Page 15 of 16 FirstFirst ... 678910111213141516 LastLast
Results 211 to 225 of 238
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: From WikiLeaks, Collateral Murder

  1. #211
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,520
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    Second, why is there no mention of the soldiers' rank, only "former specialist"?
    Specialist is a rank (E-4) its (combat arms) for longer serving enlisted who deserve promotion but no corporal slot exists. Outside of the combat arms, where the need for heavier NCO-enlsited ratio is less, its the standard promotion from Private First Class (PFC). As a specialist gains time in rank in either they get prepped for PLDC (Primary Leadership Development Course) for future promotion to E-5.

  2. #212
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,063
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Specialist is a rank (E-4) its (combat arms) for longer serving enlisted who deserve promotion but no corporal slot exists. Outside of the combat arms, where the need for heavier NCO-enlsited ratio is less, its the standard promotion from Private First Class (PFC). As a specialist gains time in rank in either they get prepped for PLDC (Primary Leadership Development Course) for future promotion to E-5.
    OK, I didn't know that, thankx! This may be arguing semantics, but again, with everyone I know that's out of the army, none of them refer to their rank as "former". Just to use myself for a simplified example, I'm either a Staff Sergeant or a Staff Sergeant (reserves), not a Former Staff Sergeant
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  3. #213
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    13,520
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    OK, I didn't know that, thankx! This may be arguing semantics, but again, with everyone I know that's out of the army, none of them refer to their rank as "former". Just to use myself for a simplified example, I'm either a Staff Sergeant or a Staff Sergeant (reserves), not a Former Staff Sergeant
    I could be a deliberate rejection, it would fit with the text of the letter.

  4. #214
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,063
    I don't know. it could be that as a soldier, we were forbidden to express any sort of political views, and it's sort of stuck by me. I still refuse to discuss politics unless I absolutely have to.

    I've done 3 years of something very similar to what those 2 have done, (though probably with slightly less gunfire) and one of my best friends in the unit is extremely left wing. But even he didn't express himself the way they do. No matter how sorry you are about something, I still find their language extremely irritating. How does that saying go, "better to die on your feet than live on your knees"?
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  5. #215
    Regular
    Join Date
    01 Mar 08
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    OK, I didn't know that, thankx! This may be arguing semantics, but again, with everyone I know that's out of the army, none of them refer to their rank as "former". Just to use myself for a simplified example, I'm either a Staff Sergeant or a Staff Sergeant (reserves), not a Former Staff Sergeant
    Well now you know someone else that refers to themselves as former, or Ex in my case. Just check out my profile. I'm an ex-lots of things.

    Some soldiers do things that cause them pause later on. Some soldiers carry out orders to the Nth degree and look back on it with regret, sorrow or both. Some soldiers throw away careers over tasks they are sent to do and they do them, but they never want to do them again, so they leave the service. They don't ask why you separate, at least not me.

    Sometimes these things lead to never trusting your govts decisions again because you know exactly what they do, how they operate and what is usually the outcome.

    These guys have thier personal reasons for saying thier peace and like I said in my very first post in this thread, THEY HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT, not you, not me, just them and the families of the dead.

    If that letter is factual, I applaud them for speaking out. It took more guts to write that than it did to walk into combat. I know this for a fact.

  6. #216
    Officer of Engineers
    Guest
    A true failure of Officers, that you cannot blame us for your actions when you actually should.

  7. #217
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Apr 06
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    2,144
    Good thread.

    7thSFSniper,
    I am not very sure if I am with you on this one:

    I have always contended that since Vietnam, televising a war will always work against the just cause, and worse.
    Had the journalists been allowed to film the carnage of the mass executions the NVA made in Saigon instead of the execution of one Viet Cong/NVA soldier by a South Vietnamese commander, would the reaction to the New Year's Offense been different?

    It is well put that there is a military world and there is a civilian world. Because the knowledge required to have the slightest clue what war is about is immense, the latter almost always misinterpret the actions of the former. That said, wouldn't it be the case the military needs a stronger connection to the civilian world at large, especially the academia? Anthony Grafton, a professor from Princeton, protested Harvard's decision to exclude ROTC recruiters on campus because it only widens the gulf between the military and the greater society of civilians which is decidedly unhealthy for a democratic republic.

