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Troops fail to understand rules of war

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posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by forestlady

It's how we are training our soldiers now that is the problem. That, and the fact that our soldiers can't distinguish the "good" guys from the "bad" guys in Iraq. How are they supposed to tell the difference between them? It all comes down to the fact that we shouldn't even be in Iraq in the first place. We toppled Saddam, now it's time to leave, they don't want us there.

It starts at the top, if they aren't enforcing the Geneva Convention rules, nor even teaching them, how are the soldiers supposed to know the rules of war?



Ok I'm sorry but you are totally ignorant to the quality of training our military gets and to how exceptionally well they perform under the conditions they are in. It is leaps and bounds better to what was in Vietnam or even Desert Storm. 22 incidences is not a lack in training.




posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
As far as being "snippy," my point about the rules of war is that they must be simple enough, and enforced enough, that the average soldier knows what the limit is, and is afraid of transgressing it.

To press the analogy of civilians who exceed the speed limit: They do this because the rules are contradictary, a detriment to getting work done, and unevenly enforced, and are seen as inherently unfair.

maybe that's a problem with the currrent rules of engagement.


well i apologize for the snippy comment. it was uncalled for.

i guess the simplest way of trying to express what im saying is that sometimes the rules of war can be clouded by the fog of war and that not every mistake is a war crime. no matter how much the media wants it to be.



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by Bunch
Look, im not as narrow minded as you think I am. I know where you coming from and I respect your view . All im saying is that me personally I will not kill an unarmed person, use my position of authority to denigrate a human being as in Abu-Ghraib, I will not use my position to rape and murder a 14 year old girl and kill her familiy in the process.



Its easy to see how the enemy makes you believe they are unarmed when attacking you with IEDs or grenades long after they used the weapons against you.



How do you kill a man who is now unarmed long after eh? I kill him, I look like a murderer because he is unarmed.



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 04:57 PM
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great post Delta....they had on NO uniform, carrying NO weapons (well in the traditional sence), Are not a CLEAR threat but yet are NOT following the RULES of conventinal warfare.....SOOOOOO by most peoples standards in the US...these men are NOT enemy soldiers, they are NOT to be shot, and NOT even looked it. Because then we are the big bad bully just being cowboys, or BREAKING THE RULES...yet...they do what you saw in the video with IED's.

Had a soldier shot those 3 men before they threw the IED's and that video were taken from our side at a different angle...guess what....MEDIA screams murder, IRAQI'S scream murder, worst yet AMERICANS scream murder.....you and I and everyone on here knows it!

[edit on 5/9/07 by shadow_soldier1975]



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 05:02 PM
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This is not the type of event that was posted. The OP was talking about war crimes and the rules of war that are not being followed in some cases. Rules of engagement allow for collateral damage and errors, or at least properly written ones do. Three guys throwing explosives at a Humvee and running off should be shot at and hopefully hit. They attacked and are now fully within the catagory of combatant.
There are mistakes made during war. That is why war is hell. It is both a physical and psychological hell for the men fighting. There is no question about that. But there is a large difference between shooting an unarmed civilian during a crossfire and shooting him for revenge because someone bombed your buddies Humvee.
If civilians die because you threw a grenade in a window that someone was shooting from, that is tragic. But it is also what happens in war. People die, and not always the right people. But it is not a criminal act. You followed the rules and bad things happened.
But if you torture and kill a prisoner then you are a criminal. If you kill civilians for revenge or expedience, you are a criminal. If you don't watch where you are firing and strafe a group of civilians, you are a criminal.
Being in a war zone doesn't give you the right to kill indiscriminately.



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by Xtrozero

Originally posted by forestlady

It's how we are training our soldiers now that is the problem. That, and the fact that our soldiers can't distinguish the "good" guys from the "bad" guys in Iraq. How are they supposed to tell the difference between them? It all comes down to the fact that we shouldn't even be in Iraq in the first place. We toppled Saddam, now it's time to leave, they don't want us there.

It starts at the top, if they aren't enforcing the Geneva Convention rules, nor even teaching them, how are the soldiers supposed to know the rules of war?



