How Anti-Soldier Lawyers Banned a Kind of Ambush

(File photo of Navy Recon Doc Michael Conti firing a sniper rifle in training).

(File photo of Navy Recon Doc Michael Conti firing a sniper rifle in training).

Two men from the IED cell padded silently down the road. Abdul and Roshanullah had two 107mm rocket warheads, a cell-phone detonator, and detailed instructions, including a sketch map of their emplacement point. The rest of their cell waited for them to return.

At a point where the road crossed a filled area, the two HIG men — many Afghans changed allegiances more frequently than their shalwar kameez, but once you were Gulbuddin Hekmatayar’s man, you were always Gulbuddin’s man — slipped down the side of the fill to the mouth of the culvert. This one hadn’t been fitted with a grating yet, but even if it had, they had been prepared.

There was just enough starlight for Abdul to see Roshan’s grin. This was going to be easy! First, the blessing: “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem,” In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful…

High on a hill facing the culvert, nearly half a mile away, a sniper team leader whispered, “Send ’em.”

The wind was fortuitously towards the hill, and at the culvert, all that there was to hear was the thwack of bullet impacts. Then one of the men — Roshanullah, not grinning any more — groaned and moved.

Thwack. 

All was still.

An hour before sunrise it was visibly getting light in the valley, and the five armed men who came down the road moved from cover to cover, nervously. They were breaking every tactical rule that had kept them alive this long, but their leader wanted to lay his own eyes and hands on the IED team.

They all died within the span of one and a half seconds. With five targets, both snipers, the spotters, and the team leader had all taken one. That was breaking a tactical rule too, but the difference was, the rulebreaking worked for the ISAF snipers. They recovered their 360º observation as soon as the shots were sent, also.

The team met the road clearance unit for a ride into the FOB. Intelligence collected from the dead laid bare the workings of the cell, and the telephone carried by the deceased IED cell leader allowed the Afghan NDS to identify two key HIG facilitators; one fled to Peshawar and the protection of ISI, but the other was reputed to be singing like a canary.

It was a successful operation until the Staff Judge Advocate spoke up, taking, as usual, the side of the enemy, and demanded the snipers be charged with war crimes — for shooting armed unlawful combatants carrying out combat operations!

Believe it or not, Army lawyers have defined this tactic as a “baited ambush” and have worked hard, if not to make it a “war crime,” at least to create a grey area in which it is the slightly less felonious “violation of the laws of war” and possibly a “war crime.” Lawyers, of course, love grey areas which take decisions out of the hands of decision-makers and deliver them, instead, to the captivity of cabals of, what else, lawyers.

For example, Army judge advocate LTC Chris Jenks — clearly, from his writing, the sort of SJA who joined the Army for personal gain, hostile to the guys with guns who make up the actual Army part of the Army — wrote in The Army Lawyer1 that this tactic “comes close to, if not enters, the law of war violation continuum….”2

Certainly this is an example of why it is impossible to win a war without first staking out the enemy’s fifth columnists, to wit, about 95% of SJAs, on culverts like the ones in our hypothetical, and letting the enemy have their way with them.

Jenks also doesn’t think the troops should enjoy a victory:

Members of the unit filmed the artillery strike and can be heard laughing and cheering, which presents additional challenges to a command.3

One gets the impression that his spectator sport is golf or tennis, not football or hockey. And he grew up in the age of scoreless soccer, and participation trophies.

Jenks makes a few clumsy gropes in the direction of understanding military necessity, a concept he, not surprisingly, has not picked up by osmosis merely by donning a bestowed uniform bearing an unearned rank. But he still concludes that hunting over bait is outside of the fish and game regulations of scoreless-soccer SJA war:

Ultimately, in the absence of an armistice or suspension of fire, engaging combatants attempting to recover their dead and wounded is not a per se violation of the law of war, but utilizing known—or even suspected—enemy wounded and dead as “bait” for such targeting enters the continuum and, at some point, will constitute a violation of article 15.

