Friday, April 01, 2005

Capt. Maynulet's Conviction As Teaching Moment

Over at Blackfive (click above) there is a discussion of the conviction of Army Capt. Manulet. I recommend you go there and read it all. I have two posts, this is the second, written in response to some other comments posted there...
"Every day on America's highways over 100 people die violent deaths. We can infer that police officers find grievously wounded Americans, fated to die. We do not sanction the police officer using his weapon to apply the coup de grace in the name of "mercy"! The question of right or wrong is easy, he was wrong.
But that leads us to the question of why did he not understand he was wrong. Firstly, because the decision he had to make was above his pay grade. That is why he was trained not to do what he did. That is why we have a chain of command. He acted with indiscipline! However, there are many mitigating factors. It seems overly harsh to punish him when ogres like George Felos have widespread public support! So maybe we should make this a teaching moment.
Acting out of some combination of fear and/or anger, Captain Maynulet did wrong. We need to strengthen our training to prevent a recurrence here and in other situations. For example, there is much to suggest that a similar fear and anger based lack of fire discipline, in those early days of the occupation of Fallujah, inflamed the insurgency. The old Vietnam era Army ethos of "Kill them all and let God sort it out" is not yet dead. Many good soldiers have died in Iraq because of this failing of leadership. Let us resolve to improve the training of our soldiers so that they remember their mission is to preserve "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", not blast everything in sight."
Update 4/5/05 3:54 PM - Ooops! I have fixed the link. Since this original post, I have made several comments at BlackFive. It got to be a very intense debate. You must read it to get the whole flavor, but the inescapable conclusion is that had Terri Schiavo been an enemy POW, the Geneva Conventions would have prevented the removal of her feeding tube! Captain Maynulet has been ordered dismissed from the Army, the equivalent of the punishment in the old Rin-Tin-Tin TV show, where they cut off a guy's buttons and drummed him out of the cavalry.


Anonymous cherios said...

the url doesn't work, at least not on mine.

5:48 PM  

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