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ANCFlyer
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Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:54 am

Ladies and Gents -

This is a new thread on Haditha, etc.

The Moderators deleted (rather than locking) the other thread because they felt the thread had sunk to the personal insult and attack levels.

This subject - Haditha and the other alleged incidents in Iraq - will have, and certainly should have, lasting ramification throughout the Middle East, and certainly will have an impact world wide.

Lets see if we can keep round two out of the gutter - at least in the eyes of the moderators - and press forward with the conversation.

Too bad the last thread was deleted - - - I don't know where to start this one.

With that . . . it's all yours . . .
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Falcon84
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:00 am

If they're guilty, they should get the book thrown at them as hard as a book can be thrown at them.

But please, one thing, I do not want to hear is that, despite this incident, that somehow our soldiers do NOT have the right to defend themselves if a crowd is surrounding them and pelting them with rocks or bottles, or God knows what. That seems to have become an issue in the last thread.

I will not condone the alleged actions at Haditha. No one with any decency can. But I will not condemn our soldiers who rightfully and justifiably defend themselves against injury or death.

I hope the truth prevails. Whatever that may be.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:12 am

I have several concerns with this . . .

First: What I do not want to see happen is a squad of GIs out on patrol, they take incoming, and THEN, because they're now afraid of fallout IF a civilian gets killed, they fail to return fire . . . even if it's only a moments hesitation and another US troops is killed, that would be a travesty.

Second: Ninety Nine point Nine percent of the US, UK and other forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing their jobs, doing it right, and doing it right every day. I'm concerned that too many people will not be able to see the forest for the trees here and understand that this is a small group of troops that supposedly screwed up and is not an epidemic through the balance of the forces.
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andessmf
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:42 pm

All I am asking for is that the people who complained about Haditha also throw complaints about this other atrocity.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060605/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

"Masked gunmen stopped two minivans carrying (high school) students north of Baghdad Sunday, ordered the passengers off, separated Shiites from Sunni Arabs, and killed the 21 Shiites "in the name of Islam,"

All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly, but I dont see the same outrage shown for these terrorist on the other side.
 
Stealthz
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:04 pm

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly, but I dont see the same outrage shown for these terrorist on the other side.

  

Maybe if more outrage was shown by those self-righteous folks around the world over this kind of behaviour perhaps those Marines may not have been needed in Haditha.

[Edited 2006-06-05 06:05:42]
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:07 pm

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
All I am asking for is that the people who complained about Haditha also throw complaints about this other atrocity.

Not gonig to happen - except from a few folks, a very few. I've yet to see anyone wave the  redflag  here when the insurgents blow up their own . . . . . they're almost as bad as the journalists covering this war.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly, but I dont see the same outrage shown for these terrorist on the other side.

And you won't either . . .
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bravo45
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:17 pm

Okay I am finally going to speak my mind after staying out of these kind of threads forever.
I am not going to get into right of self defence and 99% of troops adhering to the military laws and manners debate. I know a number of service personal to know that myself without looking at stats. Here is my concern, I cannot remember when was the last time the US military, Government or any official came out themselves without prior public knowledge or allegations (pictures or videos etc) to make public knowledge any misconduct on part of their personal and to pledge to make sure that justice be served. From the video of the Vietnam war, of US soldiers burning villages to Abu Garaib to Haditha, its always been allegations first then the surfacing of proofs and then investigation and acknowledgement and prosecution. Gives the impression of ALL those allegations without proofs as being successfully covered up or silenced. I don't see how can one be a patriotic American and think that should be the way. Unfortunately that seems to have been the way so far and change not on the horizon. In fact of the limited amount of posts I have read so far from the Abu Garaib scandal to this one, I have not seen anyone even raise this point. Hell even during the French Campaign of WWII, I head in a documentary that there was a rape of a French woman. The German Wehrmacht had the soldier put to the firing squad and publicised the incident in the ranks to make the point that such behaviour would be unacceptable, it was only during the official stance of the Russian campaign against the "sub humans" that Geneva Conventions were pronounced not applicable and we all know what happened. Not to mention on top of it all the same in fact higher stress, armies of those times were under. Yet it should not be the excuse, period.
In any case these were SOME of the random thoughts I had of the entire scandal, as Geneva Conventions are again being pronounced not applicable to insurgents, people held at Gitmo and the "black sites" etc and as the US fights against the "Barbaric Fundamentalists" (lumping entire nations rather than those few individuals in the phrase), its seems, in the West, far more acceptable for a Coalition soldier to crack in the immense stress, snap and kill a few civilians than an Iraqi or Afghani civilian who (didn't sign up for any of it unlike a trained soldier) to snap and pick up a gun and shoot at a Coalition soldier.
Overall with a possible conflict against Iran and/or Syria or anybody else in the future and with a number of allegations of similar massacres in Afghanistan (yes I mean Afghanistan) and Iraq, a few that I have heard of online with videos and proofs without acknowledgement so far, I don't see things getting any better before getting much worse. I pray I be wrong in my assessment.
Now I don't know exactly what was being discussed in the other threads, like I said these were some random thought that trouble me. Now you can flame me or tell me technically Geneva Conventions really don't apply or whatever else, I don't think I will reply or post anything here after this.

