The U.S. military acknowledged Wednesday that it considered bombing a group of more than 100 Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan but decided not to after determining they were on the grounds of a cemetery.A "higher moral and ethical standard"? By not killing our enemies when they are assembled as an easy target? This story is evidence of the degree that altruism has infected our nation's military and its willingness to wage war. Rather that exploit a prime opportunity to kill over 100 of the enemy in one fell swoop, our commanders would rather let the enemy escape and leave our solders to fight them another day and on less favorable terms. If one American gets so much as a hangnail as a result of this appalling failure to act, the blame for it rests solely upon the heads of American commanders.
The decision came to light after an NBC News correspondent's blog carried a photograph of the insurgents. Defense department officials first tried to block further publication of the photo, then struggled to explain what it depicted.
NBC News claimed U.S. Army officers wanted to attack the ceremony with missiles carried by an unmanned Predator drone but were prevented under rules of battlefield engagement that bar attacks on cemeteries.
In a statement released Wednesday, the U.S. military in Afghanistan said the picture — a grainy black-and-white photo taken in July — was given to a journalist to show that Taliban insurgents were congregating in large groups. The statement said U.S. forces considered attacking.
"During the observation of the group over a significant period of time, it was determined that the group was located on the grounds of (the) cemetery and were likely conducting a funeral for Taliban insurgents killed in a coalition operation nearby earlier in the day," the statement said. "A decision was made not to strike this group of insurgents at that specific location and time."
While not giving a reason for the decision, the military concluded the statement saying that while Taliban forces have killed innocent civilians during a funeral, coalition forces "hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than their enemies." [LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer]
War requires killing the enemy until he surrenders, and the best time to kill the enemy is when he least expects it. War requires moral certainty. It is not a "higher ethical standard" that makes our leaders value the lives of America’s enemies more than they value the lives of our men, it is a standard of pure and useless sacrifice. Such a pathetic ethic has no place in our military.