US pilots kill war correspondents/children and laugh

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xris
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:27 am
@amist,
amist;157920 wrote:
First off, I'm not a liberal. Unless your definition of liberal is 'Not an ultra-nationalist'. But that's a different discussion.

Furthermore, I didn't ask anyone to go and blow up Iraqis to keep me safe, and as a matter of fact it's probably making me less safe by getting people I don't know pissed off at me for living in the country that went over and blew up all the Iraqis.

If you're going to render a service to me using unethical means without getting my approval, you have no right to any gratitude from me.
So would you support the war if it had rendered peace with no civilian casualties? What if they had discovered multiple weapons of mass destruction?

Your widening the debate as if it makes this particular action wrong, without scrutiny. With this attitude I could also claim every action was valid and they had every right to kill those cameramen. The rights and wrongs of the invasion are not being questioned in this thread.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:35 am
@xris,
xris;157925 wrote:
So would you support the war if it had rendered peace with no civilian casualties? What if they had discovered multiple weapons of mass destruction?

But is that relevant - they didn't have WMDs, as our inspectors told us.

In fact one of the most worrying upshots of the Iraq War is that it essentially sends a message to rogue states that they better have WMDs.

Because if they don't then we'll just say they do anyway, so they might as well, because they aren't going to prevent an invasion from coalition forces with conventional arms.

Which is probably why North Korea and Iran are so fond of their nuclear program.
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:44 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;157927 wrote:
But is that relevant - they didn't have WMDs, as our inspectors told us.

In fact one of the most worrying upshots of the Iraq War is that it essentially sends a message to rogue states that they better have WMDs.

Because if they don't then we'll just say they do anyway, so they might as well, because they aren't going to prevent an invasion from coalition forces with conventional arms.

Which is probably why North Korea and Iran are so fond of their nuclear program.
The point I'm making is you cant condemn or support this individual action by the rights and wrongs of the war in general. Would it make the war correct if a soldier saved twenty Iraqi lives?
 
amist
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:49 am
@amist,
Quote:
Your widening the debate as if it makes this particular action wrong, without scrutiny. With this attitude I could also claim every action was valid and they had every right to kill those cameramen. The rights and wrongs of the invasion are not being questioned in this thread.


This has nothing to do with what I was talking about. Ken accused me for being ungrateful to the military, and I was explaining why I don't have to be grateful to them for going to Iraq. I wasn't trying to argue that this particular action on the part of the soldiers was immoral with this(which it was).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:51 am
@amist,
amist;157920 wrote:
First off, I'm not a liberal. Unless your definition of liberal is 'Not an ultra-nationalist'. But that's a different discussion.

Furthermore, I didn't ask anyone to go and blow up Iraqis to keep me safe, and as a matter of fact it's probably making me less safe by getting people I don't know pissed off at me for living in the country that went over and blew up all the Iraqis.

If you're going to render a service to me using unethical means without getting my approval, you have no right to any gratitude from me.


I did not say you were a liberal. It is not, of course, a question of asking anyone to defend one from enemies. Americans in Iraq (and the British too) are doing it. Whether they are has nothing to do with whether they were asked to do it.

If you're going to render a service to me using unethical means without getting my approval, you have no right to any gratitude from me.

But that is false on the face of it. Someone might save you from drowning without your approval (and even by unethical means). But especially if he risked his life doing it, he is entitled to your gratitude.
 
amist
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 07:58 am
@amist,
Quote:
Someone might save you from drowning without your approval (and even by unethical means). But especially if he risked his life doing it, he is entitled to your gratitude.


No, not if he did it unethically. If there was no possible ethical way to save me he should have just let me drown, and if he didn't then I owe no gratitude to him because of his unethical behavior.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 08:00 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;157936 wrote:
But that is false on the face of it. Someone might save you from drowning without your approval (and even by unethical means). But especially if he risked his life doing it, he is entitled to your gratitude.

But few would argue that being saved from drowning is being saved. Only a determinedly suicidal person would say that it didn't further their interests.

Whilst plently feel that the coalition presence in Iraq was/is counterproductive, and witnessing a camera crew and family mown down in a rather gung ho attack confirms that - to an extent.

So gratitiude shown towards soldiers as a gestalt is one thing, and gratitude shown to those who rescue drowning men another. Even if gratitude to the sacrifices of soldiers as a gestalt is justified (and I think it is) it doesn't mean a blunder shouldn't be decried (and this is a blunder).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 08:01 am
@amist,
amist;157939 wrote:
No, not if he did it unethically. If there was no possible ethical way to save me he should have just let me drown, and if he didn't then I owe no gratitude to him because of his unethical behavior.


I don't see why. Of course, we are supposing the behavior was unethical. I don't think that is true in the case of Iraq. But that's something else.

---------- Post added 04-29-2010 at 10:05 AM ----------

Dave Allen;157941 wrote:
But few would argue that being saved from drowning is being saved. Only a determinedly suicidal person would say that it didn't further their interests.

