Friday, 8 March 2013
The Inches That Matter
There are plenty of these kinds of videos on youtube and I usually make a point not to watch them. I’m not sure why I made that decision (I’m not in the least squeamish, blood and guts bring it on). I suppose I should be interested in the tactical minutiae of war making. But, maybe because this is the ‘glamorous’ part of war, the action, the people doing the fighting, the human side of war, it can very easily get sentimental, things become subjective – emotional. I try to avoid that.
One thing that I noted from this is the seemingly casual attitude of these marines – just another day at work I suppose. But, that casual inattention got a guy shot in the shoulder by someone they knew was a sniper. Nuff said.
Hands up, I do admittedly have a soft spot for marines (I don’t know why or where it comes from).
If this is a counterinsurgency war (the video was posted in 2010) , then the mistaken killing of non-combatants in the homestead near the target house should be considered a greater failure than the marine who got shot in the shoulder. One, a few inches saved from death, the other several feet too close. A mistake that will have strategic consequences, the worst in a counterinsurgency.