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Can US soldiers (even US citizens) still imagine they're on the 'good side'?

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posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Are we so good if we enable it for self-serving purposes? Or look the other way out of convenience? Or are we simply the lesser or two evils?




posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:34 AM
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a reply to: kosmicjack




Are we so good if we enable it for self-serving purposes? Or look the other way out of convenience? Or are we simply the lesser or two evils?


I am looking at who is doing the reprehensible act of raping children. From where I stand, it appears that it is a part of Afghan culture to sexually assault little boys. Yes, the superiors are turning a blind eye to the culture, and forcing the soldiers who have to witness it to do the same.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:35 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope

The Taliban was against the rape of boys. Are they morally superior to the US army?


Sadly, that may be.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:36 AM
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a reply to: VP740




Sadly, that may be.


I shouldn't have asked.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: kosmicjack

You are missing my point. The thing is that ALL sides have forces that are viewed as bad and forces that are viewed as good. Everything about good and evil is subjective.

The premise of the OP is that because US soldiers cannot interfere with child rape in Afghanistan, that suddenly makes us bad guys. Well first off, who are the good guys in this situation if that is the case? And that is my point. War is horrific. Awful things happen during war. They always have. The whole IDEA of war is just sick. Humans slaughtering each other en masse over petty reasons, and we have the AUDACITY to say that any side is on the side of good? Lol.

Such and such side is raping people? Well so what about the massive rape culture in the US military? Such and such side is performing ethnic cleansing? Well it's not like bigotry is non-existent anywhere else. Mad that a country has slavery? Well slavery exists in every country in the world.

Even defending your country from invaders doesn't necessarily make you on the side of good.

PS: I'm not a dualist. I don't believe in good or evil. There is nothing narcissistic about it. It is an opinion that I've come to based on researching and analyzing human behaviors throughout history. It's a little offensive that you don't want to take my opinion seriously.
edit on 22-9-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Do you mean illusion like hot or cold? An Eskimo may go out one day and say it's warm, while a Texan goes into much warmer weather and says it's cold; but if you say the concept is illusionary it implies you can't get heat stroke or frostbite, which isn't true.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:48 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

PS: I'm not a dualist. I don't believe in good or evil. There is nothing narcissistic about it. It is an opinion that I've come to based on researching and analyzing human behaviors throughout history. It's a little offensive that you don't want to take my opinion seriously.


You have a right to your opinion. I have a right to disagree.

Somethings are very simple and don't need over-thinking or relativism. Given enough time and motivation, anything can be justified but that doesn't necessarily make it good.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: VP740

You are mixing "subjective" up with "illusionary". Hot and cold are subjective terms. They aren't illusionary since humans have to live within a very narrow temperature range and going too far in either direction (hot or cold) will kill us. Plus they can be used comparatively. For instance, the surface of the sun is colder than the sun's corona. It makes no sense to say that Adam is more good than Jesse. We cannot know every thought or action that either Adam or Jesse have had or done or even the circumstances that led to them. Then, if Adam or Jesse live in different parts of the world from each other, they will likely have wildly different sets of morals.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

While I agree with your implied assessment that it's absolutely morally, ethically and (IMO) legally wrong for the military to allow this stuff to happen on our bases, either here locally or abroad, I think your assessment of the individual Soldier is asinine.

It's apparent that you have no idea how the military works, how an obligation to obey orders--even orders that you disagree with or don't understand why they're given--must be done if they have been proven to be legal, and that how, if you obey these orders, that doesn't mean that you've sold your soul to the government.

The problem here (at least with your view on Service Members) is that you are apparently incapable of separating personal belief from professional actions. You seem to be latching on to the Kim Davis Argument--If you disagree with something that you must do for your job because of deeply held beliefs, you can just refrain from doing it. That's not reality, and that's not the real world.

Believe it or not, as abhorrent as the actions taken by these Afghani men are, we are not the moral police of the entire world. We shouldn't even be over there to begin with, IMO, and if we weren't, I bet you wouldn't even have created a post on the sexual abuse of boys by Afghani men.

So, here's the deal--don't paint all Service Members with a broad brush when they must do something that you (and, mostly likely, they) disagree with. It's part of what makes being a Service Member something that, currently, less that 1.5 million people in a nation of nearly 320 million, so hard to do. There's no expectation in the military that all citizens are capable or willing to do what has to be done for the bigger goal (again, I fail to understand what the current "bigger goal" is in Afghanistan).

Hell, I'm lucky that when I served it was during relative peace time (pre-9/11, barely...it occurred after my ETS paperwork was already signed and approved, but I served through May 2002) and I never had to deploy to areas like this and have to obey orders like this--I'm not sure that I could, to be honest. But for you to sit there and have typed out this OP in judgment of EVERY U.S. Service Member based on orders that they must follow that were derived by very few higher up (and you know Obama knows about it) shows a misunderstanding of the entire structure of the military and how it works.