[Edited 2006-06-05 06:27:05]
 
cairo
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
First: What I do not want to see happen ....because they're now afraid of fallout IF a civilian gets killed, they fail to return fire ... another US troops is killed, that would be a travesty.

The civilians should be protected at all costs, they did not invite America in and America kills or has killed in Iraq many many more civilians than Americans are killed in Iraq. The patrol SHOULD be afraid that civilians will get killed at all times - in fact they should treat the Iraqis as they would US citizens at home, meaning they should be very reluctant to fire where civilians might be present, hesitating where they are unsure.

There is a CLEAR reduction in the value of an Iraqi life versus an American life both in your statement and in the whole attitude of the Americans in Iraq. This attitude is one big source of the continuing problem the US faces in Iraq and elsewhere in the ME.

If you don't want the soldiers in harm's way, a thought with which I very much sympathize, then take them out of Iraq. No American should be dying for any regime in the middle east.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
...too many people will not be able to see the forest for the trees here and understand that this ... is not an epidemic through the balance of the forces.

Iraqis, Arabs and most Muslims see themselves dying far more often at the hands of America than vice versa - the fact that this incident America may end up describing as 'illegal' while all the other civilian deaths were 'collateral damage' is hardly relevant here - that legal distinction is a nicety important only to American audiences.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
"Masked gunmen stopped two minivans .... and killed the 21 Shiites "in the name of Islam,"....All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly, but I dont see the same outrage shown for these terrorist on the other side

Well, the Iraqis are a bit limited in expressing themselves at the moment, but I'm sure if you took a poll of the general population they would agree with you, but only insofar as agreeing that the terrorists and Americans are both deadly on civilians, with the Americans thus far responsibile for the largest number of civilian dead.

I seriously doubt if the 'insurgency' is ever going to really end while the US is in Iraq and I think America should be prepared for a Vietnam style departure which lets the chips fall where they may. Devoting 100% of American effort to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which seems to be on the verge of real progress, is more important to American concerns than all of Iraq.

Cairo
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:26 pm

As far as the Geneva Conventions are concerned . . . Article 4 pretty much lays out who it applies to and who it does not.

Interestingly, I tend to support the "Does Not Apply" rule in many cases - simply looking at if from a black/white point of view. That said, I'm not an inhumane animal either - nor are most of the soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. What I do believe about the excuse "The Convention doesn't apply" is that it's a ready made excuse presented by the Chairwarmers in DC.

I'd be willing to be you if you asked the standard issue Field Soldier, most 'prisoners', be they enemy combatants, armed enemy, etc, are treated quite well. Furthermore, so are the non-combatants - with quite obviously a negative episode or two - yet to be proven.

See Article 4:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/geneva03.htm
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NAV20
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:29 pm

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly, but I dont see the same outrage shown for these terrorist on the other side.

AndesSMF, with respect, it isn't a matter of 'the other side', it's a matter of 'one of the sectarian groups.'

In this case one would presume, on the face of it, that people from one of the Sunni militias killed Shi'ites; though, of course, we don't know WHICH Sunni militia. Or it could instead have been rival Shi'ite militias (the main ones are of course those headed by Sistani and Badr, but there are plenty of other groups) killing each other.

It is no use condemning the Sunni militias alone as 'terrorists'; the Shi'ite militias are just as bad - and are in fact currently fighting a power struggle out between themselves; a month's 'State of Emergency' has just been declared in Basra, the previously-quiet centre of the Shia heartland.

There will undoubtedly be 'resistance groups' as well, and people seeking revenge for dead family members, occasionally attacking coalition forces; . But the majority of Iraqi militants appear to be concentrating on fighting each other, not the occupiers.

From the occupation forces' point of view, they would be wise to stay out of the sectarian strife. If they support one 'side' the whole of the other side will unite to go for them. There is no way in which about 150,000 soldiers of various nationalities can stop what now amounts to a full-blown civil war.

I can't put the conventional "What we should do is...." or "It is important from now on to ensure that..." paragraph on the end of this post. Because nothing CAN be done. The whole fabric of Iraqi society has been smashed into pieces, and no-one can put it together again. Years of sectarian strife lie ahead, before the Shias 'win' and set up an Islamic republic allied to Iran.

From the point of view of the Coalition forces, the only thing to do is to stop throwing good lives after bad, and withdraw them. We've lost.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
andessmf
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:36 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 7):
Well, the Iraqis are a bit limited in expressing themselves at the moment, but I'm sure if you took a poll of the general population they would agree with you, but only insofar as agreeing that the terrorists and Americans are both deadly on civilians, with the Americans thus far responsibile for the largest number of civilian dead.