Ok I'm sorry but you are totally ignorant to the quality of training our military gets and to how exceptionally well they perform under the conditions they are in. It is leaps and bounds better to what was in Vietnam or even Desert Storm. 22 incidences is not a lack in training.


Reread my post. I didn't talk about quality of training, did I? I was talking about knowing the rules of the Geneva Convention.
Besides that, the Iraq war has far more atrocities by our side than we did in Vietnam. We have Abu Ghraib and numerous reports, beyond counting, of our soldiers shooting civilians either for fum, or for revenge.
Could you at least post something factual to support your point? All you've done is tell me I'm ignorant, but you haven't given me any sources or told us of personal experiences that back up your opinion. That means it's just your opinion. I knew many, many soldiers who went to Vietnam and I am old enough to remember Vietnam very well. I'm curious, are you? And did you see the commanding officer being interviewed on 60 Minutes?



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 06:09 PM
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ANY interview by ANY commanding officer cannot be a good source of information. Commanders do not deal with the in's and out's of War...they deal with the X's and O's from miles away. I have NEVER seen ANY commander anywhere near our units in combat. Thats why we have radio's...so commanders can bark out redicilous orders without even knowing what is going on.

Look the bottom line is this....this WAR is not Vietnam, its not WWII, it's unlike ANYTHING we have ever fought. And your asking it to be faught by kids....so understand things are going to happen that we wish wouldn't but in the grand scheme of things ANY non veteran should NEVER have the right to judge anyone in a combat zone...EVER! Again, if there is a WAR crime, let those who are there and can see EXACTLY what happened figure it out...not some s***stain reporter and definitly not some armchair quarterback who hasn't a clue!

Do we tell NASA how to build the space shuttle?
Do we tell our machanics how to fix our cars?
Do we tell chefs of to make the food we eat?

NO...why...because those are things we don't know enough about or aren't willing to do...so we rely on others and let them do what they do best....SAME THING HERE....

[edit on 5/9/07 by shadow_soldier1975]



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by shadow_soldier1975
 



Shadow, the commander himself said that he shot a number of men in the back as they were running away, and that they had no weapons of any kind. It was his first mission as a commander. He was right there with his men when all this happened, it isn't as if he had no idea what was happening.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 09:52 AM
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I guess all those people overseas gettting killed from other conutries as well as ours are being ablidged to the Rules of War. Especially the ones that get mailed back in a crate .... Without thier head. We should have flat bombed the whole country ... Told all of them to get out and numbered them gave them 1 - 1,000,000 who cares. At least that way you can keep up with them.
At least that way the ones that were trying to hide out would not be hiding out and this underground system of thiers would have been shattered. Then we could have spent this 5 billion dollars that we haev spent on other stupid things on re builinding thier city.


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Originally posted by slackerwire
I always laugh when I hear the therm "rules of war". Anyone who actually thinks there are rules in a combat zone has obviously never been in one.


I've been in a combat zone as an unarmed civilian(!) And there are all kinds of rules of war. From "rules of engagement," to how to classify P.O.W.'s and civilians according to their intel value.


Combat is not just a mosh pit in a sporting goods store.




Rules are a way of courting "world opinion" and trying to gain the moral high ground. But that's not their true purpose. In Sun Tzu's Art of War, first and most important of the "5 factors" that begin that work is usually translated as "doctrine." If you read the chapter on doctrine, you'll see that what is meant by doctrine are the two classics:

1) "Why we fight" - the rationale for going to war

2) "How we fight" - the list of goals and methods for achieving victory.



It's deplorable that Bush never gave a 10-minute or less speech at the UN outlining these two points. That's all it would have taken, and world opinion would still be on the side of the coalition.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by forestlady
Shadow, the commander himself said that he shot a number of men in the back as they were running away, and that they had no weapons of any kind.


I resent the fact that these incidents are being used to castigate the AMerican forces as a whole. The friends and relatives that I know in Iraq don't tolerate a rapist or thief or murderer there any more than they would here.


Originally posted by forestladyIt was his first mission as a commander. He was right there with his men when all this happened, it isn't as if he had no idea what was happening.


