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Robert Bales

Dear reader, if you are incapable of understanding the difference between justification and provocation, stop reading this post now.

Now if you still with he,  I do not claim to understand what SSgt Robert Bales, USA did, or did not, do in Afghanistan.    However I do have some awareness of what was happening in theater.   Like Susan Estrich, neither is pretty.

from Susan Estrich, via NewsMax [1]:

Don’t get me wrong. The killing of 16 Afghan men, women, and children by an American soldier without provocation and without threat to his own life (or so it appears) was wrong. Completely wrong. It is an unspeakable tragedy for all those involved. It places the lives of other Americans in danger.

I’m no fan of the myriad “abuse excuses” that once held sway in the American legal system. Those who know the difference between right and wrong and have the capacity to choose are responsible for choosing wrongly. End of story.

Unless Ms Estrick of understands the oldest convention in warfare, the rule of Tit for Tat she does not understand armed conflict and is incapable of expressing an informed opinion     The rule of Tit for Tat holds that I will refrain from taking certain action if, but only if, you exercise like restraint.

Under the Obama/Panetta de facto rules of  engagement, our servicemen are serving in free fire zone.   Afghans are free to fire of American servicemen, but we not expected to fight back, from the Detroit Free Press [2]:

WASHINGTON — The shooting deaths of two U.S. military advisers in the Afghan capital and the quick decision to pull coalition personnel from all government ministries injected a sobering measure of doubt about the reliability of the most important U.S. ally in the war.

The Pentagon condemned Saturday what it called the murder of the two American officers, but said it was committed to working closely with the Afghans to counter violent extremism and to stabilize the country.

In a written statement, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s press secretary said Afghan Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak called Panetta on Saturday to offer his condolences and to apologize.

In other words, kill an American Fighting Man and our Secretary of Defense will grovel for an apology.   Kill and Afghan, and we are expected to shoot our soldiers, without the needless hassle of a trial.

It is not realistic for expect this imbalance of restraint to stand.