Trump Go After Terrorist Families

In 2003 Iraq, I sat on a rooftop sandbag post nested into the top of some community center in Aziziyah, Iraq somewhere between Baghdad and Al Kut.  The picture you see is from that very rooftop from that very position.  What you don’t see, is that if you panned up from that position a little to the left, you would see a house whereupon the rooftop were two beautiful little Iraqi girls perhaps 10 or so who would smile and wave at us on post, and then duck behind some cover, peek out and smile.  Day after day for the weeks or month we were there, you could expect the same thing.  With me on post, I had my M-16 and a 240 Golf machine gun.  It was primarily fixed in on an intersection to the right, but with the slap of a lever I could have traversed it left and gunned down those beautiful children if they tried to kill me or the Marines below.  Perhaps I could have done it, perhaps not, but I thank God I’ll never know.  But you know what I couldn’t do?  Kill those little girls or their mother just because their daddy tried to kill me.

Trump Said Leave it Up to Your Imagination

I’m not pulling the trigger.  Minor Star Wars spoiler, but in the first few minutes of the new movie, even a Storm Trooper wouldn’t pull the trigger when the lives of innocent “rebel” families were on the other end.  Now, I know what you are saying that Trump didn’t say he would kill the families.  But I watched the interview, the body language and the nuance.  He said we have to after the families because the one thing the terrorist want is for their families to be safe.  He said that he would at a minimum, just the minimum, go after the wives who knew what was going on.  Then to clarify what that means he said, “I guess your definition of what I’d do, I’m going to leave that up to your imagination.”

Now if you have followed this blog for any time, you know that my imagination is a strange place.  Because when he says leave it up to my imagination, I’m all like but where is he going to get the Plutonium to travel back to 1955 and stop the terrorist parents from meeting at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance? It was clear what he meant and Tony Soprano couldn’t have said it any better.  It was as about as mobster as you could get, which is fine when you are talking about the piece of trash terrorists.  But when you are talking about the children and yes even adult wives in most fundamentalist Islamic relationships where they have very little say, I’m not pulling the trigger in retribution and my potential Commander in Chief can go suck it.

What is Reasonable?

In the interview, when pressed Trump was asked is that going too far?  He responded in vague fashion by saying, “What’s too far? They are killing us, what’s too far?”  Well, I’d start with killing the wives and children of terrorists.  That’s too far.  The daddy of those two little girls across from me in Aziziyah that day might have been the worst terrorist in the land, but I’m not killing them in an act of either retribution or preemption because of something their daddy did.  Again, this is not what Trump explicitly claimed, I’m going to be clear about that as I am reading the nuance of what he meant by “imagination”,  but he did say go after the families and then question what is too far as if there were no limits.  Don’t mistake this for softness in war, below is my platoon en route to Iraq ready to do some damage.  But just mistake it for humanity and modern morality.

killing terrorist families


I support the dropping of the Atomic Bomb in Japan in 1945 as it saved many American lives and I support the bombing campaigns over Germany as the world was in total war against a barbaric enemy.  But you watch the documentary as I have on the A-bombs where Japanese children have skin melting off them and tell me if you feel good about it.   My Grandfather served in Europe in WW2 and due to the war ending, he was never sent to the Pacific.  So perhaps the A-bomb allowed good ole Buford to go home and get it on with Oease and produce my mother without which, I wouldn’t be typing this today.  Yes, I just talked about my grandparents doing it to the world.   But what is reasonable?

There Might Come a Day

My platoon in Iraq was involved in a “bad” kill in Iraq where in the midst of a night firefight, a young Iraqi couple got nervous when they drove up on the firefight and hit the gas barreling towards a squad of Marines engaged with the enemy in an attempt to get away.  I’ll “leave it to your imagination” what happened next.  I was one street over that night and didn’t participate, but I don’t for a second blame the Marines involved for what happened.  War is a hard thing.  But you know what that squad didn’t do? They didn’t stop the car before it hit the gas, pull the people out of the car, and accuse them of knowing who was shooting at us so they must now, “leave it up to your imagination.”

Unprecedented Mediocrity

My Spidey senses tell me Trump will not be President, but who is to say the man that would advocate as Commander in Chief the “imaginative” response towards the women and children of terrorists won’t find me as equally deplorable one day.  I’m not pulling the “imaginative trigger” on foreign women and children and I can only pray that those who might come for my children one day won’t either.  Mr. Trump, you presuppose our men and women in uniform lack integrity and morality.  If you want to take it to those girls across from me on the rooftop in Aziziyah, you pull the trigger, because I won’t.  If you meant something else, then perhaps don’t leave it up to our imagination next time.

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6 Replies to “A Marine Take on the Donald Trump Plan to go After the Families of Terrorist”

  1. Jeff, Just to clarify. Where do you stand on the current president launching drone strikes on buildings that have women and children in them? Thanks, Joe.

    1. Collateral Damage when an enemy hides among women and children is a tough thing, but unavoidable in war. That is why I mentioned the bad kil of which my platoon was a part. They were not combatants, but the Marines made the right call. My concern with Trump is that he views it as an act of retribution. So if terrorist attacks the US and we send a drone missile into his families house while his children play, that is immoral. But these are tough questions we need to debate and ask ourselves.

  2. In the situation you found yourself in you had time to evaluate not only the possible targets but also your own moral code. The right call was made. Sometimes we don’t have that time and just need to act. Trump has already decided what his targets are no matter what. Maybe this talks to the depth of the person.

  3. I am hoping Trump spoke of rules of engagement where we accept a higher degree of collateral damage, specifically including immediate family members. HE is not very articulate for a billionaire is he?

  4. But isn’t that how we got Michael Durant back from the warlords in Africa? We basically told them the games were over; if they didn’t give him back, we’d kill everything and everyone. Whether it’s an air strike or a platoon of shooters, maybe Trump is talking about playing the same card against terrorists and the countries supporting them.
    OEF 08-09, Infantry SGT.

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