Thursday, July 24, 2003

I'm getting rather irritated at finding this theme popping up around the web (notably, in the NYT op-ed pages this morning): "It's great that Udai and Qusai are dead, but you know, it really would have been a lot better if we had captured them alive."

Yeah, no shit. I'm sure the soldiers involved in the operation were perfectly aware that their target was more valuable alive. I do not doubt that if it were possible, they would have liked to pull them kicking and screaming to the detention cell. But guess what? It didn't work out that way. It would have been nice if the man who killed a NYC Council Member yesterday had been taken alive, but guess what? It didn't work out that way. I've seen enough action movies to know that in the heat of battle, you do what you have to do to come out alive. All the armchair generals in the world busily stating the obvious are, I think, rather insulting to the men that are risking their necks out there.

I know there's some hemming and hawing about how US Forces greatly outnumbered the Brothers Grim and entourage, but I again reply, I do not doubt they would have taken them alive if they could have. Udai and Qusai aren't the surrendering type. They would have gone on shooting if there was an entire battallion stacked against them, and if the US troops were confronted with the choice of killing the brothers or sacrificing a few of their own for the capture, I'm glad they chose the former. Having them alive would have been good, but keeping our troops alive is better.


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