War is Hell and Hysterical Laughter

If you hear someone laughing very loud and out of control that may be me.  I just read how the brother of al Qaeda‘s second-in-command, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike recently, said Washington’s use of the remote-controlled weapons is inhumane and makes a nonsense of its claims to champion human rights. Source: Yahoo News.com

Al Qaeda’s surviving leaders must be pissed that the US doesn’t have the same rules of engagement we had to obey in Vietnam—a war the US lost after fighting there with overwhelming fire power for more than a decade.

I’m sure that Sun Tzu would scoff at anyone that applied rules to war and combat.  In Vietnam we were told not to return fire when fired upon unless we saw who was shooting at us.  If you haven’t been in combat in a jungle or on a river being shot at from a jungle, you may have no idea that it is impossible to see who is shooting at you.

In addition, no one sees the IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) buried under the ground that kill or wound our troops and many times innocent civilians including children.

In my opinion, I find it absurd that anyone willing to blow up people (mostly noncombatants) by using human bombs would even mention human rights violations and complain about U.S. drone strikes.

All is fair in love and war, which means we kill them before they kill us any way possible and if a few innocent people die, well, General Sherman knew what he was talking about at the end of the Civil War when he said “War is hell!”

If you want to win at war you must have the stomach for what that “hell” means—otherwise, hell will eventually visit its wrath on those that champion human rights in a time of war.  For example, if President Lincoln had not sent General Sherman on his famous scorched earth march to the sea across the Confederate States where all kinds of human rights were violated, the Confederacy might still have slavery and the United States would be minus thirteen stars on its flag.

Discover more of The Art of War from Sun Tzu

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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War—the Waiting

Fear can be like a bone chewing pit-bull full of worry that will not let go.  For LBJ, after he was out of the White House, I believe his fear came from guilt. Years ago, I read a review about a book written by one of the Secret Service agents that guarded LBJ on his ranch after he left the White House.  This agent wrote that LBJ had a chapel on the ranch where the 36th President went daily to pray. The agent reported that LBJ talked a lot about dying. I think LBJ wanted to die—his way to escape the people he gifted with death, those that haunted him.

Waiting for something to happen is worse than when it happens. During the first Gulf War when the older Bush was President, most Americans, through the media, had an up-close view of war at its best and that image was misleading.

Wars seldom work as well as that one did—with so few causalities and so many quick kills and victories leading to the gates of Bagdad where GWB’s dad knew when to stop.  This morning, I read a great piece written by Christopher Torchia, an Associated Press reporter. In  “Afghanistan battle shows war rarely fought to plan“, Torchia captured the atmosphere of warriors waiting.

It reminded me that when a night patrol, an ambush or a field operation came along, most of us wanted to get outside the safety of the barbed wire so bad, we drew straws hoping to get the short one—the one that would put us in harm’s way.

Discover Before PTSD, it was called Combat Fatigue or Shell Shock

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

Trained Killers

That was me in 1966, a trained killer. That was what I was trained to do at MCRD—to kill the enemy and not fight him—but to destroy him or her.

When I read the title, The Threat From Within, Some soldiers become murderers by Jim Frederick, Time Magazine, February 22, 2010; my first thought was that this issue was more complicated than that.

I read the piece, and then looked up the author’s bio. I saw no mention that Frederick served in the military or in a combat zone as a member of the military. No matter how many military men he interviewed or how much research he did, Frederick will never understand what it is like to be the hunter or hunted in a combat zone and what it does to that person.

The Threat From Within never mentions PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I have a PTSD VA rated disability from serving in combat in Vietnam in 1966. When I was in Vietnam, I knew men who did horrible things probably driven by PTSD.  Current research shows that PTSD causes permanent brain damage. I’m sure that the reason the military handles incidents that would appear to be crimes in a civilian world the way they do, is because the officers know the horrible blood price that comes with winning a war and many people like Jim Frederick do not.

Frederick indicates that the military should find a way to root out these potentially dangerous individuals so these types of killings do not take place. It’s bad enough that our soldiers are put in harm’s way with rules that do not allow them to shoot unless they see the shooter with weapon in hand. They did that to us in Vietnam and America lost that war.

After years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and a military stretched to the breaking point, if every solider damaged by PTSD were pulled from combat, there wouldn’t be enough troops left to accomplish winning a war America cannot afford to lose. Consider that Al-Qaida and their allies have sworn the utter and total destruction of our entire civilization.

In war, the military has a job to do. If that means sending partially damage troops into combat still capable of fighting and killing, that’s what’s done.

From history, we learned that great military minds like Alexander the Great understood that war is hell and must be fought as if the battlefield is hell itself. America fought like that in World War II and won. In a war zone, there are no innocent people no matter what the media prints or says and only ignorant people and fools support putting limits on our troops doing their job. Even in the Korean conflict, the harsh reality of war existed.

If the rules that our troops fight under today existed during World War II, America would have lost and eventually been split between Japan and Germany.  If you lived in the West, the flag to salute would have a rising sun and in the east a swastika.

In my opinion—Jim Frederick and people that think like him are ignorant fools. Let them have their say and politely ignore them.

Discover The Public Image of PTSD and the Vietnam Veteran

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”