How do you feel about killing the wounded?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by SPG, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. SPG macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #1
    Something to think about. If there is an enemy soldier wounded and no longer able to fight, should he be captured, treated, imprisoned, or should they be killed on the battlefield?
    I believe that the Geneva Convention and the Uniform Military Code of Conduct both state that the wounded must be treated, not executed.
    For those who will immediately look at Iraq/Afghanistan as the model and call the opposing side terrorists and thus all should be killed, consider that this rule is for both sides.
    After you think about it for a while. Take a look at the clip in the link below.
    I do need to warn you that this is extremely graphic stuff, and is fairly disturbing since it's real.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5365.htm
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    wow. that's lovely. really ****ing lovely. glad that guy thought killing a downed iraqi was so 'awesome'.
     
  3. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Okay... i'll take the bait.

    Sometimes you don't get the full story. We don't get the beginning of the fight. Did the Iraqi on the ground start an attack? Ran past a checkpoint? Was he shot and was writhing on the ground trying to detonate an explosive device? Was he giving up?

    Remember the North Hollywood shootout where a couple of bank robbers with kevlar vests were shooting at cops and bystanders as they were trying to make their getaway? If I remember right, one of the robbers was shot and intentionally denied precious medical treatment. There was not enough medical personnel to treat the robber as well as his victims, so the medical personnel were told to work on the victims first.


    I think that its actually bad policy to shoot wounded, because it actually works against you. When you are fighting and you do not give any quarter to the enemy, the enemy would rather fight to the death than surrender, because its the same thing. Sometimes in fighting, you can actually win when the other side surrenders enough. That and you can get precious information from wounded enemies as well, sometimes questioning them prior to administering medical aid, sometimes concurrent with, etc.
     
  4. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    #4
    As an Infantryman that has yet to see combat, any any hostile individual whether they are wounded or not is still a perceived threat. True, we are instilled to show compassion towards our enemy when he is casualty, but often we are not shown the same. There are those that will feign injury or are in fact injured that wouldn't mind still luring our soldiers under the guise of compassion to aid them when they're true intent is putting a bullet between our eyes. Yes, as soldiers it is the humane thing to care for fallen enemy when it is 100% sure in our minds that he is no longer a threat.
     
  5. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    hmm... sometimes, as zimv20's post indicates, being too compassionate could get you killed, as indicated by gymnut's post.
     
  6. G5ROCKS macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I feel no reason to watch the horror of a man being killed. Whether this particlar incident was against the rules of war I cannot say. However, I do not doubt but that such incidents do happen in wars among all armies. The entire concept of "rules of war" somehow seems obscene to me, as though war is a gentleman's game. It isn't.

    Combat messes with the mind. It is unnatural to kill another person, it is also difficult to transition from killing the enemy to rendering aid. Again, I did not watch the video, but unless the guy was clearly surrending, one might expecct the Marines to err on the side of caution and fire until the threat was clearly neutralized. Even at that, there were reports early on in the combat of a number of US troops who lost their lives as Iraqis pretended to surrender and then opened fire.

    I could not help by note the irony of this site boasting about "news you won't see on CNN" and then having a CNN transcript. Uh, that would be "news you did see on CNN, pal"
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    then watch it for the guy gloating afterwards. doesn't seem he regards the incident w/ any horror.
     
  8. huntsman macrumors member

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    #8
    Yeah!!! They got him! Woohooo! Hehehehehe :cool:

    Hell yeah, that video was awesome! I'm gonna watch it again!
     
  9. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #9
    amazing

    Look at what what you saw and then these responses.

    A wounded man is shot dead. Soldier is euphoric.

    Wounded man is imminent threat.
    Compassion is un-natural.
    Media is not to be trusted.

    Is it any wonder we are at war in Iraq? These same responses were the meta-reasons for war in the first place. The obvious facts of the situation are lost in interpretations of fear, power and spin. The soldier could be swinging a cat by its tail or killing 15 children in Afghanistan and you would get the same responses. Do you wonder why some are afraid for America?
     
  10. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    #10
    don't you think that was just slightly alarmist? i think you're wrong about the reactions to the 3 situations you just posited, for one thing, and for another, i think the war in Iraq is being fought for much, much more complicated reasons than you suggest.

    americans' moral grounding is getting shot to hell, but the same is true of most of the remotely powerful countries in the world. the situation in iraq does not stem simply from americans being pompous jerks who have no respect for the sanctity of life of enemies, but from a changing global climate in the wake of the end of the cold war. we haven't seen the worst of the change, by any means, and it's not "all america's fault." I really don't think this is the place to decry american morals. it's a little bit disappointing, but it's one story blown out of proportion.
     
  11. G5ROCKS macrumors newbie

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    #11
    zimv20,
    I read the transcript. That is sufficient to get the gist of the soldier's reaction. When someone is trying to kill you, and you kill them first, your initial, natural reaction is euphoria, not calm, balanced reflection, or a philosophical discussion of the merits of your survival vs. his.

    wwworry,
    Look at what you saw in the headline on the piece. "Marines execute Iraqi." Sorry, but execution may not quite the be appropriate term. Rather, "Marines kill Iraqi in fire fight and cheer." What do you freakin' expect them to do? Kill someone and then hold a memorial service for him on the side of the road? If those Marines thought they were under threat from that location, and it seems clear they did, I'm not going to say that they should not defend themselves.
     
  12. wwworry macrumors regular

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    #12
    I was writing about the responces from this board.

    What alarms me is the amount and extent of apologies. I will repeat:
    The soldier could be swinging a cat by its tail or killing 15 children in Afghanistan and you would get the same responses (apologies).
     
