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Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 04:34 PM   #1
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Killing Civilians in Iraq

I hesitate to even bring this up, but every time I think about the recent revelations of US military personnel apparently slaughtering innocent women and children I get pretty upset.

I will tell you one thing: this is exactly the sort of thing that inspires more non-combatants to become combatants.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 05:09 PM   #2
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

one report i heard noted that americans are probably more upset about it than the iraqi people because they get so bombarded with information of this sort (real or not) that this is just one more incident. certainly though, it gives credence to anti-american propaganda that might not be true.

of course, it is a terrible thing. so sad for the 24 civilians killed and for their families and friends. it really speaks, to me, of the horrors of war. that we should set free the rage that exists in all of us upon innocents.

i was fortunate enough to be born & raised between wars. my older brother was the last year of the vietnam lottery and by the time of the gulf war i was old enough that they wouldn't have wanted me.

i can not imagine being forced to kill some stranger across a battlefield. i don't know how i would be able to live with myself. i don't know what that would do to me. i would like to think that i would only shoot an enemy with a gun if i was so forced. i hope i would not turn that gun on myself.

i'm just really thankful that life never put me in that situation.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 05:26 PM   #3
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Check CNN.com for a view from a reporter attached to this very unit:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...tsc/index.html
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 05:29 PM   #4
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum


i'm just really thankful that life never put me in that situation.
Amen to that. I can't imagine what was going through those young men's minds, what got them to that point.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

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Originally Posted by Laurence
I can't imagine what was going through those young men's minds, what got them to that point.*
I'm not going to try to excuse or justify what happened (I/we don't know the entire, true, story...) but your question above brings back memories of my own experiences with the shoeshine boys on the streets of Siagon back in '68-'69.* Here's a quote from a link (and also the link to the material):

"When a truck full of American marines happens by, David enlists their help. The MPs quickly leave. The boy is nowhere to be found, but he has left behind his shoe box, which contains among the shoe shining equipment a "small plastic bomb."

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 07:13 PM   #6
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

It is a sad reality of war. Not only the loss of innocent lives but the impact on the lives of the marines in question. I sure don't condone what alledgedly happened but I can understand how it does happen. So sad.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 07:26 PM   #7
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

We put thousands of young Americans in the middle of a bloody civil war that really has little to do with them. It is not a war they can win. Nothing they can do is likely to improve the civil war much. Nothing they can do guarantees their own safety. The orignial reason they were sent there (anyone remember WMDs?) turns out to be a lie. The secondary implied reason (911 attacks) has been shown to have nothing to do with Iraq.

It sounds like a prescription for some sort of volatile reaction. As long as we put our troops in this situation we are asking for problems.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 08:13 PM   #8
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee

It sounds like a prescription for some sort of volatile reaction. As long as we put our troops in this situation we are asking for problems.
Even more so for an expeditionary fighting force like the U.S. Marine Corp, whose training and tradition leaves them particularly ill-suited to be serving as an occupying police force.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 08:21 PM   #9
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

For right now, this is all propaganda. *I don't believe a word of it. *We have not heard both sides to the story and I refuse to rush to judgement on something so lacking in information. *For the time being, I am on the side of our service members involved in this incident. *There is a reason this occured and I can't believe it was just a turkey shoot. *These troops are under tremendous pressure and we have no clue what events led up to this. *
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 09:00 PM   #10
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

During WWII, while no one liked to wage war on civilians, it was done. The firebombing of Dresden, the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Blitz, the sinking of civilian passenger liners were all regretable actions but no military laid awake at night agonizing over the loss of civilain life.
Ultimately, it is the waging of war on a civilian populace that causes the population to either capitulate or become combatants themselves. When one side or the other has had enough, the vanquished sues for peace on the victor's terms.
Armies exist to protect the nonwar fighters in any society. When those protectors don't want to protect anymore becasue the price is too high, those protected must either fight or die. Such is the nature and the true horror of war.
Gordon Liddy said it best. "The entire function of the armed forces of the United States is to kill people and destroy property."
A soldier does what he is told to do.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 09:42 PM   #11
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpax7
A soldier does what he is told to do.
OK, I've tried to stay out of this thread, but my graduation certificate from the Senior Legal Officer course makes me call B.S. on this one.

