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U.S. soldier kills 16 Afghan civilians

by fellupahill
Tags: afghan, civilians, kills, soldier
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Bobbywhy
#37
Mar12-12, 08:51 PM
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Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Bobbywhy don't you see a contradiction between agreeing with jduster about this being an isolated incident i.e. not to tar everyone in the U.S. military with the same brush and saying that all Muslims will see this the same way?

Personally I feel so sorry for the father who came home to find his children, wife and parents dead. There are no words for how devastating that must be. The real question is how this man's instability went unnoticed; was it unavoidable, were current protocols not followed, are current protocols not sufficient etc?

On a mod related note please pay attention to the rules, discussions on cover ups for which there is no evidence are not allowed. Anecdotes are not evidence.
I extend my condolences to all the families and loved ones of those murdered on 12 March 2012 in Panjwai, Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The horrible killing of Afghanis by the American soldier is an isolated incident. The evidence for this is that tens of thousands of coalition forces have served during this war and not committed such a crime.

Most of the world’s Moslems will see this as “the way Americans behave”. Evidence of this is the reaction last month to our accidental burning of their holy book, the Quran.

The only difference between the first and the second is perception. No contradiction whatsoever; simply two diametrically opposed viewpoints.
dipole
#38
Mar12-12, 09:00 PM
P: 433
I don't want to derail this thread, but I do want to defend what the point I was making was (which may be off-topic here). It goes back to a simple question which I think came out of the Vietnam war protests - what if there was a war an nobody came?

Volunteers are what makes war possible, and it's volunteers that make possible all the horrible things that happen because of wars - even if their intentions are perfectly good or if they themselves are good people and try to act honorably. They are the foundation that the machine of war is built on, and their contribution indirectly leads to these kinds of things.

A lot of people think that's a ridiculous position, I happen to think it's an honest, albeit harsh one, but sometimes honesty means being harsh.

To address Char.limit's argument, it is flawed. The purpose of the pizza industry is to make pizza's. If one pizza worker goes out and kills someone, or if a house full of people get bombed by a pizza worker, that is far beyond the scope of the pizza industry. War, and the military, is designed to kill and destroy. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly are an inherent part of war - to support war is to support the death of innocent people. To support the pizza industry it to support delicious baked food. The analogy just doesn't work.
russ_watters
#39
Mar12-12, 09:24 PM
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Quote Quote by dipole View Post
...what if there was a war an nobody came?
That is unbelievably naive and historically wrong. The Afghanistan war was started on 9/11. The people who died in the planes and in the buildings that were hit did not do anything to "show up" for the war, but it happened anyway. The reality is that it only takes one side to start a war. It doesn't even matter if we were right or wrong for going into Afghanistan, the war was happening before we went. The same issue applies to virtually every war. One side chooses to start it, the other doesn't. Yes, we could have chosen a different action after 9/11, but choosing not to be at war was not an option.
Volunteers are what makes war possible, and it's volunteers that make possible all the horrible things that happen because of wars - even if their intentions are perfectly good or if they themselves are good people and try to act honorably. They are the foundation that the machine of war is built on, and their contribution indirectly leads to these kinds of things.
This is worse, for two reasons:

1. A person - soldier or otherwise - is responsible only for his own conduct. They have no control over the conduct of others unless those others are under their command.
2. Murder is not what soldiers sign up for. The crime that was committed here could not be clearer and bears no relation to what the soldier was signed-up to do. It doesn't even matter if he used his issued gun (I assume he did). More on that:
To address Char.limit's argument, it is flawed. The purpose of the pizza industry is to make pizza's. If one pizza worker goes out and kills someone, or if a house full of people get bombed by a pizza worker, that is far beyond the scope of the pizza industry. War, and the military, is designed to kill and destroy. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly are an inherent part of war - to support war is to support the death of innocent people. To support the pizza industry it to support delicious baked food. The analogy just doesn't work.
The flaw here is obvious: you've mischaracterized what "war" is. Murder is not an inherrent part of war. The action that is the topic of this thread is fairly unusual - that's why we're having this thread! Your inability to see the difference is the cause of your improper judgement.

Also, your logic applies to every industry, even if it wasn't applied all that well by Char (I personally think it was fine, though: delivering pizza is a dangerous business and it would be unsurprising for a pizza deliveryman to panic or go nuts and go on a killing spree). What you are saying would mean that all bankers are responsible for all financial crimes. All police are responsible for the misconduct of a few. And by being an engineer, I'm responsible for the Challenger explosion. It is beyond absurd.
Char. Limit
#40
Mar12-12, 09:31 PM
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I came here to defend my argument and found it already defended! Thanks, russ. I did smile at "delicious baked food", though. MMmmmm pizza.
CAC1001
#41
Mar13-12, 12:37 AM
P: 18
Turns out this guy had suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, but was cleared for duty again.

