Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tough Moral Choices: Love or Bone-Deep Chemical Burns?

It's good to know that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace has his moral outrages in the right priority. Because while he finds the use of white phosphorus in heavily populated civilian areas perfectly acceptable:
"Q But in its final paragraph or so, it takes particular issue with the use of white phosphorus in urban areas. And based on what we have learned so far, have you banned the use of "Willy Pete" or are you considering banning it? Or will it continue to be used?...

GEN. PACE: White phosphorus is a legitimate tool of the military. It is used for wo primary purposes. One is to mark a location for strike by an aircraft, for example. The other is to be used -- because it does create white smoke -- to be used as a screening agent so that you can move your forces without being seen by the enemy.

It is not a chemical weapon, it is an incendiary (sic) [It is not an incendiary weapon as defined by the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons], and it is well within the law of war to use those weapons as they are being used for marking and for screening.

Q But you and I have both seen the results of "Willy Pete" in Vietnam. And when it's on the skin, it doesn't stop burning until it goes all the way through or runs out of oxygen. It's a pretty tough weapon. Do you want to use it in urban areas such as Fallujah?

GEN. PACE: No armed force in the world goes to greater effort than your armed force to protect civilians and to be very precise in the way we apply our power. A bullet goes through skin even faster than white phosphorus does. So I would rather have the proper instrument applied at the proper time as precisely as possible to get the job done in a way that kills as many of the bad guys as possible and does as little collateral damage as possible. That is just the nature of warfare."
...same-gender love is right down there with....oh....having an affair?
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. military Joint Chiefs of Staff said he backs the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" limits on gays serving in the military because he believes homosexual acts are immoral, the Chicago Tribune reported in Tuesday's edition.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace told the newspaper he felt the immorality of homosexual acts was comparable to a member of the armed forces having an adulterous affair with the spouse of another service member.

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Pace said in an interview with the newspaper. "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is okay to be immoral in any way."
Well, in that case, Pete, I suggest you haul our asses out of Iraq, and that's just for starters.

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