Try to Save a Life? That's a War Crime.
Situation: Taliban forces are attempting to storm a firebase. American and Afghan forces are succesfully elminating the attacking waves. An American solider spots a Taliban solider cowering near a rock. The Taliban solider appears to have been providing support fire but now seems to be in a panic unable to decide if he should reload, try to storm the firebase, or runaway. The American solider has three choices of what to do in this combat situation.
1) Shoot the target in the head. Outcome: The solider decides to take out the threat. He takes aim at the Taliban's head and fires off a round. The bullet hits the Taliban in the face, killing him instantly. At the end of the battle the solider gets to brag about his "head shot" while leadership congradulates everyone on neturalizing the enemy.
2) Shoot the target in the chest. Outcome: The solider decides to take out the threat. He takes aim at the Taliban's chest and fires off a round. The bullet punches through the chest and into the right lung causing a sunken chest wound. The Taliban sets his back against the rock in a desperate attempt to breath. The Taliban suffers an agonizing thirty minutes until he finally dies. The solider gets to brag about how he got a "Hajji to suffer" while leadership congradulates everyone on neturalizing the enemey.
3) Shoot the target in the arm. Outcome: The solider decides the Taliban is not an immediate threat therefore should be forcably neutralized but not killed. He takes aim at the Taliban's dominant arm and fires off a round. The bullet enters and exits the arm, causing some bone and marrow fly out, forcing the Taliban to drop his weapon and scream in pain. The solider knows the threat is disarmed and the wounded Taliban solider can recieve medical attention at the end of the battle. However, leadership detains the American solider and charges with him maiming which is against the rules of engagment. The American solider can now be tried in a military court of justice.
Under military rules of engagement, a solider can only maim an enemy during a prisoner escape. To do it at any other time is consider cruel and could possible be considered a war crime (yet killing him and bragging about it is just fine). That is what I recently learned in training.
The rule was introduced to prevent overt cruelty but sometimes it is the right thing to do; especially when one remembers many of the foot soldiers are "accidental guerrillas" and not global Islamists.
Need a Chaplin? Good Luck.
There are an estimated one million Catholics in the whole DoD/Military-related complex (which includes Veteran's Hospitals, DoD civilians, etc). Of that approximately a quarter million Catholics are in the armed service. There a total of 285 Catholic chaplains in the Military Archdiocese. I was blown away when I learned this. For those who wish to help with funding chaplins and much needed resources it is possible to donate to the Military Archdiocese. Thank you for any support.
So what is a Catholic suppose to do? Pray for peace and follow the examples of Fatima and Emperor Karl of Austria.