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US Troops Investigated

By jd in Op-Ed
Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:21:59 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

In a re-run of a media escapade from the Vietnam War, a US soldier was caught on film shooting an injured, unarmed prisoner.


The BBC is reporting that the soldier has been relieved of duty and is under investigation, but there is now a cloud of suspicion that this was not an isolated incident - merely an isolated incident of it being filmed.

In light of recurrent accusations of violations of the Geneva Conventions and other "rules of engagement", and in light of repeated accusations that the US' "intelligence agencies" are actively promoting such violations, we could start to see other countries get cold feet over this entire "war on terror".

Britain - America's staunchest and largest ally - is in the middle of a major rebellion over the alleged misuse of the Black Watch to help President Bush in his re-election campaign. This latest scandal is not going to help matters, whether the allegation is true or not.

Americans largely back the President over the war. Why, it's not clear, but they do. However, America would have a hard time going it alone. If Britain pulled out, America would either need to throw in a LOT more troops or pull out itself. There simply aren't the troops on the ground to maintain order across Iraq as it stands.

Although President Bush was re-elected, this most recent event doesn't help him much, either. He's replacing most of the top executives of the CIA, plus most of the heads of Departments. He wants to replace relative moderates (such as Colin Powell) with more conservative people likely to back his plans. But anyone who would be seen as being "soft" on atrocities by US troops would likely face an uphill battle getting through Congress. The media is simply too hungry for more such stories, and moderates aren't going to want to be in the firing-line in the event the whole thing explodes in Congress' face, the way Vietnam did.

With so few scandals going on, right now, the US media is in need of juicy stories to feed their viewers. The murder of injured prisoners by US troops, along with video footage of them doing so, may well be exactly the kind of thing they need to keep the ratings up.

Early in the battle, the US managed to blow up ambulances and clinics with missiles. Although it is unlikely any footage of these attacks exist, it is certainly possible. The insurgents there certainly had recording equiptment. Now that the battle is simmering down, and aid is reaching a few places, we could easily start seeing a lot of things that would embarass the US getting out.

What would really kill things for the US, though, is if there was actual proof that the suspects they accused Faluja of protecting were not there at the time the US attacked. If that could be shown, then the US intelligence agencies - already under pressure due to the 9/11 failures and the WMD failures - would likely face a far more savage shake-up than is already underway.

Back to the story of the prisoner, though... If such stories keep coming out, if the behaviour is not shown to be improving but possibly deteriorating, then President Bush's popularity is going to start suffering badly. The more such incidents happen, and the longer they keep happening, the more people are going to start thinking they picked the wrong guy to run the show, even if the majority continues to support the war itself.

If that happens, there's going to be pressure on Congress to make some changes. If that doesn't work, if things continue to wreck the image of the US abroad and (to some degree) at home, then Bush might yet discover why Nixon decided to call it quits.

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US Troops Investigated | 321 comments (247 topical, 74 editorial, 0 hidden)
The US is fucked (1.83 / 6) (#1)
by debacle on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 09:01:05 PM EST

Too bad we lost the right to revolution back in the 1850's.

It tastes sweet.
gimme a fuckin break (1.40 / 15) (#5)
by meathead on Mon Nov 15, 2004 at 09:47:00 PM EST

yo i'm sorry but if i'm in going 24 hours straight with no sleep in firefights, i'm gonna fuckin play it safe and shoot before bein shot

yeah yeah yeah sounds mean whatever, it's a war, these are sneaky terrorists who u cant tell whose side theyre on wearin street clothes sneakin around with pistols and shit

sorry but me and any one of u would do the same

walk into a war zone

walk into an abandoned dark building

tell me ur not gonna shoot first sound u hear

if u do ur lying end of story

Break? Where: Arm, Leg, Neck? (1.66 / 3) (#12)
by Peahippo on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 01:12:36 AM EST

Bzzzt! Sorry: False Binary Choice. The real answer is "I will not invade other people's countries and try to shoot them". Go back to watching the war on Fox News.


[ Parent ]
war is hell (none / 0) (#171)
by trane on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 05:09:28 PM EST

we shouldn't have started it. it makes you do terrible things you wouldn't dream of otherwise. war is wrong.

[ Parent ]
oic (none / 0) (#247)
by sanchi on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:25:42 PM EST

I thought that it was Iraq who invaded Kuwait.

[ Parent ]
War is wrong (none / 0) (#249)
by physicsgod on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:38:55 PM EST

But sometimes doing anything else is more wrong.

Or are you suggesting that we should have left the people of Iraq under the tender mercies of the Saddam regime? Sorry, I'd rather shoot 500 wounded insurgents than condemn thousands of innocent people to fear and painful death. I'd like to not have to shoot anyone, but the universe is rather bad at taking our desires into account.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

That type of thinking (none / 0) (#264)
by trane on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 04:37:51 PM EST

just leads you farther and farther down the path of evil...

I don't know what the best solution is, but I know that violence is the last resort of the incompetent. No I wouldn't have gone to war. There has to be (had to have been) a better a way.

[ Parent ]

and THAT type of thinking (none / 0) (#266)
by physicsgod on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 09:01:49 PM EST

Leads you into a cold shallow grave.

"violence is the last resort of the incompetent" is the kind of banality that only applies in a perfect world. NEWS FLASH: We don't live in a perfect world. Violence may be the last resort of the sufficiently competent, but sometimes we're out of smarts and out of time, which means we're out of options.

I've got options. Two plans that will ensure the events of 9/11 will never be repeated.

  1. Establish democracy in the Muslim world. Demonstrate that the solution to their greivances is not to tear others down, but to build themselves up. Track down and kill those who resist.
  2. Kill every last Muslim on the planet.
Now, I'm gunning for option (1), but I'm prepared to execute option (2). If for no other reason than the only thing worse than fighting a war is losing one.

Those are my solutions. They both involve non-trivial levels of violence. My question to you Oh Great And Competent One: What are your options? What course of action would you advocate that wouldn't result in violence? Or do you have nothing but insipid platitudes to cling to while the adults make your world safe for you?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

I just know that war isn't an option for me. (none / 0) (#268)
by trane on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 11:35:23 PM EST

I would try to establish democracy in other countries through education and by providing an example.

I'm not afraid of terrorist attacks. On 9/11, I laughed. 3000 dead businessmen. I've lived in france where terrorist attacks are more common. I would rather maintain my own sanity and run the risk of dying than engage in the hell that is war (where the risk of dying is much higher).

I believe in defense over offense, especially in the case of Iraq where all the excuses given for starting the war were false.

[ Parent ]

That's fine (none / 0) (#281)
by physicsgod on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:25:21 PM EST

But bear in mind that you have the ability to make that choice because there are those of us willing to shoulder the burden for you. We chose to increase the risk to our lives and sanity so that you can live in relative safety.

On 9/11 3000 businessmen didn't die. 3000 businessmen, janitors, cooks, secretaries, firefighters, policemen, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters died. For the sin of going to work early. For the past quater-century islamic fundamentalists have gotten progressively more violent, moving from taking hostages to suicide belts to car bombs to airliners as guided missiles. What in their rhetoric or pattern of behavior makes you think they reached their zenith on 9/11? Do honestly think they wouldn't use a nuclear bomb if they got one?

Non-violence only works when your opponent disdains violence. If your opponent worships violence the only thing Ghandi would achieve is a quiet death.

There's a reason "the best defence is a good offence" is an aphorism. If adopt a defensive strategy you let the enemy determine the pace of conflict. He can chose the time and location of battle to best suit him, striking when and where he is strong and you are weak. By attacking you can influence the decision cycle, forcing him to use resources countering your attacks. In less martial terms: No defence has ever won a game. To win you need points on the board, which means you need an offense. The best a perfect defense can achieve is a tie 0-0.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]

I guess (none / 0) (#296)
by trane on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 04:58:54 PM EST

I believe the issues Bin Laden has with us can be resolved through communication and non-violent actions (not doing things that piss terrorists off for example).

I believe people are fundamentally "good" or non-violent, or at least they can be taught to be so. I could be wrong. In any case I don't believe the Iraq war was ever justified. The whole premise for going to war was "WMD", and that was false. If that wasn't the real reason to go to war, Bush should have said so in the first place. If it was the real reason, he should have waited for incontrovertible evidence. Either way, we shouldn't be there.

[ Parent ]

Again... (none / 0) (#301)
by vejeta on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 03:31:25 AM EST

More than 100.000 people have died in Iraq.

We don't even know what kind of damage you could do there.

What kind of things we can do to stop that in Iraq?

Do you think that the 3000 people who died there wanted that?

Think a bit...  Osama Bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia, days after 9/11 when flights were banned, a plane took off to carry Bin Laden relatives.

And now...You are fighting in Iraq because Sadam was bad! Let me laugh: PETROLEUM.

What the hell is going in your retrogrades minds?

Dont you think that this behaviour in USA are attracting more attacks like 9/11.

Fighting hate with hate has no stop.

Stop this, please.

[ Parent ]

Error Theory... (2.50 / 8) (#10)
by On Lawn on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 12:29:41 AM EST

Alec Rawls at Error Theory has a good rundown of the events from a soldiers-war point of view.
If the Marine was right that the Iraqi was feigning death, or if he drew a reasonable inference of the same, then shooting the wounded man first and asking questions later might well have been the correct thing to do. War is not like police work where an officer has a duty not to kill unless he absolutely has to. A soldier's duty is to kill every enemy he can who is not actively trying to surrender. Feigning death is not trying to surrender, and a fighter in such circumstances could very well inflict terrible damage. Some of the fighters in Fallujah have been strapped with suicide bomber belts. In this circumstance, any covert activity, like feigning death, would seem to call for instant death.

Of course there may be more to the story.

I personally favor Armed Liberal's take on this at his most excellent site, "Winds of Change":
I don't want to end the war, but I don't shy away from the icky parts, either. Any human endeavor involves some level of failure, whether it is heart surgery, rocket science, or war.

And anyone who has butchered an animal and eaten its meat knows that you can't have life without the icky parts.

I won't engage in ritual condemnation; I don't know nearly enough about what happened to condemn - and neither do you, nor does anyone commenting on the subject right now.

There will be an investigation, and it is quite possible, a conviction.

That's what makes us different from them. We put our murderers on trial. They put theirs on wall murals.

One take you will not see me appreciate is the one that discards all of this in a myopic search of a political silver bullet.
Although President Bush was re-elected, this most recent event doesn't help him much, either.


hmm (2.75 / 4) (#14)
by gdanjo on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 01:36:59 AM EST

Some of the fighters in Fallujah have been strapped with suicide bomber belts.
Everyone knows that the best way to prevent a bomb from blowing up is to propel high-speed lead at it, preferably at over 300km/hr.

In this circumstance, any covert activity, like feigning death, would seem to call for instant death.
Of course, he could have been feigning death so well that a shot to his legs would not have activated any part of his still-conscious mind. Better to bullet the head. Just to be sure.

That's what makes us different from them. We put our murderers on trial. They put theirs on wall murals.
Bzzzzt. What makes "us" different from "them" is that we can afford to put our murderers on trial; we have a judicial system, media, and a society that has something to lose if we allow murderes back into the civilian populations. In other words, we have something to live for, which makes keeping murderes a self-defeating strategy.

I wonder, how many US soldiers we put on trial in the pre-superpower wars? (this is a serious question - I believe that one's preposition to putting one's own military to trial is dependant on the viability and vitality of the state they are fighting for; I'd gladly be proven wrong, though).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Armed Liberal (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by On Lawn on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 12:33:34 PM EST

Everyone knows that the best way to prevent a bomb from blowing up is to propel high-speed lead at it

You have three choices, lob the lead at

  1. The bomb
  2. The detonation trigger
  3. The person who's finger is on the trigger

... and two of those options are not very visible/discernable.

Of course, he could have been feigning death so well that a shot to his legs would not have activated any part of his still-conscious mind.

While an interesting option, I don't find that any more humane or in accord with Geneva. Nor do I find it a safer option in neutralizing a threat.

we can afford to put our murderers on trial

The concept of civilized war is not new, it didn't start in Geneva. Nor is it exclusive to super-powers (though the asymetric justice of expecting it only from superpowers is no help). Many civilizations found it cheaper to wage civilized warfare than what is practiced by the monsters in Iraq.

[ Parent ]

bah (1.00 / 2) (#103)
by gdanjo on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:56:08 PM EST

You have three choices, lob the lead at [...]
What about 4. don't lob lead at all and restrain the person using (gasp!) your arms; or 5. run in the other direction.

Personally, if I had an inkling that a person has a bomb strapped to them, I would (instinctively) go for one of these two options. But then again, I'm not a cold-blooded killer, so I can't speak for the marine in question (*bam* how's that for stoking the troll flames with gasoline?! :-)

While an interesting option, I don't find that any more humane or in accord with Geneva.[...]
A bullet to the leg is no more humane than a bullet to the head?

Oh, I get it: this is a trick answer. You need to consider your enemy human to behave "humanely" towards them. Gotcha.

Nor do I find it a safer option in neutralizing a threat.
Maybe getting jailed (and hence off the battle-field altogether) is the safest option of all. Kudos to Mr. Headshot.

The concept of civilized war is not new, it didn't start in Geneva. Nor is it exclusive to super-powers (though the asymetric justice of expecting it only from superpowers is no help).
Asymetric justice for an asymetric war. Remember, we are supposed to be fighting for "freedom" and "human rights" and such stuff, so we cannot possibly be held to the same standards as "terrorists" and "murderes." Unless you believe the police should be able to kill anyone to find a murderer - they, too, are in an 'asymetric war', and yet we keep them to a higher standard than the crims they chase.

I really don't understand this form of bitching; I really don't get the point if we're not out there doing something for the better of all and not just better than them!

Many civilizations found it cheaper to wage civilized warfare than what is practiced by the monsters in Iraq.
And many don't. Your point?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Freedom Fighter (3.00 / 4) (#110)
by On Lawn on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 09:53:36 PM EST

Charles Heyman, a British infantry veteran and senior defence analyst with Jane's Consultancy Group in London, defended the Marine.

"In a combat infantry soldier's training, he is always taught that his enemy is at his most dangerous when he is severely injured," Heyman said.

There is the danger that the wounded enemy may try to "take one with you" with a hidden firearm or a grenade.

If the man makes even the slightest move, Heyman added, "in my estimation they would be justified in shooting him".

Westphal said the ICRC was unable to decide "because we simply do not know the circumstances".

There is, I am sure, lots of ideas that I think are great that I can give a Doctor in open heart surgury, a mechanic changing a head gasket, or a psycologist treating a sevierly ill patient. From my perspective there are simply things they don't see.

But in reality it is I who do not see or know their circumstance. And though I might be able to convince simularly ignorant people that my way is right, it won't make it so.

don't lob lead at all and restrain the person using (gasp!)

Many times all it takes is lifting an arm, moving a leg, or someone pulling their back from against a wall and that detonates the device. I'm not sure what kind of restraint you are imagioning, but in my ignorance I can't imagione wrestling with a boobytrapped body as being a very safe thing to do.

run in the other direction.

You cannot outrun the munitions that these people have at their disposal. Remember these bombs take out Humvees going 60 mph.

I'm not a cold-blooded killer

Having argued with people who would rather persuade with threats than logic, I find this reassuring to know.

A bullet to the leg is no more humane than a bullet to the head?

Lets not forget that a bullet in the leg could invoke a reflex that could trigger a detonation if not motivate him to trigger it himself. But leaving that aside maybe it is or isn't more humane. A bullet in the head ends suffering, a bullet in the leg is a mode of torture (especially to an already wounded soldier) and most likely would garner the say hue and cry.

Probably most accurate to say that neither of his troubles, neither the threat of court martial or blowing up, would have been neutralized with a bullet to the leg. But that is just my estimation.

we cannot possibly be held to the same standards as "terrorists" and "murderes."

I agree, but they should be held to the same standards as us. After all, Michael Moore (and others) consider the insurgents to be "freedom fighters" amounting to the minute men of their country. That we expect the simularity to only be as deep as the label we give them is very sad indeed.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not for throwing out the Geneva Convention to go after these people. In fact you'll remember in my origional post that I praised the opinion that noted the difference between us and them is that we prosecute justice on our soldiers. I don't think we need to change that for this war. But I think we need to hold the terrorists accountable to the Geneva Convention every bit as much as the USA.

That would be as bad as throwing out the circumstance of war (coded in the Geneva Convention) just to create some political silver bullet out of the mess.

[ Parent ]

How to be a conservative ... (1.50 / 4) (#123)
by gdanjo on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 01:42:04 AM EST

... in 9 easy steps.

There is, I am sure, lots of ideas that I think are great that I can give a Doctor in open heart surgury, a mechanic changing a head gasket, or a psycologist treating a sevierly ill patient. From my perspective there are simply things they don't see.

But in reality it is I who do not see or know their circumstance. And though I might be able to convince simularly ignorant people that my way is right, it won't make it so.

Never, ever question authority - whether it be a soldier, a doctor, a crack-bearing plumber, or a child-care worker.

Or, in other words, SHUT THE FUCK UP, BIYATCH! Let others (more qualified) do the thinking for you.

Check.

Many times all it takes is lifting an arm, moving a leg, or someone pulling their back from against a wall and that detonates the device. I'm not sure what kind of restraint you are imagioning, but in my ignorance I can't imagione wrestling with a boobytrapped body as being a very safe thing to do.
Kill first and ask questions later. Remember, your enemy they could have plastic explosives up their corn hole ... scratch that, ANYBODY could have plastic explosives up their corn hole. You can't be too careful. Paranoia is your friend.

Check.

You cannot outrun the munitions that these people have at their disposal. Remember these bombs take out Humvees going 60 mph.
Your enemy is able to kill you with bombs at any time, anywhere, and you CANNOT ESCAPE! Remember this the next time you're near a towel head.

Check.

Having argued with people who would rather persuade with threats than logic, I find this reassuring to know.
Do not directly threaten your enemy - fear can be induced in any number of ways.

Check.

Lets not forget that a bullet in the leg could invoke a reflex that could trigger a detonation if not motivate him to trigger it himself. But leaving that aside maybe it is or isn't more humane. A bullet in the head ends suffering, a bullet in the leg is a mode of torture (especially to an already wounded soldier) and most likely would garner the say hue and cry.
Always repeat yourself - you cannot emphasise the evilness of your enemy enough times, or on enough occasions. Take any opportunity to explain that your enemy is able to kill you at any time, anywhere, even in your sleep!!!1!

Check.

Probably most accurate to say that neither of his troubles, neither the threat of court martial or blowing up, would have been neutralized with a bullet to the leg. But that is just my estimation.
Always repeat yourself - you cannot emphasise the evilness of your enemy enough times, or on enough occasions. Take any opportunity to explain that your enemy is able to kill you at any time, anywhere, even in your sleep!!!1!

Check.

I agree, but they should be held to the same standards as us. After all, Michael Moore (and others) consider the insurgents to be "freedom fighters" amounting to the minute men of their country. That we expect the simularity to only be as deep as the label we give them is very sad indeed.
Always emphasise the symmetry of morality and war. God made the commandments for EVERYONE, whether you wear a towel or not - EVERYONE must be held to His high standard.

Never mind that we hold the police to a higher standard than the criminals they chase - by specifying the war in synmmetrical terms, we can ignore the source of our enemy's distriss; they BLOW THEMSELVES UP for fucks sake. What non-evil person has ever done that?!

Check.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not for throwing out the Geneva Convention to go after these people. In fact you'll remember in my origional post that I praised the opinion that noted the difference between us and them is that we prosecute justice on our soldiers. I don't think we need to change that for this war. But I think we need to hold the terrorists accountable to the Geneva Convention every bit as much as the USA.
There are still some pockets of liberal scum that we'll never convert to conservatism - for them, we must look humble and feign interest in international treaties. Note that this does NOT mean that you believe in what you say - remember the symmetric principle; if your enemy does not follow the letter of the principle you pretend to espouse, you are aleviated from it's words as well.

Check.

That would be as bad as throwing out the circumstance of war (coded in the Geneva Convention) just to create some political silver bullet out of the mess.
Symmetry! Symmetry! Look at them! Look at the towel heads! Don't look at what I do - Saddam GASSED HIS PEOPLE for fucks sake.

In conclusion, abortion is evil, and I won't stop until I save all 100billion killed babies every day. Thank you, and good night.

...

You almost have me converted - all you need to do is come and blow me, and I'll become a Card Carrying republican quick smart!

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Broad minded labels don't paint accurate pictures (2.66 / 3) (#152)
by On Lawn on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:39:44 AM EST

However, I take particular exception to the wrangling it takes to pin it on.

Never, ever question authority

That is not what I said, you won't ever find me saying that. Of course, tit for tat, one could say that to be a "Liberal" you must assume you are smarter than everyone else. But no, that is not liberalism, that is the wierd Move0n/Kosian hijacking of liberalism that has been so chick of late.

Questioning authority is healthy, but deference and respect for their unique situation and qualifications before prescribing alternatives is what I think is the "Liberal" thing to do.

Kill first and ask questions later.

Only when the impending situation shows that you can be killed before you can ask questions. I'm not sure if this fits in the dimension of liberal <-> conservative. I find it more basic survival.

But of course I'm not saying kill first and ask questions later in all situations, and it may indeed be that this soldier was in err. My point isn't to say what happened, but to point out likely situations to establish guilt or innocense, presuming innocense. Presuming and defending innocense is, in my mind, the "Liberal" thing to do. You'll note that I don't condemn the terrorist either for being booby trapped, or the others who's booby traps made his innocent sitting their suspect either.

Remember this the next time you're near a towel head.

Bill Whittle hits this point better than I, but allow me to summarize. If you or that "towel head" are muslims that don't seek to bend world will at the end of a terrorist bayonette, if you or that towel head beleive in a religion of peace that dictates you don't have to conquer the world, kill, etc... than I have no qualm with you.

That is the "Liberal" thing to do.

Do not directly threaten your enemy - fear can be induced in any number of ways.

Um, that was too vague (especially considering its counterpoint) to draw any definite meaning from. So I'll move on.

you cannot emphasise the evilness of your enemy enough times, or on enough occasions.

With my tongue planted squarely in my cheak I can point this out as a "Liberal" tactic, but really it is just plain silly. Calling evil evil does not make one evil. Unless such axiom you are willing to take the consequences of calling this soldiers actions evil (in so many words) makes you evil.

No that is just the same tired vortex of no return once someone starts using 'ad-hominem' as an ad-hominem attack.

If calling evil evil is a conservative thing to do (and therefore evil), then you will need go no further to realize just why Kerry lost. It is abject nonesence that the salt of the earth of the USA rejected. These terrorists are evil, there is no amount of appologism or nuance that can change that. But such egregious appologism does illicit reminders of the reality of the situation.

In which case I can only plead, "you made me do it".

Always emphasise the symmetry of morality and war.

My initial response is that this is poorly worded. I think though that you mean that emphasizing that both sides should obey the Geneva Conventions is a conservative thing to do? No, asking people to follow international guidelines agreed upon across this planet, is to me the "Liberal" thing to do.

we hold the police to a higher standard than the criminals

We bring the criminals to justice and hold them to the same law that we hold the police to. That is what police are for.

if your enemy does not follow the letter of the principle you pretend to espouse, you are aleviated from it's words as well... Don't look at what I do...

Which is what I took pains to point out is *not* what I'm saying.

To requote,

I'm not for throwing out the Geneva Convention to go after these people. In fact you'll remember in my origional post that I praised the opinion that noted the difference between us and them is that we prosecute justice on our soldiers.
The last line is too childish to contemplate a response to, except to say that it is another facet of the hijacking of liberalism by MoveOn and Kos. And something that does the movement far more harm than good.

[ Parent ]
uh-huh (none / 1) (#172)
by gdanjo on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 05:13:44 PM EST

Questioning authority is healthy, but deference and respect for their unique situation and qualifications before prescribing alternatives is what I think is the "Liberal" thing to do.
Yes, one should be sometimes have a questioning nature, and one should sometimes trust those who purport to know the subject more than you. I thought I made it perfectly clear that in this case we need to question the "expert" that inflicted the headshot.

Your retreat into this generic, defensive position implies that you agree with me.

But of course I'm not saying kill first and ask questions later in all situations [...]
Again, this is true for all opinion, ever; the question is, in this situation, where a cameraman deemed it safe to be near the wounded Iraqi (and, one could argue, performed some of the dangerous aspect of the soldier's work), was it appropriate to blow the head off the man?

Generic argument is pointless - for each behaviour, I can name you a situation where it's appropriate. That doesn't make it appropriate for all situations.

Bill Whittle hits this point better than I, but allow me to summarize. If you or that "towel head" are muslims that don't seek to bend world will at the end of a terrorist bayonette, if you or that towel head beleive in a religion of peace that dictates you don't have to conquer the world, kill, etc... than I have no qualm with you.
And if you or that "red neck" are christians that don't seek to use the power that secularism has brought you to bend the world in your view - in action; regardless of whether you give lip service to words like "peace" and "freedom" - then I have no qualm with you.

