Gun-shy Army brass let Taliban get away

posted at 3:36 pm on September 13, 2006 by Allahpundit

Got an e-mail a little while ago from war correspondent extraordinaire Michael Yon, who pointed me towards his phenomenally depressing new column about Afghanistan with this pithy message attached:

We are going to lose that war. We are not seriously trying to win it.

And right on cue comes today’s front-page story in the New York Post. Kerry Sanders, the reporter at NBC who broke it, is blogging about it here. If it’s true — and I say “if” because there’s some question whether Taliban fighters really would dress as uniformly as they appear to be here — you could make a good case that this incident is the absolute nadir of the war on terror.

nbc-taliban.jpg

Nothing else needs to be said. Except this.

Meanwhile: Here’s a “video comment” I received this afternoon from a YouTube user in response to my CNN 9/11 clips.


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had we did bomb those terrorists at that funeral Amnesty International / ACLU / New York Times / BBC & other Liberal groups would be in mourning.

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 3:45 PM

also the U.N. would also be in mourning since they’re terrorists appeasers as well

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 3:47 PM

What I dont get is why there aren’t more conservatives doing the whole video editing thing. We have a LOT more ammunition to use if we’d just pick up the weapons.

One Angry Christian on September 13, 2006 at 3:48 PM

Apparently the filmmakers screwed up. Bush parts his hair on the left, not the right.

mikeyboss on September 13, 2006 at 3:50 PM

it just amazes me how we have the chance to kill all those terrorists & yet we can’t because the U.S. Millitary has to play by the rules. although there is this saying as well – “Rules were meant to be broken”

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 3:54 PM

i bet the liberal in this country are saying to the U.S. millitary – “ha ha ha ha ha, you can’t kill our friends in a cementary, because it’s against the rules of engagement”

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 3:57 PM

meant to say “liberals in this country,” but everyone here knows what i meant to say

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 3:59 PM

I can’t tell what the hell it is, can you?

d1carter on September 13, 2006 at 4:01 PM

d1 carter – it’s a bunch of terrorists at a funeral & the U.S. millitary can’t do nothing about it, because of the “Rules of engagement”

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 4:03 PM

but if this was U.S. Millitary funeral for a fallen solider,make no mistake that the terrorists would have killed everyone there with no remorse & the liberals in this country would be laughing & cheering for the terrorists

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 4:07 PM

Sorry guys it is in the Geneva Convention also.
1. Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 2.

2. Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.

3. In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.

Art. 53. Protection of cultural objects and of places of worship

Without prejudice to the provisions of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 14 May 1954, and of other relevant international instruments, it is prohibited: (a) to commit any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples; (b) to use such objects in support of the military effort; (c) to make such objects the object of reprisals.

Cemetaries are covered under this portion. If the Taliban had fired at the drone hey it would be fair game, otherwise it is just a massacre at a funeral like all of those wedding parties we hear about all of the time. You know innocent civillians.

LakeRuins on September 13, 2006 at 4:11 PM

9-11 victim: “Eradicate Vermin… ”

CNN Reporter . o O (Oh no, I gotta go)

******************

Hilarious, then the Pacifist CNN reporter crawls into his hole. There appear to be an Indian or Arab next in line to speak… Wonder what he had to say… ?

ar_basin on September 13, 2006 at 4:16 PM

Cemetaries are covered under this portion. If the Taliban had fired at the drone hey it would be fair game, otherwise it is just a massacre at a funeral like all of those wedding parties we hear about all of the time. You know innocent civillians.

LakeRuins on September 13, 2006 at 4:11 PM

This just goes to show that liberalism has corrupted and poisoned everything it touches. By enacting these “gay assed” rules of engagement we have effectively cut our own balls off. It’s time to “man up ” and “grow a pair”, folks. We have to put these liberals in the trunk and close the lid. Liberals would get us all killed in their vain search for “utopia”.

IN THE CHEST OF A LIBERAL, BEATS THE HEART OF A COWARD-Soothsayer

Soothsayer on September 13, 2006 at 4:18 PM

Starblazer:
I know what it is supposed to be, and I read Kerry Sanders blog when he posted it. I still can’t tell what it is! Ruthlessness is what it is going to take to defeat these idiots. Do we have the will to do what it takes? When we have Senators asking the President to not call them “bad” names, I don’t think we have it yet…

d1carter on September 13, 2006 at 4:18 PM

I still cant believe this is what passes for “artistic license” ..and as for that photo: I keep looking at it. I have had the same doubts..something about it just doesnt ring true. Maybe it is what it is …if it is, and if the story is true: We.Are.Doomed.
Michael Yon’s writings on Afghanistan have been bothering me a lot lately. Not because of what he is reporting..it is the truth of what he is reporting. We MUST get TOUGHER.

labwrs on September 13, 2006 at 4:22 PM

I recall the US blowing up a downed Helo on an Iraqi street. The downed Helo was covered with “Terrorists”, people from the surrounding neighborhood. They wanted to protect Trade Secrets.

I’m sure, “If” this is true they could have managed it, if they really wanted to do it.

Maybe an important Saudi person was on hand, “if” this is true.

ar_basin on September 13, 2006 at 4:23 PM

How do you know the minute you’ve won an argument with a liberal?

The minute they compare you (or the prez in this case) to Adolf. When they have nothing else, they pull the nazi card.

I find it quite ironic that these libs who claim to be so “educated”, compare the President of the United States to the fuhrer. No book burnings (rather, the NYT flourishes), no hauling jews and gays off to camps (rather, only foreign terrorists to Gitmo), no bombing of he Capitol and scapegoating a minority (rather, he uses kid gloves to describe the admitted enemy as Islamic Fascists), etc. etc. etc.

Sorry libs…I wouldn’t even label Jimmy Carter a Nazi.

The Bush=Hitler equation is now a lame, overused, cliche.

BirdEye on September 13, 2006 at 4:28 PM

If Bin Laden was at that funeral, would we have taken them out? Are there no men in Washington?

Valiant on September 13, 2006 at 4:34 PM

This PC shit is gonna get us killed. Just you watch.

Iblis on September 13, 2006 at 4:39 PM

couldn’t we have started bombing and strafing runs around the perimeter of the cemetary? There’s more than one way to skin a cat (sorry, cat lovers).

Fogpig on September 13, 2006 at 4:42 PM

I say screw the Geneva convention and put away the rules of engagement.Those were rules for more honored times,gentelmen’s wars if you will. The enemy we now face will follw no rules at all and kill every last one of us and our children in the quest for their Caliphate.We truly need to man up and quit playing by the Nancy Boy’s rules.The future of Western Civilization depends upon it,
This is my opinion and should in no way be considered an opinion of anything HotAir or PJM, just one man’s opinion.

bbz123 on September 13, 2006 at 4:53 PM

This PC shit is gonna get us killed. Just you watch.

Yup.

Maybe we should try fighting them with both hands tied behind our backs. And maybe we could rest our heads on one of those nice blocks.

Pablo on September 13, 2006 at 5:06 PM

Sorry guys it is in the Geneva Convention also.
1. Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 2.

2. Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.

3. In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.

Thank God we have these sacred international rules of engagement to protect the innocent. Otherwise our enemies could attack a civilian place of business and kill thousands, like the uh ….. Twin Towers.

fogw on September 13, 2006 at 5:07 PM

fogw picks up the loose puck, fakes out the defenceman, he shoots … HE SCOOOOOORESSSS!

Tony737 on September 13, 2006 at 5:19 PM

Maybe when they nuke New York we’ll finally declare war.

bdfaith on September 13, 2006 at 5:22 PM

The Geneva Conventions don’t apply to terrorists. What are we afraid of, making them hate us? OK, fine, maybe attacking that funeral would’ve “created more terrorists” in the short run, but it create terrorists less in the long run. Couldn’t we at least buzz the funeral and break it up? Scare the mohamed out of ‘em, let ‘em know we can see everything they do and there’s nowhere to hide.

Tony737 on September 13, 2006 at 5:24 PM

What I dont get is why there aren’t more conservatives doing the whole video editing thing. We have a LOT more ammunition to use if we’d just pick up the weapons.

Because we have to work.

