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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, May 29, 2006.
Perhaps they should ask Colin Powell to make their excuses. He did so well after My Lai.
Yeah, I made the My Lai comparison when this story first broke. Anyone who was alive during the Vietnam War will never forget what a major affair that was.
There will be some differences this time, however. The public is already very much against the war (thought this may make it even worse); and the Pentagon will keep this off the front pages by investigating and trying the soldiers largely behind closed doors, the way they did with Abu Ghraib.
well, this sucks.
This is such a depressing thing to learn of, for a variety of reasons.
First of all, this can hardly make the soldier's jobs in the trenches any easier, and it already isn't. It can't positively affect morale either, which may or may not be low these days anyways.
I have a hard time blaming these soldiers for this act, however horrible, because I am just not sure that they were ever given clearly defined orders/parameters for dealing with these situations - basically leadership - and therefore let their emotions get the best of them in a stressful situation. Don't get me wrong, I think they should be held accountable for their actions, but the real accountability should be brought upon the leadership.
To explain more, from what I understand about military structure, it is all about submitting the will of the individual to that of the group - the organization. Under such circumstances, if a poor order is given, or a member of your group engages in questionable behavior, it is natural to follow with the group. Military and Civilian leadership know this, so if this ends with no prosecution further up than mid-level officers, that is a real travesty.
In any case, not only does this situation damage troop safety in the field and their morale, it also hamstrings the whole military effectiveness in accomplishing their objective - damages the Iraqi political system associated with the US, and incenses public opinion here at home, limiting our politician's flexibility here at home to deal with the problem.
While we are certainly losing over in Iraq, by most definitions, it is still a mistake to abruptly pull out - especially if public opinion on this issue precludes it. While there are some comparisons that can be made with Vietnam - Iraq is not VIetnam. When we left Vietnam, we left a country which while war-torn, was still a "country" - one that united on natural ethnic and geographical terms, if not on our preferred ideology. It was supported by a large power, which played by International rules. Iraq has none of that going for it - it is just a chaotic mess, which in all liklihood terrorists and others with fat wallets will futher exploit in the vaccuum of our departure.
Relatedly, I have to wonder what would happen if there were instances of rape of Muslim women by US soldiers reported over there - that would drive the Muslims wild - perhaps even more than deaths.
oh, and for some irony - happy Memorial Day America...
Oh if they knowingly shot unarmed civilians they are surely to blame. In addition if commanders either encouraged or knew about this, or attempted to cover it up after the fact, they should also face charges. But there is no excuse for knowingly shooting unarmed civilians for revenge. Absolutely none.
Well, yeah - but this is hardly the first time something like this has happened - and this isn't the first war we've fought. The point is not to absolve the soldiers of their guilt, but considering what type or military we pride ourselves on, the plentiful examples of prior situations reflecting group psychology and stress, and what the US has invested in terms of our goals - you'd think that this is really indicative of a failure of Leadership. We're not a rag-tag militia are we?
That's all I'm saying...
blackfox is exactly right - this a problem of leadership and discipline, and the officers in charge should be held accountable.
Fair enough. I was just taking issue with your statement that "I have a hard time blaming these soldiers for this act."
I don't have a hard time blaming them AND those above them.
this administration has something like 5 ideas total. and #3 is: "blame the low level operatives, not those who command/manage them" (link):
i'm disgusted by the soldiers' actions. but i'm more disgusted by those at the top -- they pretend to support the troops, put them in an impossible situation, then leave them hung out to dry. it even earned the GOP a second bush term. absolutely disgusting.
Possibly another "massacre"
Maybe 11 civilians deliberately killed by US Soldiers
with video footage of the incident, (not in the article)
Wow- whatever happened to "mission accomplished"?
You know... Over the last few days I've heard an awful lot of so-called "experts" and military types talking about how hard it is for American soldiers who've had to deal with a comrade's death, and how the fear of being shot all the time takes it's toll on you etc. and how those kinds of things make it almost understandable that people would snap and do something like this.
Yet I don't recall a single one of them making the same observations about the people who murdered and desecrated the bodies of those contractors in Fallujah. At the time, that was considered evidence of the barbarity of our foe. But would the residents of Fallujah not face very similar pressures that Marine's face with regard to fear of being killed at any time, an open-ended time frame for violence around them, their friends and neighbors - comrades if you will - being humiliated, arrested, and yes, even killed, for no apparent reason?
Absolutely. Not that I excuse the behavior of either side, but it is understandable. Yet the only people you'll hear even mention it will be soldiers who see it first hand. And even then, only candidly. Everyone else is afraid to appear to sympathize with our enemy.
Of course, those same people who accuse others of siding with the enemy say we're there now to help the Iraqis because Saddam was a bad guy and how they're ungrateful and should appreciate us more.