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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 05:30 PM   #41
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I hear this from people fairly often, but I don't really understand it.* Who doesn't support the troops?* I've never heard anyone say, "I don't think this war is justified so I hope all the soldiers die."* No one thinks that.* No citizen wants more Americans maimed or killed.* The question isn't whether or not to support the troops, it is how best to support them.* If you believe the war is unjustified, misdirected and harmful to our country, the best way to support the troops is to engage in activities that will bring them home as soon as possible.* Turning a blind eye to the problems is not a good way to support the troops.

On the other hand, if you believe that we need to kill everyone in Iraq who doesn't respect us or our lifestyle and sovereignty is at risk, then you think the best way to support the troops is to salute the flag, support the president and give the troops a pep talk.

We're all trying to support the troops.* *
You forget the "Reverend " Fred Phelps and his "christian" followers.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 05:31 PM   #42
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I hear this from people fairly often, but I don't really understand it.* Who doesn't support the troops?*
My friend, I don't want to start an extended "debate" on the subject, but there was a time when soldiers came home from "over there" and were spat upon, called "baby killers", and even worse.

No, I didn't expect a "parade". *No, I didn't expect much of anything. *All I was looking for was a simple "welcome home", without discussion, debate, or argument.

If anything has happened for the "good of the troops" is the recognization is that they are doing the job given to them. *You may not agree with the "politics" of the situation, but soldiers are not politicians.

If anything, over the last 30 years I have seen the "citizen soldier" given the respect that they deserve.

In answer to your question, "there was a time....."

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 06:00 PM   #43
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

I just did a complete and thourough check.

Not one European civilian was killed in WWII.

The Iragi's is unique in having civilian casualitites.

Our soldiers should be tried and tried/executed for this.

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 06:13 PM   #44
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

As I remember as a teenager, we carpet bombed NV. Why don't we get the details of bombings and go after every person involved in those bombings. Plane by plane.

It's really all the same ,we killed people who were non-combatant. If we are going to use Iraq as a cause-de=celebrae. Let's just admit, our military kills people.
Why not try each and every one.l Or, admit it's war.

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 06:38 PM   #45
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Originally Posted by rs0460a
My friend, I don't want to start an extended "debate" on the subject, but there was a time when soldiers came home from "over there" and were spat upon, called "baby killers", and even worse.

. . .
That's a shame. I never actually witnessed this happen myself and only heard third hand tales of such behavior. But that does not really change what I said in my post:

Quote:
I've never heard anyone say, "I don't think this war is justified so I hope all the soldiers die." No one thinks that. No citizen wants more Americans maimed or killed. The question isn't whether or not to support the troops, it is how best to support them.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 01:40 PM   #46
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Here's a NYTimes article from today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/03/wo...th&oref=slogin

I guess it could be totaly wrong. We'll have to go through the whole investigation/trial process and see. But it sure doesn't sound like a conspiracy of Wolf Blitzer or some imagined left-wing conspiracy:

Quote:
. . . Officials have said that the investigation, while not yet complete, is likely to conclude that a small group of marines carried out the unprovoked killings of two dozen civilians in the hours after a makeshift bomb killed a marine.

A senior Marine general familiar with the investigation, which is being led by Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell of the Army, said in an interview that it had not yet established how high up the chain of command culpability for the killings extended. But he said there were strong suspicions that some officers knew that the Marine squad's version of events had enough holes and discrepancies that it should have been looked into more deeply.

"It's impossible to believe they didn't know," the Marine general said, referring to midlevel and senior officers. "You'd have to know this thing stunk." He was granted anonymity, along with others who described the investigation, because he was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

. . . But even before the investigation is completed, the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. Michael Hagee, is considering relieving some senior Marine commanders who served in Iraq at the time of the killings, the Pentagon adviser said, citing what the adviser called a "loss of confidence" in those officers.

. . . But the investigator pressed the marines: if none of the Iraqi men had weapons and none had threatened the marines, why did the troops shoot them? The marines did not have a convincing reply, said the official who was briefed on the report.

. . .
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 02:33 PM   #47
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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My friend, I don't want to start an extended "debate" on the subject, but there was a time when soldiers came home from "over there" and were spat upon, called "baby killers", and even worse.

No, I didn't expect a "parade". No, I didn't expect much of anything. All I was looking for was a simple "welcome home", without discussion, debate, or argument.

If anything has happened for the "good of the troops" is the recognization is that they are doing the job given to them. You may not agree with the "politics" of the situation, but soldiers are not politicians.

If anything, over the last 30 years I have seen the "citizen soldier" given the respect that they deserve.

In answer to your question, "there was a time....."
That's my point exactly. To me this is the first step to heading in the wrong direction by accusing all troops of being baby killers. Next thing you know it is Vietnam all over again for our returning troops. Personally I think we are a long way from that (after witnessing several times troop walking through the airport to applauses) but you just never now. Blame the Commander in Chief not the troops.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 02:48 PM   #48
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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. . . Blame the Commander in Chief not the troops.
That's what I've been trying to say.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 02:49 PM   #49
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

while world consciousness is not yet to the point that we might avoid the grinding mill. i believe you will find that at least here, for the most part, people will be able to separate grain from chaff.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 04:21 PM   #50
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

I'm just glad I dont have to play that "wolf blitzer" drinking game we made up during the first desert storm anymore...