"Just following orders" went out with the Nuremburg trials. Every one of those Marines has been trained to know at what point their orders stopped being legal homicide and when they became felonious homicide. A lot of nasty lessons have been learned since Beirut, Somalia, & Kosovo and the rules of engagement have become much clearer than they used to be.

There's no way to compare the firebombing of Dresden to something like My Lai. The first was a cold-hearted & callous decision by national command authorities with the responsibility and accountability to make the decision. The second massacre was equally cold-hearted & callous but the "decision" was made by an officer who had no authority for it... and he was eventually held responsible & accountable. A warrant officer actually had to train his helicopter guns on American soldiers to stop the bloodshed. Those killers did what they did because they wanted to, not just because they were told to.

There will always be second-guessing of the decisions made by a bunch of young, possibly poorly-trained infantry in a situation filled with stress, time pressure, fatigue, conflicting mission priorities, and an unclear distiction between combatants & civilians. Wait for the investigations to finish before making up your minds, but "I was just following orders" is not a defense.
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 09:51 PM   #12
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
A lot of nasty lessons have been learned since Beirut, Somalia, & Kosovo and the rules of engagement have become much clearer than they used to be.

There will always be second-guessing of the decisions made by a bunch of young, possibly poorly-trained infantry in a situation filled with stress, time pressure, fatigue, conflicting mission priorities, and an unclear distiction between combatants & civilians.* Wait for the investigations to finish before making up your minds, but "I was just following orders" is not a defense.
I agree Nords for the most part...But, can you expand on the comment "the rules of engagement have become much clearer than they used to be."* I feel conflicted...
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 10:27 PM   #13
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

We place our military in impossible situations, and then we are abhorred when civilians are harmed. Many of our troops are patriotic, idealistic young men, but, at the end of the day, they fight for each other. When members of their units are blown to shreds by insurgents, reactions will occur. Having said that, I am amazed by the professionalism of the US military as a whole and the ground troops in particular.

In any case, an inquiry will be held and any unlawful actions will be punished.

Sometimes we forget that the troops in Iraq are targets (sitting ducks really) for each and every terrorist with a bomb or AK 47 and a wish to be a martyr. And the insurgents are delighted with civilian casualties-they would and do *slaughter any number of their own people to further their goals.

IMHO, Iraq is an unhappy place and nothing good will come from our involvement there. I support the troops, but they are engaged in a no-win situation.

We have all the watches and they (insurgents) have all the time.

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 10:35 PM   #14
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Having never been in the military, I really have a hard time imagining how I'd react to combat situations. Undoubtedly, I'd be shooting at everything that moved...

Probably, though, if I'd ended up in the military, I wouldn't have been infantry; more than likely I'd have been cleaning latrines or peelings spuds in a high-tech position...
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 10:40 PM   #15
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

I've got to say that there sure is a lot of condemnation flying around for something that has not yet been proven.

Bad stuff happens in war. Sometimes because that is the plan - war being all about killing people and destroying things - and other times because somebody made the wrong decision. In that event we have investigators, lawyers and judges to find the facts and assign blame. Something that is suspected to have happened is not cause to condemn the entire campaign - unless of course you're just in search of an excuse to do so.

If you're relying on that piece of crap Wolf Blitzer to tell you the truth, you are dancing on air. All those folks care about is selling the drama of the news cycle and then catching the wave for the next "watch me - watch me" blitz of hype, ill-informed prognostication and pure bullshit.