  13. G5ROCKS macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Well, if they had dragged him out, handcuffed him, and shot him in the back of the head, they'd by up for a court martial, and you would definitely not get the same response from me.

    It's a war. People die. That's what makes it so horrible. Sometimes, they even get shot twice if they are unwilling or unable to surrender fast enough.

    edit: I'm waiting for someone else to come along and complain about the sensationization on the part of the web guy who called it an "execution." Anyone?
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #14

    You might have a wait on your hands. No one complains about sensationalism when it's sensationalizing<sp?> what they want to hear.


    Lethal
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    execute means to put to death.

    had i written the headline, i wouldn't have used the term. but after viewing the footage (have you done so yet?), i also wouldn't have said the marine was 'defending himself'.
     
  16. G5ROCKS macrumors newbie

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    #16
    You wouldn't have used the term because it is the wrong term to use. Execute, in terms of killing, generally refers to carrying out a legal sentence, not someone being killed in a firefight. The use of the term "execute" is highly inappropriate from a journalistic standpoint in those circumstances.

    Euthanize means to put to death, too, but the meanings are not the same. Would you say that the man was euthanized? Of course not. It is equally inaccurate to call someone being killed in a firefight an execution.
     
  17. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #17
    not always. e.g. i'd say daniel pearl was executed.

    please watch the footage and see if you feel the same way
     
  18. G5ROCKS macrumors newbie

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    #18
    And this firefight is an instance where the use of the term execution is not appropriate. Much like one would not say that Daniel Pearl was euthanized. An execution is something that is generally carried out on someone in custody, under the control of the one doing the killing. Pearl fits that, they may have even had their own little trial for him, I don't know.

    I don't need to watch the footage to know that there was a firefight, with armed assailants and bullets flying, that the man in question was not in custody, and that use of the word execute is inappropriate in those circumstances. I can tell that from the transcript. You wouldn't use execute yourself, and with good reason. It's the wrong word to use. I don't need to watch the footage of Daniel Pearl having his throat slit to know that his murderers did not act out of a sense of self preservation.
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #19
    you're reduced to inventing definitions to maintain your objection. consult a dictionary.

    jesus christ, you're operating out of sheer ignorance. you are willfully excluding valuable data -- data which contradicts your impression of what actually happened. until you can take some responsibility for informing yourself, you'll understand why i cannot take you and your underinformed opinions seriously.
     
  20. G5ROCKS macrumors newbie

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    #20
    zimv20,
    Far from inventing a defintion, I did consult a dictionary and found that exection especially refers to carrying out a legal sentence. Guess what? That hard to do if a person isn't in custody.

    I am not Jesus Christ, and I am not operating out of ignorance. Could a person be expected to believe that there was still a threat? Yes. Therefore, we aren't talking about an execution, we're talking about someone being killed in a war. It's still horrible because war is horrible.
     
  21. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I think that we do not have the full story here. We do not know the involvement of the wounded enemy prior to getting wounded. The camera footage just isn't there.

    Could be that the guy was not surrendering.
    Could be that the guy was surrendering.
    Could be that the guy has a grenade and is only mock surrendering so that he could sucker a few soldiers to help him and frag them and then he would get his 77 virgins.
    Could be that guy was an innocent bystander that got in the way, and the soldiers are really bad people who just got done swinging a cat by its tail and spreading napalm on it before lighting it up.

    There is just not enough here.
     
  22. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    #22
    I highly doubt that our wounded and captive soldiers receive anywhere near the same treatment as we are expected to give to our fallen enemy. Fallen U.S. soldiers are not bandaged and given medical aid, rather they are treated as trophies when brought down, their bodies paraded about the streets. I have yet to be deployed but try to imagine what the men and women of our armed forces are going through. Many have been away from their homes and families for extended periods of time. For many, this is their first armed conflict they've participated in. The average age of our soldiers is between 19-21. They are being attacked by individuals that hide amongst the general population of Iraq, often not caring whether they are killed or not, providing they take a few U.S. GI's with them. Unless you've served in the armed forces, you cannot really grasp the comraderie and bond that you form with the people you train and fight with. You've all gone through the same s**t and you've all suffered the same hell. So when a buddy you've known since Basic Training takes a piece of hot lead, be damned your pissed and fired up and must summon an enormous amount of restraint not to send the lot of them to hell.
     
  23. SPG thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #23
    Here's what I've heard about the backstory on this. The Marine unit came across the guy who looked like he was setting up a small bomb on the side of the road. He ran, they shot him as he ran away. They came up a little closer and saw that he was down and wounded, this is when the cameras got there. They then shot him numerous times from a distance until he was dead.
    They then found that he was setting up a bomb hoping to blow up near a convoy. There was no firefight, there was nobody else there shooting at americans.

    I don't know if he was trying to surrender, but on the video the guy doesn't look like he's doing anything but lying on his side in pain.
    Why couldn't he be captured? Wouldn't it be better for our own goals to capture someone like that? What was the threat of a guy lying in a pool of his own blood barely able to move?
    What about the soldier's reaction? Primitive bloodlust and vengeance? It doesn't look good, that's for sure.

    Spin it all you like and try to make excuses...it's just wrong and it's what the rest of the world sees.
    We really need to stop making excuses and rationalizations about even the most awful things we see. Some things are just plain wrong and need to called.
     
  24. SPG thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPG

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    #24
    Rationalization to outrage ratio stands at 4:1 with one flippant remark.
     
  25. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #25
    I could start a hangman tread wth this one: _ _ _ and sounds like Odole:
     

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