"Marine kills wounded Iraqi"- Why should I care?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by masterskywalker, Nov 16, 2004.

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  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Of course, and I wouldn't have it any other way...
  2. Lone-Sith Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Why thank you kind sir. You are number 1 in my book, I don't care what anyone else says about you. ;) Where do I sign up? ;) Oops! We are getting off topic again Mr44. ;) tsk tsk tsk ;)
  3. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    No, no, no, not #1... 44th!

    By the way, what is the story behind the mr44 moniker, anyway?
  4. Cyprusg Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2002
    star 4
    He was his wife's 44th sexual partner.

    .....





    ...



    That's what Kimball told me at least!
  5. Lord_Darth_Vader Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2001
    star 5
  6. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
  7. Devilanse Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 5
    If it prevents you from being able to tell the difference between good and bad...absolutely.

    You can't paint this situation as simply "good vs. evil". We think we're the "good" side, and so do the people we are fighting.

    Yes... Care to give your conservative view points?

    I can't give you any conservative or liberal points because I don't subscribe to either.

  8. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Fan X said...You can't paint this situation as simply "good vs. evil". We think we're the "good" side, and so do the people we are fighting.

    I said good and bad, not good and evil. If you can't say that rule under a dictator is bad, or that democratic rule is good, or even vice-versa, you have no base and nothing that gives you a referance for opinion making, IMO.

    I can't give you any conservative or liberal points because I don't subscribe to either.

    Most all political opinions fall under conservative or liberal. It is how "down the line" all your opinions fall that give people the labels.

    Try to give me a couple of opinions that are neither Conservative nor liberal. With rare exceptions it isn't possible.
  9. Csillan_girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2003
    star 5
    Why should I care?

    I tell you why you should care. A fellow human being was murdered, but some people here are able to shrug it off as if this is nothing, something that's not even worth talking about. I simply cannot understand how you can portray this as something perfectly normal, something that "just happens in a war". When I posted the article about this in the Iraq thread (yes, that was me under a sock), I expected an outcry because of this deed. But what happens?? People are trying to justify it!! Are you really so blinded by all the "we are Americans, we are the good guys, we don't make mistakes" talk?? Do you even think about how this looks like in other countries?? How can you honestly expect not to be criticized for such a thing?
    But the best thing is that you've got the nerve to blame the media for it. So do you really think that such things shouldn't be shown in the media? Excuse me, but this is sad. What are you afraid of - do you fear that the image that is upheld now - "we're doing this for the greater good" - might crumble? "It's the media's fault", yes, of course. It was not the reporter who shot this man. So you're trying to discredit him because he made this public, try to show him as an anti-war activist? Um, okay. Where I come from, being an anti-war activist is something very positive. I'm not getting this feeling from some of you, on the contrary. How could being against a questionable war be anything less than positive, I ask myself? And where is it said that as a reporter, you have to show everything a government does in a positive light? I know, this guy is not really an anti-war activist - but what if he was? I think it would be his right to make his opionion public. Yes, right - it might damage people's willingness to support this war any further. But that is their very own decision, and should not be taken away from them by not showing what war is really about. Yes, war is gruesome, and has been like that since wars have been fought. But does this justify it - just saying "Well, it's always been this way"? On the contrary. So you know this - and still support it? There are not only terrorists in Iraq - the people living there are just like you and me, but it's hard to forget this if there's only talk about "terrorists". So you say that those of us who have never been in a war should just shut up and leave it to those who have experience with such matters?? Yes, just look away.
    See, I know it's hard to stay objective for me when I see such a thing, and I know that such things can't always be avoided. But this is exactly the problem I am having with it: No matter how hard making such a decision may be, it is still not right how this man acted. And this is what we shouldn't forget here.
    Yes, the other side is doing such things, too, and worse. But does this mean we have to sink to their level. I think not. Aren't you pretending to fight there to bring the Iraqis your positive values - freedom, democracy, etc.? Aren't those the values you are upholding? So please, act accordingly, and recognize it when people don't. You can't fight for your values by sacrificing them. Because what are you fighting for then when there's no difference between you and your enemy any more?
    Just some thoughts for those who are calling for harder methods to deal with enemies.
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Why would you post the story in the Iraqi thread using a sock?
  11. Csillan_girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2003
    star 5
    I was logged in and postedwith my sock that day, then went off to read some news. I came back, but didn't switch to my normal user name - is there a problem with that?? I don't know what that's got to do with the topic, but whatever... I just came back today to rejoin the discussion because there's something called real life that kept me from coming here for a while. ;)
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    No, nothing wrong with it. The impression contained in your above post just seemed to be that you used the sock to originally post the story in the the Iraq thread just to be shocking.