Right, so maybe, just maybe, he was scared and overwhelmed and stressed out, huh? Maybe he did make a mistake - but does that make him a "War Criminal". Read the posts of those that have been there. I've never been in combat, but I know what it's like when someone attacks you in strange surroundings. Calm rationality and reasoning don't come into play until well after the fact. That's the way you're looking at it. Monday-Morning Quarterbacks don't do - they just talk.




[edit on 6-9-2007 by passenger]



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:48 PM
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unless he was telling that story from a jail cell NO soldier, let alone a commander (unless their complete morons) would openly admit that! Sounds like he was probably a support commander looking for 15 min of fame.....who knows though...the mentality of some of these guys is WAY out there these days...so maybe he is that stupid....


Understand I was light Infantry then spend almost 6 years with the 1st Ranger Battalion...and NONE..I mean NONE of our commanders were to be seen. I had one captain in kosovo go on a patrol with us. We became engaged for about a 5 minute skirmish and the next thing we know, he says he is needed back at the CP!!!!! Commanders are like coaches...they don't really do alot, it just appears that way...while the players bust their hump and pay the price...but when the players earn the championship, that coach is right there to get his! And in recent years commanders are putting themselves in for medals and commendations left and right....its sad!

Anyway....my original point is...these are kids in a deadly game of chess....under that stress, losing control is VERY easy!



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 11:18 PM
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Originally posted by forestlady

Reread my post. I didn't talk about quality of training, did I? I was talking about knowing the rules of the Geneva Convention.


That is all part of their training and they get huge amounts of rules of engagement, general orders, Geneva Convention training much more than anything in the pasts.



Besides that, the Iraq war has far more atrocities by our side than we did in Vietnam. We have Abu Ghraib and numerous reports, beyond counting, of our soldiers shooting civilians either for fum, or for revenge.


22 are not far more, and Abu Ghraib was a joke. I would like to see your “beyond counting” proof for they are few and far in between. Strangelove had a good post about the fact that our military is spending 12 to 15 months living and seeing people die every day to car bombs, suicide bombers and death squads and that a few get warped by it, few, very few.



Could you at least post something factual to support your point? All you've done is tell me I'm ignorant, but you haven't given me any sources or told us of personal experiences that back up your opinion. That means it's just your opinion. I knew many, many soldiers who went to Vietnam and I am old enough to remember Vietnam very well. I'm curious, are you? And did you see the commanding officer being interviewed on 60 Minutes?


Well I got 27 years in the military, and I spent a year in Iraq near Bagdad. I came back about a year ago, and so that makes me old enough to remember the Vietnam war too.


This war in many ways is more intense than Vietnam for it is a lot more in your face and the locals in Nam were not out to kill each other at all costs.

I wasn't using the word ignorant as a slur, because from my angle your statement was not coming close to the real thing over there and seemed to have a lot of the “if it bleeds it reads” propaganda bull that is so prevalent.

Delta's video is not really the norm..they are not that open when they do it. I guess they did it just for the video. BTW these videos are older and what we do there now and the equipment is different i.e. deadlier. Civilians die all the time for that is where the terrorist fight from, but just because civilians die doesn’t mean it was illegal. These guys are going to try and not hit them but in the end they will protect themselves. Now they have backup all the time in the air and if those three guys ran into a house a gun ship could easily level the house…civilians will die…



[edit on 6-9-2007 by Xtrozero]



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 11:57 AM
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When bullets start flying past your head and your mate's brains start spraying out the back of their heads, believe me, the last thing you care about is someone else's "rules". No soldier on a battlefield cares about the "rules". If you take fire from a position where civilians are, you return fire or you die. Considering the welfare of civilians when you are under fire is great for movies, but is just not real life.