Quote Quote by dipole View Post
War, and the military, is designed to kill and destroy. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly are an inherent part of war - to support war is to support the death of innocent people. To support the pizza industry it to support delicious baked food. The analogy just doesn't work.
War when conducted by civilized countries is not about killing or even destroying, it's about trying to end the ability of the guy who is trying to destroy you to do so, which unfortunately often involves killing or destroying a few, but even then, they try to limit it to killing solely the people who are killers and the enemy's infrastructure. That is why civilized countries (liberal democracies) virtually never go to war with one another. It's usually with oppressive, militaristic countries or because of oppressive, militaristic countries. For example, Adolf Hitler's Germany in WWII, Imperial Japan in WWII, the Korean War was due to the communists trying to take over all of Korea and the North Koreans being backed by the Chinese and the Soviet Union, Vietnam again due to communists, etc...and in doing so, Western militaries go out of their way not to kill innocents. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly is an inherent part of humanity, but it is not an inherent part of modern warfare by civilized nations, who go out of their way not to do such things. If a Western army comes into a nation, it isn't going to murder, rape, pillage, or brutalize anybody. People would only be killed if absolutely necessary, which is usually those who started the war in the first place by murdering others.

Keep in mind as well that the strategy being applied in Afghanistan is to make friends with the peoples there to turn them against the terrorists in the region, who are very brutal to them. This strategy worked in Iraq, where Al-Qaeda was so brutal to the Iraqis that it turned even peoples who might have been inclined to ally with it against them. In conventional wars, blatant murder doesn't make sense from a logistical standpoint.
feathermoon
#42
Mar13-12, 02:06 AM
P: 60
Quote Quote by CAC1001 View Post
But what has training people to kill got to do with meaning everyone in the military is responsible for the actions of one soldier? And especially a military like the U.S., which is one that goes out of its way to train the soldiers not to kill civilians? Heck, the U.S. Navy even goes out of its way to not hurt marine life. If a Navy ship hits a whale by accident, they will try to help the whale. Police officers are trained in using various levels of force as well. If some rogue officer abuses their authority and injures someone, does that mean all police officers share blame for the rogue officer?
Off topic, but then the Navy ship kills the whale anyway by blasting it with sonar, am I right?
Ryan_m_b
#43
Mar13-12, 02:29 AM
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Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
Most of the world’s Moslems will see this as “the way Americans behave”. Evidence of this is the reaction last month to our accidental burning of their holy book, the Quran.
Nonsense, did you go round and do a poll? There are ~1 billion Muslims in the world spread across every continent. Judging them all by the angry mobs you see on TV is like judging all Christians based on the constant marches, protests, statements etc that certain groups make regarding trivial issues like contraception.
feathermoon
#44
Mar13-12, 03:25 AM
P: 60
Quote Quote by CAC1001 View Post
Turns out this guy had suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, but was cleared for duty again.



War when conducted by civilized countries is not about killing or even destroying, it's about trying to end the ability of the guy who is trying to destroy you to do so, which unfortunately often involves killing or destroying a few, but even then, they try to limit it to killing solely the people who are killers and the enemy's infrastructure. That is why civilized countries (liberal democracies) virtually never go to war with one another. It's usually with oppressive, militaristic countries or because of oppressive, militaristic countries. For example, Adolf Hitler's Germany in WWII, Imperial Japan in WWII, the Korean War was due to the communists trying to take over all of Korea and the North Koreans being backed by the Chinese and the Soviet Union, Vietnam again due to communists, etc...and in doing so, Western militaries go out of their way not to kill innocents. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly is an inherent part of humanity, but it is not an inherent part of modern warfare by civilized nations, who go out of their way not to do such things. If a Western army comes into a nation, it isn't going to murder, rape, pillage, or brutalize anybody. People would only be killed if absolutely necessary, which is usually those who started the war in the first place by murdering others.

Keep in mind as well that the strategy being applied in Afghanistan is to make friends with the peoples there to turn them against the terrorists in the region, who are very brutal to them. This strategy worked in Iraq, where Al-Qaeda was so brutal to the Iraqis that it turned even peoples who might have been inclined to ally with it against them. In conventional wars, blatant murder doesn't make sense from a logistical standpoint.
Ideally. I doubt this is correct in practice.