    I was simply wondering why you would do that. If that's not the case, then my question is moot..
  13. Moriarte Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2001
    star 5
    Csillan_girl-The soldier in question did not kill in cold-blood; I believe you fail to understand the circumstances. This was a soldier who was in a combat zone who knows that there have been incidents where enemy-combatants play-dead to either open up on any American soldiers with firearms or ignite an explosive device to kill as many American soldiers as possible. Some enemy combatants go so far as to put explosive devices on dead or dying bodies so that when checked, explode and kill the American soldier who checks the body.

    As far as I understand it, the dying enemy-combatant in question had been there the day before so he could have been (re)armed or strapped. The fact is, the soldier who shot that dying enemy-combatant felt threatened by him, understand, he felt his life was in absolute danger. In that situation, in a combat-zone, in house-to-house clearing, it is entirely appropriate not to take any chances because if the bluff was called, and it was real, there would be a dozen dead American soldiers. The American soldier gave a plausible reason, you can clearly hear it in his voice, for dispatching that enemy-combatant. What I don't understand is how you can try to moralize his action as if it took place outside of the combat-zone and took place in society. Those two things opperate under very different codes of ethics. Be that as it may, if this did take place in society and he justifiably felt that his life was in jeopardy, his action would have been legal-homicide=self-protection..ya know, that whole right to life thing.

    I, for one, cannot understand your own justifications. All you seem to be worried about is how this makes America "looks," instead of understanding the context of the situation.


    Ciou-See the Sig
  14. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yup.^

    I'm an infantryman; we woulda shot him too, if the tactical situation was the same. if you're 'playing dead', you're fair game.
  15. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    ^ As a civilian, I completely support you!!
  16. Shroom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2004
    star 2
    Moriarte - that is the 'best' possible interpretation of what was seen on the video. An alternate explanation, which seems equally pausible on what we can see, is that the soldier saw someone who he had thought was dead but was actually still breathing, and rather than going to the trouble of checking him, which would have involved some personal risk, he decided the quickest and easiest thing to do was put a bullet in his head and move on. He then saw the camera and apparently realised that he should have done it the hard way. I would imagine that soldiers make these sort of decisions regularly, but would rather the civilian population didn't know too much about the moral ambiguities that exist on the battlefield.

    As I said, either of these two explanations are supported by what is on the screen, and the point of an enquiry is to establish which is correct. In commenting on this people seem to be revealing more about their attitudes to war than they are about the incident itself - either condemning the soldier out of hand, or falling over themselves to defend this as an obviously justifable action. I think it is far too early to come to either conclusion. Hopefully the soldier will be given a fair hearing, and if he genuinely felt under threat I hope he will be exonerated. If on the other hand he shot a human being in the head in cold blood because he simply couldn't be bothered with dealing with him any other way - I think that needs to be dealt with.

    I know it is frustrating to feel that we have to always fight with one arm tied behind our backs, sticking to rules when the enemy is free to act with impunity. Unfortunately this has to be the price we pay in order to cling on to some vestige of civilisation, and to remind our soldiers that they are not simply animal like killing machines, but professionals doing a dangerous job. It does make life tougher and it may put us at a disadvantage, but the alternative is to allow ourselves to become every bit as monstrous as the civilian beheading creatures we sometimes have to fight.

