“Ethics of War?”

The “Ethics of War” are an oxymoron.

The charges against the Sgt. soon to be released from Courts Martial regarding the “Haditha Massacre” at Camp Pendleton are a joke.

Yes 24 civilians were killed. Do you think that 24 civilians were killed in the firebombing of Dresden, or Tokyo? 240? 2,400? 24,000?

You are still way, way low!

Clue: Civilians are killed in war, and they are just as dead if they are individually killed by a Marine squad or by a pilot at 30,000 feet who never sees them.

“Back In The Day”: One of the oft-discussed “ethics” in submarine wardrooms during long undersea patrols was a question without a “right” answer.

Scenario (this closely approximates several actual instances in WWII):

You are on war patrol, and get a message: “A ‘heavy’ (large ship) moving at top speed will transit your patrol area, unescorted, at or about noon tomorrow. Sink it without fail.”

The “without fail” is a not too subtle message to the submarine commander that even if it costs his submarine and all of his men, that transiting ship must be stopped.

During the next morning, Sonar hears a fast moving but heavily laden ship approaching, and the CO commands, “Battle Stations – Torpedo.” A submerged attack is commenced with bearing and range determined by SONAR with quick periscope confirmations until the correct course and speed of the ship and aiming point of the torpedoes are determined.

“Make ready all forward torpedoes. Set speed high, set running depth 15 feet.”

“Open all outer doors!”

Time for one final look. “Up scope! Bearing…MARK! Range…MARK! Damn! Down scope!”

What the CO just saw was a large ship with a huge Red Cross on its side.

What to do? Only seconds remain before the shot must be taken.

Shoot, or don’t shoot?

Wardrooms, usually with six officers, were never unanimous or even nearly so.

(My answer: “Forward Torpedo Room: Fire One! Fire two, Fire three…After Torpedo Rom: make ready all aft torpedoes, set speed high, depth 15 feet. Open all aft outer doors! Forward Torpedo Room: Fire four, fire five, fire six! Right full rudder, flank speed. On fire-control solution, prepare to fire all aft  torpedoes. Reload all forward torpedo tubes…time to first detonation? On detonation, prepare to reload and fire all torpedoes aboard…”)

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Teachers Need to LEAD!

Teachers everywhere (in my blogging on other sites) maintain that it is not just they, the teachers, who are responsible for the poor performance of the schools – but the students must take some responsibility.

Teachers also deny that unions – particularly their union — are part of the problem.

Good teachers don’t need unions and bad teachers don’t deserve unions.

Yes, students need to step up — but those are the same students that just a few years later are in Spec Forces, and high tech submarines, and flying drones from 5,000 miles away, with good leadership.

It is a teachers responsibility to motivate and lead. Those students can be motivated and our great military does it in spades every day, but teachers believe that all they must learn is the details of the subject about which they lecture.

It is not.

Leadership.

(Apparently, it is too much to ask..)