Dayan wouldn’t be surprised

The American marine who is being threatened by his kidnappers with beheading had deserted the military because he was emotionally traumatized, and was abducted by his captors while trying to make his way home to his native Lebanon, a Marine officer said Tuesday. The officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he believed that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun was betrayed by Iraqis he befriended on his base and ended up in the hands of Islamic extremists.

The officer said Corporal Hassoun, a 24-year-old Marine linguist who was born in Lebanon, was shaken up after he saw one of his sergeants blown apart by a mortar shell.”It was very disturbing to him,” the officer said. “He wanted to go home and quit the game, but since he was relatively early in his deployment, that was not going to happen anytime soon. So he talked to some folks on base he befriended, because they were all fellow Muslims, and they helped sneak him off. Once off, instead of helping him get home, they turned him over to the bad guys.”

The Israeli general Moseh Dayan was once asked what made him so successful. “Fighting Arabs”, he is said to have replied. Hassoun’s desertion would seem to suggest that even the USMC can’t make warriors out of them. A Marine deserting? I can’t even imagine what my Marine grandfather would have to say about that. I think he’d be torn between leaving the guy to his fate and, as he liked to say, giving the guy a fair trial and hanging him.

In World War II the 442nd Regiment (of American-born Japanese Nisei) were sent to fight in Europe because it was considered unwise to put them under the psychological stress of fighting the Japanese. They acquitted themselves heroically, taking tremendous losses in rescuing the surrounded Lost Battalion and ended up as one of the most decorated units of the war. So, it’s not a new problem and it should hardly come as a surprise to learn that using foreign-born Muslim troops to fight other Muslims in a Muslim country doesn’t work out well.

This is yet another suggestion that this administration is hopeless when it comes to war-fighting. Foreign auxilaries can certainly be useful, but not within your own elite units.