By the way, how lame was that “video comment” you received AP? Wow, play the WWE’s Triple H’s theme music and show the still of Bush from the Bush assassination movie. Clever. Oh, of course, flashing back and forth to Hitler pics, forgot about that.

RightWinged on September 13, 2006 at 5:31 PM

… otherwise it is just a massacre at a funeral like all of those wedding parties we hear about all of the time. You know innocent civillians.

LakeRuins on September 13, 2006 at 4:11 PM

Not true. These terrorist targets are by no means innocent civilians.

Furthermore:

Sorry guys it is in the Geneva Convention also.
1. Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals. Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives as defined in paragraph 2.

The object of attack is not the cemetery. It is the people in the cementary. There would definitely be collateral damage to the cemetery, but collateral damage is not banned by the Geneva convention.

2. Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.

As someone posted earlier, these are not specifically military targets so there is the question if the Geneva Convention even applies. However, again, the object of attack are the terrorists, not the cemetary. And the Geneva convention does not ban collateral damage.

3. In case of doubt whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.

This almost applies. But, again, the cemetary is not the object of the attack.

Art. 53. Protection of cultural objects and of places of worship, etc. …

Yet again, the cemetary is not the object of attack.

Cemetaries are covered under this portion. If the Taliban had fired at the drone hey it would be fair game,

If the cemetary was the object of attack, then yes. But the cemetary is on the primary target. It is the terrorist in the cemetary.

>>>
If we continue to worry about collateral damage in any given scenario we might as well give up and place our own heads on the chopping block of Islamic Fascism.

Lawrence on September 13, 2006 at 5:38 PM

Sorry guys it is in the Geneva Convention also.
1. Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals.

Not sure I agree.

The object of attack in this specific case would’ve been the terrorists present at the scene. Of course, the MSM would’ve portrayed it quite differently, but as the MSM has a limited attention span the story would’ve only lasted 1-2 weeks.

And just think of all the money and effort that would’ve been saved on transporting their bodies to a cemetary….

Dave Shay on September 13, 2006 at 5:39 PM

The only way this story could have a happy ending is if the spy plane managed to track where the ‘mourners’ went after the funeral. Locating an unknown Talibal strong hold would provide a much better target.

IMHO, only better intelligence will result in the demise of al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.

It must have hurt to be forced to ignore such a tasty target.

DannoJyd on September 13, 2006 at 5:52 PM

If we continue to worry about collateral damage in any given scenario we might as well give up and place our own heads on the chopping block of Islamic Fascism.

Lawrence wins the thread.

RightWinged on September 13, 2006 at 6:00 PM

if the Dems win the House / Senate & even the White House we might as well convert to Islam

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 6:15 PM

Screw the Geneva Convention. Kill ‘em and pay the $50 fine.

johnnyU on September 13, 2006 at 7:26 PM

I say screw the Geneva convention and put away the rules of engagement.Those were rules for more honored times,gentelmen’s wars if you will. The enemy we now face will follw no rules at all and kill every last one of us and our children in the quest for their Caliphate.We truly need to man up and quit playing by the Nancy Boy’s rules.The future of Western Civilization depends upon it,
This is my opinion and should in no way be considered an opinion of anything HotAir or PJM, just one man’s opinion.

Let’s make that two men’s opinions ;)

thirteen28 on September 13, 2006 at 7:54 PM

The muzzies are laughin’ at us! “Those dumbass infidels! They’re so weak! We will conquer them in just a few years, allah willing. If these Republicans are their hawks, just imagine how weak they’ll be when their dove dhimmicrats win the next election.”

Let’s just hope this picture scares them back into their damn caves. Now, if you’ll excuse me I gotta go take a mohamed. Damn, I’m outta toilet paper, anybody have a koran?

Tony737 on September 13, 2006 at 9:02 PM

We’re never going to win this war if we have deal with these stupid “legalities” (that’s what I call them)

Witness the movie, “Path To 9/11″ as to why we didn’t get the bad guys before they got us.

Lady Heather on September 13, 2006 at 10:04 PM

“Let’s make that two men’s opinions ;) ”

Now make that 2 men’s a 1 woman’s opinion.

Lady Heather on September 13, 2006 at 10:06 PM

Clinton & the democrats are also responsible for 9/11 just as Bin Laden & Al-Qaeda are.

