Captured US Soldier

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Choronzon
No, you didn't. In fact, I'd say you directed the direction of the discussion very well.:rofl:

But I do agree he deserves no sympathy if he's a deserter. In fact, if turns out the true story was that John McCain was a deserter, then I think he deserves what he got during Viet Nam. Just like if the stories of the Swift Boaters had turned out to be entirely truthful, then Kerry would have deserved the scorn of voting Americans.
Lol, I can agree, except I find it unlikely that John McCain chose as his method of desertion being shot down.

Then again, I had heard somewhere that he had crashed his plane a couple of times before...

mheslep
Gold Member
We've been embroiled in a petty war for 8 years and have accomplished little. We've placed weak puppet governments in both nations
That's trivially false. The US and other coalition members did not place a puppet government in Iraq, the Iraqi people have turned out in vast numbers at multiple elections at no little risk to themselves to choose their own officials.

Choronzon
That's trivially false. The US and other coalition members did not place a puppet government in Iraq, the Iraqi people have turned out in vast numbers at multiple elections at no little risk to themselves to choose their own officials.
I'd disagree—while the government was elected by the iraqi people, they are entirely dependent on the U.S. largesse (both financially and militarily)for it's continued survival.

mheslep
Gold Member
I'd disagree—while the government was elected by the iraqi people,
Then consider editing your prior post accordingly and remove 'placed'

they are entirely dependent on the U.S. largesse (both financially and militarily)for it's continued survival.
Why continue to resort to the hyperbole ('entirely')? It simply discredits any point you're after.

The Iraqi's have some 300,000 troops in their Army, much of it trained under US and UK supervision. Iraqi troops have already had occasion to prove themselves independent of any help when they http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi_Army#March_2008_Iraqi_security_forces_crackdown"

Iraq is currently producing http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Iraq/Background.html" [Broken] ($210 million per day), likely on its way to 11 million barrels per day within five years, and the US occupation has long since stopped all construction projects in Iraqi oil and gas. Now, one could argue that this is all insufficient, that it will all fall apart as soon as the last US soldier leaves (they're already out of the cities), and I would still disagree, but at least that's arguable. Last edited by a moderator: Choronzon Then consider editing your prior post accordingly and remove 'placed' Why continue to resort to the hyperbole ('entirely')? It simply discredits any point you're after. The Iraqi's have some 300,000 troops in their Army, much of it trained under US and UK supervision. Iraqi troops have already had occasion to prove themselves independent of any help when they http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi_Army#March_2008_Iraqi_security_forces_crackdown" Iraq is currently producing http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Iraq/Background.html" [Broken] ($210 million per day), likely on its way to 11 million barrels per day within five years, and the US occupation has long since stopped all construction projects in Iraqi oil and gas.

Now, one could argue that this is all insufficient, that it will all fall apart as soon as the last US soldier leaves (they're already out of the cities), and I would still disagree, but at least that's arguable.
Fair enough, your points are well-taken. I admit my hyperbole was foolish, and I'm going to think about editing my previous post, though I think maybe that revision would be unfair—I posted something dumb and I shouldn't get to just erase it and move on.

I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources. We should've invaded, destroyed as many elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan and fanatical muslims in Iraq as we could, then withdrew and let them rebuild their own countries. If they created another government which supported terrorism, we could just destroy that one again. Basically, the whole "We broke it and now it's our's" idea is what I have an issue with. We CAN just break things, if we want too.

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I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources.
Dono, more territorial control in Middle East , directing resource flow, coupled with a relative regional stability (compared to the chaos which would have ensued without occupation) seem to me worthwhile goals. Probably someone in the government had the data to decide whatever this was a profitable enterprise.

mheslep
Gold Member
Fair enough, your points are well-taken. I admit my hyperbole was foolish, and I'm going to think about editing my previous post, though I think maybe that revision would be unfair—I posted something dumb and I shouldn't get to just erase it and move on.
Your call of course. When I post something, er, ill considered, I try to mark it with an 'Edit: revised version'

I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources. We should've invaded, destroyed as many elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan and fanatical muslims in Iraq as we could, then withdrew and let them rebuild their own countries. If they created another government which supported terrorism, we could just destroy that one again. Basically, the whole "We broke it and now it's our's" idea is what I have an issue with. We CAN just break things, if we want too.
Yep, a fair argument, that was more or less the old Rumsfeld policy I'd say, and probably that was the US military mindset well before him, e.g. with Tommy Franks. The problem is that doesn't really help US security (Edit: with Afghanistan/Iraq type problems) - the job the US military is hired to do. Remember 911 was carried out by twenty some guys. We don't need Brigade Combat Teams to take out 20 guys. We need BCTs to stabilize and hold territory so that civilization can takeover, because local civilization tends to notice camps of 20 wild eyed guys shooting up things long after troops have gone.

