Thou shalt be nice to thine enemy, lest ye be sued

Imagine you’re in the military and your unit is in Iraq, facing an angry mob made up of both civilians and terrorists … and you can’t tell one from the other. Would it be better to disperse the crowd by using a non-lethal heat ray, or would it be better to open fire and risk civilian casualties? Which approach would cause the western media to scream the loudest? Would the career-conscious/prison-averse commander be wise to retreat rather than try to break up the mob?
Discuss.

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