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A Disturbing View of Our Troops

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posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 03:57 AM
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'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?':

Interviews with US veterans show for the first time the pattern of brutality in Iraq

It is an axiom of American political life that the actions of the US military are beyond criticism. Democrats and Republicans praise the men and women in uniform at every turn. Apart from the odd bad apple at Abu Ghraib, the US military in Iraq is deemed to be doing a heroic job under trying circumstances.

That perception will take a severe knock today with the publication in The Nation magazine of a series of in-depth interviews with 50 combat veterans of the Iraq war from across the US. In the interviews, veterans have described acts of violence in which US forces have abused or killed Iraqi men, women and children with impunity.

The report steers clear of widely reported atrocities, such as the massacre in Haditha in 2005, but instead unearths a pattern of human rights abuses. "It's not individual atrocity," Specialist Garett Reppenhagen, a sniper from the 263rd Armour Battalion, said. "It's the fact that the entire war is an atrocity."

More...



:shk:

This is one of the most disturbing articles I've read in a long time...



I could rant, but really what needs to be said?

This a failure of leadership...from the very top, down.


What a mess....

:shk:

[edit on 13-7-2007 by loam]




posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 06:29 AM
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If you think this is the first war where one side tried to dehumanize their enemy and justify the killings of POWs/civilians/etc then you are quite mistaken.

It happened ALOT in Vietnam, No Gun Ri in Korea where the 7th Cavalry planted weapons on Korean civilians, etc and mass executions of POWs were very common in WW2 especially on the Eastern Front although they did occur in the West (ex. Malmady Massacre, the killings of German POWs in Italy and the Battle of the Bulge, etc).


CX

posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 07:54 AM
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Not a nice read at all.

As an ex soldier myself who knows how hard it can be entering civvy street after a not so nice tour, i do find myself wondering what on earth is in store for these sort of soldiers when they eventualy leave the forces and return to the US?

When sickening behaviour like his becomes second nature and routine, it becomes a habit that is difficult to break.

This will be carried on towards family, friends and anyone else who gets on the wrong side of them whan they return.

Luckily this does not reflect the actions of the entire force over there. In every army there is always the odd few who try and excalate thier gung-ho image to unprecidented levels, it's almost a status symbol in some units.

Like i said though, sad that it's happening in Iraq, sad that they'll bring this home with them.

CX.

[edit on 13/7/07 by CX]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by CX
Luckily this does not reflect the actions of the entire force over there. In every army there is always the odd few who try and excalate thier gung-ho image to unprecidented levels, it's almost a status symbol in some units.


Yes, but let's not underestimate the damage those few create for us.

Like I said, this is the failure of leadership...on the ground and at home.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 10:29 AM
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Sad indeed.

War is meant to kill an enemy. It is not natural for humans to kill humans. If one is to survive as a soldier and must kill as part of his/her job, then one must be trained to kill, which involves dehumanizing the enemy, calling them monsters or funny names. One occasion for non-soldiers as well as soldiers to kill is in self defense or the defense of another human life, when confronted with immediate threat to life; witness what a mother would do to protect her offspring. An ex from the source

"The mentality of my squad leader was like, 'Oh, we have to kill them over here so I don't have to kill them back in Colorado',"

This soldier believed his loved ones would be directly harmed.

However, killing on a battlefield is different then another mission of a soldier, fighting an insurgency. Tactics for a military battle are different than for a counterinsurgency. To his credit, General Petraeus, who is taking on the current "surge" in Baghdad, recognized that the military fighting had stopped and it was time for his troops to wage a counterinsurgency. General Mattis also knew this, as well as some other commanders. However, not all generals or commanders fought a counterinsurgency war after the Mission Accomplished.

In a counterinsurgency the people are not the enemy. You want to get the people to support you, the soldier, so you can get the enemy in their midst. You want to make the people be on your side, to see that it is in their best interest to help you. You don't do this by dehumanizing the people, by putting a rifle butt to faces, by insulting them (by words or actions), by destroying their houses, their livelihood.

Once the killing starts, can it be stopped? Can this dehumanizing be "turned off"? With correct practice, yes.

Now, what about for the soldier who returns home? You can never wipe away the memory of war. Killing or being close to being killed has a lasting effect. Such is war. Such is why a leader, a population, must use force in a wise manner.
Or, if they are not wise, then they must convince the population that war is in their best interest, i.e. you'll be killed by a mushroom cloud, if we don't fight them there,they'll attack you here. Sad. Truly sad.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:09 PM
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Originally posted by loam
...from the very top, down.


It's widespread complicity, everyone is a little guilty for letting it happen with almost no resistance, save for the sophistry-porn of the internet.

The people who are actually out there doing their job are simply caught up in the dehumanization and madness of war; the rest of us are mostly complacent with our spoon-fed - stay-the-course, us vs them propaganda.