I recognize it is still common for troops to voice a 'get out of our way and let us win' mentally (and sympathize), going all the way back to Patton's words: "I'm a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight". I think some of the troops sometimes forget the first part of that motto.

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BobG
Homework Helper
I guess my real point, hopefully with much less hyperbole, is that we have supported foreign governments which I don't believe was a worthwhile use of our resources. We should've invaded, destroyed as many elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan and fanatical muslims in Iraq as we could, then withdrew and let them rebuild their own countries. If they created another government which supported terrorism, we could just destroy that one again. Basically, the whole "We broke it and now it's our's" idea is what I have an issue with. We CAN just break things, if we want too.

I think that definitely would be the most efficient method of dealing with Afghanistan. Dealing with three major ethnic groups in Iraq, plus numerous other small groups, makes creating a unified government a nearly insurmountable task in Iraq. Afghanistan is worse.

The main ethnic group in Afghanistan is Pashtun (at nearly 40%), but that's divided into two major groups (Durrani and Ghilzai), with each major group being comprised of several major tribes, each. Additionally, you have the Taliban, whose members come from a diversified cross-section of Pashtun tribes (the Taliban is a religious, Islamic, based group rather than having tribal origins). In addition to the Pashtun groups, you have the Tajiks (25%), Hazaras (18%) and Uzbeks (6%), plus several other small groups. With Pahtuns so fragmented into tribes, the Tajiks are the single biggest semi-unified group in Afghanistan and even ruled Afghanistan for a very short time. That was an exception, as Pashtun tribes are almost always the only groups capable of establishing any type of real rule in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a perpetual civil war and will be for decades, maybe even centuries, to come.

What reason do they have to unify, anyway? To run a better poppy trade?

Choronzon
Your call of course. When I post something, er, ill considered, I try to mark it with an 'Edit: revised version'

Yep, a fair argument, that was more or less the old Rumsfeld policy I'd say, and probably that was the US military mindset well before him, e.g. with Tommy Franks. The problem is that doesn't really help US security (Edit: with Afghanistan/Iraq type problems) - the job the US military is hired to do. Remember 911 was carried out by twenty some guys. We don't need Brigade Combat Teams to take out 20 guys. We need BCTs to stabilize and hold territory so that civilization can takeover, because local civilization tends to notice camps of 20 wild eyed guys shooting up things long after troops have gone.

I recognize it is still common for troops to voice a 'get out of our way and let us win' mentally (and sympathize), going all the way back to Patton's words: "I'm a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight". I think some of the troops sometimes forget the first part of that motto.
When I was a soldier I certainly did fight where and when I was told, and only then. I'm just a regular old civilian now, so I no longer feel any compunction to keep my opinion private. I also wholeheartedly agree that the military should serve the civilian branch of our government—the military exists to protect the nation, not the other way around.

You're also right, we don't need BCTs to hunt down terrorist cells—they wouldn't be very good at it. Send the BCT's in to destroy any government which aids our enemies, and then make sure that those cells live in constant fear of assassination or missile strikes. I understand it's easier said than done, but I've never seen extensive foreign entanglements as an efficient way to safeguard our interests.

and then make sure that those cells live in constant fear of assassination or missile strikes. I understand it's easier said than done, but I've never seen extensive foreign entanglements as an efficient way to safeguard our interests.

Choronzon
I don't understand. Are you trying to say "Mossad does this, and are pretty successful at it." or perhaps "Mossad does this and their neighbors all hate Israel."? Or maybe something else all together?

mgb_phys
Homework Helper
The operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been extremely successful. The fall of the Ba'ath party, Iraq has a near fully functional army and air force again, there is democracy....Do some homework before you make such blasphemous claims.
Who put the devoutly anti-communist Ba'ath party in power in the first place?
Hope your new guy works out better.

Afghanistan is working pretty well - at this rate we should be able to get rid of the Russians soon, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8540726.stm

Who put the devoutly anti-communist Ba'ath party in power in the first place?
Hope your new guy works out better.

Afghanistan is working pretty well - at this rate we should be able to get rid of the Russians soon, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8540726.stm

He should have been removed from power after OP: DS. We also didn't get Bin Laden when we had the chance in 95. Easy to say that someone is a bad man in hindsight.

The Russians blame NATO for all of its problems if you haven't noticed. This is coming from a country who lost almost a hundred fully operational T-80s in a forest in the Urals.

russ_watters
Mentor
I was skiing a year ago in Tahoe and a section of the mountain was roped-off and had a sign over it telling you that if you passed the sign, your life was in your own hands. Among other things, it said "rescue, if available, will be costly".