    Zraver,
    While I do not agree the shooting of the van was criminal--I view it as an unfortunate decision that led to ramifications unforseen--it does occur to me that the ROE, which the pilots and ground troops seemed to be following, were too harsh for the way the USA decided to fight the insurgency. The van carried no markings, but it did serve as an ambulance. That it was impossible for the pilot to tell should be an argument for greater caution.

    What pissed me off about this episode is how the CNN aired a chopped up version of the footage in which the audio was not in sinc with the video. When the pilot proclaimed "AK" and "RPG", in the full video, you can see clearly the AK-47 one man was carrying and the cameraman reaching around the corner, which did look like an RPG gunner scanning for targets. On the CNN version? They cut up and squeezed all the dialogue and put them into the first minutes of the footage creating the illusion that the pilot was talking out of his ass.

    I am sure that the CNN did not do this to destroy the military's reputation but did it out of incompetence. They did not have the knowledge to judge but they judged. They have already drew the conclusion that it was a massacre and so they felt they were just making the footage "airable" news, which led to a dissmal failure in their mission to inform the public.

    For the soldiers that wrote the letter, I think they wrote sincerely and probably honestly. A marine from another military forum spoke of numerous Iraq civilian vehicles getting shredded at check points because of failure to stop. He did what his commander told him to do: set up a road block and shoot the blockade runners, and so he did.

    The troops acted according to the ROE dictated by the brass. The Iraqi civilians and the American soldiers suffered the consequences. Shek, thanks for pointed out, many threads ago, that no general was fired for the fiasco that was the war between 2004-2007.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

  8. #218
    Regular
    Join Date
    01 Mar 08
    Posts
    151
    [QUOTE=Triple C;731696]Good thread.

    7thSFSniper,
    I am not very sure if I am with you on this one:



    Had the journalists been allowed to film the carnage of the mass executions the NVA made in Saigon instead of the execution of one Viet Cong/NVA soldier by a South Vietnamese commander, would the reaction to the New Year's Offense been different?
    Thats a very good point. Lets look at it. During Vietnam, who's troops were predominantly the focus of our media?

    Ours.

    Where thier actions compared objectively with our enemies?

    No.

    The result was our guys serving honorably but our public sentiment was heavily stained by the one sided images coming back to a country that was already heavily involved with some major social issues of its own.

    The Media did nothing to help what was, AFAIC, a just cause. They actually did harm because of the one sided reporting, IMO.



    It is well put that there is a military world and there is a civilian world. Because the knowledge required to have the slightest clue what war is about is immense, the latter almost always misinterpret the actions of the former. That said, wouldn't it be the case the military needs a stronger connection to the civilian world at large, especially the academia?
    I would say yes. It would help that academics are exposed to military facts, to a degree. Many people, including logic bound academics and many soldiers alike, have a really hard time processing and living with the horrors of war. The problem lies in the medias power to form public opinion. It reminds me of Jack Nicholson's famous line from the movie "A few good men". "You can't handle the truth!", fact is that you personally may be able to along with many, but the ignorant masses, cannot. Especially when they are so easily influenced and take as gospel what is coming across thier screen from the network.

    Anthony Grafton, a professor from Princeton, protested Harvard's decision to exclude ROTC recruiters on campus because it only widens the gulf between the military and the greater society of civilians which is decidedly unhealthy for a democratic republic.
    Harvard academics have always seemed to me to think that they are smarter than they really are.

    So yes to education and balanced reporting from a warzone, no to what we get now. You can inform about military action without the shock that the media always shoots for.

  9. #219
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    11,162
    7th,

    Thats a very good point. Lets look at it. During Vietnam, who's troops were predominantly the focus of our media?

    Ours.

    Where thier actions compared objectively with our enemies?

