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BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis

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Subject: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 08:48 PM

Not surprisingly at all to me, tonight's deeply disturbing CBS 60 Minutes program put the truth to the lie that all American soldiers are honorable and worthy of our respect. Those photographs shown during the program are a pretty damning indictment of our troops' behavior in Iraq. Honor the troops? Not in my name, thank you very much.

US OUT OF IRAQ NOW!

Abuse Of Iraqi Prisoners Probed


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:02 PM

One striking thing in that story "... a U.S. soldier came forward with allegations and evidence of abuse."

The crucial thing is, would that be seen by most other soldiers as a heroic and admirable thing to have done, or as some kind of treachery towards comrades?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: DougR
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:12 PM

Horse pucky!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Metchosin
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:14 PM

given the criticism Kerry has garnered, I wouldn't be surprised if not only a lot of soldiers would view it as treachery, but a lot of the American public would view it that way as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Metchosin
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:18 PM

DougR, I rest my case.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:23 PM

Just curious...
Horse Pucky = "Didn't actually happen", or
Horse Pucky = "Did happen, doesn't bother me", or
Horse Pucky = ????


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Metchosin
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:23 PM

and speaking of horses asses, as the old adage goes, you can lead 'em to water, but you can't make them drink


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:32 PM

And if what Metchosin said there is true, that would be pretty disturbing. It implies that it's not a question of a few bad apples, (which is perhaps inescapable in any organisation) but the other way round.

But from what we've seen of Guantanamo Bay...


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:37 PM

Guantanamo Bay.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 09:47 PM

The proper thing to do, as a soldier, is to come forward and provide information on such gross violations of military regulations...and that is exactly what happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:19 PM

Well danged, this thing is a war, ain't it? So if we gotta do what we gotta do... Kill innocent women & children? Torture a few towel headed camel jockeys? Then do it! I'm with DougR on this one. Hey, let's just coral 'em all into a big area and nuke 'um, right? Hey, they don't understand no Christianity so what good is they? Nuke 'um... Hey, they'd nuke you, wouldn't they???... Might of fact, since them highbrow Europeans ain't gonna give us no support, nuke 'um, too!!! Heck, seein as them commie Californians ain't into supporting what we're trying to do for freedom and democracy, nuke them commies, too. Right, Doug? Nuke 'um'....

The "new and improved" Bobert...

p.s. We ain't takin' no crap from Little Hawk, 'er Amos on this thing 'er we're gonna nuke Canada and California together... Got it???Good... We're gonna have a quiz on it later....


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:22 PM

I just saw the segment on 60 Minutes II. There were men and women soldiers involved with photos of naked male prisoners. Pretty sick.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:23 PM

I like your attitude, Bobert -- no flinch, no pallor, no qualm -- death unto the enemies wheresoever they may be found. Wow. Would we could have been so determined in Vietnam!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:40 PM

Well gol danged right, Amos! Ain't too late to nuke Vietnam! And China! And Somolia! And Indonesia. And the Phillipines. And California. Heck, where Hanoii Jane Fonda livin' these days. Nuke her, too. Heck, my neighbor right up the toad blowed his leaves into the road. Nuke him while yer at it. Ahhhh, maybe not him come to think about it.... But, hey, ain't Kerry from Massacuttes? Nuke it.

Yeah, and that's fir starters.

God bless America.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 11:12 PM

"I hear we're torturin' prisoners of war
But I don't believe that stuff no more
Torturin' prisoners is a communist game
And you can bet they're doin' the same
I wish this war was over and through
But what do you expect me to do?"

--Tom Paxton, about 1967.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 11:42 PM

I just saw those pictures and I am appalled. The soldiers were actually enjoying their atrocities. They were having some kind of fun. What a way to liberate Iraq! What a way to fight terrorism!

I'm sure that this will only stregthen the terrorist movement. I would feel very nervous if I were living in the U.S. This just adds fuel to the fire. Our troops were unsafe before - what will it be like now?

Did anyone catch the bit about the army just trying to please the interrogaters by preparing the prisoners? ... and the fact that the interrogaters were not military personnel and therefore could not be tried by the military? What kind of a government would run a war this way?   

It does make you wonder who would volunteer to fight in this war.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,peedeecee
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 11:59 PM

Canada doesn't have a leg to stand on, in one sense. Our Canadian Airborne Division did the same kind of thing in Somalia, being photographed with a teenaged prisoner they were torturing. He, however, died from his wounds. I'm proud to say that the Canadian government actually disbanded this division, which had a mixed history of great heroism and utterly disgusting behaviour.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:17 AM

Not long ago in the Spokane Spokesman-Review there was an interview with a young sniper in Iraq. He said that sometimes he liked to shoot an Iraqi and let him scream a while before he finished him off, for the effect on the survivors.

What'll we do with that young sniper and the people in the CBS report when they come back home? Take them out behind the barn and hit them in the back of the head with a stick?

I suppose we could give them jobs in law enforcement....

These people are not isolated psychopaths; this is policy, starting at least as high as brigadier general. And ultimately the responsibility of the Commander in Chief. A terrible way to treat the Iraqis and a terrible way to treat our own soldiers.

How could any decent God bless this behavior, Mr Bush?

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 03:13 AM

There's an interesting movie based on the Stanford Prison Experiment called Das Experiment (The Experiment). Basically, it's an expose of how easily guards can come to be tyrants.

In the 60 minutes case, it's an example of how little forethought went into the occupation of Iraq. America's army can handily beat any army on earth. But it's a fighting army, not an army of occupation, nor an anti-insurgency army. In hindsight, this sort of tragedy seems predictable.

Canada, Belgium, and Italy all sent some of their toughest forces into Somalia. But mostly they were faced with starving locals trying to steal from them. Canadian airborne soldiers slowly beat one young would-be thief to death. The cover-up was pervasive enough that the regiment was disbanded; it's culture deemed too violent. The Belgians didn't do very much to their soldiers, even though a couple of paratroopers were caught on film swinging a Somali child over a blazing fire. However, two Italian generals resigned over the conduct of their troops.

As one Canadian journalist put it: http://www.banadir.com/the_shocking.shtml
"During my frontline reporting in one of the most dangerous places on earth, the terror of being surrounded by trigger happy Foreign Legionnaires, Belgian and Italian contingents of UNITAF, screaming racist slurs and obscenities at the starving population and shooting over the heads of journalists covering the "Big Profile" threw me into darker depression. Luckily many of us survived to tell the tales! But my colleagues, Hoss Maina, Anthony Macharia, Dan Eldon of Reuters news agency and Hansi Krauss of the American news agency Associated Press (AP) were not lucky enough to survive the carnage.

Surprisingly, the American Marines were the most disciplined force in Somalia until they were provoked by forces loyal to the late General..."


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 04:31 AM

Steve - Canadian airborne soldiers slowly beat one young would-be thief to death. The cover-up was pervasive enough that the regiment was disbanded; it's culture deemed too violent.

Makes sense to me.

...and Clint

These people are not isolated psychopaths; this is policy, starting at least as high as brigadier general. And ultimately the responsibility of the Commander in Chief.

How do you disband the entire U.S. military, including the Commander in Chief?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 04:52 AM

Doug R - horse pucky???

Its plain old horse shit Doug. Real horse shit thats been wafting your way for a long time. Smell it? Don't deny it, its the real shit Doug. Don't deny it, Doug. Its not pucky.

Do you finally understand that this is real?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:16 AM

I believe the military mindset, regardless of which country they are from, breeds this sort of contemptuous behavior, and condones it until the soldiers are caught. Then the high ranking military offers up a few sacrificial lambs from the lower officer ranks, and it's back to business as usual.

We also aren't hearing much about the violence against the local population that aren't prisoners, but we can be absolutely certain it is happening, because this is the end result of the militarist model of governance by terror. As in our soldiers terrorize their civilians, because any treatment of the "enemy" is justifiable when they are the people shooting back at you.

So, where are all our gung ho Mudcat militarists to defend the honorable military now? Where's Teribus and Big Mick and all the vets who love to bully the forum with their "honor the troops" bullshit when this sort of thing comes to light?

I know one thing for sure, what men, and increasingly, women do in war is no cause for honor. That is just the militarist propaganda machine talking bullshit, to keep the cannon fodder enlisting, and to silence anyone who would dare tell the truth not just about the atrocities of our enemies, but of our own.

And please, don't give me that "war is hell" crap. I'm with you all the way Bobert. Sick and fed up and weary at all this gung ho war shit in God Bless America.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:36 AM

Today's NY Times article about last night's program goes into greater detail about what was on the program.

G.I.'s Are Accused of Abusing Iraqi Captives

Note that our patriotic media uses the word 'abuse' instead of the more damning and accurate word 'torture' to define the behavior. I couldn't even find mention of it in the Washington Post. CBS said at the end of the program that the Pentagon had asked that the story not be broadcast because our troops are under hostile fire circumstances, and CBS claims to have held the story for 2 weeks. Apparently, CBS has no problem covering up US atrocities in Iraq, if it might appear unpatriotic to do so. But, CBS explained, they decided to air the program when it came to light they were about to be scooped by other news outlets.

Makes you proud to be an American at the mercy of our patriotic media, who is apparently colluding with the Pentagon to cover up any and all wrongdoing by the Pentagon and the military and ESPECIALLY of our 'honorable' troops, who are showing Iraqis the kinder, gentler side of American compassionate conservative traditions in places like Falluja, Najaf, and Abu Ghraib.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:43 AM

"It is only a small minority...not representative of the US Forces in Iraq"... What kind of a miserable excuse is that? This is not one guy gone funny in the head - that might be excused. But here we are talking several perpetrators. Who are enjoying their crime, according to the pictures. Who have been encouraged, according to the reports. Whose only crime in the eyes of many (unfortunately) will be that they were caught.

But caught they were. Now, let's see - what did we do to the SS guards that did the same in concentration camps or to the Gestapo interrogators who tortured civilians? Why should these criminals receive a lighter punishment? Why should their families not be brought to shame? Because families that breed vermin have their own share to pay for. Damn them all forever.

And even this would not in fact heal the rift that these new atrocities have caused. Too late for that. The whirlwind is ours to reap. Boy, have we earned it - in spades.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:54 AM

I'm with you all the way El Greko. The "defense" of the behavior that most galled me, was when one of main guys who is up for court martial claimed the atrocities occured because they weren't "properly trained".

As human beings, apparently.

But here is the kicker--that same guy who claims the soldiers weren't properly trained, works for the State of Virginia prison system as a civilian. But you often see this same behavior and mindset from civilian police and prison guards. I believe there is a particular personality type, and not a very positive one, that gravitates towards these jobs where abuse of power is so often an issue.

Doesn't give one much hope for the human race.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:58 AM

Oh, and I forgot to mention, his State of Virginia prison system colleagues all gave the guy glowing, positive reviews, as did his family and friends.

People sure are willing to go a long way to delude themselves about someone close to them, aren't they? Which is why the "honor the troops" propaganda is so powerful. It is directed at the families and friends and work colleagues of those serving, because in a dysfunctional, co-dependent system, it keeps everybody in line and lying to cover for each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: InOBU
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:01 AM

Yesterday the headlines in n.y.c. read bombing blitz. apropriate. remember the first use of that term, germany's unprovoked war on humanity. we go to a war "just in case" led by the lies of our banal little guttersnipe leader and now we get exposed as torturers beyond the "acceptable" toture of war. I predict among the liberties being banned in this nation which once I knew, will be a ban against personal cameras for our storm troopers long before they ban torture.
larry


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:07 AM

I do pity the whistleblower. I don't think they need to worry about Iraqi fire as much as their own, shooting them in the back.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: jacqui.c
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:16 AM

Horse pucky? Doug, I remember Me Lai and Lt. Calley. Was that also horse pucky?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: jacqui.c
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:18 AM

That was kendall, not jacqui


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:26 AM

It is war. It is not remotely surprising. In wartime people do terrible things, especially young soldiers who are being shot at by people who are not playing by any rules themselves. Wars wreck rules, make people do terrible things, degrade people and countries.

That is why they should be taken more seriously by people who propose to get into them.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:35 AM

Except the soldiers who are guilty of these atrocities WEREN'T being shot at. They were safely ensconced inside an American prison. Which makes it all the more disturbing.

And as I said, I will not take on the apologists' "war is hell" mantle. That just excuses the military, and leaves the wall between military "values" and civilian intact, unchallenged, and easily redeemed by the military propaganda machine.

Maybe it is time we held ourselves to the actual standard the propaganda machine claims for it's 'honorable' soldiers, and the troops AND the military AND the politicians accountable.

Wouldn't that be the American thing to do?

Naw. Time for another dirty, sleazy cover-up. An election is on the horizon, and we have two pro-war candidates running the nation.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:55 AM

"Torture" is an exaggeration, since threatening harm isn't the same as inflicting it, but the actual CBS article certainly recounts illegal abuse of POWs. The military spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq, said that "I think two things. No. 1, this is a small minority of the military, and No. 2, they need to understand that is not the Army. The Army is a values-based organization. We live by our values. Some of our soldiers every day die by our values, and these acts that you see in these pictures may reflect the actions of individuals, but by God, it doesn't reflect my army."

This is the second time that members of an Army Reserve unit involved in PW control have been cited for gross failure to follow regulations. While relief of the unit commander for neglect of duty and filing criminal charges against those actually involved, which happened the first time and appears to be happening again, is a necessary first step, it appears obvious that both training and oversight are lacking.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:56 AM

What cover-up? Apparently these things happened. Now what?

If it were a civil court, perhaps the soldiers involved would be charged with crimes against people. And perhaps they would plead insanity.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:56 AM

Well, we have 6 guys being court marshalled and their commanders relieved of duty and under investigation. The military is throwing the book at them. No doubt everyone in the theater knows what's happened and is working their tails off to avoid any appearance of similar behavior. No doubt the way this is being handled confuses the Iraqis who are used to Uday getting away with much worse behavior for years.

Sounds appalling (I didn't see the report), but what ever gave you the idea that if you round up 130,000 people and send them anywhere you aren't going to have the usual percentages of the best and the worst of them?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:09 AM

In virtually every war there are incidents of soldiers on both sides behaving in a brutal and unjustified way to enemy soldiers who are taken prisoner...as well as executing them in an illegal fashion.

Like political shenanigans and dishonesty (which happens all the time) it only becomes news occasionally. When it does, those who have an axe to grind make a big deal out of it...from whichever angle suits them. Those who are against the war yell and scream about it, because it bolsters their anti-war position. Those who are for the war say brilliant things like "Horse pucky!" :-)

Grow up, people. American soldiers have brutally treated prisoners (on occasion) in just about every war they have ever fought...and so have Russian, German, Japanese, British, French, and all other soldiers. Most of the time you just don't hear about it, that's all.

This is a case of getting upset about what should be bloody obvious: war is an immense crime against humanity. It is a failure in common sense and civilized behaviour. Pre-emptive war is illegal aggression. Aggressor powers are criminals. Their soldiers are ordinary folks placed in a horrible position, and some of them go a bit crazy under the strain. The blame should be placed on the political commanders who sent them to war, more than on the soldiers, but it is appropriate that the soldiers should be disciplined for mistreating prisoners.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:15 AM

I just read the AP report, which seems to be the same as what appeared in the NYT. I think that making a blanket condemnation of the entire military because of the actions of a few is akin to saying all African-Americans are vicious drug addicts because a very few are.

During the Second World War (and I'm not getting into the rightness or wrongness of it here), the vast majority of the German troops did not gas Jews or destroy Ourodur or massacre prisoners at Malmedy. Those who did have been and are being sought out and punished, in some cases executed. Rightly and justly so.

Those in the military of any nation who abuse the power given to them -- hell, anyone who abuses other by the power given to them! -- should be sought out and punished. And those involved in this seem to be.

Prison guards have long had the ability, and some have had the inclination, to abuse the prisoners in their control. That most do not speaks well of humanity. That a few do speak ill of it. Those that abuse should, at least in my opinion, find out what it was like for those they abused....


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: jacqui.c
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:33 AM

Kendall...Kerry is not pro war.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:46 AM

If Kerry is very pro this war, and says so every chance he gets.

As to the charge that these sorts of behaviors should be "expected" because this is "war" is bloody inexcusable. And so is the claim that this is just a few bad apples. That sort of logic flies in the very face of what people committed to ending the atrocity of war AND war's atrocities, work for each and every day. Those brave people are the human beings who have brought us things like the Geneva Convention.

Or are we going to just cover our eyes, look away, and read the next book in the 'Left Behind' series here?

No, I don't accept that this behavior can be so easily dismissed. This is a behavior that is encouraged by militaries around the world, including our own. The facts of this case SHOULD trouble the calm waters of the military propagandists and apologists, many of whom are now chiming in.

I ain't buying it. There are human beings around the world that see this sort of thing for what it is. A chance to sacrifice a few grunts to the media circus, and continue on with business as usual.

Throwing the book at them, is it? Well, that suggests it won't happen again because throwing the book at them is a deterrence, right? Isn't that how the military logic goes? Treat the sacrificial lambs harshly, while the same old thing keeps happening. When you train and reward human beings to be vicious, to kill innocents, to torment 'the enemy' this is exactly where the road leads. To a veneer of control over human slaughter, and calling it 'honorable' behavior.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:48 AM

And Amos, it is clear you didn't see the program, so how about you just quit talking out your ass about things you know nothing about?

You didn't see the photograph of the Iraqi prisoner presumed beaten to death, all wrapped up like a Christmas present, apparently. Not an atrocity? I suggest you don't know the meaning of the word.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Stu
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:49 AM

This was bound to happen, given the way soldiers in the US army seem to be taught to treat people in countries they occupy. They dehumanise them by giving them names like 'gook'. This makes them easier to kill and mistreat (the Nazis did the same thing with the Jews and Russians).

The fact that the US military doesn't care about Iraqi civilians and is happy to fire into residential areas and shoot people dead who look like they're up to no good (regardless of evidence one way or another) means when their soldiers are put in charge of prisons, they don't see the people inside as human.

This is the real irony of the Iraq debacle - the most powerful nation becoming more like the enemy they profess to despise.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:50 AM

GUEST, you are an unthinking puppet of John Ashcroft.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 09:55 AM

You don't have to be shot at to be influenced by having people in your own army being shot and killed and blown up by un-uniformed people who do not play by any rules except they want you gone.

Armies eventually mimic their enemy. De Gaulle talked about this -- in the end he left Algeria because he did not want to lose France. You are dragged down into inhuman behaviour over time. It is a constant and terrible struggle to remain remotely decent in war. It is not just the soldiers: the home front degrades as well (there is lots of evidence of this). Things become acceptable that weren't when you began.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 10:32 AM

I think you missed, Guest...maybe your hand was shaking.   You -- having seen 60 minutes -- are now an authority on the atrocity of war, no doubt. My question is -- what is it you think should happen? No court martial? Summary execution? Relieve them of their uniforms?

I can promise you is much -- whatever you saw on 60 Minutes, the soldiers in question have seen far worse.

I think you and I agree on one thing -- they should not be there, and they should be taken out of there.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Cruiser
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 10:54 AM

I've always considered women a bit more moral than men. Maybe it was a result my early southern upbringing. To see women involved in this action chips away at that perception.

The times ARE changing...


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:15 AM

One of the most unfortunate things that has happened in society in the last few decades is that women have been actively and tacitly encouraged to take on the most unhealthy and disfunctional negative behaviours which used to be seen as appropriate only for men...

This amounts to enslaving women in the same destructive nonsense that men have been enslaved by for centuries, and it is not a step forward for either females or humanity in general.

The Sy$tem knows no shame.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:20 AM

I think women are every bit as vulnerable to manipulation through the desire to be "one of the guys" and nowhere is that more evident than in a culture like the military that so strictly enforces conformity.