My point is, the government's responsibility to keep you safe has limits. At some point, when you knowingly enter into a dangerous situation, you take your life into your own hands.

I was skiing a year ago in Tahoe and a section of the mountain was roped-off and had a sign over it telling you that if you passed the sign, your life was in your own hands. Among other things, it said "rescue, if available, will be costly".

My point is, the government's responsibility to keep you safe has limits. At some point, when you knowingly enter into a dangerous situation, you take your life into your own hands.
So going to work as a soldier is one of those jobs where when things go bad they say 'just kill him'???

I don't believe that at all.

russ_watters
Mentor
So going to work as a soldier is one of those jobs where when things go bad they say 'just kill him'???
Huh? i'm not talking about the regular duties. I'm talking about what happens when someone "passes the ropes". I probably should have quoted an earlier post where people were talking about speculation the soldier was a deserter and comparing that to things like the missionaries arrested in North Korea that Clinton bailed out (or the ones in Hati that s/he didn't!). The thread seems to have moved beyond that...

I don't understand. Are you trying to say "Mossad does this, and are pretty successful at it." or perhaps "Mossad does this and their neighbors all hate Israel."? Or maybe something else all together?
Israel is the most feared country in Palestine, not only because of its immense military strength, but because Mossad is extremely good at what they do. I believe it is one of Hezbollah's leaders that has been in hiding for the past 2 years for fear of assassination.

Israels neighbors have hated Israel since it was founded, not because of Mossads exploits, but because they do not want them their. (amongst other reasons)

mheslep
Gold Member
When I was a soldier I certainly did fight where and when I was told, and only then...
I'm sure you did. I had in mind some of the stories Gen Patraeus told after he took over in Iraq, about having to go visit some commanders and remind them.

BobG
Homework Helper
First off, where in Afghanistan was Bergdahl stationed when he was abducted? There seems to be an assumption that he was stationed in a war zone where his base was the only safe place for Americans and that only a deserter would leave the base.

Leaving a base doesn't make one a deserter. It doesn't even make him AWOL unless he fails to show up for his next shift (and he reportedly left the base after completion of a duty shift).

Leaving his weapons only means he didn't leave the base expecting trouble. Presumably, he wouldn't have left the base if he thought he would be abducted.

Secondly, how hard is it to get off base? Is this base in enemy territory, so guards patrol the perimeter? Guards that Bergdahl had to evade to sneak off of the base? Or did Bergdahl just walk out of the main gate - an action the gate guards didn't find the least bit unusual?

If it was normal to leave the base, were there off limits establishments and/or off limits areas of town? Places where an American would be taking their life in their own hands if they visited? Was Bergdahl in one of those establishments or parts of town when he was abducted? Or was he the exception that was abducted in one of the safe parts of town?

He reportedly left the base with three Afghans. Americans at some locations (Camp Harriman/Forward Operating Base Orgun-E, for example), have an excellent relationship with Afghans that work on the base and with the Afghans in the surrounding community. Not that Camp Harriman is particularly relevant since we don't know where Bergdahl was abducted from.

So, was he leaving with them because he was defecting? Was he leaving to go get drunk with them? Was leaving the base with Afghans that lived in the community dangerous? Or was it a lot safer than wandering around a foreign community on your own?

There's just about no info on Bergdahl's capture other than that he definitely is in Taliban hands and that he definitely is a US soldier. Those are the only two things that are definitely fact.

I'm not sure what's served by speculating on how we should handle him if he's a deserter or if he's a hero on a secret mission, since there's no reason to believe he's either.

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I'm not sure what's served by speculating on how we should handle him if he's a deserter or if he's a hero on a secret mission, since there's no reason to believe he's either.
Thank you, I was just about to come on and write something along the same lines since I was too tired to bother to reply last night.

I don't think that Bergdahl is some sort of 'hero' on a secret mission but I do not think it's fair at all for Fox News to be putting on the air to the public that this man should be executed by the Taliban to save America troubles. That was pretty much the entire point of this post.

Now going to rescue him that's something different, I feel that if America finds his location and they are certain that a rescue op would be effective with no casualties then they obviously should go for it... Even if there were minimal casualities they should go in and extract him. The military definitely know that they are signing up to risk their lives to help others and in this case it would be to rescue a fellow soldier from the hands of the enemy.
I personally wouldn't have any problems laying down my life to go and rescue this man from his captors. I feel it would be better that I die or get shot and suffer than have to sit around and kick back while this man may be tortured or worse... be beheaded while he's fully concious.