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November 14, 2004 11:19 PM   Subscribe

Raw video footage from the US military offensive in Fallujah.
posted by Keyser Soze (93 comments total)

 
(via drudgereport)
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:26 PM on November 14, 2004


I saw this on drudge and it made me really wish there was a channel for this kind of 24 hour footage. I almost put down Halo2 for a second.
posted by Sellersburg/Speed at 11:45 PM on November 14, 2004


This made me want to throw up.

Combine this footage with the reports that the marines are now using white phosphorus in fallujah (which melts the skin and leaves melted bodies in the street) and you'll understand why.

There's a difference between killing because you must and killing because you enjoy it. These soldiers appear to have crossed that line. It's the difference - apologies for invoking godwin so early in the thread - between shoving the bodies into the ovens and whistling while you do so.
posted by u.n. owen at 11:59 PM on November 14, 2004


US military officials said that American troops have now occupied the entire city of Fallujah and that there are no more major concentrations of insurgents still fighting after nearly a week of intense urban combat.

Sure.

A day after U.S. and Iraqi forces said they had liberated the city of Falluja, the U.S. Air Force today bombed insurgent positions there as the U.S. Army fired artillery into a "massive bunker complex."

Damn. Looks like we've really "turned the corner" in IraqNam....for about the hundredth time. No doubt this will be the last one. "Mission Accomplished".
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:03 AM on November 15, 2004


What makes the grass grow?
posted by loquacious at 12:17 AM on November 15, 2004


Blood!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:45 AM on November 15, 2004


I wonder what they were shooting at. No enemies or enemy fire was to be seen in that video. And there were many instances of people with apparently nothing to do just standing about while other people fire weapons near them.

There's a difference between killing because you must and killing because you enjoy it. These soldiers appear to have crossed that line.

Did you expect the soldiers to be all self-loathing and conflicted about being soldiers?
posted by lazy-ville at 2:06 AM on November 15, 2004


On one level they're enjoying it and not because they're some godforsaken murderous brutes barely removed from the SS.

They're enjoying it because they're winning and the bad guys are losing. They're enjoying it because they're in their 20s and they get to play with explosives. They're enjoying it because they're getting some small measure of revenge against the brutes who have brutalized westerners and iraqis alike. They're enjoying it because they're getting a bit of revenge against the insurgents who have killed or wounded their friends, their fellow soldiers. Thery're enjoying it because they're caught up in the rush of adrenaline.

I'm as against the war as many on the left but this sort of comment really explain why our side is held is such disdain by many in the middle and right. This sort of statement is unbelievably clueless. Read a few soldiers' memoirs; read some military history. There's nothing in this video which indicates psychosis or the beginnings of a genocidal tendency.

So read a bit more and get some perspective on how soldiers traditionally behave. Save the nazi comments for when / if an Iraqi My Lai is documented.

On Preview: As lazy-ville said, when they're on the firing line, you want them to be gung-ho, doing their jobs efficiently. The world is a terrible place and we need men like that, even if you think they are misused where they are.
posted by pandaharma at 2:31 AM on November 15, 2004


u.n. owen:- ... These soldiers appear to have crossed that line...

Fear, adrenaline, machismo, youth, hormones and weapons... these men are soldiers in a combat environment and you are surprised at their psyched-up behavior? No offense intended, but you seemed to exist in a somewhat sheltered environment and have totally failed to empathize with these men and the environment they are in (which may be a good thing actually).

This made me want to throw up.

Now that's just being a drama queen. If you want to see something that will truly make you throw up, watch one of the hostage beheading videos. Then you may understand what true horror really is. (Actually, don't watch those videos, i'm just using them as an example that the footage referenced in this post is quite visually tame in comparison and nothing to get too upset about.)
posted by Meridian at 2:41 AM on November 15, 2004


It's true, a psychotic enjoys killing because it is transgressive. The military trains kids to enjoy it, so they are simply acting as expected, within a framework.

A psychotic killer, let loose in a pet shop, might kill a puppy or two, maybe smash a fish tank, but he would quickly get bored and stop.

A loyal soldier who had undergone months of training and ordered, along with his buddies, to level the pet shop would be much more devastating.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:50 AM on November 15, 2004


Well it seems to me these soldiers in the video could be just scared and I would be too, as they hope to come back alive.

The "woooos" and other sounds may appear to be joy (and they may be in some instance) but I guess it's rather a manifestation of relief (woooh, the mofo can't shoot me no more).

Unfortunately we can't see what they're shooting and the quality of the video doesn't let us see much return fire. They're surely packing a ton of firepower ...I guess those tanks are bradleys shooting 20mm rounds and antitank missles.

What's most scary ? That some people was going to resist a combined infrantry/armor/air attack without armor/air support..from a military point of view these fanatics still in Falluja are incredibly corageous.

This is so absurd..it's like david vs goliath.
posted by elpapacito at 3:58 AM on November 15, 2004


Now that's just being a drama queen. If you want to see something that will truly make you throw up, watch one of the hostage beheading videos. Then you may understand what true horror really is. (Actually, don't watch those videos, i'm just using them as an example that the footage referenced in this post is quite visually tame in comparison and nothing to get too upset about

That logic's just about as stupid as the warbloggers who have those photos of the burning World Trade Center with "have you forgotten" written under it. It's like saying "what do you mean Jeffery Dahmer was a murderer? Now, Pol Pot, that's killing people!"

How is sickening brutality made better by the fact that sicker brutality exists?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:04 AM on November 15, 2004


The U.S. armed forces might be the most effective killing machine ever. But large-scale indiscriminate utilization of its mighty powers could be the leading cause for the Iraq quagmire.

Most other military forces of the quickly-crumbling-and-half-assed-at-best coalition have employed less harsh techniques in other parts of the country to at least some degree of success. Often those efforts have been dilapidated by unconcerned Americans troops ... repeatedly.

So while it is hard to blame the foot soldiers for the disaster, any image of American soldiers employing massive firepower kind of comes across first and foremost as completely pathetic and misguided.
posted by magullo at 4:18 AM on November 15, 2004


This video isn't brutal, it's just soldiers shooting at buildings. Granted, as elpapacito said the video quality isn't that great. But seeing as there are many people just standing about, not looking very worried about getting shot at, I'd say they were n't being fired upon. Only once in the video did we hear anything that could've been weapons fire (when a Bradley wastes a missile on a building down the street).

