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.
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.
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.
I'm not sure of any war crimes committed by our forces in the Falklands, though I repeat that our ignorance of our own standards in regards to the Belgrano was a mistake.
I also recall reading a bio of a Falklands soldier who admitted to mutilating bodies, and I think he should be held accountable for that.
That the war was well fought on the whole, I think, does not excuse our dropping of standards, or a soldier being vile with a corpse.
It's actually irrelevent that the war seems unwise or unjust to me. Even if I thought Iraq was history's lovliest, happiest, most pain free and fair war ever it'd still strike me as right to criticise a trigger happy pilot who orphans kids and shoots them in the belly for no apparent reason.
It depends on the circumstances, obviously. On the whole though that comment's utter balderdash. I said the Falklands was just. Presumably then I don't find the death of Argentinian military during that war "wrong" in the main. Nor do I think Taliban deaths in Afghanistan are "wrong" in the main. These were people clearly out to threaten the lives and security of other people whose military acted in justified self defence - in the main.
They were actual combatants.
Not film crews and families willing to help wounded film crews.
---------- Post added 04-30-2010 at 02:46 PM ----------
I understand, that seems perfectly reasonable. I think any judgement made on anything that happens publicly is going to suffer from being filtered through the media, though, that's our vehicle for information.
It's clearer in your earlier point about Abu Graihb regarding the culture within which these soldiers operate (let alone the contractors) and the influence that can have.
Are you suggesting then that "only following orders" - whilst an illegitimate excuse - has a different weight depending on the culture of the conflict?
Dave I have no idea what you are actually saying, as Ive said you contradict yourself and then try to qualify your contradictions.
Now make your mind up..I agree with your last post but you never said that in the first place...
The context of my stressing that individual soldiering actions could be judged regardless of the illegality or legality of the war was a response to your comment that someone who generally thought war was wrong couldn't admire the liberation of concentration camps.
So yeah - ignore post 58 if you like - and I apologise for any misunderstanding. In my defence it was your very obvious strawmanning of Pangloss that got me on the defensive.
The culture of the war CAN have an impact on the individual, and that's what I think needs to change in Iraq, or be learnt from Iraq or whatever.
That isn't to excuse the individual, it is based on a desire to examine both the individual and the culture.
Or to use a more obvious example - using bodycount as a measure of achievement in Vietnam clearly did inspire trigger happiness in men who might otherwise have reigned themselves in.
So yes, bad men in good wars and bad wars shouldn't be excused on the basis of the war, and good men should be lauded whatever - but the influence of the governing ideology is also undeniable.
My reply to Pangloss was exactly as I have said before, his argument was exactly that, that the war defines the culture and the individuals actions.
amist;151767 wrote:Collateral Murder
I'm mainly posting this just to get it out there, but if anyone has any comments please feel free to post away.
I can't say thing but american military leaders and gov are utterly stupid by useing such brutal force and specially the Abu Ghraib, it totally destroys USA's chances of winning such simple war. GW Bush is just as insane as Hitler.
I think, even in the unedited video that doesn't slam you over the head with the opinion of wikileaks, that it's hard to know exactly what went on. How much fighting was in the area? Were those guys with the AK's heading to a fight with US soldiers? That's kind of a crucial detail.
Jebediah wrote:even in the unedited video that doesn't slam you over the head with the opinion of wikileaks
Opinions like the fact that children were clearly visible in the van?
FYI, there was no fighting in the area. They actually say in the video that there are no ground units near the area when the helicopters spot the group and that is why they engaged instead of ground forces.
Or it could be that the pilots got some RPGs confused with camera tripods
Besides, why the **** would you drive your kids into a van and pull up in an area where you hear and see gun shots all around?
The guy who clearly takes some pleasure in a jeep driving over a dead body is a jerk. I hope he gets a court martial.
Jebediah wrote:I agree that they shouldn't have shot the van. But this reasoning is a bit bizarre to me. Are fully armed apache's circling over a pile of dead bodies, with bullet holes everywhere and the echoes of gunfire still in the air a "common enough sight in Belfast"???
Not what I said - I said seeing a circling helicopter was a common enough event in Belfast. The helicopter was spotting for something else wasn't it? The bullets don't come from the angle of the camera. So I'm not even sure it was a gunship itself.
Jebediah wrote:People don't get court martialed for being "jerks". His comment didn't hurt anyone, and I imagine you have to become callous in order to function as a soldier.
It was the apparently deliberate mutilation of a body for humourous effect that I object to, rather than the accompanying comments (which are bad enough).
Jebediah wrote:Even the edited version of the wikileaks video shows them with weapons. The incident presumably did follow ROE.
Cameras are not weapons. The original group targeted were a Reuters film crew. The cameras and tripods were misidentified as AKs and an RPG.
A case could be made that the air crew couldn't tell the difference, I suppose. It doesn't seem like a very good case to me. Sounds like "carrying something on a strap" gets you identified as an insurgent.
And, whatever way you look at it - the second engagement followed no concept of ROE - none of the victims carried anything that you could misidentify as a weapon.