You don't sell either your body or soul to the government when you willingly sign on the dotted line, you are willingly writing the government a blank check that includes payment up to and including your life in order to defend the nation and the constitution. I fully agree that our military has lost sight of why it exists and what its true purpose is, but you cannot condemn all Service Members in the way that you have because you disagree with some of the orders given or reasons why we are places. The military as a whole...sure, go ahead, but not every individual that comprises the whole, because most are just pawns who are not allowed to make the types of decisions that you are decrying.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
Somethings are very simple and don't need over-thinking or relativism. Given enough time and motivation, anything can be justified but that doesn't necessarily make it good.


I highly doubt that this is EVER the case. I have yet to interact with a single thing in my life that was "very simple". The universe is EXTREMELY complex. So complex, that we can't even possibly GUESS about how things really are. Pretending things can be distilled down to a simple idea of black or white requires confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance.

You make a point about how given enough time and motivation anything can be justified and that is what I'm getting at. You cannot extrapolate your idea of good to everyone else. Someone else will look at a situation you find reprehensible and find nothing wrong with it. You can call them wrong, evil, bad, etc; but from that person's point of view, HE is the good one and his actions are needed to accomplish his goals.


edit on 22-9-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 10:00 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: VP740

You are mixing "subjective" up with "illusionary".


Isn't your original post in thread doing the very same thing? Or at least trying to make something subjective when it's actually, definitively horrible?
edit on 9/22/2015 by kosmicjack because: clearer wording



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 10:06 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
Well so what about the massive rape culture in the US military?


Take stories and reports like this with a grain of salt.

I worked as a paralegal in the JAG Corps, and we prosecuted quite a few rape cases while I was in (and I helped defend a few, too, when I worked in Trial Defense Services, but mostly worked with prosecution), and I'll tell you that just because a rape case is reported, that doesn't mean the rape happened. Furthermore, even when cases would go to trial, I would argue that less than half would end in conviction, and of those that didn't, very few were a surprise that they weren't convicted (i.e.: terrible witnesses, stories getting changed, no real evidence to support loose claims, many proven to be accusations to cover up extra-marital affairs, etc.).

All I'm saying is that you should not rely on either the number of reported cases to form a view of actual rapes that occur in the military, and you certainly shouldn't base an opinion by using estimated numbers, either. While this claim may not be statistically spot on, I could intelligently argue that for every rape that occurs in the military, there are probably 4-5 claims of rape that are not factual.

And what's really sad is that, even when accusation aren't taken to trial, and those that are don't receive a conviction, the personal life and the career of the accused is generally put in jeopardy just because of the accusation.

But I'll tell you, nothing makes your blood boil more than when you are sitting in court listening to the testimony of someone who was actually raped--the best prosecutor with whom I worked was a 6'4" former field artillery company commander who played linebacker on West Point's football team, and after the few convictions that he got on rape trials, it was pretty much all that he could do to refrain from beating the hell out of the rapist before they shackled him up and took him to Mannheim (this was over in Germany).



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 10:15 AM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: VP740

You are mixing "subjective" up with "illusionary".


Isn't your original post in thread doing the very same thing? Or at least trying to make something definitively horrible instead subjective?


No. Not in the slightest. Though before I continue, please stop trying to suggest that I'm defending rapists. MY morals happen to disagree vehemently with rape, so just because I'm taking this position doesn't mean that I happen to agree with what is going on in Afghanistan.

But the idea of rape being bad IS subjective. Yes, just about every culture has come to the same conclusion that it should be bad, but that didn't use to be the case. Heck part of the Viking stereotype that has persisted in Hollywood has always been that they like to raid coastal towns and rape and pillage, and they celebrate this fact. Heck, the stereotype (I'm not bothering to look up if it is true or not right now so I'm going to stick with that word) is so pervasive that jokes are made about it.

Another example. Prison rape. What's one of the first things someone says when he hears that someone else is going to jail? "Don't drop the soap." It's a joke, but you are making a joke about a man getting raped. Another thing that we have accepted as a sort of criminal justice is that we are satisfied that convicted rapists tend to go to prison and get singled out to be raped themselves. Again, this is us, Americans, being ok with someone being raped. WE are justifying something that we have all agreed is reprehensible.

Next point, let's swing back to something I said earlier in the thread. The rape culture in the military. We are sitting here complaining that soldiers aren't allowed to do anything as they witness these rapes overseas by Afghanis, yet we are doing next to NOTHING to combat the pervasive rape and cover ups of those rapes within our own military.

This is why I say there are no good guys. We ALL have skeletons in our closet, or have at times overlooked or justified something that we consider to be morally awful. By that same token, there are no bad guys, because bad cannot exist without good.

The point is that at any given time someone could be good then the next day be bad then good then bad. You can, at the most, only judge the person's actions. But then again, we all have reasons why we'd go against our morals (any moral), so even then we can't be consistent.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 10:29 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I'll reply more in-depth later because I'm doing a few things at once and have to go shortly but I really want to pick that apart before I break my computer. lol!