On preview, what magullo said as well.
posted by lazy-ville at 4:21 AM on November 15, 2004


That logic's just about as stupid as... No, s/he was being a drama queen, and your stupid over-the-top followup of mentioning Pol Pot only serves to patronise someone who is immature and lives a life shielded from the harsher realities of the world. Cruelty and propoganda thrive on the naivity and ignorance you are attempting to justify. Guess what, the policies of the U.S. of A. are making the world a more sickening and brutal place, and you should attempt to understand that rather than bury your head.
posted by Meridian at 4:31 AM on November 15, 2004


Someone writing comments about how people are "drama queens" and declaring them to "live in a sheltered environment" really has no business talking about who's patronizing people.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:41 AM on November 15, 2004


XQUZYPHYR, people see some images of soldiers shooting at walls and immediately compare it to Pol Pot's killing fields and the genocide of the Jews. If you can't see the stupidity in that comparison then so be it.
posted by Meridian at 4:53 AM on November 15, 2004


No, but thanks for missing the point entirely. I'm saying that defending the bad actions of someone because someone else did something even worse is ridiculous.

You pass off outrage at the soldiers' actions by condescendingly calling someone a "drama queen." Are you a "drama queen" for being outraged at beheadings then? Would you accept that because the terrorists are full of "machismo and adrenaline?"

Exactly what level of stepping beyond the protocol of decency are you allowed to legitimately be outraged at? I ask you because apparently, by your own appointment, you're the grand arbiter of what everyone on the planet is allowed to be upset about.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:07 AM on November 15, 2004


Hmm. From a couple of whoops and cheers when rockets hit their targets, however inappropriate, it would seem a bit much to infer that these soldiers actually enjoy the act of killing itself – let alone that they are in some way psychopathic, sadists or anything quite that drastic.

Damn. Looks like we've really "turned the corner" in IraqNam....for about the hundredth time. No doubt this will be the last one. "Mission Accomplished".

Are you saying that since the primary objective has not yet been secured, any successes achieved while working towards that primary objective are of no worth and to mention them is an action worthy of sarcastic derision?

I wonder what they were shooting at. No enemies or enemy fire was to be seen in that video.

It may be technically true that no enemy fire was to be seen in the clip, but there was plenty of gunfire to be heard that was not accounted for by those who were actually filmed firing; a lot of which seemed to be at some distance away.

The U.S. armed forces might be the most effective killing machine ever. But large-scale indiscriminate utilization of its mighty powers could be the leading cause for the Iraq quagmire.

This is quite possibly true but this footage doesn’t seem to be evidence of any such thing.

That logic's just about as stupid as the warbloggers who have those photos of the burning World Trade Center with "have you forgotten" written under it. It's like saying "what do you mean Jeffery Dahmer was a murderer? Now, Pol Pot, that's killing people!" How is sickening brutality made better by the fact that sicker brutality exists?

Of course you cannot justify an act of sickening brutality by pointing to the fact that other acts of sickening brutality also exist, but I think what was being suggested is that the footage does not represent such an act at all.

Merdiain / XQUZYPHYR:

This thread will probably be more useful if we do not move the subject to one of each other but focus on the original matter.
posted by ed\26h at 5:14 AM on November 15, 2004


It may be technically true that no enemy fire was to be seen in the clip, but there was plenty of gunfire to be heard that was not accounted for by those who were actually filmed firing; a lot of which seemed to be at some distance away.

We see none of these soldiers react as if under fire. When they shoot, only one person shoots and mostly automatic fire, which would indicate that they weren't trying to shoot at somebody but rather to lay down covering fire even though we don't see anyone advancing. Of course, I don't think they are shooting at buildings for fun. There probably are enemies ahead, but it seems to me that almost all ammunition used during this video was pointlessly wasted.
posted by lazy-ville at 5:44 AM on November 15, 2004


lazy-ville: Not wasted, they got some video footage of soldiers firing. The pictures would have been totally worthless if they had all just been standing around doing nothing.
posted by biffa at 5:55 AM on November 15, 2004



This thread will probably be more useful if we do not move the subject to one of each other but focus on the original matter.


yes. can we PLEASE discuss Iraq, and the moral questions of war AGAIN? i haven't argued in circles enough this month.
posted by glenwood at 6:07 AM on November 15, 2004


One thing stood out, it says it's 'raw' footage but there seem to be lots of nice edits in there....
posted by zeoslap at 6:09 AM on November 15, 2004


Can we PLEASE discuss Iraq, and the moral questions of war AGAIN? i haven't argued in circles enough this month.

That is not what I was suggesting. I was saying that if we really want a productive discussion of the behaviour of the soldiers or anything else represented by that linked clip then changing the subject to one of each other’s personal habits and/or traits is not the right away to go about it.

Even if we were to discuss Iraq as a whole, and the moral questions of war, this would still seem preferable to worthlessly complaining about each other.
posted by ed\26h at 6:16 AM on November 15, 2004


This thread will probably be more useful if we do not move the subject to one of each other but focus on the original matter.

Illegal war, illegal occupiers, illegal torture, illegal killings of civilians. Falluja will be remembered as another American atrocity.
posted by acrobat at 6:18 AM on November 15, 2004


Illegal war, illegal occupiers, illegal torture, illegal killings of civilians. Falluja will be remembered as another American atrocity.

No, the original matter being linked clip. Another thing that would be useful is less of that sort of rhetoric.
posted by ed\26h at 6:23 AM on November 15, 2004


Nice video.
posted by angry modem at 6:31 AM on November 15, 2004


rhetoric ed\26h? Linked clip shows illegal army firing against anything that moves in illegally occupied land far far away. If you are for this war ok. If not you need to base your analysis on a solid principle. To me this war is illegal and all discussion about our boys shooting with joy is shameful. Period.
posted by acrobat at 6:40 AM on November 15, 2004


Reviewing Sun Tzu, beseiging foreign cities is a poor strategem. We're in for a long fight and we won't be on moral high-ground.

I obviously also disagree with those who say that we have a moral right to do this. If again you review Sun Tzu, you may notice that he spends a lot of time on ethical discussion as well as ethical strategy before talking about how to go about splitting men and women asunder.

