For the American Soldier, Not a Good Storyl!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    I know in other threads the issue of soldier actions in the field have been hotly contested and as I said in one of those threads, I've stayed out of that discussion because IMHO "if" those actions did occur, they would not have happened had the foreign policy of the US Gov't been different. Change to policy and the soldier never would have been in that position in the first place. I don't consider this (the soldier) a root cause but if anything a symptom and I'm not passing judgment (either way) on any soldier as to his innocense or guilt in any action. I'll leave that for others to debate. I'll just say, until you find yourself in those conditions, when a split second means your life or death, you just can't imagine the pressure no matter how well trained you are. The Goals of War are one thing but in the field when it's you and your weapon and the other guy and his, it just comes down to the pure survival of the strong and the politics of it all don't mean a damn thing. My goal is to live beyond this day no matter what it takes. That is the simplistic ideal of the soldier in a combat situation.

    If however, if the above in the video is true, it is a sad statement indeed and if any soldier has action taken against him for such, then IMO similar charges should go up the chain all the way to the top and yes I mean the Oval office! Some may argue the Code of Military Conduct and I can conceed that point to a point but in the field of battle and when that field has been placed among civilians on purpose by the higher chain of command, then unless anyone can show me gross violations, I blame any and all incidents on the chain of command all the way to the top. I'll leave it all at that!

  2. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    You went from I'm not going to pass judgement to there should be UCMJ charges all the way up the chain of command. :happy-very:
  3. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Americans have committed what we would now call war crimes in pretty much every major conflict we've ever been involved in (so has every other country). Probably 99% of these go unaddressed. It's really a by-product of the act of war itself, which is in many ways a crime in the first place because you are being sent to kill people who's only offense is being a member of someone else's armed forces. Yes, there are often justifiable larger goals, but you accomplish those larger goals by killing people who aren't in charge, who likely have no say in the workings of their government, and in many cases are draftees who don't have any choice in the matter. And that's a best case scenario. Look at something like the Dresden fire bombings or the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whose sole purpose was the mass murder of civilians in order to break the will of the enemy. Makes the alleged incidents at Haditha look like pretty small potatoes, no? Who made the decision in those cases?

    "War crimes", up to and including the intentional killing of innocent people, are an inevitable byproduct of prolonged conflict. By the time it happens it's a forgone conclusion, and prosecuting the individuals who were directly involved often amounts to a form of scapegoating, because it was never their decision to go to war in the first place. Their country trained them to kill, sent them to kill, and then prosecutes them for killing the wrong people. Who's really responsible?

    I agree with mac's larger point, that the moral culpability for the consequences of war rest squarely on the shoulders of the leaders who make the decision to wage war, because they have to know going in what the outcome is going to be and if they don't then they have no business being in charge. That doesn't mean that war is never justified, but there is a big difference between waging a legitimate defensive war and invading another country to achieve some nebulous foreign policy goals.

    Having said all that, I don't see any changes coming. We will continue to prosecute the front line troops in the mistaken belief that it is possible to wage a clean, moral, sanitary war if we just get rid of a few bad apples.
  4. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    If your gonna charge the soldier..........

    If you are gonna treat the symptom then cure the disease that produced the symptom in the first place!

    BTW AV, Have you seen this?,0,7121603.story
  5. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member


    I think you are dead on with that point. I know the myth is that Obama is (fill in the blanket with you favorite name calling) as it pertains to war, etc. but from an anti war stance, he is sending very mixed signals as it would relate especially to foreign policy. He suggests a tough stand against Iran as his speech to AIPAC would suggest but then he also said that the Iraq war was not good for either the US or Israel's security. I say this jokingly, but does Obama's campaign claim of "Change" pertain to his positions and policies depending upon whom he is speaking too? "IF" Obama is elected President, like you I don't think all that much will change in the bigger picture.

    As to your comments of war itself, nicely said. Very nicely said!
  6. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    Sure, but did you see this?

    OK back to the point of your video. I will say that I have no idea how the Marines do things. It is interesting that you post a video of a fobbit and wolfman jack talking about how everyone but them planted weapons on innocent victims in Iraq. The question I have is why are these Marines more concerned with NCIS than the enemy? To me you are pointing your finger at the wrong people.
  7. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    What did the First sargent , company XO , Commany commander, battalion XO, Battalion commander, Brigade XO, Brigage commander , Divison XO, Divsion commander do to create the situation? What will you charge each person with?

    Wkmac you are better then this.
  8. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    There you go "THINKING" again when it concerns me!

    How do you formulate a civilian public policy at the Washington level and then when those policies place our soldiers in the middle of civilians fighting the bad guys if you will, and from those fights innocents are sadly killed or injuried and instead of accepting this as a result of the policy, you throw the foot soldier under the bus so to speak. Do we throw the pilot who dropped the bomb that destroyed the target but killed innocents in the surrounding area. We call it collateral damage and go on! And I'm not slamming pilots so don't even go there. As Jones said so well, this is war boys and girls so pull up you big boy and big girl pants and face it!

    To put in a comparison we might all relate too. How many times has some Glenlake deskjockey or some IE expert who wouldn't know paper from plastic make a decision for the trenches that creates a situation that alienates some customers and then this "rocker scientist" with his other "rocket scientist" buddies condemn the driver or supervisor as the fault when the real culprit is the person would created the new policy? I would hope that comparison would make it a bit clearer as to what I mean but are you going to play SuperUPS Man and defend the religion of Glenlake or will you be like the rest of us as realists and understand and admit that policies, good or bad have un-intended consequences and maybe we sometimes really blame the victim (driver/supervisor) rather than step back and consider the policy itself?

    Under that, it you are gonna blame the victim, then be honest enough to not stop there and go up the ladder to the top to the civilain creators of the policy as well. The chain of command has a duty to speak out as they pledged an oath to support and defend the Constitution and......oh that's right. They speak out or offer anything other than what the civilian command wants to hear and they find themselves demoted or out of a job.

    Man does that sound like UPS or what!

    Tie! Tie! Put the cape up! Do not take the cape out!

    I know the video was an antiwar source and I'd never insult any of you by saying otherwise but we've treated this war with antiseptic glasses and not considered looking at all aspects of it. Some antiwar types are truly antiwar but many are not and are only doing bidding for opposing political forces. The roles oddly were reversed 10 years ago with another conflict and it gets defended mostly by the fact that it was prosecutued by the "international community". I know it's a tired saying but if the international community jumps off a cliff does this make it right? Appears in some quarters that is the case. How fast they also forget that their guy also wanted a war with Iraq but he feared the attack from the opposing political side if he did. Should speak volumes about how principled the Warrior class really is! LOL!

    WE WANT WAR! As long as it's not the other side leading it! I'd say from my POV this slogan operates pretty well from either side of the political street. IMO both McCain and Obama proved that point this past week with their AIPAC speeches.
  9. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Wkmac all of that is some wonderfully skillfully crafted prose. I bow to your ability to stand on the soapbox and make a speech. Can you now answer the orginal question in one or two sentences?

    Who will you charge and what will you charge them with?

    And lets try to put a face to it. Av8 served in iraq. Officer possibily? If one of Av8's men committed such atrocities what charges would you levy against AV8 for putting his man in that situation?

  10. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    If you charge the soldier on the ground then those same exact charges should be leveled at the civilain policy makers upon whose orders and policy that soldier was acting upon!

    Like I said in the orignal, if you charge the soldier then charge up the chain. you wouldn't accept that so I felt no choice but to go into absolute overkill.

    As for AV, if he knowingly advanced a policy knowing such conditions intentionally threatened civilian lives and then stood by or took part in only holding said soldier responsible in carrying out his order while he himself remained or he protected himself from blame, yes I'd charge AV as well. But I wouldn't stop with AV as I'd head up the chain if such policy appeared to come from that direction.

    Next comment or question there Tieguy!

    Past experience tells me it's coming!
  11. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    I'm sorry I'm not as gifted at this political stuff as you and only seek to ascertain an understanding of this new concept of justice.

    A soldior makes a mistake and shoots an unarmed civilian. He then drops a gun next to the body to make it look justified.

    What charges will you now file against AV8 his company commander and what charges will you file against George Bush.
  12. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    And just to add are you willing to apply this justice system here in the US?
  13. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Assuming that the video testimony is accurate, we're not talking about a lone individual who makes a mistake and tries to cover it up all by himself. We're talking about an unofficial policy of carrying "drop weapons" specifically to use in those situations as a matter of course.

    A Marine Corps fire team consists of 4 men. What does the FTL know about what his men are doing? What should he know? What is his responsibility as a leader?

    A Marine Corps rifle squad consists of 13 men. What does the SL know about what his men are doing? What should he know? What is his responsibility as a leader?

    What do the platoon sgt and platoon commander know? What is it their responsibility as leaders to know? what about the company commander?

