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  1. #11
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    An officer of the regiment detaining Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel worker, when he was beaten to death said his soldiers held the view that "all Iraqis were scum", it was disclosed today.
    Given the general nature of insurgencies, I don't find that all too surprising. The distinction between friend and foe is already real blurry, especially when on top of that dealing with an alien culture.

    I was quickly reminded of this account by Col. David Hackworth of one experience in Vietnam:
    Q: You were once flying in a helicopter over the Delta and you saw some people running along and you thought, "they're civilians, they're children..."

    Hackworth: Yes, one day we were doing what was called 'eagle flies,' which is a platoon of infantry in helicopters -- five, six soldiers per helicopter -- and I was controlling everything in a command and control helicopter. The pilot in the front seat of my helicopter said, "There are four enemies streaking across the field. Request permission to fire." As commander, I would grant that permission. I looked down and saw four little kids, so I said, "Negative. Those are little kids, they're just playing hooky from school or something. Leave them alone." And I went ahead and inserted my platoon and let them maneuver through the area. Suddenly they took fire from those 'poor little kids,' who were probably no more than twelve or thirteen years old and had stashed their AK-47s. So I was wrong.

    My previous experience had been up in the highlands. That was one of my first days in the Delta and I was learning that just about anybody in that battlefield, sadly enough, was a hostile.

    Peoples Century | Guerrilla Wars | Col. David Hackworth
    So I wouldn't be too quick to judge soldiers for thinking that way, it's almost a natural response to being in that kind of situation.

  2. #12
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by eagleseven View Post
    I do hope our command staff learned the lessons of Iraq.
    Odds are they wont.

    You know what they say...the US Military is always 100% prepared for the last war.
    Well that's actually a truism about any military really.

  3. #13
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So I wouldn't be too quick to judge soldiers for thinking that way, it's almost a natural response to being in that kind of situation.
    I personally feel more pity for the indiviual soldiers than "judging" them. Many are victims of the "economic draft". The real criminals are the ones who sent them there, and every example like this should be used to condemn the latter, and the war itself.

    This said: all those soldiers tho commit crimes against Iraqi civilians should be brought to justice by the Iraqis themselves and given proportionate sentences, to be served in Iraq; and the Iraqis also have the right to drive the occupiers out by force.

    I think you would ask for no less if you were the one having your country occupied.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  4. #14
    Sniffles
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    Certainly those who commit war-crimes do need to be brought to justice, I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I was addressing the notion of soldiers seeing Iraqis in general as "scum".

  5. #15
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Certainly those who commit war-crimes do need to be brought to justice, I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I was addressing the notion of soldiers seeing Iraqis in general as "scum".
    I think most British people probably view people from poor countries as "scum", let alone soldiers.

    So on that count, I also think the soldiers are no worse than the society which spawned them.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  6. #16
    Sniffles
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    It's most likely a legacy of colonialism and the notion of the "do-good Empire".

  7. #17
    Member themightybob's Avatar
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    The Iraqis have the right to drive the occupiers out by force? You do realize that most of the insurgents in Iraq are not iraqis, and that the majority of Iraqis view Al-qaeda as a larger threat than the US.

    Do you really think a government run by the current insurgents would be better for the Iraqi people?

  8. #18
    Sniffles
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    I don't know about the majority being non-Iraqis, I am aware of divisions within the insurgency between the foreigners and the Iraqis on what to do, especially in regards to the electoral process.

  9. #19
    Senior Member eagleseven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    Iraqis also have the right to drive the occupiers out by force.
    By definition, there are no rights in war. There is only power.

    If you bring up the Geneva Convention, realize that the last war where all parties involved somewhat followed Geneva was World War II, if you ingore the Battle of Britain, the bombing of Germany, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the nuking of Japan.. Geneva is a noble concept, one that is routinely ignored when lives are at stake.

    Nobody wants to sacrifice himself to uphold an arbitrary international treaty.

  10. #20
    Sniffles
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    There's always been rules of some kind governing warfare.

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