My question for you is: if you believe the mulslim is trying to "conquer the world", you would condone any action against him, no? Now reverse this: if the muslim believes you're trying to conquer the world, what action do you think they should be able to take? And finally, step back and look at the world as it is today; who seems more bent on/more capable of conquering the world?

You purport to treat the other side "equal", but deny them the ability to come to the same conclusion as you. This asymetry is at the heart of conservatism - which, whatever you may believe, is what I'm attacking by proxy; the muslim situation, for me, is secondary.

Calling evil evil does not make one evil. Unless such axiom you are willing to take the consequences of calling this soldiers actions evil (in so many words) makes you evil.
Take your conservative-bent glasses off for a second; I'm just saying that a tactic of conservatism is repetition - similar to the tactic used by the church. As long as the conservative is able to continue the debate, they win, because their message is more emotionally palatable.

Nowhere do I imply that the conservative tactic is evil - I admire it very much. I'm just trying to bring it out to the fore so other readers can appreciate the art that conservatism is.

No that is just the same tired vortex of no return once someone starts using 'ad-hominem' as an ad-hominem attack.
Kind of like "shoot them in the head instead of the leg - for their own benefit"?

These terrorists are evil, there is no amount of appologism or nuance that can change that. But such egregious appologism does illicit reminders of the reality of the situation.
As I said before, I'm attacking you and your debating methods; I could care less about the headless corpse that started this debate, to be honest. And yet you keep falling back on these emotive statements to distract the reader - to realign them, often, back to the bottom line: "SADDAM GASSED HIS PEOPLE" is a running joke because it's such a successful tactic.

We bring the criminals to justice and hold them to the same law that we hold the police to. That is what police are for.
So let the soldiers bring to justice the people they percieve to be terrorists. I don't preach to the criminal to follow the letter of the law any more than I preach to the terrorists to follow the geneva convention. I'm preaching to those that are supposed to uphold the principles they fight for - yes, it's asymetric, but what's your point? It's just another instance of moving the target, reminding us of the evilness of the enemy. Tactic #254 of the conservative handbook.

The last line is too childish to contemplate a response to, except to say that it is another facet of the hijacking of liberalism by MoveOn and Kos. And something that does the movement far more harm than good.
No, far more harm is done when the "liberal" concedes to the "conservative" challenge to continue the debate, ad-infinitum - to conserve the momentum of the debate, and therefore conserve the status quo; to never give in - this is the equilibrium of the status quo.

The liberal method is to get to the "correct" argument, and move on. Science shows X, we accept it, and move on; conservatives find a way - any way whatsoever - to inject a little doubt to continue the debate; to distract, confuse, FUD; to continue to be an active entity in the debate, whether it moves it "forward" or not.

My last phrase was an attempt at completing the debate; the sarcasm to show the ridiculous lengths conservatives go to to continue the debate, to continue engagement - just as they do to science, just as they do with war, just as their modus operandi dictates ... forever.

I see you're an expert at it - fallback to generics, plead to fallacy, plead to symmetry, etc.

The only thing I have to say to this is: blow me.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Queen of Hearts (none / 1) (#178)
by On Lawn on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 06:24:53 PM EST

I thought I made it perfectly clear that in this case we need to question the "expert" that inflicted the headshot.

Perhaps I misunderstand, but when you say things like, "I'm not a cold-blooded killer, so I can't speak for the marine in question" and "Kill first and ask questions later" (made as an assessment of the marines mentality) suggests that you are not questioning, you are condemning. And prematurely at that.

Your retreat into this generic, defensive position implies that you agree with me.

As far as your position is (see above) for understanding and investigation then yes I agree with it. But lets make it completely clear that it is not a retreat as even in that post I re-quote myself to establishing that I've held this position from the very first post in this thread.

I quote from the grandparent post...

To requote,
I'm not for throwing out the Geneva Convention to go after these people. In fact you'll remember in my original post that I praised the opinion that noted the difference between us and them is that we prosecute justice on our soldiers.
Which is a reference to this quote in the first post...
I personally favor Armed Liberals take on this ...
I won't engage in ritual condemnation; I don't know nearly enough about what happened to condemn - and neither do you, nor does anyone commenting on the subject right now.

There will be an investigation, and it is quite possible, a conviction.

That's what makes us different from them. We put our murderers on trial. They put theirs on wall murals.

Now let that simply be the end of that.

a cameraman deemed it safe to be near the wounded Iraqi

A cameraman? Noted.

if you believe the Muslim is trying to "conquer the world", you would condone any action against him, no?

No, as quoted above "That's what makes us different from them. We put our murderers on trial. They put theirs on wall murals."

What is particularly problematic is your use of the term 'any' in that question. And specifically after a paragraph where you argue, "Generic argument is pointless - for each behavior, I can name you a situation where it's appropriate. That doesn't make it appropriate for all situations."

You purport to treat the other side "equal", but deny them the ability to come to the same conclusion as you.

I don't see what you mean by this. How am I denying them the ability to come to the same conclusion as myself?

I'm just saying that a tactic of conservatism is repetition

I think you will find the use of repetition extends beyond political and religious lines.

Kind of like "shoot them in the head instead of the leg - for their own benefit"?

If by 'their own benefit' you mean the soldier in the life or death situation, then no but at least I agree with the statement. The ad-hominem vortex of no return is completely different than the finality of ending someone's life.

I may be putting to much stock in your cheeky comment, but I'm simply arguing that the circumstances are different even though I would agree with the sentiment if applied to the soldier. As pointed out previously shooting in the leg neither neutralizes the threat from the wounded soldier nor the threat of investigation for war crimes.

Whether or not shooting in the leg or head is better for the receiver of the bullet is probably a more personal decision. One that I take no stake on either side of.

And yet you keep falling back on these emotive statements to distract the reader

That you claim to remove yourself from the reality of the situation in the debate would be a personal problem also. Those pesky circumstances you wish to dismiss for being emotive, or marginalize as 'tactical' that is.

There is real meat here that you are engorging on. That meat being the hypocrisy inherent in arguing for (as you have) asymmetric justice of holding only one side to the standards of international conduct. That is not emotive, that is not 'tactical'. That is a real point in this debate. And that is why it is successful.

Now don't get me wrong, you've also argued that the US should be held to the standard even when other's aren't and I agree with that. But at the end of the day that is not to be confused with arguing that they shouldn't be held to the same standard also (as you seem to have done).

As I said before, I'm attacking you and your debating methods

Better to attack the points at hand. Such arguments only wind up being distractions from the real debate.

As you later argue...

get to the "correct" argument, and move on. Science shows X, we accept it, and move on
Indeed, if your argument in this case was that there should be an inquiry, then by that guideline you would have seen I was making such an argument and moved on. If you were arguing there should be a condemnation, then seeing that I argue for pause and investigation (the "liberal" thing to do) would have certainly frustrated you in your rush to judgment.

You would be doing as the Queen of Hearts instructed, "Sentence first, verdict after".

So what problem you have rather than trying to play childish games of "conservative" v "liberal" (where liberal seems to be the arrogance and conceit preached at Moveon, Kos, and by the Queen of Hearts) then you have certainly met to the task. But that is nothing like, "Science shows X, we accept it, and move on". Indeed, why you keep allowing me to extend the argument (as you seem to think my purpose is) is perplexing as to why you would be so pwned.

[ Parent ]

air (none / 1) (#190)
by gdanjo on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:51:36 PM EST

Perhaps I misunderstand, but when you say things like, "I'm not a cold-blooded killer, so I can't speak for the marine in question" [...]
No. Rather, you quote me out of context, and refuse to grow a sense of humor:

[...]I'm not a cold-blooded killer, so I can't speak for the marine in question (*bam* how's that for stoking the troll flames with gasoline?! :-)
Granted, it wasn't a funny joke, but for you to refuse to acknowledge this attempt at humor is one thing; for you to throw this back in my face, as if it were a serious statement, is borderline dishonest.

and "Kill first and ask questions later" (made as an assessment of the marines mentality) suggests that you are not questioning, you are condemning.
See, this one is a little more subtle, where I confused your humor/irony glands by writing the whole fucking post as a pseudo-joke to attack you, and the conclusions you made about the situation.

I'll forgive you for this one; it's was a curly one.

As far as your position is (see above) for understanding and investigation then yes I agree with it. But lets make it completely clear that it is not a retreat [...]
You're right, it's not a retreat in the sense that you backed away from agreeing; it was a retreat into your standard mode of attack, whether or not you agree with the poster. You agree - fine - but then you need to put a jab in there so as to not seem to ... I don't know, look weak? For example:

I won't engage in ritual condemnation; [...]

That's what makes us different from them. We put our murderers on trial. They put theirs on wall murals.

Can I then ask you not to engage in the conservativistic ritual of "us and them" condemnation as well? k thnx!

a cameraman deemed it safe to be near the wounded Iraqi

A cameraman? Noted.

A marine allowed a cameraman to get close to an Iraqi that may or may not have been strapped to bombs? The same marine whose actions you suggest we back off from questioning based on his profession? Noted.

I think you will find the use of repetition extends beyond political and religious lines.
Correct, but whereas these "beyond" entities use repetition to detect fault in an argument (by continually applying the correct reasoning to questions of it), politics and religioun use it as the end itself. The one that gets heard the most, wins.

Now don't get me wrong, you've also argued that the US should be held to the standard even when other's aren't and I agree with that. But at the end of the day that is not to be confused with arguing that they shouldn't be held to the same standard also (as you seem to have done).
I think you're confused as to what an argument of "they shouldn't" means. When I say "I should" I really mean to say "I can, therefore I should"; when you infer from me "they shouldn't" I do NOT mean to say "they can, but they do not need to" - what I mean to say is "I am not them, therefore I do not concern myself with it." The difference is subtle, yet real: there are standards that those that represent me should adhere to (and I have a say in it), regardless of the behaviour of the other side; I obey the law, regardless of the law breakers in the world. You seem to be extending this to "I obey the law, therefore they must obey the law" which is a nonesense statement - since "I do not obey the law, therefore they needn't either" does not follow.

All you can say is "I should obey the law" and leave the "other side" out of it.

Better to attack the points at hand. Such arguments only wind up being distractions from the real debate.
And there lies our cognitive disonance. You think that I'm attacking the marine by proxy (through arguing with you), when the opposite is true: I'm attacking you, and those that think like you, by proxy (through the actions of the marine, and specifically your reaction to it).

Subtelty seems not to be your forte.

And now that you have me arguing on your terms - polite, pseudo-intellectually, with potentially infinite point and counterpoint - I now humbly ask you to return the favour and reply to my main argument on my terms of the debate, which can be summarised as follows:

BLOW ME, FAGGIT!

I eagerly await your reply.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

You have very wierd goals ... /nt (none / 0) (#196)
by On Lawn on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:44:55 PM EST



[ Parent ]
it's chic, not chick. (none / 0) (#294)
by Innocent Bystander on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 01:39:00 PM EST

and it's pronounced sheek.

so you know. I mean if you're going to quote yourself in your sig it should at least be spelled correctly.

[ Parent ]

Remember (none / 0) (#248)
by sanchi on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:28:27 PM EST

that you shoot to kill, not shoot to serveraly wound and prevent further action.

[ Parent ]
Link? (none / 1) (#11)
by DanK on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 12:45:14 AM EST

Is there a link to said video?


--
"If your mother says no jihad, then no jihad." - Abdul Nacer Benbrika
Check ogrish.com [nt] (none / 1) (#156)
by spooky wookie on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 02:10:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
So what the hell really happened? (2.81 / 11) (#16)
by godix on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 03:29:23 AM EST

As far as I can tell the Iraqis were insurgents wounded and treated the previous day. Apparently the soldier in question and the cameraman were entering the building they heard gunshots and were told there were insurgents in the building. After entering one of the insurgents that appeared dead was just faking, a soldier yelled out he was playing dead and then made him really dead.

Which, assuming this is what happened, sounds like a legitimate killing of an enemy. Enemies who are shot and wounded are still dangerous, especially if the guy is pretending to be more wounded than he really is. After all the arm that looks like it's going to his torso to cover a wound can easily come away from the torso with a weapon that was hidden. If the enemy didn't surrender it's appropriate to treat him as an enemy rather than a POW.

The problem I'm having is that to make even this half ass semi-coherent account I had to track down 4 different sources. Some mention hearing gunshots and being told there were insurgents in the building, some don't (IE this article). Some mention the soldier yelling the guy was playing dead, some don't (IE this article). Some speficy where the footage originated, some don't (IE this article). NONE link to the footage. Some don't even really specify if the guy really was alive or not, it's possible the soldier shot a dead body.

So in the end, I don't know what happened. I can see how the situation could unfold where the soldiers actions are entirely in line with the rules of engagement. I can also see how the situation could unfold where this was cold blooded murder of an innocent or pointless mutilation of a corpse. If anyone has a link to the footage I'd like to see it, it'd really clear up some questions I have about the incident.

Oh, by the way, -1 for being by far the least informative and most sidetracked of the four articles I've read about this.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.

sources (2.50 / 2) (#18)
by tantrum on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 03:49:55 AM EST

could you please post the links to the other sources as well?

In a war, I am likely to believe the article that claims no shots were fired, as people have a tendency to protect their friends. This is rather obvious. Even though civilians should not be killed in a war, in case of war we must expect forces to open fire on people they consider a possible threat. Even though it is very wrong

sorry about not taking the time to look up theese sources myself, but I am at work. So I guess I really should try to use less time at the net than I am at the moment ;)

[ Parent ]

Sources I saw (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by godix on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 04:40:04 PM EST

ABC News covers all the the bits I mentioned although the part about hearing gunfire while entering appears very late in the article.

The Christian Science Monitor(don't laugh, they're better than the name suggests) does not give all the details. However it's more of an analysis piece than a news story so perhaps that explains itcan be forgiven.

AP News has, word for word, an identical article as ABC (don't you love seperate sources that aren't really seperate sources?) When I read it yesterday there was no mention of hearing gunfire while entering and the account was rather vauge on if the person shot was really dead or not, it almost implied the soldier was wrong when he yelled the guy was alive. Apparently the AP has updated their article.

Then of course there's this K5 article. It covers NONE of the situation and instead flatly states an 'injured, unarmed prisoner' without any context at all.

Overall sources today seem to be more in agreement of what the details of the situation are and it appears my half-ass semi-coherent account was basically correct. Which means the question boils down to did the soldier overreact or was the Iraqi pretending to be more injured than he was and thus could present a threat? I still haven't seen the video so I still don't have an opinion on that.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]

No not legitimate. (3.00 / 3) (#25)
by lucius on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 07:27:00 AM EST

The quote was "He's fucking faking he's dead. He faking he's fucking dead", and the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (Article 3) expressly prohibit harming persons who have laid down their arms unless that person is "definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State" (Article 5). From the sounds of the quote, and the video footage, the only thing the guy can have been suspected of doing is slowly dying. That's not justification for killing him sooner.

[ Parent ]
Didn't you get the memo? (none / 1) (#31)
by Heywood Jablome on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:38:18 AM EST

The Geneva Convention is "quaint" and "obsolete".



[ Parent ]

"definitely suspected of" (none / 1) (#33)
by wiredog on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:55:19 AM EST

If he's playing possum, then he's 'definitely suspected of' being still actively hostile.

Hmmm. That's an interesting backdoor in the 'never shoot the wounded' rule.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

I can't find the actual provision right now (none / 0) (#37)
by lucius on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 09:24:15 AM EST

but I think it's something to the effect of "in the absence of evidence to the contrary, wounded are presumed to be out of combat" or some such. So, the idea that he might blow himself up is not justification without him actually displaying some mechanism or whatever for the putative suicide attack.

Like I say though, I don't have the exact wording in front of me, but there are some pretty specific provisions designed to avoid "double tapping" to ensure the enemy is dead.

[ Parent ]

The way I was trained in the US Army... (3.00 / 4) (#38)
by wiredog on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 09:35:43 AM EST

was that you don't intentionally shoot wounded, ever, unless they are clearly holding weapons and therefore are clearly a threat.

From looking at the video (on NBC this morning) that Marine is in some seriously deep shit.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Let's play a little game... (2.75 / 4) (#48)
by danro on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:54:53 AM EST

Which, assuming this is what happened, sounds like a legitimate killing of an enemy. Enemies who are shot and wounded are still dangerous, especially if the guy is pretending to be more wounded than he really is.
Interesting.
Let's play a little game.

Imagine that the tape had shown an iraqi insurgent shooting an appearently unarmed, wounded US marine point blank in the head.

Would that still be OK with you?
Really?

I would imagine that it definitly wouldn't be OK with most of the people defending this mans actions here and on various other forums. Quite the opposite, they would be absolutely outraged.
But that might be because they are fucking hypocrites.

[ Parent ]
Don't change so much (none / 0) (#57)
by Sgt York on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:42:52 AM EST

If the tape showed a US soldier shooting an Iraqi point blank in the back of the head, that would piss me off just as much as the scenario you painted.

But this was not what happened. It wasn't as simple as the picture you paint. The Iraqi was a man lying on the ground, exaggerating his injury. This is something done frequently; fake death so you can get your enemy's gaurd down. Then, pop up and take a few of them with you.

If I saw footage of a US soldier lying on the ground, faking death while he waited for the Iraqis to pass, then get discovered and shot, I would only be upset that someone died. Just like in this case.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Don't change so much (3.00 / 2) (#58)
by Sgt York on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:43:52 AM EST

If the tape showed a US soldier shooting an Iraqi point blank in the back of the head, that would piss me off just as much as the scenario you painted.

But this was not what happened. It wasn't as simple as the picture you paint. The Iraqi was a man lying on the ground, exaggerating his injury. This is something done frequently; fake death so you can get your enemy's gaurd down. Then, pop up and take a few of them with you.

If I saw footage of a US soldier lying on the ground, faking death while he waited for the Iraqis to pass, then get discovered and shot, I would only be upset that someone died. Just like in this case.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Then you are not a hypocrit. (none / 1) (#130)
by danro on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:54:55 AM EST

You obviously try to apply the same standards to both sides.
Nice!

But then again I don't think you really can't tell from the tape if the man is faking or not.

You are taking the marines word for it.
Would you do the same for a fighter from the other side?br>Just curious.

[ Parent ]
Not entirely (none / 0) (#147)
by Sgt York on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:04:13 AM EST

First, you're right. We didn't see it in its entirety. It was offscreen and obscured. Furthermore, even if we could see it, we really can't judge the situation properly without more information. For instance, it would help to know what happened immediately prior, what (if anything) recon had told the unit, what was heard/seen as they approached, etc. So, anything we say is pure speculation.

But to speculate, overanalyze, and Wednesday morning quarterback.....

In the video, there was another wounded guy on the floor who tossed his arms up as the troops entered. He was not faking and was not shot, nor did it look like he was seriously regarded. That says to me that the soldier wasn't just looking for live bodies to shoot.

The other wounded guy was in direct line of sight of the camera crew, but I really don't think that the camera crew was on the forefront of the minds of the soldiers.

Also, the fact that they didn't just rush in, pumping rounds into every body on the floor lends a bit more support.

All things being equal, roles completely reversed, I think I would assume that the US soldier was trying to trick the Iraqis and get them from behind when their gaurd was down. I'd be upset because our guy lost, but not outraged at the Iraqis.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

i've seen that tape ... (none / 0) (#77)
by naught on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 03:46:56 PM EST

only it wasn't a marine, it was a bound and gagged girl.  

here's another one, to continue the game: imagine that it's John Kerry jumping out of his boat and shooting a fleeing, injured, and unarmed combatant.

why, this kid might just be able to run for president someday, so long as he doesn't sign form 180.

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.
[ Parent ]

wtf does Kerry have to do with this? /nt (none / 0) (#128)
by danro on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:47:08 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Kerry shot a fleeing, wounded kid in 'nam... (none / 1) (#233)
by bgarcia on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 02:09:44 PM EST

Only I thought in that case, the target was carrying a weapon.

[ Parent ]
Lets play a different game (none / 0) (#98)
by godix on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:29:23 PM EST

Lets pretend we're in a fantasy world where "So in the end, I don't know what happened." is defending this mans actions and admiting not having enough info to make an informed opinion is being a fucking hypocrite. Oh wait, you've already started that game, nevermind.

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]
calm down... (none / 1) (#127)
by danro on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:45:48 AM EST

I don't know what actually happened, and I can't tell a man faking an injury from someone half unconcious from bloodloss in that clip.
But that's not the point.

All I'm doing is pointing out that most of you wouldn't give the insurgent the benefit of a doubt if the tables were turned.

That's the stuff hypocrits are made from.

[ Parent ]
Question (none / 0) (#253)
by Wildgoose on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 05:05:00 AM EST

How many U.S. marines have been taken prisoner by the "insurgents"?

Not one?

You mean the insurgents don't take prisoners and only ever shoot to kill!

Your point is?

[ Parent ]

So... (none / 0) (#254)
by danro on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 05:42:20 AM EST

So, if some enemy fighters are behaving badly.
Your side is justified in behaving badly too, signed treaties be damned?

Something tells me that won't win a lot of hearts and minds.
And, in the long run, unless the US wants to totally annihilate the population of Iraq, they have to either win the population over, or throw in the towel.

On a side note, some US soldiers has been taken alive.
I think at least one of them managed to escape, others might have been released, but yes I'm guessing most are killed.
Traditionally loosly diciplined forces with unclear command structures has a penchant for comitting war crimes.

[ Parent ]
Unedited footage (none / 0) (#224)
by Arker on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:04:21 PM EST

Here. Hurry up and mirror it somewhere though, it will disappear very shortly. It's already clip 28 of 28 (you have to click next a few times to find it.)



[ Parent ]
fap fap (1.12 / 8) (#29)
by auraslip on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:12:16 AM EST

thats the sound of me enjoying this article and the ensuing comparisions to vietnam.
124
This isn't the only case (none / 1) (#39)
by nebbish on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 09:50:52 AM EST

UK Channel 4 news showed some footage last week of a US soldier levelling his gone at an out-of-sight wounded combatant, firing a short burst and then saying "he's gone" before walking off.

Unfortunately I can't find anything about this from an (admnittedly quick) google. It was mentioned in the Guardian but their site search is crap.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

out-of-sight wounded combatant (none / 0) (#41)
by wiredog on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 09:56:36 AM EST

Was that wounded combatant shooting at the US soldier? I guess we'll never know, since he was out of sight.

It's not at all uncommon for people to keep fighting after they've been wounded.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

It's impossible to say for definite (none / 0) (#42)
by nebbish on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:01:13 AM EST

But from the footage it looked like he was incapacitated, and the media reported it as such. I'm going to see if I can find a video or at least some sort of link...

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Incapacitated? (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by Sgt York on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:33:28 AM EST

If he was running, he was not incapacitated. If he could still run, it is likely that he could still shoot.

But even if he couldn't shoot, he could still run and he could still talk. He could easily report on location and strength of forces, thereby hurting the mission.

And no, just hearing the gunshots isn't enough to recon a unit. Small units are sometimes used in a diversionary manner; make a lot of noise with 20 guys to the north while 300 guys sneak up real quiet from the south. Very common and very old tactic.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Did (3.00 / 3) (#55)
by Pelorat on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:34:34 AM EST

the out-of-sight combatant look like he was incapacitated? How does that work?

[ Parent ]
Found one reference (none / 0) (#43)
by nebbish on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:26:52 AM EST

Click. Doesn't really say much more than I did though.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Nice Monday Morning Quarterbacking (2.62 / 16) (#40)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 09:53:44 AM EST

You obviously didn't look into this particular case at all.

Another Marine unit accepted the surrender of these men some time before the marine in question arrived. The first squad was called away to assist another unit who was under fire and did not restrain the prisoners in the mosque.

The second unit arrived in the mosque (which had been infiltrated multiple times by enemy snipers) and found this person lying on the floor who began to move around. They knew nothing of the surrender, and military training teaches that a enemy who isn't restrained is presumed to be armed. The marine saw the dead-looking guy move and took his shot.

Its easy to criticize the split-second reactions of soldiers in the middle of a war zone when you're thousands of miles away, out of harm's way. If I was in a terrorizing urban warzone where religious fanatics consider suicide bombing a viable tactic, I'd shoot the guy too.

This incident is simply being exploited by a hostile media. This isn't another Abu Gharaib incident, it is a reminder of why war is horrible and not the clean, surgical procedure that the media presents.

Yes-and-no (1.80 / 5) (#44)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:33:56 AM EST

I agree that this is being stoked by the if-it-bleeds-it-leads media, but I'm reserving judgement till we know more about what happened.


Now where did I leave that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago! - PDC
[ Parent ]
And whose fault is the presentation? (2.75 / 4) (#46)
by Blarney on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:35:55 AM EST

I'm not disagreeing with you here, but I do wonder just why the media insists on swallowing the official hooey about what a clean, precision-targeted war this is, and how we only kill people we mean to kill and they totally deserve it.

