The U.S. military shouldn't compromise its own safety and effectiveness in an effort to shield Iraqi civilians who Saddam Hussein has put in harm's way.
War is terrible. The only thing worse than being engaged in a war is losing a war. Whenever Uncle Sam becomes engaged in a war, every effort should be made to win as quickly as possible.
A number of American spokesmen are placing great emphasis on limiting "collateral" damage, i.e., the wounding or killing of innocent civilians in the war in Iraq. This always should be a high concern, but, at the same time, those in charge of the "Iraqi Freedom" campaign should not place U.S., British, Australian or Polish military personnel in overly dangerous situations merely to protect Iraqi civilians.
Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein has made it clear he intends to use civilians to protect his own troops and strategic buildings. He wants to place them close to possible military targets, knowing allied officers will try to alter their strike strategies to avoid killing civilians.
At some time, the decision must be made to do what is necessary to bring about a total victory over Saddam. This may mean targets are selected and fired upon regardless of the Iraqi leader's tactics.
In addition to Saddam's plan to try to cast suspicion on the actions of allied forces, it seems obvious there are those in the media, both American and foreign, who seem more concerned about Saddam's plight than they are about the dangers faced by U.S. military forces and our allies in the war.
They don't speak out about the atrocities of Saddam, how he has ordered his troops to fire on Iraqi citizens or how his actions have caused the U.S. to take up arms against Iraq. However, these media types are quick to suggest the United States is the cause of the war and carries the blame for any civilian casualties. They also focus extensively on the deaths or injuries of our armed forces. While such occurrences certainly are tragic, it's unrealistic to think a war can be fought without death and injuries.
The fact is, we are engaged in a war against an enemy who will use any means to inflict maximum casualties on U.S. and allied forces. This being the case, American military leaders should not further endanger American and allied troops by placing top priority on protecting civilians Saddam is responsible for putting in harm's way.
As noted above, war is a terrible thing. The only thing worse is to be the loser in such a conflict.