(The reference is to Article 15 of the First Geneva Convention of 1949). Jenks continues:

The more time that passes following the engagement, the closer the engagement is to U.S. forces, and the more control U.S. forces have over the “field of battle,” the more likely the failure to search for enemy wounded and dead becomes to violating the Geneva Convention.4

We bet we can guess what Scoreless Chris Jenks thinks about whether pirates should be held hostis humanae generis or treated with kid gloves in Article 3 courts, just based on the way he reasons himself into coming down on the side of our hypothetical decedents Abdul and Roshanullah here.

Army lawyers are entertaining, if you don’t have to operate like Combat Houdini, kicking off every patrol with their manacles and straitjacket on you.

Sources

Jenks, Chris “LTC”. The Law and Policy Implications of “Baited Ambushes” Utilizing Enemy Dead and Wounded. The Army Lawyer, June 2010. DA PAM 27-50-445. pp. 91-94.

Notes

  1. The Army Lawyer is a monthly magazine in which the judge advocate fifth column coordinates their attacks on combat troops.
  2. Jenks, p. 91 fn 1.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Jenks, p. 93.

54 thoughts on “How Anti-Soldier Lawyers Banned a Kind of Ambush

  1. Toastrider

    Sigh. Tell me the CO for these guys took Jenks’s recommendation, folded into a paper airplane, and sailed it around the room a few times before circular-filing it.

    It always amuses me when people invoke the Geneva Conventions, as I like to point out that many of the shitheels our military keeps squaring off against don’t wear uniforms, don’t belong to a recognized military, etc, and are thus unlawful combatants and could be shot out of hand as spies and saboteurs. That’s what we did to the participants in Skorzeny’s Operation Greif, after all.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I believe that the Skorzeny infiltrators — who wore US uniforms for reconnaissance and mischief purposes (misdirecting traffic, etc.) but were ordered not to engage US forces w/o stripping them off to expose the German stuff underneath, IIRC — were given summary courts-martial before their execution.

      Such was formal legality in January, 1945.

      1. Distant Thunder

        Yes, but German military lawyers who gave that advice, and Skorzeny himself, got off scot free on that matter. The judges ruled that lawyers shouldn’t be prosecuted for giving legal advice that was an honest effort to stay within the rules. So the tactic was lawyer-legal, but not foot-soldier legal.

  2. Boat Guy

    Regardless of what MIGHT POSSIBLY have “motivated” five armed enemies to enter the KZ; enter it they did. End of discussion.
    So LTC Jenks is privy to the inner thoughts of other people? Particularly dead people? That’s quite a skill.

  3. Hayabusa

    “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

    Okay, so maybe not ALL of them. There are SOME good guy lawyers out there, after all.

    “First thing we do, let’s kill about 60-70% of the lawyers”.

    That sounds about right.

    1. Jim Scrummy

      I think the Bard got it right. I’d aim for 90+ percent. Most of my acquaintances (family & friends), who earned the JD, gave the legal biz shot and ended up quitting the law profession for various reasons. Most said they wanted a life.

  4. Sommerbiwak

    When exactly did Hekmatyar show up in Geneva the sign the convention? Where is his recognized state? And even if. They wanted to plant a bomb. Looks like a legit target to me.

    All staff attorneys should be sent out on patrol to see something else but the base. They wear the uniform, they can hold a rifle. There is the gate to injun country, soldier.

    1. Hognose Post author

      As I understand the article, the first kill, the two IED implanters, is fully legal, clean as the Queen of England’s bidet. The second kill, the whacking of the guys who came to see what happened to their two mates, is a “violation” of Art 15, GC I that arguably doesn’t rise to the level of a “war crime.”

      But he helpfully points out other US documents that say all violations are war crimes, and at the end of the day, the solution to his hypothetical is the SJA must tell the colonel that his men committed a GC violation, possibly a war crime — and report it up the chain if the colonel does not.

      1. Sommerbiwak

        Yes yes, I get how he came to this conclusion. Further down this path, how are you supposed to conduct combat? Two squads meeting. Opening fire. First wound inflicted. Then what? Hit the pause button until the wounded soldier is carted off and then continue the fight?

