Tenacious D school

Marines don’t fuck softly:

A marine testified on Wednesday that he urinated on the bloody remains of one of five unarmed Iraqi men in Haditha whom his squad leader fatally shot in late 2005 moments after a roadside bomb had killed one of their comrades.

The marine, Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, said at a hearing here that he had acted in anger over the death of Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, known as T.J., whose convoy was hit by a bomb planted by Sunni Arab insurgents.

“I know it was a bad thing what I done, but I done it because I was angry T.J. was dead,” Sergeant Dela Cruz said in a monotone.

I don’t blame the Marines. Not for a second. They’re in an impossible position, an impossible position which the president has cruelly inserted them in the name of his idiotic nation-building project. There’s just no way you can realistically expect heavily armed soldiers to meekly endure losses over an extended period of time without enacting reprisals.

Soldiers aren’t policemen, social etiquette is not a primary component of military discipline and minor atrocities of this sort not only have always happened in war, they will always happen in war. You can’t use killing machines to win popularity contests, which is one of the reasons that the Iraqi Occupation has failed.

The jihadists are wisely using the American military’s superior force against it, in much the same way that a judo black belt uses his opponent’s aggressive momentum to provide the force required to flip him. Simply applying more force is not going to solve the problem.

The Marines have a saying: Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome. In this case, withdrawing from Iraq and having a good solid strategic think before the next engagement would be an integral part of applying the second part of that program.

UPDATE: Even Powerline appears to be beginning to grow skeptical about the wisdom of continued occupation:

It is true that the surge is not complete. But it sounds like the additional forces will concentrate on the outskirts of Baghdad. Though it’s possible that progress there will bring benefits to Baghdad, it seems at least as likely that what we’re seeing now in Baghdad is roughly what we will get during the remainder of the year.

The question becomes whether this sort of progress — an end to Shia expansion, significant reductions in sectarian violence, but continued high levels of terrorist attacks and the continued loss of 50 to 100 American lives per month — will be sufficient to make the war politically sustainable in the U.S. The answer, I believe, is no. Under the scenario I’ve sketched (which, to be sure, cannot be said at this point to be the only possible outcome), the war will continue to lose support and, except in very red states, so will Republicans who still back it.

2008 is shaping up to be very, very ugly indeed for Republicans. That’s what you get for your vaunted pragmatism, folks. Well done. Now, do try to remember this the next time someone starts up with the whole pragmatic thing again.