I'm sorry, but todays count seems to be 21 for the terrorist and 0 for the Americans. If you read the news, there are a lot of terrorists killing a lot of Iraqis. In this case, there should also be clamor from the world for these terrorists to get out of Iraq.

This is again where the perspective gets lost. The Americans, regardless of the circumstances, have behaved a lot better towards Iraqi civilians and other than the terrorist. After all, we are not abducting and beheading people, or in the case above, removing high school students from a minibus, on purpose, and shooting them.

This again is not to justify any attacks on civilians. Just that you have proved my point Cairo, you are more apt to criticize the behavior of the US army than the proven and often videotaped behavior of these terrorist. After all, most of the time you have tape showing you exactly what they did.
 
SFOMEX
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:41 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
Ninety Nine point Nine percent of the US, UK and other forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing their jobs, doing it right, and doing it right every day.

Damn right. I believe that most servicemen (and women) are doing a great job over there. I might not support this useless war, but I have nothing but respect for all the people in uniform (my cousin among them).

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly, but I dont see the same outrage shown for these terrorist on the other side.

We are supposed to behave by higher standards. Terrorists are scum and they behave accordingly, but Marines are men of honor and integrity. That's why this atrocity (if in fact it did happen) is shameful.
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bravo45
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:45 pm

As much as I wanted to hold back...

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 10):
In this case, there should also be clamor from the world for these terrorists to get out of Iraq.

There should NOT be, they should be cut of pieces on the land they committed those crimes by the people against whom they were committed. The US soldiers on the other hand, not prosecutable under the International court of justice will be prosecuted on US soil by US official for crimes committed on someone else land against other people.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:46 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 7):
The civilians should be protected at all costs, they did not invite America in and America kills or has killed in Iraq many many more civilians than Americans are killed in Iraq. The patrol SHOULD be afraid that civilians will get killed at all times - in fact they should treat the Iraqis as they would US citizens at home, meaning they should be very reluctant to fire where civilians might be present, hesitating where they are unsure.

I think we're on the same sheet of music - at least as far as this para of yours - but the words are different.

I'm not advocating "spray and pray" tactics. Obviously you need to know who is a target and who is not . . .

That said, when you have an insurgent(s) in a house, building bombs, and the entire house is demolished . . . you have to ask yourself . . . "why did the people in that house not turn in the insurgents?" IMO, that makes them accomplices to the insurgency.

Furthermore, no US/UK soldier should stand there taking incoming fire from a crowd surrounding an insurgent. Why isn't that crowd pointing out the insurgent? Why isn't that crowd beating the crap out of that insurgent? Self defense is not an option.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 10):
I'm sorry, but todays count seems to be 21 for the terrorist and 0 for the Americans. If you read the news, there are a lot of terrorists killing a lot of Iraqis. In this case, there should also be clamor from the world for these terrorists to get out of Iraq.

I see very little clamoring from the world when the terrorists, insurgents, militia (name them what you will) blow up a restaurant, a building, kill a van load of electrical utility workers. But there is certainly volumes of clamoring if an innocent Iraqi dies at the hands of the coalition.

That doesn't mean, Cairo, that an Iraqi life is worth less than any other life - how you obtained that warped idea I don't know. It means - in the eyes of a lot of people here - that it's OK for an Iraqi to kill another Iraqi . . . and do it in the name of Allah!
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deltagator
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:50 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 8):
the Chairwarmers in DC

Come on ANC...you know you wanna call them REMFs!
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starrion
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:53 pm

I think SFOMEX has hit it right on the head.

We expect that the militia of one side or the other will carry out wanton killing of civilians.

We expect that the Marines and Army troops will not kill civilians unless they are forced to for self-defense. That is the level of behavior that we expect from our people. The troops that did the killings need to be tried before a (military) Court of Law, and if found guilty, then punished appropriately.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:05 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 14):
Come on ANC...you know you wanna call them REMFs!

Exactly . . . . and most haven't left DC for a REAL military job in ten years . . . PCS moves from Belvoir to Myer to the Pentagon and back to Belvoir do NOT count.

Quoting Starrion (Reply 15):
The troops that did the killings need to be tried before a (military) Court of Law, and if found guilty, then punished appropriately.

And they will be . . . justly.

That does not excuse the near condoning of the activities of the insurgents against their own people. Fighting against the US/UK forces is one thing - killing off their own people is quite another . . . where's the condemnation for that?
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11Bravo
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:08 pm

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly, but I dont see the same outrage shown for these terrorist on the other side.

Then you haven't been paying attention. I think what you're saying here sounds entirely too much like an excuse as though the actions of a terrorist in some way balances out what apparently happened Haditha.

