Random thought about the Marine-shooting-the-terrorist controversy: Does anyone remember one of the subplots of the WWII movie Saving Private Ryan?
I do. If you recall, the task force sent to find Private Ryan captures a surrendering German soldier. Most of the group want to shoot him, but the translator says “no” and begs Captain Miller to let the German go, which he does. Later on, the same German soldier ends up rejoining the Wehrmacht and killing Captain Miller. (The translator kills the German this time, though he is, again, surrendering.)
Was this a depiction of a war crime? Probably. However, I remember everyone in the theater shouting, “Hell, yeah!” or thereabouts.
What’s changed? Here's what: it’s okay for folks to live vicariously through celluloid warriors, but when real ones make tough decisions—not totally out of revenge, as in the movie, but for practical and situational purposes—it’s a little too tough for the squeamish to take. By the way, if you *are* squeamish, you might not want to know what the real-life military man went through to get him to the point in which he found himself on that fateful day in the Fallujah “mosque.”
Note to MSM: the marine did not shoot a prisoner!
UPDATE: Holy Moly! A Corner- and an Instalanche! Welcome, but know that there is some dispute as to how the pertinent scenes in Saving Private Ryan occurred. After some personal fact-checking, there will be an update to the original post, one way or the other.
Additionally, according to some interpretations of the Geneva Convention, the "insurgents" in the room *were* prisoners because they were presumably unarmed. I think, however, that an injured enemy who has shown a willingness to blow himself up and take his foes with him does not fall into the unarmed category. This, of course, is where the real and the practical overrule the technical.