Needless to say, though, upon comparison with the classics of strategy, we're (America is) really screwing the pooch.
posted by kalessin at 6:51 AM on November 15, 2004


Awesome! Now I can safely sit at my PC from thousands of miles away and judge the actions of soldiers under fire.
posted by bondcliff at 6:57 AM on November 15, 2004


bondcliff: oh but if you sit in the pentagon, that's pretty much what you do. Except you get more video and more details then we do.
posted by elpapacito at 7:19 AM on November 15, 2004


I guess Drudge is showing the world tomorrow's Al-Qaeda recruiting videos even before they've been edited. "Wooo".
posted by clevershark at 7:19 AM on November 15, 2004


u. n. owen said, "It's the difference - apologies for invoking godwin so early in the thread - between shoving the bodies into the ovens and whistling while you do so."

There's a difference? *insert the seven dwarves singing here* And you're forgiven. This thread was destined to suck from the beginning. I love threads like this!

pandaharna said, "They're enjoying it because..."

Y'know I've often boasted that if I could get on that Fear Factor tv series I'd do whatever they told me to do. Put fifty thousand dollars in front of me, and there's a lot of things I'd be willing to do. Some of those things would be gross and some of them would be of questionable ethics, and when I did it I'd be telling myself it's a walk in the park and it'll be fun and I'd do whatever I could to psyche myself up so I could get through it.

So if a twenty-something WASP finds himself enjoying mowing down arabs with high tech weapons and blowing them up with explosives, it doesn't necessarily mean he's a sociopath. He just has to pretend to be one for the duration of his tour in Iraq. What bugs me is these guys do this for less than fifty thousand dollars a day. But hey, we all have our price.

Meridian said, "...you seemed to exist in a somewhat sheltered environment and have totally failed to empathize with these men and the environment they are in (which may be a good thing actually)."

Yeah some of us haven't gotten around to experiencing homicide in a war-friendly environment. It's something they should teach all children in elementary school, but try getting that past the PTA board. Those darned liberals.

"If you want to see something that will truly make you throw up, watch one of the hostage beheading videos."

Actually, sticking a finger down my mouth does the trick much more effectively.

Space Coyote said, "..a psychotic enjoys killing because it is transgressive. The military trains kids to enjoy it, so they are simply acting as expected, within a framework."

So the military trains kids to be psychotic. Then we dream up a war so they can get their rocks off. Oh I get it now. Your comparison of the military levelling a pet shop compared to a psychotic not being as thorough or resourceful has left me with a warm feeling of security inside. When my neighborhood gets overrun by stray kittens, I'll just call in the marines.

elpapacito said, "This is so absurd..it's like david vs goliath."

Wait. Aren't they metaphorically like David and we're metaphorically like Goliath? David became king right? Goliath became wormfood. I don't like your metaphor man! Pick a different metaphor!

Meridian said, "Guess what, the policies of the U.S. of A. are making the world a more sickening and brutal place, and you should attempt to understand that rather than bury your head"

Yeah but understanding that makes ya wanna bury your head. Cuz what's the point of fretting and worrying about all this when you can't do anything about it. Well, ya could do something about it. You could vote for someone other than Bush. But we got overruled by Godfearing, warhungry redstates. So now, we're pretty much looking at burying our head for another four years, not to mention covering our asses.

This thread will be more useful if we print it out and use it as toilet paper. if we really want a productive discussion we'd talk about something else.

bondcliff said, "Awesome..!"

Yeah! Isn't it GREAT!?

Oh, and Meridian? You too are a drama queen. Join the club. The first step towards healing is acknowledging you have a problem.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:20 AM on November 15, 2004


Most soldiers are cowards. Because they are people. And most people are cowards.
posted by rushmc at 7:26 AM on November 15, 2004


The more the Marines and Army shoot the place up, the more piles of rubble they're creating for the insurgent snipers to hide in: an Iraqi Stalingrad. At some arbitrary point, the US military will declare Fallujah a done deal and probably withdraw, and meanwhile the insurgents will have learned the hard way to stay out of set-piece battles and focus on adding to US body counts over holding on to real estate.
posted by alumshubby at 7:31 AM on November 15, 2004


Not to worry. The soldiers were firing Compassion Bullets and Liberty Rockets.
posted by Optamystic at 7:32 AM on November 15, 2004


Too bad they didn't talk to the soldiers.

"I wanted to visit Vietnam, the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet people of an exotic and interesting culture...and kill them. I want to be the first kid on my block to score a confirmed kill!"
posted by fungible at 7:33 AM on November 15, 2004


zachsmind: it also happens that David had only a slingshot, much like the "resistent" or "terrorists" or "belligerant hostile bystanders" whatever the name ..they at best have some rpg-7 afaik, which is a slingshot when compared to what U.S. is using is falluja...not mentioning the allegation of white phospor ordnance which is hopefully false.

And no this time David (from a military point of view)hasn't got a chance in hell to win the battle let alone the war.
posted by elpapacito at 7:45 AM on November 15, 2004


ed/26h: No, the original matter being linked clip. Another thing that would be useful is less of that sort of rhetoric.

So, the linked clip exists solely by itself, devoid of context? We should only talk about it in terms of a bunch of guys shooting at buildings? What a silly idea.
posted by lodurr at 7:47 AM on November 15, 2004


There is a difference between those who send troops off to a battle and those who go and fight. Those of you equivocating the soldiers in Iraq with the policymakers who put them there need a good bitch slapping.

Those who would critique the performance of these soldiers as joyriders need to step back and put themselves in a position where they must literally kill or be killed. I anticipate more than a few of you would find yourselves doing a fair bit of whooping when you send a TOW round downrange and take out a street barrier.

As for what ought to induce vomiting, this is what is truly sickening. Even if made in jest, which I honestly hope it was, this comment belittles those who are actually engaged in fighting for their lives—the side-effect of which determines which country gets to play oil baron. Halo 2 is a swell diversion, but it is not warfare or even remotely like preparation for warfare. Further, if you get your jollies from watching people literally shoot other people, if it is that sense of realism you really get off on, why the fuck aren't you right out there with them?
posted by Fezboy! at 7:47 AM on November 15, 2004


Linked clip shows illegal army firing against anything that moves in illegally occupied land far far away.

Firstly, whether something is legal or illegal has no direct bearing on its ethical nature; it would not be worthy of outrage or disapproval for that reason alone. Secondly, the idea that they are firing at “anything that moves” is something that neither you nor I can possibly know from that clip. Although, perhaps this seemingly arbitrary assumption is the basis for your claim that this will be remembered as an American atrocity; quite aside from the fact how it will be remembered is not necessarily relevant to how it actually is. You could cause that to be true by you, yourself by simply remembering it as an American atrocity irrespective of what is actually happening there.

