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Insane Rules of Engagement

Updated on January 1, 2019

Bug is in the Kitchen

Good Morning, Breakfastpoppers. It's a new year, and with it comes the hope of making significant progress in the quest to secure our borders, and end a seventeen year war that is destined to become another One Hundred Year War. Bug is at the stove preparing Green Chili and Cheese Omelets. I am preparing delicious Bloody Mary's to spice up the meal. Bug and I are very disturbed about a former U.S. Army Green Beret who has been accused of murdering a Taliban bomb maker. Call me crazy, but aren't our soldiers sent to dangerous countries to rid the world of terrorists? Apparently, It's how you do the job that counts, not the actual accomplishment of the task at hand. Please join Bug and me for breakfast this morning. While we enjoy Bug's great cooking, we'll talk abut this very bizarre situation. We hope to see you soon.


Fighting a War With Toy Guns

The gun pictured above is a toy gun. It can't hurt anyone, but it looks real. It reminds me of trying to fight a war with the Rules of Engagement hovering above. The Rules of Engagement are the internal directives that clearly define the conditions, circumstances and manner in which the use of force might be construed as provocative. They set rules for the use of force. They are used to determine what measures are acceptable. These rules have always set my teeth on edge. We send our young men and women into battle and tie their hands when it comes to their actions on the battlefield. If war was a game, and actual lives were not being lost, I suppose these rules could be viewed as harmless. When applied to real situations, they turn war into a game. Perhaps that's why wars last so long, and we no longer seem capable of ending or winning them. . Former Silver Star recipient and Green Beret, Maj. Matthew L. Golsteyn is the victim of the Rules of Engagement. His story is strange, and he deserves to be treated fairly by the military.


A Dead Bomber Maker

Maj.Golsteyn is accused of murdering a Taliban bombmaker.. If convicted he is facing jail time and possibly the death penalty. The incident happened in Afghanistan in 2010. The Pentagon investigated the case, but decided not to bring charges against the soldier. The army did revoke his Silver Star, which is shameful. A new nightmare emerged after Maj. Golsteyn gave a Fox News interview in 2016. The military inexplicably decided to re-open the case. Who knows what pressures forced them to investigate further, but the army shouldn't have caved? The bomb maker was being held as a detainee during the battle of Marja in February of 2010. The terrorist was not on the list of targets that U.S.forces had been cleared to kill. This is where the games begin. A known terrorist bombmaker was going to be released because he didn't make a list of targets. He was going to be free to build more bombs and kill more Americans and Afghans because of archaic rules that tie the hands of those in combat, Two young Marines whose unit was deployed under Goldsteyn's command were killed by an explosive booby trap. The Major's unit searched the area for bomb making supplies. They found the terrorist who confessed to killing the Marines. Maj. Golsteyn admitted to killing this murderer. Now the military is trying to determine if this was a revenge killing or an action all in line with his duties a soldier.

The problem we now face in this country is our unwillingness to admit that war is ugly. The Rules of Engagement attempt to turn a harsh reality into a civilized dance among enemies. The attempt is deceitful and dangerous. All it does is prolong war. How many young men and women have to die or lose their limbs before we realize that wars should be brutal and quick.


An American Hero

Golsteyn should not be under investigation. He should be the recipient of a Medal of Honor. We sent him to Afghanistan to fight the enemy. He did that quite well, and his efforts should be celebrated. There is one less terrorist bombmaker around to kill and maim, and we should all thank him for his service. President Trump has vowed to look into this matter. I hope he can put an end to this soldier's ordeal. It is the right thing to do.

Bug's Song

The bugs crawl in

The bugs crawl out

They don't play games

I have no doubt.


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    • breakfastpop profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Good Morning Lori,

      I hope that President Trump intervenes and stops the insanity. This is a gross miscarriage of justice. See you at the Inn, Lori.

    • breakfastpop profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Good Morning Will,

      What a wonderful surprise to start off the new year. It is great to see you at the breakfast table. Iff we fought to win, using whatever it takes, war couldn't drag on for 17 miserable years! See you at the inn. I'd love to catch up.

    • breakfastpop profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Good Morning maven,

      After all the death, you would think we would have learned something. Perhaps the bodies of dead contractors hanging off a bridge would serve as a reminder of how the enemy operates. It is no wonder that war drags on. I think it's time to bring our men and woman home. There have to be better ways to rid the world of terrorists, but volunteering our children to go into harm's way forever has to be off the table. We don't fight to win and that is the problem. See you at the Inn, maven. I'll have whatever you're drinking..