This isn't a war on terror, it's a War OF Terror.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by shanti23
This isn't a war on terror, it's a War OF Terror.


Sadly, while I do not believe that the goal, you are right in its practical effects.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:22 PM
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War is hell man and a turret mounted 50 cal. Browning is not a hood ornament. Soldiers are doing what they're trained to do. Kill things. Making them policemen is the real mistake.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by Captain Obvious
Making them policemen is the real mistake.


I agree 100%.



[edit on 13-7-2007 by loam]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by Captain Obvious
Soldiers are doing what they're trained to do. Kill things.

And I thought the People living in Iraq are HUMAN.

But I guess for you (and some soldiers) - they are things to kill.

Pentagon: U.S. troops shot 429 Iraqi civilians at checkpoints

Winning Hearts and Minds.

The Cowboy way.




posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:29 PM
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Souljah,

I think you missed Captain Obvious' point.

He's not advocating what you are suggesting.

[edit on 13-7-2007 by loam]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:36 PM
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Why let a valid point get in the way of an agenda? The Major salutes his mutton chopped colleague for pointing out the obvious in his namesake fashion. The problem is that the Iraqi's are incapable of policing their country themselves, and are dependent on this great nation's finest to provide that service.

Perhaps Souljah's country would be willing to fill the void and bring peace and tranquility to this troubled land. The Major bets he would prefer that Iran provide that infrastructure.

Dismissed.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 02:43 PM
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What I don't like about the way you presented this is that you made it look as if ALL or the majority of the troops had these types of ideas or behaviors, when in fact they only quote a few of them. That article itself had soldiers who disagreed with such crude actions as well. This is blatant propaganda against our troops...and to think these types of soldiers only exist in the U.S. army is laughable. I think our military does a fair job at filtering out the morons, but you can't always get all of them.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 03:51 PM
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Bah.... Why bother? It's just more liberal tripe.... Think what you want.


[edit on 13-7-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]

[edit on 13-7-2007 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
Bah.... Why bother? It's just more liberal tripe.... Think what you want.



Ya know, if this Administration had actually paid more attention to some of these things, when they had the chance, we might not be in this situation.

Believe all you want, but weak leadership led to a proliferation of these problems.

This isn't a partisan issue. It's a MANAGEMENT problem.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 04:48 PM
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While I don't deny that there is certainly a grain of truth to the article, one has to keep in mind that the "report" was originally put together by "The Nation" magazine, an indie magazine who in their own words, is "beloved for its music coverage and antiwar* politics". (*my emphasis)

You can read the actual Nation article here

Further, the author Chris Hedges has been an outspoken critic of the war since before hostilities ever commenced. Thus, I don't doubt that SOME soldiers do feel this way, and have expressed those views, but I also don't doubt that Mr. Hedges either specifically sought out soldiers who think that way, or simply didn't report on the ones who truly care about the civillians in Iraq, and who honestly believe that they are there to give them a better life.

I would also be willing to bet that other reporters such as Michael Yon at Michael Yon Online could find 50 soldiers who care deeply about the Iraqi people and their freedom just as easily.

-Cypher



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 05:18 PM
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Cypher

I have no doubt regarding any of your points.

However, it shouldn't be that easy to drum up so many 'participants' willing to tell their story in the first place. Get it?

I'm not blaming the troops, (most of them are young kids), I'm blaming the leadership.

The sooner we address that incompetency, the sooner such stories will be placed into their proper perspective.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 05:28 PM
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There was another thread on this article yesterday, I will basically wait and see before I pass judgement. I have to wonder how many fake veterans are in the interview group.

While stories like these get most of the coverage you wont find stories about US medics and doctors trying to help the local populace and you wond find any stories about US engineers trying to fix things like the electrical grid.

Are there bad eggs in the US forces? Undoubtedly yes and while stories of the bad do need to come to the view of the public it would be nice if the media would also show some of the good that a great many are trying to do.

Is there a lack of leadership in the US military I think there is while the gung ho attitude works well during combat operations, it rather doesnt work as well during Policing operations which most Troops arent trained to do initially.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by DarkStormCrow
Is there a lack of leadership in the US military I think there is while the gung ho attitude works well during combat operations, it rather doesnt work as well during Policing operations which most Troops arent trained to do initially.


Solve that problem and you would have far less of these types of articles.



posted on Jul, 13 2007 @ 05:42 PM
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From my friends experiences of Iraq:

A british marine, he told me many a time that the americans were almost always responsible for causing and creating animosity towards the peace keeping troops that were over there.... when he was teamed up with the americans, they kept showing high degree's of immaturity and they almost always considered civilian Iraqi's as being 'terrorists' and created high degree's of paranoia amongst british troops.

Made the job a lot harder...




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