To me this war is illegal and all discussion about our boys shooting with joy is shameful.

Well, I can’t imagine you actually mean that you find the discussions themselves shameful – but possibly the idea that the soldiers are taking joy in their shooting at people. However, that statement seeks to draw an inaccurate impression of what we can know. From their expressing a deal of satisfaction when enemy positions are eliminated it does not necessarily follow that it is the firing of the weapons or the killing that results from it that has lead to that expression. It would seem more rational to think that, especially in such an environment, the fact that a soldier has successfully eliminated a position which was threatening or could threaten to shoot at himself and/or his comrades was the cause, rather than the killing, destruction, mindless release of fire-power themselves etc.

Kind of what bondcliff said – minus the rudeness.

Most soldiers are cowards. Because they are people. And most people are cowards.

That is the division fallacy. Substitute “soldiers” for “brave people” and you can see what’s wrong with it.

The soldiers were firing Compassion Bullets and Liberty Rockets.

Please, less rhetoric.

We should only talk about it in terms of a bunch of guys shooting at buildings?

Here. Can't be arsed to explain it myself.
posted by ed\26h at 7:49 AM on November 15, 2004


The comment in question without the relative URI
posted by Fezboy! at 7:50 AM on November 15, 2004


We are rapidly reaching the point where we need to face some very inconvient truths, and that is going to make the conflict over this war and the next war and the coming conscription (limited though it will probably be) all the more difficult.

1. Soldiers kill, and the can't win this kind of war without killing a lot of civilians.

2. We won't be getting out of Iraq any time soon.

3. If you protest the war, or the actions taken in prosecuting the war, it's going to get more and more difficult to say that you do so while continuing to say that you "support the troops."

4. "Supporting the troops" does, in fact, support the war. Everything we do to enable their success, prolongs the war.

5. The success of our troops prolongs the war because actually fighting this war is, more or less by definition, counter-productive. Every civilian our soldiers kill breeds more desire for revenge; every time a platoon leader who's ignorant of how it's going to look to the locals sends his men into the mosque to take the load off with their boots on, it telegraphs contempt for local custom. (As noted above, see Sun Tzu for a theoretical formulation of these ideas; note as you do that Sun Tzu himself did not formulate these ideas while sitting in an ivory tower, but rather while fighting nasty provincial wars and studying the history of ones he did not fight.)

6. The United States, as a matter of policy, does in fact have contempt for local custom. E.g., we are attempting to constrain the Iraqis into selecting a government which is ideologically aligned with our perceived interests. The entire project of the war was undertaken as part of a larger plan to bring "American-style democracy" to the middle east.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: G. W. Bush and his Vulcan cadre have sown the seeds of America's moral destruction, and are in the process of ushering us from our Republican to our Imperial era.
posted by lodurr at 7:59 AM on November 15, 2004


That is the division fallacy. Substitute “soldiers” for “brave people” and you can see what’s wrong with it.

Sorry, Ed, but that's wrong -- you're dividing the sets incorrectly. "Brave people" is, by definition, a subset of "people", as is "cowardly people." The contention is that "cowardly people" constitutes a larger set than "brave people." So there's actually no logical fallacy at all.
posted by lodurr at 8:03 AM on November 15, 2004


When it comes right down to it, the soldiers are celebrating because they're doing their jobs, and doing them well. Their chain of command said "neutralize that structure" or "take out those insurgents" or whatever, and they did so. Of course they're happy about a job well done, just like anyone else would be. Plus, as others have said: they're 18-25 year old kids who get to play with explosives and machine guns.

Guess what? When you're a private or a sergeant or a specialist or whatever, you don't get to decide if it's right or wrong! You follow the orders of your chain of command or you go to prison for a long time! And before anyone brings up Nuremberg, there's a difference between combat and war crimes, just like there's a difference between this video and the ones that came out of Abu Ghraib.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 8:06 AM on November 15, 2004


Oh, and, BTW: It's not a straw man, it's a question, intended to get you to clarify your position. That you "can't be arsed" to clarify your position does not make me guilty of the straw man fallacy.

And while I'm at it: This is not debate class. Why don't you try to have an actual discussion, for once, instead of running home to latinisms and debaters rules?
posted by lodurr at 8:06 AM on November 15, 2004


It's not exactly "raw" footage. It's heavily edited. Lots of booms, only one minor owwie, and no yawns. Not at all typical of urban combat. Oh, and totally safe. Cowboys watching that video at their desk will shoot their load.
posted by fleener at 8:11 AM on November 15, 2004


Guess what? When you're a private or a sergeant or a specialist or whatever, you don't get to decide if it's right or wrong! You follow the orders of your chain of command or you go to prison for a long time!

Well certainly that's what happens whe you surrender your individual moral agency to someone else in exchange for money. Now can you explain why you shouldn't be held responsible when the someone you sold out to turns out to want you to commit unethical acts.
posted by biffa at 8:16 AM on November 15, 2004


"Supporting the troops" does, in fact, support the war.

This is a tricky subject and you can't just paint it one color. One can support individuals who go into the military and be proud of their country without supporting the political boneheads who are presently making unamerican decisions that will only alienate us further from relations with the rest of the world. Watching the Bush administration dictate foreign policy is like watching a retarded five year old playing chess with Kasparov. One can appreciate the art of chess without appreciating the idiots moving the pieces around.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:18 AM on November 15, 2004


True, you can't paint it one color; but it's also true that as you support the troops, you support the war.

That's my ultimate point: We've been painted into a corner where every choice we make will be wrong. It's kind of brilliant, in a deeply disturbing, highly perverse way.
posted by lodurr at 8:23 AM on November 15, 2004


ed\26h: Mindless killings, absurd tactics, human rights abuses, actions aimed at civilians are some of the reasons for the stance I take. But I know, we're not going to see eye to eye in this. This war is wrong! Illegal! Don't give me any more technicalities, please.
posted by acrobat at 8:30 AM on November 15, 2004


KEYBOARD WARRIORS!! HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Is everyone a General here or what !!!!!!
posted by a3matrix at 8:31 AM on November 15, 2004


I think this war is wrong, but I'm still proud of our troops. The two are uniquely separate.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2004


I can't see the video because I don't have windows media player, but for those saying it shows cruelty and insinuating that it amounts to war crimes seem to not be aware that war itself is not considered a war crime. War is ugly and uncivilized and terrible, but unfortunately the human race has not (yet?) progressed beyond it. Whether this war in particular was necessary or beneficial is a different question from whether these soldiers are demented and immoral.
posted by mdn at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2004


Well certainly that's what happens whe you surrender your individual moral agency to someone else in exchange for money.

