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Warfare rules in Iraq.
December 11, 2003 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Warfare rules in Iraq. Are there any? Should the US even be following the Geneva Convention in Iraq? (transcript) Warning: Graphic video embedded.
posted by skallas (50 comments total)

 
If the point of the video is to show an example of our military ignoring the items listed at the bottom of the webpage, then I disagree completely. This has failed to convince me of anything. Just more of the same lame-ass BS if you ask me.
posted by Witty at 4:03 PM on December 11, 2003


(From the transcript)

U.S. Marines, Sergeant Riddle's team, searching an industrial area near Baghdad. Along the road they encounter Iraqis who point their AK-47s at the Marines.

RIDDLE: One of my guys got up on his hood and took the first guy out, shot him right in the heart. And he dropped instantly.

CROWLEY: Wounded, another Iraqi writhes on the ground next to his gun. The Marines kill him -- then cheer.


...

skallas asks "Warfare rules in Iraq. Are there any?"

I think the rule in war is that if you point a gun at a soldier, he dies or you die.

This time, Iraqis died and our boys cheered. Other times, our guys die, and the Iraqis cheer.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:05 PM on December 11, 2003


Are the Fox viewers still cheering? Do they care who's bodies they see, or is it just about the good Tv?
posted by Space Coyote at 4:14 PM on December 11, 2003


No, the rule of war is to eliminate a threat. Once someone is no longer a threat, I believe the rule of war, as given at the site, is to give humanitarian aid. To behave otherwise is barbarism.
posted by moot at 4:16 PM on December 11, 2003


Then what is the point of any of this Mr. Crash Davis? If all we do is cheer after we murder each other in cold blood rather than learn from the heinous inhumanity of war (and why we're at it) what is the point of killing each other already?

Oh that's right. We're at war. And why, pray tell, are we at war? Why are we bashing groups of men towards each other again? To stop another 9-11 from happening? Is that the reason?

To that, I ask again, why are we at war then? You tell us where any of the sense in this is. Seriously. What is the sense in killing people and then cheering about it? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? You kill the bad guy and then, heaven forbid, you do not cheer. I thought America was reluctant to engage in all this bloodshed.

Maybe we're all just fighting for the right to cheer at the brutal murders of others. That's fucking noble. So is George Bush's war. God this is great! Yay!
posted by crasspastor at 4:18 PM on December 11, 2003


Is this is in Baghdad or a remote outlet where they are at war with us?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:30 PM on December 11, 2003


I changed the link to the transcript, the video is pretty graphic but linked more appropriately.
posted by mathowie at 4:35 PM on December 11, 2003


This whole thread unscores the problem. Iraq isn't about ideology or nationalism. It's about convenience, the convenience of oil. As it is, all the things that make for anything approaching honor are wisked away in favor of what based on the video is practically killing for sport. Based on what's there, it's very difficult to believe that this man could not have been taken prisoner once wounded.

This behavior will only lead to more violence as it does nothing to "secure" Iraq and only breeds more hatred. But then securing Iraq isn't what this was about to begin with.
posted by shagoth at 5:01 PM on December 11, 2003


Better we hadn't gone to war, then we could all sit back here and wonder what in the world to do about Saddam. All his gracious acts of benevolence truly benefited the Iraqi people.

Bottom line on this. Some people complain, about anything, everything and all in between. If not complaining about war in Iraq, then they would be complaining about us doing nothing to support human rights in Iraq.

The real mistaked is the thought process that people somehow believe the democracy we have today is what Iraq and Afghanistan should have had the day after our invvolvement. People forget that it took us over 200 years to get to this point. And we had some serious bumps along the way. And we aren't even there yet, there is a ways to go.

The reasons for going to war in Iraq were quite thin. Thinking people certainly didn't fall for them.
9-11, Osam, Afghanistan..... IRAQ? Big yellow flag had to be thrown. But we are there now. And it is apparent that good will come of getting rid of Saddam and his cronies. But things take time. And in this case, lots of it. This is going to be long term, even after we hand over the reins back to the Iraqi's, we will be there, financially, and with guys on the ground. No President after GW will be able to walk away. Get used to it, and stop whining about it already.

Better to stop posting these types of thread that just keep rehashing the same arguments.

Peace out folks.

Vote for Sharpton. I want Al to win.
posted by a3matrix at 5:05 PM on December 11, 2003


As an argument that the U.S. is fighting without regard for the rules of war, this video is not very compelling. It's one incident, which tells us nothing about U.S. military policies towards wounded or captured Iraqis, or how often those policies are being followed. And if the wounded soldier was lying next to an assault rifle, as the report states, he might well still have been a risk to the soldiers had they tried to approach him.