PeterT, I don't disagree with anything you say. I know your writing style to be concise, but your comments are coming across to me as a being emotionally distant to the point of appearing complacent about this. I find it difficult to believe that would be your intent.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:36 AM

There was a lot of evidence surfacing in reports out of Iraq last summer that this was going on. But back then, everyone was still all gung ho and patriotic about things, and utterly dismissed the mere suggestion of American troops engaging in such dishonorable behavior, don't forget. And no institution has been more gung ho patriotic than the American media. To the shock and consternation of the rest of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:42 AM

What do you want, Judas goat? People say that abusing others is right? A column of lock-step robots you can lead to your master, John Ashcroft?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:44 AM

Photos with article.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:49 AM

Britain was indicted twice by the European Court for their treatment of civilians in N Ireland, occuping armies are by nature arrogant, and tend to treat the occupied with contemt.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:57 AM

Those photographs shown during the program are a pretty damning indictment of our troops' behavior in Iraq.


Is it typical of your thought processes to proceed from the specific to the generalized in the most condemnatory possible way? Because it is not persuasive. One lousy little stinkbug can spread a bad smell over quite an area, but that doesn't make him any bigger or more powerful -- he's still one lousy little stinkbug.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 12:10 PM

The photos do remind me of the photos from that Canadian military unit's initiation rite scandal a few years ago. No doubt frightening to the participants but a bit short of the Bataan Death March and what happened to the survivers in their prisoner of war camps.

The military is treating this as serious criminal act. What else would you like, decimating the troops Roman-style to teach them a lesson?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 12:57 PM

I think there is a problem with the culture of at least some branches of the US military. I think something is going on that makes for very unhealthy mental states in our servicepeople. I really started thinking about that after there was a rash wife killings and spousal abuse at Fort Bragg by men who had recently returned from serving in Afghanistan:

Soldiers kill wives after serving in Afghanistan

I think it would be much more constructive to talk about correcting the problems within the system than to spend a lot of time and energy condemning the people who seem to be the symptom of the institutionalized problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 01:08 PM

Trouble with that approach though CarolC, is that doesn't help the Iraqis who are being tortured and mistreated today.

The US won't recognize the international courts who could actually bring war crimes charges against us, and certainly no one in the US government or military is up to the task. So I hear a lot of people here saying, essentially, so what if we are torturing Iraqis? There is nothing that can be done to stop our troops from doing it, so c'est la vie.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 01:12 PM

It's true enough that in any organisation there are liable to be some people who as individuals use whatever power they have to abuse other people in some way. When this kind of thing is turned up it doesn't mean that the organisation is guilty.

But when a bunch of people collectively get into that kind of thing, it does indicate that something is wrong. At the very least the indication that they feel safe says that they believe that what they are doing is acceptable behaviour, and that says a lot about the culture of the organisation.

The litmus paper on this is how the guy who blew the whistle will be regarded by other soldiers and by peopole at home. A hero or a pariah? If it's the latter, it means that the people who see it that way are condoning, and colluding in, the kind of abuses reported.

The fact that the Pentagon tried to hush it up is not surprising, but very depressing. It's worth remembering that serious efforts were made to cover-up My Lai - and that one ambitious young officer called Colin Powell was involved in those efforts.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM

This happened in Vietnam, too. Oddly enough, I don't remember such atrocities coming out of WWII on the US side, maybe as a result of better spin control. Or maybe the probability for human savagery goes up in direct proportion to the hollowness of the casus belli, eh?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 01:26 PM

Now that I think about it, I'd say this statement from the Fort Bragg article pretty much sums up what has become the basis of US foreign policy today:

Mrs Floyd's mother, Penny Flitcraft, said that there had been rising tension in the marriage since Sgt Floyd's return from Afghanistan in January, and that jealousy had turned him into a "control freak". "I truly in my heart believe that his training was such that [he believed] if you can't control it, kill it," she said.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 01:53 PM

It was there in WW2, Amos. The media coverage just wasn't as good. It was also there in Korea.

I recently saw a History Channel program on what happened to a German POW who finked for the US. He was transfered to a prison in Arizona, where there were some of the people who had been in his old prison and who remember him as a find. Less than 24 hours after he arrived he was dead, hanged in a shower house.

To get to the bottom of it, suspects were taken to a prison building in California where they were tortured until they talked. The suspects were arrested, tried and convicted. Ultimately they were hung, AFTER the war was over.

But let's remember that it wasn't only the Allies who did these things. What the Japanese did, what the Germans did, to POWs doesn't make for pleasant discussion either.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Metchosin
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 01:59 PM

stigweard, I have my doubts that any armed service involved in the basic training of combatants, not just the US, would encourage their soldiers to view the "enemy" as human. To do so could result in hesitation and increase the likelihood of being killed, which from a military standpoint, would be highly counterproductive.

IMO, we do attempt to train our combatants to be psychopaths; that we are not always entirely successful is a testament to the underlying good of humanity, despite military training to the contrary. Aside from weapons, we ask them to carry some pretty heavy mental baggage.

That some military personnel have a difficult time, when at war, turning "off" their training, to view their "enemy" as human, is not surprising. Even when we "bring them home", there are those that never manage to unload their baggage entirely and for a lot of the reintegrated, there are scars.

It is not just our "enemies" and soldiers who are damaged by war, it is ourselves. We send our "trained killers" to do our bidding and consequently the ultimate responsibility for their actions rests with us.

As Peter T said, War ".......... degrades people and countries.......... that is why they should be taken more seriously by people who propose to get into them."

off soapbox now.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:06 PM

I am drawn to the conclusion that the bestiality of the species is so close to the surface that any association with violence poses the risk of inducing psychosis as a survival mechanism. Maybe the only answer is absolute pacifism? Since any war seems to bring out this lizard-faced sadism? I would like to think I would be proof against it if I were immersed in the actualities of gut-wrenching, brain-slamming violence and destruction of my own species but I think in truth I would go as mad as any of them. What amazes me is that I know men who have survived the moist brutal treatment in war, whose lives have been spent getting their jaws rebuilt and so on, who think the engagement in Iraq is necessary and anyone wioth any brains could see that plainly. I tell ya, my mind boggles...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:24 PM

I believe there were many atrocities on the Allied side in WWII.

Unless of course one considers Dresden to have been a picnic.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:28 PM

Right you are.

Atrocious is the nature of the bloody beast,
Which makes of men the reddest-fanged
And reduces fine conscience to claw and to terror.
Welcome to Western civilization --
Last one out, please turn out the lights and arm the alarm.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:32 PM

"The US won't recognize the international courts who could actually bring war crimes charges against us, and certainly no one in the US government or military is up to the task. So I hear a lot of people here saying, essentially, so what if we are torturing Iraqis?"

War crimes? This might be a war crime if the military glossed over it or it was systematic. The whole concept of war crimes recognizes that individual troops may commit crimes and must be held accountable without rising to the level of war crimes. What happened here was against the Uniform Code of Military Conduct and the military is acting accordingly. When Japanese commanders in WWII not only condoned rapes but systematically encouraged them, that was a war crime. If they had discovered a rape and treated it according to military justice, it wouldn't have been.

It's the assertion that things like this could become "war crimes" that weaken the courts. No nation wants to participate if there's not a reasonable standard separating normal crimes from war crimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:32 PM

"...any armed service involved in the basic training of combatants, not just the US, would encourage their soldiers to view the "enemy" as human. To do so could result in hesitation and increase the likelihood of being killed, which from a military standpoint, would be highly counterproductive.

I think it's very likely that's the way they think and what happens. However I doubt it it's necessarily true. There are plenty of cases where regarding the enemy as fully human, or even admiting them, has done nothing at all to inhibit people involved in combat from killing them.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:43 PM

What happened is against the Geneva Conventions, which the Bush White House, and the Clinton White House before them, have refused to recognize as being applicable to US troops.

And we wonder why the world hates us? Our government leaders keep insisting we above and beyond international law, because we say we are, and no one can defeat us militarily.

How much mercy will be shown to Americans travelling in the Middle East now, much less to US soldiers and civilians and mercenaries in Iraq?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 03:58 PM

I think Rapaire is right that ANON.GUEST is an agent provacateur for Ashcroft, or else he/she/it is just up to his/her/its old troll tricks. As far as I can tell, and I've seen several news articles, nobody claims that anyone was tortured, except old buddy ANON.GUEST. I also can't find anyone here or anywhere else who is condoning this kind of behavior. Let us also remember that "60 Minutes" is a TV program, whose basic intent is to sell cars and toothpaste, not a court of law and these people are still entitled to be legally charged and tried before they are determined to be guilty.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 05:02 PM

dianavan:

We can't disband the army. We need armies for the same reason we need lawyers: because other people have them.

And we can't expect people to behave decently when they're in a war. Military training deliberately dehumanizes the enemy so the young soldiers will be ready to kill and you can't switch that on & off.

What we can do is limit the use of armies to self-defense. A pre-emptive attack is essentially lynch law in action, not self defense. And the buck stops at the president in this case - though he'll try to lay it on God.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 05:13 PM

Too many "coincidences" for me to swallow, Art. GUEST does the dirty work of John Aschcroft -- a true Johnny Mop.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 05:37 PM

I am far from complacent, what worries me is the naivete about war, which has been exhibited throughout the last few years.

On a personal note, my father was a judge on the first War Crimes tribunal -- which was not Nuremberg. It was held by the Canadians who indicted German officers for their crimes against the Geneva Convention (specifically for maltreatment of Canadian soldiers). The trial set a variety of precedents, and was used as a template for the more famous Nuremberg trials later (my father was a Canadian advisor to that trial as well). He has now passed away, but I am sure he would have many bitter, salient things to say about the descent into depraved behaviour.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Jim McCallan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:02 PM

"and these people are still entitled to be legally charged and tried before they are determined to be guilty."

Nice one, artbrooks.

You would, by definition then, extend this 'innocent til proven guilty' system of yours, to include the people the soldiers were photographed 'helping'?

Definition of war crime: crime during a war: a crime committed during wartime that is in violation of international agreements concerning the conventions of war, for example, the mistreatment of prisoners or genocide (often used in the plural)
Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2004. © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Jim McCallan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:15 PM

I would further venture to suggest that a certain surface has been scratched here, with these revelations.

War is ugly, and ugly things happen.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:19 PM

Guest Jim McCallan - So no trial, if a TV program says they are guilty then they must be so ?

I do not defend torture - at it's "best" it is an incompetant method of interogation, at it's worst it turns otherwise decent people into sadistic phycopaths (SP).

Mind you at the risk of upsetting the predetermind mind sets of some 'Catters there is a difference ( as there should be ) between a society which attempts to strike out such behaviour, and punish those guilty after conviction ! And those societies where it is acepted behaviour.

But then perhaps you can not see the difference !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:25 PM

Guest Jim McCallan: the question of guilt or innocence of the POWs is a foolish one. A POW is not a criminal.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:41 PM

Actually this does seem a violation of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention.

ARTICLE 13

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.



Of course under this article -

ARTICLE 129

The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.

Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed. or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts.


- it says the people who perpetrated the war crimes should be brought to trail by the US. Which in this case is a court marshal.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Jim McCallan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:42 PM

"A POW is not a criminal."
I haven't seen the term POW used with relation to these non criminals, artbrooks.

"So no trial, if a TV program says they are guilty then they must be so"
During the same TV programme Gareth, Brig-Gen Mark Kimmitt said that charges were being brought against some people.
That normally means (to me, anyway) that a trial would be in the offing at some stage.

Unless the charges are dropped, of course...

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Cruiser
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:43 PM

I often remember one of my childhood heroes, Audie Murphy, when I think of how war can affect ones mind and bring out the best (and sometimes the worse) in a person. Audie was:

{Quote}
"the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II. Among his 33 awards and decorations was the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery that can be given to any individual in the United States of America, for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty." He also received every decoration for valor that his country had to offer, some of them more than once, including 5 decorations by France and Belgium. Credited with either killing over 240 of the enemy while wounding and capturing many others…"
{End Quote}

Murphy suffered "Battle Fatigue" (now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression for most of his post-war life. War affects even the finest, bravest, men.

Audie penned one of my favorite songs: 'Shutters and Boards'

Cruiser


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 07:57 PM

PeterT, thank you for the clarification. My apologies for misinterpreting your statements. How interesting that your father worked on the tribunals. That gives me a whole new take on your remarks.

Regarding these charges, no one has to take my word for anything, or the word of CBS. The photos, as I said, are damning enough on their own. The soldiers themselves are seen in the photographs participating in the humiliation of the POWs, torturing the POWs, threatening the POWs, setting dogs on the POWs, and there is also some question whether some of the photographs were of POWs who had been beaten to death. According to 60 Minutes, the photographic evidence alone includes approximately 350 photographs, of which 60 Minutes only showed a dozen or so on the air.

Anyone who doesn't think those photographs are very serious crimes obviously isn't at all familiar with the Geneva Conventions. I've provided some excerpts of that treaty, from the UN's High Commissioner of Human Rights website:

--------------------------------------
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

Article 13

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

Article 14

Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour. Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men. Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.

Article 15

The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical attention required by their state of health.

Article 16

Taking into consideration the provisions of the present Convention relating to rank and sex, and subject to any privileged treatment which may be accorded to them by reason of their state of health, age or professional qualifications, all prisoners of war shall be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.

Article 17

Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information. If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status.

...No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a language which they understand.

Article 18

All effects and articles of personal use, except arms, horses, military equipment and military documents shall remain in the possession of prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and gas masks and like articles issued for personal protection. Effects and articles used for their clothing or feeding shall likewise remain in their possession, even if such effects and articles belong to their regulation military equipment.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:02 PM

Guest Jim McCallan: that was the headline on the article I linked to above. Nobody has ever said that the captured Iraqi soldiers are anything but POWs. This is US policy on prisoners, as discussed a year ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:17 PM

"there is a difference ( as there should be ) between a society which attempts to strike out such behaviour, and punish those guilty after conviction ! And those societies where it is acepted behaviour.

Gareth is quite right here - the question is, which category does this society fall into? The fact that charges have been brought, as a result of a whistleblower's actions, doesn't settle that question.

What I strongly suspect will happen is that the soldiers involved will be offered a deal to plead guilty to reduced charges and be given token penalties, which will mean that there will be no proper trial, which might reveal embarrassing information about the context in which all this happened, and open the question whether what happened was seen as "accepted behaviour" by those higher up, rather than merely being an aberration at relatively junior level.

As someone said up the thread, it seems certain that one thing to come out of this will be that there will be stringent efforts to ensure that there won't be cameras in situations like this. And definitely not in Guanatanamo Bay, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:20 PM

"Let us also remember that "60 Minutes" is a TV program, whose basic intent is to sell cars and toothpaste"

POW is not mentioned in the body of the report, Art, and if they have been given POW status, these alleged abuses could gain extra implications for the Bush Administration.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:37 PM

The DOD article linked to by artbrooks above clearly indicates that these guys are POWs. Both the US and Iraq are signatories of the convention and there's no way to write them off as illegal combatants as was done in Afghanistan. That's been clear from the beginning since the US expected the Iraqis to comply with the Convention in treating US POWs in both wars.

GUEST, as I pointed out, the remedy for violations of the Geneva Convention are spelled out pretty clearly in Article 129. It appears we're following that article. But I guess you can't see my posts anymore, can you?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 12:11 AM

Lots of things may indicate that these guys are Prisoners of War, Strick, and the definition of 'illegal combatant' is entirely open to discussion.
I take it, then that Iraq is just packed full with 'legal combatants', if that is what the definition of 'Prisoner of War', now is?

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 01:06 AM

At least as far as the Geneva Convention, that's how I understand it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 01:24 AM

Well, what I'm trying to ascertain, Strick, is how the Bush Administration understands it.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: jacqui.c
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 04:24 AM

...Americans travelling in the middle east will be at risk...
Does anyone think that a president who brags that he has never had a passport really cares?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Stu
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 06:13 AM

"...is how the Bush Administration understands it"

The Bush aministration understands the Geneva Convention perfectly, but has choosen to ignore it. All these phrases used buy the likes of Bush and Blair are pretty insulting to the intelligence of most individuals:

Illegal combatant - someone we can detain with out basic human rights, legal representation, access to the Red Cross. We can subject them toture, hold for as long as we like, where we like. The term 'POW' implies there is a human being holding the gun, rather than some brainwashed fanatic who no longer can reason or emote.

Terroists/insugents: A current favourite of mine used by governments and the media, to dehumanise the enemy to the general populations of the occupying countries. I'm sure there are now pleanty of genuine terrorists in Iraq (thanks George!), there are also a lot of Iraqis who are taking up arms because Cobra Gunships and A10's keep pumping rockets into built up (and invariably poor) areas of Iraqi cities, killing the locals.

Did the Nazi's call the French, Dutch and Polish Resistance 'illegal combatants' or 'terrorists'?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 06:17 AM

Well what do you expect from the USA the most crime ridden country on earth, and porn is top of the list in money earning.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:33 AM

My earlier post was in error. The Coalition apparently does not officially regard the prisoners as POWs, but does state that they are covered by the Geeneva Convention. This from a March 20, 2004 press release:

"The coalition takes all reports of detainee abuse seriously and all allegations of mistreatment are investigated, Kimmitt said. "We are committed to treating all persons under coalition control with dignity respect and humanity. Coalition personnel are expected to act appropriately, humanely and in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions."

The International Committee of the Red Cross examines the prison and the procedures used there. While the detainees are not prisoners of war, they are treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, Kimmitt said.


I apologize for any unnecessary digressions from the point that my post may have caused.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:09 AM

If I'm out there as one of a bunch of soldiers and you and others are shooting at me, I consider you a POW if I capture you or, should you capture me, I would consider myself a POW.

In either case, the Geneva protocols should apply.

Note, though, that not every country has signed them. And what about, say, Iraq, where the government which signed the Accords may no longer exist?

Still, I hold that there is a thing called "human dignity" and another called "decency." They proscribe torture of POWs and the helpless, they set minimum standards for food, housing, treatment, sanitation.

OVERALL, I think that the US has a pretty good record in this area -- far better than that of, say, Saddam Hussein's administration or the Japanese in WW2. But even in those there were decent folks, just as there can be bad ones in the US military. This is not an excuse, but a statement of human fact.

I'll be more interested in seeing how this plays out than in endlessly discussing it without all the evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:58 AM

I've taken a deep breath while reading through these posts. I won't flame anyone although it seems to me that a few here deserve it.

This is why I was worried many months ago that we (military personnel) would be tagged as the "enemy" by our own people. What has happened in Iraq is a tragedy of the first order. The soldiers involved need to be held to the highest standard and I think if you spend a few minutes perusing the Uniform Code of Military Conduct (to which we in the military are subject) and the Manual for Courts Martial (both of which are available on the web) you will see that both are rather draconic when compared to what passes for civil law in the US. These are war crimes and should be dealt with but it IS NOT U.S. MILITARY POLICY to behave in this manner.

This is another sympton of the failed policy of this administration. This follows the extremely high rate of suicides and desertion as indicators that something is severely wrong.

The reason that the US did not sign on to the international court was because their are so many members of the UN that could use it to tie up our military forces, resources, and $$$ for the sheer joy of just doing so.

We do not "dehumanize" the enemy anymore. Although it would make it easier to pull the trigger, it leads our personnel to believe they are somehow superior and that the enemy is just a foolish animal that is predictable in his behavior. Troops are taught to believe that the enemy is just as smart as they are so that they are less likely to be caught by surprise when the enemy does something unexpected. We are taught to shoot center mass (more likely to kill).
Shooting to wound or maim is against Geneva convention as well.