The strategy you're thinking of is paying the Iraqis off from what I've read, not really anything to do with them thinking of us as friends.
feathermoon
#45
Mar13-12, 03:54 AM
P: 60
I believe its a common misconception that can read someone's intentions by their behavior. That somone should've 'noticed something' in cases like these. In hindsight people may think some aspect of their personality might have been an indicator, but that's just confirmation bias in my mind. No one can READ MINDS, not a trained psychologists or your best friend.

The USM had best court-martial and execute him publicly, quickly (and not painlessly by lethal injection). Its only a very recent thing that leniency has found its way into the armed forces and it's not a good thing in this case. How many good American soldiers will be killed in retaliation so he can get a 'fair trial'? A hundred years ago a soldier might be executed for striking a superior officer or stealing a civilians food. Now its possible to think one could get away with this with his life?

Not good if we want the places we occupy to tolerate us.
Bobbywhy
#46
Mar13-12, 04:56 AM
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Quote Quote by CAC1001 View Post


War when conducted by civilized countries is not about killing or even destroying, it's about trying to end the ability of the guy who is trying to destroy you to do so, which unfortunately often involves killing or destroying a few, but even then, they try to limit it to killing solely the people who are killers and the enemy's infrastructure. That is why civilized countries (liberal democracies) virtually never go to war with one another. It's usually with oppressive, militaristic countries or because of oppressive, militaristic countries. For example, Adolf Hitler's Germany in WWII, Imperial Japan in WWII, the Korean War was due to the communists trying to take over all of Korea and the North Koreans being backed by the Chinese and the Soviet Union, Vietnam again due to communists, etc...and in doing so, Western militaries go out of their way not to kill innocents. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly is an inherent part of humanity, but it is not an inherent part of modern warfare by civilized nations, who go out of their way not to do such things. If a Western army comes into a nation, it isn't going to murder, rape, pillage, or brutalize anybody. People would only be killed if absolutely necessary, which is usually those who started the war in the first place by murdering others.

Keep in mind as well that the strategy being applied in Afghanistan is to make friends with the peoples there to turn them against the terrorists in the region, who are very brutal to them. This strategy worked in Iraq, where Al-Qaeda was so brutal to the Iraqis that it turned even peoples who might have been inclined to ally with it against them. In conventional wars, blatant murder doesn't make sense from a logistical standpoint.
CAC1001: You were totally mistaken when you wrote:

“Western militaries go out of their way not to kill innocents. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly is an inherent part of humanity, but it is not an inherent part of modern warfare by civilized nations, who go out of their way not to do such things.”

Please visit the below websites and add up the number of deaths caused by deliberate bombing of civilian targets by Western nations. Included in the list are the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, War in Afghanistan, Gulf War, Yugoslav Wars, Chechen Wars, Iraq War, and other conflicts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_bombing_of_cities

Here add Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki for a total of Three Hundred Thousand civilian deaths by “strategic bombing”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilia...ategic_bombing

“Area bombing is a form of strategic bombing It could serve two distinct purposes: terrorizing civilians (see terror bombing), and diverting enemy's industrial and military resources from the primary battlefield to air defense.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_bombardment
Jimmy Snyder
#47
Mar13-12, 05:07 AM
P: 2,179
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Murder is not an inherrent part of war.
War is not organized murder, it is organized theft.
russ_watters
#48
Mar13-12, 05:42 AM
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Quote Quote by feathermoon View Post
Off topic, but then the Navy ship kills the whale anyway by blasting it with sonar, am I right?
No, you are not, unless you back up your claim with evidence.
Ideally. I doubt this is correct in practice.
What is true is that to be at war against a developed nation has gotten spectacularly safer for civilians in the belligerent country over the past 50 years.
russ_watters
#49
Mar13-12, 05:47 AM
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Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
CAC1001: You were totally mistaken when you wrote:

“Western militaries go out of their way not to kill innocents. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly is an inherent part of humanity, but it is not an inherent part of modern warfare by civilized nations, who go out of their way not to do such things.”

Please visit the below websites and add up the number of deaths caused by deliberate bombing of civilian targets by Western nations. Included in the list are the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, War in Afghanistan, Gulf War, Yugoslav Wars, Chechen Wars, Iraq War, and other conflicts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_bombing_of_cities

Here add Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki for a total of Three Hundred Thousand civilian deaths by “strategic bombing”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilia...ategic_bombing

“Area bombing is a form of strategic bombing It could serve two distinct purposes: terrorizing civilians (see terror bombing), and diverting enemy's industrial and military resources from the primary battlefield to air defense.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_bombardment
Wrong. Note the timemframes of your examples. "Area bombing" by western nations hasn't happened since Vietnam. Unlike our enemies, we really do go out of our way to protect enemy civilians.