Unless you're a self-sufficient hermit living in the wild, you too have surrendered your individual moral agency to others in exchange for money. Not to the same degree perhaps, but you pay taxes and consume resources and obey the law, all of which require some surrender of your individual moral agency. You might want to consider that before you criticize soldiers for obeying orders.

The United States, as a matter of policy, does in fact have contempt for local custom. E.g., we are attempting to constrain the Iraqis into selecting a government which is ideologically aligned with our perceived interests. The entire project of the war was undertaken as part of a larger plan to bring "American-style democracy" to the middle east.

Some local customs are worthy of nothing but contempt. I disagree with the way this war has been justified and prosecuted, but I think that I can safely say that "American-style" democracy is superior to dictatorship or theocracy.

This war is wrong! Illegal! Don't give me any more technicalities, please.

Separating legality from morality is hardly a technicality. It's a pretty big deal.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:40 AM on November 15, 2004


Now can you explain why you shouldn't be held responsible when the someone you sold out to turns out to want you to commit unethical acts.

The issue is: when you volunteer for the military (and remember that every single one of those soldiers is there voluntarily), you accept the fact that you may someday be ordered to go to a foreign country and kill people. So on some level, you accept that killing people (when acting under legally-given orders) is not an unethical act.

When you're a soldier (at least at the "operator" level, ie. not an officer) you have a limited ability to determine what is and is not an unethical act. An order like "Hey, Private Smith, go shoot those unresisting prisoners" or "Drop your bombs on that civilian target over there" would be an illegal order, and thus should be refused. However, if the order is a legal one (comes from a valid source inside your chain of command and does not violate military law), you made the decision that you WILL follow that order when you signed up and took your oath.

Ultimately the ethical/unethical decisions can only be made by the military leadership (and by that I mean GWB). The guys at the sharp end are just doing their jobs.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 8:46 AM on November 15, 2004


Sunday morning I was flying back from Mexico and on my connecting flight back to Tulsa half the plane was full of soldiers on R&R for Thanksgiving for 15 days. Naturally we talked about Iraq. Their battalion had worked in Baghdad, near the green zone, and also in Fallujah. They had lost 2 soldiers in their battalion and had about 2 dozen people injured. When they talk about the people they lost you could sense an overwhelming sadness.

The young man I talked to said when he joined the army they asked for volunteers to go to Iraq and he signed up. He doesn't regret it and he wants to stay there even longer. They have been under fire and have returned fire and have killed several of the "enemy". I asked if he had trouble communicating with the Iraqi's. He said that it was very difficult to communicate. In their convoy, they try to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. The Iraqi's don't understand "Get out of the way!" but they do understand a machine gun pointed at them. If they don't move after a warning like that, then they can open fire. He said he does not want to kill Iraqi's but he said you just never know, and if I had a choice between them or us, I'd rather it be them. Even still, he remembered how there were a group of kids that they came to trust and would give them candy and the kids would run outside and come back with some Iraqi food, such as lamb. He said it was a nice change from the same stuff they ate day after day, not that it was bad, he said, just that it gets old after awhile.

So now he is going back to his small town in Oklahoma, and so were many of the other soldiers on that plane. All he wants to do is spend time with his family, eat some good homemade food, go fishing and relax. Getting off the plane the families of the soldiers greeted them with smiles and tears and you could see that that is all those soldiers cared about. I hope none of them get the opportunity to read some of the comments here. Our plane erupted in a round of applause for them as we landed. I have a feeling many of you would have booed, or just refrain from clapping because of your disgust at whatever about Iraq or our military. Walk up to a soldier and say some of the things you say here. See how wonderful it makes him feel that he volunteered to go over there and fight for us. But then I guess you all can come back with Freedom of Speech or something about this being illegal or something. Nothing will ever change your mind more than to talk to one of these guys face to face, let alone a half dozen of them.
posted by Ron at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2004


Unless you're a self-sufficient hermit living in the wild, you too have surrendered your individual moral agency to others in exchange for money. Not to the same degree perhaps, but you pay taxes and consume resources and obey the law, all of which require some surrender of your individual moral agency. You might want to consider that before you criticize soldiers for obeying orders.

Well I'm pretty sure that the 'fulfil other reasonable requests' clause in my contract is never going to include dropping bombs into civilian areas of cities. I certainly considered that before choosing a career. I can criticise soldiers for putting themselves in a position where they have to obey - effectively unethcial - orders to start with.
posted by biffa at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2004


Having looked at the video, it's pretty much the same stuff I've been seeing on the cable news -- just three solid minutes of it with out any voice-over explaining what's going on. You never get a good look at what the troops are shooting at.
posted by alumshubby at 8:53 AM on November 15, 2004


Keep on trying to defend those who literally saw the heads off of innocents, stockpile arms in places of worship, and blow up women and children in Baghdad markets.

Your blog flamewar amounts to little. Those of us who understand what the battle's about outnumber you, and last week's election proves it.

Your electrons will do nothing to change that, but type on brave warriors!
posted by darren at 8:57 AM on November 15, 2004


"In their convoy, they try to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. The Iraqi's don't understand "Get out of the way!" but they do understand a machine gun pointed at them. If they don't move after a warning like that, then they can open fire."

There's intersections here in Texas where that's how right-of-way is determined.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:08 AM on November 15, 2004


Not long ago on this very site we had the majority of war opponents espousing a "oppose the war, but support the troops" ideology. This was, I imagine, because most of the soldiers were thought to be scared and wanted to go home. Then you found this to not be the case after the election and you who were formerly in "support the troops" mode are now in "fuck the troops" mode because of their overwhelming electoral support of the President. Cognitive dissonance is fun, isn't it?

The "liberals" of today have become the black helicopter militia types of the Clinton years. Anything that makes the President look bad is "good" and "the truth." Anything that makes the President look good is "bad" and "the work of oil interests/imperialists." The actual truth of any of this information seems to be irrelevant; only the characterization of the President and his policy seems to matter. That's the only real core belief you have anymore: Bush and/or America = bad, enemies of Bush and/or America = good.