How will the whistle-blower be treated? Hopefully his identity will be protected by those in power so that he can get back to his/her job without exposure. It is part of the military culture to rely on your fellow soldiers to have your back. It would be a very poor military tha taught each soldier you're on your own, look out for number 1. Unfortunately this may lead some to believe that the whistle blower is a rat. These types are the types that can't look at the situation and see that it was just, necessary and required for the individual to come forth. They are not the majority.

The military is made up of the greatest cross section of the U.S. possible. The military is your friends, neighbors, or their children. Unfortunately it also has a few "jail or the military" types that we do our best to weed out. It has the same problems that any large community will have including rape, murder, drug abuse, etc.

I will pray for our troops, for the innocent and for a few souls here that seem to need some psychiatric intervention as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,snoopy
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 10:18 AM

Death to America!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 11:07 AM

Iam a 17 year old European Citizen and this morning in Scotland i saw these terrible images! These images of these poor Iraqi criminals being subjected in a peverse way was crude. why are they posed naked in sexual positions? The female soldier pictured with them is very disturbed. I do agree however that these images have to be shown to show the corruptin and depravity of some people. The war in Iraq is now a disaster and is Bushs' vietnam...i think it is time to leave.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Kim C
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 11:17 AM

I saw this on Drudge this morning and was appalled. It is absolutely not right and the people responsible need to be held accountable and court-martialed to the ends of the earth.

Unfortunately, military and law enforcement occupations sometimes attract people who are prone to tyrannical behavior, because they can use their positions as an excuse for such. I do not believe this type of behavior is representative of the military as a whole, anymore than I believe all lawyers are scalawags, or all doctors are only in it for the money. It's always the few bad apples that make the whole barrel seem rotten.

I've also been told that the stress of wartime can lead people to do things they would find unthinkable during peacetime. That certainly doesn't excuse such ghoulish behavior; however, I wonder if there are any steps that could be taken to prevent it. Maybe someone who's actually been in a war could comment on that.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Stu
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 11:35 AM

Chief Chaos,

As you quoted me, I will assume you think I both deserve flaming and need psychaitric intervention - thanks for your erudite judgement on my character and your proposed course of action - spoken like a true military man.

" I was worried many months ago that we (military personnel) would be tagged as the "enemy" by our own people"

You may have misunderstood the main thrust of my criticism. The military are there because they were sent there by politicians, and it is them and the media I was directly criticising for dehumanising the other protagonists. If you say the US military no longer dehumanise the enemy, then I defer to you - you're obviously in a position to know and I'm not. What do your 'grunts' call Iraqis

"We do not "dehumanize" the enemy anymore" was followed by "We are taught to shoot center mass" - er, is this irony? Can I assume "centre mass" = torso of a human being?

But, look at it another way Chaos - there are alternatives to shooting people. I've never been in a war (and consider myself to be fortunate in that respect) but it seems the people who benefit from wars do not do the fighting or are on the receiving end of it, but politicians and businessmen.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,robomatic
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 12:01 PM

Considering that it was Iraqi policy in treating their own people to truly torture them

Considering that it was Iraqi policy for summary execution at the whim and hand of Saddam Hussein and anyone he favored

Considering that it was Iraqi policy that led to the brutal rape of American soldier severely wounded prisoners.

Under the Americans we have been shown abuse at the level of severe college hazing. It is certainly wrong, and it looks like the U.S. Military has acknowledged the events, is aware of the perpetrators, and is on the way to courtmartialing them. No one has been physically harmed (that we know about).

On the other hand, some of the prisoners have been humiliated, which in their culture might be a FWTD.

It is wrong, it is unfortunate, it is going to be bad for U.S. involvement in the entire region as it gets played up as big in the press as it is in this forum.

My sympathies go out to the vast majority of Americans at arms who are just as disgusted as I am, and put at risk due to the bad image this has given us.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: DonMeixner
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 01:14 PM

Torture is torture, evile and vile, not matter who does it and for what reasons. There can be no justification in my mind for such an act.

But do all of my friends in the Mudcat who have so visciously attacked the United States Volunteer soldier feel that it is better to shoot the enemy while hiding behind civilian clothes, burn alive the wounded, drag the bodies through the streets and hang the remains from a bridge.

I agree that it is reprehesible what these soldiers have done and they will be punished for this crime. My sons have friends in the National Guard and they were shocked to hear this and stated to me the puishment after conviction for this kind of crime is years of stockade time at hard labor.

The Iraqis who shot, tortured, and burned the bodies of American Civilian workers are viewed as heroes of Islam and blessed of God.

Truly a puzzle.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 01:19 PM

Do not click under penalty of laughter

http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/ovalawful.jpg


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 01:42 PM

Actually I wasn't quoting you only put quotes around dehumanizing. I appreciate your point of view that we're there because of politicians. I didn't realize you were speaking of them and the media about dehumanizing - my apologies...(You weren't one of the few I was talking about - 'nuff said.).

As far as I know the troops call them Iraqis.
There were a few nicknames that have lasted the test of time such as "camel jockeys", "rag heads" etc. But I know of none as bad as those from Vietnam or Korea and I've seen none that come close to the propaganda and derogatory depictions of the Japanese in WWII.

The best that was said in the previous Gulf War was about the ladies in full burkhas. They were known as BMO's (Black moving objects) or Ninja Bunnies (self explanatory). I don't find either to be objectionable or insulting, merely descriptive and slightly funny.

Center mass does not necessarily mean torso. What it means is when shooting at a stationary target (human, tank, etc.) shooting for the center of the mass gives you the best opportunity for a hit. You have to lead moving targets but still shooting forward of the targets presumed course with an imaginary outline of the object, aiming in the center of its mass gives you a better chance of getting a hit.

Unfortunately for me, I am not a "Stereotypical Military Man". My career might have gone better if I were. I'd prefer exploring all other options before resorting to force. Sometimes it's not possible. I'm afraid Viet Nam forever altered how some will forever view any armed conflict.

It might surprise you but I agree about the richest and the politically connected not serving in the armies they mvoe around like pawns on a chess board. I think perhaps if we did make it a requirement for a presidential candidate to have served at least four years (enlisted - sorry for any officers who might read this, but the man in the field knows more about the military than anyone in the pentagon) in the military. Or at least that when the person takes office their children, if of age, must join a military service. Something like the UK royals. That way at least they'd think a little longer about starting a war their children might be involved in.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Grab
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 02:05 PM

I was particularly taken by the much-quoted soldier whining "But no-one ever showed me a copy of the Geneva Convention." As if having read some pamphlet would stop them hooking up electrodes to prisoners' genitals...

Robomatic, this guy is currently being court-martialled for assault, for beating up prisoners himself and for forcing prisoners to beat up their fellow prisoners. No harm done eh?

If American college hazing involves someone being told they'll be electrocuted if they fall off a precarious position (this report), or putting a bag on their head, leaving them in the sun for hours and telling them they'll be shot in the head if they move (an earlier BBC news story), I'm damn glad I never went to an American college.

I have a lot of sympathy for the American soldiers over there who may truly not know why the Iraqi people hate them, in spite of witnessing or participating in the shooting of unarmed Iraqi civilians. If they don't know by now why the Iraqis hate them, there's something wrong with them and I have sympathy for them. Personally, I think the American soldiers who don't know why they're hated are in the minority - it really doesn't take much to work it out, does it? If one Bloody Sunday was enough to destabilise Northern Ireland, how would literally thousands of Bloody Sundays play out, guys (and girls)?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,musab
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 02:29 PM

well when i think of a war, i imediately think of 2 army's fighting, dont you right? well then i wondered where is iraq's army, yeh thats right Iraq doesnt even have an army, it just has small groups of taliban people with ak47's well when i watch the news day after day all i can see is the number of deaths of civilians and american rising, and i am really angry at this fact because i do not beleive that there should be a war between america and every muslims country in the damn world! (iraq afghanistan pakistan etc etc )im beginning to think that america are actually trying to get the oil rich countrys! jus think about it.... and one more thing. how many excuses has america given so that they can go to war? first they wanted to 'get the terrorists'. well have they got them yet? and then they said they are going to get Saddam hussein, and now theyve got him they finally made another excuse to stay over their longer, they are now 'trying to make a better iraq!' well after saddams forces were got found and rid of, then iraq was at its best. but that was about a year ago. whats the point of them being there now?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 03:43 PM

www.nowarforisrael.com

liberate america first

www;natvan;com


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: robomatic
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 04:07 PM

Graham:

I had the same reaction to that quoted soldier as you did.

I knew I was making a Devil's breakfast when I made the comparison to hazing, but I still think it's valid while I do not hold it up as an excuse. I'm sure you are aware that hazing has also been physical and has led to death in cases. Hazing is also comparatively rare, because when it is overdone the authorities clamp down on it. I went to several American colleges and didn't run into it at all.

And I'm sure you agree with me that harm HAS been done, to the prisoners, to the vast majority of American soldiers who are doing a tough job for their country, and to the American image.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,A PROUD AMERICAN
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 04:18 PM

First off, none of you have been over seas and seen what these Iraqi's have done to our people. If you were over there seeing the kinds of things they are doing to our people, your hatred would be just the same if not worse. These are people who will try to kill you every chance they get and will stop at nothing to succeed in the name of Allah! If you were over there fighting for our country and what it stands for and one of your closest friends was killed and drug through the streets after being tortured, I'm sure your thought process would be a lot worse than what these soldiers have done.
All I can say is if I was in charge, my orders would be to SEEK AND DESTROY!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 04:52 PM

Why dont you enlist, and asked to be posted there?

If not, I'm sure you can find a few people in your town that look like them, and you can go kick your own bit of ass in support of our brave boys.

If I thought like you, I'd sign up, pronto


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 05:47 PM

Say what you will, these guys won't be getting a slap on the wrist.

Iraq Prisoner Images Anger Arabs, Bush

What's this about British soldiers abusing prisoners?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 05:51 PM

I notice our Furless Liter is "disgusted" by the images of torture because it is not the "American way"...but apparently he believes that the whole invade and slaughter shtick -- which destroyed thousands of lives -- somehow qualifies.

Maybe he saves his disgust for those secrets which are exposed...but he sure seems to be missing the point.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 06:08 PM

Proud American:


Well, tell us all for Gods sake, what are you doing outside there in Iraq? protecting the U.S & it's people hu? from what? from nuclear weapons hu? from the connection between S. Hussein & Alqaeda hu?

WELL THOSE TURNED OUT TO BE SHEAR LIES ..... IT'S A SCANDAL & A SHAME ON THE U.S & THOSE WHO FOLLOW IT'S STEPS BLINDLY!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 06:13 PM

On the Media Scandal


A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 06:17 PM

Guest, Guest:

You're getting a little shrill, there, and it seems to be affecting your spelling...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 06:40 PM

I for one am proud of our success in toppling the sadistic dictator Saddam Hussein and introducing the joys of democracy to Iraq.
SINS (yes, I am being sarcastic)


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 07:09 PM

I think the guy with the hood over his head, and the electrodes attached, was a thief, from what I can gather from recent news reports.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,plumbob
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 07:39 PM

Has anyone considered the possibility that the photos a merely posed porn and that all of the participants are willing


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 07:59 PM

I would better describe the taking of these photographs as an oversight on the maxim 'if you're going to do it, make sure you don't get caught'.

I have seen reportage at check points; quite 'ordinary' footage, if you will, showing the aggressive and humiliating way some of the soldiers treat passers-by to a scene. They herd them, shout at them in English, glare at them, and threaten them.

I will accept that this does not happen all of the time, by all of the soldiers, but the capacity is there, and discretion is given a wide berth.

It is quite clear, though that it wasn't really the Iraqis that were caught with their pants down.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:03 PM

I see the British aren't be to outdone - UK troops in Iraqi torture probe

But I note that the people involved have been sure to try to stay unidentifiable - in contrast to the US version. (That could seem to suggest that the US lot were assuming that what they were up to was OK with the authorities, but the British weren't. But there could be other reasons for that difference.)

..................

Chief Chaos's comments about how training soldiers to dehumanise the enemy being bloody stupid, because it makes them underestimate them, makes a lot of sense. But I think dehumisation is built into war, it doesn't need training - the aim of training should be to counter that kind of thinking, which is liable to get you killed.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Adam
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:48 PM

I read a review here that said that war does strange things to people and makes them do such horrible things. Also that the people they fight against do not follow any rules so it makes them want to do such things. Let's see....

A person who is brave and honorable fights the enemy that attacks him. The coward and wretch is the one that hurts those who has done nothing to them in retaliation for the anguish caused by someone that might have resembled them or not.   Not to mention, if I was sitting in my home and I saw the chinese come in here and say that they want to implement communism because they believe that I'M


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:51 PM

being oppressed here by the over bearing taxes and interest rates and crime and so they want to give me freedom from all that.. and they feel it's good for me.. well hell.. damn right I'm gonna be fighting them with whatever means I have available.. As they say.. all is fair in love and war.. but cowardice is something that was portrayed by these soldiers that abused prisoners that are tied and these soldiers do not make our military look good.. they are the scum of the military because our military is better than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:00 PM

There can come a time in an interrogation, when you know that if you go beyond a certain point, the information you are likely to receive is even more suspect than the suspect himself.

Anyone dedicated to their job, will rarely, if ever, cross that point, because the rest is emotion, and it has no place in fact-finding.

And I correct my earlier post... it was the prisoner who the British soldier was photographed urinating on, that was the thief.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:12 PM

Hmmmmmm? Well l.ooks as if I didn't order up the nukin' on 'nuff folks. Couple o' Guest's could use a good nukin', too...

But seriously, I'm kinda concerned about guys who have been in Iraq too long and given the assignmnet to watch Iraqi confinees. Seems to be a certain fascination with nude Iraqi men??? Hmmmmmm??? Thin "Deliverance" here...

Or don't...

I'd rather not but, hey, different stokes fir different folks...

Still don't excuse nuthin'... When I find out where them 6 US guys are from, I'll add their neigborhoods to the *Nukin List*...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Plumbob
Date: 01 May 04 - 08:10 AM

I think that the public in general are far to quick in condeming the soldiers in question, what I have deduced from the heavily censored photos is that the participants are simply involved in mutual sexual acts, the woman is quite relaxed, the person standing on the box, could be Iraqi or American or a Red Indian, and apart from standing on a box, doesent look to be in too much trouble, as for the pile of bodies, I cant see if they are sporting erections, but if it turns out they are my suspicions will be, to some degree, proven, Whatever, these soldiers are sons and daughters of America, shame on those that condem them without knowing the facts..


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 08:56 AM

The issue, as I see it, isn't one of military policy, but of military culture, as many good posts to this thread have noted.

There is a double standard: one is the policy of the military, which theoretically at least pays lip service to high, moral values and standards for the military. The second is the culture of the military, which is quite sadistic, controlling, manipulative, and abusive.

You can dress up the worst of human behavior in clean, neatly pressed military uniforms with shiny buttons. But there is no denying what their ultimate raison d'etre is: to kill people their politicians label as "our enemies".

That is the nature of the game, pure and simple. That is why being in combat destroys and eats the soul of the combatants as the perpetrators of atrocities against humanity, and the civilians who constitute, by a huge margin, the victims of combat.

The greatest irony of all to me is that we call the perpetrators of the most dishonorable practice known to human kind--the murder of our own fellow humans, honorable and respectable.

We certainly give them more respect and honor than we give to our teachers of future generations, nurses who tend the sick and wounded, social workers who spend their working lives trying to patch up broken humans and help them avoid breaking other humans due to their own tremendous psychic pain...

No, I just can't agree that the warrior is a person who should be honored and respected for what they do, which is always utterly destructive.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 May 04 - 09:31 AM

Of course you can't. You are an ivory tower intellectual. You have no concept, or ability to understand how the real world works. That is why you lose most of these discussions. While your ideal is admirable, in the real world it doesn't work.

The first premise I would offer is based on my experiences. Most of the members of the Armed Forces of the various nations that I served alongside were decent and honorable men and women who felt as though they were defending free society, as well as the values they chose to live under. When I say most, I am saying in excess of 90%. These people were not torturers, nor would they tolerate torture. They were not abusers of civilians, in fact would defend civilians that were being abused. These statements are from experience, GUEST, not from sitting in a University Library and pointing out what you think is wrong with the world.

The second premise is that what makes the service honorable is that decent people trying to do what is right are forced by circumstances we are placed in to do these horrible things, and still remain human. This is a very tough thing to do. At times, in the worst of it, one must hold on to a vision of their life, their hopes, and their dreams, just to stay human. And if one ever feels like they are doing this for anything other than what they believe is the right thing to do, they need to get out. Or they will turn into what you have described.

Which brings us to Iraq. Very tough to justify why we went in, but I would respect the opinions of stigweard, GUEST, and others much more if I had heard the outrage they aim at the US and Great Britain now, when Saddam was torturing, murdering, and using horrible tactics on the Iraqui's. While I don't believe that we needed to do what we have done, I note that I never hear this from the anti-military folks. Which is why I have a very cynical view of GUEST and her opinions.

Peter T. is the most reasoned voice in this debate, IMO, and that is the norm with him. For a person who has never experienced war first hand, he has a wisdom that is refreshing. I note, admittedly a cynical notation, that GUEST is trying to suck up to him even to the extent that she almost contradicts herself in the absence of disagreement.

The one thing that I will absolutely agree with, and I am on record as having said this many times in this forum. Old men need to examine very closely the cost before sending young men to war. They need to approach invasions such as these as if it were going to happen in their homes. Only then can they appreciate the terrible cost. Perhaps if they were made to feel what it would be like if it happened to those that they love, they would not be so quick to inflict it on others.

One last thing, in order that I may address what this thread, at least ostensibly, was about. I know men who were unwilling to torture or kill innocents or prisoners. These men were willing to sacrifice their careers before allowing it. They felt, as I do, that if the line was crossed, then the men responsible all the way up the line, must be punished to the maximum extent possible.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 09:33 AM

I have just finished reading some articles on this scandal in several American online newspapers.

The Patriot Act Media is once again pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public about the Iraq war and the US military, and working against our public interest and right to know.

Only a handful of US newspapers has published even one single photograph in connection with this story about the photographs.

The majority of the US newspapers made what appears to be a terrifyingly uniform editorial decision: not to show the American people the photographs, even though they are being shown in newspapers and being broadcast by TV news outlets around the world.

That fact, more than any other, should tell us what the likely outcome of this so-called "investigation" will be. I believe the US government, and in particular, the US military will continue turning our blind eye to the truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 09:39 AM

Big Mick, you once again come charging into a thread about the US military, to defend your blindly US-centric militarist beliefs here, just as you always do: largely to assuage your own guilty conscience of what you did as a solider, and to justify what it is the US military is notorious for the world over.

I have no respect for your opinions.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 09:47 AM

And Big Mick, I don't know who you think I am, but I don't work at a university. I work on the front lines in an inner city high school in a major metropolitian area, where I have worked and lived for the last 19 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: harpgirl
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:02 AM

Mark Kimmitt is delusional if he thinks men and women trained in hand to hand mortal combat with an enemy that will either kill them or be killed, will then treat prisoners of war with "respect and dignity."

No human being on earth can maintain that kind of dichotomy in their behavioral, mental, and emotional life in times of war, with assurance. Prisons and prisoners of war should be handled only by individuals not trained in mortal combat nor recently fighting for their lives, if we expect them to not be tortured.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:14 AM

I agree with you 1000% harpgirl.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:14 AM

On a completely different note, I wonder how many people posting here to this thread have even been on Mudcat before. Is this the effect of Google? People just typing in "American Soldiers Torturing" and Mudcat BS Threads come up? I have noticed, for example, that some of the music discussion threads are now almost immediately available in Google as a search engine.



yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:15 AM

These "military prisons" are being run by Army Reserve units organized specifically for that purpose, not by combat soldiers. The current issue, and this wasn't the first, involves the 800th MP Brigade out of someplace in New York. The problem (clearly one of many) that they are encountering is the large numbers of non-unit reservists ("Individual Ready Reservists") called out of civilian life and assigned to the camp with either inadequate or no training.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:21 AM

My understanding of the Reserve is that all troops are trained for combat situations. However, it is also my understanding the National Guard also trains to do policing, crowd control, etc. to handle civilian emergencies in the US.