It strikes me as really naive to hold up something as frankly trivial as this as proof of U.S. lawlessness in war. This is no massacre of civilians or prisoners, it's a statement of just how awful battle is. But this sort of thing, I imagine, is the rule, not the exception, to war everywhere.
posted by Dasein at 5:07 PM on December 11, 2003


All arguments in favor or opposed to our current adventure in Iraq aside -- it's just painful listening to that many American soldiers cheer the shooting of a man on his knees as though they were at a touch football match. I really honestly believed we were better than that.
posted by ook at 5:07 PM on December 11, 2003


The Doctrine of American Infallibility
posted by homunculus at 5:09 PM on December 11, 2003


>then we could all sit back here and wonder what in the world to do about Saddam.

Yeah, because the crippling sanctions, no-fly patrols, and weekly bombings just weren't enough. I mean, look at all those WMDs!

>All his gracious acts of benevolence truly benefited the Iraqi people.

You're right, we are re-hashing the same old "arguments" and I use that word loosely. Pro-War apologists keep changing the subject as if this war was ever about humanitarian reasons to avoid the lies that got us into an unnecesary war that has resulted in at least 15 thousands lives lost on all sides, including civilians.

Yes, we are there, but the historical revisionism doesn't help the cause any.
posted by skallas at 5:12 PM on December 11, 2003


"Then what is the point of any of this Mr. Crash Davis?"

You'd have to ask the White House. I was just trying to answer skallas' question.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:18 PM on December 11, 2003


Yes, we are there, but the historical revisionism doesn't help the cause any.

Ah, but skallas, historical revisionism is the cause. How sad that people are shown a video of clear Geneva Convention violations--including the relevant documentation of the Convention--and their only response is "people will complain about anything."
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:28 PM on December 11, 2003


Another Great Day for Iraqis. It's an example of a war atrocity and I hope the soldiers involved are court martialled.

I realize that this is a war and that soldiers on both sides will die. That's the nature of war. Shooting an incapacitated soldier is an execution not combat. The threat was already neutralized. Left alone he would've died.

Though I was against the war and know that the reasons behind the war were purely fabricated for the most part and very occasionally embellished beyond recognition otherwise, I also realize that we can't pull out now. We've destroyed the Iraqi government and infrastructure. It was a cruel and corrupt government (but that's not why it was destroyed - there are a lot of cruel and corrupt governments - many of which make Iraq's former one seem benign in comparison) but it still provided some necessary services. A new government needs to be put in place, the infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. Before that can happen the area has to be secured enough for the appointed contractors to come in.

I hope that after this is all over the Iraqi people will be much better off and that somehow it does help to stabilize the region.
posted by substrate at 5:29 PM on December 11, 2003


okay, i was about to post something that tried to vindicate what those soldiers did but after viewing the video, what those soldiers did was wrong. that iraqi was no longer a threat and was shot for target practice. this is just more fuel to add to the anti-american hatred in the region.

on preview: what substrate said.
posted by Stynxno at 5:32 PM on December 11, 2003


Sorry, Mr. Davis. I took your question as a rhetorical point.
posted by crasspastor at 5:37 PM on December 11, 2003


It gets tiresome after a time to find this or any other post dealing with so many political issues that does not quickly dissolve into a justification of something if your support it and an expression of contempt if what is posted does not fit your ideological perspective.

Aside from the issue of whether the war was justified or not, if you are in the military you do things that at are at times questionable; you do things you would not do under other circumstances; you do things to save your life or to protect yourself and your pals if you think a threat is real and very dangerous...one of the first things you learn in the army is that anyone--even your friend--point a gun at you is a potential killer and you need to do something. Fast.

Is there such a thing as a "good" war? of course not. Is there such a thing as a war that is necessary? you have to decide this for yourself.
posted by Postroad at 6:13 PM on December 11, 2003


Pentagon Audit Finds Halliburton Overcharged
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:17 PM on December 11, 2003


It's one incident, which tells us nothing about U.S. military policies towards wounded or captured Iraqis, or how often those policies are being followed.

Hmmm. Empirical evidence of improper behavior versus policy. Yes, yes, policy should be the focus, not what we do but what we say we should do, yes.

It strikes me as really naive to hold up something as frankly trivial as this as proof of U.S. lawlessness in war.

Of course, the US is not lawless in this endeavor. That its soldiers behave this way is in no way indicative of America's stance or attitude. The US government accepts no responsibility of its assholes in the field and cannot be held responsible for such actions as might be deemed inappropriate to the venue of war (even if the war is deemed "over" by said government as announced in wildly flag waving public venue). NO liability here resides that any might take matters of death into their own hands. Warranty will not exceed the known use period. No miss-handling of state accepted product will be cause for suit or censure by known act of war or God.

Have all the bases been covered now?
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:36 PM on December 11, 2003



"Look at you in war -- what mutton you are, and how
ridiculous! . . . There has never been a just one, never
an honorable one -- on the part of the instigator of the
war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will
never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The
loud little handful -- as usual -- will shout for the
war. The pulpit will -- warily and cautiously -- object
-- at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation
will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there
should be a war, and will say, earnestly and
indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there
is no necessity for it.' Then the handful will shout
louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and
reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first
will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not
last long; those others will outshout them, and
presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose
popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing:
the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech
strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret
hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers -- as
earlier -- but do not dare to say so. And now the whole
nation -- pulpit and all -- will take up the war-cry,
and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who
ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths
will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap
lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is
attacked, and every man will be glad of those
conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study
them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and
thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is
just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys
after this process of grotesque self-deception."

From _The Mysterious Stranger_, by Mark Twain

posted by quonsar at 7:36 PM on December 11, 2003


Just another Metafilter Armchair Soldier circle jerk. You're certainly a real pro at this skallas. I can't wait for tomorrow's "War in Iraq - Let's argue about it sommore" FPP. Brilliant post.. BRILLIANT!
posted by Witty at 7:55 PM on December 11, 2003


we could all sit back here and wonder what in the world to do about Saddam.

I vote for selling him arms and offering support, plus buy the oil.

That is what was done in the 1970's and 1980's right?

Saddam was only an evil man after the invasion of Kuwait, right?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:00 PM on December 11, 2003


Saddam was only an evil man after the invasion of Kuwait, right?

Right.
posted by homunculus at 8:23 PM on December 11, 2003


Amidst all this screaming about Iraq......

Has anyone noticed the recent upsurge in death squad activity in Guatemala? - the killings there in the early to mid eighties put Saddam Hussein to shame, and they occurred with more than tacit US backing.

srboisvert made a post in the last day or two about "Global Attention Profiles" (levels of attention by Global media) and Guatemala came up as the most ignored country, just about, on the planet. But it sure has lots of mass graves of slaughtered civilians, and some of it's Saddams are still in power.
posted by troutfishing at 8:33 PM on December 11, 2003


thanks for the reminder trout. guatemala sounds like it is decending into its own version of hell again while the world worries about islamic terrorism. - how does one defend the killing of an unecessary killing of an injured (vis a vis: not a threat) person? see witty's adept comment above.
posted by specialk420 at 12:25 AM on December 12, 2003


Get used to it, and stop whining about it already.

No.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:27 AM on December 12, 2003


Hey Witty, the video link in question was also just another BRILLIANT move on the part of your president and his gang.

You get people into war and you're gonna find some war crimes or two. There ya go. The first CNN documented war crime. Not counting Shock And Y'all and Iron Hammer. There is no excuse for treating another human, while he's down as if he were an abandoned mattress in which one target practices.

I suspect the abandoned mattress part is reserved for Iraqi women. If we can kill and cheer about it with this impunity, imagine what we can do in the rape category. Imagine the potential!

Are you going to say that no Iraqi woman has been raped by an American GI either? Of course not. A cheer is a cheer when you kill a hajii. But, our boys would never rape.

See asshole. You just looked at the inhumanity of man on man and the very best you could do was muster:

Just another Metafilter Armchair Soldier circle jerk. You're certainly a real pro at this skallas. I can't wait for tomorrow's "War in Iraq - Let's argue about it sommore" FPP. Brilliant post.. BRILLIANT!

How does it feel to be a walking and talking case in point of something horrible?
posted by crasspastor at 2:40 AM on December 12, 2003


That's because I look at the big picture... most of which isn't being shown at all in that video. I didn't see a war crime... and you didn't either. Chances are, any judicial body would agree. There's nothing illegal about cheering. As far as shooting the injured man... well, it's ridiculous for anyone here to assume they know what they're talking about when it comes to how a soldier is supposed to conduct himself in an armed combat situation.

Any Gulf War vets, Vietnam maybe, Korea in the thread? Please speak up.

The objective is to kill the enemy, plain and simple. Until the enemy is incapacitated (dead, whatever), then he/she still poses a threat. You shoot to kill, not injure. If the target doesn't go down in one shot, then you shoot him again. You don't hop over the wall, scamper over to him and administer first aid.