You've come unhinged, and you've lost the election because of it. Either come to grips with that fact, or if you'd prefer, with the fact that you got your ass beat by "an idiot" (now I'm anticipating responses of "no, it was 60 million idiots" *sigh*)
posted by BrandonAbell at 9:13 AM on November 15, 2004


"almost all ammunition used during this video was pointlessly wasted"

You can broaden that to the idea that almost all ammunition used in any conflict is wasted. It's always been true, and probably always will be.
posted by Irontom at 9:14 AM on November 15, 2004


Your electrons will do nothing...

Well elections don't work either, so electrons are all we got left.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:15 AM on November 15, 2004


Those of us who understand what the battle's about outnumber you

enlighten me, WTF is it all about then because I just don't get it.

How did the war on terror pervert itself into a war against a crackpot dictator?

Is there still a war on Terror?

Will we always be at war with terror?

Or are we at war with Islam?

Will we always be at war with Islam?

Really, I'd like to understand.... I need to prepare myself for the battle!

Joystick at the ready General
posted by twistedonion at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2004


Back to the front.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2004


The Iraqi's don't understand "Get out of the way!" but they do understand a machine gun pointed at them. If they don't move after a warning like that, then they can open fire.

hey, ron, thank you for relating that story to us. but did you ever stop to think about what it might look like from the other side:

the americans don't understand it when we shout "get out of our country" in our language, but they do understand an rpg pointed at them. if they don't leave after a warning like that, then we can open fire.

it sickens me that rear echelon motherfuckers like bush, cheney, and rove use the sentiments of good people like you and your fellow travelers on that plane to further their own agendas.

it's sad that those of us who object to american actions in iraq, those who are not involved in the action but support it and the soldiers being used to carry out the actions are yelling at each other instead of realizing that the remf in washington are screwing everybody -- citizens of the u.s.a., soldiers in iraq, and iraqi citizens alike -- over.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:32 AM on November 15, 2004


It reminded me in parts of Avalon.
posted by ruelle at 9:37 AM on November 15, 2004


Well I'm pretty sure that the 'fulfil other reasonable requests' clause in my contract is never going to include dropping bombs into civilian areas of cities. I certainly considered that before choosing a career. I can criticise soldiers for putting themselves in a position where they have to obey - effectively unethcial - orders to start with.

You can criticize whatever you damn well please. Unfortunately, society as a whole can't afford to take your holier-than-thou position without putting itself at the mercy of anyone willing to use violence to achieve their goals. That's why we have soldiers, and policemen and prosecutors for that matter. But good for you for keeping your own hands from getting dirty, you're such a beacon of moral superiority for us all to look up to.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2004


I'm trying to look at this from the armchair general standpoint, as to why they were just looking rather bored while one person shoots at a building.

Then I realized, if I were an insurgent, how would I act. I think our perceptions of warfare are too limited to WWII, even Vietnam. I'm not going to stand on the ledge, poke my gun out, fire a few rounds and then duck and reload. Not when there'd a tank and enough firepower to blow up the building. If I were an insurgent I'd wait inside the building until the enemy (the US) got close enough to level the playing field. The US's weapons are way more accurate at long yardage then an AK47 that's been hidden in dirt for the last 3 months. I would sit, patiently wait for the US to come within range (inside the building) and let loose any booby traps, small arms fire I had.

So the soldiers, being that they knew from experience what to expect, can at most lay down cover fire at the building, while an airstrike or artillery were called in. They know enemy won't leave or even peak when you have several heavy machine guns battering the walls. What we were probably viewing was containment until the situation could be reevaluated.

Of course this is Mr. Call of Duty Bootcamp talking, so I could be talking out of my ass, but I really doubt the US is simply shooting off guns for fun. The fire was too direct and deliberate.
posted by geoff. at 11:48 AM on November 15, 2004


I wanna start a war on antipathy. Who's with me?! Let's have more wars on abstract concepts because they're just so winnable! How about wars on contractions and sentence fragments!? Those are cool too!
posted by ZachsMind at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2004


Civilian cost of battle for Falluja emerges
posted by homunculus at 12:48 PM on November 15, 2004


from Ron's conversation with the young soldier:

if I had a choice between them or us, I'd rather it be them.

that's a mindset i find troubling. until one Iraqi child counts as much as one American child, the U.S. is in the morally inferior position.

that will never happen, of course, so i suppose we may as well starting preparing for the war to end all wars.

The U.S. armed forces might be the most effective killing machine ever. But large-scale indiscriminate utilization of its mighty powers could be the leading cause for the Iraq quagmire.

absolutely. how else could the insurgency recruit? i think that the indiscriminate killing of civilians is hurting the military effort very badly.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:05 PM on November 15, 2004


Keep on trying to defend those who literally saw the heads off of innocents, stockpile arms in places of worship, and blow up women and children in Baghdad markets.

Okay, I think it's true that no Coalition troops have sawed the heads off anyone, despite the other tortures they have been definitively shown to have committed.

However, they have certainly "stockpiled arms in places of worship" and "blown up women and children in Baghdad markets".

What was your point again, darren? Because I think you actually made the opposite of the one you were trying to make.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:10 PM on November 15, 2004


That is the division fallacy. Substitute “soldiers” for “brave people” and you can see what’s wrong with it.

What lodurr said above. There's no fallacy.

People are emotionally disinclined to say anything negative about U.S. troops—for some good reasons and some not so good. Try thinking of it in terms of your cousin/sister/neighbor/teacher/doctor/etc. It becomes easier to imagine good people that you would normally respect, appreciate and support doing things that you cannot. Like it or not, those acts do taint those individuals, however otherwise worthy they might be.

There is always an opportunity to make a choice of conscience, however inconvenient or painful the consequences might be. Better a thousand court martials than a single immoral or despicable act, and no one of any integrity seriously floats the "following orders" justification anymore.
posted by rushmc at 4:00 PM on November 15, 2004


Maybe there are two sides to the whole boots-in-the-mosque thing, but I hope we can agree that shooting an unarmed, wounded prisoner to death in a mosque is really bad PR.

I haven't read them myself, but On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society and What Every Person Should Know About War have gotten good reviews and might provide some insight into what the soldiers are thinking.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:03 PM on November 15, 2004


Just to let you guys know, that other video from Fallujah today -- the one of the US soldier shooting an injured, prone, unarmed old man in the head -- is getting quite a lot of airplay on the national news in the UK.

