Hearts and Minds

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Art

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It seems the US military have still a lot to learn about winning over hearts and minds.

Desecrating the dead seems to me to be somewhat counter-productive. :rolleyes:
http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=2121322005 [Broken]
Taleban bodies burnt as insult
DANIEL COONEY
IN KABUL
REPORTS of American soldiers apparently burning the bodies of Taleban fighters and then using the action to taunt other militants are "repugnant" the US military said yesterday, promising a full investigation.
A spokesman for Afghan president Hamid Karzai said the Kabul government has launched its own inquiry into the alleged incident.
Australia's SBS television network broadcast footage that purportedly showed US soldiers burning the bodies of the suspected Taleban fighters in the hills outside the southern village of Gonbaz, near the former Taleban stronghold of Kandahar.
According to a transcript of the television programme, a loudspeaker broadcast by the soldiers directed at the village - believed to be harbouring militants - then called the Taleban "cowardly dogs".
"You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies," said one message, according to the transcript..........

Under the Geneva Conventions, soldiers must ensure that the "dead are honourably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged".
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #4
devil-fire
do americans find it concerning that Geneva Conventions are being thrown out the window in this conflict? i would be outraged if canadian soldiers did something like this (im canadian). i mean how can you expect to be protected by the geneva convention in the future if your countrymen are ignoring it when they find it convenient???
 
  • #5
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devil-fire said:
do americans find it concerning that Geneva Conventions are being thrown out the window in this conflict? i would be outraged if canadian soldiers did something like this (im canadian). i mean how can you expect to be protected by the geneva convention in the future if your countrymen are ignoring it when they find it convenient???
Some are very upset. Some are happy that we're doing these things, as long as muslims are the victims. Many don't really have an opinion.
 
  • #6
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devil-fire said:
i would be outraged if canadian soldiers did something like this (im canadian). i mean how can you expect to be protected by the geneva convention in the future if your countrymen are ignoring it when they find it convenient???
I think the entire country would be outraged.

For those of you who don't think I'm serious, or don't believe me - just look at what happened last time we did, the entire regiment was disbanded, some 20 people were prosecuted and the minister of national defence was forced to resign (pretty much as high as you could go short of the PM).
 
  • #7
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I'm outraged. I'm also a hell of a lot more vocal than I was a few years ago.

There's so much to be outraged about, being lied to for war, possible election fraud on a huge scale, torture/Geneva convention, hypocrisy, encroachment of church onto state, to biased news coverage and propaganda, the list continues.

I haven't "taken to the streets" but I've written letters from everyone to local churches (phoned one again yesterday for more christian paperwork that came home in the backpack) to senators. I've signed petitions, donated to grassroots efforts, started voicing things here on this political forum, today I spoke with the principle about setting up a fundraiser for the Pakistan earthquake victims (we came to an agreement about how to do sucha thing at the school).

I don't know how many people are pissed off or even aware.

If Kerry had ended up in the WH, I may have not been so jolted out of my past assumptions that the system works. Since I was jolted out of that complacency, and no longer trust the system as I used to, I'm looking harder at these sorts of issues and doing things to help.

But people that are happy that Bush won, may complacently assume that the system is working, and may not realize the problems with torture, and other issues.
 
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  • #8
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See now I always figured that the very fact that Kerry and Bush were the only options made it blatantly obvious the system wasn't working. Actually, the fact that there has yet to be a president that is not a rich, white, male with lots of corporate connections is also pretty obviously corrupt.

You could say the same about pretty much every western "democracy", with very few exceptions.
 
  • #9
Tarheel
devil-fire said:
do americans find it concerning that Geneva Conventions are being thrown out the window in this conflict?
The Geneva convention does not apply to the insurgents.
It applies to conventional military conflicts vs. "uniformed" soldiers.

If you are some random A-Hole hiding amongst the General population and setting up road side bombs you don't get the benefit of the Geneva convention.

Thats my understanding anyway.
 
  • #10
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Smurf said:
See now I always figured that the very fact that Kerry and Bush were the only options made it blatantly obvious the system wasn't working. Actually, the fact that there has yet to be a president that is not a rich, white, male with lots of corporate connections is also pretty obviously corrupt.
You could say the same about pretty much every western "democracy", with very few exceptions.
I had faith in the system --- the trends were in the right direction. There was a female running mate (Ferraro) back in 80-something, there was a jewish runningmate (Lieberman), (Wasn't Dukakis Jewish too?) and so on. Female senators, female supreme court justices --- the trends indicate that it is a matter of time. The demographics in the country's population are changing too, far more hispanics than a generation ago, far more asians, so the white male's days are numbered.