        I can see where this rule comes from. Reminds me of the sniper girl in the house in the movie Full Metal Jacket. She baits the others with the casualty. In think this is what it is intended against. But this jag overdoes it imho.

  5. Sommerbiwak

    And you wonder why people dance on the nose of the USA or Europe’s? We are not serious obviously. So they are not going to take us serious, when we do not do it ourselves.

  6. Major Smoof

    I’m a legal officer and I don’t agree with this proposition.

    I’m sure you gents closer to the pointy end will note there are two types of us: those that help the chain of command get from A to B (albeit sometimes with a detour to keep everyone on the right side of things) or those that simply highlight roadblocks without proposing alternate routes.

    While I see, in theory, what he’s saying, I would applaud the units for creative thinking whilst dealing with an unconventional enemy.

    If Terry were really concerned about his well being, carrying a stretcher and slapping on a red cross/crescent would guarantee his safety, even if he’s only acting temporarily as medical personnel (GC I, Art. 25).

    1. Sommerbiwak

      the taliban and there ilk do not respect medical personnel wearing a red cross or crescent. Or medic vehicles for that matter. And I bet they would start abusing the red cross as cover to transport their personnel, weapons etc.

      Why should we in reverse respect it then?

  7. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

    Can’t wait to hear from Kratman, his reply will be funny-sad. Kirk might not get to the “Post Comment” button due to an aneurysm.

    1. Kirk

      Oh, no worries about that… I’m way, way past stroking out over this shit. These days, I’m just cultivating a sense of detached amusement as the Army I served in dies a slow death from institutional stupidity of a class befitting epic comedy. Time was, these idiot JAGs would have been laughed out of the TOC–Now, they’re accorded more power than the battle captains and S-3.

      I think I’ve recounted the sad attempt I made to get the 101st Airborne to consider doing Q-Ships as counter-IED TTP, copying off the Rhodesians and South Africans. The idea wasn’t even still-born–The JAG administered “Plan B” contraceptives before it got past the stage of me pointing out what the history books showed, and suggested that we might, just might, want to think about emulating something that had an historical record of working.

      I know there are some good JAGs out there, but I’ll take the opinion that 90% of the JAG Corps could be done away with in the night to no net negative effect to my grave.

      1. KenWats

        Off topic and only because I’m curious- how would you use Qships as a way of defeating IEDS? Have some poor SOB drive up and down the road with a big “BLOW ME UP” sign, with a QRF orbiting in helos? When he gets his, QRF cordons off the area and finds the guy pulling the trigger (a-la Rhodesian Fire Force, hopefully?). Maybe I’m not imaginative enough. Sign me up for the airmobile QRF part though.

        1. W. Fleetwood

          I can’t speak for Iraq or Afghanistan, but in Rhodesia the enemy tactic the Q vehicles were designed to defeat was this; wait till a roadway was cleared, and civilian / soft skinned military vehicles start traveling on it, light one of them up with small arms fire, then a separate force would ambush the reaction force with RPGs. The Q vehicles were meant to defeat the initial attack, letting the reaction force act as a pursuit element rather than a rescue element. After a couple of unpleasant experiences with “soft” vehicles the Terrs laughed off that particular tactic.

          Added bonus, it also put some just plain bandits out of business for good.

          Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

        2. Kirk

          Ken, Alan has it mostly right–What I was proposing, and it never got past the point of me handing over the pertinent historical works and saying “Hey, this is what the Rhodesians and South Africans did; it worked for them–Why don’t we try something similar?”. The G3/G2 guys looked at the idea, said “Huh. Interesting… Let’s run this past the JAG, and we’ll see what we can do…”. JAG came back and said that, in their opinion, it was an illegal “ruse de guerre” to conceal combat troops in logistics vehicles in order to lure the enemy into engaging them.

