T Nation

No Detainee Abuse Huh?

[quote]hedo wrote:
The concept of sanctuary comes into play here. Simply stated if your enemy is humane and honorable then he deserves the same treatment. It also assumes that your enemy will not mix in among civilians and clearly identify himself via a uniform and or insignia. It is a basic military custom.

Since our enemy cleary does not abide by this custom and has already attacked civilians to make a political rather then a military attack, he has opened the door to have “total war” made upon himself. I think we have fufilled our obligation by not doing so first and showing enormous restraint in prosecuting the war. However, this courtest should not extend to enemy combatants fighting as irregular troops. Typically they were shot in the battlefield as soon as they were captured.[/quote]

Shooting partisans or spies is completely different from torturing them.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
We don’t get the full story from Iraq because the terrorists have specifically targeted the media with torture and beheadings.

They have done this for a reason. They don’t want the American people to see what is going on.

They would rather the media report on the miltarys problems and a body count.

I suspect if the media had free access in Iraq some peoples perceptions of the mission would change.[/quote]

Not sure I get what you’re saying here. The Iraq coverage is slanted as hell, sure, but I think everyone but complete fringe lunatics (Michael Moore calling them “freedom fighters”) realizes that the insurgents in Iraq are murderers and terrorists.

[quote]heavythrower wrote:
g, i hear everything you are saying, and in time my feelings may change, but right now i am still angry about too many things to really give a damn about how we are treating these guys right now.

i think a significant number of other Americans feel the same way too. so i think you can expect to feel somewhat frustrated that even your valid and heartfelt opinion falls on a lot of deaf ears.

Me? let me tell you how i feel. a few days after 911, all over the news video footage of various areas of the middle east of their reaction to the attacks, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, etc, and in the neighborhoods people, men women and children were dancing and celebrating while holding up pictures of the towers burning.

in my mind, i visualized an f-14 appearing over the horizon, and burning every single damn one of those people alive. men women and children. that may be wrong of me, but i am being honest, it is how i felt and how i fell today. i want our troops to torture and maim these people. may god forgive me, but i do.

there are no innocents in a war like this. it is a war of cultures and ideology. too many people in this country think we can fight a civilized techno/police like war with enemies still fighting by 14-15th century rules. sorry, we cant win like that. we have to get a down and dirty as they.

like i said, i may be wrong, but this is how i feel. [/quote]

Thanks for the response, a lot more thoughtful than some of the knee-jerk assholes above. But if this truly is a clash of civilizations, do you really think we can win with military might? Do you think a U.S. Army that is way understrength in Iraq and is wrecking the Guard and Reserves can hope to defeat radical Islam in every country in the Middle East by force of arms? Winning in Iraq and Afghanistan with force is one thing, but don’t you think to defeat Muslim terrorism we need to win a battle of ideas? And does America stand for anything if it stands for torture?

[quote]WMD wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
We don’t get the full story from Iraq because the terrorists have specifically targeted the media with torture and beheadings.

They have done this for a reason. They don’t want the American people to see what is going on.

They would rather the media report on the miltarys problems and a body count.

I suspect if the media had free access in Iraq some peoples perceptions of the mission would change.

Would you elaborate a bit on this? I’m not clear what you mean about the perception of the mission.
[/quote]

Some people actually think we are losing and are not having any success.

[quote]hedo wrote:
The concept of sanctuary comes into play here. Simply stated if your enemy is humane and honorable then he deserves the same treatment. It also assumes that your enemy will not mix in among civilians and clearly identify himself via a uniform and or insignia. It is a basic military custom.

Since our enemy cleary does not abide by this custom and has already attacked civilians to make a political rather then a military attack, he has opened the door to have “total war” made upon himself. I think we have fufilled our obligation by not doing so first and showing enormous restraint in prosecuting the war. However, this courtest should not extend to enemy combatants fighting as irregular troops. Typically they were shot in the battlefield as soon as they were captured.[/quote]

That’s all well and good, but do you believe total war can work in an unconventional conflict? Does that make any sense?

[quote]fatsensei wrote:
Why is it the media never says squat about the way the terrorists treat our soldiers?

Our own media just beats up on our own military.

Sorry, fuck them and fuck you. Those bastards don’t hold anything back when it comes to fucking with us, so an eye for an eye.

FatSensei[/quote]

You’re obviously real bright. The detainee abuse story is only really becoming an issue because soldiers and politicians stepped forward and called attention to what is going on, not because the media cracked any story.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:
The concept of sanctuary comes into play here. Simply stated if your enemy is humane and honorable then he deserves the same treatment. It also assumes that your enemy will not mix in among civilians and clearly identify himself via a uniform and or insignia. It is a basic military custom.

Since our enemy cleary does not abide by this custom and has already attacked civilians to make a political rather then a military attack, he has opened the door to have “total war” made upon himself. I think we have fufilled our obligation by not doing so first and showing enormous restraint in prosecuting the war. However, this courtesy should not extend to enemy combatants fighting as irregular troops. Typically they were shot in the battlefield as soon as they were captured.

That’s all well and good, but do you believe total war can work in an unconventional conflict? Does that make any sense?[/quote]

Just an fyi, I wasn’t referring to spies and partisans, I meant the irregular troops, which is most of the so called insurgents and jehadists we are facing.

Do I think total war can work work in this type of conflict? Yes without a doubt. Do I think we have the stomach for it in 2005…I do not.

Germany and Japan did not welcome US troops after they surrendered. They were very afraid of our armies. We made war on the civilians as well as the military and they had no doubt of our resolve. German SS partisans known as werewolves attacked US troops for months after the surrender in 1945. US forces used reprisals against the villages that harbored them. The German civilians soon either killed the SS partisans or turned them over. Was it fair or humane…in no way at all.

Is it workable in 2005? Not under present conditions and I don’t think we would do it, but yes it would work, always has. My fear is that workable or not it will be the end result of this conflict as I see the Islamofacists using a nuclear weapon at some point on US soil, then all bets are off regarding US restraint.

[quote]fatsensei wrote:
Why is it the media never says squat about the way the terrorists treat our soldiers?

Our own media just beats up on our own military.

Sorry, fuck them and fuck you. Those bastards don’t hold anything back when it comes to fucking with us, so an eye for an eye.

FatSensei[/quote]

The fact that soldiers shouldn’t behave as terrorists is the exact same fact that in this war you’re the good ones and they’re the vilains.
If you start retaliating their way, you’re are not better than they’re…
As the guy who started this thread put it, that’s not always easy, it’s human to be mad at inhuman actions, but shooting trophy-pics of a naked POW, come on…

[quote]hedo wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
hedo wrote:
The concept of sanctuary comes into play here. Simply stated if your enemy is humane and honorable then he deserves the same treatment. It also assumes that your enemy will not mix in among civilians and clearly identify himself via a uniform and or insignia. It is a basic military custom.

Since our enemy cleary does not abide by this custom and has already attacked civilians to make a political rather then a military attack, he has opened the door to have “total war” made upon himself. I think we have fufilled our obligation by not doing so first and showing enormous restraint in prosecuting the war. However, this courtesy should not extend to enemy combatants fighting as irregular troops. Typically they were shot in the battlefield as soon as they were captured.

That’s all well and good, but do you believe total war can work in an unconventional conflict? Does that make any sense?

Just an fyi, I wasn’t referring to spies and partisans, I meant the irregular troops, which is most of the so called insurgents and jehadists we are facing.

Do I think total war can work work in this type of conflict? Yes without a doubt. Do I think we have the stomach for it in 2005…I do not.

Germany and Japan did not welcome US troops after they surrendered. They were very afraid of our armies. We made war on the civilians as well as the military and they had no doubt of our resolve. German SS partisans known as werewolves attacked US troops for months after the surrender in 1945. US forces used reprisals against the villages that harbored them. The German civilians soon either killed the SS partisans or turned them over. Was it fair or humane…in no way at all.

Is it workable in 2005? Not under present conditions and I don’t think we would do it, but yes it would work, always has. My fear is that workable or not it will be the end result of this conflict as I see the Islamofacists using a nuclear weapon at some point on US soil, then all bets are off regarding US restraint.

[/quote]

Partisans/insurgents, semantics, I meant the same thing. Come on, please don’t bring up the Werewolf example again. Rice and Rumsfeld referenced that a while back, it’s a terrible analogy, a handful of die hard Nazis hanging on and killing a mayor once is nothing like the insurgency in Iraq today, fuelled by a huge (20%) disaffected minority of the population, aided by foreign fighters, and offered sanctuary in neighboring countries. You can’t even compare the two. You’re ex-Army right? If you were armor, going by your avatar, Armor magazine had an article on the Werewolves a month or two back, and it was a pretty poor case. And we also had a slightly bigger Army back in 1945.

And countries that are brutal enough to employ total war against insurgents often still don’t succeed. See Russia in Afghanistan, or, further back, the Germans in Yugoslavia.

You asked. That’s my opinion.

The werewolf example is the most closely related analogy to your question I could find. I think they killed more then one mayor didn’t they? They were supposed to involve the whole German population but were unsuccessful because they were broken.

The Army was much larger in 1945 but certainly much more lethal today. Much more so.

My reference to irregular troops was offered as a reason for the abuse. Uniformed military soldiers are treated quiet respectfully by th US upon surrender. Criminals are not.

It’s hypothetical at this point anyway.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:

Partisans/insurgents, semantics, …[/quote]

This shows where your sympathies are. They are not insurgents or partisans. They are terrorists pure and simple.

When they found it was tougher to kill American soldiers they started killing anyone they could.

They intentionally blow up car bombs in crowds of innocent people.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:

Partisans/insurgents, semantics, …

This shows where your sympathies are. They are not insurgents or partisans. They are terrorists pure and simple.

When they found it was tougher to kill American soldiers they started killing anyone they could.

They intentionally blow up car bombs in crowds of innocent people.
[/quote]

Are you fucking kidding me? My sympathies? They’re murderers, plain and simple. Whether you call them partisans, or insurgents, or terrorists, or militants, or rebels, or whatever the hell you want, they’re Islamic fascists who delight in killing. The wording is irrelevant. I didn’t realize having problems with our Army torturing even the worst kind of enemy made me a terrorist sympathizer. Good to know.

[quote]hedo wrote:
You asked. That’s my opinion.

The werewolf example is the most closely related analogy to your question I could find. I think they killed more then one mayor didn’t they? They were supposed to involve the whole German population but were unsuccessful because they were broken.

The Army was much larger in 1945 but certainly much more lethal today. Much more so.

My reference to irregular troops was offered as a reason for the abuse. Uniformed military soldiers are treated quiet respectfully by th US upon surrender. Criminals are not.

It’s hypothetical at this point anyway. [/quote]

The Werewolves were, if not a joke, a pretty minimal threat. Their assassination of one mayor, might have been in Aachen, I forget, was their biggest success. But you think the fact that we’re fighting irregulars (oh, sorry, “terrorists” Zap) justifies or explains torture?

GD

Justified under current US laws, no.

Explains the motivation behind it yes.

I was answering your question re: total war in the previous posts.

We’ve got to hold ourselves to a higher standard. How do you feel when you hear about a murderer or rapist? I get pretty pissed off, mainly because I’ve had the idea a few times that, “That guy’s really pissing me off. I COULD end his shit,” or, “Damn, she’s fine, but I don’t feel like talkin and all this other shit. I COULD just take what I want.” When these ideas cross my mind, I recognize them as wrong and hold myself to a higher standard. It’s not a hard decision of most people.

What really gets to me, though, is people who go through life and don’t bother to make that slight effort of restraint and give me a bad name in front of the world. They’re like a jackass who knows he should be chugging a protein shake, but goes with the Krispy Kreme instead… and makes ME fat for it! We are BETTER than our enemy. We should act like it.

Unless I missed something, there wasn’t anything new here. It’s just now there is a former assistant to Powell making the same conclusions based on the same information that was previously available: there were abuses of detainees that occurred; our policies did not explicitly sanction such abuse but the author thinks they didn’t go far enough in the other direction in terms of specifying that all prisoners receive kid-glove treatment; so thus the Administration is at fault for creating a “climate” that lead to abuse.

There is no allegation here that official U.S. policy was in any way in violation of the Geneva conventions or any other binding obligations on the U.S.

I guess this is my long-winded way of saying refer to all my previous posts on other threads about prisoner abuse.

[quote]hedo wrote:
GD

Justified under current US laws, no.

Explains the motivation behind it yes.

I was answering your question re: total war in the previous posts.

[/quote]

I don’t care about the legal issues too much, in the same way that people who fretted about whether we had the legal right to invade Iraq were idiots. Do you think it (torturing terrorists) is morally justified is the question?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Unless I missed something, there wasn’t anything new here. It’s just now there is a former assistant to Powell making the same conclusions based on the same information that was previously available: there were abuses of detainees that occurred; our policies did not explicitly sanction such abuse but the author thinks they didn’t go far enough in the other direction in terms of specifying that all prisoners receive kid-glove treatment; so thus the Administration is at fault for creating a “climate” that lead to abuse.

There is no allegation here that official U.S. policy was in any way in violation of the Geneva conventions or any other binding obligations on the U.S.

I guess this is my long-winded way of saying refer to all my previous posts on other threads about prisoner abuse.[/quote]

It’s a lot more serious than that. Obviously someone like Durbin is out of line, but there’s enough of this stuff that it isn’t just isolated incidents or a few bad apples anymore. They had Justice and Jon Yoo and Gonzalez draw up a memo, as I’m sure you’re aware, to parse the term torture and decide what they could get away with. If this Administration is opposed to torture, why are they threatening to veto the McCain Amendment (we all know how much Bush loves to use his veto after all)?

Alongside the issue of how this affects people’s (i.e. Muslim) views of the US, which do matter, is the question of how torture even helps us. Most of this stuff isn’t done for information gathering. Even torture for interrogation purposes may be pointless though. Certainly a big school of thought that it’s counter-productive, even with the real hard cases. The Atlantic did a short article on this a couple months back, I’ll see if I can find it.

There it is:

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:

Partisans/insurgents, semantics, …

This shows where your sympathies are. They are not insurgents or partisans. They are terrorists pure and simple.

When they found it was tougher to kill American soldiers they started killing anyone they could.

They intentionally blow up car bombs in crowds of innocent people.

Are you fucking kidding me? My sympathies? They’re murderers, plain and simple. Whether you call them partisans, or insurgents, or terrorists, or militants, or rebels, or whatever the hell you want, they’re Islamic fascists who delight in killing. The wording is irrelevant. I didn’t realize having problems with our Army torturing even the worst kind of enemy made me a terrorist sympathizer. Good to know.[/quote]

If you claim you don’t think words and labels have an effect you are being dishonest.