The Purpose of a Military is to Kill People and Break Things

By Bob Wilson

Gee Jonathan, I hope once you get land mines banned from use you can get to work on having those nasty old bullets banned too. No, I don't like land mines either. I deplore any situation where a child might step on a land mine too. Why don't we just make a rule that whoever sows land mines must pick them up after the conflict is over? While we are at it, let's look into producing environmentally friendly gunpowder too. I see potential for profit in some bumper stickers here.

What you fail to elucidate on in your regurgitation of those questionable statistics is that the land mines in question are not "American deployed land mines." The effort to pressure America into agreeing not to deploy land mines is a "red herring" issue. The military advantage of such an agreement is totally in favor of countries that are thus far signatories to such a proposal. This is a way to politically affect the strategic military capability of the US, and thus, through "back-door" methods, change foreign policy. If liberals don't like a foreign policy, rather than rallying political support for politicians who agree with them, they will try to cripple the employment machinery. This tactic was the subject of the whole "Iran-Contra" investigation...

Getting third world countries who's leaders are usually contingent upon who has control of the police station in the biggest urban area, to sign a "treaty banning land mines" is not a difficult thing. Other nations with no strategic national policies regarding world politics, and who have sentimental, mush headed liberals running their foreign affairs might be signatories also. When your words indicate that employment of a land mine by American forces in defense of American troops is a racial, ethnic, or moral question, or that they are weapons only employed against "the poor" I take issue with your reasoning. (I use the term "reasoning" generously.)

I personally favor our military having the nastiest, most menacing and crippling hardware that technology is capable of producing. It is a cinch that those whom we would be fighting against would employ such armament if they are capable. (Their are plenty of weapons much more devastating than land case you are not aware.) What really bothers me however, is having a bunch of ignorant, touchy-feely liberals anywhere near decision processes wherein the use of such weaponry is debated. Witness your silly statement:

The exceptions requested by the United States are tantamount to saying, "We reserve the right to continue committing a little murder, around the edges." Mines are not laid in places where wealthy, comfortable people live. They harm poor people, people who don't look like us,

Might I remind you that the only purpose a military has is to kill people and break things. If you want to call that "murder" then you accuse all people in uniform of being murderers. It may indeed be a wonderful "coffee house" topic of discussion to debate the applicability of the term "murder" when killing happens in military situations, but I don't put much stock in a fuzzy faced, cherry blend pipe smoking, tweed jacket liberal's mental process regarding ethics on a battlefield. Things "ain't what Hollywood makes them out to be" in real war situations.

We currently use land mines to dissuade North Korean troops (which outnumber American troops about 4 to 1) from marching south across the 38th Parallel. It gives us some chance to respond against superior numbers without the necessity of resorting to other weapons which I'm sure you (and I) would hate to see used in that event. If nothing else, their progress in that event would be slowed somewhat. The fact that some rogue bandit para-military, or gorilla units in Africa and the Mid/Far-East sprinkle them about in fields indiscriminately should have no bearing on US military tactics in defense of American troops. If you think (and apparently you do) that some politicians declaration that these weapons are not to be used in the future would have any impact on their use by a bunch of thugs with uniforms and guns, then you are a typical "liberal."

Bob Wilson is an Arizona businessman and pilot who writes regularly for The Ethical Spectacle.