UPDATE: Shooting the wounded Iraqi insurgent

Split-second decision making and the consequences of an unengaged audience

David Tanner:

Our troops are faced with an ambiguous enemy. They don’t wear uniforms nor are they distinguishable from innocent civilians in any other immutable way. Their methods of attack are incomprehensible compared to historical standards of warfare. They have no reverence for the bodies of their fallen comrades and hold no qualms over detonating explosive devices they have placed within the rotting corpses of their confederates if it means taking one of our soldier’s lives. Who of us, sitting in the comfort of our homes in front of our televisions or behind a newsdesk in front of a camera, can judge the actions of one of our troops faced with such an opposition? I know I can’t, and I’m almost positive that if you are reading this neither can you.

He has many links to coverage, including one to Editors in Pajamas which shows us the Earth-2 Director’s Cut Dance Remix (by Shep Pettibone) of the incident.

I don’t understand why so many are shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you!) about this.

UPDATE: Okay. Now I’ve really seen it all. Hugh Hewitt notes it, but I have trouble believing it.

Chris Matthews really said this?

“Well, let me ask you about this. If this were the other side, and we were watching an enemy soldier —a rival, I mean they’re not bad guys especially, just people who just disagree with us, they are in fact the insurgents, fighting us in their country– if we saw one of them do what we saw our guy do to that guy, would we consider that worthy of a war crimes charge?”

I’m going to ignore for the moment Matthews’ question and I’m going to focus on the rival/enemy/bad guy thing for a moment.

I tell my son repeatedly that the Dallas Cowboys are NOT the “enemies” of the Washington Redskins (my favorite NFL team). They’re our “rivals”.

I tell my son repeatedly that the Detroit Red Wings are NOT the “bad guys” just because they beat our favorites, the Colorado Avalanche, so often. They are just our “rivals”.

So I will be God-damned if I’m going to equate the enemies of our nation’s military as “rivals”. I don’t mean to simply curse, here. I mean that I risk being condemned to an eternity in Hell if I raise my children to think such things.

This moral-equivalence thing is kaput. Statements like this have ruined whatever value it may have once had.

Someone I know personally told me that he thought Chris Matthews was probably one of the best news show hosts out there and encouraged me to give him a chance. I’m now encouraging him to tell me why.

I am questioning the patriotism and the national loyalty of anyone who tries to play such banal games. No exaggeration. I am calling Chris Matthews’ patriotism and loyalty to America into question. Point blank.