The reason this gets so much press is precisely because Islamist terrorists and United States Marines are not the same. One group is beholden to no one, has no standards or accountability, and represents the very worst that the human race has to offer. They are a bunch of fuckin' animals.

The other group represents the greatest force of democracy and freedom the world has ever seen. They are an extension of the rule of law and fairness that is the cornerstone of our country. They are held to a higher standard and they should be held to a higher standard because of who they are and who they represent.

I don't give a fuck what some scumball terrorists did on a bus. As a former soldier myself, and more importantly as a citizen, I will not tolerate our soldiers murdering civilians, period. They are obligated to uphold the very highest standards of a professional military that goes back more than 200 years regardless of what their enemies do. That's what I expect them to do, and that's what the World expects them to do.

This is not about what these nasty bastards in the Middle East do to our soldiers and each other, this is about us, our values, and maintaining the standards of civilization.
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andessmf
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:00 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 17):
I don't give a fuck what some scumball terrorists did on a bus. As a former soldier myself, and more importantly as a citizen, I will not tolerate our soldiers murdering civilians, period. They are obligated to uphold the very highest standards of a professional military that goes back more than 200 years regardless of what their enemies do. That's what I expect them to do, and that's what the World expects them to do.

This is not about what these nasty bastards in the Middle East do to our soldiers and each other, this is about us, our values, and maintaining the standards of civilization.

And you will not find me disagreeing with your point of view. But there has not much press when the military was falsely accused of atrocities. And there hasnt been much outrage expressed when the other side commits worse atrocities than the military. That to me seems like clear bias, and I dont like it either way.
 
cairo
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:01 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
Why isn't that crowd pointing out the insurgent? Why isn't that crowd beating the crap out of that insurgent?

Maybe the 'insurgents' are a lot closer in mindset and sympathy to the average every day Iraqi than the Bush administration wants Mr. American Citizen and the whole world to believe?

I don't want to overkill the Vietnam parallels, but it seems to me that if the the locals are not giving a shit, then I don't think the Americans can ever hope to succeed and may as well just leave now.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
That doesn't mean, Cairo, that an Iraqi life is worth less than any other life - how you obtained that warped idea I don't know.

In post 2 you say that it is a travesty to you if Americans were killed while being cautious, implying a non-travesty would be if they could have simply taken non-cautious aggressive action and possibly killed Iraqi civilians instead. You don't write posts complaining about how bad you feel for dead Iraqi civilians because you naturally care about the Americans more...most Americans probably agree with you.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
It means - in the eyes of a lot of people here - that it's OK for an Iraqi to kill another Iraqi . . . and do it in the name of Allah!

That maybe true, but see my previous paragraph above....if the local population feels this way, do you really think America can ever accomplish anything in Iraq?

Iraq should probably devolve into 3 different nations along ethnic/religious lines...but this should be left up to the Iraqis to work out (or fight out).

I think only a dictator could hold Iraq in its present boundaries together - the nice, European style democracy that America is trying to build will forever be too weak, to open, to DEMOCRATIC to hold the Iraqi factions together in Iraq's Saddam era boundaries. The USSR only worked with a repressive central governement - the same thing is true in Iraq, IMO.

Cairo
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:13 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 19):
In post 2 you say that it is a travesty to you if Americans were killed while being cautious, implying a non-travesty would be if they could have simply taken non-cautious aggressive action and possibly killed Iraqi civilians instead.

No implication there Cairo - once again just your one sided interpretation - it needs work.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 19):
The USSR only worked with a repressive central governement - the same thing is true in Iraq, IMO.

And - here's a new flash for you - the USSR is GONE. That oughta tell you something there Cairo.

[Edited 2006-06-05 08:32:12]
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andessmf
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:28 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 19):
I think only a dictator could hold Iraq in its present boundaries together - the nice, European style democracy that America is trying to build will forever be too weak, to open, to DEMOCRATIC to hold the Iraqi factions together in Iraq's Saddam era boundaries. The USSR only worked with a repressive central governement - the same thing is true in Iraq, IMO.

Wow, thats a really interesting statement. Lets say the USSR and other ex-communist countries. Those countries essentially disbanded from their own internal pressure, since force was required to keep them together, once that force was removed, the house of cards fell apart. But honestly you are the first person who I've heard speak of this 'some countries are not made for democracy' issue.

Vietnam and Iraq both share a lot of similarities, including meddling by other countries besides the US, but you forget to mention the external countries, besides the US, who are desperately trying to keep Iraq a quagmire and not working. If there were no external factions trying to keep Iraq from functioning, then I would agree with you. But that is not the case now.
 
Mir
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:06 pm

I don't envy the position the US troops are in. They're brutal if they take precautions to ensure their safety, and dead if they don't. And brutal is just as bad as dead from the standpoint of winning the hearts and mind of the Iraqis. What are they supposed to do? There is no right answer. The only thing that can be done is to let things stay the way they are - so far these kind of incidents have been very isolated. When one does happen, hold an investigation, let the investigation run its course, and if it turns out that the soldiers acted inappropriately, punish them severely. Not a perfect solution, or even a good one, but it is the best that can be done in a bad situation. I'd say that maybe a trial by Iraqis might be better, but I'm not convinced that the Iraqi legal system is sound yet.

