WAGES OF WAR

Warrior Ethos

I will always place the mission first;

I will never accept defeat;

I will never quit;

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

As soon as one gets the commission to be a bona fide soldier, his other foot belongs to the grave already.  It is in fighting that he gets his full stature as a warrior.  To be injured if not slain is merely a part of his territory.  Injured, he may as well fight another day.  Death means to receive the usual medallion of having given his best.

In war, everyone is fair game.  There are no time outs, no referee calls, no intermission, no breaks.  Winning is the name of the game.  Losing is vacillating, running away, hiding or postponing an encounter.  A fully armed battalion, whatever their persuasion is, projects readiness for combat.  It is never meant to sow fear, scare or intimidate unless the mission is to shock a civilian community.  Warriors are never trained to frighten anyone, much more so terrify anybody within the cross hair of their mission.  They are there prepared to mount hostilities if push comes to shove.

The problem however is in the formation of officers.  Law enforcers or the police, whether they are directing traffic or involved in Special Forces, are trained for community work from peace keeping to facilitating the requirements of criminal justice administration.  People know them by the uniforms they wear.

But when policemen don an army uniform complete with firepower not intended for order but for war, then they must be sent to wage war.  The question is the training.  Policemen are never trained to wage or even conduct warfare.  They are supposed to be friends of the community.  They are not oriented to take life but preserve it even if their prey is a criminal.  Police deals with violators not as enemies to shoot down but suspects to be brought to the bar of justice, to be weigh in the courts of law.

Soldiers on the other hand are trained to take no prisoner.  Either they burn their enemies out rightly or set aflame the opponent’s lair.  Soldiers are the true warrior class and not those who merely mimic them by wearing the same uniform.  It confuses people, it confounds the enemy.  It makes the group on a warrior’s outfit the same class as those who really must have to wear it.  Hence, a soldier’s foe would have to presume that the police, wearing the same suit, is also the combatant’s opponents and fair game in warfare.

This has been a recurring theme in remote areas in far flung provinces.  The police in a similar army uniform roaming and patrolling could only mean aggravating a tense situation in areas where rebels congregate.  While generally speaking, rebel groups or the insurgents welcome the presence of police to promote order and never at any instance included in the order of battle, the adoption of a uniform which hardly distinguishes police from a soldier makes the fatal difference.

It is unfortunate to hear young police officers massacred on the way to a court mission.  Scores of them were virtually mowed down by enemy fire.  They received a volley of continuous explosive and deadly firepower from the muzzle of adversarial anger.  They were instantly decimated and murdered even at the point of surrender.  War is winning and there is no gray area as far its conduct is concerned.  Warrior from both sides knows the rule.  They both subscribe to the same warrior ethos.

The problem however is that the police are in no way into war.   They merely projected themselves as warriors.   And that is what makes it tragic.  They are civilians caught in a web because of the dictum “if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, if it looks like a duck, then it must be a duck!”

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