I think it is a only matter of time til we see a woman (etc) in the white house, and frankly I don't expect the change from no votes for women --> women presidents to occur very quickly. I had been satisfied with the rate of progress in those terms.
 
  • #11
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devil-fire said:
do americans find it concerning that Geneva Conventions are being thrown out the window in this conflict? i would be outraged if canadian soldiers did something like this (im canadian). i mean how can you expect to be protected by the geneva convention in the future if your countrymen are ignoring it when they find it convenient???
I just received something in my inbox from MoveOn. They're claiming another victory for the common man here. This has nothing to do with torture per se, but has to do with whether Americans are just sitting on their duffs or not.

Dear MoveOn member,

Two days ago, the House of Representatives was poised to dramatically increase proposed cuts to crucial health care, nutritional and educational services. But MoveOn members fought back with over 30,000 phone calls and 130,000 personal letters to Congress as part of a "virtual march" on Washington. Hours before the vote was scheduled to occur, top Republicans were forced to call it off—citing a sudden drop in support even among their own party.1
It's true that we're not in the streets like in Vietnam Days, but the general sense from beyond the borders, that Americans "don't care" or don't rise up in numbers, is not entirely accurate.

I don't know of any similar moves to mobilise people on the torture issue. I'm sure they're out there, though. There's a hell of a lot that we are putting our efforts towards rectifying.
 
  • #12
Art
Tarheel said:
The Geneva convention does not apply to the insurgents.
It applies to conventional military conflicts vs. "uniformed" soldiers.
If you are some random A-Hole hiding amongst the General population and setting up road side bombs you don't get the benefit of the Geneva convention.
Thats my understanding anyway.
The Geneva conventions and thus it's protection does apply to guerilla fighters wherin they are classified as having combatant status (convention 1 art. 13). Only mercenaries are exempted (protocol 1 art. 37).
The specific article allegedly violated by the US troops is convention 3 art. 120.

Regardless of the Geneva convention most right thinking people would be apalled by this behaviour. It doesn't need familiarity with an international treaty to recognise that behaviour like this is utterly despicable.
 
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  • #13
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165
This type of behavior by Americans may well backfire in our faces. Our burning them over there will only give them an increased incentive to burn us over here. The administration tells us that we must fight them over there so that we do not need to fight them here. But it almost appears that we are deliberatley trying to incite them to attack us on our homeland.

What could be the reasoning behind this? Could it be perhaps to bring about the global war that Bush and his Christian fundamentalists supporters want?
 
  • #14
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I don't personally think global war is the mindset - but I wouldn't be surprised if Bu$h and co are as aware as we are, that terror attacks on home soil boost his approval and support for american aggression overall.
 
  • #15
Art
edward said:
This type of behavior by Americans may well backfire in our faces. Our burning them over there will only give them an increased incentive to burn us over here. The administration tells us that we must fight them over there so that we do not need to fight them here. But it almost appears that we are deliberatley trying to incite them to attack us on our homeland.
What could be the reasoning behind this? Could it be perhaps to bring about the global war that Bush and his Christian fundamentalists supporters want?
Whatever their intentions the liklihood is that eventually there will be a major attack on US soil in response to these provocations.
Here's a quote from an article showing the effect this incident has had on the 'hearts and minds' of even America's muslim allies in Afghanistan.
Clerics outraged over report
Agencies
Kabul/Washington :
Islamic clerics yesterday expressed outrage at television footage that purportedly shows US soldiers burning the bodies of two Taliban fighters to taunt other militants and warned of a possible violent anti-American backlash.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the alleged desecration and ordered an immediate independent inquiry. One Muslim leader compared the video to photographs of US troops abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
"Abu Ghraib ruined the reputation of the Americans in Iraq and to me this is even worse," said Faiz Mohammad, a top cleric in northern Kunduz province. "This is against Islam. Afghans will be shocked by this news. It is so humiliating. There will be very, very dangerous consequences from this."
The United States described as "very troublesome" the reports. "From our point of view, these are very serious allegations, and if true, very troublesome," said a State Department spokesman.
http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/WorldNF.asp?ArticleID=188024
More on the US military's fight for the hearts and minds of muslims.
Brutal Guantanamo treatment detailed
From correspondents in Washington
October 20, 2005
NEWLY declassified notes taken by a lawyer of meetings with hunger-striking detainees at the Guantanamo Bay US 'war on terror' detention camp detail the "brutal treatment" of inmates, the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said today......
....The Pentagon puts the current number of hunger-striking detainees at 24, including seven who were force-fed at the hospital.
"Large tubes - the thickness of a finger - were viewed by detainees as objects of torture. They were forcibly shoved up the detainees' noses and down into their stomachs. ... No anesthesia or sedative was provided," Ms Tarver said in notes released by the CCR in a statement.
"In front of Guantanamo's physicians - including the head of the detainee hospital - the guards took NG (nasogastric) tubes from one detainee, and with no sanitisation whatsoever, reinserted (them) into the nose of a different detainee," the notes said.
"When these tubes were reinserted, the detainees could see the blood and stomach bile from other detainees remaining on the tubes," the notes said.
"We never thought we would see the day when this sort of treatment took place at a facility run by the United States government," the statement cited Ms Tarver as saying.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,16977750%255E23109,00.html [Broken] Yep, that should help defeat global terrorism okay. :rolleyes:
And here's more
US strikes kill '70 Iraq rebels'