Can anyone clarify this murky area for us?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:24 AM

I typed "American Soldiers Torturing" into Google, and this BS Thread was the very first reference, above CBS NEWS, and a hundred other major references/sources. I have started a new thread on this.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:38 AM

PeterT, if you typed in the exact title of this thread, or the beginning of it, and it is the only title/string of words that is an exact match, then it will of course come up first in a google search. You could do this for any number of Mudcat thread titles.

Perhaps you aren't clear on how the google search engine works?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:48 AM

As a former National Guardsman:

1. The Guard has a dual role: the respond in times of crisis in the State (floods, tornadoes, riot, earthquake) and to be activated as part of the regular Army or Air Force in time of war. To that end they are trained in their federal role (e.g., as artillerists or quartermasters) AND in their state role (e.g., riot control training).

2. The Reserves (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) have only a federal role and are only called to support State or civilian operations in extreme cases (e.g., an out of control wildfire); otherwise they train in their unit's speciality.

3. The individual ready reserve is composed of individuals who, although once trained in the Armed Forces, have for one reason or another been been seperated from the active reserve and are not assigned to a particular unit. These folks basically sit around until called up.

Hope this helps clarify the situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:49 AM

Gee, GUEST, I'd have thought you'd know all that about the Reserves, working for Ashcroft, Ridge & Co. as you do.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:57 AM

By Bush administration standards Rapaire, I'm technically a terrorist because I'm a card carrying member of the NEA.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 May 04 - 11:35 AM

Well said there, Harpgirl.

There was a lot of torturing and summary execution of enemy soldiers in the Pacific War...the Japanese were certainly most notorious for that, but it was also done by Allied soldiers to the Japanese. I knew a guy who was a Marine sergeant and fought in most of the island battles. He said that only a few Japanese soldiers ever surrendered, but that it was darned near impossible for him to stop the American soldiers in his unit and other units from torturing and killing those surrendered Japanese brutally the moment they thought no officer was looking. There were some pretty awful stories. The general attitude was that the Japanese were subhumans and deserved no mercy. The odd thing is that that's rather the way the Japanese saw the Americans too. War breeds hatred and insanity, and it's no wonder that these things happen under combat conditions when young man have been brutalized through harsh discipline and propaganda and traumatized through mortal combat.

People will use it as a political football when it suits their agenda, and they will deny it when it doesn't.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 May 04 - 12:51 PM

I do credit Big Mick highly for his comments and the experience he speaks from. I was never in the armed forces during the Vietnam War period and cannot speak directly to that experience; the closest I came was the Group W. Bench in the final attempt on the part of my draft board to extract me from my 3rd year in the Peace Corps and send me some place where my body might be more useful.

I note the President Bush is rather clear that "torturing Iraqi prisoners" is not right and those who did it will be punished. He said nothing about the imprisoned combatents in Cuba, who remain in limbo.

I also note that the Islamic media is covering these disclosures extensively, and this is just the kind of outrageous practice needed to line up more people against us all over the world. And of course, no one should believe this is the only incident of this type occuring in Iraq; it's just a well-documented one and there can be no justification or excuse for it. It's ironic that Saddam's torture of prisoners was one of the surviving moral justifications for the invasion and replacement of his regime.

Now we've apparently changed policy again from the goal of a democratically elected government to finding an Iraqi general who can run the place for us. Maybe I've skipped a few steps but that seems to be where the Bush Adminstration is running now. Watch out!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 May 04 - 01:03 PM

Obviously what they really need to do is strike a deal with Saddam, put him back in charge to straighten things out in Iraq, rearm him to the teeth and together launch a new full-scale invasion of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia...or all three. (heh!) I'm gonna write Cheney and suggest it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 04 - 01:29 PM

"Under combat conditions " - though in the case of the American episode, it wasn't "combat conditions", it was "interrogation conditions", and the pictures seem to indicate that those involved felt that what they were doing was in line with what they were expected to be doing.

Which is consistent with stuff in the diary of one of those accused:January 22,2004...I told the battalion commander that I didn't like the way it was going and his reply was 'Don't worry about it. I give you permission to do it'

With the British example in the news, it doesn't appear to have been interrogation, rather a random bunch of squaddies having fun beating up a lad accused of stealing. And maybe the most chilling thing in the report is where it says: One of the soldiers said: "Basically this guy was dying as he couldn't take any more. An officer came down. It was 'Get rid of him - I haven't seen him'. The paperwork gets ripped. So they threw him out, still with a bag on his head."

And elsewhere: "We got a warning, saying the Military Police had found a video of people throwing prisoners off a bridge. It wasn't 'Don't do it' or 'Stop it'. It was 'Get rid of it.' "

The occasional bunch of thugs in uniform is nasty, but predictable. But when it involves officers, and the Military Police, colluding in this kind of thing, it becomes far more significant.

Most soldiers are decent people - but if they are immersed in a military culture which expects and covers up for, and even encourages sadism, what chance do they have to stay that way?


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Subject: RE: BS: Occupation Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 04 - 01:31 PM

I think the heading I've give this post should replace the existing one on the forum. It's not just Americans.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 01:41 PM

I also note the majority of Mudcat contributors, especially the vets, are very gung-ho military cheerleaders, who shout down and try and bully anyone who doesn't agree with them.

As I said, I don't have any responcet for their opinions.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 04 - 01:45 PM

But how much respect can a phantom unnamed GUEST command anyway, when we can't even know it's the same one two posts running?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:02 PM

It was really sickening to read the torture that young Iraqi endured at the hands of the British troops.
The amazing thing about this latest scandal concerning an occupying force is the surprise from the British media,that their Army could behave this way, their use of torture in N I reland was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights on more than one occasion.
Forces of occupation have always brutalised the citizens of whatever country they have overran, it will never change.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:17 PM

I can't agree with sweeping generalizations that "most soldiers are decent people" because that hasn't been my experience. In my experience, soliders and military people are a pretty strange breed of folks to begin with, and this sort of scandal only reinforces my belief that we need a whole lot more civilian control and oversight of the military, just as we do of the civilian police forces.

In my experience, military people are prone to violence, intolerance, are bigoted, and have more mental health problems than the general population. They don't make very good public servants, as others have noted, because the values that we hold in common for civilian life is so at odds with the values of military life.

I don't believe, ard mhaca, that is the way it is, therefore that is the way it will always be. I believe in the power of people to reform their governing institutions. But the first step on that road, is to recognize how we are lying to ourselves. At this point in history, Americans are tremendously deluded about their own military forces, and the abuses and atrocities being committed by them around the world. Now, I wasn't even alive during WWII. But every war, every "police action", every military intervention, every covert operation conducted by my government in my lifetime, has been without exception, a disaster for the people it has been directed against. Our military and intelligence forces has made us the monsters of the world, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:45 PM

The same GUEST again?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: DougR
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:46 PM

It seems I too hastily posted "Horse Pucky" on this thread. I apologize for doing so.

It seems to me, though, that such abuses have been limited to a few bad apples in the barrel. Those that do such things should be punished as severly as the law allows. President Bush expressed regrets and told the press that the people involved would be punished.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: MARINER
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:14 PM

It doesn't surprise me at all to hear of British troops torturing prisoners.Their actions in the Falklands were every bit as bad but were well covered up by the authorities.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: akenaton
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:17 PM

Doug ... You and your allies on the right should be apologising for your stance on this issue right from the start.
Iv watched with amazement,your pathetic sqirming, as the "coalition " lurches from one disaster to the next.
I fail to see how any honourable person can attempt to justify the actions of our idiot leaders.
The amount of public feeling against this war,from people in all walks of life ,not just "leftyCommies",should have sent warning signs ,even to the most blinkered of observers.
Not one of you "warriors " who post on Mudcat have had the guts to admit that you were wrong and that the whole enterprise has been "Horse Pucky".
Take a look at the postings of McGrath, who ,even when the war seemed to be going well,according to the right wing press,continually warned that it was a disaster and would end in more,not less terrorism.
Mind you I dont think McGrath realised the terrorism would be committed by "Coalition troops"....Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:18 PM

DougR:

How is it that torturing those who are captured is "deeply disgusting" and "not the American way", to borrow Bush's phrases, but going in and spilling untold numbers of body parts and gallons of blood on the ands of Mesopotamia is, um, the American way?? I have no vet for torture, but why is it more acceptable than militarized murder? Does it not strike you that the man who signed off on starting a river of such murders is hypocritical to be "deeply disgusted" at a little torture?   Or is there some nuance of rationalization that makes the deaths of Iraqi men and women acceptable? How is it justified in your mind?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: akenaton
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:21 PM

Sorry Amos ....Great minds and all that...


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:27 PM

GUEST, I take it you're finking on the NEA for Bush, et al. now as well?

I don't care how you take my comments -- I've been against the whole mess since before it happened and I've posted that more than once. And yes, I'm quite certain that your puppetmasters know where I am, since I haven't made any secrets of THAT either.

You, on the other hand, protest too much to be anything but a card-carrying stoolie for Ashcroft and Ridge. Spewing anti-whatever bilge as you do, you can only be someone baiting a trap.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: InOBU
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:44 PM

A suggestion, for a moment, most Mucatter's nations (not all my Irish friends) are in nations devided by this awful war. I say awful for the hundereds of American dead, the many British dead, the Italian dead, the thousands of Iraqi dead, this like all wars is an awful thing. We all agree on both sides that there should be a better way.
In that light let's try to be respectful of each other as we discuss this, to show civilized people can find a better way, larry


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,citizen
Date: 01 May 04 - 04:10 PM

What will it take for all to see that this "war" on a crippled nation -bombed for over 10 yrs daily, segmented into 3 zones with kurdish area functionally autonomous cia agents throughout shia areas, was NEVER a real threat to US security?

The only threat was to US domination of oil region and the need for bases in area to protect strategic oil reserves and damper on anti-Israel action. Interesting the war needed to happen not so much after 9/11 as after political situation made meaningful bases in Saudi Arabia impossible.

War is organized violence and often efficient violence to attain political goals-the rest is illusion.

The photos of women dominating men through sexual torture/violence will strike to the core of the muslim world view that america represents the greatest evil to their view of life imaginable.

When will the arrogance stop? Before or after what is left of our constitutional republic (once the greatest force for good the world had ever known) is completely finished? See rise and fall of roman empire for surprisingly similar story of republican demise and decadent military dictatorship born....


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 04 - 04:13 PM

"A few bad apples" - let's hope so. But some of those bad apples are higher up in the system than others. And when the stories about what has been going on at Guantanamo Bay are put into the picture, it looks as if soem of the bad apples who collude in the abuse of prisoners are very high up in the system indeed.

Just expressing shock and horror when the facts come to light isn't good enough - that can just be part of damage limitation and making sure the damage stays well away from the person protesting.

My feeling is that the presumption of innocence, until proved guilty, is right, for the people directly accused of being involved. But once it has been proved that the abuse has taken place, people at all points higher up the chain of command should be presumed guilty, unless they can demonstrate that they did all that could reasonably be required to prevent and to uncover these kinds of abuses. Being in command should imply that. That's what "the buck stops here" means.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 01 May 04 - 04:34 PM

On the other hand -

Saddam Hussian could have fled.

Oooops Sorry that would have not been "Politically Correct"


Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: akenaton
Date: 01 May 04 - 04:56 PM

Gareth...Iv heard theres a space shuttle ready and waiting to blast off to a distant galaxy.
Can I respectfully suggest that you make use of the return portion of your ticket...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 04 - 05:26 PM

More likely they'll give him a shave, and maybe a face lift and put him back in charge. He's their kind of guy, when it comes down to it.

That Saddamite General they've appointed in Falluja looks remarkably familiar, don't you think?

Perhaps that guy with the whiskers they found in a hole was actually one of the look-alikes Saddam had to fool the assassins...


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,but not original Guest , who is an idiot
Date: 01 May 04 - 05:36 PM

You're WRONG, Guest! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! You always have been WRONG and probably always will be! I pity you, original Guest. I laugh at your feeble attempts to induce paranioa and hatred in others. I don't have any "responcet" for your opinions either!!! YOU are Soooooo Wrong!

(note that I am shouting and bullying, and I'm anonymous just like you...and you can't deliberately seek out my posts and persecute me in future because you don't know who I am)


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 01 May 04 - 07:29 PM

GUEST 10:21 AM: All Army National Guard members and Army and Marine Corps Reservists receive "basic combat training", which includes everything from how to wear the uniform to very basic military skills like rifle marksmanship and how to wear a gas mask. They really don't get combat (ie, infantry) training until they get to "Advanced Individual Training", and then only if they have enlisted for an infantry specialty. All Marines, however, do get basic infantry training. If not destined for the infantry, soldiers receive training in a specific specialty, such as artillery, clerical, supply, mechanics, computer repair, etc.

Reserve and Guard units have specific specialties, and some 80% of the Army's support units are there rather than in the active army. Generally speaking, but there are exceptions, units like MPs, Signal, Civil Affairs and Quartermaster (ie, supply) are in the Reserves while the Guard has more Infantry, Armor and Artillery units. All reservists, regardless of specialty, are required to maintain a minimum level of proficiency in the core combat skills, which in reality means that they spend one weekend a year at the rifle range.

Guard units, who have command responsibilities to the state as well as to the Federal government, may be called to active duty for floods and forest fires, and to guard evacuated areas. They are not police, and generally don't get police training (unless they are an MP unit).


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 May 04 - 08:30 PM

Once again, GUEST, you show that you lack depth. You use the old tactic of speaking falsehoods long enough that they become truth, or so you think. You call me militaristic, when all it takes is a search of my posts on this issue to know that I am not. When you start to lose the intellectual debate you switch to broad generalizations that simply aren't true. Very elementary debate tactic. I don't have an objection to hating war, I don't even have an objection to hating the military establishment. But when you extend that to all of your neighbors that have served in the military, because they felt the need to answer the call, you step across the line. And you show yourself for a miserable human being with an axe to grind because folks won't tell you how special you are.

By the way, don't I recall you telling us once that your family was military at one point? What does that say about them?

By the way, I taught for a number of years as well.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,RonSoda
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:10 PM

Anyone know where i can find the full video unedited or are they just photos that were released? Just to be able to form a better informned opinion of this whole scenario. Not too surprising that it happened, kinda more shocked that they appear to be a few Women involved in the pictures. I'll say there are stupid to pass those photos around that they wound up in the medias hands, at least these ppl aren't very smart.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 04 - 12:09 PM

RonSoda, I don't believe there is any videotape, just still photographs, which you likely have now seen if you watch television news.

As others have noted, the scandal seems to still be widening. It now encompasses charges against British troops, and the American general who oversaw the prisons in Iraq has been relieved of duty and is now back in the States--and talking to the press. She says that the CIA and Army military intelligence controlled everything going in in this particular cell block, including illegally blocking access to the prisoners in question by the Red Cross, and the general herself.

We have but scratched the surface of what is going on in Iraq, and how dishonorably our nation is conducting itself there.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 May 04 - 12:12 PM

Either very unsmart indeed - or they were under the impression that this was the authorised procedure for extracting information in modern US Army interrogation centres, with its privatised civilian experts. Which ties in with the evidence which appears to indicate that this has been going on for quite some time, and the authorities have been infirmed about it.

However the shit only hit the fan when it got into the media in a way that couldn't be denied. So what they are doing is trying to make out that this is a one-off, quite untypical, and of course with no one higher up responsible.

One thing that comes out in the news coverage - as a result of the immunity for contractors deal slipped through, it appears that, no matter what the civilian contractors involved in this unit may have done, in the way of promoting or executing war crimes such as are alleged in this case, nothing can be done to them legally, either by the Iraqi authorities (once these exist) or the US government. And I think they've also got immunity from any kind of civil cases against them. And they are also covered against any International War Cri8mes tribunal. That's quite a sweetheart deal.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Strick
Date: 02 May 04 - 12:20 PM

" However the shit only hit the fan when it got into the media in a way that couldn't be denied."

I'm confused, McGrath. By the time this hit the media, at least in this country, the 6 people directly responsible were already arrested. Have they arrested the Brits who've been accused of similar mistreatment?

Why wouldn't the general in charge of that prison be relieved of duty, GUEST? To not do so would be making the 6 scapegoats. I haven't seen her (you say this was a woman?) charges against the CIA and military intelligence in any responsible media. I've been busy and may have missed them. Could you post a link?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 02 May 04 - 12:23 PM

McGrath - That what I thought! Disgusting! Who are these specially trained, interrogators? Where do they get their training? Since they are outside the law, perhaps the person who hired them should be charged with war crimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 May 04 - 12:50 PM

Boy, I can see this turning into a bigger and bigger mess for the USA and the CIA. It's just the tip of the iceberg at this point. If it helps discredit this idiotic and dishonest war in Iraq that's certainly okay with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 04 - 02:16 PM

As Dougie Maclean sang in the first Gulf War...

"The blood will run to everyone
Oh, what have we done?"


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: annamill
Date: 02 May 04 - 02:42 PM

Shades and bad days again..

Wonder where Lt Calley is today?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 04 - 03:01 PM

This is exactly what I mean when I say that the problem is the culture of the military. It is good for us, though painful and very uncomfortable, to read these accounts of how our "honorable" military conducted themselves in Vietnam.

Post-traumatic stress isn't just caused by what the so-called enemy does to the individual soldier. It can also be caused by what the soldier does to innocent civilians, prisoners, and the soldiers who are fighting against the individual soldier.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 May 04 - 03:10 PM

Perfect example of you not knowing what the hell you are talking about. Do you honestly believe that 18 year old US kids went to Vietnam with the intent of killing innocent civilians? The problem laid with a Pentagon that was sending young warriors into battle prepared for one kind of fight, and they get there to find another kind. Our armed forces were ready for any regular army that could be mustered. But we were woefully unprepared for the guerrilla type war we faced. BTW, GUEST, have you any comment on the Viet Cong who tortured and murdered people as well? How about the insurgents Iraqui forces that are using innocents as human shields? Any comment on that? I understand, better than you ever could, why that happens, but I am curious on your take of these heinous acts.

I hate that we are in this war, and it was started under false pretenses. But I want you to reveal your real agenda, instead of just throwing out verbal grenades and getting people to react to the bang. But then, that would require integrity, honesty, and depth of intellect. You possess none of these, so I am not hopeful............

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 May 04 - 04:15 PM

I've always assumed that a major element in post-traumatic stress for soldiers in these messy wars must be exactly that, not just what happened to them, but what they did to other people. You have basically decent people - not all, but most - who got trapped and manipulated into doing evil things, which must disgust and horrify them once the madness is over.

How are those young people in those revolting pictures from Iraq going to feel when it's over? And how are they going to cope with those feelings?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Teribus
Date: 03 May 04 - 04:52 AM

GUEST 02 May 04 - 12:09 PM

"As others have noted, the scandal seems to still be widening. It now encompasses charges against British troops, and the American general who oversaw the prisons in Iraq has been relieved of duty and is now back in the States--and talking to the press. She says that the CIA and Army military intelligence controlled everything going in in this particular cell block, including illegally blocking access to the prisoners in question by the Red Cross, and the general herself."

No serving member of the armed forces (of the UK, to my certain knowledge) is under any obligation to carry out an order that they believe to be illegal. I say, to my certain knowledge, because it is a right that, in the time in served in the forces, I exercised on two occasions, and on both occasions my actions were upheld.