          What was basically being suggested by myself and a couple of others was based on the bizarre way things were run over there, circa 2005-06. 101st was based out of Camp Speicher in Tikrit, and responsible, more-or-less, for the entire northwestern corner of Iraq. Corps assets would run through the division area of responsibilities, on roads we were responsible for clearing and providing security over. Thing was, the Corps assets were abysmal at coordinating with Division–You’d find out that they might have been in a running firefight from point “A” to point “B”, and never reported in to the responsible local command, or asked for assistance. Then, we’d get these blasts from them up at CENTCOM saying “Yeah, you guys have a real f**king problem with IEDs at this grid–Why the hell aren’t you doing something about it?”. And, we’d go look in our database, only to find zero spot reports or even basic data on the events we were getting our asses chewed for. What was happening was that the logistics bubbas were blowing through our sector, engaging with the locals who targeted them, knowing they weren’t going to stop and fight, and then only bothering to report the stuff they’d encountered at the end of their mission–Which might be several days to a week after the actual event.

          What I suggested to the G3/G2 bubbas, mostly the night battle captains, was that “Hey, if these guys are the only ones getting legit contacts from the enemy popping their heads up to shoot at them… Why the hell don’t we take advantage of that, and run some bogus convoys through that actually, y’know, stop and run those f**kers to ground? All we’d need to do is look like we’re the normal supply convoy making a run up to Mosul, and when they take fire, instead of putting pedals to the metal and hauling ass, the trucks turn into the ambush and a metric butt-load of pissed-off grunts get off them and start killing people and breaking things?” Hell, we could have put combat equipment on the logistics vehicles, and made them look like replacement vehicles going north, and battle-damaged shit going south… How’d you like to have that convoy of “burned out hulk” M1A1 tanks stop in its tracks, and then have the “dead” tanks do a pivot steer off the trailer and come after your stupid ass?

          Do you think that having that happen a few times might, just might, have given the locals cause for a bit of a re-think, when the al Qaeda guys came around looking for new talent?

          Because, what we were doing was basically running a confidence-building and training course for the jihadis, the way we were doing things. They’d start out by firing at passing convoys, build a little confidence, and go on from there. If, instead, the Army had responded by literally running those little “training events” into the ground, and doing a pivot-steer on the bodies…? Yeah. I don’t think we’d have seen so many enthusiastic recruits for the cause.

          But, all that is a moot point. The JAG has decided that doing things that way would be illegal, immoral, and probably fattening. I’m not really impressed with most of the ones I’ve worked around–Listening in to their inane chatter at the division headquarters convinced me that the vast majority of them are useless Social Justice Warriors who joined the Army to “change things”, and not for the better. You would not believe the crap I heard come out of the mouths of those educated-past-the-limits-of-their-intelligence jackasses. There were a couple of good guys, one former enlisted Ranger, and the other was a Harvard Law frat boy/trust fund baby whose indoctrination simply didn’t take. If those two were the ones on duty…? Yeah. I think they’d have happily signed off on the use of tactical nukes, simply ‘cos they wanted to see what one looked like… Good guys. The rest of them? I’d have happily put them into a sack, and then thrown them into the deep part of the river.

          1. Hognose Post author

            Re:

            I’m not really impressed with most of the [JAGs] I’ve worked around–Listening in to their inane chatter at the division headquarters convinced me that the vast majority of them are useless Social Justice Warriors who joined the Army to “change things”, and not for the better.

            Could be. My impression is that most of them joined because their grades (or their standing of their law school, or their chances of passing a bar exam, or all of the above) were too low to get the BigLaw Job or partner track with Tort, Tort, and Extort that the school dangled in front of them. And so the Army was a fallback Plan B to pay off their astronomical student loans. Which just made them resent the Army all the more, and especially loathe the people who joined the Army to do Army stuff, like, say, you & I.

          2. Kirk

            While I’m sure that there are a few that fell into JAG when they ran out of other options, and who are desperately trying to burnish their resumes, I’m also quite sure that a bunch of them are, just as I said, full-bore SJW types who are seeking to “change the world” for the better. And, how do I know this? The words came out of their own mouths, and I’m here to tell you that in a just world, some of those POS officers would have been executed for treason already.