Funerals were held for the dead on Monday in Ramadi
Helicopters and warplanes bombed two villages near Ramadi in western Iraq on Sunday, killing about 70 people, the US military says.
It said all the dead were militants, although eyewitnesses are quoted saying that many were civilians.

One of the air strikes hit the same spot where five US soldiers had died on Saturday in a roadside bombing.

The US statement said a group of insurgents was about to place another bomb, although local people deny this.

An F-15 warplane fired a precision guided bomb at the group, killing about 20 militants, the US statement said.

Several witnesses quoted by Associated Press said they were civilians who had gathered near the wrecked US vehicle and 25 had died.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4349032.stm
Just what you need to win over the waverers.
 
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  • #16
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Tarheel said:
The Geneva convention does not apply to the insurgents.
It applies to conventional military conflicts vs. "uniformed" soldiers.
If you are some random A-Hole hiding amongst the General population and setting up road side bombs you don't get the benefit of the Geneva convention.
Thats my understanding anyway.
What do you think about men in control rooms sitting in front of a computer setting the locations of where the missiles are going to land.... i hope they don't go to work in civil clothes.....
 
  • #17
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Tarheel said:
The Geneva convention does not apply to the insurgents.
It applies to conventional military conflicts vs. "uniformed" soldiers.
If you are some random A-Hole hiding amongst the General population and setting up road side bombs you don't get the benefit of the Geneva convention.
Thats my understanding anyway.
You're understand is wrong. The Geneva conventions doesn't have to apply to the insurgents, it still applies to the US. There are rules about both Combatant and non-Combatant rules, and the US has broken rules in both.

And the Geneva convention doesn't distinguish between 'A-holes' and 'non-A-holes', it resides on this principle known as "human rights". You know, all humans?
 
  • #18
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pattylou said:
I had faith in the system --- the trends were in the right direction. There was a female running mate (Ferraro) back in 80-something, there was a jewish runningmate (Lieberman), (Wasn't Dukakis Jewish too?) and so on. Female senators, female supreme court justices --- the trends indicate that it is a matter of time. The demographics in the country's population are changing too, far more hispanics than a generation ago, far more asians, so the white male's days are numbered.
I think it is a only matter of time til we see a woman (etc) in the white house, and frankly I don't expect the change from no votes for women --> women presidents to occur very quickly. I had been satisfied with the rate of progress in those terms.
What you call "progress" I call excuses and rhetoric.
 
  • #19
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I tend to think that most things change as the people who hold to outdated ideas die off.

If this is true, you should expect that any period will be different than 30 years prior or afterwards, and that overnight change is unlikely. The changes today from 30 years ago are significant, if not complete.

I could be wrong, but I think that the idea that when "old boys" die off, you'll have a new set of ideas, is generally a reasonable level at which to set expectations. (God, another awkward sentence. Sorry everyone.)
 
  • #20
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pattylou said:
If this is true, you should expect that any period will be different than 30 years prior or afterwards, and that overnight change is unlikely. The changes today from 30 years ago are significant, if not complete.
Is that why we're going back to privatizing so many industries?
 
  • #21
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Yes.


(I have to write more than that so that I have more than ten characters entered.)
 

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