Even worse than offending the locals we had to worry about offending the news media and the left wing nut cases back home. That was in the early 90's. I can only imagine what these kids have to worry about now. I wish they would kick the media out of the battle field and let our boys and girls do there jobs. Victory by attrition forget about winning the hearts and minds and take out the enemy.
Whoever had the stupid idea of "embedding" somebody from the media into a combat unit has to have their heads examined.
In my day, anybody with "credentials" from whatever rag they reported to, could come to Nam and have free reign over what unit, company, platoon they wanted to go with, and "report" the war.
It was the war as they saw it, not as a trained combat professional that had a job to do. They caused lives of American soldiers to be lost as the commanders at whatever level made sure that they made the current mission that was being covered by the media to be "clean". When things went to hell in a handbasket and they were around, the things that had to happen to make sure our soldiers did not suffer any losses were counted as "brutality". People die in a war. Innocent people suffer, and sometimes there is nothing that anybody can to to prevent that. Its how war is done.
The first Gulf War with the surgical Strikes on the infrastructure, conditioned the American public to thinking this how the wars of the future are going to be fought. Pound them into submission with airpower, and they will submit. Guess what, there were people just like us working in those power plants, factory's, etc. Well, it backfired. Now when the dirty part of the war commences with our men, and women soldiers having to go house to house, and street by street, their every move covered by a biased media, and you get the inevitable civilian causality's(most caused by insurgents that use the civilians for cover, and melt into them after a strike), the stinking left wing, tree hugging, (*&%%$# news media have nothing else to report, but that an individual soldier, that in the heat of combat, just might have shot somebody that was a threat, exhibited all the mannerisms of a threat, but unfortunately was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they want to prosecute that soldier??
I'm sorry..that's the unfortunate part of war.
Sorry about my rant, but this subject is one of the one of the few things that can cause my personal trigger to trip.
Journalism as we understood it is dead.