            I’m sure that some of these geniuses are of the very same ilk as Jamie Gorelick, and that they were probably behind the decision to tell the Iraqis to treat the inmates of Camp Bucca with kid gloves, or else… Had we simply averted our eyes while the necessities were performed, most of the ISIS cadre would have been buried in shallow graves somewhere in the vicinity of Camp Bucca. Instead, we basically ran a finishing school for them, and ran the camp like a damn networking opportunity.

            When I look back at the last twenty years, and contemplate all the lost opportunities we’ve had to effectively change the world for the better, while delivering confusion to our enemies, about all I can do is mutter darkly to myself about how T-totally f**ked up most of the people running things are. Hell, if I were running things, when the President demanded I turned the Guantanamo inmates loose in Qatar…? Yeah. Those poor bastards would be so thoroughly compromised that their only hope of survival would be to walk into the nearest US Embassy and turn themselves in. Sheeeeit… As credulous as the Arabs are? I’d be dropping broad hints about implanted tracking devices in all the released inmates, and I’d probably put in something fake while they were getting medical care–“Oh, Abdul… Too bad, so sad… You need a new hip; out of the kindness of our hearts, you’re getting one…”. Six months later, when he’s running around Afghanistan again, we casually let it drop that that hip has a tracking device in it, and watch the fun as they dig the thing out with a dull spoon.

            Of course, there would be no such thing, but the head games you could play? Leakers? LOL… I’ll give you some damn leaks: Know why we always find these guys with the Predators? Weeeelll… Lemme tell you this story about how the various media sycophants that are always hanging around these “International Men of Mystery” are really in our pay, and giving us location data. Watch the fur fly, then. Oh, and the Russians? They’re telling us all this neato-keano stuff about the Iranians… Selling it to us, actually.

            I could go on and on, but the fact is, our intelligence effort is incredibly inept, as well as incompetent. If I were running the game, the enemy would be so damn tied in knots that they wouldn’t know which was up. That OPM breach? Oh, darn… Turns out, we salted that bastard with honey-pots; the ideal agents you’re identifying through your downloaded information…? Some of them… Aren’t. I could have so much fun with that crap that it isn’t even funny. By the time the Chinese figured out which was was out of the funhouse, I’d have caused multiple nervous breakdowns, some suicides, and figured out some way to get them to kill their own agents, handlers and admin types for me.

            You won’t ever see that sort of thing out of our so-called “intelligence agencies”, though; thinking is hard. Thinking out of the box is virtually impossible for them.

  8. Alan Ward

    REMFs will always be REMFs! Only now they openly show their disdain for the sharp end of the stick guys, and even brag about it in print.

  9. John M.

    ‘Ultimately, in the absence of an armistice or suspension of fire, engaging combatants attempting to recover their dead and wounded is not a per se violation of the law of war, but utilizing known—or even suspected—enemy wounded and dead as “bait” for such targeting enters the continuum and, at some point, will constitute a violation of article 15.’

    The next time a keyboard commando tells you “the US military couldn’t beat insurgencies in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, so how are they going to beat x million American deer hunters?” You just point them over to that statement and ask them if they think that LTC Jenks is going to so much as raise an eyebrow when USG starts dropping Hellfire missiles on their houses and neighborhoods.

    We lost those three wars because the Left WANTED us to lose them.

    -John M.

  10. DSM

    I get the argument he’s presenting but my rub with it is estimating the intent of the additional targets as being solely casualty recovery is a far, far stretch. Were they armed? Were they marked IAW the Conventions as medical personnel, as stated above? What is the reasonable expectation of this five (5) man team abandoning their primary mission and reason for even being there, covering that same half mile, based solely on a frago, into what is now known to be disputed terrain, without any mention of support, to see if they need a Band-Aid?
    I respect your opinion LTC Jenks and the discussion is valid in an academic sense but my advice; first eat a bowl of fruit and then get a hobby or a pet because you have too much time on your hands sir.

