Oh, and the preface is by Lewis McKenzie, a retired general, who says this:
“I strongly disagree,” MacKenzie writes. “When a soldier is faced with a similar situation in some far flung battlefield in the future, and has those 10 seconds to reach a decision, no regulation nor memory or knowledge of Captain Rob Semrau’s court martial will spring to mind.Um, no. The detainee was not a threat. So, the whole ten seconds, regs don't matter, it is just the personal code is ten tons of crap. The rules of engagement, the laws of war, are supposed to apply in exactly these situations. You have a defenseless prisoner--do you shoot him? The answer is no.
“It will be his or her own moral code that will dictate their response — nothing more, nothing less.”
Of course, Semrau's fans will say that I have no military experience, just as his panel at the court martial had no combat experience. True, but some realities are just that--realities. Killing prisoners is against the law, and also risk mission failure. I think Canada learned perhaps some wrong lessons from its bitter Somalia experience, but holding people accountable for killing prisoners is not one of them.
So, let's put the book ads for Semrau where they belong--not on the front page in a fawning light.