My son Daniel did a combat tour of Fallujah in 2007, but his other deployment with the Marine Corps was a MEU to the Gulf of Aden and Persian Gulf (which both he and I think is a horrible way to throw away money if we're never going to use the Marine Corps for anything on these MEUs except for humanitarian missions - but that's another topic). As the pre-deployment workup for this MEU, the Battalion underwent extensive training in evidence collection protocol and procedures. At the time I [read more]
First in dealing with this subject, a bit of background is in order for my readers who were not around for my military coverage and commentary. My son Daniel was in the 2/6 Marines and conducted a combat tour of Iraq in 2007 to Fallujah. At this time, the foreign fighters were retreating from Ramadi due to robust Marine Corps (and other) operations there combined with the so-called tribal awakening. Fallujah was a bad place, and the baddest of the fighters had ensconced themselves there.
The people were so aligned with the insurgents that upon the initial patrols by the Marine Corps, the Marines found themselves to be surrounded by the children of the city, carrying black balloons, the balloons being used to assist the insurgents to sight mortar fire. As I said, it was a bad, bad place. The people were willing to send their children out to assist the insurgents. My son was a SAW gunner, and in addition to patrols and other city-wide operations, he shot insurgents crossing the Euphrates river attempting to enter Fallujah.
Way back in 2007, I personally invited Wayne LaPierre, the director of the National Rifle Association, to live in Baghdad. I had been there, less than 24 months earlier, and I thought LaPierre might appreciate the opportunity to live in a society which lived up to his standards. Surprisingly, he never took this offer up, nor did he ever visit the troops in Iraq, or Afghanistan for that matter, which is, well, normal for him. He likes his guns, but he is really not cool with being surrounded by them, like he would have been, had he ever visited our troops in Baghdad, or Helmand, or Kabul…or basically anywhere.
In Iraq, every single household (with a male that is) may have one assault rifle. This seems to be Mr. Wayne LaPierre’s ideal. And interestingly, we have a country (a couple, actually) where his vision exists. Iraq and Afghanistan.
This article isn’t really about Wayne LaPierre so much as it’s about Bateman’s false presuppositions. So I talked with Daniel today and he gives me the following assessment.
Bateman is a dumb ass. The insurgency in Fallujah ended because we locked down the city and made it to where the people had to deal with it or live in utter isolation from everyone else and with no means of transportation, with two ways into and out of the city.
Lt. Col. William F. Mullen (now Col. Mullen) was the unmitigated sovereign of the city. Nothing happened without his approval. The Iraqis may have had a right to automobiles too, but we took them away. If Mullen had wanted to confiscate AK-47s from the folk we could have done that. The chain of command in Baghdad left us alone, and we did what we wanted to do.
Every family had a fully functional, fully automatic AK-47. It wasn’t a problem. I was never shot at except by the insurgents, and mainly the foreign fighters – bad people from Syria, Egypt, Iran, blacks from Africa, and some fighters with slanted eyes from the Far East. I looked in the face of every man I killed, and some of them had slanted eyes and were of Far Eastern descent.
We did confiscate some weapons caches, but only the ones hidden by the insurgents when the people gave us the intel. The AK-47s were used by some of the people to fight the insurgents, but they weren’t used on us. We were fighting the insurgents, and mainly foreign fighters. We were not afraid of the AK-47s owned by the families. The families helped us shut down the insurgency when we made it clear that they had to do that.
Now, it may be that this experience doesn’t apply to Baghdad, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Guns are just machines, and can be used for good or ill. Because Bateman cannot control people like he wishes (as the good social planner we wants to be, given that the Army has turned into a cadre of fruitcakes and social “scientists” – I use the word sarcastically), he wants to control their machines.
But this doesn’t work either. The foreign fighters brought their own weapons with them. The families would have been left utterly defenseless without their own AK-47s, which is the way Bateman wants us left. Bateman wants us defenseless because that’s what the state wants. The concern to them isn’t our own protection – it is the protection of the state from it’s people.
So that summarizes a brief conversation with my son. Much more could be said, but I’ll leave it there. Oh, and to Mr. Bateman, Daniel thinks you’re a dumb ass. Or did I mention that already?