Starblazer on September 13, 2006 at 11:22 PM

Uh…BrainRuined.. since when do Taliban terrorists hiding in the mountains qualify for protection under the Geneva Convention? Am I missing something here?

Jaibones on September 13, 2006 at 11:51 PM

Strange how no one here is decrying this leak of classified information. That predator video is classified and now it’s all over the internet. Now, all those guys at that funeral know they were being watched and, if the report is true, they know something about our ROE which they can exploit.

The simple truth is we don’t know if this story is true. We have one leaked still image from a pred video (at least the leaker had the good sense to cut off the flight data). We have one leaker’s story. We don’t know who those people are and what the circumstances are, yet everyone here believes it as if it were the word of God. AP is the only one that understands – he put the proper caveats in his post.

Finally, although I have great respect for Michael Yon, I am not nearly as pessimistic as he is. This is certainly a more violent year in Afghanistan but I don’t think this represents a sea-change.

NPP on September 14, 2006 at 12:16 AM

since when do Taliban terrorists hiding in the mountains qualify for protection under the Geneva Convention? Am I missing something here?

Jaibones on September 13, 2006 at 11:51 PM

You’re missing so much, apparently, that it is futile to explain. In brief, the Geneva Convention was not set up for non-uniformed ragmuffins, nor for gangsters.

NPP, I agree with you on Afghanistan. NATO needs to get more troops in and stay focused. It’s hard to contain threatened and wounded snakes, in that territory.

Entelechy on September 14, 2006 at 12:52 AM

Make that 2 men & 2 women’s opinions.

Abigail Adams on September 14, 2006 at 9:04 AM

For Jailbones and JohnnyU you need to tell those sentiments to service members currently on trial, some facing the death penalty, for doing exactly what you suggest. In matters of warfare if a soldier is found guilty of violating the rules and laws or warfare the penalty is more often then not more then a $50 fine. It is the termination of a career, ruin of his family, and the loss of any chance at succeding out in the civillian world.
Do you remember the friendly fire incident where the Canadiens were killed? Does anybody here know what happened to the soldiers accused of desecrating the Koran at Gitmo? Nobody followed up to see what happened to those soldiers as a result of that false story but they are no longer in the service of the country and I believe at least one of them was demoted and discharged on a General Discharge rather then a Honorable.
So while it is easy for folks in armchairs to get their panties in wad the truth is the guy on the ground does not have that luxury. There is just as much chance he will end up on trial as it is he be hailed as a hero.
Liberals believe this is a legal issue and have shaped public opinion into that mode. Just look at the debate on this thread whether they could or couldn’t engage this target. The guy on the ground does not the luxury of debate, he must either act or face serious consequences which on one hand could mean being wounded or killed or the same happening to the soldiers under his command or facing charges on war crimes.
Sometimes the only rule that applies is “Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6″.

LakeRuins on September 14, 2006 at 9:58 AM

Cemetaries are covered under this portion. If the Taliban had fired at the drone hey it would be fair game, otherwise it is just a massacre at a funeral like all of those wedding parties we hear about all of the time. You know innocent civillians.

LakeRuins on September 13, 2006 at 4:11 PM
This just goes to show that liberalism has corrupted and poisoned everything it touches. By enacting these “gay assed” rules of engagement we have effectively cut our own balls off. It’s time to “man up ” and “grow a pair”, folks. We have to put these liberals in the trunk and close the lid. Liberals would get us all killed in their vain search for “utopia”.

IN THE CHEST OF A LIBERAL, BEATS THE HEART OF A COWARD-Soothsayer

Soothsayer on September 13, 2006 at 4:18 PM

FYI, the Geneva Convention was passionately promoted by one Dwight D Eisenhower to the US. Someone who might have a little bit of an idea of the hazards of war. Oh and not a liberal.

Second: put liberals in a trunk and close the lid. Gee, what would the cowardly thing to do be?