  11. terribletroy

    As far as I’m concerned, those armed combatants were coming to finish the job of setting the IED or booby trapping the bodies. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    1. Kirk

      They refuse to participate in such mundanities.

      We tried getting them to go out on the route clearance missions that their idiotic opinions were screwing up; they refused, and the rationale was that they didn’t want their experiences to prejudice their opinions.

      1. Toastrider

        Wow Kirk, that is literally the definition of slapping their hands over their ears and going LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU when someone tries to tell them something unpleasant.

        ‘didn’t want their experiences to prejudice their opinions’. Jesus the Jumpin’ Jew.

        1. Kirk

          A lot of the JAG officers I ran into during the period I was in Iraq literally identified more with the enemy than they did with our troops or the local civilian Iraqis. Where I sat for 12 hours a night at the Division Main was reeeaally close to where the JAG types liked to hang out. When things were quiet, you could sit there and overhear a lot of interesting things in the chatter that was going on around the various coffee pots; like most human institutions, I think a lot more got coordinated and arranged at those moments than the majority of our leaders would really be comfortable with; likewise, the smoking areas.

          It’s a bit of a strangeness to suddenly realize that your own officers aren’t on your side, and are kinda-sorta hoping you lose–And, that’s the vibe I got from a significant chunk of the JAG officers we had over there.

      2. John M.

        That is rank cowardice. No; cowardice is refusing to join the service. Joining the service and thwarting those fighting the war is treason.

        -John M.

  12. Impudent Warwick

    Doesn’t the presence of the still-functional IED (or its components) provide all the justification needed? Why do the lawyers assume the bad guys are just coming to bury their pals, rather than complete the mission?

    For that matter, I suppose Jenks would immediately justify a reversal of roles–that is, if the baddies waited to ambush our EOD guys when they arrived to remove the bombs. Probably call it trespassing.

  13. David "Bo" Bolgiano

    For over two decades, the Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, VA has ignored repeated requests from Colonel Jim Patterson, Lieutenant Colonel John Taylor and I to teach our Judgment-based Engagement Training (JET) program there. JET, based in part on valuable lessons we learned from the likes of W.Hays Parks and John C. Hall as well as our personal experiences in combat, introduces young JAGs to the tactical dynamics of deadly force encounters. Good judge advocates help make it easy for our warriors to kill bad guys. But, so long as commanders listen to garbage from their lawyers, it will not get getter. Sigh.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Uh, isn’t that the exact proponency that sponsors the magazine where the article in question sppeared?

      Readers, Bo and Jim are known quantities and that rare quantity — victory-focused judge advocates.

  14. Aesop

    In a just world, and/or a US military not run by treasonous bastards, lawyer Jenks would be immediately court martialed under both Art. 134, and Art. 104, specifically, aiding the enemy, and given that the latter charge carries the death penalty, stripped of rank, taken outside, strapped to a handy pole, and summarily shot.

    Preferably in front of the next classes of SJAs.

    If army snipers chose to use his body as bait to pick off his supporters afterwards, more power to them.
    Otherwise, using it to feed crows and buzzards is about the best use of the carcass of which I can think.

    Lincoln said the poorest use of a soldier is to shoot him, but he was referring in the main to those who actually bear arms and stand a post, not those who legally sneak up on same and stab them in the back all day long.

    Anybody who simply arranges for Jenks et al to meet a passing bus facefirst on his daily ambulations deserves a medal.

    Such treason as his legalistic nonsense deserves a fitting and meet reward, the sooner to let him argue his case before the Great Judge, against the ultimate Accuser, before proceeding to a hotter duty station.

  15. Keith

    If you want to see where this is all going I highly recommend certain sections talking about the UN military in Michael Z. Williamson’s “Freehold” series. And in John Ringo’s Blacktide Rising series one of the rescued charecters that latter becomes a boat captain revels that she was a military lawyer and if she came back as a military lawyer would have to object very strongly to what they were doing.