My theory is that there is no "liberal media", or conservative media either - that they're just a bunch of lazy buggers who love to print press releases as news. I'd say that part of the problem is that most news stories are from the AP which seems to have like 5 guys and some woman who handles science - but can not handle citations or any detail whatsoever - or from Reuters, which is similar - but even actual "reporters" don't seem to be doing much reporting. CNN, for example, is chock full of stories which have just been handed to them by "anonymous" government officials (CNN certainly knows who they are, I mean, by now....) and have not been investigated or even fact-checked by any reporter along the way. It's no different from the news in Old Soviet Russia or the PRC or any other totalitarian state - although the media could do better, in this free country, they don't because that would be work. It's just get press release, print press release, go out for martinis or whatever fancy drinks reporters like.

So I can see how if a reporter accidentally SAW something, they might totally blow it out of proportion.

Or do you think the media is biased in some way? Seems to me the typical bias is pure laziness, nothing more.

[ Parent ]

a clean, precision-targeted war (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by wiredog on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:44:44 AM EST

Compared to earlier wars, it is.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Which isn't saying much. (3.00 / 3) (#49)
by cburke on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:58:58 AM EST

In fact, it's really not saying anything.

People seem to have gotten the idea from Gulf War I footage of a laser-guided bomb dropping down a building's chimney that this is how all U.S. combat is.  Based on that, I'm sure there are people who actually believe Rumsfeld and Allawi's claim that no civilians were killed in the assault on Falluja.

We're a long way from the carpet bombing of WWII, thank God, but we're closer to that than we are to the sterile war that's being advertised and believed in.

[ Parent ]

Sterile war? (2.00 / 2) (#51)
by wiredog on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:02:02 AM EST

I don't see it as having been advertised that way, or believed in either.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I didn't mean that you believed it (none / 1) (#59)
by cburke on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:57:56 AM EST

But yes, it is in fact being advertised as a sterile war.  Maybe that's not the right word -- without harm to anyone who isn't a soldier or a bad guy, thanks to "precision" attacks?  Doesn't roll off the tongue as well.  Anyway, PM Allawi said he doesn't believe any civilians were killed in the assault on Falluja.  Apparently our new Iraqi strongman has taken a page from the former Information Minister.  Rumsfeld said before the assault that the advice given to civilians -- stay in your home, away from windows -- should be sufficient to protect them, as if that would help against an airsrike.  Consistently U.S. military reports of large numbers of insurgents killed are juxtaposed to other reports of smaller numbers of insurgents killed with the balance made up of civilians.  Without a doubt the administration expects us to believe that we can conduct air strikes on heavily populated residential areas without significant "collateral damage".

[ Parent ]
Simple (none / 0) (#275)
by Shajenko on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:59:12 AM EST

There can't be any civilians killed in Iraq, as long as you make sure they're all labelled as terrorists. Then you can kill whoever you want.

[ Parent ]
Personally.... (none / 1) (#66)
by Pxtl on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 01:23:50 PM EST

I think its all further indications of the nature of the US military - its an army of warriors, meant to crush the opposition into paste as cleanly and efficiently as possible.  Their unparalleled success in the initial invasion exemplefies that.  While many liberals do piss and moan about the casualties of the invasion, I challenge anyone to find a full-scale assault that was done more neatly.  Yes, nobody should have died at all, they shouldn've have been there in the first place - but when they went, I think they did it very well.

The problem is that the US military is, as I said, warriors.  Not peacekeepers.  Its just not in their training, in their design.  Gen. Shinseki obviously means to improve this feature, such as encouraging the use of the Stryker vehicle (which is useless in heavy combat but beats the hell out of a Hummer for patrolling).  Still, his ideas are quite unpopular parts of the military, particularly the commander in chief.

[ Parent ]

Au Contraire (none / 1) (#274)
by Shajenko on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:55:49 AM EST

My theory is that there is no "liberal media", or conservative media either
There is indeed a conservative media. Fox "News", Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, etc. are overtly conservative, and coordinate their message in an "echo chamber" to bombard their listeners with a single message of the week.

[ Parent ]
No (2.66 / 6) (#50)
by Heywood Jablome on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:00:46 AM EST

It's a legitimate issue. When we accept the surrender of an individual, we take on a moral responsibility for their welfare. Whether the individual soldier has violated the rules of military conduct isn't for us to say, but collectively we have the responsibility to safeguard the lives of prisoners.

Yeah, war is messy and shit happens, but we have to ask why it happens. The wounded men had surrendered the previous day. Why are they sitting there unguarded in a battle area? Why are they there at all? Does this incident indicate that we don't have sufficient numbers of troops to effectively carry out the Fallujah action? Or does it indicate that some of our troops have taken to casually executing Iraqi civilians? Are we going to discover rows of dead prisoners, each with a bullet hole in the head? I don't think so, but shit happens and we don't want that particular shit to be happening on our watch.

The success of our involvement in Iraq hinges largely on our credibility. Actions which discredit us - like this incident - like the Abu Ghraib photos - do a tremendous amount of damage not just to our reputation, but to our chances for a successful conclusion.

[ Parent ]

Your comment (none / 1) (#52)
by wiredog on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:05:49 AM EST

is a better story than the story.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Americans in general don't seem to care (none / 1) (#67)
by alprazolam on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 01:26:15 PM EST

much about the way the rest of the world perceives them. And many USians have no problem with marines executing Iraqis, and hold contempt for "war crimes" and the treaties that define them. Americans by and large are more interested in a sandwich with a face on it then their country's credibility.

[ Parent ]
here's the thing (none / 1) (#219)
by speek on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 11:28:51 AM EST

If I had been one who voted for Bush and supported the war, my thinking would be this:

War is not about being "fair" and following rules. It is about winning. It's about killing the enemy so that you can have peace through their absence. Fair and rules just don't play a part - you absolutely do everything you have to, and if butchers are on your side, then you use them to your advantage. While still engaged in war, you don't question your butchers - after all, you sent them to be butchers. After the war is won, then you can deal with them (and not because you suddenly agree with the moral issues, but because they are a pain to have around in peacetime). So, if you are fighting a war, all the backseat moralizing is just a lot of belly-aching from people who don't matter - not till they pick up a gun anyway.

Now, that said, I would never back such an elective war, precisely because of all this. I wouldn't back a war I wouldn't fight myself. And I wouldn't fight myself unless this nation was attacked directly. You don't fight wars that you would conceivably one day say "well, that didn't turn out well, let's just go home". You fight wars where there would be no home any more if you lost, and then when you do, yes absolutely, fuck the Geneva conventions.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

yes and no (none / 1) (#93)
by SocratesGhost on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 07:13:55 PM EST

While you can make the moral argument, you don't have to. The reason we treat such prisoners well is that it could make other people in similar conditions to try a suicide bomber sort of practice. If Americans kill wounded men who have surrendered, what's the incentive to surrender?

So, you can argue the moral angle but it's in our own best pragmatic interests to treat such people humanely.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
If it's that simple (3.00 / 4) (#53)
by Sgt York on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:27:46 AM EST

The soldier who shot the man is not the one at fault. He followed the rules of engagement and shot an enemy during a combat situation. He did precisely what his training told him to do, and the training is sound here. He most likely knew that units had received fire from that location, and that there could be enemy units still present.

To do some Monday morning quarterbacking of my own, the soldier who left an unrestrained, unwatched prisoner behind is the one at fault here. This was not tantamount to a death sentence for the prisoner, but it was a tactical error. He left a prisoner in a situation where it was easy for him to escape and remain a threat. He could have easily armed himself and continued fighting, making the capture irrelevant.

But, that's only if it's that simple. None of us, nor the media, know all the facts. None of us know what happened there. We can sit here, safe, thousands of miles away, having never had our lives threatened in any way, critiquing these actions. Yes, it is horrible that a man died needlessly. But who the hell ever said war wasn't horrible? It seems like a cop out, but think about it. War is a terrible thing. It always has been, and always will be. And contrary to the initial impact of that knowledge, it is good that war is so bad. If it weren't, we might start to like it. (I can't remember who said that originally)

All in all, I agree with you. It was a split second decision where error = death for someone. People with functioning survival instinct err on the side of the other person's death. As far as the soldiers are concerned, as a commander I'd be more concerned about the first unit that knowingly left their rear unsecure. The second unit responded appropriately for a combat situation.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

Well, it's a rush to judgement that's the problem. (none / 1) (#65)
by jolly st nick on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 01:21:27 PM EST

While I agree that your reading of the incident is most probable, I see nothing wrong with investigating the incident, so long as there is no rush to judgement.

People act like there is a need to come to judgement on incidents like this. Sometimes mitigating circumnstances emerge, other times mitigating circumstances evaporate. A policy of investigation with due process in cases like this seems reasonable to me; even if the situation turns out to be as you suspect, it will clear our soldiers of the charge of atrocity. In any case it will demonstrate that nobody is outside the law.

[ Parent ]

"exploited by a hostile media" (none / 0) (#175)
by trane on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 05:40:30 PM EST

The media could be seen as merely bringing up some of the horrible things that war makes soldiers - even good, moral, well-trained, fine, upstanding U.S. soldiers - do, and asking the question, do we citizens of this country want to be involved in such acts?

[ Parent ]
No (none / 1) (#212)
by duffbeer703 on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:05:55 AM EST

The media panders to a portion of the american public that harbors the belief that war is acceptable as long as it is "clean".

Lots of people actually buy that, and become very agitated when reality floats to the surface, which is why this is even being talked about.

[ Parent ]

either way (none / 1) (#243)
by trane on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:04:23 PM EST

it's a good thing, when the media reports truth.

if people are supporting the war because it seems to be "clean" then they should be shown what it is really like.

if this is not an isolated incident hopefully that too will be reported...

[ Parent ]

You have no right to judge them (1.66 / 6) (#61)
by sllort on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 12:50:20 PM EST

I've seen the horror. Horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that, but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face, and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and mortal terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies t o be feared. They are truly enemies.
I remember when I was with Special Forces--it seems a thousand centuries ago--we went into a camp to inoculate it. The children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us, and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile--a pile of little arms. And I remember...I...I...I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out, I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it, I never want to forget. And then I realized--like I was shot...like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, "My God, the genius of that, the genius, the will to do that." Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they could stand that--these were not monsters, these were men, trained contras, these men who fought with their hearts, who have families, who have children, who are filled with love--that they had this strength, the strength to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral and at the same time were able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling, without passion, without judgment--without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
No (none / 1) (#74)
by codejack on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 02:19:54 PM EST

"You must make a friend of horror and mortal terror."

And western man answers as he always has: "No."


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Oh REALLY? (none / 0) (#75)
by sllort on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 02:25:19 PM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
WERE THE NAZIS WESTERN MAN? (none / 1) (#105)
by sllort on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:57:43 PM EST

GET OVER YOURSELF YOU RACIST PIECE OF SHIT.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
I've always been curious about the phrase (none / 1) (#86)
by rodoke3 on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 05:51:48 PM EST

"You've no right...".  Why is it that people who can't defend their position in public so clearly announce it by using such a phrase?

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
Hey (none / 0) (#90)
by sllort on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 06:51:46 PM EST

If you keep mouthing off, I might have to drop a severed head in your lap. You're not a soldier, you're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Well there is the concept of (none / 0) (#174)
by trane on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 05:36:55 PM EST

inalienable rights, as expressed in our constitution.

[ Parent ]
your constitution is a piece of paper. /nt (none / 0) (#238)
by ror on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 05:27:28 PM EST



[ Parent ]
supported by rule of law. nt. (none / 0) (#244)
by trane on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:04:58 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Judgement is a two-edged sword (2.33 / 3) (#92)
by jd on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 07:06:11 PM EST

It cuts both ways, and it is very, very sharp. It is a fool who wields it unwisely. But treading on it is just as bad.

To me, it is murder to take the life of anything sentient (I consider there to be adequate evidence for Cetatians to be considered sentient). I do not consider it "justifiable" to kill a person for any reason whatsoever. There may be times where it is understandable, but that does not make it justified.

If killing is the only way to save lives, then that is understandable. We all want to save lives, we all want to do what is "right", even when "right" is hard to know. (There may be many things that are "right", there might be only one, there might be none at all.)

The "best" rule anyone has ever been able to devise on this issue is the Hypocratic Oath. The two Commandments of Jesus are probably the next best. The only sustainable cultures in history have either followed these or devised something very similar.

Being in the military creates an interesting conundrum for people. Under US military law, disobeying an order is never excusable - it's always considered "bad for discipline". However, under International Law, it has been repeatedly ruled that a soldier cannot claim that they were "just following orders".

German soldiers in World War II, Serbs in the Bosnian War, and East Germans after the Berlin Wall fell, all claimed that excuse. ALL such claims were rejected. A soldier was deemed responsible for their own actions, no matter what.

You, therefore, are 100% responsible for every action you ever carried out as a soldier, no matter what the orders, no matter who did the ordering. You are NOT responsible for other people's actions (such as the village elders), but where you had reasonable foreknowledge of what those people would do, you are responsible for the decisions you made, given the knowledge you had.

In the case of these soldiers in Iraq - they were not under fire at the time, they had time enough to carry out quite extensive dialogue (which means they had time to rationally observe the situation), and in the case I referred to, their reaction to being questioned about it was to shrug it off as no big deal.

As contexts go, that's pretty damning. I cannot see how, in the light of accepted International Law and all applicable precedents from World War II through to modern times, this can be considered anything other than a war crime.

Furthermore, given that we have similar incidents in Faluja, Abu Ghareb, Afghanistan and the US base in Cuba, with murders and other war crimes being reported with regards US troops in all of the above cases, and given that the US Government has refused to grant war prisoners the protections of the Geneva Conventions, it seems likely that this is a high-level policy and NOT a case of a few rogue troops.

We went through the "few bad apples" story at Abu Ghareb, only to discover that US Military Intelligence had been actively involved in encouraging or even ordering the abuse.

In my opinion, the origins of the problems are likely high enough up to encompass all these locations and likely will continue occuring until the heart of the problem is fixed.

[ Parent ]

You don't get it (2.00 / 3) (#100)
by sllort on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:43:17 PM EST

There is no such thing as a war crime, because war is a crime. Fucking rent the DVD and figure out who you were just arguing with.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
That's a great scene... (2.50 / 2) (#125)
by GreyGhost on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 02:37:48 AM EST

I loved the fact that on the bookshelf behind Marlon Brando there was a dog-eared copy of The Golden Bough.

I don't think this Iraqi cluster fuck has as yet turned into the smooth-running machine of mass death that Vietnam became...but we sure seem to be getting there a lot faster than the last time.



[ Parent ]

replaced? (2.50 / 4) (#68)
by karb on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 01:32:46 PM EST

As far as I know, the only replaced cabinet member was Paul O'Neill. And that was a while ago.

I haven't heard anything about any of the current departures being forced. The first rumors that Powell would resign instead of serving a second term (if Bush won) surfaced more than a year ago (possibly two).
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

Wah wah (1.06 / 15) (#69)
by marx on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 01:34:13 PM EST

The WTC bombers suffered from combat fatigue. They were only following the rules of engagement. Bla bla bla.

You have capital punishment for precisely these types of crimes. Here you have video footage of an execution-style murder. Why is this soldier not being strapped down and the needle prepared as we speak?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

DON'T SAY IT OUT LOUD! (none / 1) (#85)
by rodoke3 on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 05:37:53 PM EST

He might hear you and think we want him back ;^)

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
because (1.00 / 6) (#96)
by minerboy on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 07:48:16 PM EST

The death penalty is reserved for someone who kills another human, not for killing Animals who do this. I guess maybe you could call PETA.



[ Parent ]
oic (none / 0) (#246)
by sanchi on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:23:26 PM EST

Probably because despite what hate you have for our men and women in uniform, we do follow this one little thing called, "Innocient until proven guilty" and yes, our military deseves at least that much. I suggest you look at John Adams's defense of Captain Preston after the Boston Massacre.

[ Parent ]
Nip and tuck. (2.82 / 17) (#72)
by Kasreyn on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 02:13:40 PM EST

He's replacing most of the top executives of the CIA, plus most of the heads of Departments.

Actually, according to NPR, several of those CIA men are voluntarily quitting, including the chief of the clandestine department (spies) and his deputy, both long-time veterans and well-respected in the agency. It's mildly comforting to know that I was right about neocon ideologues driving away intelligent public servants, but it's mostly discomfitting to know how much more slipshod our intelligence-gathering will become. Snafu Principle, anyone?

He wants to replace relative moderates (such as Colin Powell) with more conservative people likely to back his plans.

I've not heard that Powell was fired, rather that he resigned. The Bush administration probably considered him a useful smokescreen. Me, I'm just in awe that the man (Powell) was so dedicated that he put up with four years of the harshest public ball-cutting I've ever witnessed. My hat's off, Colin.

Could someone link me to the Britain thing? Are we talking a shooting rebellion?

In general, it's really dangerous to sit back contentedly on your haunches and expect that this one will be brought to a halt by public outrage the way Vietnam was. The media blackout on images of the returning coffins shows that the Bush administration is already thinking along effective lines for preventing such media images. What do YOU think would happen if the word was sent out to not show American atrocities, or interview weeping Iraqi mothers any more? Strong-chinned Marines, frothing Jihadis, and disjointed battle shots only, please. There seem to be plenty of media outlets, especially the TV news services, who will be all too happy to comply. So don't rely on a TV horror show stopping this one, is my advice.

If such stories keep coming out, if the behaviour is not shown to be improving but possibly deteriorating, then President Bush's popularity is going to start suffering badly.

Bah. Americans support the war because they like wars. Mass penis insecurity, if you ask me. And atrocities happening to people of other races than white, or in other countries than ours, simply don't effect presidential popularity much. I'll remind you that Nixon was brought down by Watergate, not Vietnam. We have a beautiful memorial for tens of thousands of Americans killed in Vietnam. We rarely even stop to think of the millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians slain by such monsters as Henry Kissinger. Mention them to the average American and you'll get vaguely discomfited shrugs, maybe a surprised whistle, but after all, it's just a buncha dead gooks, right?

Nah. You won't find too much outrage over dead Iraqis, except on minority liberal websites like this one. Remember, most Americans bought the lie that Iraq's dictator attacked us.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
purges (2.66 / 3) (#78)
by Heywood Jablome on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 03:53:33 PM EST

What Bush is doing isn't a purge in the grand style, really. Stalin used to have people shot, after all. It is clearly a purge though. It's just that they're being shown the door in polite fashion and delicately informed that the President wants their resignation. Right now Goss is rooting through the mid-level CIA officials sniffing for liberalism and possible Democrats. Yet another step in identifying the party with the state.

With Gonzales at DoJ and Rice at State, we're seeing top positions filled by people whose only real qualification is that they've proven their personal loyalty to Bush. I'd be looking for Tom Ridge to go as well. My guess is that they keep Rumsfeld around to eventually take the blame for the on-going cluster-fuck that is the Iraqi occupation.

[ Parent ]

Consider the other side (none / 0) (#106)
by lostincali on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:58:41 PM EST

"Right now Goss is rooting through the mid-level CIA officials sniffing for liberalism and possible Democrats. Yet another step in identifying the party with the state."

This is typical politics. Everyone does it. Many governmental agencies have a strong Democratic party bias, especially the social programs, but that doesn't bother many people. The CIA has made serious mistakes and maybe some change needs to occur. I think that if Republicans control the government, they need to be able to change governmental organizations that are biased against them, at least to some degree.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Question (none / 0) (#111)
by Heywood Jablome on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:01:13 PM EST

When you say the CIA has made serious mistakes, what mistakes are you referring to?

[ Parent ]
9/11, wmd in Iraq (none / 0) (#136)
by wiredog on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:00:24 AM EST

Those are the two most recent serious failures.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Ahh (none / 1) (#140)
by Heywood Jablome on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:28:36 AM EST

There's probably plenty of blame on 9/11 to go around, including the CIA, the NSA, and the Oval Office. In regard to the intelligence on the WMDs however, I think Josh Marshall has a good take on the issue. Particularly this: "the folks who were always wrong and often catastrophically wrong are rooting out the folks who were often right and sometimes somewhat wrong".

The clearing of the decks at the CIA is not related to intelligence failures. The ranks of careerists in executive branch agencies are being cleared of those who are not personally devoted to this administration.

[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#303)
by kurioszyn on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 02:24:08 PM EST

"The ranks of careerists in executive branch agencies are being cleared of those who are not personally devoted to this administration."

Hmm .. what's wrong with that?

If there are people in an essentially advisory agency who are willing to express their disapproval of the choices made by the executive branch by going thru third party channels then why are you surprised Bush folks are attempting prevent that ?

Nobody is telling CIA to "adopt party line".
They are being simply told to stick to their core business and leave policy making to the people who are responsible for it.

[ Parent ]

Which is the worst part. (none / 1) (#170)
by cburke on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:48:15 PM EST

Powell telegraphed his departure a long time ago, though he was always professional when asked about it.  I was hoping he could continue to do provide some kind of working-within-the-system counterbalance to the idiocy in the administration, but it's obvious he was too marginalized to do it and I can't fault him for leaving.  Actually, the mutual "you don't want me here which is fine because I don't want to be here" nature of Powell's resignation may apply to others as well.

But this:

My guess is that they keep Rumsfeld around to eventually take the blame for the on-going cluster-fuck that is the Iraqi occupation.

Maybe, but small consolation it would be if he is eventually hung out to dry for being incompetent.  The surest sign that things aren't going to get better is that they don't make him take the blame for the on-going cluster-fuck now and hire someone who has some clue what the fuck they are doing.  Can't Bush find someone who supports his agenda and knows how to run a fucking war, or are those two things mutually exclusive?

That's the worst thing about Bush winning, that he could do it without firing Rumsfeld.  The people who support and want war don't seem to give a fuck about doing it competently, and that scares me.

[ Parent ]

British rebellion link (none / 1) (#104)
by caek on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 08:57:01 PM EST

Yeah, there are two right now, but they are about fox hunting and smoking in pubs. That ludicrous "rebellion" line is wishful thinking on the part of the author, and sufficiently cretinous and transparent for me to -1 this article.

[ Parent ]
I like this little piece of bullshit (1.50 / 6) (#76)
by greyrat on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 02:43:53 PM EST

tucked into the story:
Americans largely back the President over the war. Why, it's not clear, but they do.
Ummmm. No. At best, a very slim majority support monkey-boy in this action. But I doubt it.
~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

Some stats (none / 0) (#79)
by yamla on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 04:03:42 PM EST

There are some stats here, though they may very well not be statistically significant.  They claim that 53% of people think the invasion of Iraq was right, 39% think it was wrong.  That means 57.6% of those who expressed an opinion were in favour of the invasion.  I agree that this is not a large majority.

[ Parent ]
More people voted for Bush... (1.25 / 4) (#112)
by eeg3 on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:15:11 PM EST

...than any other President in US history. Moreover, 51% is significant... Bill Clinton never even reach 50%. Bush's party has picked up seats in both the House and Senate while he was President, do you understand how significant that is? What President Bush has is hardly a slim majority. Perhaps if you base what the country thinks on what the liberal circle jerk web-sites and the ridiculous, sensationalistic main-stream media say... yes, one could be ignorant enough to think Bush doesn't have the support of the majority.

Get a clue. Democrats lost. The majority of the country likes Bush.

THE WHOLE COUNTRY DOES NOT INCLUDE JUST SAN FRANCISCO, LOS ANGELES, AND NEW YORK, JACKASS.

-- eeg3(.com)
[ Parent ]

left out (none / 0) (#114)
by cronian on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:08:56 PM EST

Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and lots of other places. Why do you place all the focus on New York and LA, you elitist.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Thanks for proving my point. (1.00 / 3) (#115)
by eeg3 on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 11:33:08 PM EST

You think only big cities matter. You're the elitist, dolt. The country isn't made up of 10-20 cities. You fail it. Also, good work trying to zero my other comments that don't present an opinion you agree with, regardless of their merit. Troll.

-- eeg3(.com)
[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#119)
by cronian on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 12:38:39 AM EST

I never said that just big cities matter. You were the one, who only pointed the two cities to begin with. It appeared like you were trying to expound prejudices about certain cities, to cover a whole group, which includes much more.

You are the one the one, who wants your propoganda. You tell me I fail, but I would only have failed if I wanted to counter your propoganda, which I don't care to do. I just don't care for your idiocy.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
The point is the country is not... (1.00 / 3) (#120)
by eeg3 on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 12:49:38 AM EST

...made up of a few cities, which apparently your tiny little brain can't comprehend. Much like you can't count how many cities I mentioned. MATH? DUHR ME NO LEARN TEH MATH IN TEH SKOOL, huh?

It must suck not being able to follow elementary logic, I take it?

-- eeg3(.com)
[ Parent ]

Fuck Your Myth (2.60 / 5) (#118)
by Peahippo on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 12:23:17 AM EST

It's time to nip this particular Limbaughism right in the bud.