If somebody did the unthinkable then they will have to pay for it. But, just because you got a lump in your boob doesn't mean it's time to schedule the mastectomy. You would feel pretty stupid to be uni-titted when you found out the lump was just a glandular cyst. Ooops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yipee-Ki-O
Even more so for an expeditionary fighting force like the U.S. Marine Corp, whose training and tradition leaves them particularly ill-suited to be serving as an occupying police force.
I’ve got to disagree.

Police forces don’t occupy, they are an embodiment of the civilian population’s lawful authority to protect and police itself and the practical arm of the government’s responsibility to act in those roles. They can handle deadly force situations of relatively small scales, and they can handle large-scale disturbances and demonstrations. But when you couple the use of deadly force with large scale disorder it is no longer in the realm of policing. It is a military action, and when faced with just that situation police forces around the world call on the military. Remember the Marines coming out of Camp Pendleton to pacify Los Angeles during the 1992 riots?

The military in Iraq is there performing a military operation. It’s no longer a full blown war (which lasted all of three weeks despite the media’s prediction of total disaster) but it ain’t peace yet.

As for pacification of uprisings, insurgencies and similar actions – well, the Marine Corps has a very long history and tradition that goes back before the Spanish American War. It was Marines from the Washington Navy Yard ended John Brown’s seizure of the armory at Harper’s Ferry before the Civil War. After that war they were involved in putting down numerous instances of domestic disturbance and uprisings – including nine separate raids into Brooklyn to deal with violent gangs of moonshiners. Fighting fires, quelling election riots, and pacifying violent railroad strikes were just some of their duties. The Marines carried on those same duties throughout the globe ever since.

The Marines are famous for the big battles like the taking of Fortress Durna (the Shores of Tripoli) the Battle for Chapultapec (the Halls of Montezuma), the Boxer Rebellion, Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Khe Sanh, etc. But for all of those large and historic battles there are hundreds of engagements conducted as part of pacification campaigns battling bandits, guerillas, insurgents, rioters and petty warlords in places like Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Shanghai, Samoa, the Philippines, Panama, Egypt, Honduras, Mexico, Bosnia, etc.

Not only are most people unaware that the Marines have gone to those places to keep the peace - they are also most likely unaware that many of those places have been visited by the Corps on many prior occasions. Panama 11 times since 1856, four trips to Mexico, three to Egypt, four to Cuba, we should have just stayed in China between 1854 and 1941 and I think there are streets and towns named after Marines in Nicarauga and the Dominican Republic after all the visits there.

And yet they keep sending the Marines back to deal with smaller than war problems in those places. That tells me that as a nation we see value in those places, understand the need to deal with the problems, and that those problems don't always get fixed the first time (or stayed fixed). Not to mention that it also tells me that the Marines have long been the force of choice to deal with those situations.

Some people have a hard time understanding Marines and what they do – but I remember one great quote by a Marine officer that makes it clear. While addressing Iraqi civilian leaders in a small city he asked them to either identify any bad guys so the Marines could take them into custody, or “tell them to attack us as soon as possible so we can kill them.”
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-01-2006, 10:41 PM   #16
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Soon enough we will know what happened. Is there any reason to judge these Marines now?

The enemy is deliberately hiding behind civilians, mingling with them, putting them at risk as an integral part of their operations.

And, in many cases, the civilains are fed up and are turning them in--good. But, in other cases, the innocents are more afraid of the extremists than they are of the repercussions of shielding them.

Any reports of mistreatment of Iraqis (whether true or not) make enemies for us and make the work of our many allies in the Iraqi government more difficult. Nobody appreciates this more than the guys conducting the fight. If, after a full investigation, Americans are found guilty of wrongful actions, then everyone will want them to face justice--and the Iraqis will see this, too.

An elected government in power, growth of civil structures, even the environment of the marsh Arabs is being restored at a remarkable rate (how many Americans know that tragic story--and the success since 2003?). Thousands of dedicated, disciplined US soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who are winning this fight together with the majority of Iraqis. Lots of progress--but you won't hear much about it. Instead, we get threads like this.

