Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Maliki Orders U.S. to Abandon "No Man Left Behind"

The media - apparently believing Republican politics trumps stories about the well-being of our troops - has provided scant coverage of the kidnapped U.S. serviceman who is believed to be held somewhere in Sadr City.

Kevin Drum has an interesting and thoughtful piece up about the surprise order from Iraqi PM Nouri Al Maliki that the U.S. take down its checkpoints that have cordoned off Sadr City as part of the search for the missing soldier. Kevin argues - from a utilitarian standpoint - that removing the checkpoints and supporting Al Maliki may be the right decision.

On the other hand, there's the "no man left behind" policy that has long been an important tenet of our military due to its unquantifiable effect on troop morale.
For an interesting discussion qouting people defending the poicy of "no man left behind," here's a piece from the Yale Herald discussing the actions of American soldiers in Afghanistan during which six soldiers were killed so as to recover the body of a fallen comrade.

While under these circumstances, I tend to agree with Kevin, I am still quite disturbed by the fact that we are taking orders from Al Maliki regarding an issue of such import to our troops morale and safety.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan suggests that Al Maliki was following an order from Muqtada Al Sadr and weighs in with the following:

The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power.

And where, by the way, is McCain on this? Silent on Cheney's "no-brainer" on waterboarding. Silent recently on Iraq. But vocal - oh, how vocal - on Kerry. It tells you something about what has happened to him. And to America.

Isn't the first paragraph what the righties would be screaming IF the President was from their team?


  • Draft the SUV drivers first.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 AM  

  • Of course McCain is silent on the issue of deserting an american solider at the behest of Al Sadr, that would bring into question the slight matter of who the fuck has control in Iraq. And parsing and twisting Kerry's words brings him sooo much more airtime. What a true American, neigh Republican Mr. McCain is - loyalty to party over all other things, including country.

    Personally, it appears to me that the Iraqis have stepped up therefore we can step down and bring out troops home. Oh wait, there is a unfulfilled KBR contract, occupation to continue...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:49 PM  

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