Since the occupation began, I have been concerned about tactics used by our troops that exposed them to needless casualties. I am talking about such moronic ideas as house to house sweeps in inurgent-controlled areas, allowing insurgents to use mosques as sancturaries and not controlling traffic on key roads used by our troops. The only obvious explanation for any of this was to avoid upsetting Iraqi's, particularly the extreme religious fringes. It was brought home to me last night when I was watching a documentary on the fighting. It featured actions in Mosul against the al Sadr militia. In one memorable battle, Marines were forced to engage in a three day firefight out side a mosque and in a cemetary. Obviously, close air support could have ended this battle within 15 minutes. For some unstated reason, none was used. Tanks were also standing by unused. Meanwhile, the Marines took numerous casualties. Eventually they killed enough of the militiamen to calim victory, but al Sadr himself was allowed to go his merry way and in fact now is part of the government. Similarly, despite the international indignation over our actions and over episodes such as the al ghraib prison fiasco, this has to be the most heavily lawyered war in history. I recently read about a sniper who got into trouble because he challneged an army lawyer on the legailty of ammo they were using. The female JAG officer had given an opinion that the sniper ammo was illegal under the law of war, but in fact she was wrong. Other officers have been forced out of the service and faced prison time for such things as shooting terrorists guarding a bomb factory during an arrest or firing a pistol to frightne a terrorist to give up ambush plans. Democrats in congress grandstand over things like body armor, but the real scandal to me is that our troops have been exposed to death rather than allowed to use normal wartime tactics. Whether it is due to civilians in the Pentagon and State Department wanting to placate the europeans and iraqis or the Bush administration trying to pretend that all the fighting is over, the fact is our troops seem to have been put at needless risk. An investigation is long overdue, and some heads should roll. I'm notholding my breath.