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 12:26 AM   #17
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

I completely agree w/every aspect of your comment Leonidas.* It is amazing how many people still see Marines as cold blooded killers w/no regard for human life.* In fact, from what I have been through, I find that to be the polar opposite.* For the most part, we are all hard on the outside, but we are still caring human beings w/big hearts and strong convictions.* The Marines have become in essence the worlds most called upon police force in the world.*

I can not support any of this propaganda brought upon by the "Wolf Blitzer's" of the world.*

One thing that is really pissing me off is that our Commander in Chief is not backing them to the fullest extent until the facts are found.* He loses more of my respect by the day and I'm a conservative. Never in the history of this country has a President so easily disregarded our men and women in uniform for acts commited on the battlefield.* It's sad really.* I wish he would grow some balls and jump all over the media for thier ill thought out allegations instead of cowering down to them for the sake of public opinion.* What ever happened to fair and balanced journalism? For now it's all Hollywood BS to me but stories like this definately will have an impact on the morale and welfare of our troops and does more to dividing our nation instead of uniting it. This is bad policy.

This is exactly what the terrorist wants.* The more we fall away from uniting, the more we allow them to defeat our ideals and way of life as a people.* *

Thanks a lot to all those in the media who are chasing that all mighty dollar despite the impact on the military and the future of the people of this country, I pray for you.* I applaud all journalists that fight against this vicious system of deterioration of our common good.*

By the way, Semper Fi Leonidas!!!*
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 12:39 AM   #18
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

I don't completely understand some of the responses here. Are there posters who honestly believe that nothing wrong happened? . . . that this is all made up by a single personality in the press? I don't even know who Wolf Blitzer is, but I've read and heard numerous accounts of this incident.

I certainly agree that no actions should be taken against anyone until the legal process is complete, but I haven't read anything in any posts on this thread that would suggest otherwise. Many of the posts also implied that if there was anyone who deserved blame it was not the soldiers, but the policy makers. Are there posters who honestly believe that our policy regarding Iraq was well-concieved and executed?

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 01:11 AM   #19
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I don't completely understand some of the responses here.* Are there posters who honestly believe that nothing wrong happened? . . . that this is all made up by a single personality in the press?* I don't even know who Wolf Blitzer is, but I've read and heard numerous accounts of this incident.*

I certainly agree that no actions should be taken against anyone until the legal process is complete, but I haven't read anything in any posts on this thread that would suggest otherwise.* Many of the posts also implied that if there was anyone who deserved blame it was not the soldiers, but the policy makers.* Are there posters who honestly believe that our policy regarding Iraq was well-concieved and executed?*
Wow sgeeeee, you sound like the media...most of your post is overblown, uninformed, and all over the place.* No one implied nothing wrong happened, just that there is only one side out there and most of us refuse to jump to conclusions just because the left wing media is going ape ****.* Also only one poster even remotely implied that it wasn't the soldiers fault if indeed illegal actions did take place.* You said "many".* And what does our policy regarding Iraq have anything to do with this incident in general?* You can't throw your political agendas in the mix when you're talking about servicemens* lives, that is the mistake Bush is making along w/the media..

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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq
Old 06-02-2006, 05:56 AM   #20
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Re: Killing Civilians in Iraq

The question of how we got into the war is entirely separate from what we should be doing now. For those who disagree with the assessments that led us to this war, or who can't/won't differentiate between a "lie" and "being wrong," I'd suggest this is an issue to get out on the table during our own elections.

But Iraq is a nation teetering on the brink now. It will either become a new nest for extremists (like Afghanistan was, but with oil resources and a nascent WMD program added to the mix), or we can help it become something better. It's never going to be Boise, but take a look at the neighborhood and you'll see it doesn't need to be ideal to be the best thing in that part of the world. And, most Irais want freedom and opportunities for themselves and their kids. The real tragedy would be to abandon them.


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