I wish I could be there.