I meant to post this yesterday, but time got away from me: many, many, many congratulations to the Marines and their Afghan allies for the Marjah victory. I never doubted that they would win, but I certainly understood that each Marine and Afghan soldier faced the risk that he would make the ultimate sacrifice for that victory.
Naturally, the Times, rather than celebrating a great military feat, is already trying to set up new (and in Times-land, almost certainly insurmountable) hurdles for our troops. I have no doubt that our troops will do just fine.
For a reminder about what out-of-control, murderous troops really look like, read this story of the way in which Soviet soldiers raped the women who found themselves in the soldiers’ path during WWII. There are no, and I mean no, stories like that about our American troops, whether one is looking at WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the First Gulf War, the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan. (Indeed, I bet I could say the same for American troops going back to the Revolutionary War.) Sure, there are always renegade men who go off and do bad things, but these same men appear periodically in our cities and towns too. Bad guys exist, but American troops have proven definitively that they are part of a good institution, one that does not use rape as a weapon.
Drifting a little further afield, the fact that American men are not rapists even when they have the power of the military behind them, is also a useful reminder about what a misanthropic religion Islam is. (And no, I didn’t get confused and substitute misanthropic for misogynistic.) While it’s certainly true that one of Islam’s most glaring deficiencies is its desperate desire to subjugate women out of fear of their sexuality, it’s quite obvious that the Islamists hide from feminine sexuality because they believe men to be inherently weak. In the Islamic world, the theory goes, any man, upon seeing a woman, will be incapable of refraining from raping her. That is a scathing indictment of men.
In stark contrast, American men are civilized creatures. Sure, they might leave the toilet seats up, scratch their crotches in public, and belch at inappropriate times, but when push comes to shove, they are models of self-control.
So, in thinking it through, congratulations are due to our Marines, not only for being great warriors, but also for being great human beings.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News