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War Games? Parker Bros. Did Not Write The Rules

War Games are on.  And as the Coalition Forces continue their march through Iraq, following what the Pentagon continues to describe as "a brilliant plan", complaints have been surfacing about the way the Iraqis are "playing".  The contingent of military experts on TV tell us they  are being deceitful, unjust, terroristic  - heck, just plain sneaky. 

To use two of my 9 year old's favorite words, "Not fair!"

I have news for these experts, this is WAR, not Monopoly.  Parker Brothers standard rules do not apply.  Yet if we are going to liken it to a board game, the object is still, as I understand it, to defeat the other players, right? 

Unfortunately the "players" involved are playing a high stakes game of Life, and with each roll of the dice, real people are dying, being sent back home without passing Go, without collecting $200, and oh yes, without breathing.

It is no secret that the Coalition Forces fight with honor, integrity and the higher purpose of freedom in mind.  They render aid to the injured, even if the injured were shooting at them five minutes beforehand.  They treat the POWs with dignity, offering them clothing, blankets, food, tea.  They cease firing when civilians are endangered, even if that means endangering themselves.  They follow the Geneva Convention, rules of engagement, and an etiquette of sorts.

It is that same etiquette that is getting them into Trouble.

The Iraqis have one strategy: Win.  Forget a clean game of Chutes and Ladders.  They are playing Shoots and Splatters.  And if that means planting mines in the waters off Umm Qsar, wearing civilians clothing to get closer to opposing troops or firing from behind an 80 year old woman and three children, they will do it.  And now they have added suicide bombing to their playlist, putting Coalition forces in further Jeopardy. 

They can no longer trust a waving white flag for they Risk being deceived and dying.  Many soldiers, my brother included, learned that lesson in the Gulf War.  His first Clue that the white flag might not mean surrender, was the bullet that struck his head.  In that instance, the roll of the dice was in his favor as he did survive and those "surrendering" lost the game.

This all begs the question though, can one fault the Iraqis for using such tactics?  In the face of total air superiority and technological warfare, undreamed of even in Desert Storm, are they simply expected to forfeit the "game"?  No.  That would be like saying only a child from a wealthy neighborhood can play Chess because he has an actual store bought gameboard and fancy pieces.  A poor child can learn to play the game just as well, utilize strategy, and win with only a dirt "gameboard" and rocks for playing pieces.  Ingenuity and resourcefulness, while sometimes low-tech and unaesthetic, are often more effective than the best products money can buy.

The Pentagon continues to say they learned from Desert Storm and that the troops are prepared for crude, rudimentary and treacherous tactics, however, the growing number of body bags would belie that. 

The Iraqi resistance cares not for the Geneva convention and for them, there are no rules in this game of War.  And while the Coalition wants desperately to avoid urban warfare, they need to realize they are up against "street fighters", who do not require a lane, avenue or boulevard in order to play dirty.  The writing is on the wall, as clear as a drawing in Pictionary, and this message is in blood.

The enemy embraces martyrdom.  The enemy knows no bounds.  Civilians will be injured, civilians will be killed.  It is time for the Coalition to accept that there are no rules to this game, that checkmate will never come cleanly and that at no point will Saddam and his troops ever stop and say, "Sorry".

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