And you need to read your own links. For example:
"Gulf War

The Iraqi Air Force attacked Kuwait City in 1990 and bombed their own cities during the 1991 uprisings in Iraq, targeting civilians with the use of bomb-carrying helicopters (use of airplanes was banned by the Coalition).[citation needed]

UN coalition aircraft attacked targets in Iraqi cities, including in the capital Baghdad and the largest southern city of Basra.[citation needed]"

Saddam Hussein targeted civilians - we didn't.
russ_watters
#50
Mar13-12, 05:50 AM
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Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
War is not organized murder, it is organized theft.
There is an old quote that I think is often true that says war theft writ large, but I don't see how it applies to this thread.
Jimmy Snyder
#51
Mar13-12, 06:19 AM
P: 2,179
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
I don't see how it applies to this thread.
The soldier murdered the civilians. The question arose as to whether war was organized murder. My quote said that war was not organized murder. You ignored that half of my post and restated the other half. Then you questioned what it had to do with the thread.
CAC1001
#52
Mar13-12, 04:29 PM
P: 18
Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
CAC1001: You were totally mistaken when you wrote:

“Western militaries go out of their way not to kill innocents. People being murdered, brutalized, and killed senselessly is an inherent part of humanity, but it is not an inherent part of modern warfare by civilized nations, who go out of their way not to do such things.”

Please visit the below websites and add up the number of deaths caused by deliberate bombing of civilian targets by Western nations. Included in the list are the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, War in Afghanistan, Gulf War, Yugoslav Wars, Chechen Wars, Iraq War, and other conflicts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_bombing_of_cities

Here add Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki for a total of Three Hundred Thousand civilian deaths by “strategic bombing”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilia...ategic_bombing

“Area bombing is a form of strategic bombing It could serve two distinct purposes: terrorizing civilians (see terror bombing), and diverting enemy's industrial and military resources from the primary battlefield to air defense.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_bombardment
When you're using World War II-era technology and you are fighting the likes of the Empire of Japan and the Nazis, a regime so vicious that when they invaded the Soviet Union, the Soviet peoples initially welcomed them as liberators, only to then side with the Soviet government in the end because they were worse than Stalin's henchmen, you sometimes had no choice to do things like area bombing, because you had to knock out the enemy's ability to fight back. Had you not, they would have done their best to knock out your own ability to fight.

As said, the U.S. hasn't used area bombing in any recent war. For wars like Iraq, it wouldn't even make sense: "We the United States, are going to liberate you the Iraqi peoples from that brutal dictator Saddam Hussein, but in the process, we're probably going to kill a few hundred thousand of you bombing the smithereens out of the place." Not the best way to win affection with the people. Even with the Nazis, this was realized. Cities like Dresden were bombed because they were major manufacturing areas for German military production, but what was found was that although the bombs could destroy the buildings, the machinery often stayed intact. And the Germans were able to logistically divide up the process of manufacturing so that despite heavy bombing, German war production even increased. Which means that in hindsight, much of such bombing was pointless as it failed to achieve its goal (stopping German war production). It also had the nasty side effect of playing into the Nazis storyline to the German people that the Allies were no better than they (the Nazis were). One of the things that shut down the German military in the end was destroying the German oil refineries. Oil refining was too complex a process to divide up. In hindsight, had the Allies just focused on knocking out the oil production and not bombing any of the major German cities, they could have then portrayed themselves to the German peoples as not out to harm them at all, just to stop them from wreaking havoc the way they had.

Regarding the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, that again was very controversial at the time. The Allies saw it that the only way to make the Japanese surrender was through brute force. But this meant either formally invading Japan, which it was estimated would've been the biggest slaughterfest of the war and one that they were not sure if the American people would even stand for (as the casualties would've been so high), or trying the atomic bombs on them. But it's not even certain that the atomic bombs in the end worked (or not necessarilly by themselves). They reluctantly decided on August 6, 1945, to drop one bomb, Little Boy, and the Japanese did not surrender. They then on August 9 dropped a second bomb, Fat Man, and still no surrender. On August 8, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and on August 9 (the same day Fat Man was dropped), began invading Japanese-occupied Manchuria. Meanwhile the U.S. considered dropping a third bomb. The Japanese then surrendered when the Emperor intervened, shocked by both of these events.
Evo
#53
Mar14-12, 05:15 PM
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