  16. Tom Stone

    LTC Jenks is insane.
    Yes, I am serious.
    Anyone that far out of touch with reality belongs in an asylum or the Beltway.

    1. Kirk

      I hate to break this to you, but these particular inmates have been running our asylum for at least the last sixty years. This sort of thing got its start back during the Korean War, in the US military, and has only grown like a particularly slow and nasty form of intellectual cancer. No idea where it’s going to end, but I rather suspect that the next time we have a Pusan Perimeter situation, we’re not going to pull a victory out of our ass, and the final AAR is going to show that a large part of the reason we were defeated is going to be because of this sort of fuzzy, fantastical thinking.

      1. John M.

        Isn’t it funny how as soon as we stopped fighting right-wingers and started fighting left-wingers that all this nonsense started up?

        -John M.

        1. Kirk

          Right-wingers being… Whom, precisely? The last time we fought a truly “right-wing” opponent was probably WWI, and I’d argue that with Bismarck’s appropriation of socialist ideas and institutions to keep the lid on the 1848 revolutions… Well, I don’t think we’ve really fought a right-wing opponent. The Civil War was mostly Democrats, soooo… War of 1812, maybe? Could we describe the various Indian tribes as “right-wing”, perhaps?

          Because, if you’re of a mind to call the Nazis right-wing, let’s have a look at the various programs and policies they both espoused and put into place; Socialist and left-wing to the core. It was, remember, the National Socialist Workers Party, the NSDAP in Deutsch.

          The Japanese, on the other hand? Mmmm… Maybe. I don’t know that I’d call their collectivist, statist ideology “right-wing”, however much it may have been a product of the Imperial nature of the country.

          I’m pointing this out to you because it really grinds on my nerves when people use these unstated and unconsidered “truths” in arguments; the reality is that the Nazis were only right-wing in the sense that their ideology was just slightly further to the right than that of their most hated sworn enemies, the Communists. In any rational sense, they were entirely of the left-wing–The right-wing didn’t really exist in Germany, in any real sense. Hell, run down the list of the parties in Germany during the Weimar Republic, and then tell me if you see anything there that comes even close to being a mainstream “right-wing” party; they all had significant socialist features.

          How that somehow translated into the average person thinking that the Nazis were some right-wing outfit? Thank the piss-poor and biased education you get in this country, these days. They’ve been trying to hide that “unfortunate fact” since 1945, and I give it maybe a year or two after the fall of Venezuela into its final inner circle of hell, and we’ll be hearing Chavez and Maduro being described as “right-wing”, too. Lie, and evade responsibility for the consequences of their ideology–It’s what leftists do.

  17. Roguetechie

    OK, so my take on the situation is that if you pin a unit down with small arms fire and then call in an artillery fire mission when the enemy brings in more guys to reinforce the pinned unit it’s good tactics.

    So why and how is this any different? Because rifle armed men took individual shots to kill the enemy one by one?

    The reality is our forces and the ANA are fighting an enemy that routinely practices tactical contempt of engagement and ambushes. In other words, they preferentially decide to engage only when they perceive themselves to be able to engage without the opponent having a credible opportunity to adequately defend themselves.

    Really, that’s kinda just good policy. The idea of war isn’t to become a dead hero, it’s to make sure the other poor son of a bitch dies.

    Then again, people who live through wars and can thus speak on their own behalf are far less easy to callously use for political gain…

    Whether you’re a scumbag Muslim brotherhood member using the memory of your far more moral and upstanding son to parlay your way into a seat at the DNC.

    Or the utterly mealy mouthed and amoral progeny of a man like Gene Stoner when he’s dead and cannot call you on your lies and sullying of his good name and real accomplishments.

    Either way the fact is people like this are not only cowards without the real courage of their convictions, but also at their core they know that they haven’t earned the respect to make their opinions worth bothering to listen to. This is why they coopt the good names they have no right to use as a platform for them to say their piece…

    They’re by default weak minded, undeserving of respect, or even a dignified response beyond how dare you attempt to use the memory of great human beings to spout your drivel.