Whilst plently feel that the coalition presence in Iraq was/is counterproductive, and witnessing a camera crew and family mown down in a rather gung ho attack confirms that - to an extent.

So gratitiude shown towards soldiers as a gestalt is one thing, and gratitude shown to those who rescue drowning men another. Even if gratitude to the sacrifices of soldiers as a gestalt is justified (and I think it is) it doesn't mean a blunder shouldn't be decried (and this is a blunder).


Blunders, if they are blunders, should be decried, especially if they are egregious enough. But I don't see the relevance of that. Particularly if you agree that we should be grateful to those who protect us at the risk, and sometimes the cost, of their own lives. As I don't see how you cannot.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 08:25 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;157942 wrote:
Blunders, if they are blunders, should be decried, especially if they are egregious enough. But I don't see the relevance of that.

The relevence would be that fact that the subject of this thread is - and I feel I am being generous - a blunder.

If it isn't a blunder it is indicative of something even worse.

I think if you revise the thread yourself you'll see that most people here are talking about the subject of the thread - not soldiers in general.
Quote:
Particularly if you agree that we should be grateful to those who protect us at the risk, and sometimes the cost, of their own lives.

Depends on the theatre and the individuals involved. I don't think Veitnam saved an American life, I don't think Iraq has saved a British one. I don't admire Mai Lai or Fallujah.

So my feeling about those theatres is different to, say, my regard for the Falklands War, or even Bosnia, because I can see how the situation extrapolating out of those conflicts ensured peace and security.

Even so I think there were soldiers in the Falklands and Bosnia who behaved with no gallantry or even with callousness, and I wouldn't like to have that hushed up because it was embarrassing for the military. I don't think my regard for those soldiers who did act professionally should prevent free inquiry into that.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 09:58 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;157876 wrote:
Even if they are drafted, I suppose. As I wrote, thank goodness for our hired killers. They defend us from the murderers of Islamic Fascism. Yes, they protect you too.


Right. A van full of villagers armed with AKs and one RPG poses a huge threat to overseas Americans. If we withdrew the troops, they'd probably be over here any day via the insurgent Air Force...wait, they don't have one...OK, the Navy...oh, right, they don't have one of those. No, they'd probably nuke us. Nevermind, they don't have those either.

You can delude yourself all you want about how our aggressive, illegal war in Iraq is "defending" anyone or anything besides US corporate and imperial interests. But, the rest of us aren't so gullible.
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 11:34 am
@Pangloss,
I would like to know if this a wider debate on the ethics of the Iraq war or the actions of individuals involved in this war? It has started to become another mud slinging war.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 01:07 pm
@xris,
xris;158007 wrote:
I would like to know if this a wider debate on the ethics of the Iraq war or the actions of individuals involved in this war?


I don't really think you can talk about one without talking about the other. When a nation goes to war, there will be some collateral damage, including the deaths of noncombatants, various atrocities, etc. It's a part of war.

Whether or not some atrocities in the Iraq war are merely the result of individuals taking a poor course of action, or a policy that extends throughout the chain of command, or perhaps accidental, might depend on which atrocity you want to focus on at the moment. There are plenty to choose from, but the case of Abu Ghraib is one of many instances that seems to indicate a policy that at least condones or even encourages prisoner abuse, which for those who don't know, is a war crime.

You have to talk about the ethics of the war itself, as well as the ethics of individual actions in war; without declaring war and placing people in a war zone, the individual problems would not exist. So talking about the ethics of having the war in the first place gets to the root of the problem.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 10:39 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss;158036 wrote:
I don't really think you can talk about one without talking about the other. When a nation goes to war, there will be some collateral damage, including the deaths of noncombatants, various atrocities, etc. It's a part of war.

Whether or not some atrocities in the Iraq war are merely the result of individuals taking a poor course of action, or a policy that extends throughout the chain of command, or perhaps accidental, might depend on which atrocity you want to focus on at the moment. There are plenty to choose from, but the case of Abu Ghraib is one of many instances that seems to indicate a policy that at least condones or even encourages prisoner abuse, which for those who don't know, is a war crime.

You have to talk about the ethics of the war itself, as well as the ethics of individual actions in war; without declaring war and placing people in a war zone, the individual problems would not exist. So talking about the ethics of having the war in the first place gets to the root of the problem.
You cant condemn the individual soldier on the grounds that war is always wrong. Would you say releasing Jewish prisoners by allied forces was basically wrong because war is wrong?
 
amist
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 10:45 am
@amist,
This thread is beyond such petty concerns as having a topic. It transcends discourse and has no essence.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 10:47 am
@xris,
xris;158435 wrote:
You cant condemn the individual soldier on the grounds that war is always wrong. Would you say releasing Jewish prisoners by allied forces was basically wrong because war is wrong?

