U.S. Reaction to Two Missing Soldiers May Have Contributed to Their Deaths.

While I certainly understand the U.S. military's desire to locate and find two of their missing, I was concerned about the possibly indiscriminate nature of their efforts. Even when motivated by a desire to save lives of one's own force, appropriate care and due diligence must be exercised in civilian areas. There cannot be inattention to the rights of privacy and well-being of the civilian population.

I wonder if the deaths of the soldiers may have been prevented with a more focused and precise response as opposed to subjecting townspeople with unreasonable discomfort and denial of basic services. Certainly these acts will now cease presumably unless there will be revenge killings which I hope will not happen. Yes it is possible the soldiers would have been killed regardless of the response but I think the likelihood of their being spared was diminished by the brutal display of power and control exercised in the area of the abductions. If the citizens of the area link the deaths to the diminution of a brutal occupation, then future efforts to secure the release of U.S. military personnel might be diminished.

"The sweeping search continued for the soldiers, identified by the military on Monday as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore. A third soldier, Specialist David J. Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Mass., was killed when insurgents attacked the three at a traffic checkpoint.

Since Friday, troops had searched 12 villages, detained 34 Iraqis and conducted 12 cordon-and-search operations, the military said. Troops were supported by fighter jets and pilotless Predator drones.

A resident in Karagol, the village that appeared to be closest to where the soldiers were taken, said the Americans had shut off all water and electricity in the town."

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