So what? Bush won 51% to 48%. Only a moron thinks a 3% margin is some wort of "mandate". THREE PERCENT is the very definition of "slim".

In 2008, if the American people show up at the polls in the same turnout, and Hillary Clinton {barf, gag} wins 51% to 48%, then by population expansion alone SHE WILL BE THE PRESIDENT WITH THE MOST VOTES IN HISTORY.

The number of votes cast increases with each generation. So we must ask again: SO WHAT? The real metric is that Bush won by THREE PERCENT. And that's no mandate. It only shows a firmly divided country.

Wake up, Limbaugh-ass-kisser. If people showed up in droves to vote for your little Hitler-clone Bush, then they ALSO showed up to vote for that elitist piece-of-shit Kerry. Americans simply turned out in record numbers to vote in this election. That's all we can say. And that says nothing for Bush that couldn't also be said for Kerry. (Come on, can't you say it: THE DEMOCRATS WON A RECORD NUMBER OF VOTES IN THIS ELECTION. No? Doesn't that just roll off your tounge? It's as true as saying "Bush won the most".)

Bush won. Only a fool would deny it. But he barely won. And there's no mandate in that at all. And you Neo-Cons can't fucking stand it, can you? You are all as bad as the fucking Democrats. You are all Imperialists through and through.


[ Parent ]
Good thinking by Mr. Bush (2.00 / 4) (#83)
by lookout on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 04:47:45 PM EST

of sending America's finest on a holy mission. The Homeland is a safer place without these angry young men.

To them: "Do not wrestle with monsters, lest you become one."


Having Won ... (1.00 / 1) (#117)
by Peahippo on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 12:10:06 AM EST

... the election, just think about all the millions of Republican-voting assholes he no longer needs. They can spill their blood on some desolate stretch of Iran as far as he's concerned.


[ Parent ]
yeah, but what about the terrorists? (1.40 / 22) (#89)
by the ghost of rmg on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 06:32:05 PM EST

here you are whining about the US but what about saddam hussein?

would you rather have saddam hussein?

why is it that everytime the US does something wrong the left is all up at arms but when a terrorist kills an innocent child, you don't give a fuck?

hm?

can anyone tell me?

the islamofascists have killed hundreds of innocent women and children

but we don't hear anything about them

why?

i ask you.

saddam hussein gassed his own people, but i don't see any of you complaining about that.

the US kills ONE terrorist and you go fucking crazy.

GET SOME FUCKING PERSPECTIVE YOU FUCKING FUCKS!


rmg: comments better than yours.

yay troll!! (n/t) (1.00 / 3) (#91)
by deadcow on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 07:05:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Best impression ever. (2.50 / 4) (#126)
by Torka on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:02:09 AM EST



[ Parent ]
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA ;-) (none / 1) (#131)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 05:57:22 AM EST

you bring a tear of pride to my trollish eye

sniff


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

hm (none / 0) (#183)
by bradasch on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 08:05:00 PM EST

I think you missed a "fuck" somewhere.

Maybe "navel gazing" should fit in too.

Good work, thou.

:-)

[ Parent ]

Jesus christ (none / 0) (#202)
by godix on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 04:22:06 AM EST

Can't ANYONE immitate CTS well? His style isn't a grand secret or anything fer christ sake. No capitals, no punctuation, and a 2 to 1 ratio of incomplete sentances vs complete sentances. Is this really that hard to copy?

"Yeah, we rocked the vote all right. Those little bastards betrayed us again."
- Hunter S. Thompson on the 2004 election.
[ Parent ]
shut up. (none / 0) (#215)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 10:40:22 AM EST

how fuckin' lame can you get? "i don't think your troll was good enough." jesus christ, what a nerd.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
I thought the country learned... (2.08 / 12) (#113)
by eeg3 on Tue Nov 16, 2004 at 10:29:31 PM EST

...something from Vietnam. That is you don't attack the soldiers and troops unjustly. There has been nothing proven, yet people are accusing this man and other soldiers of unjust murder?!

This country is not at war with Iraq now. That war is over. The Baathist regime has been toppled. What we're battling here are terrorist cells that are trying to take over the country and kill our troops, Iraqi civilians, and anyone else they can. The Geneva Convention does not apply to fighting terrorists.

It's a shame Americans and others get beheaded by dull machetes on video every week, yet no one cares (by no one, I mean NBC/ABC/CBS/et al). What happens when one of our soldiers shoots a terrorist? The media gets it's panties in a bunch trying to link it to President Bush, call our troops cowards, and to "prove" the war is going poorly. He shot a terrorist... Give me a break, you act like islamic terrorists aren't notorious for martyrdom.

Fallujah is hardly "FUBAR'd," as many moonbat lefties would have you believe. But, to counter that, i'd like to point you to a real soldier's thoughts on Fallujah.

-- eeg3(.com)

Bullshit (1.75 / 8) (#116)
by Peahippo on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 12:08:10 AM EST

Your beloved Neo-Con leaders are still calling Iraq a "war". The 2002 Iraq War Resolution is still in effect. You are not just wrong, but are butt-fuckingly wrong.

And a soldier who murders is still another fucking murderer. THAT'S what this country didn't learn from Vietnam, apparently.

I don't give 2 shits about mealy-mouthed asshole bastards like yourself who are following in the new (candidate) Atty. Gen's footsteps in trying to define American Imperial acts as falling outside the Geneva accords and overall international law. America's acts make her the world's leading rogue nation and terrorist state. And all your blather can't counter that.

It sure sucks to live in fucking Jesusland, what with all the folks cheering for soldiers killing people, while they cry in dismay when one man kisses another. You're another one of the loonies making America a living hell.


[ Parent ]
Uh no. (2.00 / 3) (#121)
by eeg3 on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 01:02:03 AM EST

Do you know what the soldiers did? Were you there? Did you see what was happening? No? So... you're persecuting a man solely on what the news tells you? ... They've been so credible lately. Especially, with Al-Qaqaa, Rathergate, etc.

Are you saying these terrorists were part of Saddam Hussein's regime? Unless they were, the Geneva Convention, once again, does not apply.

It sure sucks to live in fucking Jesusland, eh? http://www.helpthemleave.com/ is just for you!

-- eeg3(.com)
[ Parent ]

Your Mistakes (2.57 / 7) (#142)
by virg on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 10:23:31 AM EST

> Do you know what the soldiers did? Were you there? Did you see what was happening? No? So... you're persecuting a man solely on what the news tells you? ... They've been so credible lately. Especially, with Al-Qaqaa, Rathergate, etc.

Well, there was this video of this soldier shooting a guy who was laying on the ground, so no, I'm not really relying on what the news tells me. In fact, the news media you decry decided that I shouldn't see the whole thing because it was "too graphic" for me. I had to go find it on my own to see "what really happened" and it wasn't too difficult to interpret once I did.

> Are you saying these terrorists were part of Saddam Hussein's regime? Unless they were, the Geneva Convention, once again, does not apply.

Your biggest mistake is in thinking that because it's not illegal according to the Geneva convention, that it's not a deplorable act. Shooting an injured prisoner has been considered an atrocity for hundreds of years (heck, even in the American Revolutionary War, both sides held to this concept, so it's not like it was unheard of before Geneva) even if they're not covered by the Geneva Convention on the basis of being part of Saddam's regime.

Another mistake you make is that you seem to think that it's acceptable to kill someone at any time and under any circumstances simply by slapping the "terrorist" label on them. Thankfully most sane people disagree with this assessment, as evidenced by their concern over the shooting. Even if this guy could be labelled a terrorist as opposed to an insurgent (or rebel if you prefer that term), shooting him while he's injured and laying on the ground is generally considered unacceptable. There are circumstances that would make killing him justifiable, but the video does not show such circumstances. It shows someone committing a murder, and unless something comes to light that's not readily apparent on the video, I will continue to consider it such.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
This is not a conventional war. (2.50 / 2) (#167)
by eeg3 on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:08:17 PM EST

Did you see the wounded man's hands, etc. ? Most of these insurgents are prone to martyrdom, like I said... therefore the idea that they impose harm is not absurd. Even a threat makes it a justifiable killing.

"Shooting an injured prisoner has been considered an atrocity for hundreds of years (heck, even in the American Revolutionary War, both sides held to this concept"

I believe both sides generally agreed to not blow themselves up while pretending to surrender, too. That happens. The rules have changed, we must change with them, or be defeated.

"Another mistake you make is that you seem to think that it's acceptable to kill someone at any time and under any circumstances simply by slapping the "terrorist" label on them."

If a group of people are notorious for suicide bombing and possess no regard for human life, being civil with them is insane. You're just going to get yourself killed if you try to carry an islamic jihadist in your arms out to safety. Once again, we're not fighting a conventional war. We're fighting terrorist insurgents that will not stop and will do whatever is necessary to kill us. Even assuming the Geneva convention did apply (once again, it doesn't), if you fight an enemy that doesn't follow it, and you try to battle them within the rules... you're moronic, and you're going to get your men killed and lose the war.

-- eeg3(.com)
[ Parent ]

Jihad as a Simplifier (none / 0) (#257)
by virg on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 10:51:29 AM EST

> Did you see the wounded man's hands, etc. ? Most of these insurgents are prone to martyrdom, like I said... therefore the idea that they impose harm is not absurd. Even a threat makes it a justifiable killing.

It certainly does make a justifiable killing, and I will await review of the evidence in full before passing final judgement. But to be blunt, it did not have the appearance of someone who killed someone he thought was a threat. It had the appearance of someone who was angry at the injured man for trying to play dead, and who was far too trigger happy. The marine in question reacted disturbingly like a number of young gang members I've encountered. Time will tell.

> I believe both sides generally agreed to not blow themselves up while pretending to surrender, too. That happens. The rules have changed, we must change with them, or be defeated.

It happened in the Revolutionary War, too. Still, it's far too easy to say that every insurgent you encounter is a lunatic jihadist who will blow themselves up, and therefore it's acceptable to kill them all. If we must resort to scorched-earth tactics to win, we should really reconsider whether our presence there is wise.

> If a group of people are notorious for suicide bombing and possess no regard for human life, being civil with them is insane.

Sorry, but this is incorrect. There's no evidence to believe that all of the insurgents encountered fit this description, so again you're oversimplifying. Remember, the injured man surrendered to an advance unit, was treated foir his injuries, and was then left behind by that advance unit. He didn't fake a surrender and blow up anyone in the advance unit, so thinking that was his plan the next day is irrational. I find it deplorable that the advance unit treated prisoners and then didn't properly secure them out of the combat zone before moving on, but again I wasn't there. Still, if they'd done so, this injured man would not have been in a position where he felt the need to play dead, and would most likely not have been shot. But back to the point, saying he was a suicide bomber or had no regard for human life doesn't fit what he did (he had enough respect for human life to surrender rather than die, and didn't try to hurt any of the advance unit).

> You're just going to get yourself killed if you try to carry an islamic jihadist in your arms out to safety.

Again, this doesn't fit with the circumstances surrounding this guy.

> We're fighting terrorist insurgents that will not stop and will do whatever is necessary to kill us. Even assuming the Geneva convention did apply (once again, it doesn't), if you fight an enemy that doesn't follow it, and you try to battle them within the rules... you're moronic, and you're going to get your men killed and lose the war.

Sorry, but this is plain bullshit. You've been had if you think that everyone hiding out in Fallujah is a suicidal maniac who will spend every ounce of his being trying to kill "us good ol' boys". These are insurgents fighting for their way of life, but far too many of them have surrendered or quit the battle for me to buy that line, and so indiscriminately killing them all would make us the bad guys. You don't like fighting a war against guerrillas? Tough shit, that's the fight we signed up for in Iraq. But if you think that gives us justification for a "kill 'em all" policy you need your head examined. You can't defeat terrorists by being a terrorist, and since G.W. Bush put so much effort into defining terrorists as people who kill non-combatants, I'm going to hold him (and you) to that definition. If you decide that someone who surrenders doesn't count as a non-combatant because there have been those in the past who did that and cheated, then I'll take comfort in the fact that your opinion about that is very unpopular with most Americans. We're supposed to be the good guys, remember? At least, that what you keep telling me.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Hmmm (none / 0) (#292)
by DDS3 on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 10:36:07 AM EST

It certainly does make a justifiable killing, and I will await review of the evidence in full before passing final judgement. But to be blunt, it did not have the appearance of someone who killed someone he thought was a threat. It had the appearance of someone who was angry at the injured man for trying to play dead, and who was far too trigger happy. The marine in question reacted disturbingly like a number of young gang members I've encountered. Time will tell.

I guess your comments show how differently people can see things.  I walked away thinking that the kid was scared, thinking that he was faking injury, waiting to ambush them.

Perhaps the difference here is, you're watching it at face value, ignoring the lives that these soldiers have had to live.  In my mind, I'm taking into account the terror and fear these guys have lived for months and yes, even years.


[ Parent ]

Face Value (none / 1) (#306)
by virg on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 03:28:33 PM EST

> Perhaps the difference here is, you're watching it at face value, ignoring the lives that these soldiers have had to live. In my mind, I'm taking into account the terror and fear these guys have lived for months and yes, even years.

I do indeed take into account the events leading up to what happened here, and I understand what gets someone to the point where that marine was, but even with that understanding, being so jaded about killing that your reaction is to shoot someone laying on a floor means that this particular trooper is ill-fitted for the job. Even if he's found inculpable of any wrongdoing, if I were his CO I'd pack him home to spend the rest of his tour patrolling file cabinets in Virginia. His reaction was excessive, whether that was because of battle fatigue or because of a killer attitude, and if such acts are not pointed out and dealt with, we run the risk of becoming the bad guys.

Frankly, I'd like to see the advance unit that treated these prisoners and then left them unsecured in a combat zone brought up on charges, but that's realistically a different argument.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
I think... (none / 0) (#318)
by DDS3 on Fri Dec 03, 2004 at 06:58:28 PM EST

...we found common ground.  I agree with you!


[ Parent ]
About the GC (none / 1) (#291)
by DDS3 on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 10:32:03 AM EST

Even assuming the Geneva convention did apply (once again, it doesn't)

I should offer that even under the terms of the Geneva Convention, the soldier is probably protected.  Under the terms, the solder only needs to perceive that a threat exists.  From the video, you can clearly hear that he's scared and thinks of the wounded man as a threat.  According to the terms of the GC, he was within his rights to kill the man.

Such a percieved threat would not likely exist in the minds of our soldiers if the enemy was the least bit morale.  That man simply paid the price for his fellow scumbugs doing so many illegal and horrible acts.  You reap what you sow, as they say.  It seems the GC was written to take this into account.

[ Parent ]

Couple of things (none / 1) (#144)
by Heywood Jablome on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 10:45:00 AM EST

A significant number of the Fallujan insurgents are Sunni Arabs who were heavily invested in Saddam's Baath regime. Fallujah is like Tikrit, very much in Saddam's corner. Only something like 15 out of a thousand insurgents killed or captured have come from outside Iraq.

So if the Geneva Convention applies to anyone in post-Saddam Iraq, it applies to these guys. I'm not actually sure what the official Geneva Convention status is of prisoners in Fallujah, but I think it should be safe to say that once you have surrendered to a US soldier, you will not be executed in cold blood. We're funny that way.

Also, you mention Al-Qaqaa as if the media coverage of it has been inaccurate. I haven't seen anything that indicates that.



[ Parent ]

Al-Qaqaa (none / 1) (#168)
by eeg3 on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:13:46 PM EST

What actually happened to the 250 tons of explosives.

The media isn't exactly jumping over itself to prove it's lack of credibility... so I can understand if you missed it.

-- eeg3(.com)
[ Parent ]

Nice picture (none / 0) (#188)
by Heywood Jablome on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:01:11 PM EST

And I'm sure we've made quite a lot of nice explosions in the desert, but I was kind of hoping for something a bit more, um, substantiated. Certainly if the liberal media had made such a BFD about the explosives and if can be shown that they were all destroyed by US troops, presumably there would be some documentary evidence to back that up. Perhaps an article or two from somewhere, a DoD press release maybe.

It is a really nice picture though.

[ Parent ]

No, the Geneva Convention doesn't apply (none / 1) (#227)
by Wildgoose on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:12:08 PM EST

They either follow the rules, or they lose the protection.  And they're not following the rules, ergo...

[ Parent ]
UCMJ still applies. (none / 0) (#234)
by wiredog on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 02:28:31 PM EST

Regardless of the Geneva Conventions status. Several US soldiers, and at least one officer, are facing courts-martial for similar violations.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
wrong (none / 1) (#272)
by Paul Jakma on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 12:28:57 AM EST

You are wrong. You know absolutely nothing about the GC's.

[ Parent ]
Dipshit (none / 1) (#258)
by Peahippo on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 11:33:03 AM EST

Argue with the pixels on the video, asswipe. You will support your Empire no matter how many people it kills. Die in the desert ... please! It saves me the trouble of shooting you here, in America, when the time comes to kill all the Fascists. {spit}


[ Parent ]
Of course you don't attack the troops (none / 1) (#169)
by cburke on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 04:22:09 PM EST

Which isn't to say that this particular incident shouldn't be investigated and if the soldier found to be acting inappropriately, punished.  The important thing is not to vilify every soldier as a criminal simply by wearing the same uniform.  That's why Vietnam vets get so upset -- some soldiers committed wrongs, and everyone then gets painted with the same brush.

There are certainly terrorists attacking our soldiers, but to say everyone who is fighting is a terrorist is foolish.  It is obvious that there are different groups with different agendas and tellingly different methods.  Being unable to discern this -- an inability abetted by the administration who willfully avoids complexity -- is damaging to understanding what is happening there.

I don't know what you're talking about with respect to beheadings and kidnappings not being in the news...  They are in the news constantly with ongoing updates when tapes are released or governments respond or if the victims are released or found dead.  Honestly, what are you talking about?

Your real soldier has an interesting viewpoint:  What if it wasn't really stupid to give the insurgents a stronghold to plan attacks from for months on end, but actually genius because now there all in one place, like a roach motel!  Well, that'd make a lot more sense if we hadn't telegraphed our attack so far in advance that they all had a chance to leave.  Like baiting your roach motel, then not adding any poison for a month.  They're gone -- the only people left in Falluja are the ones that can't or won't leave for whatever reason.  I wonder if he was shocked when we attacked and the resistance turned out to be much lighter than expected?  He shouldn't be, if he had payed any attention at all since the Battle of Baghdad that never happened back in March '03.  Sheesh.

[ Parent ]

I report, you decide (2.66 / 3) (#122)
by Lode Runner on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 01:17:37 AM EST

Here's the raw video:

http://tv.reuters.com/ifr_main.jsp?st=1100671829913&rf=bm&mp=WMP&wmp =1&rm=1&cpf=true&fr=111604_081547_17d5d2ax10042e99bf7x1be4&rdm=3 46967.9731381502

You'll find the thumbnail link to the raw video in the "Top News Channel" box. I hope the video stays up because it's hard to find the unedited stuff elsewhere.

you know what i think? (1.90 / 11) (#132)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 06:23:55 AM EST

that isolated incidents of cruelty, that the secular west wrings its hands over and frets about, proves to me just how right it is we are on our efforts fighting fundamentalist wackjobs

this is all over cnn, and it plays against margaret hassan's killing... where's the cover up? there is none- the existence of, and continued wailing of bleeding hearts proves to me that we are doing the right thing

and the hand-wringing evident over the stupid marine who committed the atrocity and the increasing drumbeat and maliciousness of the actions of those we fight such as with margaret's killing, serves as exactly the kind of contrast and measure i need to know that we haven't lost our perspective, or the validity of our goals and actions

in other words, the marine is an inescapable aberration of a basically well-meaning effort, lost in a difficult situation, while something like margaret hassan's killing, as purposeful and effort-filled as it is, is therefore an iconic example of exactly what it is we're fighting

see?

folks: what happens in the itchy trigger finger of one dumb kid out of many in a difficult and confusing situation is not illustrative of the larger purpose and effort, while something like hassan's kidnapping meanwhile, her being filmed begging for her life, her captivity and eventual execution, is full of such effort and purpose and point, then THAT is illustrative of what is being fought in iraq

in other words, these 2 events, playing off each other further underscores in me the correctness of the us going into iraq

and when you open your mouth, and decry this atrocity committed by this marine, your very existence and your ability to speak supports what we are fighting for even further!

i don't see the kuro5hin queue overflowing with anti-kidnapping and execution sentiments... which is proof there is no mindlessness in the west! god bless you free thinkers! you don't represent logic or scale or perspective or contrast coherence, but the fact you are tolerated and are allowed to continue spinning away with the incorrect thoughts you are spinning, proves that the west is right! only your silence would fill me with concern that we were descending into some sort of fascist state so man of you actually believe in (what great fiction! so entertaining! lol)

in other words, i don't agree with some of your sentiments here, but i am extremely proud that you exist: your pointless, useless verisimilitude and hyperbole is simply proof of the secular west and its cause

so thank you, bleeding hearts, please: continue on, as loudly as you do, never grow queit... that's the day we should actually worry about the health and vitality of the west and it's cause

you bleeding hearts and some of your wild eyed sentiments and implications about this act of cruelty by this marine, for which he should be punished?

you guys are canaries in a coal mine: the louder you squawk and twitter, the more i know oxygen is still flowing to the brain... your words and thoughts don't really mean anything, as they are founded in some pretty fantastic interpretations of how reality really works, but you do serve a wonderful function: you wouldn't exist in china, you wouldn't exist in iran

but that you can shout ever so loudly, ever so wrong, here, in the secular west, as we fight fundamentalist scum, is a wonderful service you provide us all

that we make mistakes in the pursuit of a greater good, while those we fight do increasingly desperate acts of evil, only proves to me how right the secular west is in its engagement with fundamentalist assholes

bless you all, bless you bleeding hear morons: and please keep up your pointless squawking, i need to know i'm on the right side of a conflict, the side where dissent is healthy and loud

it proves to me, that i'm on your side, a side that tolerates people who bite the hand that feeds them, that even the spoiled, temper-tantrum oriented children of the west that don't understand the exact relation between themselves and the largely good that the men and women protecting them from real madness in the middle east do, that even you, who are so  benevolently tolerated even though you are so abhorrently wrong in your interpretations of how the world works, proves to me the west is healthy, and right

bless you all!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

To those with the constitution (3.00 / 3) (#137)
by caek on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:01:03 AM EST

to read the parent screed, I salute you.

[ Parent ]
reading cts is like eating raw eggs (3.00 / 6) (#143)
by LilDebbie on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 10:30:09 AM EST

it may not taste good, but it really grosses out those who watch you do it.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Just remember... (none / 1) (#150)
by skyknight on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:24:59 AM EST

to wash it down with a full gallon of whole milk.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
First person to read 50 CTM comments (none / 1) (#154)
by caek on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 01:04:14 PM EST

in an hour wins a small water biscuit.

[ Parent ]
It can't be done... (none / 0) (#278)
by skyknight on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 11:56:50 AM EST

and if you're going to try, for the love of God please do it while standing next to a trash can.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
and it's good for you too! 8-) nt (none / 0) (#155)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 01:42:52 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Interesting points (2.66 / 3) (#139)
by pauldamer on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:20:45 AM EST

Comparing this soldier killing someone in the heat of battle to the cold execution of innocent hostages is wrong. The military is doing absolutely the right thing by giving him a break, maybe this soldier is getting a little jumpy because his tour is lasting so long but that in no way is a war crime.
these 2 events, playing off each other further underscores in me the correctness of the us going into iraq
This however doesnt seem relavent to me. How many Americans were beheaded in Iraq before the war? How many Terrorist cells had total freedom Iraw and access to tons of explosives and weapons before the invasion? You justify a war before it starts, not by looking for excuses after you have committed your nation for years of hardship. By the way, the lack of stories speaking against the terrorists is because no one needs to be convinced that the terrorists are evil and do evil things. No one needs to be told that they need to be found and brought to justice.

[ Parent ]
I disagree with (none / 1) (#146)
by minerboy on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 10:58:15 AM EST

"the lack of stories speaking against the terrorists is because no one needs to be convinced that the terrorists are evil and do evil things" - I think it is because there is a mindset that excuses terrorists for what they do, like you excuse retarded people, children, and even animals. This mindset rejects the notion that there should be accountability of the culture that produced these people, and that no action taken by the west should even consider the actions of the terrorists. To this group of people, being killed by a terrorist is no different that being killed by a shark. You should know not to go into the water, right ?