Every time wolfie showed up on tv, the first person who yelled "WOLF!" didnt have to drink...everyone else did.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 06:08 PM   #51
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif
Blame the Commander in Chief not the troops.
Actually, if there was a crime committed by a small group of troops that did not follow orders, you have to blame the handful of troops that committed the crime.

I am going to wait until the investigation is over before I start denegrating our military and the entire chain of command like others have done, sometimes I believe with glee.

My gut feeling is that the war in Iraq may probably be the one of the "cleanest" wars ever fought, meaning the least number of civilians killed per invading soldier. And I would also venture to guess that the insurgents have killed more civilians than the coalition has.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 08:01 PM   #52
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Originally Posted by retire@40
. . .My gut feeling is that the war in Iraq may probably be the one of the "cleanest" wars ever fought, meaning the least number of civilians killed per invading soldier.* And I would also venture to guess that the insurgents have killed more civilians than the coalition has.
I've not seen any data or statistics to support this "gut feel" you have and I've not heard this claim from any news sources. But if it were true, is that the metric you want to use to determine if Americans are well-served? -- the ratio of the civilian death rate from insurgents to the civilian death rate from the coalition. It would never occur to me to consider that as an important determining factor of whether or not we should be at war.

I keep trying to understand the 29% of the public that still supports Bush and his war, but I find these kinds of statements difficult to grasp.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 08:16 PM   #53
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
But if it were true, is that the metric you want to use to determine if Americans are well-served?* -- the ratio of the civilian death rate from insurgents to the civilian death rate from the coalition.* It would never occur to me to consider that as an important determining factor of whether or not we should be at war.
I keep trying to understand the 29% of the public that still supports Bush and his war, but I find these kinds of statements difficult to grasp.* *
Geez, SG, in what alternate reality were you raised? Do you have a better metric to suggest?

In Vietnam it was called "body count". The active-duty people who were junior officers when that system ended are now flag officers or consultants with the Ops & Plans staffs who have to come up with some sort of metric to prove that they're not wasting our taxpayer dollars by killing civilians... or unarmed combatants or farm animals, or wasting more energy than that required to accomplish the mission with a minimum of force.

We call it "bean counting" and "centralized accounting" and "activities-based costing", and it's no coincidence that we're using it today... SECDEF was also serving on the White House staff during the SS MAYAGUEZ incident. Of course he won't admit to being influenced by Bob McNamara.

Spouse spent three hours in a J5 ("Future Plans") meeting this week debating what to do if the military had to evacuate U.S. citizens in Thailand after an outbreak of bird flu. About two hours and 59 minutes of the debate centered around whether the military would have to do it (instead of the State Dept & Northwest Airlines), who'd have the authority to order a NEO, and where they would quarantine the survivors. About one minute consisted of "Well, if we have to do an air evacuation, then the staff will use the procedure in this oplan". No doubt the next meeting will develop a metrics matrix of important considerations such as number of evacuees per unit time, number of passenger miles per gallon of fuel, and # of H5N1 virii per milliliter of blood before and after the evacuation. And then some O-5 who's desperately trying to "break out" for the next promotion board will devote a 15-hour day to the PowerPoint briefing slides for these metrics necessary to show his boss that they "have a dog in the fight". At some point an extended personal inspection of Thailand, including meeting with planning counterparts and perhaps a "social function" or two, will be deemed necessary.

I think that if any of a J5's planning sessions were open to the public, similar to Congressional sessions or city council meetings, the pace of "transformation" would be a lot more productive!

Gosh I miss active duty.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 08:48 PM   #54
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Geez, SG, in what alternate reality were you raised?* Do you have a better metric to suggest?
I don't know, Nords . . . maybe a reality based on global political objectives rather than civilian death count ratios. It says something pretty sad about a person if they don't really understand that. :P

Honestly, do you really think that's how we should judge wars and whether we get involved in them? That seems like a pretty sick and perverted reality. I'm glad I don't live in it.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-03-2006, 08:55 PM   #55
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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And I would also venture to guess that the insurgents have killed more civilians than the coalition has.
Without a doubt. Targeting of civilians is a central element of the strategy of some of these groups. It isn't condemned by their leaders, it is lauded. It is not some unfortunate byproduct of legitimate operations or the work of a few undisciplined fighters . 33 dead in an attack on a market in Basrah today. I guess that was some kind of US military market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
. . . maybe a reality based on global political objectives rather than civilian death count ratios. . . .
Exactly. The numbers of those killed on all sides (deliberately, by mistake, in IED attacks, etc) is a crappy metric for judging which side is winning. Did this metric mean anything in Vietnam? But we do need something to tell us if we are getting ahead, if our losses are producing results. Lets look at the state of the Iraqi government, on the growth of civil society, of the participation rate in honest elections, maybe even look at Iraqi public attitudes about their future.