If what she has reported, in your quote above Guest, is correct, then it is only correct that she be relieved of her command as the Officer Commanding the Abu Ghraib prison, pending full investigation and possible Court Martial Proceedings and possible criminal charges. In her position, I would have ordered my men to arrest and detain, by force, if necessary, those members of the CIA and Military Intelligence operating within a facility under my command. Under no circumstances whatsoever would I have accepted restriction of access, or movement in any area that I was responsible for.

MGOH, earlier on in the thread, drew attention to the fact that the members of the US forces involved seemed untroubled about their ability to be indentified in the photographs published so far, whereas the "UK Soldiers" where a bit more circumspect about the possibility of identification. MGOH offered a possible explanation for this, there now appears to be another - that the photgraphs are faked. BBC's defence consultant, noted a number of discrepancies, uniforms, webbing, rifles, transport, complete absence of unit identification and the "pristine condition" of the subject being "interrogated". I think I will just wait to find out what comes out of the investigation, either way, it will make no difference, the damage has been done. It is also not the first accusation of mistreatment of prisoners by UK forces in Iraq. Remember Col. Collins? The allegations were proved false and he was completely exhonerated, he sued those scions of the "British Media" who were so prepared to race to print. It was an out of Court Settlement for a substantial, but undisclosed, sum. I believe that Col. Collins has since retired from from the Army (he was due to) I trust he enjoys his retirement.

El Greko, surprised to see that you advocate and fully condone collective punishment and public humiliation - just hope that none of your family ever put a foot wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 03 May 04 - 05:15 AM

I would say, Big Mick, that the average 18 year old who went to Vietnam, differs quite remarkably from the average 18 year old, who enlists, these days. The average 18 year old, these days is 'much better informed' (and you can interpret 'informed', very freely) and motivated, and has lived with the Iraqi situation since before he knew what one was.

You should know, as well as I do (going by your service experience), that many people join 'the Army' for many reasons.
To generalise about anything (as your GUEST interlocutor has done), is always a bad starting point when formulating an argument, and as I mentioned in a post further up this thread, I can't accept the mindset that carries out these kind of atrocities, as being representative of the vast majority of Armed Forces everywhere.

The average 18 year old now, however, has grown up with a healthy suspicion of all things Middle-Eastern; more acute than that hatred of 'The Yellow Man', and the art of propaganda has developed beyond recognition, since those days.
There are kids nowadays, on both sides of the pond, who, if they wouldn't actually believe that the killing of innocent civilians was right and honourable, they would have no difficulty following orders to do so. The PlayStation generation has been among us for a long while, and whatever people say about the 'NASCAR mentality', you also have to take this mindset on board, as well.
There are also (and always have been), those who sign up purely to 'have a go', 'kick some ass'..., whatever..., and it is my belief that there are more of these kind of people seeking entry into the Armed Forces, these days, than previously. There is a thin line between de-sensitisation, and de-humanisation, and most of these kids have been exposed to it since birth. And some of them seek the army out.

Sociopaths and downright criminals have been joining armies since time immemorial. I don't think anyone could dispute that. We also must never underestimate the 'pack mentality' that we humans possess, no matter where we're from. There are more and more bad apples in the barrel, these days; more, arguably, than there was in the Vietnam days, and there are more that could be easier led into committing atrocities, than there would have been, as well.

Armies are changing, Big Mick. It is slow, but it is getting there. And as much as the 'policy' may to apply the GC in all aspects of operations, even we, the public are getting de-sensitised enough to accept that kind of behaviour; our 'outrage' hasn't affected too much, so far.

In ten years time, we'll not bat an eyelid at it.
Well we might... the youngsters won't.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Teribus
Date: 03 May 04 - 06:54 AM

Jim McCallan - 03 May 04 - 05:15 AM

Most uncharacteristic post for you Jim.

I would definitely agree that there are some major differences between, "the average 18 year old who went to Vietnam, differs quite remarkably from the average 18 year old, who enlists, these days." I therefore found it surprising that you then completely failed to actually detail what those differences were.

You follow up decrying the practice of stating generalisations when formulating an arguement, then proceed to do exactly that!

I fully agree with, and welcome, your statement that you do not, "accept the mindset that carries out these kind of atrocities, as being representative of the vast majority of Armed Forces everywhere." This oddly runs counter to some of the later contentions in your post.

I would also agree that, "The average 18 year old now, however, has grown up with a healthy suspicion of all things Middle-Eastern;", and, considering the history in the growth of terrorism and terrorist tactics, with good cause for the most part.

There are no grounds whatsoever for your contention that "kids nowadays" are more likely to accept orders related to the killing of innocent civilians, than kids from past generations.

"There are also (and always have been), those who sign up purely to 'have a go', 'kick some ass'..., whatever..., and it is my belief that there are more of these kind of people seeking entry into the Armed Forces, these days, than previously." Again, no grounds for this statement, at all. There will be some, and they are normally screened out before enlistment, those that do get through are further weeded out during training, mainly because their mind-set does not take too kindly to a disciplined environment.

"Sociopaths and downright criminals have been joining armies since time immemorial. I don't think anyone could dispute that." Wellington described his troops as being the "Scum of the earth" but added, under discipline those beggars, thieves and murderers became the steadiest troops a general could ask for. Another of his quotes regarding "his men", " I don't know what they do to the enemy, but, By God, they terrify me."

Yes, undoubtedly, there is a 'pack mentality', the difference in the "Vietnam" draftee compared to the "Iraq" recruit, is that under pressure the discipline of the former is the more likely to crack, that of the latter-day volunteer is not. It all comes down to discipline, either that imposed by command, or more importantly, self-dscipline. You are more likely to get both in armed forces consisting of "professionals" - the latter-day volunteer. So I do not know where you find the grounds for stating that, "There are more and more bad apples in the barrel, these days; more, arguably, than there was in the Vietnam days, and there are more that could be easier led into committing atrocities, than there would have been, as well."


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 04 - 07:37 AM

It strikes me these are generalisations based on what we might expect - from both directions. It's possible to work up a case for things being better, or for them being worse.

The big difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that they were conscripts in Vietnam, and they are "volunteers" in Iraq. (Though in some cases "economic conscript" might be closer to the truth; and reservists or territorials who find themselves suddenly in a war zone are a kind of conscript).    But whether that makes them more likely to carry out undisciplined atrocities, or to obey (or give) illegal orders, that something which in principle could work either way.

The aspect of all this that should be the focus of attention is whether there is evidence that there is collusion in any atrocities on the part of those not directly involved - more especially from those higher up in the chain of command, but also from fellow soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 May 04 - 07:47 AM

Teribus, the reason I advocate public humiliation (not collective punishment, as you state, at least not the same punishment collectively, but according to each one's involvement in the crime), is that a criminal is rarely "created in a vacuum". He/she has been brought up with certain beliefs on the way, his/her behaviour has likely been ignored/excused by those close to them, and so on.

When someone commits a crime in civilian life, they are named, their photos may appear in papers etc, and their families automatically shamed for their involvement (or failure to be involved in some cases) in the life of the criminal up to that point. I am simply saying "do the same in the case of war criminals". Name and shame. No different from civilian life. We did that at the Nuremberg trials, after all, the precedent is there.

Oh, I know, I could stack up a number of excuses why treatment of the military should be different. They would count for little in my book.

And yes, if my son or daughter steals, or injures somebody while drunk-driving, or kills, or commits a war crime, I expect to shoulder some of the blame. Because I will have failed as a parent. No way to hide or avoid that.

I could even make a case for "community responsibility", especially where gung-ho attitudes are encouraged and applauded. The shame there tends to be expressed as "we are not/ should not be proud of...". But it is there all the same.

The opposite of sharing responsibility in appropriate measure would be to create scapegoats.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:18 AM

Did anyone see the parents of the male reserve officer who is in most the photographs on TV being interviewed the other night? They were in total denial. And you have to wonder what their motivations were for making media appearances. Money?

McGrath, many of those who served in Vietnam weren't conscripts. The draft lottery, inactive since WWII, wasn't reinstated until 1969. Many men without deferements simply refused to report for duty, and especially if they were from one of the major cities in the US, they knew there wasn't much chance of being found by the federales and being taken in, if they kept moving around. Many who didn't qualify for deferments also filed CO claims, knowing that the appeals process might be dragged out until the war ended.

But all those who served in Vietnam prior to 1970, weren't conscripts.

Jim McCallan, you can criticize me all you want for making sweeping generalizations, but you've just articulated the same argument I have made here about the culture of violence in the military, regardless of it's nationality.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:20 AM

This thread, now that it has turned away from the manipulative intent it was started with, has gotten very interesting. Great couple of posts from Jim Mc and Teribus.

Jim, I don't know that I buy into the contention that they are better informed or that they have a more "healthy suspicion of all things Middle-Eastern; more acute than that hatred of 'The Yellow Man'". Don't forget that the Vietnam era soldier was raised in the 1950's by the WWII generation. They were raised in the Cold War era, and the propaganda about the ChiCom's and Communists in general was very sophisticated and there were fewer sources of alternative news. The news media was much more of a news source and much less of an entertainment organism. Also, the ethic of reporting the news was much healthier. It was a result of the Vietnam era reporting that caused the current control of the media.

But I do find some agreement on the issue of the ethos of today's soldier. But I find that to be a breakdown in societal values. I think these young ones are brave, and driven by many ideals. But because of the general societal breakdown in the day to day values of right and wrong, they often don't see the immorality in the act. When that is thrown into a combat, life and death situation, where it is hard to distinguish under the best of circumstances, and you get a recipe for what we are seeing.

I deplore what I am seeing. But it is not a new or unique situation. The references to My Lai are fair examples. One can find this kind of brutality in every war. The slaughter at the bridge in Korea (name escapes me), the killing fields of Cambodia, and on and on. I will agree with our GUEST on one point. War is the ultimate breakdown of the human condition. It is the worst failure of use of the gifts given to us by the Greatest One. But sometimes it is necessary, and thank God that ordinary folks are willing to step up when the time is right. But they are ordinary folks. They trust their leaders to only expend their lives, and their families lives, only when it is a complete necessity.

That is the failing this time. We have hundreds of dead soldiers, thousands of dead Iraqui's, a country destroyed, and for what? The aim of taking out a despotic leader is fine, but don't the warriors have the right to expect that their leadership has a plan? Is it too much to ask for intelligence that would have anticipated this mess? Shouldn't that same intelligence have told them that this wasn't the time or the way? Why is it OK to send the flower of our youth off to a suspect operation that is costing thousands of lives on both sides, never mind the dollars spent, but it wasn't OK to arm the Iraqui resistance and let these folks handle their own affairs? The answer to the last one is obvious. Because we didn't trust them to install the "right kind of democracy".

I was talking to a neighbor last night. He is a somewhat conservative Christian. His contention was that we couldn't let these folks set up just any government, because it might be a radical government. I forced the issue and got him to admit that it couldn't be Islamic. I then asked him what the difference was between that and what we have in place in the States now. He said it was different here. I don't see it.

My hope is that this scandal focuses the light where it belongs. That is surely on the top levels of the Pentagon, but even more it is on our own society. These things happen when we don't understand certain concepts such as honor. These things happen when warriors are not given a very specific code of conduct. To be effective, one must drill into the warrior what we stand for, and what is acceptable. When that is clear, you see the heroic actions such as Teribus took. That is what distinguishes a warrior from a thug. The ability, in the middle of the worst madness that humankind can wreak, to step back and refuse to cross certain lines. In fact, be willing to die rather than commit the atrocity.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 May 04 - 09:30 AM

Ireland on Sunday had an article by two reporters who reveals that the girl in the photo pointing to the hooded Iraqi prisoner is Lynndie England from Fort Ashby Virginia.
While Lynndie`s actions have been roundly condemned by the civilised world, back in her hometown she was being toasted as a heroine.

Bar-owner Coleen Kesner said," A lot of people here think they ought to blow up the whole of Iraq. To the country boys here, if you`re a different nationality, a different race like the Iraqis, you`re sub-human. That`s the way girls like Lynndie are raised, it`s turkey shooting here now, tormenting Iraqis in this girls mind would be no different from shooting a turkey, they grew up hunting, over there the`re hunting Iraqis".
Lynndie`s mother Terrie dismissed the allegations against her daughter as being"unfair", saying, "They were just doing stupid kids things, pranks"

At the Wal-Mart superstore in the nearest large town of La Vale, Lynndie`s photo is displayed on the " Wall of honour", at a nearby Court House, it is posted under a banner delaring "we are hometown proud"


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 May 04 - 09:59 AM

You just confirmed my point about "community responsibility", ard mhacha. The communities of Ford Ashby, Virginia and La Vale clearly applaud Lynddie's actions and are likely moral accomplices, because it looks like they helped forge Lynddie's mindset. Now, tell me someone, why should not those communities be shown publicly for the yahoos they are? Perhaps in a documentary a-la "Bowling for Columbine"?

This may sound like "collective punishment", but then let any Ford Ashby citizens who disagree with Lynddie's actions distance themselves. Or move. Otherwise tacit agreement is implied.

Unless we look at the roots of the cause, we only allow more Lynddies to be created.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 04 - 10:06 AM

There are always sickoes back home who seem to get a kick out of identifying war criminals as heroes - remember the Ballad of Lt Calley?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 May 04 - 10:22 AM

That would be Mr. Calley, who was stripped of his rank and sentenced to a dishonorable discharge and 25 years to life imprisonment by a military court. Civilian review later reduced his sentence to time already served (about 18 months of house arrest in a Ft. Benning BOQ room) but the rest of the sentence stands.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 03 May 04 - 10:26 AM

"I would definitely agree that there are some major differences between, "the average 18 year old who went to Vietnam, differs quite remarkably from the average 18 year old, who enlists, these days." I therefore found it surprising that you then completely failed to actually detail what those differences were."

Well I gave one... "The average 18 year old now, however, has grown up with a healthy suspicion of all things Middle-Eastern"
And I qualified that by stating "There are kids nowadays...", not 'kids nowadays'. The fact remains that the average 'American' 18 year-old has grown up through the 1990's in Saddam Hussein's shadow. Granted there are some kids that this will not matter to; pacifists do not have a habit of joining the army. It is the mindset of the ones who do join armies that I'm focusing my attention on. And (by and large), there are not too many that I have seen interviewed from the front-line that have any problem with US foreign policy, nor the way it is being carried out. All I keep seeing are willing participants.

If this state of affairs provides healthy recruiting grounds for 'Al Qaedists' (as the phrase has been coined), it also offers the same pastures to our side.

It is not the Cold War, anymore. We know it as a different type of enemy. The whole definition of war changed on 9/11, and I think most people accept that. The nuclear deterrent kept paranoia at a healthy level in the Communist era. Nobody really thought there would be a pre-emptive strike from the USSR (occasional 'scares' notwithstanding). All hell would have broken loose, otherwise. Today the threat is not as clear, but we have no doubt that the enemy will use whatever it is they have to hand to carry through that threat, and that brings on a different sense of paranoia than was there during the Vietnam era.

I do not take all your points about generalising, though. I have enough "There are those...", ...."There are more of these kind of people....", and the like, scattered through my post to indicate that I was focusing my attention on a few. But again, it is very hard to produce evidence of the preponderance of such mindsets; one can take a look at human nature, these days, and juxtapose it into an situation where discipline is no longer a second nature... where it wasn't even a first, before their spirit got dented in boot camp, and in that I fully understand, why you would think that to be an uncharacteristic post, Teribus,

There is a general drift, however, to tolerance of greater and greater limits of 'atrocity'; that is really my point. This story is only unfolding, so most of my contentions up there, are just me observing certain trends in society, comparing it to my own professional experience, which actively ceased over 20 years ago, and commenting on what I see as a number of troubling precedents, both from the battlefield..., and from the Office.

I will, of course, reserve my judgement until I hear more of the facts of these cases, but there is fire. We don't know how much of it there is, though. The smoke may eventually indicate the extent of it.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 04 - 01:55 PM

"Hypocrisy is a tribute that vice pays to virtue". (Rochefoucauld, though it often gets credited to others, notably Oscar Wilde).

Maybe there's less hypocrisy about these things these days - but the downside of that is, it makes it easier for the tolerated exceptions to become the openly acknowledged norm. Remember the open justifications of torture we have been presented with in recent years by respectable academics and politicians?

Dirty tricks cease to be embarrassing things we don't talk about, they become something to boast about. Not just in relation to war, in just about every walk of life - business, sport, personal relationships. "Winning isn't the most important thing, it's the only thing."

I sometimes think maybe we could use a little more hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 03 May 04 - 02:30 PM

Do you need another of your so called "warrior culture" to tell you that this war is wrong as he did a few posts back? Well here it is:
This war is wrong! I and many of my personnel are against it. The administration needs some adult supervision.

Guest, you are a teacher? How can you even worry about the warrior culture killing and torturing Iraqi's when our own children in the states seem hell bent on killing each other. They sure as hell aren't in uniform.

I know you don't want to listen but from someone who knows, we do not, in the military, allow brutalization of enemies or our own troops. There was a time in the military that discipline was handed down with a cat o' nine, or taking someone to the Bosun's Hole for a beat down. There are some in society who feel that is the way to handle all problems (check out religious groups who say that they can beat their wives because the bible tells them so). We have gangs in this country that do this sort of thing all the time. Are you doing anything about them? Is the abused child in your classroom a military brat? Or is he or she the child of a civilian.

Your broad brush tactics against the military are just so much ranting and raving. The people who did this will be held accountable.

I tell you again, the war is wrong. The abuse is wrong. The personnel responsible will be held accountable.
But this behavior is indicative of our whole society not just the military which you hold a frothing hatred for.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 03 May 04 - 03:50 PM

Wow - very impressive. All of you that appear to not know a lot about what you speak.

The majority of those who served in Vietnam were volunteers. Around 80%.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder - Only requires a stressor that the recipient believes could have cost them their life. That would be either taking life or seeing life taken. It does not in any way pre-dispose individuals to carnage and death in a post war environment. Harpgirl - you are so full of it. Mick, artbrooks, myself, and millions of others have survived just fine with it. You really ought to get a grip.

The four deaths in the Army after the Afghan deployment had literally nothing to do with the deployment. Those four couples had been having serious problems long before the troops were sent there. To attribute the deaths to the war is simply irresponsible.

I know veterans who received decorations for saving the lives of civilians. It does not make it right that civilians get hurt or killed, but when the "enemy" gets amongst the civilians and fires on the troops one only has a couple of choices.

Glad you all are so freaking perfect that you can set up there and spit down on the troops. What does the Bible say? "He who is without sin cast the first stone?"

As a teacher, if that is indeed what you are GUEST, you ought to be hanging your head in shame. Jumping to conclusions and making statements without first knowing the facts. I'm glad no one has EVER doctored pictures and posted them for all to see. I'm glad the media has NEVER EVER made statements that were false and misleading. There is no cover up - there is an investigation and the folks responsible will be dealt with. As a teacher you have a broader responsibility to your students to give them real information and not emotional diatribes from a TV show.

I do not support torture of prisoners. There are a lot better ways to get accurate information. But it happens. Not a lot. And the small minority that do it will be taken care of. Always have and always will. So much for GUEST's "cover up" shpiel.

I still believe that we should be in Iraq. We've a task to accomplish and the men and women I communicate with that are there believe they are doing good for the population. My personal belief is that the country will resurrect and come back to haunt us with gouging oil prices for our actions to give them a real government with stability.

Just my not so humble .01 worth.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 03 May 04 - 04:51 PM

Steve - You are making me feel suspect. I am a teacher but I am not a guest. Big Mic also referred to her (guest) as a northern neighbor. Since I am female, a teacher and live in Canada, I am hoping that you do not think it is me posting as a cowardly guest. Although I am not always right, I am not afraid of disagreeing with anyone.