    Command responsibility is not a "new concept of justice", it's a standard that has been applied at least since the 6th century BC (by Sun Tzu). It was first adopted by the U.S. during the Civil War. It was applied at both the Nuremberg Tribunals and at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal where the US standard was set during the trial of Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamasita, who was convicted and sentenced to death for "unlawfully disregarding and failing to discharge his duty as a commander to control the acts of members of his command by permitting them to commit war crimes."
    His death sentence was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision.

    Command Responsibility was further delineated in the court martial of company commander Capt. Ernest Medina in the aftermath of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam:
    "The commander is also responsible if he has actual knowledge, or should have knowledge, through reports received by him or through other means, that troops or other persons subject to his control are about to commit or have committed a war crime and he fails to take the necessary and reasonable steps to insure compliance with the law of war or to punish violators thereof."

    You can read the prosecution brief here.

    This page has a fairly informative summary of some of the history and concepts: click
  14. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Jones you're trying to take this into a different direction now. We are not talking about an organized coverup. What I was responding to was the original post in which he stated he would charge everyone up the chain of command to the president for putting that soldior in that situation.

    Thus my questions what will you charge the chain of command with under these new rules of justice.
  15. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    I don't know that I'm taking things in a different direction. Mac is talking about the video, and the marines in the video are not talking about a lone individual acting on his own, they are talking about an unofficial policy in their units of carrying drop weapons in order to cover up any unjustified shootings that might occur.
  16. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    OK Tie, This is it. :censored2: happens in war. As you described could be the scenario. As I said in the original post, if it's true it's very said. Several threads have hotly debated alleged wrongs in the battle theater and most of that was not done out of any objective discussion but was purely driven by political posturing, probably similar to what you are doing in protecting a political POV.

    My opinion has been the soldier is slammed into the middle of a minefield where the civilian leadership back home made a decision but when something happens that is a result of war conditions, instead of the civiilains bucking up and admitting these are situations of war, they run for a scapgoat (the soldier) and throw them under the bus. I happen to believe that Abu Garib or however it's spelled was just such a case in point. Were the soldiers action beyond the pale. Yep but I also believe it would encouraged and even promoted from upon high and yet it was the soldier on the ground that was made the public goat. IMO as the years go by once we get past Iraq in it's current form, more details will come out.

    The soldier is in a no win scenario where if he makes what may be an honest but tragic mistake, he gets hung out to dry. And yes sometimes by commanders who are in for career not country. Does this sound like some higher management at UPS? If should because it's everywhere.
    If the civilian policy makers aren't going to back the soldier and create situations where the soldier feels such extremes "MAY" be necessary (gun drops), unliike you I'm gonna back the soldier. If I'm wrong in doing that, if that position seems out of wack to you then so be it. Cry from the mountain tops all you want.

    Tie, your idea of discussion is to ask 1000 questions and question something to death in what you think is a means to wear someone down till you think you won the argument. You take simple discussions where people express ideas and turn them into some kind of crusade. Then typically at some point you either push or you start the name calling and then once the person comes back you cry foul. I lost just about total respect for you when you acted up over that whole "Browncafe has been taken over by FedEx" crap. You were flat wrong and IMO you caused Cheryl a lot of grief and a true gentleman doen't act that way to any host.

    Right now in the Limbaugh thread you keep posting and posting trying to bait BS and when he comes back and happens to do so in a way you don't like you'll scream foul, your cheering section will come to defend your honor and like the FedEx fiasco, we'll have drama all over again. Tie, I ain't playing that game with you because quite frankly you are not worth my time and neither am I worth your's for that matter.

    You go ahead and ask your 1000 questions as I've said what I had to say and take it or leave it I really don't care. I thought after the FedEx deal and you came back maybe you have learned but I see from the Limbaugh thread and from this one that you have not.


    No problem with you so I'll answer your question as I think you are asking it. If you mean would I file charges in the US meaning towards the civilain policy makers?, yeah that would be mostly the focus. Unless I could be shown where you acted alone as commander I would follow to the top and if that meant GW, then so be it. The soldier and low level ground command are just following orders trying to do a job that they beleive in although more and more are questioning even if it's a very small question.

    In a war scenario, tragic events happen, I think we would both concede that and it's not something that was planned either. I don't appreciate the poliitcal left if you will using these tragic events for poltical mileage and yes I know they do. There are also right and libertarian elements that do also so let's be honest and open here.

    One of the reasons I stayed out of some of BS bait was IMHO it was driven by his goal of making democrats look good. I have no problem discussing the bad of war if you will but I'm not interested in doing so where in the end it makes the individual soldier look bad. We're not going at least in that area of Vietnam Part 2. No! Hell! No! Been there, seen that.

    If we are gonna go down that road, then this time the buck goes all the way to where it started and let me tell you another little secret, I want this to happen because I also believe there is democrat culpibility involved just as well. I'll just leave that there for some BS bait of my own!