    No.
    given miniaturization of electronics, it is becoming harder and harder to institute a media-free zone. look at what AQ is doing today-- planning/executing attacks just to record the video for propaganda.

    to put it bluntly, we're no longer at the point where we can freeze out or isolate unfavorable opinion/propaganda-- the -only- response is to come up with a more truthful/fulfilling narrative. the military needs to completely embrace the media because otherwise you cede the most important battleground of all, the political one.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."ť- Isaac Asimov

  10. #220
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,063
    to put it bluntly, we're no longer at the point where we can freeze out or isolate unfavorable opinion/propaganda-- the -only- response is to come up with a more truthful/fulfilling narrative. the military needs to completely embrace the media because otherwise you cede the most important battleground of all, the political one.
    Israel came fairly close to shutting out the media during Operation Cast Lead. There were no journalists allowed into Gaza throughout the whole duration of the conflict. News got out because Al-Jezeera has a permanent bureau in Gaza City. A friend of mine actually just wrote a paper on the difference of news reporting during Cast Lead between Al-Jezeera and CNN.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  11. #221
    Regular
    Join Date
    01 Mar 08
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    given miniaturization of electronics, it is becoming harder and harder to institute a media-free zone. look at what AQ is doing today-- planning/executing attacks just to record the video for propaganda.
    And it is working for them. There is a difference btwn news and propaganda though and our media should be news oriented instead of what the majority of them are.

    to put it bluntly, we're no longer at the point where we can freeze out or isolate unfavorable opinion/propaganda-- the -only- response is to come up with a more truthful/fulfilling narrative. the military needs to completely embrace the media because otherwise you cede the most important battleground of all, the political one.
    I don't disagree one bit, but it is an unaccomplishable feat! There is a huge difference btwn the media in WWII than now. For instance, FDR actually told reporters about the D-Day invasion plans, with the promise to keep it a secret until execution. Becuase of the technology of the time, there would be a lag in event to press time if he hadn't got them primed beforehand. FDR knew the game. He trusted and relied on his media, something that an administration can hardly do with its officials today.

  12. #222
    Patron tinymarae's Avatar
    Join Date
    26 Jan 09
    Location
    Land of Obama
    Posts
    195
    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    I don't know if that letter is real or not, but if it is, those soldiers are not helping matters at all, and are fcuking things up on so many different levels.

    To start off, they sound like a bunch pacifist pussies, not the kind who would volunteer to join the Army and the Infantry, especially knowing there's a very good chance they could be sent to war. They are literally groveling on their hands and knees. I haven't met many US soldiers, but I know that in the IDF, even when writing a protest letter (i.e., the Pilot's Letter, the Commando's Letter) there is no groveling and bicthing, just a stating of facts and opinion.

    Second, why is there no mention of the soldiers' rank, only "former specialist"?

    This whole thing reeks to me of something extremely foul. It comes across that the writers are not only representing the entire US Army, but they are actively calling the leadership stupid.

    "this is the nature of how U.S.-led wars are carried out in this region", "But the time is long overdue that we say that the value of our nation's leaders no longer represent us", "to distance ourselves from the destructive policies of our nation's leaders"

    I would not be surprised if this turns out to be some very cleverly concocted piece of propaganda.
    It is real. Here is the interview with Ethan McCord by Wired magazine and the pictorial evidence that accompanies it. (Wired is a highly reputed popular tech magazine)

    The interview is a first person account of the incident. Highly recommended read.



    U.S. Soldier on 2007 Apache Attack: What I Saw

    I don't believe that there is any propaganda involved either. It is very clear from the interview that the soldiers were deeply affected by what they saw.

    After the incident, we went back to the FOB [forward operating base] and that’s when I was in my room. I had blood all down the front of me from the children. I was trying to wash it off in my room. I was pretty distraught over the whole situation with the children. So I went to a sergeant and asked to see [the mental health person], because I was having a hard time dealing with it. I was called a ***** and that I needed to suck it up and a lot of other horrible things. I was also told that there would be repercussions if I was to go to mental health.

    Regarding the discussion so far in the thread, McCord agrees with Zravers assesment that firing on van was unnecessary.

    McCord: I doubt that they were a part of that firefight. However, when I did come up on the scene, there was an RPG as well as AK-47s there…. You just don’t walk around with an RPG in Iraq, especially three blocks away from a firefight…. Personally, I believe the first attack on the group standing by the wall was appropriate, was warranted by the rules of engagement. They did have weapons there. However, I don’t feel that the attack on the [rescue] van was necessary.

    Now, as far as rules of engagement, [Iraqis] are not supposed to pick up the wounded. But they could have been easily deterred from doing what they were doing by just firing simply a few warning shots in the direction…. Instead, the Apaches decided to completely obliterate everybody in the van. That’s the hard part to swallow.

    Last edited by tinymarae; 21 Apr 10, at 22:54. Reason: more details

  13. #223
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,063
    No problem, I will fully admit it, I was wrong. Won't be the first time, and it most definitely won't be the last. That doesn't change the fact that for some reason, the letter itself irks me. The language, the groveling, the extreme pacifism.

    It's almost as if the authors forgot that they had no one to blame for being in Iraq but themselves. They volunteered, knowing full well they could end up being sent there, and now they sound surprised and hurt that they were sent to Iraq to do the job the army trained and paid them to do.

    To me, the authors A: exude either immense stupidity or naivety, and B: are accepting responsibility for their actions by blaming their superiors and their leadership, even though the Nuremberg trials have shown us that's not much of a valid excuse.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  14. #224
    Contributor
    Join Date
    21 Apr 05
    Posts
    443
    That "Pacifist *****" that Biggross mentioned served 7 years in the army. The interview was heartfelt and exceedingly sad.

    here is the link to the article.

    U.S. Soldier on 2007 Apache Attack: What I Saw | Danger Room | Wired.com

  15. #225
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Mostly Harmless
    bigross86's Avatar
    Join Date
    07 Aug 03
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    14,063
    I'm not denying that it was sad or that he spent a lot of time in the army, but look at the timeline: If he's been in for 7 years and got out in 2009, that means he enlisted in 2002, in the heat of the fighting in Afghanistan. He must have known he would be sent to a not friendly places to do his job, which is not all roses.

    He must have known something like this could or would happen, and I'm almost willing to guarantee this isn't the first time he's seen something that didn't sit well with him.

    But again, like I said, he is A: exuding either immense stupidity or naivety, and B: is accepting responsibility for his actions by blaming his superiors and his leadership, even though the Nuremberg trials have shown us that's not much of a valid excuse.

    After reading the interview, though, certain things come up:

    There were plenty of times in the past where other insurgents would come by and pick up the bodies, and then we’d have no evidence or anything to what happened, so in looking at it from the Apache’s point of view, they were thinking that [someone was] picking up the weapons and bodies; when, in hindsight, clearly they were picking up the wounded man. But you’re not supposed to do that in Iraq.
    According to the perception of the moment, they were valid targets

    When it was first released I don’t think it was done in the best manner that it could have been. They were stating that these people had no weapons whatsoever, that they were just carrying cameras. In the video, you can clearly see that they did have weapons … to the trained eye. You can make out in the video [someone] carrying an AK-47, swinging it down by his legs….

    And as far as the way that the soldiers are speaking in the video, which is pretty callous and joking about what’s happened … that’s a coping mechanism. I’m guilty of it, too, myself. You joke about the situations and what’s happened to push away your true feelings of the matter.

    There’s no easy way to kill somebody. You don’t just take somebody’s life and then go on about your business for the rest of the day. That stays with you. And cracking jokes is a way of pushing that stuff down.
    The author admits to being a "callous" soldier himself.

    Then I got yelled at by my platoon leader that I needed to stop trying to save these mf’n kids and go pull security…. I was told to go pull security on a rooftop. When we were on that roof, we were still taking fire. There were some people taking pot shots, sniper shots, at us on the rooftop. We were probably there on the roof for another four to five hours.
    After the shooting in the video, they were still being shot at for another 4-5 hours.

    ====================================

    Like I keep saying, it just doesn't sit well with me. I don't like it. I can try and rationalize it in 17 different ways, but I just had an intense feeling of disgust at the letter and at the authors. It might not make too much sense, but there it is.
    Last edited by bigross86; 21 Apr 10, at 23:34.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. The Murder Heating Up McCain's Campaign
    By troung in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05 Apr 10,, 13:09
  2. Can a dog mauling be murder?
    By THL in forum World Affairs Board Pub
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 19 Apr 07,, 21:27
  3. What makes a Muslim radical?
    By astralis in forum International Economy
    Replies: 263
    Last Post: 22 Dec 06,, 17:38
  4. 7 Marines, 1 sailor charged with murder
    By leib10 in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22 Jun 06,, 00:19

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •