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Author Topic: Would it surprise you?
foundling
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Would it surprise you if American soldiers were proved capable of doing what they've been acused of in these articles?
article, article , article


These are talking about the investigations currently underway concerning the Marines killing innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children. The Marines say that they were collateral damage. Those who survived, and the Iraqi police, say that it was revenge for the road side bombs that have been killing so many soldiers.

So, would this behavior in our soldiers surprise you, and if so, why?

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KarlEd
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Sadden me? Yes. Horrify me? Yes. Surprise me? Sadly, no.
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Tresopax
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It wouldn't surprise me if some U.S. soldiers did this, but it would surprise me if it was widespread or if it reflected the behavior of our soldiers as a whole.
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King of Men
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Any organisation has assholes. Give guns to assholes, and Bad Things are going to happen. Is this surprising? Hardly.
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quidscribis
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Wow.

This will be, um, the third time I agree with King of Men.

This is starting to become a habit.

I'm scared. [Eek!]

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Kwea
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I was in the Army, and a few of the people there with me were the type of person I would HOPE would get hit by a roadside bomb.

Not that I wanted anything to happen to anyone, but if it happened to anyone....at least without them the world would be a better place. [Frown]

Some of the best people I ever met were in the Army as well, though, so I think IF these happened they were isolated instances.


It is still an IF too.

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Stan the man
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It never ceases to amaze me that the negatives are always pinpointed. Never any positives on the armed forces. I think most of this is now stemming from our pessimistic society. I'm headed off to take a break. Echo was right. I spend too much time on this thing.
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Lissande
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Don't worry, quid - I learned in school that if you do something every day for six weeks, it becomes a habit. Just be sure to stop before the end of April.

(Is that true? Why do I remember ridiculous things like that?)

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quidscribis
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Because you're like me. OCD is yer friend. [Roll Eyes]
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cheiros do ender
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quote:
Originally posted by Stan the man:
It never ceases to amaze me that the negatives are always pinpointed. Never any positives on the armed forces. I think most of this is now stemming from our pessimistic society.

http://www.lettersfromhomeprogram.org/
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Nato
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quote:
From the Independent article you posted:
The Marines claim they heard shots coming from the direction of Waleed's house. They burst in to the house and Eman heard shots from her father's room. They then entered the living room, where the rest of the family was gathered. She [9-year-old Eman] said: "I couldn't see their faces very well - only their guns sticking in to the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny."

The US soldiers started shooting in to the corner of the room where Eman and her eight-year-old brother, Abdul Rahman, were cowering. The other adults in the room tried to protect the two children with their bodies and were all shot dead. Eman and her brother were both wounded.

[Frown]


quote:
Stan:
It never ceases to amaze me that the negatives are always pinpointed. Never any positives on the armed forces.

You sound exactly like Glorious Leader. The above military actions are definitely the media's fault for not being balanced, somehow...

And no offense, but that is a ridiculous claim. I feel that it is the media's responsibility to bring any sort of news like this to light. America should not be engaged in this sort of heinous crime, and while I don't think it is representative of all military units in Iraq, the fact that this happened under our colors at all disgusts me.

Also, the (American) media in Iraq has a mere fraction of the access to the country that reporters had in Vietnam. Our media are "embedded" with military units or essentially confined to hotels inside the Green Zone, and even those embedding programs have sharply decreased since the first year of the war.

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Mabus
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It would be...horrible if this were true. And it may in fact be true--war can do terrible things to people and the way they see the others around them.

But at the same time, I can't help but be skeptical. Even children can be coached into making false accusations, especially against people they have been taught are the enemy. We have to at least consider the possibility that this is a plant, intended to further worsen the American image.

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Nato
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I can't think of much reason a child who has been shot by an American marine in her own home has to invent stories about how her family died. I don't think anybody is disputing the facts that a family was almost all killed in their own home. The military seems to only say that they heard gunshots foming from the direction of the home.

The people there may have learned to hate Americans, but this sort of killing cannot be helping our image. This is what's teaching them to hate us more than any lie about us they could make up.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Posted by Stan the man:
It never ceases to amaze me that the negatives are always pinpointed. Never any positives on the armed forces. I think most of this is now stemming from our pessimistic society.

It must be because you hear it so often that it becomes background noise...

Actually, I half agree with you. I constantly hear a very general, "support the troops," or, "you soldiers are doing great work." It must be dogma on network news that you can't mention the soldiers without a trite and insincere, "You're the backbone of this country" comment thrown in. The negative stuff, on the other hand, is extremely specific, and you don't need me to give you examples. But really, how does that make it different from anything else - besides lotto winners! - TV news spews out?

EDIT - Nato's points are also very valid.

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Mabus
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Nato, have you heard much about child custody cases? Compared to this event, such things are relatively trivial, but the events surrounding them can certainly traumatize children. It is not in the least unusual for one parent to persuade the child to testify that the other parent is abusive--that s/he beat the child, for instance--since the poor kid is already confused and scared.

Suppose you were an insurgent and you wanted to make Americans look bad, and you don't care all that much about personal risk to yourself. Launch an attack from someone's home. Put the soldiers in a position where they have to respond very quickly and are certain to hit some innocents. Then coach any surviving children, if needed, on how Americans break into innocent people's homes and shoot people for no reason. (If you pick the right home, the adults will lie for you without coaching, but children can also be dangerously candid.) You get a horrifying story in the news about something the ugly Americans did, and no one ever seems to think to ask why the troops were being shot at from inside the home of an innocent family, or to blame you for using them as human shields.

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Nato
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Yes, I understand what you're saying. People are capable of lying, and you shouldn't rush to judgment. Skepticism is indeed a virtue.

The facts on the ground are this:
US Marines shot Iraqi civillians who were unarmed, including grandparents and children.
quote:
The Marines' explanation is that they heard the sound of a Kalashnikov being readied to shoot and had then fired their weapons.
Honestly, who's making up the story?

The Marines certainly could have heard something they thought was a threat. But there was no REAL threat to them in that house. They killed innocent civillians.

The troops were NOT shot at from inside that home. There were NO weapons found there, as far as I can tell. And you know that if they HAD found weapons, they certainly wouldn't be keeping quiet about that.

The story continues
quote:
The Marines say they were fired at from a second house, where they broke down a door, threw in a grenade and opened fire. The eight who died in the second house included the owner, his wife, the owner's sister, a two-year-old son and three young daughters.

In a third house the Marines searched four young men were shot dead. A military investigation decided these were insurgent fighters, along with four others killed in the street.

So, two housefuls of innocent civillians down and they finally get to a third house and kill several young men that an investigation later determined were "insurgent fighters." Again, the story doesn't say they found any weapons there, but if an investigation determined that they were in fact "fighters," it is possible that weapons were found.

How many children have to die before you will admit that something wrong happened here?

Are you saying that the might of the strongest military in the world is not enough to pin down somebody in a house long enough to ensure that you aren't wontonly throwing a grenade into a room full of children?

If there really were insurgents in that second house, then shame on them for endangering their children like that, but as the military only claims that the men in the third house were found to be insurgents, I think it is prudent to assume that the first two housefuls of people to die were innocent.

Do you still really think this story is just some sort of "spin" piece to villify Americans?
quote:
The Marines later delivered 24 bodies to a hospital in Haditha, claiming they had been killed by shrapnel from a bomb. Dr Wahid, the director of the hospital, said: "It was obvious to us there were no organs slashed by shrapnel. The bullet wounds were very apparent. Most of the victims were shot in the head and chest - from close range."
Again, the military is lying. With this sort of credibility, why do you fight so hard to take their side?
quote:
An US military investigation decided the deaths were "collateral damage". Relatives were paid $2,500 (£1,400) for each of the dead.

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Amanecer
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quote:
Suppose you were an insurgent and you wanted to make Americans look bad, and you don't care all that much about personal risk to yourself. Launch an attack from someone's home. Put the soldiers in a position where they have to respond very quickly and are certain to hit some innocents. Then coach any surviving children, if needed, on how Americans break into innocent people's homes and shoot people for no reason. (If you pick the right home, the adults will lie for you without coaching, but children can also be dangerously candid.) You get a horrifying story in the news about something the ugly Americans did, and no one ever seems to think to ask why the troops were being shot at from inside the home of an innocent family, or to blame you for using them as human shields.
This is an interesting scenario that you have created, but it stems from you and not the data. When you need to reach for additional information to make the action morally acceptable, maybe it's not that you're lacking information. It could just be that it really was morally wrong.
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Mirrored Shades
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...I wish it was surprising, and I wish I could believe it was a lie.

And I have to ask: if this was any other army in the world, and they'd done this, would you think these kids were lying? If they were American kids talking about the Iraqi army, would your first assumption be they were lying for propoganda's sake?

As far as the media goes, what could they possibly report about the army other than bad news? Most people take for granted that our army is made up of the good guys. That's not news -- if it ever did make the news, people would start to wonder what happened that made it necessary to report every good thing an American soldier did. Also consider that this is a war -- every 'good thing' relates back to killing people. Just not necessarily children.

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