War is hell

I deplore the use of four-letter words on television, radio and in print but every once in a while it is totally appropriate for a certain situation. War is Hell; regardless of how you view it, try to justify it, slice it or dice it, the comment is the only way to describe it.
In every war there is all ways present what is known as collateral damage. Much of this comes in the form of non-target lives lost or wounded and many of those are non-combatants, I.e. civilians. Referred to as friendly fire, the loss of life or military assets has been with us for centuries but the actual term entered our language in World War I. During that conflict artillery shells would occasionally fall short of the enemy and land on friendly troops.
Friendly fire is tough to live with when a military man or woman experiences it. I had a friend in college that had been on patrol in Viet Nam when his new lieutenant called in artillery fire; and gave his own position to fire on. My friend and one other were the only two to survive. Unfortunately my college friend eventually succumbed to the mental wounds. The world is full of these examples and it is believed that the incidents are under reported.
The fog of war refers to the confusion that takes place during battle. This can lead to errors of positions of the enemy, errors of identification and inability to inhibit fire once it begins. While much of friendly fire errors are discussed in the context of military personnel, civilians are also caught up in the fog and confusion of war.
In 2003 the European council reported that over four million people had died in wars since 1990. Of those killed, ninety percent were civilians. In a time of technology innovation and mass communication, a time of smart munitions that can put a bomb through a window of a house, a time that we do all possible to reduce civilian casualties; the actual civilian casualties have risen from five percent at the beginning of the 1900s to ninety percent during the 1990s.
Unfortunately civilian casualties are sometime used as a political pawn. Instead of mourning the dead we see political jockeying in an attempt to use the dead as pawns whose deaths are mischaracterized in an effort to skew history and gain political value. We have seen this recently in the Israeli/Gaza conflict.
Israel is in a war for its own existence and survival. Hundreds of actions and battles have taken place since it was invaded in October and it is winning the military war but it is losing the propaganda war. Though it is attempting to lessen the civilian casualties, the loses are high, We learned in the military that MOBA, military operations in built-up areas. is the most difficult war to fight and will incur the most casualties. We are witnessing this today in Gaza and even though Israel is trying to minimize civilian deaths the fog of war is inevitable. Last week an aid convoy was attacked by drones and aid workers were killed. How sad they died and just as sad that their deaths were used for political gains.
No ally has been any stronger in its support of America and its values than Israel. Following the October attacks, America was solidly behind the Israel state in its attempt to destroy the hated Hamas regime. A few in Washington were not in favor of this and have looked to detract from the generations of attacks on Israel and instead deflect attention to friendly fire incidents. Yes the attack on the aid convoy was very sad and condolences are in order for those killed but when a leader of the free world calls the president of an attacked country to show displeasure and then have much of the discussed broadcast, we have crossed the line. Sadly, instead of being understanding and trying to defuse the situation, we condemn and ridicule and cower to those that desire to see Israel dismantled and America changed forever.
It appears that we have forgotten our own friendly fire experience from three years ago. America was leaving Afghanistan. Thirteen servicemen were killed by a suicide bomber as we left the country. The fog of war had enveloped the Afghan capital. Then it appeared that in another part of the city a bomber was getting ready for another bomb. Bottles were being loaded into a vehicle by civilians. The order was given for a drone to destroy the vehicle just as in the Israeli raid, the drone missile struck its target with deadly accuracy. Final death toll, one aid worker delivering water to the city and nine members of his family to include seven children died. There were no calls to our president in protest, no calls to curtail our mission and no public demonstrations in foreign countries.
Perhaps we should be as understanding as what was shown to America in Afghanistan.
God Bless America, God Save the Ukraine and pray for Israel.

Check Also

China rising

Thomas FieldsThomas “Tuffy” Fields is an author and regular contributor to The Gazette. He can …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *