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Friday, September 23

Two deaths that should not have happened

Dozens of other Westerners are now fighting with the Kurds, spurred by social media campaigners and a sense of duty rooted in the U.S.-led military intervention in Iraq. The U.S. discourages but so far hasn't banned Americans from fighting with militias against terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group.
On the train platform in Denver, workers loaded the plain, wooden boxes from a baggage cart into hearses. Russell Shirley, a Vietnam veteran, gave his son a final salute.
Unlike fallen members of the armed forces, the [two] young men had no military escorts to accompany their caskets and no 21-gun salute.
The above passages are from a September 16 Associated Press report, American men who died fighting Islamic State come home. 

Now if the U.S. prosecution of the war was reasonably intelligent, reasonably responsible, I still wouldn't like American civilians -- or any civilians for that matter -- choosing battles they were not well-prepared to fight. But American civilians have no business supporting a war that is this badly managed by their government, no matter how moved they are by the plight of foreigners. And the American government has no business allowing them to fight.

"Manage" does not seem like the correct term.

The US is waging aggressive war on the Syrian government by training and supplying al-Qaida, allying itself with countries that are supplying and funding ISIS, allying itself with Turkey, conducting pretend operations against ISIS (particularly its oil trading), and conducting air strikes on the Syrian Army opposing ISIS. It's not stated in the AP article whom the dead Americans were supporting but I doubt it was al-Qaida or Isis.

Thousands of jihadis have gone to Syria to, in fact, support the US war against Syria, though perhaps they don't see it in quite that way. Few of them have had formal military training. The Wehrmacht they are not.

Moreover, two weeks in the field will be more of an education than 16 weeks of US infantry training. I suspect the men were proficient with a rifle before leaving home. They probably were also not city boys.

The US was happy to have amateurs fight for communism in Spain in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. As it was to have the Flying Tigers help out Chiang. I don't see why Congress should now prevent Americans from helping a country their freak president is waging war against.

Yes I think I could've come up with a more descriptive term but my point was that Americans shouldn't help their government conduct a criminal operation, which is exactly what this regime is doing, as you point out.

I agree that they could probably handle a rifle before they went but a US vet observed about the training of 'green' recruits: "3 weeks is genocide, less than 8 weeks murder and really under 100 days is still manslaughter. Total waste."

The observation was in response to my post in Aug about IS use of child soldiers but I think he was making a general observation. The American civilian fighters in earlier eras weren't up against weapons like TOW missiles and comm systems of the kind that enemy fighters use today.

The father of one of the two young Americans killed told AP that he wanted to go fight with the Kurds because he was "torn to pieces" about their plight. From the AP report there seems to be a very aggressive campaign on social media to 'recruit' US civilians to the fighting. As to who's conducting this campaign -- I don't know; haven't looked into it. But somehow I suspect it wouldn't be easy to find out who's really doing it.

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