I wish guest would post with a mudcat name. At least then I wouldn't be so confused. There are many guests on mudcat and it is often difficult to distinguish their opinions. I think guests are victims of the "culture of fear and paranoia" created by Bush.

Get over it guest - show a little courage. Stand behind your words.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 May 04 - 05:13 PM

dianavan is absolutely not the GUEST to which I refer. While I may disagree with some of Dianavan's positions (sometimes mightily, eh Dianavan? .... LOL ;-) ) I respect that they are usually well thought out and sincere. She is a prime example for me of respecting her opinions whether I agree or not. DV never does this stuff to manipulate or put down those that disagree. She has honest views and expresses them well. As opposed to this particular GUEST, who simply tries to create false realities to manipulate the dialogue.

Back to the thread topic. I am deeply dismayed at the newest revelations. But it does appear that the American public is demanding that there be no scapegoats, that all responsible be punished. On this I concur.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: mg
Date: 03 May 04 - 05:58 PM

I have not been able to follow this story, but of course I am appalled. Surely, even if there were a few sadistic people let loose, they had to have supervisors and inspections of conditions etc. The looks of glee are just plain sick. And why are women involved with male prisoners, especially naked ones???? As bad as if men are put in charge of female prisoners. Something is very strange here, unless there is some trick photography or something...

Is the Red Cross/Red Crescent visiting these jails? Why are they in Bagdad and not in more isolated/defendible places.....And why are there just letters of reprimand and not preparations for courts martial? Do I have to suit up and go straighten this out myself?

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 03 May 04 - 06:06 PM

No dianavan - not even implying it.

mg - LORs, Letters of Reprimand, are what commanders give as soon as something untoward occurs. Judge advocate is now processing the legal actions that can be taken. Once JA is finished with their recomendations the commander will choose which option to follow up on. And that can be anything from an Article-15 to a full fledged General Court's Martial.

The troops determined to be involved could end up spending a lifetime in a Federal facility. As well as a Dishonorable Discharge. Essentially terminating their rights as a United States Citizen and leaving them to fend for themselves with no benefits of any sort for the remainder of their life.

No need to suit up - it's being dealt with.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:14 PM

If it's just a bunch of screwed up people off their own bat, that's one thing.

But the suspicion is there that it's not just that, but that torture and abuse as a method of interrogation has been accepted as an approved and condoned procedure by Military Intelligence in the US Army, as in so many other armies - for example the British Army in dealing with the IRA, or the French in Algeria. And as it was previously in Vietnam.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Peace
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:27 PM

The Viet Cong/NVA in dealing with Americans; the IRA dealing with SAS; Algerians dealing with the French.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Bobert
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:28 PM

Well, gol danged... Iz sniffin' the same ol' stinky PR folks who are gonna try to spin this in any fashion to protect folks at the top. Right now, the focus is on a handful of kids, mostly from Virginia, who for reasons unknown decided to do some purdy meanspirited and foul acts on some Iraqi's... But hey, I was raised in Virgina and Iz here to tell ya that them folks ain't like that. They had to have gotten at least some gentle guidence to come up with that stuff. And maybe not so gentle guidence. You know, like orders!!!

And some of this stuff is not only counter productive toward anything that Bush thinks can be done in Iraq, what ever that might be, but may very well violate international law.

No wonder the US didn't sign on on the World Court???

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:44 PM

Well, brucie, of course I could have mentioned lots of other unpleasant people who have gone in for torture. My point was to pick out a couple of other liberal democracies who have gone down that road - it's not just an American thing. It's an easy road to go down, and there is always a tendency to try to present it as just being a rogue element out of control that does the dirty stuff.

And of course there are instances of unlicensed brutality in any war - but that is something different. (Though cover-ups and collusion are likely to come into play here.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,cookieless Norton1
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:46 PM

And I want to be crystal clear that I believe the scumbags who have committed these acts are just that. Scumbags. Even with orders from above the majority of folks would not stoop to this behavior.

These clowns are an abomination to mankind and a slap in the face to every American whether in the military or not.

My personal opinion is that they ought to be paraded between about 240 million Americans and be spit on by each and every one of them.

That President Bush has not come out and stated that everyone connected to this inhumane situation will go to jail is just an infered statement of support for it. Maybe not that bad - but he certainly is doing his sit back and do nothing crapola when it is needed for him to SAY and DO something up front. After all - it is his face that sent us there.

Crapola I'm PO'd about this - Makes all of us who served in the military look bad.

Rant off

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Peace
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:52 PM

True, McG of H, but it isn't the restricted domain of liberal democracies or any other specific political system. It seems to be a by-product of war. War's an ugly thing, and regardless of its justification, it will always be ugly.

I spoke with a Canadian pilot who flew in WWII. When he returned from raids with ammunition left, he used cows as target practice. Didn't matter whose cows they were. Long as it wasn't in England. Make sense outta that. I can't.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Bobert
Date: 03 May 04 - 08:58 PM

Yo, Steve,

As you know, folks will do some purdy danged anit-social things in war zones. I reckon if them kids was told to do it because it would break down the Iraqis and make them talk then they prolly thought they was doing the right thing... You know, shooting folks and dropping bombs on civilians ain't all that right but after being part of those things, these kids prolly just said, "What the hey, it's war."

I'm concerned about those with the brass who came up with these methods of interigation and where those folks might have come up with these tactics. Those are the folks who have to most questions to answer and I hope they are held accountablerather than the kids who I'm sure werr just following orders...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: CarolC
Date: 03 May 04 - 11:53 PM

the girl in the photo pointing to the hooded Iraqi prisoner is Lynndie England from Fort Ashby Virginia.
While Lynndie`s actions have been roundly condemned by the civilised world, back in her hometown she was being toasted as a heroine.


I think that would be Fort Ashby, West Virginia. West Virginia is a separate state from Virginia. I used to live a couple of miles outside of Fort Ashby, West Virginia, for about two years. What is being reported about how they are responding to this situation doesn't surprise me at all. It's a very small town in a pretty isolated area, and the people are mostly inclined to get their information from the more right wing media sources. They aren't bad people, for the most part. They probably just believe the propaganda they've been fed all of their lives about the relationship the US has to the rest of the world. They live in a pretty small world, for the most part.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 04 May 04 - 12:11 AM

McGrath - One thing that comes out in the news coverage - as a result of the immunity for contractors deal slipped through, it appears that, no matter what the civilian contractors involved in this unit may have done, in the way of promoting or executing war crimes such as are alleged in this case, nothing can be done to them legally, either by the Iraqi authorities (once these exist) or the US government. And I think they've also got immunity from any kind of civil cases against them. And they are also covered against any International War Cri8mes tribunal.

Everyone keeps skipping this very important point. If you are a civilian contractor with immunity, your job is to get the information any way you can. I want to know who trains these people?

Makes you wonder if this is how they got their information about weapons of mass destruction.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: CarolC
Date: 04 May 04 - 12:48 AM

The four deaths in the Army after the Afghan deployment had literally nothing to do with the deployment. Those four couples had been having serious problems long before the troops were sent there. To attribute the deaths to the war is simply irresponsible.

Steve, I've been pretty close to a couple of people who have experienced war. I have an idea about what that can do to people. You're not talking to someone who is entirely without a clue. I'm sorry you are feeling pissed off, but once again, you seem to feel a need to take it out on some of us who actually wish you well. I think that is a mistake.

What happened at that base was freakish. I choose to believe the family member who is quoted as saying that her relative came back from that war a changed man. That's giving him the benefit of the doubt as a human being. I prefer to do that.

Re: my previous post, I probably should have said that racism is still very much a problem in the area where Fort Ashby is located, as it is in a lot of other parts of the US. I suspect that this will not change any time soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 04 May 04 - 12:45 PM

CarolC - Since I work in Family Advocacy I would say that I am in a better position than yourself to know what occurred at that base. We were briefed on those families right after they occurred. All four families had been at very high risk long before they went to the war zone.

It is incredibly unusual to have that many deaths at one time. My apologies if I inferred that the war had absolutely nothing to do with them as everything those families were involved in played a part. But to lay the deaths at the door of the war is irresponsible. Nothing is caused by just one thing. And having seen the cases I can say that the war was a very minor piece. In reality the deployment probably kept the folks alive for that period of time.

Deaths occur in the real world from domestic violence. And troops come from the general population. So those figures should be comparable. That they aren't, domestic violence in the military is actually lower, is a tribute to the organizations set up to intervene and assist im making folks deal with situations differently.

I'm at a loss as to why you think I am angry with you. Never said it nor inferred it. Simply stated that in my opinion it was irresponsible to make a blanket statement about four different situations that resulted in deaths. I feel no need to "take it out on some of" you as there is nothing to take out. My opinion - nothing more and nothing less.

So if you feel offended my apologies -

Bobert - I was in a war zone. The rules are this - if they are out there they are fair game for a bullet of a bomb. Once I touch them they are POWs and are to be transported to the rear for processing as a POW. It does not make any difference if they are signatories to the Geneva Convention or not. We ARE signatories to it.

If I was told to violate those rules I don't think I would. But then again I've never been in a prison as a guard or prisoner so have no first hand knowledge of what goes on. I'd like to think I wouldn't do those things if ordered. But like you said my Brother - things get twisted around when folk's lives are on the line. I too hope the higher ups - right up to the general in charge - get their butts in a wringer. It's just wrong. And no rules are necessary to know that it is wrong.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 04 - 12:55 PM

There's abuse that happens because people ignore orders. And there's abuse that happens because people obey orders. And there's a tendency of closed organisations to try to cover up abuse.

None of those three things should happen - but it's the last two that are most worrying.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: CarolC
Date: 04 May 04 - 02:17 PM

Steve, I dont think it's irrisponsible to call attention to a need to examine how the military environment and the leadership, both military as well as, in the case of our current situation, the civilian leadership, contributes to situations like what happened at Fort Bragg, as well as in the Iraq prison in question. And in any situation where our military people behave in a way that is harmful to others and to the military. In fact, I think it's irrisponsible not to. I never said, or even implied, that the war, in and of itself, was the problem. My point was that we need to look at the culture that is being fostered by those in positions of responsibility. That's all.

I know you have vastly more experience dealing with large numbers of different cases of Veterans who experience problems than me. But I think I probably have much more experience than you of being married to a combat Veteran. My guess is that each experience gives its own unique perspective.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: DougR
Date: 04 May 04 - 04:36 PM

I believe U. S. authorities are taking steps to punish those who committed the atrocities against the Iraqi prisoners, and also taking steps to ensure that such behaviour is not going on in other prisons. Further, I believe steps will be taken to see that it doesn't happen again. The damage to U. S. credibility these few bad apples caused is immense, not to mention the abuse the prisoners endured.

However, I don't recall similar outpourings of rage from Mudcatters when it was reported that four U. S. civilian contractors were killed and their bodies hung from bridges, or dragged through the streets of Fallujuh, when that occured.

Why not?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 04 May 04 - 04:43 PM

Well DougR - you didn't ask me personally - but my opinion is that folks are so bound up in protecting the "innocent" terrorists that they must deny they did anything so horrendous. It was actually the Americans, who we all know are bad, making it look like they did it.

People actually think that being Muslim is being deprived. So we need to give them more social programs. And that may be true. But until Hamas and the other radical organisations stop being murderers - nothing is going to change. People fight back when they are hit often enough.

How am I doing DougR?

Steve

Oh yeah - and then did you hear about the Catholic priest who walked into the Muslim temple and blew himself and 40 followers of Allah to death?

No - Because it would never happen -


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 04 May 04 - 04:47 PM

DougR - There is a big difference between mob violence and systemic violence by American military troops. The American troops should be there to prevent such atrocities - on both sides. Basically, if they can't do the job, they should get out.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 04 - 05:07 PM

Lynch mobs are very ugly, whether in Baghdad or Mississippi, or Belfast. And the Baghdad killings were not exactly ignored by the world - the reprisals for that episode have been very terrible indeed, and a lot of the people who have died in them have undoubtedly been completely innocent.

............................

And are you suggesting, Norton, that in their time Catholic priests haven't been responsible for terrible acts of violence, even with the blessing of the Church? Torture, killing, persecution. I don't know any Catholics who would deny that, and who don't feel ashamed for it when we think about it.

.....................

As I understand it the defence that is going to be presented by the Abu Ghraib defendants, if it comes to a trial, will be that they were "only obeying orders". Which is no defence in law, but it does point an accusing finger up the line to the people whose orders would be in question. "If it comes to a trial", because I think it very likely there will be some kind of plea bargain, in which they plead guilty to some lesser charge, so avoiding any public trial, and saving everyone from embarrassment.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 04 May 04 - 05:17 PM

Reprisals put us in the category of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

As a so-called, civilized, western democracy; we should be focussing on prevention.

I know that it is not the present reality but should that stop us from striving for the ideal? I think not!

Otherwise, we become no better than the oppressors we are trying to stop. We kill and maim countless numbers of innocents. It becomes a lose-lose situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Donuel
Date: 04 May 04 - 05:25 PM

We may kill innocents and call it collateral damage but if we show it suddenly becomes an outrage.

This graphic photo was also banned by the Democratic underground,

http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/ghettomom.jpg


We should all accept reprisals that equal or exceed our state sponsored crimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: harpgirl
Date: 04 May 04 - 05:28 PM

Human beings can be taught and can be commanded to do almost anything. Our only hope as a species is to learn to and command others to do only good and not to do evil. Just as soon as we all agree on what evil and good really are...


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,DD
Date: 04 May 04 - 06:16 PM

Kill all of those insufferable bastards! We need to get our troops out of that hell hole and just blow the whole damn place up!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 May 04 - 06:24 PM

Ah, piss off troll (GUEST,DD).


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: DougR
Date: 04 May 04 - 06:33 PM

Thanks for your reply Dianavan. I couldn't disagree with you more, but what the hey?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Bobert
Date: 04 May 04 - 08:28 PM

Exactly what do you find fault with, Dougie, that dianavan posted?

Real curious on this one...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Ooh-Aah
Date: 05 May 04 - 01:55 AM

The torture and humiliation of ANY prisoners is absolutely reprehensible. That said,the thing I find saddening about the possible Muslim reaction is that they are far more likely to be upset by the American women seeing Arab men naked than by any torture. They are used to to torture in their nasty little republics and absolute monarchies, but to assault macho Muslim pride? That will really piss them off. Another great excuse for shouting 'woggle woggle woggle!' and jumping about shaking their fists in the air, which is about the most creative thing they seem capable of.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 May 04 - 04:15 AM

Next time we need someone to incite unrest, GUEST,Ooh-aah, we'll call you. Till then, kindly attempt procreation by yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 May 04 - 04:36 AM

And in case you do not quite comprehend why I gave you the above instruction - after all it's possible that your red neck prohibits rational thought from reaching your bigoted head:

As long as you equate religion (Islam in this case) with behaviour of people from another country; as long as you blanket-characterise them in derogatory terms to make yourself feel superior("woggle-woggle", "towelheads" etc); as long as you equate religion with nation ("their nasty little republics"), and make no attempt to understand other people's thinking; as long as all that happens, you are just a loser with no perception of the real world around you. And very dangerous - just like Bush.

Because "Muslim" to you means "nasty" and "woggle-woggle". According to you then, what the (mostly Christian) Serbs did to the (mostly Muslim) Bosnians was OK, was it? Unfortunately too many people (including many of my compatriots, unfortunately, to my shame) felt the same as you. They forgot the mass-abduction of Greek children by Serbs in the dying days of the 1947 civil war, and used religion instead as the rule to judge by.

I am a practicing Christian, blessed with dozens of good, decent, cultured, Muslim friends across most of the Middle East. Who don't shake fists in the air as their best form of creativity. Who feel no "Muslim machismo". Who want to be understood as people, not simply pigeon-holed according to their religion.

On behalf of my friends, therefore, I repeat: Go forth and multiply.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Lina
Date: 05 May 04 - 04:46 AM

America calls herself...the land of freedom?! That makes me laugh...
There is no justice in America...

America burned the whole world!! And who will stop the burning now, nobody!!Bush, he increased the terror himself...

Let everyone live his life as he/she wants...America has no right to make rules for each human being...don't make differences between countries...Which rule has Isreal?! They may kill people,have mas.weapons,.....SO DON'T BE CHOCKED WHEN THERE ARE ATTACKS....So who rules the world now? America or the muslims who live in whole the world, seperated?!...you know the answer....

Peace thats the answer
thx


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 May 04 - 09:40 AM

All the sneaky little softening up terms we've had thrown out at us in the last few years -"taking off the kid gloves", "big boys rules", "torture-lite", "forceful interrogation". And the academics and the media pundits selling us the idea that a ban on torture is unrealistic and outdated.

But when a little bit of the truth of what's been going on in our name starts to leak out, the pawns who've been doing the dirty stuff as required, get to carry the whole can of worms.

Here's a letter in today's Guardian about this from a Christian organisation concerned for human rights:

The pictures showing the abuse of prisoners are not the first evidence of torture by US troops. In early January, Christian Peacemaker Teams presented the Coalition Provisional Authority with a report containing 72 case studies of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, including torture.

Between May and December 2003, they conducted dozens of interviews and gathered testimonies from prisoners and their families. The report showed that often detentions involved acts of violence and abuse, as well as theft and destruction of personal property. Some prisoners said they were left with their hands tied behind their backs for several days, that they received only one spoonful of army-rationed food a day, and were deprived of water. The also recounted frequent beatings by US soldiers.

The report challenges the suggestion the US military did not know what was going on, but also that the pictures represent an isolated incident.
Jonathan Bartley
Director, Ekklesia


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: CarolC
Date: 05 May 04 - 10:24 AM

In the 'talking head' shows on television, I've been seeing something happening that I find pretty disturbing.

People who are trying to trivialize this issue, and in the process, trivialize the experiences of the prisoners to whom these things have been done have gotten into a habit, a knee-jerk response, I might add, of saying that "worse things happen in frat parties and hazing rituals in the US".

I can't even begin to express how insideously evil I find this practice. Maybe worse things do happen at frat parties and hazing rituals in the US. I wouldn't know, myself, never having participated in either. But there is a HUGE difference between being a consentual participant in bizarre and self-destructive behaviors in a frat parties and hazing rituals, and being forcibly debased and dehumanized by people in positions of power and responsibility in a prison setting, where people are being held captive. It's like saying that rape is no worse than consentual sex. What happened to those prisoners was a form of rape, and there was nothing consentual about it. And the people who perpetrated it, and/or condoned it are guilty of a horrible abuse of power, among other things.

In my opinion, anyone who tries to equate what happened in that prison with what happens at frat parties, should have their face slapped. Hard.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 05 May 04 - 10:46 AM

That's a fact CarolC - VERY hard -

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: DougR
Date: 05 May 04 - 10:58 AM

I was referring, Bobert, to Dinavan's post regarding reprisals.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 05 May 04 - 11:08 AM

Hypocrasy alert:

"after all it's possible that your red neck prohibits rational thought from reaching your bigoted head:"

And in the next paragraph:

"as long as you blanket-characterise them in derogatory terms to make yourself feel superior("woggle-woggle", "towelheads" etc)"

Not knowing who the guest is you automatically assume he is a redneck (usually a derogatory term for someone from the southern states of the US).


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 May 04 - 11:15 AM

That's a pretty parochial definition of "redneck". (All right, the USA is a big parish, but it's still only a relatively small part of the world.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 05 May 04 - 11:24 AM

The LA Times makes no bones about the fact that Bush knew about the torture of POWs scandal in December 2003!!

It also points out: "Under international laws of war, if a superior military officer knew or should have known that his subordinates were committing war crimes and did nothing to stop them, then the superior officer is as guilty as the people who committed the crimes."

