Saturday, November 08, 2003

Biting the Hand that Feeds You 

Here's yet another story about the punishment of those that protect us. This colonel scared an Iraqi policeman into telling him the details of an ambush by pretending to shoot him, firing a gun near his head. The ambush was foiled, but as no good deed can go unpunished in America today, he is now being court-martialed for what he did.

First, of course, this is pretty good proof that the charges of people like Al Jazeera regarding our "occupation" and our "brutal onslaught" are not being honest with us. The fact that we are willing to look into a matter like this, regardless of the outcome, make charges of brutal occupation tactics ring pretty hollow. All that Iraqi policeman got was a good scare, but we're worried about it.

And second, a point that goes beyond the Iraqi situation or the military: if we're going to ask people to do jobs as difficult as being in the military, or police, or doctors or anyone who's got to do difficult and dangerous jobs where people's lives are on the line, we've got to start cutting them some slack. I'm not advocating letting real corruption or incompetence go unaddressed, but every time anyone in a job like this makes a mistake or even just does someting unorthodox like this colonel did, someone's there waiting to make a political point or a big barrel of money or both at their expense. There's a lot of leeches out there in our society, and the sooner we realize that all those trial lawyers and politicians looking to score points over something like this, and even so-called "human rights advocates" who will get worked up every time we get a little stern, but turn a blind eye to Hussein or Castro, or even allow themselves to become the puppets of dictators, are just that- leeches. Time to get out the salt.

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