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 Post subject: War Crimes
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:21 pm 
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060602/ap_ ... NlYwN0bQ--

Now two well publicized incidents in which US troops are accused of executing innocent Iraqis in retaliation for attacks on their convoys... and that dog handler from Abu ghraib got sentanced... somehow the apparent response from Iraq sounds very measured, with calls for investigation, at least compared to the worldwide to-do over some cartoons found disrespectful by muslims. It's hard to train lethal troops and run a multi year war without something like this happening... and in the internet / embedded troops era its surely easier to hear about it... but what do people think will happen?

--blow over?
--lead to increasing violence in response?
--lead to increasing calls for us to get out?
--lead to trials conducted by the US... and what punishment?
--lead to trials in Iraq? Doubtful, but what would you request if you believed an Iraqi soldier had handcuffed then executed your family while supporting a fledgling government in the United States?

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 Post subject: Re: War Crimes
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:17 pm 
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IJ wrote:
--blow over?


Sadly I think this is the one. It'll either blow over or never even generate half the outrage it should. People are too complacent and there's all too many in this country who are ignorant enough to conflate all arabs/muslims with "those swarthy bastards who blew up the towers." That, and people became too polarized in the past two elections to reconsider their appraisals of the administration.

As discussed in other threads, people don't even care enough to speak out when their own liberty is taken away, what are the chances they're going to get off the couch to do something about our crimes against Iraqis?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:37 pm 
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Hard to generate much outrage when you also have this going on, and it's just a drop in the old blood bucket.

Quote:
A car bomb killed at least 28 people in Basra on Saturday and Sunni politicians accused his security forces of killing nine unarmed worshippers at a mosque hours later. Police said they were fired on from the mosque.

STUDENTS KILLED

Gunmen dragged 24 people, mostly teenage students, from vehicles and shot them dead in a small town north of Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:40 pm 
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Sad that someone could get a pass because some else is worse, eh? In theory, we're supposed to be better than this, and we hold ourselves up to that standard. The bombers advertise that they're merciless losers, so they're not exactly falling short of their claims.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:20 pm 
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Quote:
Sadly I think this is the one. It'll either blow over or never even generate half the outrage it should. People are too complacent and there's all too many in this country who are ignorant enough to conflate all arabs/muslims with "those swarthy bastards who blew up the towers." That, and people became too polarized in the past two elections to reconsider their appraisals of the administration.

As discussed in other threads, people don't even care enough to speak out when their own liberty is taken away, what are the chances they're going to get off the couch to do something about our crimes against Iraqis?
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Well spoken from the highly dangerous world of software development. The stress of combat cannot compare to the split second life and death decisions you must make.

Lets wait until all of the facts come out.

Rich

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:31 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:58 pm 
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Quote:
Well spoken from the highly dangerous world of software development. The stress of combat cannot compare to the split second life and death decisions you must make.


Main Entry: 1ad ho·mi·nem
Pronunciation: (')ad-'hä-m&-"nem, -n&m
Function: adjective
Etymology: New Latin, literally, to the person
1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
2 : marked by an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

(http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/ad%20hominem)

Quote:
Lets wait until all of the facts come out.


You're right that it in this instance, like any other, it's not right to condemn anyone in the court of public opinion before the facts are in. Perhaps nothing of the sort is happening. Then again, if nobody appears to care about the issue, then the facts will never see the light of day. There's no shortage of examples of the government trying to downplay and coverup military scandals. Especially with the advent of astroturfing it's important for the people that do care to speak up.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:41 pm 
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Quote:
2 : marked by an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made


Yes, that about sums it up.

Now, are you mourning the death of that poor freedom fighter Zarqawi at the hands of the Great Satan? News reports show Iraqis dancing in the street at the news. How insensitive of them.

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:35 pm 
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Quote:
Now, are you mourning the death of that poor freedom fighter Zarqawi at the hands of the Great Satan? News reports show Iraqis dancing in the street at the news. How insensitive of them.


To get back on topic, this style of argument is another contributing factor to people's complacency. It's a common tactic to exagerate the claims of your opponent in order to deter open conversation about a subject of this kind, and without discussion to increase awareness of these issues it's all too often left to the media to decide what people will know and care about.

By linking the idea of objecting to military abuses with celebrating a tyrant, this kind of argument demonizes not only the reasonable position it attacks (in this case, not wanting America to stand for murder), but also the people who hold such opinions. This makes it harder for people who are timid or on the fence about an issue to speak their mind, for fearing of being labelled a traitor, or a supporter of scoundrels.

What's sad is that this tactic is often succesful, even in a case like this where the argument is clearly preposterous, and even openly intended to sidestep the issue. Now these forums are relatively small and it's not like there's a massive audience forming their views based on its contents. But similar little dramas like this take place all over, and it's an unfortunate reality that people would rather keep silent despite their reservations about a subject than go to the trouble of confronting these kind of underhanded tactics.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:47 pm 
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Hello Justin.

I am not keeping quiet. You have no idea what I am doing. In fact I have a much better insight to the situation than you or most other people. My association with a certain organization enables me to get a candid view of what is happening. I will not say that my info is unbiased but it is much more thorough than what is portrayed by the somewhat left leaning and sensationalized media.

The problem that I have with you is that you are always looking to the dark side of issues. I truly feel sorry for those like you who are living in a world of coverups and conspiracies. The sun will come up tomorrow and life will go on. Smile. Be proud, feel good about being a citizen of the USA. There is so much upside to being an American than you seem to appreciate.