Anyone got a pencil to connect the dots with?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 May 04 - 12:04 PM

Chief Chaos, I was using "red neck" to characterise behaviour, not attempting to place GUEST's origin. But to avoid being hypocritical, and with apologies to any southerners for any misunderstanding, let's replace "red" with "thick", as in in "being thick = being stupid" (I don't want to be accused of fattyism ;-).


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 05 May 04 - 12:16 PM

From the first five sources which popped up on a yahoo search for the term "redneck":

"The image foisted on America and the world probably conjures up the image of an ignorant, toothless, inbred, tobacco spitting, truck driving, curse-wielding, racist, white Southerner. Naturally a Confederate flag lurks in the background somewhere."

"My computer dictionary, American Heritage, does not even define redneck other than to say offensive. Our family dictionary by World Book states the following:
Redneck: Slang a poor, white, Southern farmer or sharecropper (often used in an unfriendly way). "

"REDNECK. A poor, white, often rowdy southerner, usually one from a rural area. The word, which is sometimes derogatory, has its origins in the sunburned necks of farmers and outdoor laborers, and originally meant a poor farmer.

"Along with words such as "hick" and "hillbilly' we associate redneck with an individual who is southern, has no manners, no common sense and the most dull-witted person imaginable."

From Maven's word of the day:
The term redneck first meant 'an uneducated white farm laborer in the South'. It comes from the literal notion of one's neck being colored red by sunburn from working in the fields all day.
In its earliest use, recorded especially in Arkansas and Mississippi, redneck was used chiefly by other Southerners as a disparaging term for lower-class people. More recently it has been applied by Northerners to Southerners in general. The most recent extended sense is 'a bigot or reactionary', that is, a person whose views resemble those attributed to the Southern working class.

CarolC - Since I am one of the knee Jerk responders who used the hazing incident in a post I will respond. It was not my intent to compare what happened in Iraq to a college hazing. What I was trying to point out is that the hazing events are often violent, the gang "jumpng in" certainly is as well. And the events at columbine and other schools certainly weren't voluntary or non-violent. I was saying that this type of violent behavior seems to pervade the United States. The military is made up of the same citizens who are experiencing these type of events and therefore it is no surprise that this should take place in Iraq.

As such my statement is a defense of the normal, decent human beings who make up the majority of the military of the United States. Some of us actually believe that we are helping in Iraq, and moreover in the rest of the world as well, and yes, serving with honor. To slander us all because of these incidents is wrong.

What happened is still abuse, and it is not tolerable. The people involved will be held responsible (we will not however hang them without a trial based on these photographs).


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: CarolC
Date: 05 May 04 - 12:52 PM

I was referring to people who are trying to excuse what happened by comparing it to hazing rituals and frat parties, Chief Chaos. I did not have you in mind when I posted what I did. I was talking about people I have been seeing in the media who trying to trivialize these things.

And the events at columbine and other schools certainly weren't voluntary or non-violent.

I would hardly call the shootings at Columbine and other schools either hazing rituals or frat parties.

I have a response to DougR's question, even though I have not at any time engaged in any "outpourings of rage" against our military people...

DougR, these events in the prison happened before those four security people were killed, mutilated, and their bodies hung from a bridge. For all we know, the killing of those security contractors may have been in retaliation for the way Iraqis are being "abused" by US military personnel as well as by private contractors. And it ill suits you to try to use the killing of the security contractors as a way of criticizing people who are engaging in a discussion of crimes committed by people on "our side".


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 05 May 04 - 01:00 PM

Carol C, my apologies!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 May 04 - 01:03 PM

The state soldiers jumped us in a wire fence corner
They did not know that we had these guns
And the red neck miners mowed down them troopers
You should have seen those poor boys run

(Ludlow Massacre, Woody Guthrie)

Aside from everything else in that song, Colorado isn't a southern state, is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 05 May 04 - 01:19 PM

Hmmm - In Idaho a redneck is a farmer or rancher. The neck is red from lots of sun and the individual being outside a lot.

Bit of a thread creep - but true - I'm proud to call myself a red neck of the Idaho version -

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 05 May 04 - 02:11 PM

Funny thing about labels. I used to live in a small community of red-necks and hippies. I was identified by others as one of the hippies but the longer I was there, the more I realized that I had much more in common with the red-necks. This was in the North.

In my own mind red-necks were hard working people and hippies were people who hardly worked at all. We were all drop-outs. We were all fed up with the system. We were all looking for something better than the city had to offer.

As time passed - the distinction between the groups blurred. Now we are all just "the old-timers".


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 05 May 04 - 04:15 PM

I retracted already, I am guilty and apologise, mea culpa and a hundred Hail Marys, pass me the conium to drink, back to the thread now...I still stand by the rest of my post, amended to read "thick neck". And as GUEST,Ooh-Ahh has not responded, I assume he/she has followed my recommendation.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 05 May 04 - 08:35 PM

Yeah, I'm kinda late gettin' my two cents' worth in on this issue...

I'll admit that I'm not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but even I'm smart enough to know that if I was a general in charge of keeping Iraqui prisoners locked up, one of the first things I'd do is have a big old staff meeting at which I would say something like, "Listen up people! The whole damned world is watching what we're doing here. There are millions of people just waiting for us to screw up so they'll have another reason to hate us. Be on your best behavior. Don't do anything stupid that can come back and bite you on the ass because it won't be just your ass that'll get bit."

The idea that nobody saw the possibility of this kind of thing taking place (and its consequences), and took the necessary steps to prevent it is almost as unbelievable to me as the idea that nobody thought about having contingency plans in case somebody hijacked a plane so they could fly it into a skyscraper. Aren't there people in Washington that get paid lots of the taxpayers' money to do nothing but think? What're we payin' 'em for?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Ooh Aah
Date: 05 May 04 - 09:19 PM

Hi there El Greko, I certainly did follow your suggestion, but am now rather sore and have run out of tissues - however I still find I dislike the Muslim attitude to women, and am frustrated by the macho culture of violence in the Islamic Middle East - the serious point behind my original rather flippant post. And before you have a coronary I can assure you that I despise the macho culture of violence evident in the US military as well - the clear difference is that they are constantly criticised by their countrymen while any criticism by Middle-Eastern Muslims of suicide bombers, genuine fanatics, 'charismatic' leaders (whom even a fool can see use death as a tool to gain political power for themselves) and the mentality that mutilates dead bodies is muted to say the least - even to someone like myself, who is used to reading behind the half-truths and distortions our media presents us with.
They really DO shout 'woggle woggle woggle' and jump up and down rather a lot you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 05 May 04 - 09:37 PM

"...which is about the most creative thing they seem capable of"

9/11 springs to mind.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 May 04 - 03:23 AM

Well at least you do have a sense of humour, GUEST,Ooh-Ahh, made me smile a little with the tissue paper. I also dislike intensely the attitudes you mention, so we can agree on that. But I don't consider them to be "Muslim" attitudes. The Japanese showed the same in WWII. The Christian Greeks also, when they "horseshoed" my great uncle in 1946. There is depravity, and there is religion. One rarely affects the other, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 May 04 - 03:57 AM

"They really DO shout 'woggle woggle woggle' and jump up and down rather a lot you know."

That is very much like saying in reference to Black people: "They really DO shout "nigga, nigga, nigga" and jump up and down rather a lot you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Stu
Date: 06 May 04 - 04:31 AM

Hey but here's the good news - now the guy from Guantanamo Bay is in charge!

At least Bush hasn't lost his sense of irony.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 May 04 - 07:10 AM

If German soldiers in Afghanistan would be found to have acted in a similar way and if that was known in the higher command and held secret for months then the secretary (minister) of defense would have resigned within 3 days. For either he would have known and not acted immediately or he doesn't really lead the command structure in the sense that they inform him of important things. Both ways, he'd be out immediately. Rumsfeld's wiggling about not having read the report but 'taken in' in the sense of not really understanding what was on the paper he looked at makes a very bad impression.

That is the real scandal. In a big army being in a nasty fight bad things will happen now and then, locally restricted and by a few persons. Regrettable, but minor in the perspective of such a war (and I still do think what the Americans have done is small in comparison to their enemies's deeds). So if what has happened would have happened once or twice or a bit more often by individual soldiers and would be found out now follwed by quick action of the command, then the blame for the command and Rumsfeld would be minor. But that quite clearly is not the case.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 06 May 04 - 07:48 AM

"and I still do think what the Americans have done is small in comparison to their enemies's deeds"

But what, in actual fact have 'their enemies' done, Wolfgang?
Surely Saddam Hussein's regime is not their enemy any more?

We are in danger here, of confusing issues, and of tarring everybody with the Saddam Hussein brush.
There is a high probability that many Iraqis were not 'the enemy' before the Fallujah debacle.
There is also the high probability that the majority of those 10, 000 or so, Iraqis that have been killed, thus far, were not combatants; to assume otherwise would be to credit Al Qaeda, or whoever, with quite a frightening membership.

No, Wolfgang, after Saddam got removed, the sheet looked basically clean for the Americans (as far as the majority of Iraqis were concerned, anyway). There was dancing in the streets (to bring a musical bent to the conversation...), and everybody was going on about 'Hearts & Minds'. The opinion polls looked favourable, and people were talking about how free the Iraqis were. Even the Karbala bomb blast in March was testement to that; they wouldn't have had the freedom to celebrate the Holy Festival, under Saddam. But they wouldn't have had the freedom to bomb it, neither, under Saddam.

I agree that "In a big army, being in a nasty fight, bad things will happen now and then", but I think it is time to put to bed the notion that these people are responsible, or that the amount of them that do innocently suffer, should in any way pay for the sins of its' own former torturer.
Can we stop using 'what Saddam did' as a justifying stick to beat these people with?

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 May 04 - 08:51 AM

Jim, your response to Wolfgang is rather unclear. The sense of his post is clearly contained in his conclusion, if what has happened would have happened once or twice or a bit more often by individual soldiers and would be found out [and] followed by quick action of the command, then the blame for the command and Rumsfeld would be minor. But that quite clearly is not the case.. Your focus on and I still do think what the Americans have done is small in comparison to their enemies's deeds is very out of context.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 May 04 - 09:19 AM

Artbrooks, but my sentence was unclear too. I could understand my own sentence much better with your 'and' added. Thanks.

Actually, with 'enemies' I both meant the former, Saddam + regime, and the present, not the demonstrating and understandably upset Iraqis, but the groups who feed on chaos and will kill foreigners (not only soldiers) brutally and Iraqis indsicriminately with bombs made to kill as many people as possible.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Stu
Date: 06 May 04 - 10:02 AM

"Actually, with 'enemies' I both meant the former, Saddam + regime, and the present, not the demonstrating and understandably upset Iraqis, but the groups who feed on chaos and will kill foreigners (not only soldiers) brutally and Iraqis indsicriminately with bombs made to kill as many people as possible."

Where do you draw the line with this definition though? There's now an Iraqi general in charge at Fallujah. A year ago, the Americans would be trying to kill this chap as being one of the lynchpins of a brutal dictatorship (which he was).

The problem is the upset Iraqis are now your enemies - because you made them so by shooting them with snipers and pummelling them with Cobra Gunships.

As for killing Iraqis indiscrimiately, the Americans simply cannot criticise other people for doing this after the past few weeks slaughter in Fallujah - it's this sort of arrogance that really is peeing the rest of the world off. I'm NOT saying every innocent death was a result of American fire, but many many innocent people are now dead because of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 06 May 04 - 10:35 AM

I understand that, Art, and I read the sentence with the 'and' in place. It is just a point of definition, I was talking about. The ex regime of Saddam H should not, in my opinion, be used as a yardstick to measure how 'brutal' the Coalition is allowed to be.
If we are going to just take into account the 'present enemy', then, I think it would be debatable whether they have committed as much atrocity as we have. The Shia and Sunni militia are not credited with any part in the planning or execution of 9/11, so I'm searching around (in vain, I might add) for an action (or actions) they have carried out that has killed over 11 000 Americans.

There are a few present day war crimes happening in Iraq, Saddam's ex regime, notwithstanding. That is what we should be focusing on. The understanably upset Iraqis, are just that; understandably upset. If we are to look at what we do in Iraq, and keep comparing it to 'our enemies', we bring ourselves to their level, and that can provide us with carte blanche to do anything that falls short of what our enemies do.

And in that, my 'focusing' on Wolfgang's statement was entirely contextual.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 May 04 - 01:25 PM

If anyone is buying into this suggestion that it's just a few bad apples doing stuff that is against the intention of the guys in charge of military intelligence, who answer ultimately to Bush, read this from today's Guardian - Torture by the book:

"...the photos raise a larger question. Did a gang of reservists from Virginia hit on ways of mistreating Muslim prisoners to maximise their humiliation all by themselves? President Bush says the photos disgust him. However, there is growing evidence that the abuses in Abu Ghraib were no aberrant act, but a warped product of US policy and the practices of its intelligence community.

And if it's suggested that the Guardian might be a bit one-sided, here is what Boris Johnson, a Conservative Member of Parliament (amd not exactly on the left of his poarty!) had to say in the right-wing Daily Telegraph:

How could the American army have been so crass, so arrogant, so brutal as to behave in this way? The trailer-trash troops said they had no idea what they were doing. They weren't even aware of the existence of the Geneva Conventions. They didn't have any orders to obey, only vague instructions.

Was this really the operation I had voted for? Did I really think, when the House of Commons voted to support the American action on March 18, 2003, that it would be carried out with such boneheaded stupidity?

These people seem not only to lack the faintest idea of how to bring peace to Iraq; they also seem not to understand the values - such as basic human rights - which we hoped to bring to that country.


(Yes, and he does end up crossing his fingers and saying hopefully: It must now be a certainty that no further such outrages can take place. Slowly I have begun to calm down, to see that it still might be true that Iraq will be better a year hence than it was when Saddam was in charge. It might still be that we will be shown to have done the right thing, and that the Iraqis will be ultimately grateful that he is gone.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 May 04 - 02:25 PM

(And I see that today Boris Johnson has been given an Opposition front-bench job as Shadow Minister for the Arts.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 May 04 - 03:23 PM

Interesting stuff from Human Rights Watch too. What about the other secret US prisons? Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib appear to be only the tip of this pile of crap. And this is disregarding Syria, where the US has sent at least one documented detainee for torture by proxy. And some thought Argentina was beyond the pale regarding the Disappeared.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Metchosin
Date: 06 May 04 - 03:27 PM

disregard comment about Syria and Arar, this appears to be covered in the article.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 04 - 07:51 PM

Just a quick note McGrath - I have never, ever, seen black people dancing around a dead soldier or burning vehicle shouting 'nigga nigga nigga'. Have you? But you see overexcited Iraquis doing same (only 'woggle woggle' etc) every night of the week. My point is not so much to make fun of their language (sounds a lot less painful than Welsh) but to express my deep dislike of the lethal cocktail of fear, hysterical machismo, mob mentality and religion that these people seem intoxicated by. I'm particularly revolted to see children being allowed to join in. I know why they do it, I know that US interference is making it worse, but I find it utterly repulsive in a visceral way. I see this kind of behaviour on a small scale with teenage boys I teach - to my mind these people seem disturbingly immature in their psychological development. I doubt this is true of the vast majority of Iraqis, but there is enough of this sort to be a real worry. Let me tell you I have exactly the same kind of reaction to the mindless shouts of 'USA! USA!' with which rational debate is drowned out in that country. I don't like any of 'em!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Ooh Aah
Date: 06 May 04 - 07:55 PM

Sorry, forgot to say that last post is from me. (Retires to bunker).


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 May 04 - 08:24 PM

"Wog" is every bit as nasty a term as "nigger", and used by the same kind of people.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 04 - 08:26 PM

And in this case it is a teacher. I give up.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 06 May 04 - 11:49 PM

Metchosin - Until recently, I have followed the Arar case with great interest. The last I heard, his wife was running for political office. Good for her! Wasn't she brave and persistent and intelligent? Wow, was Arar lucky he married her. Thanks to the U.S., Arar would have been stuck in that hell-hole until he died.

I am in awe of that woman. I hope she goes far. I don't think I have ever been so fond of total strangers.

Now, for those of you in the U.S. - if you want to know how the Bush Administration's agenda has effected not only your rights and freedoms but Canadians' too, read the link above.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Ooh-Aah
Date: 07 May 04 - 06:34 PM

Oh, I see the problem. Perhaps I should have put 'aargle argle argle'! Here in Australia 'wog' is more affectionate than anything these days, often used by people of Italian and Greek beckground of themselves; and not in the destructive way US blacks sometimes call themselves 'niggas' either.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 May 04 - 07:04 PM

I thought it might be a linguistic hiccup like that Ooh-Aah. It's a very offensive word indeed, back in this country. Maybe sometimes it's used by people who don't realise how offensive it is. But more often it is used with intent to insult and offend.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Pigmentally Challenged
Date: 07 May 04 - 11:50 PM

Ooh-Aah, Ooh-Aah, Ooh-Aah, Ooh-Aah.

Are you a chimpanzee?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,waggoner41
Date: 08 May 04 - 01:11 AM

Let us remember that it was Donald Rumsfeld, with George Bush's blessing, who announced publicly that the United States was not obligated to honor the Geneva Conventions.

Our G.I.'s did not suddenly decide that these acts were the right thing to do. They are trained to operate under orders. As the commander in chief, George Bush bears ultimate responsibility.

Bush is already setting up his "plausable deniability". He didn't know. S**t rolls downhill from the top and so do orders.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 May 04 - 03:29 AM

Let me see... A number of US troops are charged for actions that are obviously improper conduct, at the least. The "world" demands that they be tried as war criminals, by an Iraqi court, since the crimes were against Iraqis...

According to the Geneva Conventions, it is also a war crime to

1. Intenmtionally target civilian populations

2. Use schools, hospitals or mosques as military headquarters, storage, or staging areas

3. Use marked abulances to transport weapons or troops ( other than the wounded.

So, we send the 20 or so US troops to the Arab world for trial, and they will turn over all the militias in Iraq, most of the Palestinians, and who else to us???

In time of war, a spy can be sumarily executed. This means that a non-uniformed combatant has a far different set of "rights" under the geneva Conventions than the uniformed soldier.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 04 - 07:25 AM

But under all circumstances torture of prisoners is criminal.

If those accused can prove that they were acting under orders when they carried out illegal actions, this is a mitigating circumstance, which could justify reduced penalties - but it is not in any way a defence against a finding of "guilty". There is a legal duty to refuse an illegal order.

Similarly, if it can be demonstarated that someone in a chain of command knew that illegal activities were being carried out by subordinates, even if they had not given orders for those actions, there is a duty to act to stop this happening. Failure to do so is, I believe, equivalent in law to actually ordering the illegal actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 08 May 04 - 12:04 PM

No Waggoner41, sorry to say, Lynndie England bears full responsibility, well she is being charged with disgracing the US Army along with a few more of the lower ranks.
The buck stops here, my ass.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 04 - 12:21 PM

Lyndie England and her colleagues are fully responsible for their actions. Her superiors are also fully responsible for those actions, together with their own actions (or inaction in some cases) - and so on up the line. The


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 May 04 - 02:42 PM

And it seems we are close to learning what general was responsible for encouraging the MP's in charge of those cell blocks to "soften up" their prisoners before interrogation. He appears to be Major General Geoffrey Miller, commadant of the Guantanamo Bay prison complex, who in the fall of 2003 "conducted an inquiry on interrogation and detention procedures in Iraq and suggested that prison guards could help set conditions for the interrogation of prisoners"; this is according to an initial report this spring by Major General Antonio Taguba. I find this information particularly damning, and it reinforces my concerns about the probable mistreatment of the prisoners in limbo at Guantanamo Bay itself.