  18. Cap'n Mike

    Sounds to me like the sniper team is simply operating under Rule .303.
    Or maybe the updated Rule .308?

    Im not very religious, but Jenks brings to mind the epithet on “The Breakers” grave.

    Matthew 10:36
    “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

    1. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

      Rule 303 was the one of first things that popped into my head when I read this silliness.

  19. RostislavDDD

    That’s funny. Same problem.
    No, it is clear why lawyers raise the issue.
    It is for this reason, sniper ambush in Russia are not popular.
    Everybody, when they kill the real fighters.
    But how to stop the killing of innocent civilians by snipers who want to excel. And get a reward.
    The main difference – in Russia, the ordinary sniper no figure for intrigue in high offices.

    1. Hognose Post author

      You will laugh about this:
      During the Cold War, I read an article in a Russian magazine, maybe Советский воин (“Soviet Soldier” or -“Warrior” for the anglos), about the domination of the US military by its Christian chaplains. I laughed, because the author did not get it. Chaplains in the Western armies were mostly invisible and had little influence on the command. A religious soldier could go to a chaplain for counseling (so they spent much time trying to talk privates out of marrying hookers from bars, that kind of thing). Or they might say a blessing before some undertaking — like the Orthodox priests do before a space launch in Russia today.

      But we believed that the commissar or политрук had that kind of influence in the Soviet Army. I think it was Max Popenker who set me straight on that, years ago.

      I don’t think a sniper has ever been elected to anything in the USA, but I could be wrong. Senators, etc. tend to be either guys who never served or former Navy officers. At least one is a famous Vietnam phony (Sen. Dick Blumenthal of Connecticut). He served in a “special” Marine Reserve unit that existed to get the politically connected around the draft.

      1. RostislavDDD

        Generally, in the army, “Soviet Warrior” magazine had an apt nickname – “Visiting a fairy tale.”
        Soviet military press had a clear division – to increase the level of professionals, and to deceive members of the public. General Epishev – “Why do we need the truth, if it prevents us from living”
        In theory.
        In practice, the “commissars” to 80 did not know where the truth and a lie.
        It got to the ridiculous. The Academy of Armored Forces at the Department of tactics, the generals passed the war, Battle of Prokhorovka was an example of defeat. Officers were given the task “not to admit defeat 5 TA and defeat the enemy”
        On the next, political – the battle was an example of a heroic victory.
        ——————————————
        Simply, I was reading an article and remembered Ulman case.
        Colonel Budanov, licentious power and impunity – but let the rotting in prison. I understand a Chechen who killed him accidentally identified the tourist office.
        But сaptain Ulman knowingly 4 times justified the a jury trial. A military justice continued persecution.
        While relatives of those killed, I also understand. Those of them who had a mask Khattab scouts.

  20. Mr. 308

    This is inconceivable to me. Is this lawyer trying to insure that this “war” is executed fairly? Is that how this is supposed to work?

    And the people behind this are the same lot that basically threw out the whole rule book when it comes to domestic state power.

    Inconceivable.

  21. 11B-Mailclerk

    Wrong mission, wrong mindset. Should be:

    How can we use law and treaty to annihilate the enemy’s will and ability to fight?

    It appears that someone either doesn’t understand the above mission, or doesn’t understand who their side actually is.

    I used to assume the former, but now I have to assume the latter.

  22. Steve

    While I am in complete disagreement with Jenks’ opinion in this particular matter, most of the folks here disparaging his service may be a bit shocked to learn he was commissioned an Infantry officer, served in Germany, and deployed to Bosnia in 96 as part of SFOR. IIRC, he’s also Ranger qualified.

    It’s ok to vehemently disagree with a guy, but to try to bolster your argument with factually incorrect ad hominem attacks, especially ones that can be avoided through a simple Google query, is downright lazy, and makes you look like a blathering fool.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Thanks for your correction on Jenks’s history. So he is not like all the other JAGs. We stand corrected.

      Of course, Benedict Arnold, too, was a hero. Until he wasn’t.

Comments are closed.