You (and everyone else) act like these guys never take a moment of pause and think about what's really going on, what they're really doing. That's insulting. I'm sure each and everyone of them take plenty of time to reflect on every aspect of their experiences. If cheering on the battlefield is what helps them to keep themselves alert and together, then so be it. How many soldiers have you talked to asspastor? How many friends and/or family do you have directly involved? I got six. SIX.

You wanna keep sarcastically referring to them as "our boys"... making some fucked up statement about how it's likely that they're raping Iraqi women? I'm sick of listening to you know-it-alls, all your bullshit whining, sarcastic horseshit... with very little, if ever, alternate solutions or ideas. That was the point of the thread in the first place, right? To rehash the same leftist rhetoric dung, right. It's so much easy for you to just cry "war crime", as if you have any fucking clue what you're talking about.

"Bush sucks... wahh wahh wahh". Yea, we got it. You hate the mother fucker. Point taken. Got anything new? Oh and, fuck you.
posted by Witty at 7:07 AM on December 12, 2003


I love the way that "man's inhumanity to man" is only interesting when it is US soldiers being (allegedly) inhumane to Fidayin Saddam, not when Fidayin Saddam are lopping the heads off of women in public parks. Talk about your death squads!

By all means, let the circle jerk resume.
posted by ednopantz at 7:19 AM on December 12, 2003


I guess we should all go fuck off. Witless has spoken.

ednopants, two atrocities don't make a right. Fidayin Saddam is indeed a horrible person and nobody is ignoring that. This post wasn't about Fidayin however, it's about an apparent war crime caught on tape done by our own troops. This should be alarming, we're there allegedly to make Iraq a better place, not to be the latest in a long chain of sadistic and immoral oppressors.

I don't think that the average soldier commits war crimes, but when specific instances do happen then due process should be carried out. Even if it means that a U.S. soldier spends time behind bars.

Of course, by all means feel free to kneel before your neocon idols for your ritual bukkake facials.
posted by substrate at 7:43 AM on December 12, 2003


We're supposed to be better than them.

The way that video is shot, it's hard to tell what's going on, but the fact that the one Marine they pan to is standing up in the middle of that wide open street doesn't make things look good.
posted by furiousthought at 8:03 AM on December 12, 2003


It is - for better or worse - because of this exact type of footage that the US military tries to control media coverage in it's theatres of operation.

I can't view the video - I don't have the right plug-in and can't be bothered to download it. But even if I assume it's as nasty as I can imagine, I have to think this :

US troops are just acting human. Revenge is human. I don't see how US military policy could possible control all forms of vengeful retaliation in this situation given that US soldiers are getting shot at, blown up, and horribly wounded every day in Iraq. I'm not condoning shooting a wounded man - I'm just noting that such incidents are inevitable under the circumstances.

Here's an interesting perspective from a source I never cite, the Washington Times : The US faces the Battle of Algiers in Baghdad (it's actually a UPI story)

"U.S. Faces Battle of Algiers in Baghdad...(By Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- There is a grim inevitability to the latest wave of suicide car bombings, assignations and other attacks in Iraq and a dire conclusion can no longer be avoided. The United States now has a Battle of Algiers or Belfast on its hands in Baghdad......Belfast had been a British city for all of its 300-year history before the new wave of "troubles" began in August 1969. France had ruled and colonized Algiers for 120 years before the great and terrible FLN uprising began in 1954. Algiers was much more than a colony. Indeed, under French law was part of Metropolitan France....In other words, the British and French armies knew the cities of Belfast and Algiers very well. And they could also count on large elements of the population being loyal and supportive for them......But in Baghdad, the United States has no prior history, experience or associations whatsoever. And proportionately, it even has far fewer troops on the ground than the British did in Northern Ireland or the French, with their great conscript army, did in Algeria.

At the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles, Britain had to flood the tiny province of 1.5 million people with 35,000 troops. And the security threat they had to contain came only from unrepresentative elements within a community of half a million people.

Even if the guerrilla violence in Iraq gets no worse than Northern Ireland was -- and in fact it already has -- that would require around 600,000 U.S. and allied troops compared to the around 160,000 British and U.S. ones in the country today. And even that would be on the assumption that Iraq's majority 15 million Shiites stay entirely on the sidelines: an assumption that is looking increasingly uncertain."


I can't fault that logic.

Frankly, I'm more bothered by the new concertina-wire ringed "day care center" tactics the US has turned to in trying to control restive Iraqi towns - and the other accompanying imported IDF tactics of house demolition, the imprisonment of the relatives of suspected militants, and so on.

These tactics are not designed to win "hearts and minds". regardless of any blather to the contrary coming out of Washington D.C. They are desperate measures adopted by a US occupation force -which has been charged with an impossible task- which is growing increasingly frustrated by the steady stream of US troop causalities from Iraqi insurgent terrorist attacks.

There's a grim spiral to this logic of counterinsurgency which suggests that the ranks of Iraqis opposing the US will only swell, unless the larger situation - it's underlying logic - is changed. But such a change is beyond the power of the US military and can only be initiated in Washington.

There are a couple of very interesting responses to the "Information Clearinghouse" hosted video in question, on that site :

"Tom-  I believe the way you present the 'shocking' video you have on your website is very irresponsible and inflammatory.   The very fact that it is presented without amplifying remarks or background information, coupled with how you use 'execute' to describe the situation, illustrates how naive you are to military operations.....The current policy in Iraq is to SHOOT ON SIGHT ANYBODY emplacing IEDs....yes, those nasty little roadside bombs that have killed almost 200 of our service personnel.  But of course, given the very OBVIOUS leftist slant of your website, it is apparent that you wouldn't see fit to report all the facts, choosing instead to attempt to use such media
to advance your faltering liberal agenda, rather than condemn a terrorist agenda.  Where on your website do you report the assassinations by terrorists who only hope to get their country back up and running, or the indiscriminate bombings that kill innocent, non-combatant Iraqis?.....Forget the fact that we have build hundreds of schools, enabled democracy, re-energized the Iraqi economy, or that Saddam killed tens of thousands of people (to name a few).   According to your website, a day doesn't go by when we aren't killing Afghani children or conspiring with the Israelis to take over the world.  

Too bad the economy is up, and the Dems best hopes lie w/ Howard Dean...Good luck with that!   Bush in 2004!  

SEMPER FI!

Capt. James Kimber
United States Marine Corps
Training & Education Command
Reconnaissance & Special Skills Officer
COMM: (703)784-3041 DSN 278
FAX: (703)432-0608
EMAIL: kimberjs@tecom.usmc.mil"

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whoah. But now check out this contrasting viewpoint -

"Dear Sir;

I saw both the video on the front page and read the letters from the Marines - Disgusting. 

I too, am recently returned from seven months in Iraq, with a Division Cavalry unit. I see nothing to defend in that video and am glad that you have archived it so that others can see it. As a scout with over twenty years in the Army, mostly in combat units, I would say that what is captured on the video appears to be murder and in violation of the Law
of Land Warfare.....This is not how warriors behave but how thugs operate. If the Iraqi man was indeed laying in ambush or setting an IED, then it is entirely appropriate to shoot him and to shoot him until he is no longer a threat. Once he ceased combat operations however, it became the soldiers' job to treat him and give him the same aid they would have one of our wounded soldiers receive. ....That's how the Law of Land Warfare works. "

posted by troutfishing at 8:34 AM on December 12, 2003


OK Witty, riddle me this:

The Malmedy Massacre: What the Germans did wasn't a war crime?

Because by your reasoning, it wasn't.
posted by kgasmart at 8:43 AM on December 12, 2003


I don't know how much luck anyone will have getting the average grunt or Mom and Pop Middle America to recognize US war crimes, when the a top government official says publicly that international law doesn't apply to the US.

Unless a little perspective can be infused back into this country, we're fucked.
posted by jpoulos at 10:36 AM on December 12, 2003


How many soldiers have you talked to asspastor? How many friends and/or family do you have directly involved? I got six. SIX. - Witty


Okay, I know 8 so does that mean my point is more valid than yours? Do i win?
posted by Stynxno at 10:41 AM on December 12, 2003


jpoulos - Greek chorus of "We're Fucked......fucked.....we're fucked......fucked....we're fucked........"
posted by troutfishing at 11:24 AM on December 12, 2003


For what its worth, Article III of the Geneva Convention requires that "the wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for." This rule applies even if the armed conflict is "not of an international character" (which I suppose you could argue this conflict is, since there is no opposing government)

Notwithstanding Richard Perle's moronic comments, the US clearly views itself as bound by the Geneva Convention. So, if this sort of thing is widespread, the US military ought to be doing something about it.

That's not to say that the troops in the video are monsters or they should be locked up. You can't expect soldiers to display compassion or empathy for the people that are trying to kill them. But I would think you can train them to follow the rules of war.
posted by boltman at 11:59 AM on December 12, 2003


As always and as per usual with war mongering Bush apologists Witty, you simply skirt issues by claiming that anyone who doesn't agree with you has no business opening his yap.

Well, what if I told you I have Iraqi friends as well as friends in the military? And then I told you they numbered twelve in all. Would that make my perspective on what turns my stomach more valid?

Of course not. Because it is not I or anyone on the anti-war side of the fence that I know of who is at any kind of a loss to proffer alternatives and solutions. You see, just because you're witty about subracting a "c" from my nick doesn't necessarily mean you're the most witty when it comes to solutions either. It's just you won't listen to me. You don't believe that I love America and you also wouldn't believe that I had any good solutions even if I came over and slapped you around with them. (Even though I couldn't slap you around with them in the first place -- my solutions don't involve slapping anything).

You don't care about me. Why should you?

I think that's the problem. You also wouldn't give a damn about my ideas either. Your bag of tricks contains equal parts name calling and shaming in order for you feel as though you are on top of this chaotic world. Except you're not. Like me, you and your family and friends are every bit as powerless as I am to do very much about anything at all.

So you want solutions? Fine. Let's talk solutions. You're just going to have to get past the fact that I think the occupation of Iraq you believe in is the problem.
posted by crasspastor at 4:52 PM on December 12, 2003


I guess we should all go fuck off. Witless has spoken.

That was in response to asspastor's asshole comment. But feel free to go right ahead and fuck yourself too.

This post wasn't about Fidayin however, it's about an apparent war crime caught on tape done by our own troops.

Oh is it? Prove it. You can't. There isn't enough evidence there to prove anything. The editing on that video is despicable... purposely pieced together to change the the perception (speaking of the dialogue mostly). As for the actual footage... we have no idea what happened prior to what we saw. Yes, we saw a man "writhing" on the ground, injured from I would assume to be gun fire.

How long was he lying there? Did our soldiers just walk up on the guy and find him already shot and dying? In that case, they should have helped him (and I'd bet that they would have). Or did a fight just take place seconds before the video starts and what we viewed were only the final few shots? If that ws the case, then they should have killed him. There's just no way you can tell exactly what happened from that short little snippet.

We're supposed to be better than them.

Better than who? Iraqis or Iraqi soldiers or Iraqi militants? I ask because all three of those choices are made up of Iraqi people. So it sounds like you think we're better than Iraqi people. That's an interesting twist.

...but the fact that the one Marine they pan to is standing up in the middle of that wide open street doesn't make things look good.

FALSE! He's standing behind a stone/brick wall about 4-5 ft. in height... backed by other marines and possibly vehicles. That would lead me to believe that whatever is behind him has been secured. See, you don't know what you're talking about. You just take one look at the video and assume you have it all figured out. "Standing in a wide open street" is flat-out INCORRECT.

Okay, I know 8 so does that mean my point is more valid than yours? Do i win?

It's more valid than someone like asspastor's. When someone like that jackass wants to pop up and start speaking for American soldiers, you can certainly say you know better. That's assuming you have talked as some length to all or some of your 8 soldiers. By the way, do you know if any of them have been involved in the raping of Iraqi women? Asspastor seems to think it's likely. You might want to enlighten him.

The Malmedy Massacre: What the Germans did wasn't a war crime?

I'll have to read up on that, as I'm not familiar with it. Sorry. Thanks for the suggestion. But just from the sound of it, the two incidents don't seem very comparable. One is a massacre and the other is one soldier killing an enemy soldier. But I'll give it a look anyway.
posted by Witty at 5:06 PM on December 12, 2003


As always and as per usual with war mongering Bush apologists Witty, you simply skirt issues by claiming that anyone who doesn't agree with you has no business opening his yap.

Not true. First of all, I'm not a war-monger. I don't want the war, I wish we hadn't done it. I also don't give a flip about Bush. I don't care if he is the President or not. But I do believe in the President of the United States, because I believe in the people that voted him into office. I believe this just the same as I believed in Clinton. On a day to day basis, I couldn't give a fuck about Clinton or Bush. But when either one of them decides that it's best to send our troops into harm's way, then I have to believe that it's the right thing to do... that just ignoring it, walking by, turning a blind eye, just won't do anymore. So assuming that I want this war is flat out wrong. I'm not a Bush apologist, but I'm not a Bush basher either.

...numbered twelve in all. Would that make my perspective on what turns my stomach more valid?