    Both political sides want this issue "if" it comes out to remain down low because if it did rise to the top, there's a good chance we'd begin to see Washington for what it really is and we'd begin to understand why so many democrats rail on the nightly news and on the talk shows about the war and then turn around and vote to fund it every time. Washington is loaded with hypocricy on both sides of the fence IMO and why should the hypocrite remain above the fray when America's "UnFortunate Sons" (a play on the CCR song) who answer the greatest call and who place themselves in harm's way just so these civilian hypocrite's (name your poison if you must, I'm probably cool with whoever) can pad their career's and then become high paid lobbyist.

    There it is. If that's not plain enough then I'm all worng, i'm stupid, i'm ignorant, I'm uneducated, I'm fill in the blank whatever you wanna call me. I will say this however in closing, I made no judgement when I posted the video other than to say "sad if true" but the fact is the video was out there. In your 2nd repsonse to this thread, you seem to question or at least to me it did, the motive of some of the soldiers in the video and that's fair. You asked a valid question about some soldier speaking only of what others did. That's being objective but I noticed you resorted to using the namecalling as a means to demean or degrade a fellow soldier. don't begrudge the so-called left when you do the same thing. Just something to think about.


    If that doesn't answer it all I can't see what's left to say so like tie you can draw, create or whatever your own conclusion, opinions whatever!
  17. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    I really do not think there is such a thing as an unofficial policy. I still think what you have is a fear of these aggressive prosecutions that have been going on. This did not go on where I was but it was brought up and quickly squashed by our CO. The reason was our IA counterparts did not have enough weapons and any AK that was taken needed to be given to them. Our command had faith in our ability to make the correct decision with the use of deadly force.

    I am really curious now how you guys would see a fairly common situation and this is not just directed at you Jones. A company gets intel of an Al Queada safe house. A forward observer and two infantrymen set up an op to over watch the house and monitor activity. After two days the op notices increased activity at the house and sends up a report to battalion. A platoon is on patrol in the area and is sent to the house to check it out while QRF is spun up. As the patrol approaches the house they meet heavy resistance from the house. RPG and RPK fire is intense and traps the platoon in a kill zone. The forward observer and infantry OP can see the men on the roof and request permission to engage with direct fire. The platoon leader instructs them to not give up their position with direct fire but to use indirect fire. The forward observer calls in one round of HE VT. Being a well trained Soldier of the US Army he scores a direct hit. The platoon has two damaged vehicles and has to call in a recovery effort. One squad is sent to secure the house. When they arrive at the house they find no RPG or RPK but seven dead Iraqis. The OP did not notice anyone escape. Were these men noncombatants? Is anyone charged at this point for a crime? We have a very damaged house with seven very dead Iraqis with no weapons. Battalion had declared this building hostile before indirect fire was used. Troops were in contact.

    Now the real trouble starts. Recovery is on the way with a convoy full of fobbits much like the 7 ton driver in the video. The platoon SFC takes his vehicle to the house and leaves his dismounts to pull security at the site of the two damaged vehicles. He has two AK's that were taken earlier in the patrol in his vehicle. He takes them to the roof and leaves them there. He knows that when recovery gets to the scene with the body bags they will see the AK and he will have plenty of witnesses for hostile intent. His platoon was investigated by CID for three days a month earlier and he has a real fear of an over reaching prosecution much like the Haditha Marines have faced. Pictures are not allowed to be taken. They never are.

    Now has a crime been committed? What is the crime? Who committed it? Who gets charged? Why?
  18. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    I was thinking outside of war. Like the two border patrol agents who shot an illegal at the border. I think they got ten years each. Do we charge others for this also. The ones who created the policy placing them there. The ones making the policies that entice people to transport drugs across the border. The mayors of sanctuary cities.

    Or were you just wanting to apply this justice system to the war? Not taking a shot just curious how far you are really willing to go with this.
  19. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    In the scenario you just described the only crime was the cover up. If it can be proved that he left those two weapons there with the intent of misleading the recovery team, and if he further states in his after action report that those weapons were found on-site, then at the very least he is guilty of planting evidence, falsifying documents, and obstructing an investigation. If he is nervous about CID then doing something like that is exactly the wrong thing to do because they will hang him for it. Always tell the truth, because in the end that's all you have.
  20. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    Ok and people have been charged and convicted for this, even for things that would not otherwise be a crime. But it seems like you guys want to charge more than this one Soldier. I will add that the charges you bring are far less and to fewer people than what the military brought in this case.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008