I watched it in the crowded Accident and Emergency room of my local hospital. People groaned and turned away from the screen.
posted by Hogshead at 5:25 PM on November 15, 2004


Cognitive dissonance is fun, isn't it?

Nothing in what you described qualifies as cognitive dissonance, BrandonAbell. Please reread.

you got your ass beat by "an idiot"

Well, no, I didn't "get my ass beat." I voted for the other guy, who lost. The fact that this constitutes an "ass-beating" in your mind says a lot about how you feel about democracy.
posted by argybarg at 7:23 PM on November 15, 2004


There is always an opportunity to make a choice of conscience, however inconvenient or painful the consequences might be. Better a thousand court martials than a single immoral or despicable act...

while I appreciate this sentiment, I think it might be considered an easy way out. For one thing, it specifies avoiding committing an immoral act - that is, avoiding actively doing something wrong. This reminds me of Kant's moral theory which led him to defend his absolute position by affirming that it was better not to lie than to lie in order to save your friend from a murderer (the modern equivalent commonly suggested is giving up your jewish friend to the nazis). As he made clear, lying would be your immoral act. By not lying, you may be allowing someone else to be immoral, but then, that's really not your problem.

The analog here is that these soldiers believe they are liberating a country, and that not to do so would be wrong. They are killing people, as happens in all wars. To not kill people, in their opinion, would be to allow someone to do something worse (saddam to oppress a country). Some soldiers are just young and don't have any real idea what they think. But some honestly believe they are doing something good, and the fact that they are also soldiers, ie, they kill people, is not in itself relevant unless you want to argue that moral nations should collectively turn the other cheek.

To be clear, whether it was right to engage in this war to begin with is certainly worthy of debate (& likewise what we should do now); whether it's okay for soldiers to kill people in battle is not.
posted by mdn at 7:43 PM on November 15, 2004


Well they took you from your mother's womb and put you in a school
Told you how to run your life by following the rules
Told you not to pick your nose or disrespect the queen
Scrub your teeth three times a day keep mind and body clean

Save up all your pocket money, nothing is for free
And you'd better trust your parents cos there's no one else you see
And then they send you off each day remember what you're told
"You may think you don't need teaching but you'll need it when you're old"

And if you're too intelligent they'll cut you down to size
They'll praise you til you're happy then they'll fill you full of lies
Cos intelligence is threatening and genius is sin
If you could ever see through them they know they'd never win

So they channel your ability into the right direction
If you're good enough and rich enough you can be a politician
On the other hand if your too thick they'll tell you that you're lazy
They'll put you down and wind you up until it drives you crazy

They'll say you ought to learn a trade to help you in your life
Success is written in three parts: A job, a house, a wife
They'll say that school prepares you for the awesome world outside
Well it certainly gives you bigotry and patriotic pride

Racism, sexism teacher to class
From school to work remains the same are you white and middle class?

You'll learn that bad men dress in black and good men dress in white
And the pamphlets in the playground say that's right
And that girls were made for housework and boys were made to fight
And the naughty pictures on page 3 make everything alright

And so from school to the outside world these morals you will take
And unless you can reject them you'll have your mind at stake

They'll give you a decision when you get to 18, too
The right to vote for someone else who says he cares for you
But the only thing he cares about is getting to the top
By conning you with empty words that promise you a lot
But the end result is slavery to a false set of ideals
You'll be tempted to believe them cos they'll seem so very real
The slavery of attitudes that make you keep in line
Subconsciously devoted to the morals of our time

And when you end up on the dole which you very likely will
They'll offer you a brand new trade: Learning how to kill

Why don't you join the army? Be a man and not a fool
There's someone else to think for you just like there was at school

They'll promise you absolution from the murders you'll commit
In the name of god and country they can get away with it
They fill you full of orders and promise you rewards
Like busting up your family by sending you abroad
A holiday in Germany or Iceland or Hong Kong
Making money being useless well it seems it can't go wrong
But then it's off to Northern Ireland where you'll practice what they preached
You'll shoot to keep yourself alive and kill to keep the peace
And then it won't be so much fun as you hear the wounded crying
Cos before they couldn't speak english and you didn't know what they were saying
But when the children call you "Bastard" it will make you think again
When you cannot tell the difference between animals and men

Animals don't wear uniforms but they kill as much as you
But the army kills for money and animals kill for food
It's the basest degredation in the name of what is right
Become something you never were and regret it til you die

Cos your father will tell you "Sonny, you must do as you are told"
And you'll say the same thing to your kids when you're 32 years old
And unless you can react against the brainwash from the start
Your government will rule your mind and your mind will rule your heart
You'll conform to every social law and be the system's slave
From birth to school to work to death, from the cradle to the grave.....

"From the Cradle to the Grave" Subhumans UK
posted by crasspastor at 8:40 PM on November 15, 2004




Check out the sweet Google text ad I got when the page loaded.
posted by sklero at 10:26 PM on November 15, 2004


Lodurr & Rushmc:

So there's actually no logical fallacy at all.

Y is a contained subset of set X.
Most members of set X lack property A
Therefore most members of set Y also lack property A.

It’s quite obvious that argument simply doesn’t work. All jugglers are people and most people can’t juggle, but it doesn’t follow from this that most jugglers can’t juggle. If you still don’t see it, I can post you a Venn diagram but I really don’t think it should be required.

It's not a straw man, it's a question, intended to get you to clarify your position. That you "can't be arsed" to clarify your position does not make me guilty of the straw man fallacy.

While it was a question – it then moved to answer this question in the affirmative and consequentially assert that since that is my position, the position is foolish. It wasn’t my position; nor was it my position I couldn’t be arsed to clarify, but why, as the asserted position was quite different to mine, it was a straw man fallacy – which seems fairly obvious. Suggesting that I am now asserting that it is my unwillingness to clarify my position that makes you guilty of the straw man fallacy is a distorted and indeed utterly false version of what I actually was saying; quite ironic really.

This is not debate class. Why don't you try to have an actual discussion, for once, instead of running home to latinisms and debaters rules?

I am not aware of the distinction between those “latinisms” or “debaters rules” and logical errors. It may be, of course, that there is no such distinction, and using those terms was an effort to describe any highlighting of the logical errors in your posts, that I may do, with pejorative language in order to underplay those errors.

Acrobat:

But I know, we're not going to see eye to eye in this. This war is wrong! Illegal! Don't give me any more technicalities, please.