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

These are the statistics that worry me:


If you serve in the U.S. military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member, chances are you won't be punished. In fact, you have an estimated 86.5% chance of keeping your crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding a court-martial. (source)


Stories like this (same source):


In 2006, when Marine Lt. Elle Helmer reported to her commander that a superior officer assaulted and raped her the night before, her colonel discouraged her from obtaining a rape kit. In spite of his objections, she sought a thorough medical investigation.

Helmer appealed to her rapist's supervisor, who still refused to press charges or significantly punish the assailant. He said, "You're from Colorado -- you're tough. You need to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. ... I can't babysit you all of the time."


Now, while I was in the Army, I was in an all male battery. So there wasn't much male-to-female interaction going on within our unit. Plus the base I was stationed on (Ft. Sill) has a very lopsided male-to-female ratio. So I cannot attest to these statistics' validity, but from what I remember from when this controversy broke. It was very troubling and I don't think enough was done to fix it.

But even IF the issue isn't as bad as the news made it out to seem. There still exists that fact that situations like the story I posted above ARE happening, and because of how the chain of command works in the military it is easier to get away with it.

This is why I said to someone else that labeling a side as "good" or "bad" requires cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. You have to ignore the things that clearly conflict with the narrative you are trying to paint. "Well we are the good guys because we are trying to stop foreigners from raping people when we come across them while deployed." Well yea, but you are then ignoring your own skeletons in the closet to make that proclamation.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 11:15 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: kosmicjack




Are we so good if we enable it for self-serving purposes? Or look the other way out of convenience? Or are we simply the lesser or two evils?


I am looking at who is doing the reprehensible act of raping children. From where I stand, it appears that it is a part of Afghan culture to sexually assault little boys. Yes, the superiors are turning a blind eye to the culture, and forcing the soldiers who have to witness it to do the same.


You seem to be doing your best to minimise this, which is pretty weird IMO.

You said turned a blind eye... like seeing a rape happening an alley and walking past...

What the US did was invite rapists into your house, rape children in the room next door, and threaten to punish you if you didn't keep your mouth shut.

For some reason it makes you personally feel better for this to be all about, "them," but it was also a lot about us.

If you want to know how, especially, before 2001, this had been largely stamped out, by the flippin' Taliban.. but once the US came in, it came back with a vengeance...

So you were safer, as a child, under the Taliban, then under the US... under the US, the elite could take you to their military base and rape you, and no one would help.

When you don't compare favourably to the Taliban, you're part of the problem...
edit on 22-9-2015 by CTRTCTRT because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: CTRTCTRT

Who was raping the children? In what culture is the raping of children allowed? In whose country is the US military in? Are you suggesting the US military impose its morality upon the locals?

Comparing the US military to the Taliban, a theocratic fundamentalist polity, is a vast stretch of the imagination.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: CTRTCTRT

Who was raping the children? In what culture is the raping of children allowed? In whose country is the US military in? Are you suggesting the US military impose its morality upon the locals?

Comparing the US military to the Taliban, a theocratic fundamentalist polity, is a vast stretch of the imagination.


It's obviously allowed in BOTH afghan culture AND US military culture.

And I didn't compare the Taliban to the US military, the media did when it discovered that kids were safer under the Taliban... The DOD also did in their report.

So... again... I know you want to minimise this and make this about anyone other than the US, but that's literally impossible.. we gave them the Afghanis rape rooms on our bases, and punished soldiers who protested about the rape rooms... and all the while our troops stood by and listen to kids being raped and by and large did nothing...

The military is VERY explicit that not doing something right is just as bad as doing something wrong; not protecting children who are being raped in front of you, on your base, is at the very least not doing something right.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 12:04 PM
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BTW: the claims on here - used to minimise the ability of US troops to respond to this - that this isn't illegal in Afghanistan are untrue.

www.theguardian.com...



Assistant Ambassador Mussomeli discussed a range of issues with Minister of Interior (MoI) Hanif Atmar on June 23. On the Kunduz Regional Training Center (RTC) DynCorp event of April 11 (reftel), Atmar reiterated his insistence that the U.S. try to quash any news article on the incident or circulation of a video connected with it. He continued to predict that publicity would "endanger lives." He disclosed that he has arrested two Afghan police and nine other Afghans as part of an MoI investigation into Afghans who facilitated this crime of "purchasing a service from a child."


So on one hand, back in 2009, we have the Afghans arresting people for raping boys, and on the other we have the US military facilitating it on US military bases....

Sounds to me like the US may have been allowing it to happen as a form of a bribe...

At any rate, half of the crappy arguments on these threads are now moot... it was illegal in Afghanistan, so US troops were conspiring to break Afghan law.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 12:05 PM
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a reply to: CTRTCTRT

I know you want to say the US military has a hand in these crimes, but how many US military personnel have raped little boys?







 
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