Courage under fire.
From the New York Times
In one widely recounted incident, a force of about 20 guerrillas charged a Marine armored patrol head on. Only about eight survived the first devastating round of fire, but they got up and charged again.
This is an ominous sign. To the historian, such behavior brings to mind the ever-present banzai charges in the Pacific campaign of WWII. This type of tenacity, of course, made invading and assaulting Japan so distasteful that the decision was eventually made to use atomic weaponry. I cannot imagine the same result here, but it is likely that such attacks--as well as less dramatically courageous guerilla action--may spur commanders, if only locally, to indulge in a less soccer-mom-friendly mode of warfare within populated areas. This in turn, historical example suggests, can lead to increased antipathy towards U.S. forces from the local population.
Striking a balance between maintaining certain moral standards and successfully fighting a war is as old as war itself. There are no simple answers for Gen. Franks and company. However, it would benefit this country on a great many fronts to be able to capture not only Baghdad but the moral high ground as well.
comments powered by Disqus
- Smithsonian launches campaign to raise $10 million for women’s history initiative
- Trump Was Not Always So Linguistically Challenged
- 75th anniversary of the World War 2 black uprising that the American public never heard about
- Longest serving governor in U.S. history to resign after confirmation as Trump's ambassador to China
- Did the First Human Ancestor Emerge in Europe, Not Africa?
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?