It doesn't help that despite what the legal system thinks, in the eye of the public an accusation is pretty much as good as a conviction.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 13):
I see very little clamoring from the world when the terrorists, insurgents, militia (name them what you will) blow up a restaurant, a building, kill a van load of electrical utility workers. But there is certainly volumes of clamoring if an innocent Iraqi dies at the hands of the coalition.

Terrorists will be terrorists. Blowing up random stuff and killing civilians is what they do. Professional militaries are more selective in their targets - they don't target civilians. Things always draw more attention when they do stuff that they aren't supposed to. Call it a problem with the media if you want, but the fact is that people are more interested in that kind of stuff.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 21):
But honestly you are the first person who I've heard speak of this 'some countries are not made for democracy' issue.

It's been said in the past. Didn't Saddam say before the invasion that he was the only one who could keep Iraq together?

-Mir
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starrion
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:54 am

I think there is a large segment of the Iraqi population that wants this to work.

They keep showing up to become policeman for example. There is no job in Iraq that says "Kill Me" quite as much as policeman. I don't know if they can pull it off. The militias and insurgents seem committed to trashing any chance the country has for a future.

We may be approaching the point where the US being there causes more harm than good though.
Knowledge Replaces Fear
 
cairo
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:12 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
Quoting Cairo (Reply 19):
The USSR only worked with a repressive central governement - the same thing is true in Iraq, IMO.

And - here's a new flash for you - the USSR is GONE. That oughta tell you something there Cairo.

That's my point - namely, that without a dictatorial style central government, Iraq in its present borders may be gone as well. Some countries can only be held together by brutal management of diverse factions - the USSR was one of them and Iraq may be another.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 21):
But honestly you are the first person who I've heard speak of this 'some countries are not made for democracy' issue.

That really wasn't what I was saying, although I do say simply waiving the magic wand of democracy and thinking everything will be fine is stupid.

Look at how the way western democracies progressed: typically, at first only male landowners could vote...then males in general....then, 100 years later, women could vote...then, in the last half of the 20th century minorities finally achieved full civil rights.

Besides, what I was really saying is that Iraq should probably devolve into 3 separate countries along ethnic religious lines - the way that happened in the Balkans (Yugoslavia, Serbia, etc...)

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 21):
If there were no external factions trying to keep Iraq from functioning, then I would agree with you. But that is not the case now.

You have a point. Does America think it can outlast the external factors, who are probably simply next door? Again - it didn't work in Vietnam, can it work in Iraq?

Quoting Starrion (Reply 23):
We may be approaching the point where the US being there causes more harm than good though.

AT LEAST you have the balls to admit that such a point exists. Now get America to define what this point is and leave when that point arrives, if it hasn't already.

Cairo
 
Falcon84
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:27 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 24):
That's my point - namely, that without a dictatorial style central government, Iraq in its present borders may be gone as well

So, you're saying Iraq shouldn't even TRY a truly representative democratic government, and that you'd just as soon see another possible Saddam Hussein in power there?

Uh, OK.

No wonder the Middle East is so bass ackwards.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:32 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 24):
That's my point - namely, that without a dictatorial style central government, Iraq in its present borders may be gone as well. Some countries can only be held together by brutal management of diverse factions - the USSR was one of them and Iraq may be another.

Ands my point - that's hogwash. If that were the case, the USSR would still be around.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 25):
So, you're saying Iraq shouldn't even TRY a truly representative democratic government, and that you'd just as soon see another possible Saddam Hussein in power there?

Uh, OK.

No wonder the Middle East is so bass ackwards.

 checkmark 

It's a pretty bizarre way of thinking IMO. Lets have a brutal dictator as opposed to the opportunity to self-govern  crazy 
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
andessmf
Posts: 5689
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:53 am

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:38 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 25):



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):

I always thought that it was a joke when some conservatives were saying that some liberals would claim that freedom and democracy were not for everybody. I guess I was wrong.

You guys just simply answered a lot better than I did.
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:54 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
It's a pretty bizarre way of thinking IMO. Lets have a brutal dictator as opposed to the opportunity to self-govern

I agree. I do not know if it's a cultural thing, or what-and I did not say that with any disparity, Cairo. But who in their right mind would choose a dictatorial government over a free open socieety? It's proven that an open society is more conducive to the human condition than is a closed one.

Maybe the Middle East, and Islamic nations in particular right now, simply aren't ready to take the bold step that the west took a century or two ago. I can't explain it.

Maybe Cairo can explain what he meant.

