American Life is Cheap

Yesterday I received a comment that went as follows

In Iraq, just after toppling the Saddam Regime, we were issued two 10 round clips when we were sent out on patrols. And we were ordered (as we were told from the Pentagon) that if anyone is seen loading the clip into their weapon and chambering a round prior to being fired upon, we will be court-martialed

They would then lead us to this dump called a village full of people who despised us. As we wandered through this village practically unarmed I often wondered if my government actually wanted me to make it home.

From Beirut, 1983, comes the following time capsule.

Beirut 1983: Have We Learned This Lesson?

The facts are stark. Twenty years ago, very early at 0622 on 23 October 1983, a lone suicide bomber drove a Mercedes truck-packed with the equivalent of 12,000 pounds of TNT-into the building housing many of the Marines of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (24th MAU) killing 241 Marines and members of other U.S. Services. Most of Headquarters and Services Company of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines (BLT 1/8) was wiped out. At the same time, another suicide bomber drove a van into the barracks housing the French Foreign Legion killing several dozen Legionnaires.

Until 23 October 1983, the ROE specifically stated that:

When on post or mobile or foot patrol, keep a loaded magazine in the weapon. Weapons will be on safe, with no rounds in the chamber.

Do not chamber a round unless instructed to do so by a commissioned officer unless you must act in immediate self-defense where deadly force is authorized.

Keep ammunition for crew-served weapons readily available but not loaded in the weapon. Weapons will be on safe at all times.

The perimeter guards at the BLT building on the morning of 23 October were in full compliance with these rules and were unable to shoot fast enough to disable or stop the bomber.

From Cairo comes word that no lessons have been learned

Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “did not permit U.S. Marine guards to carry live ammunition,” according to multiple reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs spotted by Nightwatch. “She neutralized any U.S. military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.”

American life, from the standpoint of the US government, is still cheap. It would interesting to ask whether Christopher Stephens in Benghazi had played a role in the decision not to have Marines guard the Consulate, as Anne Patterson did in Cairo.

  • crackerjack

    What a stupid article. If any life is cheap in current US wars it has to be arab life. Bush's iraq fiasco alone is running well into the 200 000 dead, 90% civilian along with 2,5 million refugees.

    • John


      A platoon of Marines would share a small out post with a platoon of Iraqi soldiers. They would go out on patrol with them.

      Now how are they going to go indiscriminately shooting civilians in such a situation?

    • John


      Marine artillery would get fire missions. Over 90% of would get scrubbed. because of aircraft in the area, friend forces in the area or civilians in the area.

      Meanwhile your friends, your good buds, Al Qaeda would suicide bomb hospitals & markets full of civilians.

    • John


      It seems that many people believe that Iraq had a part in the Oklahoma City Bombing. They filed a lawsuit & it was not thrown out. It was still going as of 2009.

      How many times did Terry Nichols go to Mindinao which is crawling with Muslim terrorists? It would have been much safer for him to cruise Subic Bay or Manila if all he wanted was poontang. So if it wasn't for sex why did Terry Nichols go so many times to Mindinao? To work on a suntan that he couldn;' get in Florida?

  • Elliott

    Which pales, Mr. (Mrs.? Ms.?) crackerjack. with the number of arabs who HAVE KILLED EACH OTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am also certain that of the 200,000 dead you mention, most (nearly all??) of them were killed by other arabs.
    Please feel free to provide readers with facts that refute my statements

  • PaulRevereNow

    You know what? There were WMD's in Iraq. In the book,, "The Shadow Warriors,"(by Kenneth Timmerman), the narrative explains that there were chemical and biological WMDs, in a bunker beneath the Euphrates River, as coalition troops marched into Baghdad in April 2003. But for some unknown reason, the bonehead mainstream media never reported this; nor did George W. Bush, in his 2004 election campaign. As to U.S. military casualties suffered as a result of these infuriating ROE's, would we have won WWII with them in effect? I doubt it. Better that the Marines or U.S. Army troops are ready to fire; than with contenting ourselves by sending the USS New Jersey to bombard the Bekaa Valley. Alot of good THAT did.

  • Joe Ordinary

    You're right cracker. It's pointless to try to help out in that part of the world. We tried to plant democracies but I guess they won't grow in the sand.

  • Chas. Frickel

    I would ask one other question about the WMD in (or not in) Iraq. Why, when rumors we going all around that WMDs were being trucked and flown in 747s into Syria, didn't the media follow up on these rumors? Seriously, unless they really preferred to bash Bush than to stay on top of the truth of the war, why didn't they just keep investigating? Perhaps, they were told to bug off by the administration.

    And so then why are we now so timid with Syria? Perhaps we know they have the Iraqi WMDs?

    • Joe Ordinary

      And now they would rather talk about Romney's gaffe than the 25 riots or the dead Americans. The MSM are criminally vile moral perverts.

  • Chas. Frickel

    And then what benefit did G. W. Bush gain by allowing the WMDs to be secretly transferred into Syria? Even now reporters are asking why we aren't in syria after intervening in Libya. Are WMD the answer?