Giving in to the frustration of watching a foreign fighting force with nothing to lose advancing their cause with no one stopping them and the once vaunted American war machine sitting on its hands wondering where the edge of calling an armed conflict a war might be, FoxNews’ resident $#@! disturber, Bill O’Reilly, snapped this week and recommended that the United States Marines hire mercenaries to act as “boots on the ground” since the American people are war weary and tired of sacrificing for the sake of a holy war none of us want. Â Check it out.
On the one hand, O’Reilly has a point. Â Are we in this to win it or not? Â On the other – given that the entire “civilized” world is not really committed to forcing ISIS/ISIL/IS (the terrorists) back or to killing them other than lending fighter jets (which were purchased from American companies), why should we make ourselves the laughingstock among nations.
Oh, that’s right. Â At the moment, according to all intelligence reports both foreign and American, the muzzies are most interested in killing, maiming and otherwise striking US. Â And what does our government do? Â Sit around and argue over whether or not wiping out such a group is legal.
Jonah Goldberg points out today that from one perspective, this notion is laudable. Â To the best of our ability, the United States sticks to the Geneva Convention and the civilized rules of war, if one can call war civilized. Â The problem in this conflict – and has been with Muslims since, say, the eighth century – is that they don’t follow these rules. Â In fact, they don’t follow any rules save their own. Â They are motivated by religious blood-lust and kill for the glory they will receive in paradise.
The same history that demonstrates the fanaticism of Islam also tells of the mentality of mercenaries. Â They are loyal to no one and nothing but themselves. Â They do not take orders. Â Their primary goal is making money and they will cut and run when they are paid. Â Since they have nothing to lose, it might seem like a worthwhile idea to hire them to fight on our behalf, but given that discipline is needed to have any sort of coordinated effort to defeat this enemy, and that mercenaries do not conform to any sort of discipline (ever work with one?), the force that O’Reilly suggests will be highly transient and extremely expensive to train over and over as said mercenaries will switch sides if the payout is right.
And then we end up fighting people who have the same skills as our own forces.
So, while O’Reilly’s suggestion of using mercenaries as a fighting force has some intrigue to it, plain and simply it is not going to work. Â But his basic point is valid: Are we going to do this or not? Â Declaring “no boots on the ground” is surrendering before the fight has begun. Â No one wants to sacrifice any more American blood over this conflict. Â The Europeans didn’t really want to do it anymore now than they did in the fifteenth century when they abandoned Constantinople. Â But somewhere, somehow somebody has to do the dirty work or the more militant and fanatical factions of Islam will eventually take over whole countries by stealth and/or force. Â It’s happened before. Â It’s happening now. Â It will be our future if nothing is done to change our approach to dealing with Islamists.