It's especially mystifying for someone who claims he's an American, to say such a thing. He's seen firsthand the benefits of freedom, yet he opposes it for others?
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
11Bravo
Posts: 1683
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:01 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 25):
So, you're saying Iraq shouldn't even TRY a truly representative democratic government, and that you'd just as soon see another possible Saddam Hussein in power there?

I don't think that's what he's really saying there Falcon. I think he raises an extremely valid point as a matter of fact; not that Iraq should be ruled by some hardline Saddam-like ruler, but that Iraq is an artificial construct established by British colonialists, and that it lacks the fundamental ethnic, religious, and cultural cohesiveness to survive as a unified country.

I see no indication whatsoever that Iraqis are prepared to embrace the plurality and the peaceful compromise that would be necessary to form a single unified nation. It seems clear that Iraqis just don't see themselves as Iraqis. Their self-identity, almost without exception, is based on sectarian allegiance. They view themselves as Sunni, Kurd, and Shia.

As far as I can tell that sectarian identity is the basis for all aspects of day-to-day life in Iraq. The political parties, such as they are, divide themselves purely along sectarian lines. Every election held so far has been decided, not on issues, but strictly along sectarian lines, matching exactly the provincial sectarian ratio. The Iraqi military and security forces are divided up in the same way. All of the Ministerial positions have been assigned based on sectarian proportion.

Seven months after the last election the two most important Ministry positions (Defense and Interior) have still not been decided upon because of sectarian division. Those are the two Ministries that control Iraqi security. We have been told over and over again how important it is for Iraqi forces to stand up so we can stand down.

The only rational way out of this is to partition Iraq so that we can match political boundaries with the sectarian ones. Maybe then these people will start working for their future rather than working to kill us and each other.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
andessmf
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:03 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 28):
Maybe the Middle East, and Islamic nations in particular right now, simply aren't ready to take the bold step that the west took a century or two ago. I can't explain it.

They are ready, the problem becomes the corrupt upper classes of those countries, more or less what happened in Russia. There, very few people took advantage of the initial push into democracy, and became very wealthy as a result.

It is still inconceivable to me that initial democratic steps in any country are not supported, due to the stresses in may cause. But these tentative steps into democracy are still better in the long run for any countries.
 
soyuzavia
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:48 am

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 30):
They are ready, the problem becomes the corrupt upper classes of those countries, more or less what happened in Russia. There, very few people took advantage of the initial push into democracy, and became very wealthy as a result.

There was no democracy in Russia with Yeltsin. There was only an oligarchy - in the true sense of the word. All so-called democratic states are essentially oligarchy anyway, but it was more so in post-Communist Russia.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 24):
Besides, what I was really saying is that Iraq should probably devolve into 3 separate countries along ethnic religious lines - the way that happened in the Balkans (Yugoslavia, Serbia, etc...)

This is one reason I was very much against the war in the beginning. My reasoning agains the war was:

1) No evidence of any active WMD program
2) No evidence that Iraq was supporting terrorism (although they did train, fund, arm and harboured MKO - which by the way is the source of most of the 'evidence' against Iran in current issues)
3) Going into Iraq as was proposed would create yet another Vietnam - a long drawn out guerilla war
4) There would be intense pressure from the various factions in Iraq to go their own individual way and split into 3 States.

Dividing Iraq is very dangerous as it would only further destabilise the region. The Shia and Sunni could, in theory, go their own way and there be no problems. The real problem lies with the Kurds. For them to go their own way, they would be afforded diplomatic and international recognition of (Iraqi) Kurdistan as a sovereign state. This then puts pressure on the international community to also recognise that Kurdish regions in Iran, Syria and Turkey should be separate States (or merged into a Greater Kurdistan as is often sought after by Kurdish nationalists). There are some countries who would be glad to destabilise Iran and Syria by backing Kurdish claims in those countries. But Turkey is the key here.

Turkey has long been involved in the oppression of a Kurdish independence movement in that country - along the same lines as they were in Iraq against Saddam. To support Iraqi Kurdistan independence means that Turkish Kurdistan independence must also be granted, but I doubt that any of Turkey's NATO partners would piss off Turkey insisting on such a thing. The NATO partners would then be accused of hypocrisy by the Kurds (and rightly so).

So there's no chance that Balkanisation would be allowed to occur in Iraq,.
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:33 am

I asked in the first thread and got no answer so I'll ask again. Exactly who, other than Time Magazine, is accusing the Marines of a massacre? What official body has charged anyone with anything? I was surprised by the even handedness of this article, but then I think Newsweek learned a lesson after causing death and destruction a few months back.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13126262/site/newsweek/?GT1=8211

"If you see someone with a cell phone," said one of the commanders, half-jokingly, "put a bullet in their f---ing head." During the battle, a TV camera crew photographed a Marine shooting a wounded, unarmed man. The Marine was later exonerated.