Pictures, even edited ones, are worth a thousand and one words.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 04 - 03:54 PM

And now of course General Miller is in charge of Abu Ghraib. Probably charging round trying to impound all the digital cameras and webphones and such.

Here's a link to a piece on BBC news about the way that modern technology is making it much much harder to make sure the outside world never gets to really know about what goes on sometimes. US powerless to halt Iraq net images:

...Mr Rumsfeld was indignant at the publication of such images: "We're functioning with peacetime constraints, with legal requirements, in a wartime situation in the Information Age, where people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise."

However, he admitted that he had not realised the seriousness of the allegations until the pictures were leaked to the media...


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 08 May 04 - 03:59 PM

"We're functioning with peacetime constraints, with legal requirements, in a wartime situation in the Information Age"

I watched him say that, and I thought to myself 'peacetime constraints'? 'Legal requirements'?

Bit of a stretch, that!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 08 May 04 - 04:01 PM

Lack of protection
A report by human rights lawyers found that the Abu Ghraib abuse was not
only lawless -- it was sanctioned by Pentagon political appointees.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Joe Conason
Click for article


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 08 May 04 - 04:46 PM

There is a very interesting period in the history of conflict, unfolding now as I see it.

To be absolutely realistic about State secrecy for one moment, and to look at the reasons Joe Q Public on average does not get too close to what happens in this area, we have to be fairly open minded as to what is perpertrated in order to keep the World Order roughly where it is.
To be realistic, does not require us to be complicit with it.

If things are going to be 'more open' as a result of this war, then some people are going to get a few illusions shattered fairly quickly, and we will see that it will not really matter which party is sitting in the White House, or in Downing Street at the time, because a lot of it will be condoned 'on high', if for no other reason, than for they have no other choice.
The country will do whatever the country believes it has to do, in other words, and if it is nasty, then that's too badit, but the sensitivities of the public, voter, whichever nerve in them you want to avoid pinching, have to be taken into account, and so it all has to be kept fairly low-key, at the very least.

The 'Information Age' is certainly here, as Rumsfeld's position now, clearly demonstrates. A Democrat Defense Secretary will be privvy to exactly the same knowledge as his Republican counterpart, and will more than likely have to make the same 'judgements'.

I think people will continue to be horrible to others; just as we (as a race) always have been.
In the realm of the secret, where we can imagine the manouverings that take place. We can only imagine what is nodded and winked at behind the closed doors.

The more of it that comes out into the public domain, the more the average Joe gets to join his own dots.

It could spell the end of Democracy, as we know it.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 08 May 04 - 05:23 PM

Been following this for some time. This is not news. American troops have been breaking into private homes in Iraq forcing women and children onto the floor and in general terrorizing them. Now we hear about extracting information through torture. Humiliation, sleep deprivation, rape, and beatings used to extract information defines torture.

This kind of stuff is done in wars. It was done in Vietnam and also here.

Why is it that the Iraqi people don't need US help? There is no case that can be legitimately presented that this is what they want. They want the US out.

There will be more atrocities until this war is ended.

Personally, I trust Amnesty International more than I do the credibility of the Bush Administration on these issues.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 08 May 04 - 07:27 PM

Frank - You are, in my opinion, correct to trust "Amnesty" International further than you can throw the US of A Government.

One of the main reason British wquaddies went into Iraq was to stop torture, and abuse of Human rights.

It is wrong that torture/abuse continues, even if it is on a lesser scale than that practiced by the previous regime.

But I will only take criticism on this from them who demonstrate a constant record of support for human rights. Which excludes most governments/regimes in the middle east, and those 'Catters who are more concerned with preserving thier "Clean Hands" and "peace at anybody else's cost" rather than changing a regime whose attitude to "human rights" was less than zero.

We do not live in a perfect world, I wish we did, but I am afraid that there are those amid us whose agenda is my "goverment/country is always wrong" rather than what can we do ?

And personally I find that attitude as dangerous as those who take the attitude "my Country/Government right or wrong"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 04 - 09:50 PM

Like you for instance


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 May 04 - 09:56 PM

And the civil war which will inevitably follow our unilateral withdrawal from Iraq will be no pleasant thing. I do hope that somehow the UN is able to "police" a transition to some kind of Iraq confederation of states. Unfortunately US and British credibility is totally undermined in Iraq.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 09 May 04 - 07:02 AM

To-days Observer[uk] gives an account by a British Officer recently returned from Iraq, " Sexual humiliation of prisoners in Abu Ghraib was not an invention of "maverick guards" but part of a system of degradation developed for use by British and US troops called R21- resistance to interrogation- which uses sexual jibes and and stripping prisoners to prolong "the shock of capture" when detainees are at their most vunerable.

What has emerged is the role that US military intellegence officers - and private intellegence contractors- have played in directing the abuse with most of the reservists involved alleging that they thought their duty was to "soften up" the prisoners for questioning."

What really has emerged is that Bush -Blair and their hencemen are all guilty of war crimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 09 May 04 - 07:07 AM

What more harrowing tales of torture may emerge from Guantanamo, and they will come out, Cuba may be convenient as a hidey-hole for the time being, but this will make


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 09 May 04 - 07:10 AM

Iraq`s Abu Ggraib look like a week-end in the Hilton.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 04 - 12:48 PM

But I will only take criticism on this from them who demonstrate a constant record of support for human rights.

What does that mean Gareth? That only people who think that the preemptive attack on Iraq was justified can criticise it when it goes wrong?

I believe that the end result of this war will probably be worse for Iraq and for the world than the end result we could have achieved if we had avoided it. Just as I think that the end result in South Africa or Chile would probably have been a lot worse if we had attempted to overthrow their repulsive regimes by armed invasion.

There are some good results of the invasion, true enough. But there are also some outcomes which are far from good. And the full tally is a long way from finished, good or bad. I think that it is likely that in the final analysis it is only too likely thta, taking everything into account, more harm will have been done than good achieved.

That does not mean indifference towards human rights abuses. As you say, Gareth, we do not live in a perfect world.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 09 May 04 - 12:59 PM

Some more photos are slipping out here and there - found a couple stuffed into a Yahoo slideshow...

It gets worser and worser ... be prepared to vomit as well ...sickening.

Makes me wonder what kind of people I live among! What kind of animals would do these disgusting things to another human being? even in WW2 these kind of things were always the work of the Axis never the Allies.

So we have to bring our troops home and send the sick minded ones to the looney bin - before the rest of the world declares war on the USA!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 04 - 03:19 PM

"They were only obeying orders" they'll say - and that is probably true, though of course anyone obeying illegal orders is criminally liable.

But it's the people who gave the orders, and who authorised those kinds of orders, with their euphemisms and their selective vision of the details, who most urgently need to be identified and removed. No matter how high their position.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 09 May 04 - 04:00 PM

I was just thinking the same thing.

I can think of a few countries that would probably like to declare war on the U.S., if for no other reason than to liberate the people stateside from a brutal dictatorship. It would be extremely difficult considering the fact that the U.S. has both nuclear capability and weapons of mass destruction.

Sorry folks, I don't think another country can help you. If anything is to change, it will have to be a civil revolution. Hopefully it will be peaceful. Perhaps the multi-nationals will see the light and realize that their prosperity depends on stability in the U.S. ...Or does it?

Maybe this is why the fathers of the constitution included the right to bear arms.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 May 04 - 06:42 PM

dianavan:
"Maybe this is why the fathers of the constitution included the right to bear arms. "

Yes, but that, like most of the other rights that the founding fathers thought important, is subject to alteration "for the good of the people"

Freedom of speech- unless you want to say something that the majority does not want to hear

Freedom of religion- unless your religion defines marriage other than the majority does

Freedom to assemble- as long as you get a permit: subject to arrest if you do it in any other place

etc...

Just remember, if the chain of command implies that the president is responsible for the actions of any member of the military, then the People, who elect the president, and whose servant the government is supposed to be, bear ultimate responsibility. So, sure, lets jail them all- then ourselves. Just build the prison walls around the US, and don't let anyone in or out...


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 09 May 04 - 07:00 PM

What ard mhacha leaves out of his quote, deliberatly I am sure, is that these methods are tought as a means of training troops to resist such means of 'interogation!'

I do get a hard copy of the 'Observer' every week - Perhaps ard M can give us a bliky or scan of the full article - Cos if He don't I will !

But I am not holding my breath for any objective comment from Ard M.

Kevin - Please, you can be more objective. There is a right of those to critcise who's hands are clean.

I believe that you did not approve of the Liberation of Iraq. You, and anybody has a right to criticise. What I will not acept is those Governments and regimes who utilise humiliation and torture as a normal process, and that will include many in the middle east, throwing a wobbly on human rights in Iraq.

Torture is wrong - End of Story ! Not just selective "indignation" when it is politically expedient.

We also have to live in a world which is not perfect, we can only strive to make it less imperfect.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 09 May 04 - 07:15 PM

"To-days Observer[uk] gives an account by a British Officer recently returned from Iraq, " Sexual humiliation of prisoners in Abu Ghraib was not an invention of "maverick guards" but part of a system of degradation developed for use by British and US troops called R21- resistance to interrogation"
ard mhacha Date: 09 May 04 - 07:02 AM

"What ard mhacha leaves out of his quote, deliberatly I am sure, is that these methods are tought as a means of training troops to resist such means of 'interogation!'"
Gareth Date: 09 May 04 - 07:00 PM

Breathe out, Gareth.

...AND PAY ATTENTION!

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 04 - 07:39 PM

I approve of Iraq being free, and I'd like to see it happen. I think it is very open to question whether the end result of the invasion will be to achieve that. I am glad that South Africa is now free - but I think that a foreign invasion to try to achieve that would have been disastrous.
..............

Teaching torture methods in order to prepare people to resist torture is an excellent way to cover teaching them as a way to prepare torturers, and it has been used in that way, as well as forvthe official reason.

Here is a link to the Observer story ard macha refers to Focus: Iraq prison abuse scandal - and here is a link to the Guardian interview it refers to:

"The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.
The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad."


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 04 - 08:00 PM

There are better ways to free people than by shooting their colleagues, torturing their husbands or fathers, invading their cities and disrupting their homes.

It is unfortunate that given the premise that invasion was right, a lot of these other practices would ensure by necessity. That's the nature of war. The point is that war was a LOUSY solution to the problem of Iraq and a STUPID remedy to resort to short of ultimate necessity. I don't care how jaded some people have gotten to it, or calloused by their own participation, or whatever. The objective point is still very much that unilaterally invading is as wrong-headed a diplomatic move as it is possible to make.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 04 - 08:08 PM

A few months ago, the UK/US invasion force was "the armed wing of Amnesty International". Now when it turns out that their methods (some of their methods of course) are counter to everything Amnesty International stands for, pointing this out is "politically expedient", and we have to present our human rights bona fides to be able to open our mouths?!?! Utter crap. Utter, utter crap. You have been betrayed by those you defended. I do not for a minute question your intelligence or commitment to human rights, but I am sorry that you have been so badly used, and understand how you find it hard to face that sad fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 May 04 - 09:12 PM

http://www.robert-fisk.com/iraqwarvictims_page13.htm

we know why we didn't/couldn't/wouldn't stop this happening- don't we?

i'm no braver than most to stand up & get me head shot off- that's why!


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 09 May 04 - 09:23 PM

The prisoner on the top right-hand side, "...paraded naked by US Marines 25th April 2003" has "Thief" written in Arabic, across his chest.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 09 May 04 - 09:50 PM

The war was sold as being about WMD's.
A lie.
Oh, but it was also about the global war on terrorism, but 15 of 19 were Saudis, and exactly 0 of 19 were Iraqis.
Another damn lie.
So, finally, it was about getting rid of a despot who tortures his own people, and I can almost get behind that (or at least will respect those who espouse this veiwpoint, since I agree with the end, but not the means). But now, the torture chambers are simply (as Jon Stewart so aptly put it) "under new management", and the post-facto "liberation" justification is suddenly hollow and hypocritical.
Another goddam lie.

And back to lie number 2 above, the pictures and videos are ready-made posters and recruitment spots for Al Quaeda. Thanks a f-in lot George, Dick, Rummy and Paul.

And, no, I don't hate my country. But I despise the jackasses who have tried to subvert and pervert it. I love MY America. George Bush's is the shits, and he's got to go.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 10 May 04 - 04:49 PM

Gareth, I am beginning to worry about you, are you sure you alright?, not being able to understand The Observer`s plain English is serious.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 11 May 04 - 12:26 AM

beardedbruce - It was my understanding that Bush wasn't exactly elected. Or did you miss that?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 11 May 04 - 04:22 PM

I read the full article - Note just the bits that suit.

As challenged before I suggest you post the full article. Or back down.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 11 May 04 - 04:35 PM

Gareth son,what do we have to do to placate you, have a good look at McGrath`s blue clicky, have you been taking lessons from Geoff Hoon?.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 11 May 04 - 07:00 PM

Ard M - Id I can get thruogh to you - Full post or admit that you are being selective. And don't hide behind Kevin, stand on your own posts - If you can.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 11 May 04 - 07:11 PM

Thanks Kevin - For Blickying the full text. Though your Cut and Paste was, shall we say, a little selective.

But no doubt this will enter the ledgends of history, for those whose views, are less than objective.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 11 May 04 - 07:18 PM

dianavan: I am sorry if you are unfamiliar with the laws of the US, but according to the Constitution, he did win the election. People can grip about it all they want. Noone EVER said that the Electorial college was fair. Just what we have to work with. If one wants to try to change it, that is fine- but that is what we have NOW.

If Gore had had any sense of fairness, he would have just asked for a recount of the entire state when there were problems- HE DID NOT! He would only settle for a recount JUST of the three ( I think) districts that he thought he should have had a higher vote in, and not the ones where he won by a larger than expected amount. His "recount" was a "heads I win, tails you lose" thing.

The supreme Court made a ruling- by the law of the land, it IS the law of the land. If you don't like it, fine. But don't go on about Bush not winning the election.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 12 May 04 - 05:50 AM

Gareth, You are a waste of good space, and remember what Ake says , your spaceship awaits.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Gareth
Date: 12 May 04 - 07:50 PM

It is a pity Ard M can not back upo his statements - but then thats true to his form

The quote he neglected to post - fron the same article he was used selectively.

"He said British and US military intelligence soldiers were trained in these techniques, which were taught at the joint services interrogation centre in Ashford, Kent, now transferred to the former US base at Chicksands.
"There is a reservoir of knowledge about these interrogation techniques which is retained by former special forces soldiers who are being rehired as private contractors in Iraq. Contractors are bringing in their old friends".
Using sexual jibes and degradation, along with stripping naked, is one of the methods taught on both sides of the Atlantic under the slogan "prolong the shock of capture", he said.
Female guards were used to taunt male prisoners sexually and at British training sessions when female candidates were undergoing resistance training they would be subject to lesbian jibes.
"Most people just laugh that off during mock training exercises, but the whole experience is horrible. Two of my colleagues couldn't cope with the training at the time. One walked out saying 'I've had enough', and the other had a breakdown. It's exceedingly disturbing," said the former Special Boat Squadron officer, who asked that his identity be withheld for security reasons.
Many British and US special forces soldiers learn about the degradation techniques because they are subjected to them to help them resist if captured. They include soldiers from the SAS, SBS, most air pilots, paratroopers and members of pathfinder platoons. "


Point taken - and if you cant understand this Ard M get somebody wheo can read to translate it.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 May 04 - 07:56 PM

Anyone who quotes less than the entirety of anything is quoting selectively. :-) If you agree with him, you'll like his selections. If you don't, you won't.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:16 PM

beardedbruce - you said, "...then the People, who elect the president..."

Being elected by the people and being appointed by the supreme court are two very different things. According to your argument, it is the Supreme Court who would be at the top of the chain of command. And yes, I believe the rot goes that far.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: Jim McCallan
Date: 12 May 04 - 10:14 PM

But Gareth does concur with ard macha's assessment, Little Hawk, as is pointed out in A M's post of 09 May 04 - 07:02 AM: " Sexual humiliation of prisoners in Abu Ghraib was not an invention of "maverick guards" but part of a system of degradation developed for use by British and US troops called R2I - resistance to interrogation", however it has take 5 posts from him, and a few corrections from some of us, to make him realise this.

What Gareth is actually is quoting in his 12 May 04 - 07:50 PM post is a description of those same R2I techniques, that Ard macha had already referred to.

If Gareth thinks there is something ambiguous about the Observer article, perhaps he should wax a little more eloquent on it, and tell us where he believes the parallax to be.

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 May 04 - 10:51 PM

dianavan:

"Being elected by the people and being appointed by the supreme court are two very different things"

Noone was appointed by the Supreme Court. They made a ruling on the federal law, as is their resposibility. The election was determined by the Electorial College, as per the Constitution. You may not like the results, but so what? I had to put up with Billary.

Get over it: Try to win the next election, instead of complaing that you did not get your way in the last one.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 13 May 04 - 12:06 AM

beardedbrucie - since I'm not voting in the American election, there is nothing to get over. I'm merely trying to tell you that your argument doesn't hold up. Read your own post - trying to tell me that the American public was responsible for the prisoner abuse because they elected Bush! You can only use that reasoning if he was elected by a majority. He wasn't! Ever heard of Diebold? Do you really think I'm that stupid?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 May 04 - 12:14 AM

dianavan:
"You can only use that reasoning if he was elected by a majority"

And why is that??? few presidents have been elected by a majority- Not that many people vote. But this does not mean they are not elected by the pepole. The choice to not vote, or vote for a third-party candidate, or to vote for the losing one DOES NOT mean that the person is not a part of the citizenship that has elected the President. We are a REPRESENTATIVE democracy, under a rule of law.

We, the people ARE responsible for the actions of our elected officials, as can be seen by recall petitions, and impeachement procedings.

I have no problem with anyone's efforts to remove or defeat a candidate whose actions they do not approve- but I DEMAND that they follow the rule of law in doing so. If you don't like the law, work to change THAT.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: dianavan
Date: 13 May 04 - 03:18 AM

beardedbruce - Since you seem be such a law-abiding citizen, maybe you can suggest what should be done with Steven Stefanowicz and that other guy, Israel. Isn't that Rumsfeld's responsibility? Who's calling the shots?


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: ard mhacha
Date: 13 May 04 - 03:20 AM

Jim McCallan, I see you concur with my postings, unlike Gareth who seems to lash out at anyone who disagrees with his version of events.
Can anyone believe now that the invasion was a good move?, quite simply it has been a disaster and can only get worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Ken the Gunner
Date: 13 May 04 - 05:24 AM

What a great Site, I discovered this a few days ago and it is an eye-opener.
Great debate, your BS is a good idea, and your music Threads are so informative.
My work takes me all over the main cities of the UK, regarding the fiery debate on this Thread, I can tell you that the war in Iraq has turned sour for almost everyone I have come into contact with on my daily round.

Tony Blair is not the flavour of the month even in Labour strongholds, and as for George Bush and the residents of the White House it is even worse.

I am a long time Labour man but if Tony Blair decides to lead the Party into the next election he won`t have my vote.

I can see the Labour Party losing a lot of votes if they carry on clinging to the tails of the Americans, better if Tony stood down and let someone like Brown lead the Party, that is the way I see it as this Iraqi business has left a once sound Party on the brink.


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Subject: RE: BS: American Soldiers Torturing Iraqis
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 13 May 04 - 11:56 AM

From earlier posting of mine in this thread:

"MGOH, earlier on in the thread, drew attention to the fact that the members of the US forces involved seemed untroubled about their ability to be indentified in the photographs published so far, whereas the "UK Soldiers" where a bit more circumspect about the possibility of identification. MGOH offered a possible explanation for this, there now appears to be another - that the photgraphs are faked."

It now appears to have been proven that the photographs depicting British soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner are indeed fake.


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