[ Parent ]
right! (2.00 / 2) (#180)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 07:15:12 PM EST

traditionally, liberals are worldly and global while conservatives are provincial and xenophobic

however, so much of the useless punitive left we find today, as opposed to the traiditional lefties of years past, are entirely xenophobic and tribal in their ways of thinking

and so you are exactly right: to them, a terrorist is some weird foreign mythical force, not to be bargained with or explained, but just avoided like lightning or hurricanes

to them, the actions of terrorists can only be understood in terms of it being a reflection of something the usa did in the cold war, rather than the actions of a culture and people all of their own, having nothing to do with the usa... to them, there is no orginal sin in the middle east, there is just explaining their actions in terms of some stupid thing we did bad at some point in the cold war or europeans did in colonial times, imperialism... not at all conceivable to them is that with the actions of middle easterners we are talking about living breathing human beings, with wants and desires just like any westerner... oh no! if it is bad, and it happens in the middle east, obviously, we're to blame... how the FUCK does that work?!

to them, to fight for these people's rights in unthinkable, and their well-being isn't even considered unless it can be understood as a threat to their well-being... such as the threat something like guantanamo represents to their much exalted rights, without any understanding of what it takes to actually give people freedoms and rights in the first place! and then of course, what happens to a few dozen mostly terrorist assholes in guantanamo is endlessly fretted over, while mass genocide affecting hundreds of thousands in places like sudan is yawned about and skipped over!

and so, the useless punitive left of today is the most patronizing, tribal, nationalist group of assholes you can possibly meet, worse than a provincial toothless traditional hick racist... because at least the provincial racist fool knows he is malicious, while the punitive liberal insists that his patronizing and stereotyping of nonwesterners is a good thing :-/

they care so much... like vomit flavored cotton candy they care!

unless, of course, it's something that happens to people below the rio grande...

then of course it's "hands off, we have no right to mess with their affairs"

even if the people are so fucking messed up that coming to the usa and flying airplanes into office towers (what's that about the right to messing around in other people's countries again?) makes sense

and of course, when that happens, the middle east is not accountable for producing these 19 men, oh no: they're not real people where notions like accountability and responsibility apply, they are like cute furry woodland beings form exotic locations, only to be loved in the most abstract, impractical patronizing and exoticizing way imaginable

and of course, those thousands of innocents just going to work one fine morning deserved to be incinerated to death... why? because of some cold war policy 20 years ago of course!

fuck me with a stick please

iraqis are human beings just like you you fucking fruit loop punitive liberal assholes, entitled in every way to the exact same rights you enjoy!

if you fucking agree with that sentiment, do you REALLY understand the full implications of that notion?

i REALLY don't think you do you STUPID USELESS SELF-RIGHTEOUS TEENAGER OF THE WEST

you are all about as FUCKING perceptive as a concrete slab


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

another question (2.33 / 3) (#158)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 02:19:34 PM EST

how many middle easterners drove airplanes into office towers in new york city?

see?

so after september 2001, the choice is clear: it's either innocent civilians dying domestically, or professional soldiers dying abroad... the choice of no one dying does not exist, and so the examples of beheadings and bombings in iraq that you cite are pointless: it will only be more major scale terrorist attacks on the us if we didn't invade there, so the crap going in iraq is a superior alternative

q: you're wrong! invading iraq means an increase in a chance of a major attack on the us!

a: i don't necessarily agree. if the wackos are kept at home in the middle east wearing down us troops, they don't have the manpower and the time to plan more attacks in the us. also, even if the point of an increased risk is correct, which i doubt, but even if that is true for the sake of argument:

i think we both agree that doing nothing in the middle east means the chance of a major attack still exists, correct? well, that is just flat out unacceptable, period. therefore, the choice between the possibility of annother attack, by not invading iraq, versus a greater chance of another attack but also the chance of no more attacks, by invading iraq, is obvious: there is no gain in life without risk, so the risk will be taken.

q: but terrorism will always exist!

a: yes, but there is a real difference between homegrown wackjobs like ted kyzienski and timothy mcveigh and foreign cultural elements hellbent on killing as many americans as possible... you can exert influence to minize both domestic and international terrorism, and so to not exert such influence is where the possiblity of exerting such influence exists is a choice impossible not to take. and so, a no brainer: to iraq we go

q: iraq was not the right place to start! the 9/11 bombers were from lebanon and saudi arabia you moron!

a: the problem is the entire middle east, not one country or another, and the start of the solution that is democratizing the middle east is iraq, as the rationale to go there was the easiest to come by, and to bolster democracy there will do reams of good... let syria, saudi arabia, iran come next, whether by force of the gun if major terrorism in the usa by middle easterners happens again... or peacefully, by the influence a democratic, prosperous iraq, should no more major terrorism by middle easterners visit american shores.

q: why is democratizing the middle east suddenly our problem?

a: 9/11. duh.

q: is a peaceful democratic iraq really what is going to happen? i fucking doubt it! look at the place!

a: do we have a choice not to try to make it happen? has it really been long enough time to make the determination that iraq is a failure?

and while you, and most people speak criticizingly of the american policy and fall silent on terrorists because it is brain dead obvious they are evil, i assert to you 2 things:

  1. there really are some dorks out there who believe secular american actions are worse than fundamentalist terrorists. some people call what the secular us govt is doing is akin to fundamentalist christian crusaders. meanwhile, what the real fundamentalist muslims do can be explained, understood, excused, sympathized with. this is amazing to me! the global muslim fundamentalist (islam is not the problem, fudnamentalism is, btw) terrorist movement is the very picture of a religious crusade, and the actions they take amongst the most vile and evil the world has ever seen. meanwhile, every time a trigger happy marine shoots a prisoner, or prisoners are abused in abu gharaib, or detainees are denied certain rights in guantanamo, the secular west wrings its hands and worries! ...so that people see americans as crusaders and the terrorists actions as understandable consequences of what the us does is utterly astounding to me. as if the people who live in the middle east can be fully understood only in terms of being a simple reflection of what we do, like they aren't real breathing human beings... this pov is astoundingly selfish and xenophobic
  2. criticizing the us alone is counterproductive, as they are not the source of the problems in the world: wackjobs flying airplanes into office towers, blowing up resorts in bali, schools in chechnya, subways in madrid, beheading "infidels"... they are the biggest problem in the world today. to see it in reverse blows my mind. so you may criticize the us govt, but to not criticize the middle east more on the balance with your words, simply means you do not apply your critical energy to its maximum moral influence, and puts into doubt whether or not you actually do understand that the fundamentalists are the largest problem in the world today.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Don't be an idiot (2.00 / 2) (#166)
by marx on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 03:46:05 PM EST

there really are some dorks out there who believe secular american actions are worse than fundamentalist terrorists. some people call what the secular us govt is doing is akin to fundamentalist christian crusaders. meanwhile, what the real fundamentalist muslims do can be explained, understood, excused, sympathized with. this is amazing to me!
What is worse: 1. A normal person rapes a woman. 2. A police officer rapes a woman, and is protected by his colleagues and superiors.

Are these actions equivalent to you?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

wow (none / 0) (#179)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 06:55:18 PM EST

just wow

why, in your mind, does what one stupid trigger happy marine does become a symbol of the intent and purpose of the united states in the middle east, while the vile atrocities done on purpose by a large scale movement can be ignored, explained, tolerated?

does what happened in chechnya, madrid, bali equal "a normal person raping a woman"?

(btw, wtf is a "normal" person raping a woman supposed to fucking mean dipshit?)

you really are fucking retard you know that?

no really, your abilities to match your anti-american tirades with reality would be far more compelling if you could update your rhetoric now and then to jive with the way the fucking word really is, got it?

like calling the actions of the secular west a fundamentalist christian crusade while ignoring THE REAL FUCKING JIHADIST CRUSADE in front of your fucking eyes is... just fucking alternately hilarious and pathetic


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So (none / 0) (#199)
by marx on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 03:38:36 AM EST

You avoid answering the question.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

yeah (none / 0) (#206)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:11:39 AM EST

i avoided answering the question, that's right

because i'm just so wrong i can't, right?

any other bullshit you need to prop up your fucked up worldview and let you sleep at night asshole?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#213)
by marx on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:26:09 AM EST

because i'm just so wrong i can't, right?
For once your analysis seems to be spot on.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

thank you! (none / 1) (#217)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 11:01:45 AM EST

thank you for your fucking genius!

you really are so influential you know that?

3 million more voted for a moronic frat boy in 2004 than 2000 exactly because of your extremely effective ability at communicating your pov!

i mean, when derision and castigation don't work on my words, you simply say i avoided the argument!

what genius

WHEN I DIDN'T AVOID THE ARGUMENT YOU STUPID BLIND FUCK

I ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION

AND THE ONLY THING IN QUESTION IS YOUR ABILITY TO PERCEIVE WHAT THE FUCK IS REALLY GOING ON IN THE WORLD AND HOW MY ANSWER APPLIES

really! you're so brilliant!

i'm the one with the problem? i'm the blind one? did you see the election a few weeks ago you stupid blind fuck?

what the fuck would move 3 million more people to vote for a dumb rich frat boy?

gee, i dunno asswipe, search around for your usual mental crutches- media, propaganda, conspiracies...

RATHER THAN THE FUCKING FACT THAT INVADING IRAQ WAS RIGHT AND THE MORAL OUTRAGE OF AMERICANS AT 9/111 IS COMPLETELY FUCKING SOUND

i'm so blind? i'm a fucking cowboy out to kill iraqi children for the fucking oil, is that it? i'm a warmongerer? any other stereotypical labels you want to apply to me to wall off my points from your predetermined pov that doesn't take what the FUCK is really going on in the world in account?

huzzah! you're so perceptive! really, you're a fucking genius!

go ahead! i want more some more tone of righteous smug indignation at me and my words!

really, it is serving you and your pov so fucking well!

i mean at this rate, with your smug condescencion, we'll have republicans in the white house for 50 more years! congratulations you stupid fuck!

stupid fucking asshole

so fucking blind, so fucking lost

all you have is your smug sense of superiority- it doesn't inform reality, it walls you off from it, THAT'S THE FUCKING TRUTH

and there's less of you every day

fucking blind loser

your influence is waning dear, you're losing

try a new tactic, or give the fuck up


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

so... (none / 0) (#293)
by Innocent Bystander on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 12:43:53 PM EST

you're not going to answer the question then?

[ Parent ]
good questions (none / 0) (#193)
by pauldamer on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:10:21 PM EST

q: you're wrong! invading iraq means an increase in a chance of a major attack on the us!

a: I agree with your answer. Why would they go through all the effort of going to America to kill Americans if they are right next door?  Plus the invasion left all kinds of weapons and explosives unguarded to do it with and disbanded the security forces that had been keeping foreign terrorists out of Iraq.

q: iraq was not the right place to start! the 9/11 bombers were from lebanon and saudi arabia you moron!

a: Your answer here is interesting, sort of like the cold war domino theory but in reverse.  I think afghanistan was definatly the right place to start.  They were clearly harboring terrorists and refused in any way to cooperate.  Iraq might have been a good second step but we will never know because Bush's administration fucked the planning and diplomacy up pretty good.  We still have a chance but I don't see Bush doing what I believe he has to to fix it.  Of course what do I know?

q:why is democratizing the middle east suddenly our problem?

a: In my opinion our obligation here extends way past 9/11 to when we propped up evil dictators like Saddam.

1. Explaination does not equal sympathy.  I can understand how conditions drive some people to become suicide bombers but that doesn't mean it's OK.  It seems to me that part of the fight against terrorists should be to cut their ranks, not only through military and police action but also through humanitarian action.  As a potential terror recruit if I can get an education from someone besides the local mullah I will.  If I can get a job and feed my family I am not going to go blow myself up.  

2. I agree, saying that the problem is all the fault of one side is ridiculous.

Anyways, I just wish that our times of fear and war will be replaced by hope and freedom soon.

[ Parent ]

humanitarian action? (none / 1) (#209)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:42:15 AM EST

you mean like margaret hassan?

how do you fucking give humanitarian action to people who don't respect you, who, just because you're not muslim (or even if you are muslim, but side with the infidels) you deserve a bullet in the head?

and saddam is OUR FAULT

i am so SICK of this "the us is the source of everything evil in the world" stupid fucking BRAINDEAD way of looking at things!

NO YOU FUCKING MORON

SADDAM HUSSEIN IS THE FAULT OF IRAQ

do you fucking get it?

NO REALLY DO YOU FUCKING GET IT

it's NOT fucking relative!

the moral outrage of the west at 9/11 is valid and effective and it has a good point: democratize the basketcase middle east and END IT ONCE AND FOR ALL

are we still fighting japan in wwii?

are we still fighting the south in the civil war?

you go on with your hopelessness and defeatism and believe it never ends, that there is no goodwill to be found in the middle east, that nothing will get better

to which i reply:

FUCK

YOU

AND YOUR EMPTY HELPLESSNESS


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Oh, this is choice. (none / 0) (#198)
by cburke on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:01:17 AM EST

I love how you use the term "middle easterners" when it's convenient to make invading Iraq sound like a reasonable response to 9/11.

And then you proceed directly into the Bushism that it's better that they attack us over there than over here, creating the wonderful false dichotomy of  " it will only be more major scale terrorist attacks on the us if we didn't invade [Iraq], so the crap going in iraq is a superior alternative".   Right, it's Iraq or here.  Maybe there's a third option?  An option that, perhaps, we've already taken...

And then you just get offensive when you suggest that our choices are doing nothing or invading Iraq.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  It's not a choice between doing nothing and doing something foolish.  There is a third option:  acting, but not foolishly.  But in case I'm going over your head, let me sum it up in one word:

AFGHANISTAN

You remember Afghanistan?  The war that's actually going reasonably well, because we took it seriously and actually had a reason to go there?  You think it's vital that we respond to "middle eastern" aggression by creating a beach-head of democracy?  Well there's your beach-head, idiot.

God, it's sickening listening to you say how necessary it was to invade Iraq inorder to fight Terrorism, when we already invaded a country that was responsible for Terrorism.

Let's compare and contrast Iraq vs Afghanistan.

Afghanistan:

  1.  Clear mandate.  Directly connected to the 9/11 attacks.
  2. Support of international community.  Moderates everywhere supported this.  Celebrations of the WTC attacks were the exception, not the rule.  Hell, even Canada sent troops over to help us out.  "Go get those fuckers" was the cry of our allies.
  3. Afghani support.  They still remember when we helped them kick out the Soviets.  They hate the Taliban, and don't hate us.
  4. Real theocratic terrorist government.  The Taliban were the fucking poster-child for oppressive Islamic governments.  You want to fight "Islamonazis"?  That's them.
  5. Well-defined enemy.  al Qaeda and the Taliban is our enemy, and these groups are intimately linked.  True, rooting them out of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border area isn't easy, but at least we know what to call them.
Iraq:
  1. No mandate.  No threat to us at all, and the only legitimate reasons we could come up with for military action were U.N. resolutions, which is idiotically hypocritical when we ignore then ignore the U.N.
  2. Little support of international community.  Even our staunchest ally, Blair, supported us only against the will of his own people. Nobody fell for the bullshit except for "USians".  Huge protests occured everywhere.  Bush couldn't get out of his car when he visited London.  London, not Gaza!  "Get fucked" was the cry of many of our allies, and more as time passes.
  3. Iraqis remember the last time we promised to bring them democracy.  They hate Saddam, but they have no reason to trust us.  Putting compromised pawns like Chalabi and now Allawi in control isn't helping.
  4. One of the most secular nations in the region.  The "islamonazis" didn't have any power there until we invaded.  Clerics were influental but generally apolitical and moderate.  al Sadr was little more than a family name until we invaded.
  5. Poorly defined enemy.  We have Baathists, foreign terrorists, Sunni insurgents, Shiite insurgents.  A lot of these groups are themselves enemies, and every city we "pacify" seems to cause another movement to arise.
Now lets pretend that we haven't yet invaded either of these countries.  Let's pretend we're sitting here with our military at home, and you're shouting "We must do something!"  Okay, I agree.  Now, which country do you want to invade?  Which sounds like the better choice?  Which is more closely aligned with your stated goals?

Not a single fucking reason you give for invading Iraq isn't better served by us having invaded Afghanistan.  And you have the balls to claim that it's Iraq or nothing.  If you could look at the situation honestly, you'd realize that Iraq is nothing but a horrible distraction from what we're trying to accomplish in Afghanistan.

Think about it, man...  Imagine that we haven't invaded Iraq, and all our efforts were devoted to Afghanistan.  With 140,000 troops, Karzai might even be able to leave Kabul!  We wouldn't need the rapacious warlords as much to control everything outside the capital.  To the extent that Democracy is blooming there, how much more so it would be if we weren't mired in Iraq!  Imagine if we weren't completely soaked in bullshit, and serious about bringing freedom!  Imagine Saddam quaking in his fucking boots, because his people see that 1990 was a fluke and we really are committed to bringing freedom and democracy.

But no, we -- meaning you -- are too full of shit to actually achieve our goals.  Because "intent" supposedly trumps "actual results" Iraq will be lucky if it can have a sham election in 2005.  Keep praying for democracy without demanding a change in policies, that's sure to work!

All you have is your bullshit about "falling silent" about terrorists.  Do you even watch the news?  Nobody was silent about Terrorism when we invaded Afghanistan!  Too bad you've smothered that fire with bullshit.  Too bad that you can't admit that your good intentions can't make up for the fucked decisions of our leaders.  

Just too bad.  You have the right philosophy, but no clue at all about how that philosophy is being twisted by reality.  Too, too bad.

[ Parent ]

afghanistan (none / 1) (#207)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:18:07 AM EST

isn't good enough

it doesn't provide me or a lot of other people enough cerntainty that something like 9/11 won't happen again

maybe it does for you, but i don't actually think that you therefore have a grip on what is really going on in the world

and if something on the scale of 9/11 should happen again in the us emanating from middle eastern terrorists?

then we should invade syria, iran, asap

any other questions moron?

welcome to how the world really works

you can't shut down the outrage of people at something like 9/11

and you can't contain it

just look at the last election dipshit

bush the fucking frat boy moron won, by 3 million votes that didn't exist last time

BECAUSE OF 9/11 YOU STUPID FUCK

no 9/11?

no more 4 years of bush the fucking frat boy?

do you understand?

no, do you really understand what the REAL SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM IS NOW?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I usually agree with you (none / 0) (#252)
by thenerd on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 04:01:59 AM EST

afghanistan

isn't good enough

it doesn't provide me or a lot of other people enough cerntainty that something like 9/11 won't happen again

Invading a country will aggravate people rather than pacify them.  Things are more dangerous, not less, since bush started invading random middle-east countries because he wanted to or because it satisfied people.  You obviously see it in a different light but invading any country doesn't provide any certainty that something like 9/11 won't happen again.  And by the way don't you think the Iraqi's, who have suffered many times more at the hands of the USA than the USA did at 9/11, might have some bloodlust too?  And as a result go on fighting and fighting and fighting?

you can't shut down the outrage of people at something like 9/11

The strongest act is to do what will solve the problem, not satisfy the bloodlust of a nation.

[ Parent ]

even more so.. (none / 1) (#271)
by Paul Jakma on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 12:24:26 AM EST

Hell, even Canada sent troops over to help us out. Hell, even the French and Germans sent troops! they're over there right now as part of the NATO forces.

[ Parent ]
moot point (none / 0) (#182)
by bradasch on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 08:01:19 PM EST

All you are saying is nice, but it depends on your definition of what's good and what's evil.

And that arbitrary definition is irrelevant to those you choose as "The Enemy".

So it's all a moot point, a fruitless discussion, and a perpetuation of the current differences the world show us.

;-)

[ Parent ]

nope (none / 1) (#187)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 08:32:18 PM EST

to believe that what is good and what is evil is relative is to believe that justice is relative

it's not

rape is evil

period

it's not relative, it's absolute

if you can grok that statement, then you can begin to build a worldview that has meaning

now of course, you can say to me that human life is meaningless, that the search for meaning is pointless, that none of this matters

and if you sincerely believe that, then i cannot shake you: nihilism is what it is, there is no arguing with nothing itself

but: by the same token, then i can say to also at that very moemnt: just shut the fuck up, and go away

because if you HONESTLY believe that good and evil are relative, and, as you say "it's all a moot point, a fruitless discussion" then please, by all means, take your thesis to it's logical conclusion and NEVER POST HERE AGAIN AND NEVER TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT IRAQ OR THE US EVER AGAIN

how can i say this?

because it's a moot point right?

so why the fuck are you still talking?

if it's a moot point, and you really believe that THEN WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING FOR?

i don't believe it's a moot point, and plenty of others don't, and we, with passion in human existence, will continue talking now, okay?

but, you, who only champions the pointlessness of it all, must therefore, by the logical implications of your own words SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GO AWAY

or admit that you don't really believe what you say

because if you took the time and energy to post the comment you did above, then you have passion in SOMETHING

and therefore, that passion contradicts the word you say

but as of right now, your words and your actions don't match, and so the only thing that doesn't mean anything at all

is you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

wow (none / 1) (#189)
by bradasch on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:05:36 PM EST

first, sweetie, calm down. ;-)

You're absolutely 100% right when you say good and evil are absolute.

They can be, of course. Rape is evil. Period.

Now let me explain what I was trying to say in my comment.

Planes crashing in the WTC are evil, right?

Yes, it is pure evil.

But then, bombs, falling in civilian houses in some hole in Iraq, are good.

Yes, the holy expression of goodness.

See? IN THAT CASE your definition is relative. Ask the owner of the house that was just bombed.

Your preaching depends on the satanization of The Enemy (TM) as "islamonazis" and fundamentalists.

Move somewhere else in the world and the roles are inverted. Who's right?

See, it's moot. You have two hard-headed idiots banging each others forehead until one of them cracks.

The only logical, reasonable exit for this situation is to anihilite The Enemy (TM, pat. pend.).

Is that good or evil?

About the rest of your comment.... Well, it's a downhill fallacy that any 10 year old would laugh about.

Thanks for the opportunity of a nice trolling thou!

;-)

[ Parent ]

when someone is raped (none / 0) (#208)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:37:03 AM EST

and you find the rapist and punish him, it's not a cycle of violence, it's justice

when something like 9/11 happens, and you go and democratize the middle east, that's justice at work

do you say even THAT is relative? that it's a cycle that never ends?

so we're still fighting the japanese in wwii?

we're still fighting the south from the civil war?

it ends, it really does

and if you can't look at the secular west and it's pov of replying to moral outrages like 9/11, and instead see it all as relative, where people who commit things like madrid, bali, chechnya, 9/11 have some sort of valid pov that should be understood, condoned, then you really don't fucking get it


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

nice points (none / 0) (#214)
by bradasch on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:32:07 AM EST

But how long are you ready to wait till it ends? For how long do we keep fighting things like madrid, bali, chechnya, 9/11 the same way we are fighting now, hoping for an end?

When are you going to see we are to them what they are to us?

If the middle east is to be democratized (I think it should), why do that in this horrible fashion?

And how can you jump from rapist punishment to democratize as a valid metaphor? Your definition of "justice at work" is, still, YOUR definition.

And, please, Japan and Germany and the whole WWII have nothing remotely related with the current situation in Iraq.

And nowhere I said, and I resent you implicated this, that I "understand and condone" terrorism. I don't, but if you can't understand that, and that the current "War On Terror" (TM) is going horribly bad, then you really don't fucking get it.

There are few things more destructive than an idiot with initiative.

;-)


[ Parent ]

wow, a civil discussion (none / 0) (#218)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 11:23:30 AM EST

a civil discussion, here on kuro5hin, no smug condescension... i can't deal with it, lol ;-P

q: But how long are you ready to wait till it ends? For how long do we keep fighting things like madrid, bali, chechnya, 9/11 the same way we are fighting now, hoping for an end?

a: 10 days or 10 years. the point is that the option to not fight does not exist considering the nature of exactly what we are dealing with in the middle east. therefore, the consideration of how long the fight might take cannot inform our choice. we have a problem. if it's a small one or gigantic huge one, it does not matter, we have to solve the problem. not solving it, after something like 9/11, is inconscienable.

q: When are you going to see we are to them what they are to us?

a: never, because you are flat out wrong. we see the middle east as a region with various socioeconomic, geopolitical, and theohistoric conditions that lead to the creation of bombers and terrorists rather than doctors and lawyers. that can be fixed with democracy. a group like al qaeda (a small subset of the middle east, but a potent one nonetheless due to the support it receives in various dark quarters of ignorance and hypocrisy there... certainly, these are facets of human identity that exist everywhere in the world, including of course the west, but in the middle east ignorance and hypocrisy and a fucked up interpretation of a noble old beautiful religion leads some to think flying aircraft into office buildings makes sense, bombing resorts, subway systems, killing schoolkids and beheading humanitarian workers) simply sees us as heathens to slaughter in the name of all that is holy. slaughtering genuine complete innocents, by surprise, is completely acceptable to al qaeda. meanwhile, for us, our actions are telegraphed months in advance, and then every accidental death of an innocent is greatly worried about. so we are to them as they are to us? a competely 100% false concept, really. it's not relative at all.

i see a continuum of comfort with various opinions people have here, with 3 main areas of relative equilibrium

  1. the blind nationalistic fools: whatever bush says is right, we will support. the basis for any fascist blind nationalism. aciton without thought is totally ok.
  2. the ivory tower smug condescending types: whatever bush says is automatically wrong. these are people who will think, and never act. and their rationales don't serve to help the world, their rationale only serves to wall them off from reality: no action is ever appropriate. this person is better than the blind nationalistic fool, they won't add themselves to a stupid cause. but their still useless to the world.
  3. the conscienable, moral person. this person thinks, and comes to act out of a heavy burden and heavy heasrt, but act nonetheless. it is messy, but the righ thting to do. the problem with this person is, that person #2 looks at person #3, and, out of stereotyupical thinking and prejudicial thinking, sees person #1. it is inconceivable to them that after somet hinking, aciton becomes inescapable and necessary, in order to serve the world. because person #2 can only understand rationables that serve them, that convince them that their predetermination to act is not right. person #2 is why 3 million more voted for a dumb frat boy in 2004 than 2000: you don't convince anyone of anything with an attitude of smug superiority.
so:

action without thought is wrong

thought without action is wrong

careful action, after sober thought, is right

just look at my sig ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

OMG! (none / 0) (#228)
by bradasch on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:19:08 PM EST

Man, you're not behaving like the usual acid cts we know. I was not prepared for that too! ;-P

I can't stop repeating it: we are used to look at the extremists and take them as the model of a society.