Somewhat, yes. Because I have to assume that you've had better first hand accounts of what's going on over there than the majority of the people. 12 people is a lot, 8 is a lot, 6 is a lot... all of which are far too many. Heck, we all probably know even more and just don't realize it.

It's just you won't listen to me. You don't believe that I love America and you also wouldn't believe that I had any good solutions...

I read everything you post (in threads that I read). I've listened to you and others many times. It's true that I often don't agree. I don't think you have any clue what I believe. I don't know you well enough do decide whether or not you love America. But I certainly wouldn't think so from reading the consistently negative, pessimistic, insulting, argumentative, partisan, sarcastic comments that you and others offer every day. I might believe that you have better ideas and solutions if I read one once in a while... you know, without the very tired and oh-so-easy "Shrub attack".

You don't care about me. Why should you? I think that's the problem. You also wouldn't give a damn about my ideas either. Your bag of tricks contains equal parts name calling and shaming in order for you feel as though you are on top of this chaotic world.

I don't care about you in what sense? I care about you as a human being... in the sense that I don't wish you pain or death. You assume far too much about me, while giving me far too much credit. And let's not forget that you called me an asshole, as well as this offering, "How does it feel to be a walking and talking case in point of something horrible?" (whatever that means).

You're just going to have to get past the fact that I think the occupation of Iraq you believe in is the problem.

Well, like I said, I don't necessarily believe in it. But I do know that we're there now. So any "solution" that may arise is going to have to start from now, not yesterday.

Posts like this are meant for nothing more than another daily avenue for the Bush-haters in this web community to spit out the same crap. We got it already. The soldier in this clip has nothing to do with George Bush, as far as the soldier's actions or his training is concerned. I hear people around here complain about how our news media in the U.S. sensationalizes things, spinning and twisting everything... FOX News being the popular target. I don't disagree. But what makes this post any different from those news stations? Yet Metafilterians allow it without a second thought.

So you want solutions? Fine. Let's talk solutions.

Unfortunately, I don't think there are solutions for everything. At this point, many of the aspects of this age-old conflict seem absolutely irreparable. It's frighteningly sad really. That aside, I do think there are things we must do in the immediate future.

If you want to know what I want or what I think is best... I think we need to increase the amount of force, the number of soldiers and resources used against the guerillas. I certainly think we need to stay in Iraq for "as long as it takes". I've never believed this would all come together in less than a year. To have believed anything close to that was simply naive. I think we need to go balls-to-wall, even if it means begging, apologizing, coming clean, admitting, compromising, paying for international support. I don't think we should award contracts to those countries who refuse any to support the effort at all. But for any of the others, they should definitely get a piece of the pie. And I believe that every soldier should know that he/she is supported by their fellow citizens regardless of political stance or one's view of this war. That's the general summary of how I look at it.
posted by Witty at 6:01 PM on December 12, 2003


::discreetly hands witty a sponge with which to mop up the foam::
posted by ook at 6:24 PM on December 12, 2003


FALSE! He's standing behind a stone/brick wall about 4-5 ft. in height... backed by other marines and possibly vehicles. That would lead me to believe that whatever is behind him has been secured. See, you don't know what you're talking about. You just take one look at the video and assume you have it all figured out. "Standing in a wide open street" is flat-out INCORRECT.

Dammit, Witty, calm down! The RealPlayer version of the link isn't working now so I can't check again, but I don't remember seeing the wall. Obviously a number of angles have been secured, but LIKE I SAID, it's hard to tell from the video because you only get a 45 or so degree scan of the area, and it's quick. I looked at it a few times, but I didn't check frame by frame. I'm not assuming I have it all figured out because I can't see the rest of the area! Obviously the soldier isn't worried about what's behind him, but the question is, do they have the position secured where the wounded Iraqi is, and if not, why not? That's what determines how bad this is, that is, is it "war is hell" bad or "my God what are doing" bad. The video does not make it look very good. It's not as though they were standing over the poor guy laughing and shooting, which is what the transcript made it sound like. But... the way it looks, I'm leaning about 60% "my god", 40% "war is hell." Clearer? Now as for:

Better than who? Iraqis or Iraqi soldiers or Iraqi militants? I ask because all three of those choices are made up of Iraqi people. So it sounds like you think we're better than Iraqi people. That's an interesting twist.

Referring to the fedayeen. We're supposed to not resort to the same kinds of things they do. It's what makes us the good guys, right? Come on, I'm not being strange here.
posted by furiousthought at 6:46 PM on December 12, 2003


".....Posts like this are meant for nothing more than another daily avenue for the Bush-haters in this web community to spit out the same crap." - witty, I didn't post any Bush-hating or any crap on this thread. In fact, I posted one comment from a US Marine Corps. Captain who had rather strong things to say about liberals.