I remember there were instantly calls for a Congressional investigation and all sorts of other things being said about the soldiers when that first happened. Yet strangely no one in the press or politics that were making outrageous claims came forward with as much exuberance to say, oops, guess we made a mistake and judged a little too quickly.

I don't think the whole story has been told yet and I'm content to wait for the official investigation to conclude before I start making up my mind.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
NAV20
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:39 am

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 29):
The only rational way out of this is to partition Iraq so that we can match political boundaries with the sectarian ones. Maybe then these people will start working for their future rather than working to kill us and each other.

Unfortunately, !!Bravo, partition along ethnic/tribal lines wouldn't work because that would ignore the geographical realities (Iraq's cities basically 'grew up' around the river system) and, even more important, the fact that most of the oil is in the Shi'ite south, and the rest is in the north-east, close to the Kurdish area. So you'd immediately have a war about 'who kept what' (in fact, that's just about what is happening in Iraq already).

I agree entirely with Cairo - you can't just 'apply' democracy like a coat of paint, it has to be grown from within. Evolving a 'model' parliamentary democracy in the 'United Kingdom', for instance, required about 400 years of oppression, invasion, occupation, civil war, etc, before it evolved the system it has today; and there are still echoes of those days in NI.

The United States is not technically a democracy - it is a republic - but in any case it spent the whole 19th. Century involved in a series of wars - 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, PI etc.) to determine its structure (especially 'States' Rights') and boundaries. And civil rights for everyone arrived even later.

In fact, in the case of Iraq, if you substitute the Shi'ites for the Southerners who made the wealth, the Sunnis for the Northerners who controlled it, and the Kurds for the Indians who wanted as little as possible to do with either side, you have a pretty good approximation of the situation of the United States in 1861.

Just 'painting on' democracy won't solve a puzzle like that. Unless a strong leader that all sides respect and trust appears (and there is zero chance of that) the various groups are just going to have to fight it out - as happened in most other places.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
DC10GUY
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 5:52 am

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:37 pm

Gilligan, I think that's the problem, nobody has charged anybody with anything, all the press has is evidence that there was a slaughter of old Iraqi people and kids and the Marines saying they are looking into it ... So did the press make it up ? I'll bet a lot of people think so.... Wow!
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
cairo
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:41 pm

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:30 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 25):
So, you're saying Iraq shouldn't even TRY a truly representative democratic government, and that you'd just as soon see another possible Saddam Hussein in power there?

I would never presume to say what Iraq should do, since I'm not Iraqi and don't live there.

I only presume to tell the American government what to do, since I vote them in and out of office.

I tell the Americans that in Iraq you've got a country artificially created by the British which holds little, if any, national identity and that religious/ethnic ties are what binds the populatio, but it does not bind them to any of the other 2 ethnic/religious groups or to the country of Iraq as a whole.

Why not have a band of foreigners, maybe led by someone the US distrusts, like China, come to North America and mandate that Canada, the US, and Mexico must all join together and live under a central government in Washington?

....that is basically what the US is doing to Iraq, except that in North America no one hates each other while the 3 main ehtnic/religious groups in Iraq are more or less in a constant state of hostility.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 28):
. But who in their right mind would choose a dictatorial government over a free open socieety?

If it were easy as: 'pick one: a. democracy or b. dictatorship', then sure your implication is right - and this is in fact the simple logic Bush and company proposed would work so well in Iraq.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 28):
Maybe Cairo can explain what he meant.



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 28):
It's especially mystifying for someone who claims he's an American, to say such a thing. He's seen firsthand the benefits of freedom, yet he opposes it for others?

answered quite well by:

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 29):
I don't think that's what he's really saying there Falcon. I think he raises an extremely valid point as a matter of fact; not that Iraq should be ruled by some hardline Saddam-like ruler, but that Iraq is an artificial construct established by British colonialists, and that it lacks the fundamental ethnic, religious, and cultural cohesiveness to survive as a unified country.



Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 29):
I see no indication whatsoever that Iraqis are prepared to embrace the plurality and the peaceful compromise that would be necessary to form a single unified nation. It seems clear that Iraqis just don't see themselves as Iraqis. Their self-identity, almost without exception, is based on sectarian allegiance. They view themselves as Sunni, Kurd, and Shia.

It was for different reasons, but when another weak democracy forced onto a nation by war finally fell, it gave us Hitler, who of course was far worse than the dictatorial Kaiser that the Allies tried to replace with democracy.

That is my point: a weak democracy in Iraq will likely occur for all the reasons Bravo and I have said - this could lead to an even bigger disaster than Saddam ever was.

Solution for the US: leave as soon as practicable, retain a base at Basra and with full force ensure that the current slight progress in the Israeli-Palestinian situation results in a long term peace.