But--If there is going to be a body count ("number of killed bad guys to number of killed coalition service personnel) then I want the number of the former to be much higher than of the latter. And, I'm sure it is. Now, if you add in Iraqi police and security forces casualties, I'm not sure how the math would come out.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-04-2006, 09:18 AM   #56
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

I find it refreshing to see that some of the people have finally seen the difference between blaming the troops and blaming the administration.
As with a previous poster, I left OART (there's a blast from the past...Oakland Army Terminal, Ca.)
I couldn't wait to get out of uniform. Not physically safe..
Nords, are you saying that the ROE are so restrictive as to preclude self defense? I have been out nearly 40 years. Don't know.
Not aimed at anyone in particular but it seems to me that when a Vietnam Vet has an opinion, most people pretty much chalk it up to anger and bitterness.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-04-2006, 12:20 PM   #57
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I don't know, Nords . . . maybe a reality based on global political objectives rather than civilian death count ratios. It says something pretty sad about a person if they don't really understand that. :P
Honestly, do you really think that's how we should judge wars and whether we get involved in them? That seems like a pretty sick and perverted reality. I'm glad I don't live in it.
I'm trying to imagine America with a lucid, coherent foreign policy. It hasn't happened for so long that I'm afraid I've forgotten how to do it.

I think we should judge wars by what we set out to accomplish, not by accounting standards. The NCA should say "Go replace that country's leadership" without haggling over exactly how many soldiers we're gonna need to do so. I read in "Masters of Chaos" that the Army's Special Forces were well on their way to replacing Iraq's government with local rule when the State Dept declared that Iraq would not be permitted to use the people (ex-soldiers, ex-police) who'd already been nominated by their local communities. Whoops.

It's not a new debate. I've read newspaper articles from WWII questioning why the military had to "waste" millions of dollars assaulting Pacific islands with huge amphibious forces only to find minimal resistance. The response was that assaulting them with insufficient forces would be even more expensive.

An AEGIS cruiser costs a little over a billion dollars and will float for about 30 years. Over that three decades it'll consume billions more in payroll, operating expenses, repairs, consumables, and so on. It's quite likely to do so without ever firing a shot in anger. Billions of dollars without hitting a single "real" target-- our tax dollars at work, folks. I'd call that effective defense but it's kinda hard to measure its achievements by any other concrete goals. So how does one decide if we're doing our job?

The solution is not simple, and the current system has evolved through trial & error so it's resistant to change. At my "field officer" rank my performance I was presumably judged by how effectively we delivered ordnance on target on time. Unfortunately that event occurred far too seldom to be used to set pay & promotion rates, so we were also judged by cleanliness, sanitation, hygiene, re-enlistment rates, maintenance accomplishment rates, exam scores, accomplishment of short-term training objectives, lack of disciplinary violations, and our department's contributions to opportunity to contribute to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. All right, Gumby, wipe that smirk off your face-- it was better than USNA, right?!?

At one point a CO and I had a little discussion about a time-management conflict between short- & long-term goals. His viewpoint was refreshingly if depressingly realistic: "Weps, I don't give a f^&*ing $#%^ if you fail this nuclear weapons inspection next week. That only goes up to the commodore and I don't think he gives a f^&*ing #$%^ either. But if we don't put a missile through that exercise target next month, then everyone in the world will know about it and neither one of us will be around long enough to fix the problems."

We narrowly failed the inspection ("close enough" doesn't count for this particular application of nuclear weapons), and I was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal for "only failing it by a little bit". We nailed the missile target, for which our department was awarded the annual "squadron's best Weapons department" and which I was able to milk for a couple more NAMs to the troops who'd done the majority of the work. I'm sure that caused widespread cognitive dissonance but it made perfect sense to the people who'd been doing the work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpax7
Nords, are you saying that the ROE are so restrictive as to preclude self defense? I have been out nearly 40 years. Don't know.
They were pretty shaky in that regard 10-20 years ago but it's much improved since the 1990s. I'd say that today's infantry ROE are probably the shortest, clearest, and best we've had for sometime. Good thing, too, because a lot of people died for that achievement. I don't think that soldiers are indicted anymore for shooting back to defend themselves or each other. FlowGirl, what's your spouse think?

However submariners are still paranoid about shooting weapons when submerged among "friendly" forces. Too many twitchy trigger fingers out there who'd rather live for the Board of Inquiry than die for the ROE. In their position I'd probably feel the same.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-04-2006, 12:27 PM   #58
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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. . .I think we should judge wars by what we set out to accomplish, not by accounting standards.* . . .
Yep. Makes sense to me.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-04-2006, 01:33 PM   #59
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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I hear this from people fairly often, but I don't really understand it. Who doesn't support the troops? I've never heard anyone say, "I don't think this war is justified so I hope all the soldiers die." No one thinks that. No citizen wants more Americans maimed or killed. The question isn't whether or not to support the troops, it is how best to support them.

We're all trying to support the troops.
I appreciate that you are in support of our fellow citizens in the military. But, I think you may have underestimated the stupidity of some of our other fellow citizens:







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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-04-2006, 01:45 PM   #60
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Hey, there are stupid people of every political stripe. Not much of a surprise. Then again, the stupid people in your pictures didn't get us into a war (yet).

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