Saturday, May 16
Shut up, Lt.Gen. Wissler
Neither the cause of the crash nor the identities of the eight people aboard the craft have been disclosed. Lieutenant-General John Wissler confirmed Friday that the helicopter was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers. The general, a senior commander of Marines based in Japan, noted the enormous loss of life Nepal has suffered during the past three weeks.[...]"While we mourn the tragic passing of our service members and [those] of the Nepalese army, we recognize that the Nepalese people have suffered a loss of thousands of their own citizens," Wissler said.It was VOA that reported Wissler's ruthlessly inappropriate statement.
Yes we know the Nepalese suffered great loss of life, yet for a Marine to attempt to put the deaths of men he commanded in 'context' is unconscionable, especially at this point.
Wissler didn't wait until the families of the dead had time to bury what was left of their sons. He didn't even wait until the bodies, burned or mangled beyond recognition, were identified through DNA tests. Instead, he leaped to play diplomat.
Then what is he doing in command of troops? Why not resign and join the foreign service?
It wasn't his place, it wasn't his job, to play diplomat. His job as a soldier, as a commander of troops diverted to a humanitarian aid mission, was to simply state his grief about the loss of the Marines and offer condolences to their families.
Yet my fear, which has been growing since I studied the U.S. military command's conduct during the Afghan 'war,' is that too many commanders of American troops have been trained to think and act like diplomats. The day of reckoning for this is on its way, as sure as real war.
I close with condolences to the families of the 6 American Marines and 2 members of the Nepali military killed in the helicopter crash in Nepal. The crash was an especially awful tragedy just because it happened on a humanitarian mission.