Marines.Together We Served

Monday, June 19, 2006

No Gloating Zone

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. This Jordanian-born Al Qaeda leader departed this life courtesy of the American military. Zarqawi’s heinous activities and violent past are a matter of public record. He’s the guy who used a knife to saw off the head of reporter Daniel Pearl – an excruciating seven-minute murder recorded on film. Zarqawi’s dossier of terrorism and murder ranks with the worst the world has ever known. He also cut the throat of Nick Berg. Zarqawi will not be missed.

Reports are that Zarqawi survived the bomb blast, finally succumbing to his wounds less than an hour later. Two five hundred pound bombs leveled the “safe” house he and his henchmen were staying in. The blast would have sent reinforced chunks of concrete flying around the interior of the house slamming into anything softer, thus causing irreparable damage. Even though he survived the initial blast, he was certainly going to die from his injuries.

The question, nonetheless, has been raised: Did our Special Forces guys who arrived within minutes of the blast drag him out of an ambulance, stomp on his chest, cause blood to come out his nose? If you absolutely believe this dribble, then stop reading this article right now. You’d be wasting your time.

Allow me to remind you of a few things. First, the United States is a peace-loving country. We really do want to get along with everyone else in the world. That is what we choose. But when others threaten or attack our friends and neighbors, we will react. And when they threaten us or attack us, stand by. Life as they know it will change – dramatically!

Second, we are passionate about freedom – and not just our own – but anyone’s. This is why you see Marines, sailors, soldiers, and airmen volunteering to do two, three, or more tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have set an enslaved people free.

Third, our military, like all militaries in the history of the world, is required to do the dirty-work of war – that is – to kill people and break things. We do what must be done and then we come home. But there’s a distinction between our military and virtually every other military that has ever walked the face of this earth: We are compassionate. We care about others, even in the midst of war’s carnage. One of my favorite pictures was taken during the March to Baghdad in early 2003 where a young Marine is using the fireman’s carry to bring a wounded Republican Guard Iraqi soldier to our medical people for treatment, all this taking place while bullets are flying!

Another example of our compassion is the capture of Saddam Hussein in December of 2003. Now here you have a young soldier who pulls back the cover of the spider hole the former president of Iraq was occupying. Did this young warrior put a bullet through the skull of this mass-murderer? No. Many wish that he would have, thus saving us a lot of trouble, especially now having to listen to him rant in a free courtroom in this now democratic country. Instead, the soldier said something like, “President Bush sends his greetings!” and then tells the fallen leader to get out of the hole.

U.S. Army Capt. Dan Sukman, in a Soldier’s Diary for Internet news site, writes from Baghdad about the death of Zarqawi, “I have said before that this war is a marathon, and not a sprint. Other than a ‘Wow, we killed him,’ the effects on the solders here seem to be minimal. They are minimal because there is no real time to celebrate. When these things happen, we do not go out to a bar to talk about the great work that has been done. We don't let our guard down, we don't stop working. When the FBI captures the most wanted criminal, the FBI does not shutdown, they go after the next guy, and we do the same.”

It has been reported that our military medical folks attempted to save Zarqawi. That would be in keeping with our compassionate nature. The description of what our soldiers allegedly did fits the profile of the enemy, not us. We do not drag the dead body through the streets, yelling and shouting invectives against the enemy. More likely we heave a sigh of relief that one who has been so vicious an enemy is no longer a problem for us. Then we move on to the next mission. Simply put, we do not gloat – but we do get the job done.

Our military is the best in the world. They are highly trained, performing admirably under the most severe circumstances imaginable. They will do their job well, with only the desire to return home to their families and friends, where they can once again resume their lives unimpeded by the nasty business of war.

Solomon wrote some three thousand years ago, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.”

Ours is a history of rebuilding the nations we have defeated in war. That hasn’t changed. It could well be said that the United States is a “No Gloating Zone.”

God bless America!

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