Cairo
 
andessmf
Posts: 5689
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:53 am

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:40 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 36):

I tell the Americans that in Iraq you've got a country artificially created by the British which holds little, if any, national identity and that religious/ethnic ties are what binds the populatio

The same thing applies to Syria, Lebanon, Iran, etc. So are you then claiming that these countries disband as well? Iraq's creation is not unique in the ME.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 36):
That is my point: a weak democracy in Iraq will likely occur for all the reasons Bravo and I have said - this could lead to an even bigger disaster than Saddam ever was.

You mean like them trying to get nuclear weapons, like Iran?

Quoting Cairo (Reply 36):
Israeli-Palestinian situation

That excuse has been used by plenty of countries to justify not reforming their political system.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 36):

If it were easy as: 'pick one: a. democracy or b. dictatorship', then sure your implication is right - and this is in fact the simple logic Bush and company proposed would work so well in Iraq.

From the evidence presented, the vast majority of Iraqis, Sunnis representing 20% of the pop., want peace. They already picked democracy, if you remember they have held more than one election.

Quoting Soyuzavia (Reply 31):

There was no democracy in Russia with Yeltsin. There was only an oligarchy - in the true sense of the word. All so-called democratic states are essentially oligarchy anyway, but it was more so in post-Communist Russia.

I was thinking deep and hard about this imperfect democracy, and finally I realized something. Russia is an imperfect democracy for sure, but most countries in the world no longer fear that one day the Russians will attack.
 
mrmeangenes
Posts: 555
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:56 am

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:30 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 29):
The only rational way out of this is to partition Iraq so that we can match political boundaries with the sectarian ones. Maybe then these people will start working for their future rather than working to kill us and each other

It's possible such partition may occur after we leave;but experience suggests partitioning along these lines doesn't wark particularly well.

Ireland is one example,Cyprus another; Lebanon yet another.Israel/Palestine
comes to mind as well.

I think one of the problems with partitioning is that each and every group involved thinks it is getting the short end of the stick-and resents it fiercely.
gene
 
mrmeangenes
Posts: 555
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:56 am

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:52 pm

This is the embedded reporter I had mentioned earlier:

CNN reporter, Arwa Damon, writes:

“I know the Marines that were operating in western al Anbar, from Husayba all the way to Haditha. I went on countless operations in 2005 up and down the Euphrates River Valley. I was pinned on rooftops with them in Ubeydi for hours taking incoming fire, and I've seen them not fire a shot back because they did not have positive identification on a target. I saw their horror when they thought that they finally had identified their target, fired a tank round that went through a wall and into a house filled with civilians. They then rushed to help the wounded -- remarkably no one was killed.

“I was with them in Husayba as they went house to house in an area where insurgents would booby-trap doors, or lie in wait behind closed doors with an AK-47, basically on suicide missions, just waiting for the Marines to come through and open fire. There were civilians in the city as well, and the Marines were always keenly aware of that fact. How they didn't fire at shadows, not knowing what was waiting in each house, I don't know. But they didn't….”
gene
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
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RE: Haditha - Part 2

Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:29 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
the thread had sunk to the personal insult and attack levels.

THIS is a danger with all topics of such a high level of emotions involved

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
I do not want to hear is that, despite this incident, that somehow our soldiers do NOT have the right to defend themselves if a crowd is surrounding them and pelting them with rocks or bottles

the reports at hand do NOT say that the soldiers defended against a crowd surrounding them, but the reports say that the soldiers attacked civilians in a house because of some OTHER people had attacked them nearby just before

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 2):
I'm concerned that too many people will not be able to see the forest for the trees here and understand that this is a small group of troops that supposedly screwed up and is not an epidemic through the balance of the forces.

I am sure that such things ARE isolated incidents and do NOT represent what the majority of US soldiers is doing there. it however is obvious that such incidents damage the position of the USA (and the West in general).

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 3):
that the people who complained about Haditha also throw complaints about this other atrocity.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060605/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq
"Masked gunmen stopped two minivans carrying (high school) students north of Baghdad Sunday, ordered the passengers off, separated Shiites from Sunni Arabs, and killed the 21 Shiites "in the name of Islam,"
All I hope is that we see both sides, the Americans might have behaved badly,

THE difference is very simply. You here refer to actions by some "masked gunmen" who either are members of a group of ordinary criminals (in spite of that religious aspect) or members of a radical organisation, while the US soldiers are members of a regular army .
 
Kay
Posts: 1797
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 3:41 pm

RE: Haditha - Part 2

Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:47 am

I'm sorry to add fuel to the fire here but I don't get the point of all these discussions.

Are the pro-US army here trying to clear what happened or provide an explanation? Does that mean they actually have a rational explanation for the invasion in the first place?
This is a small detail to the big picture, why waste your energy on a rotten cause/issue?


I am having a hard time figuring out why some people are genuinely for this war. The US government wanted it and did it, but it proved costly soldiers wise and didn't democratize anything. History has proven that you can't democratize a country by invading it or forcing it. That's more than a hint that the real reason behind the war wasn't this one.

Kay

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