That's why we see them as "bombers and terrorists rather than doctors and lawyers". But there are lawyers, doctors, janitors, and a lot of normal people there. We just choose to ignore them, most of the time.

And that's why they see us as "infidels", forever cursed with all the futile pursuits of material values rather than the spitual ones, which they seem to value more.

You know, sometime ago I watched a BBC documentary about Iran, strongly affirmative in the sense that yes, it is a theocracy, but it's evolving, and evolving fast. They used as an example a company of taxi drivers with only women! Something like that was inconcievable not more than 10 or 20 years ago (actually a lot more was said, I just picked an item that stuck to me).

We have to let them evolve to democracies. We should be actors in this evolution, but not with violence, there's no way to "force" democracy unto them. Problem is, unfortunately none of the major characters acting in these play has any intention of help evolution. Bush wants to "free" the people, sadly without a plan that involves freedom; Israel is backed up by the US in a no number of immoral actions against palestine; And the muslims, cornered in their own land, respond in the vicious way we see: radically killing innocent people.

If we have had sober though and careful action in Iraq, starting 20 years ago, nothing like the current war would be happening.

My last line before was directly aimed at your sig ;-P

Bush is the idiot, with initiative, and, boy the mess he is making!

[ Parent ]

yeah but (none / 0) (#229)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:25:56 PM EST

when something like 9/11, the glacial pace of normal societal evolution towards democracy is not enough

and to risk going backwards for the chance of making things go forward faster, is more acceptable than doing nothing after 9/11

and we're not at war with the doctors and lawyers of the middle east, we're at war with al zaqaris of the middle east

and there are not more spiritual people in the middle east, spirituality is a constant across human cultures

believe me, you can find mystics in the red light district of amsterdam and you can find porno addicts in tehran

and please: the last 20 years of iraq is not a reflection of the us, iraq is a reflection of iraq

i really am tired of that fallacy

and yes, bush is a moron, but sometimes 1 moron who acts is more valuable than 10,000 geniuses sitting around wringing their hands about what to do


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

OMG again! (none / 0) (#231)
by bradasch on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:40:32 PM EST

You agreed with Bush!
[/sarcasm and irony off now ;-P]

You have to understand something: the US has a foreign policy that is hardly adequate. It makes mistakes that are very expensive in some regions. It also gets things right too.

If one supports financially the wrong ideals, one is partially responsible when things go wrong. We should never forget that the US aided Saddam to achieve the power he had, but not as punitive rhetoric. As a lesson. We should be careful in what kind of government we are supporting in Iraq, simply to avoid making the same mistake again.

[ Parent ]

context (none / 0) (#240)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 06:55:20 PM EST

  1. what happened in iraq must be understood in terms of the cold war. even if every punitive liberal fantasy about the us's role in creating saddam were 100% correct, a case could be made that in the fight against communism, the trade-off to the future that we are now paying for is still worth supporting saddam: the soviets are gone, and they were a bigger threat then 10 iraqs and 10 al qaedas today.
  2. saddam's support must also be understood in the context of what was going on in iran (groan, i can hear it now: everything that happened there is our fault too, it's laughably predictable). does the idea of mullahs with nukes not frighten you? well, that's what we almost got today. it was worth slowing them down with saddam's megalomania, no? so let us cross our fingers and hope the young ones on the street overthrow the censoring, women's rights denying fundamentalist theocracy there. please. because if they can't, we have to march on tehran if another middle eastern-supported major terrorist event ever happens in the us. and if that major event has a nuclear signature? well then, riyadh here we come too. american troops standing on the kaaba in mecca- can you imagine? it will come to pass, 100% certainty, if terrorists ever get something nuclear in the united states mainland.
  3. who created saddam? the us had influence. but if you tell me it is not true, with a straight face, that saddam hussein, by a VAST MAJORITY was a product of IRAQ, then you are truly blind to the existence of people outside of the west. as if people who live outside of the west are but carboard cut-out reflections of western actions. bullshit. how very patronizing: on one hand, please don't touch the cute furry arabs, they don't have accountability or responsibility... and on the other hand, every ruler they have, everything bad that goes on there, is our creation. can you not see the incredible patronizing racism in viewing the world this way? this sort of massively inflated esteeem of the west and it's influences and the one-dimensional consideration of nonwestern peoples and their desire for democracy and prosperity and their basic human goodness? i suppose, in the punitive liberal view, that terrorists are like a shark attack or a lightning strike is a superior attitude? in the punitive liberals' view, they aren't human beings we can communicate with, they are just hopeless monsters, animals, not to be understood or communicated with, just avoided. amazing, that some poeple really think this way. what a helpless, racist, negative, pointless way to see the world and its peoples.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
context updated (none / 0) (#242)
by bradasch on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:00:35 PM EST

1. The cold war, ah the cold war... Have you seen BBC's the Power of Nightmares? A major point there, and a very balanced one, is that the threat the USSR posed was hugely amplified by the american government to create an atmosphere of fear, very likely what we see today. And I guess this may be true, since the soviet's economy and politics collapsed like a house of cards. The documentary, and I agree with that too, does not say the soviets were not a threat. They simply state that they were not THE BIG THREAT (today it would be "OMFG!!!!111 teh russian are c0ming"). So, in that context, aiding Saddam makes less sense today. It's complicated. But these things should be examined and a lesson should be learned. Remember, in the 80's (during Reagan's term), the people responsible for the american foreign affairs were the same people working there today.

2. We have to understand that extremists with nukes will happen someday. In my opinion, it's inevitable. Why? Because having it will be their main way of defense. In that context, I think the american army *knew* Saddam would not strike back with WMDs. It would be too risky to invade if there was a serious chance of these weapons existing.

3. Iraq created Saddam, of course. But see, the american influence was a push in the wrong direction. A powerful push, I guess. So, in a region where anything causes big turbulences, why add to the caos? Shouldn't we be more careful next time? See, it's interesting for the american neo-cons that the world sees the middle east as hopeless monsters. What candidate said they would treat the "enemy" as human beings? None.

I don't think the majority of today's islamic leaders is belicist to the point of grabbing arms to conquer the enemy. This is the objective of extremist leaders that have been repulsed even by Saddam. We have to deal with this extremists, not with any islamic leader that twitches the nose to the US.

Also, why blame the terrorists for Bush's reelection? That was exclusively the american's fault. See the example the spanish gave the world: a politician exploiting terror was rebuffed and lost an already won election. The people was not intimidated. A beautiful lesson the americans ignored, unfortunately.

[ Parent ]

wtf?! lol (none / 0) (#259)
by circletimessquare on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 12:17:18 PM EST

  1. the cold war wasn't a threat? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA what part of thousands of hair trigger nuclear silos pointed at every major city in the western world don't you understand? the cold war was overblown!? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. oh man, that's funny stuff, thanks for making me smile. ;-)
  2. i, unfortunately agree with you. it's only a matter of time before fundies get their hands on nukes. and the genocide-level reprisals will be even more saddening. however, when the dust settles and milions are dead, i hope the world will finally come to do 2 things: 1. outlaw nukes once and for all. 2. finally come to grips with the truth that the greatest threat to peace and prosperity in the world, by far, is fundamentalism: whether of the jewish, christian, or muslim flavors. we need anti-nazi german style laws about fundamentalism. we really do. for the sake of a free society! how can outlawing fundamentalist interpretations of religions be about a free society? howabout outlawing fundamentalism is basically the same thing as outlawing speech and organizations that only want to remove your free society! duh. ;-P
  3. the gist of your words i do not argue with, in fact, i wish that you will come to see (if you do not already come to see it as so) that the only morally defensible and intellectually coherent pov on any problem in the world is a global one. in other words, nations are false constructs (obviously). and as history unfolds over the coming decades, all of the conflicts in the world and the fumbling attempts by humans to solve these problems and the difficulties they confront when doing so will eventually congeal in one, undeniable futre for us all: pandemocracy, no national borders. something like the eu experiment writ large agains the entire world. and then terrorism will really come to be what it essentially is: a law and order issue, not a nations or regions versus each other issue.  for terrosim is never going away. but neither is pedophilia. so the fact they are never going away does not burden us with the thought we should stop fighting phenomena like these, it merely fills us with resolve to continue our efforts at minimizing things like pedophilia, terrorism, hard rug use. their continued existence is statistically inevitable due to human psychology and sociological factors beyond our control. but fighting them, in the end, is really nothing more than the wages of civilization: a maintenance issue, as mundane but unescapable as having to take the trash out to the dumpster every week.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
hope we can see (none / 1) (#260)
by bradasch on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 02:02:59 PM EST

I really hope we can see pandemocracy happening. I don't think it'll be on this or the next generation thou.

I would extend your law, and have "anti-nazi german style laws" against extremists of all kinds: abusive capitalists, idiotic lefties, ultra-conservartives, and so on.

About the threat of Russia: what I was trying to say was that they were "painted" as the ultimate enemy, but were much more willing to cooperation than what we made to think. They had thousand on nukes pointing the west, as the west had its thousands pointing them too. Nothing extraordinary really.

[ Parent ]

LOL (none / 0) (#263)
by circletimessquare on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 03:41:22 PM EST

oh shit, we largely agree, and this has been a very civil discourse, which blows my mind here on kuro5hin, but about russia not really being a threat.. are you fucking serious!

you don't remember khrushev banging his shoe at the un?

you don't remember trotsky and his principal of "permanent revolution"?

and you think mutually assured self-destruction was "Nothing extraordinary really"

wtf?! are you out of your mind!!?? LOL

dude, do you know how fucking close we came to all out war between the soviets and the west over the cuban missile crisis?

i forget the source, but google for it: due to various technological snafus and atmospheric disturbances, both the soviets and the americans were EXTREMELY close to launching nukes at each other a NUMBER OF TIMES during the cold war...

do you recall cart sagan's teachings on the nuclear winter brought on by a nuclear holocaust and the environmental effects?

not mention the BILLIONS that would be killed?!

BILLIONS dude

are you SERIOUSLY going to sit there and tell me again that the russian threat was "nothing extraordinary really"

holy shit! PLEASE give me some of what you are smoking! lol ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

LOL too... (none / 0) (#297)
by bradasch on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 07:39:52 PM EST

Sorry, I guess I expressed myself awfully. I wasn't saying (or trying to say) that Russia wasn't a threat. It was a fucking serious threat for a long time.

But in the end, during the Reagan years, as the BBC documentary said, Russia was very willing to arrange "peace" with the US, simply because they were falling apart, politically and economically. Eventually, they fell apart, as we all know now.

Thanks for the "civil discourse" dude, keep it on!

[ Parent ]

Just because it's causing a whole lotta mouth (1.00 / 4) (#141)
by moodaepo on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 09:45:22 AM EST

I vote to bump it to front page. Not a bad write up, nothing too controversial except the responses by dang flamers : )

I vote... (none / 0) (#195)
by mcgrew on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:22:00 PM EST

you not give editorial comments topical status, it makes K5 look stupid. Zero to you.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

The good ends (1.33 / 6) (#145)
by levesque on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 10:55:15 AM EST

The rules of engagement are one team with red suits and one with green, they all line up and march slowly towards each other shooting, anything else is barbaric. That sounds stupid, today's tactics do too in there own way. Context is relative, it does not justify, it is. Understand one side understand both, if you don't try again. The means do not make anything moral and neither do the ends.

Judge the plan from start to finish. Do not skip any steps. Does it lead there. Would the plan work in a daycare center, would the conflicts become immaterial. Any government that does not set out clearly and openly with a coherent plan is lacking in competence and is nothing more than misguided in it's claim that errors are inevitable on the road to somewhere. The clearer the path the less painful the journey.

Sometimes a clear path (2.60 / 5) (#148)
by LilDebbie on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:07:35 AM EST

is clouded from the public due to its unsavory nature. There are few people with the testicular fortitude to confront the realities of war. To them, it is akin to a football game and the only tragedy is when one of our boys dies. They cling to this lie so tightly because they do not want to believe that we are sending fellow citizens to commit atrocities. That is why there is such an uproar when something like this shooting happens. It forces people to face the fact that our boys have to do shit like this on a daily basis. Isolated incident my ass, I have a friend in the First Cav and I highly doubt he stops shooting when it looks like they're ready to surrender - he stops shooting when they stop moving.

But many people still want the war. They agree that removing Saddam was an admirable goal and helping Iraq become democratic is even more admirable. They want their cake and they want to eat it too. Therefore, they slap "Support Our Troops" magnets on their cars and change the channel when the talking heads start bringing up civilian casualties.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
to all you wankers (1.53 / 13) (#149)
by fhotg on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:07:49 AM EST

who like to discuss wether this incident is ok with the Geneva conventions, whether those apply to our heroic freedom-fighting forces anyways, whether that soldier should be fired or promoted, what the strategic implications are and how biased which TV channel actually is.

ITS A FUCKING WAR. ITS DIRTY. IT DOESN' FOLLOW ANY HUMANITARIAN RULES. THE VAST MAJORITY OF SLAUGHTERED PEOPLE ARE DEFENSELESS CIVILIANS.

LIKE IN ALL WARS.

Please, go get some perspective
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

No. (1.50 / 2) (#197)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 12:45:09 AM EST

I don't think you appreciate the difference between civilians and insurgents.

See, the entire reason we went into Iraq was to kill insurgents. That is why we're there. It's like two months ago ... or was it was 2 weeks ago? Two weeks ago, this Iraqi oil attendant is having mashed potatoes with his grandmother and her arthritis, hunched over their food, hiding it from the pack of yellow dogs that yesterday dug up Fatima's baby, when it comes to him the overwhelming feeling, "by God, insurgency is my special purpose" -- bang-bang! He's dead. It's over like Mike Tyson on Rusty Foster. It was the wrong special purpose. One thing Iraqis are going to have to learn is personal responsibility. Now that Saddam is gone, well they are going to have to take responsibility for their own decisions. That is the entire reason we are there, to instill in them the fundamental values of democracy like personal responsibility and respect for Playboy bunnies, or even women.

Wait, I remember now. It was yesterday he became an insurgent.

Whatever. Two months or two days ago, yesterday, tomorrow or the day after, I hardly think the calendar is important. The point is there are two kinds of people in Iraq, civilians and insurgents. If any Iraqis are reading this, I want to remind them the entire reason we're in Iraq is to protect them from becoming insurgents and posing a mortal danger to themselves like that crazy oil attendant. Because you can't have insurgents running around blowing up abandoned grandmothers and Fatima's baby. That's wrong. The Iraqi people appreciate what we're doing to the insurgents. That's the entire reason we're there.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

insurgents, yes (none / 0) (#241)
by fhotg on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 07:20:09 PM EST

Two months or two days ago, yesterday, tomorrow or the day after, I hardly think the calendar is important

You are right, I believe, and your enlightened comment just illustrates that linear time and causality are myths, maya, foolish phantasies. Consider Aamir (the oil attendant) had not heard the howling of the bomb for a couple of seconds which gave him time to shit his pants and cry for mama before he saw how grandmas brain splattered all over the mashed potatoes just before the sharp piece of metal penetrated his head through his left eye a moment (which subjectively lasted much longer) later. If he had finished his potatoes and later comforted Fatima - he wouldn't have become an insurgent earlier !

That reasoning sounds adventurous to you ? Consider this: If we didn't go there to kill the insurgents, there wouldn't be any insurgents ! The only reason insurgents are there is that we are going to kill them. This is true, or else how can it be that there is no place on earth with insurgents who need to be killed except the places where we are doing it already?

In the light of these thoughts I wholehardedly agree with you that

The Iraqi people appreciate what we're doing to the insurgents.

If you dear reader are an Iraqi and don't agree, you are an insurgent and very soon very dead. Be comforted though: Firstly you deserved it, and secondly, by the same mechanism, in the moment of your death you become a martyr too ! Die once get promoted twice.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

And besides. (none / 0) (#245)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 08:08:46 PM EST

No wench of any species, unless if she were a rhinoceros, should expect to give birth to a baby that is fireproof, bombproof, or bulletproof.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

Re: to all you wankers (none / 1) (#221)
by ak1 on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 12:00:17 PM EST

Just because your enemy doesn't follow the rules, it doesn't give the right not having to follow the rules. Even if this diverges from reality, the Geneve Conventions should be followed if only possible, even if a person's status (wounded, not wounded, soldier/insurgent, civilian, ...) is unclear.

[ Parent ]
Actually, yes it does (2.33 / 3) (#225)
by Wildgoose on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:05:06 PM EST

You are only entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention if you abide by its rules.  You might not like it, but that is the fact of international law as it stands.

[ Parent ]
and gitmo? (none / 0) (#270)
by Paul Jakma on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 12:09:49 AM EST

So by your argument the US soldiers are not protected because the USA has (almost certainly) violated the GCRTPOW with its treatment of afghani combatants (in many cases, not even combatants, according to reports in UK).

Funnily enough, you're wrong - just as with your other post in this thread on the GCRTPOW where you tried to claim category 2 of Art. 4, Part A is the only way to be considered a POW. You have 0 understanding of this convention, I suspect you've done nothing more, at best, but skim it to look for the "fixed sign" definition.

If one side violates the GCRTPOW (or any other of the set of Geneva Conventions - none of which cover the norms of war btw - I think the much older Den Haag Treaties from 190x (1908 iirc) might go into that, I dont know), this does not release the other side from their obligations. Even if your enemy is slaughtering your own soldiers which they have captured, you must still follow the rules.

Please stop posting "facts" about the Geneva Conventions, cause you're demonstrably either utterly ignorant on the matter, or deliberately posting falsehoods.

[ Parent ]

I posted verifiable facts (none / 0) (#276)
by Wildgoose on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:58:40 AM EST

...you have posted assertions. If anybody is deliberately posting falsehoods then I would suggest it is you.

But let's assume that you actually do know what you are talking about. After all, I made the effort to look at the text before I made any comment, and so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt even though you aren't prepared to offer me the same.

You seem to claim that if one side violates the Convention then the other side is not released from their obligations. Do you deny that during the Second World War that combatants captured out of uniform were summarily executed? Or that in 1945 in a Belgian uprising in which the combatants wore armbands identifying themselves the men when captured were treated as P.O.W.s by the German SS who captured them?

How you can deny the existence of the War Crimes Trials after the Second World War I don't know, but there you have it. There is a long-standing right to execute those who do not follow the "norms of war".

Here's a quote you might want to consider:

[General Douglas MacArthur] "publicly proclaimed that I would "hold the Japanese Military authorities in the Philippines immediately liable for any harm which may result from failure to accord prisoners of war, civilian internees or civilian non combatants the proper treatment and the protection to which they of right are entitled."

The result of that was that men like Tomoyuki Yamashita were hanged as war criminals. In Europe we had the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials, and we executed the "Prisoners of War" we had taken. You might consider it barbaric, you probably object to the Death Penalty full stop. But that still doesn't change the facts. And posting your own assertions as gospel truth whilst trying to deny the verifiable facts of my own postings doesn't show you in a particularly good light.

[ Parent ]

sigh (none / 0) (#284)
by Paul Jakma on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 11:39:47 PM EST

You did not post facts. You posted incorrect assertions about the GCRTPOW. As for verification, I responded to one of your other posts with detailed quotes from the GCRTPOW to illustrate just  how incorrect your supposed "facts" about the GCRTPOW are.

After all, I made the effort to look at the text before I made any comment, and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt even though you aren't prepared to offer me the same

Well, I am being rather hard on you, I'll agree. Its just I've noticed you have consistently posted to this thread making false or misleading claims of what the GCRTPOW requires or says. I will grant you that perhaps you arent deliberately lying (as subject of one of my other replies stated) but instead that you have not fully read the convention.

Just looking isnt enough. You do have to actually read it. I believe in an other response to you I quoted in detail from the GCRTPOW, 1949 (which is the last one which the US is both a signatory to, and has ratified by congress IIRC. The US is a signatory to later Geneva Conventions, but has not ratified them with its Congress - hence the later versions are not binding on the USA) as to why you are wrong on your interpretation of the convention(s).

You seem to claim that if one side violates the Convention then the other side is not released from their obligations.

Yes. That's exactly what it says in the convention - as I pointed out to you in a previous reply. I suggest you read and digest all of it, not just the "category 2" definition of POW status which you are fond of, before making claims of what it does and does not say here on k5.

Do you deny that during the Second World War that combatants captured out of uniform were summarily executed? Or that in 1945 in a Belgian uprising in which the combatants wore armbands identifying themselves the men when captured were treated as P.O.W.s by the German SS who captured them?

No I dont deny it. Why are you bringing this up? What does the fact that the Waffen SS had 0 regard for the Geneva Conventions got to do with interpreting it? Similarly, whatever the actions of the insurgents and the US military today in Iraq, those actions have no bearing on how one interprets the convention - one applies law to actions/situations, not the other way around.

Also, note from above that the current GCRTPOW dates from after WWII - I have no idea whether combatants out of uniform were covered as POWs by terms of the convention that applied during WWII. However, by the convention which applies today (the 1949 instance in case of USA - most other nations, including Iraq IIRC, have fully ratified the 197x round of Geneva Conventions IIRC) uniform is not a requirement. Indeed, it could well be the 1949 GCRTPOW had to expand POW status precisely because of attrocities against resistance fighters and other irregular combatants, unfortunately I'm not well enough informed of the history of the conventions to say.

How you can deny the existence of the War Crimes Trials after the Second World War I don't know, but there you have it.

What does that have to do with the GCRTPOW? That convention applies to times of war. The trials you refer to above occured after the war - the GC no longer had any bearing, other than that in order to continue detaining POWs after war one must charge them with something and apply due process. Which is exactly what happened.

Why do you insist on asserting that I have denied things which I havent?

In Europe we had the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials, and we executed the "Prisoners of War" we had taken.

Except they were no longer POWs. You may not detain POWs past war's end. In the cases you cite, they were suspected war criminals and were charged and detained under peaceable (albeit possibly martial) law.

Now actually, there is one argument you could make - that Iraq is no longer a war. If that is so, then the Geneva Conventions do not apply anymore. However, I suspect at best one could argue the "war" status is ambigious. One mistake the USA made (in terms of international law) was to arrest the members of the previous leadership (rather than detain them as POW) - as far as I can recall the USA did not make representatives of the previous leadership sign surrender terms. Also, apparently the US itself still has some kind of "Iraq war" act in effect.

You might consider it barbaric, you probably object to the Death Penalty full stop. But that still doesn't change the facts.

I have offered no personal opinion as to whether I consider execution of war criminals, or the death penalty, barbaric. I have only offered a (hopefully) slightly less ill-informed interpretation of the 1949 GC's than yours. What I think of the death penalty is utterly irrelevant to interpreting the GCRTPOW.

And posting your own assertions as gospel truth whilst trying to deny the verifiable facts of my own postings doesn't show you in a particularly good light.

My "assertions" are not gospel truth, however I did back them up with fuller quotes from the GCRTPOW (1949) than you did, and showed how your "verifiable facts" were actually out-of-context misinterpretations. My "assertions" are as verifiable as yours, given we both are claiming to interpret the exact same convention. If you wish to argue my interpretation is incorrect, please respond to my reply to you where I showed how your interpretation of POW status meaning one had to meet the conditions of category 2 of Art. 4, Part A was incorrect, where i quoted more broadly from the convention to demonstrate why. And please provide the relevant quotes (other than Art 4. Part A, cat 2) to back up your argument.

And dont forget about Article 5 "if in doubt, they are POWs, until competent tribunal says otherwise". It's really difficult to get around art 5..


[ Parent ]

Investigation? (none / 0) (#230)
by Reverend Tim on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:31:27 PM EST

Hey...I'm no soldier, so even though the tape looked pretty unambiguous to me, I'm willing to concede that maybe there was more going on than I could tell. But it seems to me that it was enough to warrant an investigation, yeah? Maybe other soldiers will understand better and decide nothing was wrong, but it sure looks like the kind of thing that ought to be checked out by higher-ups, eh?

[ Parent ]
Circumstances in a re-run from Vietnam (2.75 / 8) (#160)
by cburke on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 02:26:18 PM EST

This article starts out by saying "In a re-run of a media escapade from the Vietnam War..."  While in some ways apt and in others not, there are lessons of the past that can be applied here.

Like in Vietnam, our soldiers find themselves in a crazy environment where the people they're trying to "liberate" could turn on them at any moment, and do.  The people ambushing them with rockets and IEDs go home, take off their mask, and the next day look like any unemployed Iraqi resentful of U.S. presence.  In this environment, things like this happen.  Was the soldier at fault?  Maybe.  But the environment is not the soldier's fault.

I'm sure there are some that believe this is an issolated incident, under the assumption that the only bad things that happen are those that are captured on film.  Just like some think the few pictures they saw on the news of abu Ghraib represents the extent of what went on there.  Yeah, right, and the only civilians dead are those counted in news reports.

So why is the environment the way it is?  There's two sides of every coin, but there's only one side here that we have any control over and that coin is printed with an eagle and the latin for "waging war without any clue whatsoever".  I doubt this is going to affect Bush's popularity one bit (see previous paragraph), and the most you'll see is this one soldier punished.  But change mentalities?  Acknowledge mistakes and strive to correct them?  Fire our worthless Defense Secretary?  Not a chance.

Get ready to hear a lot more like this.  Batten down your stubborn refusal to acknowledge inconvenient facts-- I mean your resolve -- because no matter how much it looks like we're heading for a dead end, we're got to stay the course.

Vietnam (2.75 / 4) (#161)
by marx on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 02:54:35 PM EST

The reason he says: "In a re-run of a media escapade from the Vietnam War" is because of the similarity to a photo of an execution in Vietnam, where the South Vietnam Chief of Police Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a man on the street by shooting him point blank in the head.

Why didn't you know this?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Comparing pictures and wars (2.50 / 2) (#163)
by cburke on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 03:07:41 PM EST

I did.  I was talking about the entire war in general and how the circumstances and lessons are similar, not just this incident.


[ Parent ]
Are you sure (none / 0) (#211)
by wiredog on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 09:00:22 AM EST

that's the media escapade to which the author is referring?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I am pretty sure (none / 1) (#216)
by marx on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 10:56:31 AM EST

Is there another iconic event which was similar?

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Lots of iconic events in that war. (none / 1) (#222)
by wiredog on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 12:30:53 PM EST

The girl who got napalmed, My Lai, other things that happened during Tet.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 1) (#265)
by marx on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 05:05:43 PM EST

But similar, in the sense of an execution-style murder.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Situation completely fucked up. (3.00 / 3) (#251)
by LittleLui on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 02:54:50 AM EST

Like in Vietnam, our soldiers find themselves in a crazy environment where the people they're trying to "liberate" could turn on them at any moment, and do. The people ambushing them with rockets and IEDs go home, take off their mask, and the next day look like any unemployed Iraqi resentful of U.S. presence. In this environment, things like this happen. Was the soldier at fault? Maybe. But the environment is not the soldier's fault.


Yep. Next time the US goes liberating someone, better ask them beforehand wether they actually want to be liberated.

Yes, the soldier was at fault. He was not drafted, he chose to join the armed forces. Even after he joined the forces, he had the choice to not go to iraq at all. Prison seems to be a fine place compared to the hell that the US government routinely sends their youth to.

Yes, the US government, and - if we assume that votes can influence US policy - by extension all those who can vote in US elections, are also at fault. Iraq was no threat to the US and had no WMD.

Saddam Hussein was a monster and it is good that he lost his power. But there would have been other ways to do that, ways where the iraqi people could actually have profited from the removal of that monster. As it is now, one big monster slaughtering and torturing people has been replaced by armies of smaller monsters doing exactly the same, except more unpredictable and more visible.

When it became apparent that the US might invade Iraq, I hoped they wouldn't.

When the invasion began, I hoped that the military superiority of the US would be high enough to make it quick. I hoped that the Iraqi people would be fed up with Saddam enough to be glad to get rid of him.

Now even the hope that Iraq might become a decent, safe place in my lifetime seems to be horribly optimistic.



This sig will self destruct in ten nanoseconds.
[ Parent ]
The insurgents (1.80 / 15) (#162)
by jubal3 on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 03:07:24 PM EST

have been playing dead, then setting off grenades and otherwise attacking soldiers.

Under both international law and any sane set of expectations, the incident in question is wholly legal.

Under the geneva conventions, once one side has violated the accords, they lose all protection therefrom. Furthermore, insurgents are not covered in the conventions as prisoners.

Finally, in the incident the conversation goes...

"He's dead man, He's faking it..." *BOOM* "He's dead now."

So ostensibly they thought the guy might already be dead, if he wasn't, he wasn't surrendering, and there had been a history of fake playing dead and then attacking..

No one with an ounce of fucking sense is gonna get worked up over this.

It's the same old K5 wacko leftist rant. Get over it, you nutjobs lost the election and someone you don't like won.

Move on, find something real to get excited about.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***

Enemy, Insurgent, Resistance, ? (none / 0) (#176)
by levesque on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 05:42:30 PM EST

in·sur·gent: n.
One who is insurgent.

in·sur·gent: adj. Pronunciation Key (n-sûrjnt)
1. Rising in revolt against established authority, especially a government.
2. Rebelling against the leadership of a political party.

Conquer, Occupy, Normalize, ?

[ Parent ]

Reinterpretation. (2.42 / 7) (#185)
by Wulfius on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 08:12:43 PM EST

The Geneva convention is NOT open to re-interpretation by back seat warriors regurgitating FOX NEWS government propaganda.

The US is comminting war crimes and not only will it be judged by the future generations but can expect its own captured soldiers to be treated with the same contempt.

This is ultimately the reason why we need to obey the laws of civilised warfare, even when we are fighting the uncivilised enemy. To protect our own troops. To maintain our moral high ground.

The US is tenously close (if not already past) losing any moral high ground they might have had in this war.

.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Geneva Convention (2.33 / 3) (#223)
by Wildgoose on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:00:34 PM EST

The relevant text is: Article 4, Section 2 (Definition of a P.O.W )

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

Read the above text carefully.  Note REQUIREMENTS like that of being recognisable as a combatant at a distance, and that of conducting operations in accordance with the "laws and customs of war".

The insurgents have not followed these conditions, and therefore are NOT entitled to any protection WHATSOEVER.


[ Parent ]

you lying sack of .... (none / 1) (#269)
by Paul Jakma on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 11:57:03 PM EST

You deliberately left out the beginning of Article 4, part A, which states:

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

Further, the part you quoted, is not a section but one of several categories that can define POW. You quoted only category 2. For example, eg here is category 1:

1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

If that doesnt fit, what about category 3?

3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

And if you still want to quibble that the insurgents arent "regular armed forces" or whatever, well how about category 6?

6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

"inhabitants ... spontaneously take up arms ... carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war."

And if still want to argue about the definition of POW under the GCRTPOW and whether insurgents meet it, well why not refer to the convention itself, which just happens to deal with the "but are they?" problem in article 5:

Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.

Ie "if in doubt, they are a POW, until competent tribunal says otherwise".

I'm sick and tired of idiots with an agenda (including a bloody professor of Law in an opinion piece in Time magazine - who should be stripped of their tenure on this basis, imho) trying to make out as if the tightly specified category 2, with conditions like "fixed distinctive signs, visible from a distance", which no modern soldier or army would meet, is the only way to be classed as a POW - probably not even US soldiers would be POWs if cat 2 was only way.

Stop spreading this deliberate misinformation.


[ Parent ]

Damned By Your Own Quote (none / 1) (#277)
by Wildgoose on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 11:45:54 AM EST

"provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war"

In what way is the murder of Margaret Hassan respecting the laws and customs of war? In what way is beheading civilian contractors respecting the laws and customs of war? Let me repeat your quote again:

"provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war".

Try reading with comprehension next time.

[ Parent ]

reading comprehension (none / 0) (#285)
by Paul Jakma on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 01:15:09 AM EST

Funny you bring up reading comprehension, because you seem not to be able read Article 5 of the GCRTPOW "if in doubt, they're POWs".

About the murder of civilians, that isnt covered by the GCRTPOW, that would fall under the GC Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War.

As to what "respect the laws and customs of war" means, in the sense of international, I do not know unfortunately, nor (i suspect) do you - it is not defined in the GCRTPOW (though, the conventions themselves are, almost certainly, a part of this body of law it is referring to). However, I am reasonably sure it must apply to combatants at hand, rather than to parties contracted to the GCRTPOW in their totality.

Ie, just because some (unidentified) group of Iraqis have murdered civilians, it does not "revoke" the rights of other Iraqis (eg insurgents in Fallujah), which they have under the GCRTPOW, just as violations by a group of  US soldiers would not "revoke" the protections of the GCRTPOW for the  entire US military. Eg, imagine, only for sake of argument, that the marine in that video did violate the GCRTPOW when he shot that Iraqi, does that mean all marines from now on do not have to be afforded POW status if captured by Iraqis?

Of course not.

Same applies to the Iraqis. So your arguments that some unidentified Iraqis broke some international laws governing war are moot, even more so when you consider that agents of the USA in Iraq have themselves undoubtedly broken those same laws on occassion.

[ Parent ]

Relevance (none / 1) (#286)
by Wildgoose on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 04:36:40 AM EST

I chose the section that seemed most relevant rather than posting the entire Convention. Although you seem to think that judging by your posts that the parts referring to "regular" troops may apply, I really can't see how.

I accept your point about the "if in doubt they're POWs", but that just shifts the argument to the "doubt" part. When you're in a War Zone and people are shooting at you, hesitate too long and you're dead. And judging by the suicide bomber tactics (and the like) being employed by the insurgents, erring on the side of caution is entirely understandable.

Actually, seeing as they are deliberately destroying Iraqi infrastructure, water supplies, etc., it is difficult to see how they can be considered as Iraqi rebels. You might also want to consider the fact that there are large numbers of Iraqi troops fighting alongside the Americans.

In fact, this whole mess is exactly what I predicted when the U.S. decided to invade, and exactly why I opposed the invasion. I didn't (and don't) consider it worth British, American, etc. lives and British, American, etc. tax payer monies to free the Iraqis from Hussein's tyrannical regime. I knew we would be attacked and blamed for the actions we took.

I recognise that my position is callous and immoral, and that the correct thing to do was to remove the regime, (even though I believe that Bush et al had other ulterior and highly dubious motives).

But there you go.

Hussein was a threat to the entire Middle East, but at the end of the day, he still would have sold us oil. We didn't have to do anything, and it wasn't our citizens who were suffering.

Now I recognise that my position is immoral. What I simply don't understand is the position of those who opposed going into Iraq, and who now oppose our wanting to create a democratic state! If my position was immoral, what does this make this latter position?

[ Parent ]

almost there... (none / 0) (#287)
by Paul Jakma on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 05:54:48 AM EST

I chose the section that seemed most relevant rather than posting the entire Convention. Although you seem to think that judging by your posts that the parts referring to "regular" troops may apply, I really can't see how.

No you didnt. You chose to post only the definition in category 2 - the category containing very specific conditions including "carrying a fixed sign" - and neglected to mention that it is only one of 6 categories. Most of those other categories do not require fixed signs, uniforms, or for the combatants even to be regular troops (eg inhabitants who spontaneously take up arms).

I've explained this to you already, in detail. If you're going to quibble on this, go and reply (again) to my rebuttal where I quoted several of the categories other than category 2. I never claimed they were regular troops, you've either not really read my replies to you (in which case, how dare you question my reading comprehension) or you're just being obtuse .

I accept your point about the "if in doubt they're POWs", but that just shifts the argument to the "doubt" part.

Oh come on. I've already quoted article 5 to you, do I have to again? Article 5 has that covered, "if in doubt they're POW, until competent tribunal says otherwise". What this means in practice in the field is that once someone fully under your power, you must treat them as POW. By definition, competent tribunal can not be carried out summarily.

However, you are right, in a war zone it can sometimes be difficult and dangerous to capture the enemy. The GCRTPOW doesnt actually cover that, it only covers what should happen once a combatant as been captured. Note by the way that wounded soldiers, who have laid down their arms actually fall under the GC relative to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War.

If we go back to what this article is about, its my understanding that the Iraqi who was shot by the marine was hors de combat: wounded and obviously incapacitated. If that was the case, then the act of that marine in question was in contravention of the GCRPCTW, not the GCRTPOW. But I dont really know the fine details so..

Actually, seeing as they are deliberately destroying Iraqi infrastructure, water supplies, etc., it is difficult to see how they can be considered as Iraqi rebels. You might also want to consider the fact that there are large numbers of Iraqi troops fighting alongside the Americans.

The Fallujah insurgents were not (as a combined group at least, some amongst them, yes) going around destroying infrastructure, AIUI. They were rebels against the transition Iraqi government, yes. However, the transitional Iraqi authority, installed by the US essentially, has questionable legitimacy. My vague and not particularly well-informed impression is that many Iraqi's (peaceful iraqi's or not) do not trust or respect the transitional authority, nor do they care for the presence of the occupying US forces. When you hear both current and former very high-level UN question the legitimacy of the authority, you have to wonder... (Kofi Annan has called the war illegal, and on Irish TV's "Primetime" programme recently, the former asst. secretary general called the current authority a "puppet" of the US). Anyway, point being, if this authority does lack legitimacy (and i offer no personal opinion on this btw, please note), then the Iraqi people are quite justified in taking up arms against it, AIUI. They most certainly are justified under international law of taking up arms against an occupying power, which occupies their country illegally and against their will (which may or may not be the case).

In fact, this whole mess is exactly what I predicted when the U.S. decided to invade, and exactly why I opposed the invasion. I didn't (and don't) consider it worth British, American, etc. lives and British, American, etc. tax payer monies to free the Iraqis from Hussein's tyrannical regime. I knew we would be attacked and blamed for the actions we took.

Hmm.. well I dont think there's think much point getting into a discussion on the wrongs and rights of the Iraq war. I dont think anyone at this stage is going to change their mind ;). As for the troops, not just the US and British - lots of other nationalities (though in smaller numbers), eg the Dutch are there, even many Irish who are serving with the Irish Guards (a Dublin man was killed near Basra last year).

I recognise that my position is callous and immoral, and that the correct thing to do was to remove the regime, ... We didn't have to do anything, and it wasn't our citizens who were suffering.

And are they not suffering today? Without wishing to offer any personal opinion or judgement, it seems that as many Iraqi's, if not possibly more, are dying now either through direct US military action, or as a result of the chaos and instability (bombs going off all the time) caused by the invasion and occupancy, as under Hussein. Does it make a difference whether you, or your husband/child/parent has died under the opression of a dictator, or under the present "freedom"? Does the prospect of future stability and freedom make it right? I strongly suspect only an Iraqi who has lived through it all can answer this.

Now I recognise that my position is immoral. What I simply don't understand is the position of those who opposed going into Iraq, and who now oppose our wanting to create a democratic state! If my position was immoral, what does this make this latter position?

I dont see anyone opposing the creation of a democratic state in Iraq. I just find it rather naive of the USA to think that Iraqi's would be glad to see them there for longer than it took to kick out Saddam. The US is rather unpopular everywhere in the middle-east, bar one nation, and  the reasons are not completely unjustified..

[ Parent ]

Democracy (none / 0) (#295)
by Wildgoose on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 03:00:34 PM EST

I dont see anyone opposing the creation of a democratic state in Iraq.

You may not, but I don't see how else you can describe the insurgents. You can argue that the current regime is a puppet government, I certainly wouldn't disagree. But you can't argue that democratic elections observed by the UN would be illegitimate. Which just happens to be what is on offer. Except for the insurgents attempting to de-rail it of course. So who is fighting for the Iraqi's democratic rights to determine their own future? My money is on the Americans.

The whole problem with this mess is that it's "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't". Intervention in Rwanda would have been illegal under International Law. Nothing was done, and millions died. The Americans abandoned Cambodia rather than fight, and the result was the Killing Fields. If you don't get involved you still get blamed, but at least you don't have your troops being shipped home in bodybags.

Just as a contrast, consider Korea. Where would most people prefer to live? South Korea or starving in the absolute monarchy of North Korea?

The U.S. is offering billions of dollars in aid and the rebuilding of Iraqi infrastructure. The response to this largesse is nothing short of contemptible. Especially when you consider that the Marshall Plan paid for the rebuilding of Europe, and that U.S. forces were the mainstay of European Defence during the Cold war.

I'm an Englishman, and nobody's ever got a good word for us either, somebody's got to point out the uncomfortable truths, so it might as well be me.

[ Parent ]

long time... (none / 0) (#322)
by Paul Jakma on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 09:55:55 PM EST

Sorry about the long delay, I dont check my k5 account that often. Just a few comments:

But you can't argue that democratic elections observed by the UN would be illegitimate. I wouldnt no. The elections are supposed to be held RSN, but I dont think that's what the Iraqi's are going to get. For one, the Sunnis are likely to boycott it.

So who is fighting for the Iraqi's democratic rights to determine their own future? My money is on the Americans.

$DEITY knows what the americans are fighting for. Maybe that is one of their goals, and laudable as a goal, but how they've gone about it is derisory. Lofty ideals are fine, but its implementation which counts. (See communism). We'll have to wait and see. My personal belief is that fighting to impose democracy on a people is self-defeating, and not till Iraq truly has autonomy will it be able to start down the road to a stable democratic state (and, personally, I dont think the US will like what it gets if it allows Iraq autonomy. I think we'll get a Shia theocracy + psuedo-democracy in the south, ala Iran).

The Americans abandoned Cambodia rather than fight, and the result was the Killing Fields.

Ok, you really need to read up on the history of Cambodia. The Americans abandoning Cambodia did not cause the killing fields, it was their involvement in the first place. The Khmer Rouge were nothing, they were a tiny (couple of k) group of communists hiding in the mountains, China refused to support them, cause the Khmer Rouge were nutjobs. Cambodia was a normalish state, though weak, but otherwise stable and normal.

Everything was fine until Nixon decided (quietly and illegally) to take the Vietnam war to Cambodia, bombing it and invading a portion of it. This begun the destabilisation of Cambodia and the road to civil war. The CIA sponsored a military coup (cause a military dictatorship which owes you one obviously is a good thing). The former civilian leader, who previously had walked a fine line keeping Cambodia stable and non-communist, despite its communist neighbours, then had nowhere to turn but to China for help. Chinese help for an independent Cambodia was secured and the struggle to retake Cambodia back for its people implemented by funding the only communist group of note in Cambodia, the previously inconsequential Khmer Rouge. The rest is obviously history.. The US were the ones who pushed Cambodia into that history.

The U.S. is offering billions of dollars in aid and the rebuilding of Iraqi infrastructure. The response to this largesse is nothing short of contemptible.

See, I dont think it is. Firstly, all these billions of dollars of largese the US is offering is all in the form of contracts to US companies to rebuild Iraq. Imagine you're an Iraqi, you're out of work (cause Bremer has kicked you out of your job, cause the US administration decided to close all state businesses, disband the standing armies and police forces, etc..) and you see foreigners coming in to collect these US "reconstruction" dollars by doing work you could do. How would you feel? So sorry, but the "Look how ungrateful they are, when the US is giving them so much aid" meme doesnt work. See, eg, Naoimi Klein's Harpers article.

Especially when you consider that the Marshall Plan paid for the rebuilding of Europe

Firstly, some of this was in the form of loans. Gordon Brown a few years ago in his "windfall budget" actually allocated some of the government surplus towards paying off the UK's WWII war debt (not same as Marshall plan, but..). Secondly, the Marshall plan was contraversial in the US, it mightnt have passed except then Czechoslavakia fell to the Russiansin 1948. So, in another part, the Marshall plan was as much about stopping spread of communism as helping the poor Europeans. However, help us it did. But isnt it a good thing to help if you can? Does helping your "neighbour" then give you the right to gloat about that help forever? Does that help 50 years ago come with the strings that you must forever more support US policies regardless of whether they are right or wrong? I dont think it should.

I'm an Englishman, and nobody's ever got a good word for us either, somebody's got to point out the uncomfortable truths, so it might as well be me.

Well, strangely, the English are fairly well respected across the world, despite your share of imperialist attrocities and mistakes. I think this is because eventually England does recognise when it has done wrong, does try to make up for its wrongs, on balance has done a lot of good all across the world and further does not ungraciously bring up good-deeds-past over and over again, as Americans too often are fond of doing.

As for uncomfortable truths, I think before you call your utterings truths you possibly need first dig deeper into the history and happenings of which you rest these "truths" on.

BTW, I've enjoyed debating with you!



[ Parent ]
Shooting am apparently dead insurgent (none / 1) (#235)
by sglines on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 04:04:26 PM EST

Keep in mind that the soldier in question had already been shot twice and had already lost half a dozen men in his company to booby traps. I believe the soldier was acting in the best tradition of looking out for yourseld and your buddies. As much as I condem killing. I cannot condem this.

[ Parent ]
OH COME ON (1.42 / 7) (#181)
by ror on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 07:20:00 PM EST

Is that the worst they can find? If so, then the US military is doing a damn fine job.

Whatever lets you sleep at night (NT) (2.66 / 3) (#184)
by Wulfius on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 08:08:38 PM EST



---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
Why is this even news? (1.70 / 10) (#205)
by dj28 on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 07:14:29 AM EST

I thought every rational person knew that this type of shit happens in a war zone. You have insurgents beheading foreigners and you have American troops shooting unarmed insurgents. What's the big deal? This stuff has happened in every war ever fought, yet it's a surprise to everyone now?

Did you actually believe that American forces are some how more moral than Iraqi insurgents or forces of any other nation? You believed that hype? If you are making this a big news story, then you did.

Why it's news. (none / 1) (#250)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 10:20:12 PM EST

Because saying "slaughter of an enemy it happens no one can identify by name, goals, or what it stands for is hell" and leaving it at that seeks to transfer all responsibility for cruelty to the people doing all the suffering. I will be the first to call the enemy evil as soon as you identify it properly. Until then, its name is Iraqis, and this "war" is genocide.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

As a rule... (3.00 / 2) (#290)
by DDS3 on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 10:16:26 AM EST

...western (and most NATO) soldiers are, by FAR, much more moral than other soldiers.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  Having said that, there is nothing moral about war.  And that's the problem which seems to confuse the heck out of people.  The question becomes, where does the killing stop and morality begin?

There is no "hype" to believe here, in spite of your statements.  The simple fact is, by in large, US soldiers are very moral and treat wounded and prisoners much better than we tend to be treated by our enemies.  Much, much better would be more accuate.  That's a simple fact.  Obviously, sadly, there will always be exceptions.

The problem is, and here is where most of the confusion comes from, is that no matter which country you come from, we are all human.  Yes, we all seem to share that fatal flaw.  Surprisingly, it fairly hard for arm chair soldiers to understand the confusion, fear for life, and general anxiety which builds up in soldiers; especially when you're facing a known-immoral enemy.  These are people that are willingly murdering their own people because they want to be free.  These are people that murder Iraqies because they got food or medical care from soldiers or Western aid workers.  Again, we're talking about horrible people here.

If you listened to the video, it's obvious that the kid was scared, percieved a threat, and did what he believed was protection of himself and his comrades.  Does that make it right?  NO!!  But that's the nature of humanity at war.  Does that make it legal?  More than likely.  Take a second to imagine the situation.  Take a second to realize that some of his budies, just days ago, were killed by an enemy that took the guts out of one the fallen dead and replaced it with explosives.  Take a second to realize that some of his buddies have been killed by the injurred, with grenades.  Take a second to realize that the dead and dying are being boobie trapped to kill soldiers.  Take a second to realize that healthy, insane zealots, are willingly driving car bombs to kill soldiers.  There is nothing morale, nor redeeming, about the enemy.

You need to take a step back and think of the zealotry shown by the Japanese during WWII.  This is the nature of the enemy we now face.  We are not talking about sane, more people that want to live.  We are talking about immorale people being, that want to die, that think using their last breath to murder means a more blissful after life.

If you think for a second that such immoral behavior is NOT going to have a negative effort and help create these types of situations, then you're simply not being realistic.

Long story short, morality is a sliding scale; a slippery slope.  Don't confuse the horrors or war during combat with the same level morality that you and I get to share on a day to day basis.

[ Parent ]

Just Cause (2.62 / 8) (#220)
by cdguru on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 11:54:42 AM EST

There are several ways that we have historically seen war prosecuted. Certainly one way is the rather odd Western belief in "We do not make war on injured men" - quote from a German officer in the movie "The Guns of Navarone". The other is simply an all-out effort with utterly no respect for casualties, prisoners, civilians or anything else.

World War II was the last war that I am familiar with where once a prisoner was captured they were reasonably well treated - at least in the Western hemisphere. Japan's atrocities against both civilians and prisoners are quite well documented and shocked most of the world.

It was made clear to just about everyone that the idea of the "gentleman's war" wasn't exactly shared by everone on the planet. Similarly, we encountered similiar types of behavior in Viet Nam - civilians were used as shields, prisoners were treated badly, etc. Disturbing things that came out in Viet Nam was the idea of hiding explosives on the dead and using children to carry bombs. This kind of turns the "gentleman's war" on its head. Most people in the Western world are completely at a loss as to how to deal with this sort of thing. They long for clear battle lines, uniforms, protection for civilians and decent treatment of casualties. I believe that day has past.

What the Marines are encountering in Iraq is similar to Viet Nam - every dead body can be a booby trap, every child on the street can be carrying a bomb and every wounded enemy can be just waiting to blow someone up that comes to check on him.

It is difficult to understand that this isn't a "gentleman's war" and that "rules of war" don't apply any longer. The enemy isn't following any rules and they have no limits. Using civilians as shields is accepted practice. Trading soldiers one-for-one is accepted practice. Placing zero value on the lives of everyone in the area is accepted practice.

Therefore, when a US Marine comes across a wounded person there are a few possibilities:

  • Person is no longer a combatant and is now a prisoner to be treated to medical care and removed from the combat area.
  • Person is a civilian with no part in the conflict to be given medical care and removed from the combat area.
  • Person is active combatant with explosives and/or other weapons and will do his level best to take out as many Marines as possible.
Unfortunately, the latter is too often the case - and for the individual Marine to determine between these options is almost impossible. The choice comes down to either taking a chance with your life and the lives of your squad or just playing it safe. It isn't very safe for the injured person, but no army in the world trains soldiers that one-for-one trading of lives is acceptable.

It is nice to consider the idea of the Geneva Conventions. Unfortunately, the other side isn't playing by those rules. There can only be one set of rules and if the other side isn't using the same rule book you have to adapt. It is certainly a case of the lowest common denominator - if they respected traditions of warfare and civility that have grown up in Europe for the last 800 or 1000 years, they could expect the same treatment. Given their behavior, our playing by those (outmoded) rules now would just be suicide for the troops.

Is this "fair"? No. Was it the way that people believed wars were fought 100 years ago? No. But it has become the way wars are fought in the last 50 years or so. Specifically on this point, I heard that the soldier involved was shot in the face earlier in the same day when entering a house filled with civilians - civilians being used as shields by combatants. You might say he learned an important lesson that day and it potentially saved his life.

RE: Just Cause (3.00 / 8) (#226)
by VQ05 on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 01:05:25 PM EST

Okay let's get one thing out of the way. The terms "gentlemans war" and "rules of war" are thrown about entirely too much. War is a dirty, deadly business in which no one in close proximity (ie within the area of combat) comes away unscathed. Having said that lets get down to the meat of the subject; the indiscriminate shooting of wounded combatants on the battlefield. And just for kicks lets dispense with the whole argument of the enemy "not playing by the rules" as a justification. This is tantamount to a schoolyard defense, "he cheated first, so therefore it's okay". This has nothing to do with the Geneva Convention, I am a ten year veteren of the armed forces and have served in various postings throughout the world where issues of this sort were of concern. I can tell you from that experience that there are protocols for the disarmament, searching, and treatment of the enemy on the battlefield, wounded or not. These protocols are designed specifically to protect against booby-traps, and continued agression against friendly troops. Are they full-proof? No. Are they absolute insurance against a service member getting injured? No, but you are in a combat zone people. Shooting unarmed and/or wounded combatants (sometimes called double tapping), because "they maybe booby-trapped" has in all my experience been explicitly condemed in every scenario. The action is unacceptable. Furthermore, having read the reports, my conclusion is this is an unfortunate case of a young Marine suffering from not only the stress of battle, but an apparent lack of training and guidance on this sort of situation both pre-operational and on the spot leadership(neither of these things is surprising if you have been in the military for any amount of time) this question is raised by the reports that one of his fellow Marines was killed by a booby-trapped body in recent days. It is unfortunate that a comrade or an NCO did not step up at that moment and back him down a little bit, and spare the victims (including the Marine himself) being damaged further by the destructive nature of warfare.
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -George Bernard Shaw
[ Parent ]
But. (3.00 / 2) (#232)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 02:07:58 PM EST

One side is slaughtering the other, a thousand to one. What rules is that? The 8-month siege of Fallujah has resulted in at least one thousand civilians killed immediately, half of them women and children. What do the rules say about a local soccer stadium converted to a cemetery? Is that what gentlemen had in mind when they wrote the rules of war? I'm curious, what do the rules say about bombing hospitals, turning away humanitarian convoys, and targeting an entire civilian population in retaliation for the killing of four American mercenaries? Fallujah is in utter ruin, along with the lives of its inhabitants. It wasn't insurgents committing suicide that did that. It was the most powerful military force in history crying "no fair."

You might say he learned an important lesson that day and it potentially saved his life.

You might say the insurgents learned an important lesson, too, and are chopping your heads off.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

Misconceptions about WWII (3.00 / 2) (#273)
by Shajenko on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:18:16 AM EST

World War II was the last war that I am familiar with where once a prisoner was captured they were reasonably well treated - at least in the Western hemisphere. Japan's atrocities against both civilians and prisoners are quite well documented and shocked most of the world.
Maybe the prisoners were treated well, but there weren't many rules regarding who you could target. When the Allies were bombing Germany and Japan, they didn't restrict themselves to military targets. They bombed civilian targets with great brutality. And it worked quite well.

Besides, treating prisoners well is beneficial to your side even if the other side does not reciprocate. It encourages enemy troops to surrender. Torturing and killing POWs simply ensures that your enemy will fight to the death.

[ Parent ]
Every target is a military target (none / 1) (#279)
by xmnemonic on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 01:48:29 PM EST

The goal of winning a war is to make it such that the enemy is unable to sustain fighting.  That means blowing up powerplants, bombing oil tankers and bombing factories, and anything else that the enemy needs to continue the war.  If troops or civilians get in the way, so be it.  The issue of "civilians" or military personnel is irrelevant; only an entity's contribution to war power matters.  In that way, any "civilian" target can classified as military.

Modern war has introduced a stronger moral line though, possibly due to the incredible public exposure of the fighting, coupled with a previously comfortable environment (if thousands of troops had been dying daily, then one day of Iraq now would be a godsend).  But know that we all change as people do with our environments.  What is atrocious today is fine tomorrow, and vice versa.  Now, the public wants all casualties, military and civilian, to be a thing of the past.  It believes in, for the most part, a just war, but not a just death.

Which is absurd; war is war.  If you are against it in every form, you are pacifist and oppose violent resistance.  Even if holding a rifle, you would not attempt to attack an assailant who was in the act of murdering your family; violent resistance is never just.  The cause for the resistance does not matter, only its act.

But men are fickle with irrepressible desires, irrational as humans are.  What's happened is the public, with half truths and a desire for change in such a constant world, has supported a war it didn't really want.  Perhaps that activity is not worthy of reprimand, we are all human, but its effects are clear.  And so, we have a military upset by a fluid public opinion, and the public upset by an unexpected real war.  Neither understands the other, and maybe an end to the war will bring order.  How and when that end will be brought about is unknown.

[ Parent ]

Not quite what I meant... (none / 0) (#316)
by Shajenko on Sun Nov 28, 2004 at 01:11:07 AM EST

I think we essentially agree: war is not clean or civil. It is brutal, bloody and exceedingly cruel. Which is why we should only resort to it when absolutely necessary.

[ Parent ]
I think it should be clear... (none / 1) (#313)
by Pxtl on Thu Nov 25, 2004 at 03:55:03 PM EST

My understanding is that, for all the rationalising people have been doing, the Iraqi insurgents have been fighting a comparatively stand-up fight in comparison with the Viet Cong and the Palestinians.

I have heard very few stories of outright suicide bombing - most of the bombs are the more conventional planted kinds.  For the most part, the targets are US soldiers and, most unfortunately, Iraqi police and others who are seen as "collaborators".

I agree that the Iraqi insurgents do use some pretty nasty terror tactics, but I don't think they've quite reached much of the "little boy suicide bomber" stuff yet.

[ Parent ]

Who do you people think you are (1.90 / 10) (#236)
by monkeyleader on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 04:21:27 PM EST

I dont know if any of you are in the military, or have lived/faught in a warzone. Especially one with suicide bombers and ambushes. I have not personally been involved to that degree in any war and dont plan on it. If you have, you are very brave. If not, how would you be able to judge this man for his actions. If any of you where in his position what do you think you would do? I dont know what i would do, i know i would not be crying about one "innocent" death, but then again "innocent" 15 years old run at bradley tanks with c4 strapped to their chest. SHAME!

Hm. (none / 0) (#299)
by valeko on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 01:13:53 AM EST

Seems to me like abstaining from military service is much braver and more noble.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

That soldier deserves to die (1.28 / 7) (#237)
by ror on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 05:14:09 PM EST

And he will, one day.

I don't get it (1.71 / 7) (#239)
by theantix on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 05:29:05 PM EST

If a bank is being robbed, would they put up a headline "bank robber smokes during robbery"?  The war is illegal and has no moral justification.  Because the war is illegitimate, every person they kill in Iraq is killed illegitimately.  This is just one case of tragic killing amongst thousands of others.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
LOL (none / 0) (#289)
by DDS3 on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 09:53:45 AM EST

On what grounds is the war, "illegal"?

You sounds rather unedicated on the matter.  People may be anti-war or pro-war, I don't care, but the war is very legal under the guidelines set by the UN.  Furthermore, it's VERY legal under the terms which Iraq signed following the end of of the first Gulf War.

Sure, you may not like the war, but let's not start telling lies.


[ Parent ]

Something is going wrong in USA (1.33 / 3) (#300)
by vejeta on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 03:08:18 AM EST

I don't know what kind of thing you, USAers, eat or watch on TV to despreciate so quickly human life.

Anyway, I'd like to see you, americans, if you were on the opposite side, being invaded, your civilians killed, your sons bleeding, your neighbours dead, your wife torn up and your father having a shoot in the head just for being cautious. But Hey!, he could have a knife while defending his home!

Thanks americans for give us freedom.

Dont sound nice, eh...You are very brave defending your way of life while having a beer. But sure, you don't really think what are you doing in other countries.

You still are hypocritical enough to defend killings, to give lessons about lies! You, supporters of the first rank lier government of the world. Please *inform* yourself about what are you doing there. Think twice about start boasting.


¿Legal or illegal War?
[www.google.com]

Repeat: Your army is killing people every day. You're boasting in a forum.

Your army is killing people every day. You're boasting in a forum.

Your army is killing people every day. You're boasting in a forum.

Still feel good? You have no heart. That's why all that things keep happening thanks to you.

Thanks for coming to kill us americans.

[ Parent ]
And you call *me* uneducated? (none / 1) (#307)
by theantix on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 03:37:27 PM EST

the war is very legal under the guidelines set by the UN

Uh, sorry dude, but you must be living on some other planet.  The UN on this planet has strict rules about the legality of war, and this one very clearly violated the rules.  VERY FUCKING CLEARLY.  And in case you think it's just me interpreting the rules in some dumb way, what does the Secretary General think?  But what does he know, after all he's just the head official for the organization in question.

So you think the UN charter supports the act of war against a country that posed no threat to anyone and was not acting aggressively?  In a country that had no current humanitarian crisis beyond the effect of the sanctions imposed upon it?  In a country that was fully co-operating with UN inspectors who were searching for "WMD" that only existed in the imaginations of war-mongering Republicans?  A war where the clearest argument for invasion was that they shared similar skin tones as people who attacked them over a year prior?  Here is a link to the UN charter, please point it out to me.

Feel free to thank me for educating you on this matter.  I'm here to help, after all.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

Feel free... (none / 0) (#320)
by DDS3 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:23:36 PM EST

...to produce the UN document which countermands the UN documents which make it legal, not to mention the treaty/cease fire (I forget which it was), that Iraq signed and then violated.  The war is very legal and you sound like a blathering idiot.  Technically, since Iraq violated the terms of the original document, which brought about a termination of conflict during the first war, this war can be considered a continuation of the same conflict.  As such, this war has full legality, as provided by the terms of the first war, granted by the UN.  Period.  No ifs, ands, or buts, is this war illegal.

On top of that, The UN signed the document which gave the US power to invade Iraq if x, y, and z was not done by Iraq.  They didn't comply.  Again, we had legal right.

Feel free to prove any of the propaganda BS that you're spewing.

[ Parent ]

Hm. (none / 0) (#298)
by valeko on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 01:12:32 AM EST

I have nothing to say on the "legality" of the war (something I find to be a meaningless concept), but I wholeheartedly concur that it is illegitimate.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Legality (2.00 / 2) (#308)
by theantix on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 03:47:13 PM EST

Legality is important, because the UN charter was set up as a way to prevent future wars.  If you have clearly defined rules, a country can avoid being invaded by not violating the rules.  You can be a jerk, do stupid things, but know where the line is and not to cross it and there will be no war.  What happened here was that the US didn't follow any rules, didn't have any reason for invasion.  Iraq was powerless to prevent the war because there were no rules it wasn't complying with.

That is why the legal status of war is not a meaningless concept.  If the rules of war were explicitly adhered to, there would likely be no further conflict, with force only used to stop rogue powers.  But when superpowers blatently flaunt the rules and invade others on a whim, we're all fucked and the whole point of the UN is undermined.  We're literally back to anarchy, where the bully with the biggest stick gets what it wants by killing those in its way.

I call that meaningful.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

Nod. (none / 1) (#310)
by valeko on Tue Nov 23, 2004 at 02:09:04 AM EST

Yeah, you're right.

It's just that I consider war illegitimate regardless of whether it's sanctified by any "international law" or statutory artifacts.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

The solution to the problem of insurgents is clear (2.66 / 6) (#255)
by davidmb on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 06:31:32 AM EST

Kill 'em all and let God sort them out.
־‮־
From The Guardian (3.00 / 5) (#256)
by wiredog on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 08:46:24 AM EST

Which is hardly a right wing source.
When you know that there have very recently been people in that area trying to kill you, do you go up to a body and start to rummage through pockets without knowing for sure that the guy isn't actually still alive and about to stick a 10-inch knife in you? So where there are bodies, you don't go near them. Not until you have put two bullets into each, fired usually from a range of several yards.


Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

Welcome to war (3.00 / 4) (#261)
by JonesBoy on Fri Nov 19, 2004 at 02:17:49 PM EST

So what was that soldier supposed to do?   Drop everything, halt the mission, call 911 and fix the guy a cup of coffee until an ambulance arrives?   Leave him alone and hope he doesn't toss that last grenade he was saving for the soldiers team to enter the building?   Or pop him a few and continue on with the mission?   Only 1 guarantees that you and your buddies don't end up like the people lying on the floor.

The room had several other dead people in it, yet nobody raises a stink about them.   Kinda a double standard, isn't it?   Get shot in the head, and everybody is happy.   Get shot in the belly and then in the head, and DEAR LORD THEY'RE BLOODLUSTING MURDERERS!!!

Guns and bullets are designed to do mean, nasty things to the human body, but they usually don't kill immediately.   It is fairly common that you have to shoot a person repeatedly before they stop returning fire.   This is espically so with the tiny 5.56mm bullets the M4,16 weapons the soldiers use and the 9mm pistols cops use.   Ask any cop or soldier who had the unfortunate privelidge of being in a gunfight.   Unless you hit bone, your target probably won't know they were shot.   People who are shot and overrun can easily play dead, wait for the soldiers to enter and ambush them.   This is REALLY common, and it is common to double check downed enemy by prodding them with a couple shots.   It isn't mean, its how you stay alive.

And for the armchair lawyer interpretations, this was NOT a breach of the geneva convention.   A soldier is able to fire upon anyone he FEELS is a threat EN ROUTE on a mission.   If the soldier secured the area and then came back and shot the guy, that would be illegal.   If he searched and removed him from possible weapons and then shot him, that is illegal.   If he started treating his wounds, changed his mind and shot him, that is illegal.   If he came upon him, felt he may be dangerous, he is within his means.

Just because the guy didn't have a rifle near his hand is in no way a guarantee that he is unarmed.   Grenades, handguns, knives and detonators are all small and easy to conceal but very deadly.
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.

I wasn't happy... (none / 1) (#283)
by CptFunk on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:35:14 PM EST

"Get shot in the head, and everybody is happy. Get shot in the belly and then in the head, and DEAR LORD THEY'RE BLOODLUSTING MURDERERS!!!" I'm a white male. Got a wife. Two kids. Own a few guns. I like baseball and apple pie. I wasn't happy about the prospect of shooting anybody anywhere. That's why I protested against this war and continue to bitch even now. And by the way, I live just a hundred miles or so northeast of lower Manhattan. I and many of my friends are in construction. One of those friends(a former marine) felt compelled to go to Ground Zero and volunteer for a few days. Ya know crawling over the rubble finding bodies and such. Well he and I are both scared shitless by this wholesale betrayal of OUR "American" MORAL VALUES that the Iraq War has become. Now don't ask me what the hell 911 has to do with Iraq?! I just thought I'd illustrate how selfless and MORAL us dirty liberals can be. Of course I didn't go, I had to work. Aww who am I kiddin'. The whole idea of going in while everbody else was headed out was a little scary. You friggin hawks are crazy.

[ Parent ]
thats war (none / 1) (#304)
by JonesBoy on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 02:30:19 PM EST

I live single digit miles from lower manhattan.   Had family and friends there, had friends in the cleanup, have friends in the war, etc.   Thats all irrelevant.

We sent guns, tanks and bombs over to another country to perform hostile acts, and now people are complaning about someone getting shot in battle.

Its as if everyone thinks this is the freaking A-Team.   Lotsa bangs and booms but nobody gets hurt more than a simple 'flesh wound', and we all walk away happy, freshly shaven and victorious.   Everyone is beating their chest, flying their stupid flags, putting yellow ribbon stickers on their car, and ignoring the fact that a lot of people are getting killed, injured, starved, abandoned, and exploited.   It amazes me that showing them ONE guy getting killed in what must be an all-too-common scenario whips them into a frenzy of finger pointing.   Its as if people actually expect the soldier to ride up on a white horse, kick in the door, issue a spanking - no no, a time out- and then sends those mean insurgents to bed without dinner.

Instead, tens of thousands of people have died in mean, nasty ways with very little valor or dignity, and tens of thousands of people will have to live the rest of their shortened lives without body parts they used to have and still want.   AND THIS IS NORMAL.   And none of the war-supporting types seem to be able to stomach it.

I just feel bad for the soldier.   He is gonna take a lot of flack for trying not to get killed, and doing his job the way he was supposed to, all because of the freaking media, politics, and a lack of support from his superiors.

Ummmm, since you seemed to include me (you said 'us'), could you tell me how I am a crazed immoral dirty liberal hawk?   I don't think anyone has ever called me that before.

.
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

Apparently... (none / 0) (#317)
by CptFunk on Sun Nov 28, 2004 at 04:41:37 PM EST

I was totally unclear. Let's see... I think I agree with you wholeheartedly. I've been pointing fingers since before we invaded. Pointing them towards an administration that is apparently fooling %51 of the U.S.

If I was there I'm sure I would shoot, shoot, shoot. At practically everything that moves. I don't blame the soldier. We shouldn't have been there...yet.



[ Parent ]
Nit picking (none / 0) (#288)
by DDS3 on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 09:48:27 AM EST

This is espically so with the tiny 5.56mm bullets the M4,16 weapons the soldiers use and the 9mm pistols cops use.   Ask any cop or soldier who had the unfortunate privelidge of being in a gunfight.   Unless you hit bone, your target probably won't know they were shot.   People who are shot and overrun can easily play dead, wait for the soldiers to enter and ambush them.   This is REALLY common, and it is common to double check downed enemy by prodding them with a couple shots.   It isn't mean, its how you stay alive.

Actually, those tiny 5.56mm bullets are very mean.  They do tend to tumble and bounce about a body, but not nearly as much as what comes out of AKs.  Having said that, the "reduced damage" provided by modern millitary rounds tend to stem from the fact that they have full metal jackets, rather than their size.  A full metal jacket prevents mushrooming.  It trades that by being able to go through bullet proof vests, light armor, brick and mortor, and most any light obstruction and STILL be able to penetrate a body.

As for the cop comment, cops are often required to use low grain, low power bullets.  This greatly reduces their basic penetration abilities.  Police have long since complained about this.  In fact, it's not uncommon for police bullets to be deflected off of front windshields; especially .38s and 9mm.  People require the police to greatly reduce their weapon's effectiveness because they want ot reduce the risk of collatereal damage from police bullets.  Most people don't realize that a REAL 9mm bullet can easily go through a house, assuming it doesn't hit much timber.  If a cop is using a .357 (fairly rare these days), it can easily go through brick AND some timber, even with a reduced load.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#302)
by kurioszyn on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 02:10:38 PM EST

"  People require the police to greatly reduce their weapon's effectiveness because they want to reduce the risk of collateral damage from police bullets.  "

That depends how you define effectiveness.

I would think that hollow points with their increased damage to the human tissue are better alternative than FMJ with their increased risk of over penetration.
In other words, cops during their routine work are more likely to be trying to hit an exposed human body as opposed to some protected targets and, given the fact that cops miss their targets routinely, I would rather have them shoot bullets that mushroom on the contact with a wall as rathen than slicing thru it ...


[ Parent ]

safety rounds (none / 0) (#305)
by JonesBoy on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 02:52:34 PM EST


Glazier safety rounds are even better than hollow points, in some cases.   They are bullets made out of pressed metal powder.   When they hit something solid, like a wall, they fragment into small pieces.   This prevents overpenetration and riccochets.   Unfortunately, they are more expensive and will not penetrate any cover someone takes.
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]
Hollow points... (none / 0) (#319)
by DDS3 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:15:45 PM EST

...do not stop as you seem to think.  I've fired many a hollow point (.22, .38, .357, and .44's), and while they do tend to stop easier (for obvious reasons), overpenetration is still trivially easy with high power weapons, such as a .357 and especially a .44.  I've seen .44 hollow points go through concrete filled cinder blocks and still penetrate deeply into earth.

My point being, hollow points are not a solution to the problem that the police have to address.


[ Parent ]

Think harder. (none / 1) (#311)
by Russell Dovey on Tue Nov 23, 2004 at 08:17:52 AM EST

There was an NBC cameraman right there filming. Do you think that the cameraman goes in with the soldiers on the first pass through a room? Yeah? Think harder.

The soldier and his buddies shot four unarmed, wounded men, and you're defending them?

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Wait... yeah, I'm wrong. Mea culpa. (none / 0) (#312)
by Russell Dovey on Tue Nov 23, 2004 at 08:49:03 AM EST

This account, by the cameraman himself, explains it all pretty well. Unless he's bullshitting, and I doubt it, it was an understandable fuckup.

Still, we should all take this as illustrative of why starting a war is a terrible idea.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Yeah. (2.00 / 2) (#309)
by Gluke on Mon Nov 22, 2004 at 11:03:06 PM EST

War sucks. Please to be getting fucking used to it, aiight. You may be next. In fact, yes, you ARE going to die. What are YOU doing about that?

Is this the guy who was lying, bleeding (none / 1) (#314)
by werner on Fri Nov 26, 2004 at 04:52:41 PM EST

on the floor of a building the troops were clearing?

In light of the fact that many insurgents have been strapping explosives to themselves and everyone is aware of that fact, I don't think that many of us would be willing to take such risks.

I can see myself in the same position not wanting to shoot him, but much more not wanting to risk his blowing us all to pieces. I'm sure I'm not too different to many others.

No-one batted an eyelid when the SAS stormed the Iranian embassy in London and ruthlessly assassinated the terrorists they found.

Will people just fucking remember that these guys are at war. They are risking their lives. It's all very well to sit in an armchair and say, "oh, but he was unarmed", but just try for a minute to imagine what it's like walking through a town full of enemy combatants armed with rifles, your life in peril, knowing that many of your compatriots have been blown to pieces by suicide-bombers who've strapped a pile of explosives to themselves.

You can't just blame the US soldiers for shooting wounded and apparently harmless Iraqis. The Iraqis raised the stakes when they started blowing themselves up to kill American troops. Now, every US soldier is painfully aware that any Iraqi left alive may well be about to blow himself and the entire US platoon to kingdom come.

The suicide bombers have made every Iraqi combatant and civilian a potential suicide bomber. As much as the US soldiers are to blame for executing wounded, unarmed Iraqi combatants, the Iraqis themselves must share the blame for creating this environment.

I never condoned the war, nor do I necessarily condone this soldier's behaviour, but I can't stand this holier-than-thou shite from people who have never been and never will be in such mortal peril.

US Troops Investigated | 321 comments (247 topical, 74 editorial, 0 hidden)
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