LOL

honora on September 14, 2006 at 10:00 AM

For Jailbones and JohnnyU you need to tell those sentiments to service members currently on trial, some facing the death penalty, for doing exactly what you suggest. In matters of warfare if a soldier is found guilty of violating the rules and laws or warfare the penalty is more often then not more then a $50 fine. It is the termination of a career, ruin of his family, and the loss of any chance at succeding out in the civillian world.Do you remember the friendly fire incident where the Canadiens were killed? Does anybody here know what happened to the soldiers accused of desecrating the Koran at Gitmo? Nobody followed up to see what happened to those soldiers as a result of that false story but they are no longer in the service of the country and I believe at least one of them was demoted and discharged on a General Discharge rather then a Honorable.So while it is easy for folks in armchairs to get their panties in wad the truth is the guy on the ground does not have that luxury. There is just as much chance he will end up on trial as it is he be hailed as a hero.Liberals believe this is a legal issue and have shaped public opinion into that mode. Just look at the debate on this thread whether they could or couldn’t engage this target. The guy on the ground does not the luxury of debate, he must either act or face serious consequences which on one hand could mean being wounded or killed or the same happening to the soldiers under his command or facing charges on war crimes.
Sometimes the only rule that applies is “Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6″.

LakeRuins on September 14, 2006 at 9:58 AM

When did liberals take over the military? Your assertions above all would require action by the military re the troops in question. Or are you suggesting the military is so fearful of liberals–the out of power party–that they are acting against their own principles?

honora on September 14, 2006 at 10:06 AM

When did liberals take over the military? Your assertions above all would require action by the military re the troops in question. Or are you suggesting the military is so fearful of liberals–the out of power party–that they are acting against their own principles?

honora on September 14, 2006 at 10:06 AM

It isn’t that liberals have taken over the military, but rather the military is goverened and must adhere to the same laws and rules as anybody else. Wearing the uniform of your country does not afford you any exemptions or a “Get out of Jail” free card, but rather the opposite. I recall in the 90′s when we had soldiers who had their careers ruined for writing bad checks, or receiving a DUI.
The other point is when was the last time somebody came to your workplace took a picture and put it on the front page of a newspaper or magazine?

LakeRuins on September 14, 2006 at 10:56 AM

LakeRuins: well people should have their careers ruined for writing bad checks (a felony depending on the amount of $$) or drunk driving, don’t you think? Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief, and soldier.

I am not sure I get your point re the photo bit–you’re saying that when soldiers do this sort of thing they are publicized disproportionately? Front page photo for writing a bad check?? I was not aware of that, if that is the case, that’s the worst sort of yellow journalism.

honora on September 14, 2006 at 11:27 AM

LakeRuins–if it’s not too personal a question, what is the genesis of your screenname? Kinda intriguing.

honora on September 14, 2006 at 11:29 AM

The reference to the picture on the front page is that are few professions which garner the intense media attention like the armed forces during the time of most stress, i.e., the middle of a war. Sure highly paid athletes and entertainers make the cover but you don’t see a whole lot CPA’s or bank tellers on the cover and there isn’t somebody lurking over their shoulder to question their every move.
LakeRuins comes from a nickname I have for the ‘ol homestead, and if you ever saw my Honey Do list you would understand.

LakeRuins on September 14, 2006 at 11:54 AM

The reference to the picture on the front page is that are few professions which garner the intense media attention like the armed forces during the time of most stress, i.e., the middle of a war. Sure highly paid athletes and entertainers make the cover but you don’t see a whole lot CPA’s or bank tellers on the cover and there isn’t somebody lurking over their shoulder to question their every move.
LakeRuins comes from a nickname I have for the ‘ol homestead, and if you ever saw my Honey Do list you would understand.

LakeRuins on September 14, 2006 at 11:54 AM

You make a good point. I don’t know the answer though. Good luck with your chores!!!!

honora on September 14, 2006 at 12:00 PM

I have a huge issue with releasing such sensitive information to the media.

In addition, call me ‘crazy’ but this just doesn’t look like a Muslim funeral. It looks more like a ‘strategic’ meeting in a cemetary.

Entelechy on September 14, 2006 at 1:38 PM

It would not be an attack on the cemeteries, but an attack on the terrorists in those cemeteries. What better opportunity? The Taliban were there.

Who wrote this “rules of engagement”? Jamie “The Wall” Gorelick?

doingwhatican on September 15, 2006 at 3:55 AM