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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, June 30, 2005

Fragging is bad

Despite the t-shirt, high explosives do not
solve all your problems

I got this e-mail, and dashed off an answer, but I want to discuss this at some length.

First, the day the right denounces Karl Rove for attacking American soldiers in combat, instead of a blind defense, then there might be something to talk about.

However, I think Ms. Jackson thinks we're murder defenders or something and I want to get into this a bit.


Churchill: "For those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal. But let me ask you this: Would you render the same level of support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit?"

"...Conscientious objection removes a given piece of cannon fodder from the fray. Fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect."

Here's what I sent back.

Too bad he's an idiot.

In the majority of Vietnam-era cases, crime or petty revenge motivated fragging, not bad leadership. He should look at the court-martial records sometimes

Look, Ward Churchill is as much a loon as Randall Terry. No sane person would advocate murder as a political solution.

First, when the officer dies, the senior sergeant takes over, then they get a replacement. It might stop a patrol or two, but the Army expects their officers to be wounded and killed.

Second, fragging has been romantized by people, when in most of the Vietnam-era cases, it was about money, women, drugs, race or some other beef. Rarely did it happen in combat units. When it did, the NCO or officer had plenty of warning. It was not subtle, as first a yellow, then a red grenade was tossed under the target's bunk. It was rare to have it go to a live frag. In 1969, in an Army of 500,000 men in Vietnam, 209 cases were charged. While widespread across the Army, it was relatively rare in actual practice

The most celebrated case of attempted fragging was with Lt. Col Weldon Honeycutt, a battalion commander in the 101st ABN. His men blamed him for their heavy losses during the assault and withdrawal and they tried to kill him seven times, but failed.

What Prof. Churchill, and Mr. Jackson, miss, is that fragging is a very bad thing and no one who cares about soldiers want to see happen. Churchill should understand that when you have an army turn on its officers, more people are likely to die because of the lack of discipline. Once killing officers and NCO's are part of the equasion, the unit is likely to be attacked with far more success than in the past, and more people hurt. There are other ways to resist bad leadership, and this was widespread in Vietnam: combat refusals. Units would just refuse to do certain things. Go on patrols, do guard duty. That's a lot more effective than the random murder of a bad officer.

Mr. Jackson seems to have confused Democrats with hairbrained college radicals. Churchill would be lucky to have a ad agency job if he wasn't an academic. I doubt anyone, especially the veterans who post here, are pro-murder.

I am certainly for a withdrawl from Iraq, but an army which is fragging it's officers is useless, useless in Afghanistan, where we have real enemies, useless in Korea, useless in humanitarian relief.

The inter-Army violence didn't end in Vietnam, either. There was a massive riot at the Manheim Stockade in 1972, there was a riot at Mare Island in 1969. There was a violent racial confrontation on the USS Kitty Hawk in 1975.

This is the kind of thing which is poison in the military, and only a moron who had not read history would encourage it.

posted by Steve @ 7:24:00 PM

7:24:00 PM

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