I enjoy, at this point in my life, airing such strong views (which clash with my own) on the basis that - if my own views can't stand such heat - they are feeble views which I should discard.

In purely technical terms, I think you'd do your argument more justice if you would address the analysis I referred to, earlier in this thread, which compares the US occupation of Iraq to both the British occupation of Belfast and to the French occupation of Algiers : in terms of the fact that - even with the help of sympathetic locals (which the US mostly lacks in Iraq, at least on a comparable level) - those french and British forces were, per capita/square mile of occupied territory, at about 10X the force level of the current US/British occupation.

Would you agree that the US will need 10X more troops to pull off Bush's Iraq gambit (and maybe more) ?
posted by troutfishing at 7:09 PM on December 12, 2003


Thanks for that Witty.

I'd love to respond but it's my B-day and I'm late getting around. But I will say that I'm sorry I called you an asshole. And for what it's worth, it wasn't a straight-up calling of that old time mean name "asshole". It was more of the variety: "Hey whaddya call this then, asshole?"

It's all the same I suppose.

As far as the "Bush hating" thing goes, Bush and his got us into this war. They and theirs also created the morass that is the Middle East. The people of this country need to learn what our country has intentionally done wrong to the people of the Middle East in order for any beneficial change (with or without this little war we're currently engaged in) to occur. These are not myths. There are real repurcussions from having generations of callous policies towards the people who live atop a region rich in natural resources.

We need to get that through our heads and we must be adults about it. Killing each other aboard a raft of myths and techniques at dehumanization is perhaps the worst of all possible choices. Yet, war remains the most expedient process that those who are powerful have to keep the people's eyes and hearts off the real issues effecting them but effect the most powerful the least. So they send us off to fight, kill and be more or less miserable about this thing we're all doing together -- living on the same small planet at the same time.

It's the same for our decreed enemies as it is for us. We're all, at the end of the day, doing nothing but dying for them. When one of our loved ones die, what is it that they have died for?

That is why this is Bush's fault -- for the time being, as there are many culprits behind this. When any man or woman is hacked to death because of this war, it is because of the lack of concern for human life on behalf of our leaders. The Marines and the Iraqi depicted in this clip are equally as important to me as George W. Bush is. Therefore they should no more meet a violent end anymore than should George W. Bush.

But the president doesn't see it this way. Otherwise we would have never gone to war. Otherwise Saddam Hussein would have never been supported by our government lo the prior 20+ years from Gulf War I. Yet, here we are, occupying Iraq, setting our sights on other sovereign nations and doing it all under the miserably abusrd guise as a "War on Terror". Everything justification has been a lie. It is not the people of the United State's problem to get these tycoons out of their little bind. It is their job, as leaders, wealthy and powerful, to get the people of planet Earth out of the problem they got us into.

(I guess I did kind of end up responding anyhow)
posted by crasspastor at 7:10 PM on December 12, 2003


affecting dammit. . .
posted by crasspastor at 7:12 PM on December 12, 2003


As far as the "Bush hating" thing goes, Bush and his got us into this war. They and theirs also created the morass that is the Middle East.

How far back does one want to go? Do you go back to the proping up of Saddam in the 1980's? Do you go back to time when Iran was on its way to becoming *gasp* Democratic and instead helped to put in the Shaw? (By putting in the Shaw, this created the hostage situation which the response was to eventually prop up Saddam) Do you go back in time to the Ottaman empire? The Crusades? "WE" have a history of saying one thing, then doing another. At what point do "WE" stop such hyprocracy and start doing what we say?

Bush II and Co. opted to ignore international law. This makes it hard to later claim the protection of the rule of law.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:59 AM on December 13, 2003


The Shaw?

One more point about the Geneva Convention (if anyone still cares). The US has damn good self-interested reasons to respect the Geneva Convention. In general, countries follow the Geneva Convention because they want to ensure that enemies will treat their soldiers in a humane way. Thus, if the US starts defecting from the regime, states that we fight in the future will have few compuntions about mistreating US soldiers, since they have no reason to believe that the US will reciprocate humane treatment.

So, one could argue that if the US military has in fact adopted a policy ignoring or only halfheartedly enforcing the Geneva Convention, they are in fact putting U.S. troops in far greater danger in the long run.
posted by boltman at 5:12 PM on December 13, 2003


Facing the Human Rights Abyss
posted by homunculus at 11:17 PM on December 13, 2003


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