    • breakfastpop profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Good Morning Paula,

      Amen! That's the point isn't it. We send our young men and women into harm's way, and then we demand that they be politically correct. We have to put an end to this kind of thinking. It makes targets out of our people. War is insane as it is, do we really have to make it worse by tying the hands of our soldiers? See you at the Inn, Paula.

    • breakfastpop profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Good Morning Pamela,

      The whole thing is insane. He told the truth about the incident and now he is being punished. Probably political forces were at work that caused the military to take another look. I too think he deserves an award. A dead terrorist saves lives. A live terrorist maims and kills. Is their a choice here? See you at the Inn.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      2 years ago from United States

      I had not heard this story. What a tragedy. I pray he will be exonerated.

    • WillStarr profile image


      2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      As Ken Burgess noted, we won WW2 by being just as brutal as the enemy. Far more civilians died than soldiers, but that's the price of war. Better enemy civilians die than the civilians they were trying to conquer.

    • maven101 profile image

      Larry Conners 

      2 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Good evening, Pop and Bug..

      Thank you for this informative and necessary blog...And kudos to Paula whom I would want in a foxhole next to me...Semper Fi, Paula...

      When the ROE changed in 2010 under the auspices of Obama and Panetta, military deaths, 416, doubled from previous years...that's more than one a day...Accordingly, REMF's like Pentagon backseaters and JAG lawyers would need to be consulted before opening fire on a clear and present danger...Despite continual negative results reported by field and junior commanders, the ROE continues to this day, in fact, even more repressive as the war raged on...Mainly because of pressure from the press...Little, if any, reportage of Taliban atrocities are ever heard of, yet let an aggressive engagement where civilians are sheltering or abetting these scum and there is journalistic outrage...

      Pop makes a factually great point; War is brutal and must be quick...France understood this when the Allies bombed Caen to rubble, resulting in a number of civilian casualties, yet this brutal action freed the Normandy sector for the advancement of the Allies towards their ultimate goal, Nazi Germany...

      When your enemy refuses to engage with basic Geneva Convention Rules of War, signed by every civilized nation in the world, then your tactics must change, otherwise lives are put at risk as commanders hesitate and people die...

      See you at the Inn, Pop...Make mine a Taliban tail-dragger...Goat's milk, creme de cocoa, and Russian vodka...

    • fpherj48 profile image


      2 years ago from Carson City

      I respect, honor & appreciate our Military....ALL of them. I love the U.S. of A.......Our Country has the right and the duty to protect and defend and ELIMINATE all enemies and murdering savages of our people & those who would invade our borders to do harm and destruction.

      To utter HELL with the Taliban and their like, They beg to be destroyed. and this is what we are bound to do. TERRORISTS: KISS OUR ASS...AND THEN KISS YOUR ASS GOOD BYE! Period, The END.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Maj.Golsteyn was cleared once so I can't see how they can charge for killing that monster. He deserves an award!

      Happy New Year!

    • breakfastpop profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Good Morning Ken,

      It is my understanding that he freely admitted to killing the bomb maker. I understand what you are saying, but the rules of engagement turn war into a game without end. That is abhorrent to me. Our enemies don't play by any rules, and we ought to keep that in mind. In any case, let's hope that the new year brings good news. I wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year.

    • breakfastpop profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Good Morning billy,

      I wish you and yours the same.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      2 years ago from Florida

      This is the way of things these days, up is down, right is wrong...

      In WWII when a U.S. Soldier was killed by sniper fire while patrolling through a German town at the end of the war, all American troops were pulled out of the town, the artillery was called up, and the town was mercilessly hammered for over an hour by artillery.

      The message was clear, opposition came at a terrible price that all would have to pay regardless of age, sex, guilt or innocence.

      Today's world is far different, and whether you believe it to be right or wrong, it is the rules the politicians, regulations, and chain of command have set. If a person does not agree with them, believe in them, or believe in the mission they are being sent to do... they have the option of opting out... there are consequences of course to career opportunities and future employment, but if you choose to wear the uniform and do the mission, you have to follow the rules (or make it appear as if you have).

      So, if he killed the bomb-maker in front of witnesses that could or would document that he executed the bomb-maker, who was not at threat at that time, this is the reason for his hardships now. And if he went on Fox News and breathed new life back into this matter after it had been closed, then I can't have sympathy for him.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with peace and love. We all need more of both.


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