I’m not really sure why you’ve written that – it seems like: “in spite of the problems you’ve raised with my argument – it’s still sound”. The phrase “in spite” in this sense however, is something akin to an inverse “therefore”. Also, it seems that similarly, you have used the term “technicalities” to describe such problems pejoratively in order to underplay them; we all know that it’s fine to overlook “technicalities”, after all – they are merely the tools of pedants and sheltered academics with no experience of the real world! You were, however, arguing that since the war is illegal, it is wrong and apparently, consequentially, the footage of the Fallujah offensive must depict actions that are wrong and inherently worthy of negative criticism; whatever term you use to describe the problems with that argument, it is still simply invalid.
posted by ed\26h at 2:09 AM on November 16, 2004


Hey ed, why don't you go to Fallujah and argue your case before anymore are killed?

What? You can't? The genie of war has already been unleashed?

Well, I suppose it has. Pity words are "merely the tools of pedants and sheltered academics with no experience of the real world!" eh?

The day for peace, with wordsmithing enablers for crimes against humanity like you around, has long since passed.

Do you think for one second that mealy apologetics for what is clearly a brimming worldwide fiasco is going to buy you one extra second to live when aggressors are banging at your door? When they break it down and separate you from your wife and cause your children to have nightmares for the rest of their lives why not ask 'em for their email addies and promise to send them links about how justified American hegemony is?

Your enthusiasm for defending murder will take you far. Your life dear ed\26h, increases in invalidity with every excuse you make for the untimely murder of someone else who is now silent and is unable to respond to you. But it's not like you would have even acknowledged the existence or inherently personal importance of Fallujah Iraq to those who were born and lived there, were it not for the fact that that city, the size of Tulsa, has currently just been decimated by the US military. Were it not in the news you wouldn't even give a damn one way or the other. You'd be switchin' up your running backs and swappin' out QB's for your fantasy football team, just like always.

Or creating Venn diagrams about when wholesale, indiscriminate destruction of a people's HOME is acceptable.
posted by crasspastor at 2:41 AM on November 16, 2004


What the fuck are you talking about?
posted by ed\26h at 3:10 AM on November 16, 2004


He's talking about the fact that you sound like a smug debate-class geek happily parsing logical fallacies while unforgivable crimes are committed all around you. Glad I could help.
posted by languagehat at 11:59 AM on November 16, 2004


these soldiers believe they are liberating a country, and that not to do so would be wrong

Except that not all of the soldiers there believe that (as you acknowledge further down in your comment). Obviously, taking such an ethical stance would only be relevant for those who viewed the situation from the appropriate ethical bias.

Y is a contained subset of set X.
Most members of set X lack property A
Therefore most members of set Y also lack property A.


And this is absolutely plausible unless you introduce some factor or characteristic of Y that would exempt them from the given statistical properties of X. After all, we're not speaking of simplistic binary mathematical absolutes here, but of the range of complexities inherent in fundamental human nature (in both its cognitive and sociological aspects).

I think it's a pretty safe bet to assume that human nature is a constant distributed relatively evenly across most human populations that you can look at.
posted by rushmc at 12:38 PM on November 16, 2004


Languagehat & Crasspastor

He's talking about the fact that you sound like a smug debate-class geek happily parsing logical fallacies while unforgivable crimes are committed all around you.

Well if that is the case, since I am not the subject at issue here his post is perfectly irrelevant. But in the interests of living up to my image – you’ve just committed argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad misericordiam and petitio principii. For a single, twenty-five word sentence, that is quite extraordinary. Furthermore, to suggest that to try and engage in the reasoned and logical discussion of an issue, when that issue is or is related to one of wide scale human suffering is a course of action worthy only of contempt and derision is quite plainly absurd. It could of course be that you do not believe the previous idea and that asserting and utilising it sought to either shame or force me into silence while side-stepping the task of actually addressing my arguments, and/or the problems that I raise with yours or those you accept, in a rational manner.

Rushmc:

They may indeed be other ways of inferring and/or inductively reasoning towards the conclusion you pursue (although it sounds like an extremely tall order) – but what I am asserting is not that, considering your argument, your conclusion is necessarily incorrect, but simply the following:

Y is a contained subset of set X.
Most members of set X lack property A
Therefore most members of set Y also lack property A.

This argument is false.
posted by ed\26h at 1:51 AM on November 17, 2004


What breaks my heart is that as you argue, I worry. I guess I'm a fucking walking fallacy. . .

Do you ever wonder if there is a human living today who if he had the wrists to slit he'd slit them?

Let your logic blender chop that one up ed.
posted by crasspastor at 2:44 AM on November 17, 2004


OK, ed\, let's restate this to test your formulation:

Most (Y) people (X) are cowards (Most members of X have property [a]).

Soldiers (S) are members of the set of people (X).

You are correct that it is not sufficient. I concede that.

But if you're honest, you'll admit that it's likely that set S (very, very) probably has a really strong overlap with set Y.

That's an example of where running home to debaters rules and logic games robs you of the opportunity to actually participate meaningfully in discussion: Because when you parse out people's arguments into logical pseudo-code, you lose elements from the frame -- in this case, something that people who live in the real world know to be true, that soldiers are pretty just like everyone else, with their affect and behavior changed by circumstance.
posted by lodurr at 5:49 AM on November 17, 2004


I am not aware of the distinction between those “debaters’ rules” or “logic games” and logical errors. It may be, of course, that there is no such distinction, and using those terms was an effort to describe any highlighting of the logical errors in your posts, that I may do, with pejorative language in order to underplay those errors.
posted by ed\26h at 7:41 AM on November 17, 2004


Because when you parse out people's arguments into logical pseudo-code, you lose elements from the frame -- in this case, something that people who live in the real world know to be true, that soldiers are pretty just like everyone else

Yeah, that's what I said. But he/she's not getting it, so let's move on.
posted by rushmc at 12:50 AM on November 18, 2004


Something that people who live in the real world know to be true, that soldiers are pretty just like everyone else

This assertion is one that dismissing the original argument does not preclude me from accepting.

Yeah, that's what I said.

It seems strange to claim that is what you’d said – because it looks very much like you were defending a deductive argument (and, seemingly still are) simply because those who support you have produced enough red herring issues to obscure the most devastating objection to it; the fact that it is false.
posted by ed\26h at 1:55 AM on November 18, 2004


Doesn't anyone wanna join me in my war against antipathy? =(
posted by ZachsMind at 6:56 AM on November 18, 2004


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