    If you look on a battlefield and see our soldiers fighting with that sort of disrespect for human life, then cliched though it may sound, we have already lost.

  17. Hades2021 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2003
    star 4
    As I said, either of these two explanations are supported by what is on the screen, and the point of an enquiry is to establish which is correct.

    There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's
  18. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    As I said, either of these two explanations are supported by what is on the screen, and the point of an enquiry is to establish which is correct.

    That Marine didn't have time for the luxury of an enquiry before his actions, how can we fairly hold him to an enquiry after the event.
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
  20. Crix-Madine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    star 4
    Concerning this situation, I do not fault the soldier. If I was in his position I probably would have done the same thing.

    The key is that they shouldn't be put in that position.
  21. Moriarte Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2001
    star 5
    The soldier verbally said that the enemy was 'faking dead, he's faking dead!' [paraphrase]. He obviously felt immediate danger and decided to err on the side of caution. Even if that enemy was not strapped or armed, the context of the situation shows that his action was appropriate: an enemy soldier, in a combat-zone, and the fact that dying and/or dead enemy soldiers are known to sometimes be strapped with explosives.

    The "other" side of the story is trying to exact too much from this soldier. As far as I understand it, soldiers are not required to take prisoners, let alone check dying or dead bodies.


    Ciou-See the Sig
  22. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    The key test is to invert the situation and see how we as American's would react.

  23. The Bigger Fish Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 7
    ^ To do that, you've first have to have Americans firing from Churches, pretending to surrender before opening fire, etc. The shooting was based on the Marine's experiences over the previous few days of combat. He made a judgment call.
  24. Shroom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2004
    star 2
    "That Marine didn't have time for the luxury of an enquiry before his actions, how can we fairly hold him to an enquiry after the event."

    J-Rod, soldiers are trained to make difficult decisions quickly, particularly when it comes to assessing a threat, to make sure that you don't just shoot people blindly to protect yourself. I don't agree with Moriarte's suggestion that from what the soldier said he 'obviously' perceived a threat from the Iraqi. He may have thought there was a threat based on past experience, or he may have thought the man was an inconvenience and no one would shed a tear if he was killed, if only it hadn't been caught on camera. You simply can't say what the soldier thought without asking him, and I think the question is worth asking. Its about mens rea, the mental element needs to be established.

    The alternative seems to be that soldiers are justified in shooting every wounded Iraqi they come across in the head, because it might put them at risk to try and help them. As I understand it, humanity dictates that we don't take that course.
  25. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Csillan_girl-The soldier in question did not kill in cold-blood; I believe you fail to understand the circumstances. This was a soldier who was in a combat zone who knows that there have been incidents where enemy-combatants play-dead to either open up on any American soldiers with firearms or ignite an explosive device to kill as many American soldiers as possible.

    I don't think she misread the situation at all. If you read the open letter the person taking the film made to the military, it seems likely that while the soldier was obviously stressed, his reaction was not calculated enough to register what you would define as a 'judgement call' and I'm uncertain where you're getting that term to define that situation to begin with.

    First of all, the language obviously doesn't lend itself to that conclusion. Second of all, the fact that the soldier in question shot the Iraqi, then walked by an Iraqi who was concealed in a blanket and according to the camera man, apparently much more of a possible threat than the man that was shot because of this fact, doesn't lend itself to that conclusion. And thirdly, the fact that there has been no release of mitigating evidence, that the marine never adequately explained his actions either in public or most tellingly, to the cameraman himself at the time doesn't lend itself to that conclusion.

    The most likely conclusion that you make this argument is that you don't want the soldier to have taken a rash action and killed an unarmed man in the heat of battle because it's something not becoming of civilized behavior on the battlefield. This is understandable, but the preliminary evidence doesn't point to that. If you look at and read the accounts, making the arguments that you do if anything it would be more likely if anything to say that you do not in fact understand the circumstances. It's one thing to say this was an act of an over-stressed and exhausted soldier. It's another to look at what's out there now and say this was some sort of thought-out, calculated decision.
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