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:55 pm 
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RACastanet wrote:
I am not keeping quiet. You have no idea what I am doing.


My point is that attacking the person rather than the argument has no other obvious purpose than silencing them, since it doesn't do anything to make your side of things seem reasonable. If anything the fact that you're not keeping quiet means that anyone who cares about whether our military willfully kills civilians or tortures enemy combatants (remember that?) needs to speak that much louder. That is to say, the only opinion I've seen you voice seems to imply that people concerned with Iraqi lives are idiots or traitors. In person I've found you quite amiable and my impression from people who know you well is that you're a first-rate guy, but the philosophy you espouse here comes across as "me first and screw anyone not strong enough to stop me." Then again you think that I live in a sad world of gloom and doom which isn't the case either, so clearly there's some exageration of our positions (which is what always happens on the internet).

Quote:
In fact I have a much better insight to the situation than you or most other people. My association with a certain organization enables me to get a candid view of what is happening.


I would argue that nobody who isn't actually over there deeply involved has a truly "candid" view. You certainly have access to more information than most people (myself included, of course), but as you say, that information is biased (mine is too).

Quote:
The problem that I have with you is that you are always looking to the dark side of issues.


Well, it's too bad that I come across that way to you. I think part of that is just the nature of the medium. For example, in person I've found you to be friendly and easygoing, but here you come across quite differently...

Quote:
I truly feel sorry for those like you who are living in a world of coverups and conspiracies.


Well, then it should relieve you to know that I don't live in a world consumed by coverups and conspiracies. But certainly there are some, or at least attempts. It's just a historical fact that governments try to cover up their mistakes. And it just doesn't make any sense to think that those days are all behind us. I especially don't trust this administration, and not just because they do things I don't like (faith-based initiative, Alaskan oilfest), but because they're proven liars and they've shown a total disregard for civil liberties. That means I'm more inclined to suspect conspiracy and concealment than I would be otherwise.

Quote:
There is so much upside to being an American than you seem to appreciate.


Hey, all things considered I know that I'm incredibly fortunate to be born here. But that doesn't mean America is perfect, nor that I want to see its reputation besmirched because a few of our soldiers get their jollies murdering and torturing people. And I think the more we try to pretend like everything is hunky-dory, the worse it is for us.

From my perspective, it appears that you think America can do no wrong and that every soldier schits gold.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:43 pm 
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Quote:
That is to say, the only opinion I've seen you voice seems to imply that people concerned with Iraqi lives are idiots or traitors.


No, that is not correct. But, I put America and Americans first.

Anyone who has volunteered to serve and put their lives at risk is a great Amercan, whatever they poop.

By the way, have we met at one of GEM's camps?

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:47 pm 
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Quote:
No, that is not correct. But, I put America and Americans first.


I guess I just don't see what makes an American life intrinsically more valuable than any other life. Some Americans are better than some non-Americans, and some non-Americans are better than some Americans. Is it just a matter of principle? If you were born in Canada, would you stilll put Americans first, or would it be Canadians? If not, then are you saying Americans actually are better people in some semi-objective way?

I just can't stomach the conceit that I'm such a totally magnificent person that it's safe to assume anyone who shares my geopolitical region is improved just by virtue of their proximity to me.

Quote:
Anyone who has volunteered to serve and put their lives at risk is a great Amercan, whatever they poop.


I just can't agree here. There's no way I'm going to call James Allen Selby (veteran and serial rapist) a great American. Also people have good and bad reasons for wanting to enlist. Just as a few police take the job because they like the power and authority, there are a few soldiers who enlist because they want to shoot people legally. That reflects poorly on the rest who have honorable intentions, but it still means that not everyone in the army is a great American.

Quote:
By the way, have we met at one of GEM's camps?


Yes, though not formally, and before we ever interacted online. We worked together on drills in a seminar or two I think, but I don't really remember, since I didn't know who you were at the time. I would've been some random white or green belt to you. It was probably 3 or 4 years ago, maybe even 5 at this point.

Only comparatively recently (in the past year) did I realize I've met you, after seeing a picture with your name associated.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:47 pm 
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Quote:
Anyone who has volunteered to serve and put their lives at risk is a great Amercan, whatever they poop.


Including John Kerry, Rich?

Gene


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:52 am 
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Hello Gene. How are you doing?

Quote:
Including John Kerry, Rich?


Yes. I may not like him but he did serve.

Quote:
I just can't stomach the conceit that I'm such a totally magnificent person that it's safe to assume anyone who shares my geopolitical region is improved just by virtue of their proximity to me.


In your case I am in agreement.

But I believe you need to stand for your country. If you do not feel some twinge of nationalism I say shame on you. If I were Canadian I'd feel that way about Canada I am certain. Look at all the people clamoring to get into America to share the wealth. How many people are risking everything to get into Iran? North Korea? Venezuala? Somalia?

Here is some conceit for you... people feel safer when I am around. kind of like the sheep dog among sheep. It is a good feeling to have people enjoy my presence.

The US is like that. When disaster hits countries like Indonesia the people expect us to move in and help. When we do we get criticized by the worthless UN for not helping enough.

The first major relief on site last month after the earthquake was a Marine Amphib ship full of supplies and Marines to unload and deliver them. They are using precious copters helping Muslims with supplies from Navy/Marine Corps propositioned supply ships. See any Russian or French or Iranian or South American or Saudi ships rushing to the rescue? I think not. It makes me proud to be an American!

Quote:
there are a few soldiers who enlist because they want to shoot people legally.


I definitely am interested in how you will substantiate this statement. What are your sources?

Back to you....

Rich

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