Friday, January 25, 2008

The honor of the US soldier

Like most soldiers back from Iraq, I still follow the headlines of what is going on there. So I know the basics of the 'house borne IED' that killed 6 US soldiers earlier this month. But I didn't know enough.
Powerline today posted the transcript of the eulogy speech given by the unit's commander, Lt. Col Rod Coffey, Commander 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment.
For those who aren't familiar with the story, US soldiers operating in the Diyala province were lured to a house by an 'informant', who told them of a AQI weapons cache inside.
Here's Lt Col Coffey-

"It is still a natural human instinct to ask….But what did they die for? Wasn’t it a waste?
There are several answers to that question but the most basic and simple is they died for us. They entered that house so you and I wouldn’t have to. At that moment they saw it as their duty to clear that house and they acted with discipline courage and bravery. The character of our fallen heroes in the recon platoon is revealed by the actions of the living that day.

As many of you know they were essentially lured to the house by someone that we later discovered had ties to Al Qaida. One of the members of the platoon, on the roof when the blast occurred and the building collapsed -- and wounded himself -- ran down the local who had had lured them to the house ……And then when he found him, did nothing more than detain him.
That professionalism, that discipline, that honor and self-sacrifice speaks of extraordinary nobility of character in the entire platoon.

This is the standard that American forces live up to every day. Not the photos of Abu Ghraib or the loose accusations about Gitmo.

6 men dead, he himself wounded, and he had every right under the Geneva Convention to kill the 'informant' as he fled. Instead, he detained him to be processed into the legal system. Keep that in mind the next time the anti war left throws out vague accusations of war crimes.

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