[edit on 7-9-2007 by NuclearPaul]



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by passenger

I resent the fact that these incidents are being used to castigate the AMerican forces as a whole. The friends and relatives that I know in Iraq don't tolerate a rapist or thief or murderer there any more than they would here.
[edit on 6-9-2007 by passenger]


Passenger, nowhere did I castigate the entire American forces. I did say the abuses are worse than Vietnam and that there are many of them. These kind of atrocities happen in every war, it doesn't do any good to stick your head in the sand and believe that every one of our soldiers is a hero and a knight in shining armor, that's just naive to think so. There's also a high rate of women being raped by our own soldiers. I know there are many well-intentioned soldiers fighting in Iraq. But I do believe there is a higher incidence of atrocities on our side than in Vietnam. And let's face it, they DO happen. My point is that this guy shouldn't be a leader. When you hear him tell his story, he doesn't sound like any leader I would want to follow.
Shadow, yes, he did say that and no, I don't think he's very bright, he did come across like a moron.
My main point is that I saw him on TV, giving an interview about this incident. There are some people on this thread who want to defend him without knowing the full details. Look, these things happen in EVERY war and are done by our side as well as theirs.
My father was an admiral in the Navy, I'm not exactly naive and ignorant about military matters.
There are always bad apples in every bunch.



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 02:48 PM
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I was with the 1st Infantry Division on the great Hail Mary into Iraq during DS/DS. We had our rule cards in our pockets after we studied them well. We knew the rules & we abided by them. I know of no such violations in '91. But that's not to say that if it really had came down to making a very serious decision, we would have opted to stay alive at all costs.

My MOS was 95"Bullet Stopper"- Military Police. Our Company assisted in the capture, processing & control of over 10,000 EPWs(POWs) during the first 100 hours. We did a lot of other ops as well, but no one ever lost site of the Real Game Plan. Sure there was some really ruff times; i.e., heat, cold, lack of proper rest/sleep, fatigue, pain, lack of food, poor commo, Chemical alarms day & night, sandstorms, boredom, terror, massive minefields, roving dangerous Bedouins, clearing bunkers, SCUDs, terrorists, etc. The list is endless. I lost a buddy to a mine, & 2 WIA. I can't name the number of times I looked into the Evil Face of Death. It became a daily thing, & I had several very close "come to Jesus moments," that still haunts me day & night for the past 16 years.

Desert Shield & Storm was different than this present situation. I have a lot of buddies that were there in March of '03. They said it was a altogether "different ballgame." I could see it in their eyes, hear it in their words. When you look at a soldier & they have the "10,000 yard- Down Range Stare," you know where they have been. But these troops who blatently choose to forget or loose sight of the rules have either had too many personal close calls or they have some kind of agenda to fulfill. I don't know, but they have problems which escalate into situations far too large for them to escape from. It is a trajic part of war, a few people who either make seriously wrong decisions that kill, or decisions that pervertedly save only themselves. There are so many names for it: poor or bad judgement, cruelty, vengeful, etc. The list is far too long to name.

We easily forget what our troops must contend with each day. Minute by minute. Their sacrafices are unimaginable to those unfamiliar to such a harsh & evilly cruel place as Iraq & Afghanistan. If any average person on any street here in America could exchange place with a trooper over there for 24 hours,...well, deep down in your heart, what do you think? Could you save your buddies, your self, after 72 hours with maybe 9 total hours of sleep? ...yeah?

There is no real answer. War is hell. It's deep down barbaric. The only difference is that WE at least try to maintain some type of rules & guidelines, whereas the enemy cares for only themselves & their feeble fanatic fascist cause. The give no thought to women, children, the aged. So what if they die? No big deal to them, they aren't even considered as collateral damage. Life is cheap. Wars greatly devalue life on one hand while on the other life's value escalates.

Finally, I ask, 25-40 years from today, where will all the "criminals on both sides" be? Fleetingly, I can see Iraqis now... Expates having coffee at an outside cafe in Paris, while planning their next bombing. Afterall, isn't that what most other exiled fascists have done in the past?



posted on Sep, 7 2007 @ 11:42 PM
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During WWII we would not be having this bleeding heart crap in the media. If you want to win a war you have to kill people, lots of them. That is what war feeds on. Pain and suffering on a scale none of us can imagine. Cities back then were burned to the ground just to make a point. Good guys sometimes have to break fingers and break out the zippo to get intel. Soldiers are doing a great job, 40 years ago it was ANYTHING goes. As for rape.....lol....Ahh no .....that is crap. This war has the LEAST ammount of that, check your facts.