He didn't say war is wrong.

He said that the ethics of the Iraq war, in terms of initial justification(s) and an apparent tendancy to treat Iraqis poorly since the outset, was debateable.

Which it is.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 11:35 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;158440 wrote:
He didn't say war is wrong.

He said that the ethics of the Iraq war, in terms of initial justification(s) and an apparent tendancy to treat Iraqis poorly since the outset, was debateable.

Which it is.
And you cant judge the actions of the individual by the actions of others or the legality of the war.

---------- Post added 04-30-2010 at 12:36 PM ----------

amist;158439 wrote:
This thread is beyond such petty concerns as having a topic. It transcends discourse and has no essence.
So why introduce it ? If your aim, is other than to debate what you have posted?
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 11:46 am
@xris,
xris;158451 wrote:
And you cant judge the actions of the individual by the actions of others or the legality of the war.


And, I never said that you could. All I said was that while discussing the ethics of individual actions at war, it makes sense to also discuss the ethics of the war itself. It's a fact of life that people make mistakes, crack under pressure, and will not perform at 100% all the time. When you throw individuals into a war zone, the so-called "rules of war" tend to go out the window.

I'm much more comfortable discussing the ethics of the arena they have been thrown into than their own individual actions after being thrown into that horrific arena. I'm not sure how much we can "judge" the individual for his actions in a war zone, when we are sitting here in the relative safety of our chairs in front of computer screens. But I'm sure as hell going to judge the merit of his being there in the first place, when the war's policymakers are responsible for the situation.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 12:17 pm
@xris,
xris;158451 wrote:
And you cant judge the actions of the individual by the actions of others or the legality of the war.

I think you can - why else would we have war crimes, military tribunals and the rest? Blunders or atrocities committed by "the good guys" in an otherwise ethical war are still blunders or atrocities and should be examined as to why they occurred and what can be done to prevent them reoccurring. The Falklands War seemed just to me, but I still think the fact we broke our ROE in regard to the Belgrano is worthy of comment and critique. Individual soldiers, or orders, were not up to the standards we claim to operate by, and asking why is the only way we'll improve.

In the case of the air crews filmed here, I'd say it was even more pressing to question what is going on, because "blunder" is putting it lightly and this particular war has been controversial and poorly justified since it began.

You yourself complained about the US's attitude to accountability earlier on in the thread.

---------- Post added 04-30-2010 at 01:25 PM ----------

Pangloss;158458 wrote:
I'm not sure how much we can "judge" the individual for his actions in a war zone, when we are sitting here in the relative safety of our chairs in front of computer screens.

Here I would disagree with you. You can veiw an unprofessional soldier as being counterproductive beyond the existing apparent counterproductivity of a war effort you don't support in the first place.

Besides, it's a clear example. If you think the coalition presence is unjust, and want reasons why, here's a definite example for your case. It might seem petty compared to things like our use of DU, or the legality of the case for war - but there it is. A pilot killed innocents and the pentagon denied it for three years until forced to come clean due to a whistle-blower.

Which is wrong in pretty much anyone's book, I would have thought.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 01:10 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave your contradicting yourself. Take the Falkland war, was it just for us to commit our troops ? if so, then with your perspective no soldiers committed any war crimes.

If an individual soldier acts outside of the boundaries of acceptable military activity, it does not matter if the war is just or unjust. If the war is illegal then the government are held responsible.

You cant judge the actions of those air crew by what you presume to be an illegal or unjust war. With your views any action by the individual is wrong, even killing another combatant.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 01:28 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;158463 wrote:
Here I would disagree with you. You can veiw an unprofessional soldier as being counterproductive beyond the existing apparent counterproductivity of a war effort you don't support in the first place.

Besides, it's a clear example. If you think the coalition presence is unjust, and want reasons why, here's a definite example for your case. It might seem petty compared to things like our use of DU, or the legality of the case for war - but there it is. A pilot killed innocents and the pentagon denied it for three years until forced to come clean due to a whistle-blower.

Which is wrong in pretty much anyone's book, I would have thought.


I didn't say we can't judge individual actions...I just said I'm not sure how much we can judge them. The media only reports so much, and I'm wary of the accuracy of any information coming out of Iraq. I also think that the line between "right" and "wrong" is blurred in a warzone, and when men are forced to kill or be killed, knee-jerk reactions are easily made, accidents happen. All the more reason to examine why we need to be sending our men into this type of situation in the first place.

xris;158483 wrote:

You cant judge the actions of those air crew by what you presume to be an illegal or unjust war. With your views any action by the individual is wrong, even killing another combatant.


At this point, most if not all of the servicemen/hired killers involved in the Iraq war knew what they were getting into when they signed their contract. No one forced them to go and fight. So, if they willingly participate in a war that is determined to be illegal or unjust, then aren't they, on an individual basis, committing injustice?
 
 

 
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