Return of the body counts

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    link

     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #2
    Wow. Fascinating observation. I hadn't really noticed the shift in reporting until you pointed it out. I remember how careful the pentagon was to avoid body counts in the early days of the war.
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #3
    One of my earliest memories of the Vietnam War was of LBJ at a press conference talking about the thousands of of Vietcong killed by US forces, vs. the relatively small number of US casualties over some given time period. I remember thinking in my adolescent mind, "this can't go on much longer."

    Unfortunately, a great many adults were thinking with their adolescent minds at that time, too. A couple more years went by before we knew it was all a charade.

    The eerie parallels continue to mount up.
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #4
    The most awful bit was that it wasn't a charade, it was just ineffective: over a million VC were killed.
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    I thought that figure applied to the number of Vietnamese killed, including civilians in the bombings, etc., in the course of the war.

    We learned later, via the Pentagon Papers, that the government had been systematically overstating the number of casualties being inflicted on the Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces.
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Apparently civilians accounted for another two million.

    It seems that their mistake was in the math. Shouldn't leave accountants in charge of a war.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    War is too important to be left to the accountants.
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    And too expensive.
     
  9. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    insurgent -n (n-sûrjnt) Freedom fighter in a country where "freedom" is being instated by an outside nation with a clear economic motive
     
  10. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    One of your freedom fighters blew himself up in a restaurant today, killing 23 Iraqis.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    One person's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist. These words are loaded, and only so useful. Which is to say, not very.
     
  12. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #12
    True, no argument there. I'm a little bothered by the description of insurgents who blow up their fellow citizens as "freedom fighters", though. Of course, I'm assuming that said insurgents are in fact Iraqis, which may not be the case.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    Of course you realize that an Iraqi would say that one of YOUR liberators killed a bunch of her family today for no reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time?
     
  14. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #14

    I think we can assume very little about what is happening in Iraq, unfortunately. Reporters just aren't leaving the green zone, or if they are only under the protection of the military convoys. It would be nice to know just who the insurgents are and where they are getting their support and motivation. I seriously doubt that the military even knows. Whatever the details may be there seems to be an endless supply of them willing to die for their cause.
     
  15. takao macrumors 68040

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    well perhaps for them a lot of of those are collaborators ?
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Well, exactly. By now you'd think we'd know a lot more about who these insurgents are. It's pretty clear they are not as Donald Rumsfeld described them a couple of years ago, nothing but a motley assortment of Saddam's "dead-enders."
     
  17. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #17
    I'm not arguing with you, but for the sake of clarification, are you referring to the story later in that same article about the civilians killed in a station wagon that was speeding towards a checkpoint? If the circumstances were truly as described in the story (that the car approached at a high rate of speed, turned back, and then came back again at a high rate of speed despite warnings to slow down) I'm not sure what other options the coalition soldiers had.
     
  18. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #18
    I'm not sure I understand you. Do you mean that the insurgents perhaps see the Iraqi soldiers as collaborators with the coalition forces, and they are thus the enemy as well? I can see that point of view.
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    No, I wasn't refering to any story in particular, but I hope you don't doubt I could find you one in short order.
     
  20. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #20
    Yes. I still don't have a handle on exactly what their "cause" is. Did they prefer their previous government under Hussein? Do they believe that whatever form of government is left in place after the coalition forces eventually leave is bound to be worse than what they had under Hussein? Is it that they believe that we aren't in fact going to leave, that this is a permanent occupation?
     
  21. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #21
    not only soldiers but civilians as well who work togethe with that government
    for eample could it be that that cafe had mostly guests from a near adminsitration building/police officers off duty etc.
     
  22. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #22
    i'd bet a number of them just want the foreign occupiers to leave.

    scenario: bush calls off the 2008 elections and declares himself permanent president, an act of which only 8% of americans approve. a UN force invades DC, removes bush from power, and charges him with various crimes. 92% of americans are satisfied.

    but now, the UN force won't leave. they're rewriting the constitution, rooting out "bad elements" and bringing more troops. indiscriminate aerial bombing is killing hundreds of civilians a day. sections of a previously docile US military take up arms against the UN forces. more and more americans approve of this and actively support the US forces. the UN calls them terrorists and it becomes an endless task to kill or capture them.

    do you call these americans terrorists or freedom fighters?
     
  23. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

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    It't not a matter of better or worse. Everyone wants to be in power, the insurgents weren't happy with Hussein any more than they are with the current gov't, they are just taking advantage of the current situation to try and come to power themselves.
    We also don't know if there is one single group with one single motive here or if there are many groups with many different motives. The media flattens everything from a multidimensional issue to a binary "us vs. them" situation.

    Exactly.
     
  24. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #24
    No. See, that would be a terrorist.

    But I can't help feeling bad that for everyone of them we take down, how many innocent people get caught in the crossfire? And how many more of our troops have to be sent over there just to get injured or killed? Especially when they could be elsewhere, actually protecting Americans from people who actually attacked us. I can't help feeling angry that we pulled people from Afganistan (among other places) to send them to Iraq. That Bin Laden is still out there while we're still mucking around in Iraq. That there are many places a lot worse off than Iraq was that are suffering because we can't help them. That if we get attacked again, our resources and soldiers are so wrapped up in that quagmire this administration got us into, we wouldn't be able to defend ourselves.

    Just because we're a killin' the bad guys, doesn't make me feel any better about the way we went about this.
     
  25. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    I think it's a multiple choice kind of a question , not simply true or false. I truly doubt that anyone really wants sh back in power, but the Sunnis definitely don't want to give up what they had, the Kurds are not willing to go back to their former state of oppression and the Shiites are only to happy to finally lord it over the Sunnis. Add in a US military that had NO postwar plan and treats the Iraqis like scum, toss in a few fundamentalist religious types, a dash of hatred on behalf of the majority of Muslims a pinch of ill gotten gains and of course lots and lots and lots of dead and mostly innocent Iraqis. In other words, it's a matter of people jockeying for power in a country ill-prepared for the type of freedom and democracy that has been forced upon them. I don't think it's that hard to figure out really.
     

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