[edit on 7-9-2007 by TXMACHINEGUNDLR]



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by TXMACHINEGUNDLR
As for rape.....lol....Ahh no .....that is crap. This war has the LEAST ammount of that, check your facts.

[edit on 7-9-2007 by TXMACHINEGUNDLR]


I have checked my facts; there were no women fighting as soldiers
in WW2, nor the Korean War or Vietnam; hence, no statistics on raping of women soldiers.
Can you please post sources for your statement? Or is this just opinion?

[edit on 8/9/07 by forestlady]



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 08:52 AM
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The Geneva Convention rules aren't just "rules". They are moral guidelines and help us to maintain our humanity, rather than lose it to the enemy.

All I'm trying to say is that I think this guy is guilty of very bad judgment. There were no bullets flying, and no one was attacking them. He fired on a car full of Iraqis that had no arms and were actually FLEEING AWAY from the soldiers. He shot them in the back and said so during the interview.

Those who are attacking me or trying to "set me straight" DON'T have all the facts, yet they are defending this guy. You don't have the whole story and yet some come across as pretty angry. I didn't say our guys were evil or anything even close to that. Just that I saw the interview with the commander and he came across as an absolute moron who shouldn't be in any position of leadership, he's not a good leader at all.
These kind of things happen in EVERY war on BOTH sides, that's just war. So those of you who are so gungho that this commander was a good guy, just doing his job - back off. You don't have all the facts and if you think that U.S. soldiers are 100% innocent and good guys, that just isn't so. They're human for crying out loud and will make mistakes.
Don't shoot the messenger.



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 10:30 AM
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I seriously dont understand why some people are not willing to ackowledge that there is some bad apples in the military and that this people have to be dealt with. If not the damage to the reputation that this individuals can cause to our military and our nation can be beyond repair.

Every case of reported criminal actions by our service members should be taken seriously and investigated and if found to be guilty they should be punished.


This in relation to sexual assault cases in the military

On March 15, 2007, the Department of Defense announced the release of the third annual report on the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program.

The annual report provides a summary of all reported allegations of sexual assault in the military. It includes a compilation and analysis of data from cases in which members of the Armed Forces are victims or offenders. The data indicates that the Department continues to make great progress in establishing a robust and effective sexual assault prevention program.

All of the Military Services implemented aggressive education and training programs designed to build an increased climate of trust. This integrated program resulted in 2,947 reported allegations of sexual assault involving a Service member as either a victim or subject. This was a 24% (573) increase from 2005.There were 2,277 Unrestricted Reports in CY 2006. In addition, there were 756 Restricted Reports. Restricted Reporting allows a Service member victim to receive medical care and counseling without notifying their commander or law enforcement.

Of the 2,277 unrestricted reports, the Military Criminal Investigative Organizations (MCIOs) completed 1,402 investigations (62%) by December 31, 2006. The 2007 report will detail the status of the 875 investigations pending completion. Criminal investigations resulted in cases involving 143 unidentified alleged offenders and 54 alleged offenders where either civilian or foreign authorities had jurisdiction. Another 556 alleged offenders had cases that were either unfounded or there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. When the reporting period closed, 780 actions were taken by Commanders in CY06; 289 were from CY06 reports. Cumulatively, in CY06, there were 292 courts-martial (72 were from CY06 reported cases).

We thank the Services for their efforts and continuing support in Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Programs This third annual report demonstrates the Department’s continued commitment to eliminating sexual assault from its ranks by our willingness to confront this issue directly. We thank the Services for their efforts and continuing support.

- Dr. Bonita Soley, DoD Senior Operations Research Analyst


This stuff happens, we need to take are blindfolds off, for every criminal that we have in our ranks there is thousands more doing the right thing and serving and representing their country honorably. We can not allow criminals within our ranks because the strenghts of the military is discipline, if we dont punish criminals we are calling for anarchy with in our ranks.




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