From a survey about Iraq


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foob
May 7, 2007, 02:25 PM
What's the feeling on this? Looks like half the soldiers don't mind violating military codes and standards to protect a fellow soldier. Which is more important? Are those that report or those that don't report considered bad apples?

If torture is accepted to save US soldiers, should we allow US citizens to be tortured by the police to save lives?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070507/ap_on_re_us/ap_meeting_petraeus

Petraeus 'concerned' by ethics report

NEW YORK - The top U.S. commander in Iraq said Monday he was "greatly concerned" by a recent survey that concluded many combat troops in Iraq would not report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

Speaking to the annual meeting of The Associated Press, Gen. David Petraeus called for a "redoubling of our education efforts" to identify potential abuses among soldiers and anticipate problems related to combat stress.

"We can never sink to the level of the enemy," Petraeus said by video link from Baghdad. "We have done that at times in theater and it has cost us enormously" — referring specifically to the torture and humiliation of prisoners at the
Abu Ghraib facility west of Baghdad.

Petraeus said he was drafting a memo that would closer examine issues of battlefield ethics and ways pre-empt possible problems, adding that he was "greatly concerned by the results" of a
Pentagon report last week by a special mental health advisory team assessing forces serving in Iraq.

"So the first step is that we've got ... make sure that folks remember that that's a foundation for our moral compass ... anything we do that violates that is done at considerable peril," he said.

The Pentagon report included a range of findings that pointed to potential violations of military codes and standards, including only 40 percent of Marines and 55 percent of Army soldiers interviewed saying they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

The survey also found that 47 percent of U.S. soldiers and 38 percent of Marines interviewed saying noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect; and 44 percent of Marines and 41 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or Marine.

Petraeus also reiterated his belief that Iraq's long-term stability cannot be achieved through military means and requires political reconciliation from its main groups: the majority Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. But he noted that the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remains focused on "narrow agendas" standing the way of unity and crucial U.S.-backed legislation, such as a law to share Iraq's oil wealth.

He said he plans to deliver a report to
President Bush in the first two weeks of September on the future direction of Iraq, including the U.S.-led effort to try to reclaim Baghdad from extremist factions.

The battles will "likely be harder in Iraq before it gets easier," Petraeus said just hours after two suicide car bombers attacked a market and a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Ramadi west of the capital — an area where Petraeus noted some success in marshaling Sunni tribes to help fight al-Qaida insurgents. At least 20 people were killed in the attacks.

On Sunday, roadside bombs killed eight American soldiers, including six who died in a single blast in Diyala province — a hotbed of the Sunni insurgency as many militants fled the Baghdad security crackdown.

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cheygriz
May 7, 2007, 02:28 PM
Someone else said it much moire eloquently than I ever could a long time ago!

KILL 'EM ALL, LET GOD SORT 'EM OUT":D :D

cbsbyte
May 7, 2007, 02:31 PM
Really trying to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis. No wonder why we are losing this war.

foob
May 7, 2007, 02:32 PM
Well technically the survey is asking hypothetical questions, not any admission of guilt or anything.

Also in the modern era, how does one win wars against insurgents in civilian populations without the cooperation of civilians? Has it ever succeeded? Nazis never wiped out the french resistance, japan never wiped out chinese resistance, vietcong infiltrated south vietnam easily, soviets in afghanistan, french in algiers, russia in chechnya.... sounds like a bad idea. They never had to deal with the media reporting every casualty and every bombing.

With so much history we can learn from, are the tactics of the military outdated? I remember they updated their manuals against guerilla tactics recently.

romma
May 7, 2007, 02:37 PM
I am sorry to say, as far as trying to win the Iraqis over, I believe it will never happen. However they do understand brute force apparently... I am not advocating brute force, but I believe it is the only form of occupation they will abide by if at all... JMO

cbsbyte
May 7, 2007, 02:38 PM
Well technically the survey is asking hypothetical questions, not any admission of guilt or anything.

Yes, it shows the attitudes of many soldiers in Iraq are hostile to the Iraqi people who they are supposedly trying to help. When our soldiers seem to advocate using extreme force against civilians, then all we are doing is Iraqi is doomed to fail, and our presence their will only create more hostility against our soliders.

foob
May 7, 2007, 02:47 PM
Well my view is that an occupation only succeeds when the populace support it. Will the majority of the iraqis ever support the coalition? I doubt it.

Sometimes I think you need iron-fisted dictatorial approach, to rebuilt iraq quickly and stamp out the insurgents, instead of a slow moving corrupt bureacracy. That's not going to happen, so probably not going to win in Iraq.

hotpig
May 7, 2007, 04:57 PM
Abu Ghraib is a poor example. Our Collage fraternities do that stuff to pledges every year. Atrocities are the slow beheading of people on tv.


Brute force is all that they know. The kinder gentler American soldier is seen as weak and unworthy. I think the biggest problem is they do not trust the US. The last time they trusted us we let them get slaughtered.

The population seems to be just sitting back and waiting for whoever has the biggest balls to take over so that things will get back to their normal.

Titan6
May 7, 2007, 05:26 PM
Abu Ghraib is a poor example. Our Collage fraternities do that stuff to pledges every year.

What college did you go to?

Soybomb
May 7, 2007, 06:47 PM
Well technically the survey is asking hypothetical questions, not any admission of guilt or anything.
I still can't track down the original survey other but some other articles have interesting numbers http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21675862-1702,00.html
In terms of battlefield behaviour, seven per cent of marines and four per cent of soldiers admitted to having physically hit or kicked a non-combatant when it was not necessary.

Abu Ghraib is a poor example. Our Collage fraternities do that stuff to pledges every year.
I hardly think that some drunk college boys voluntarily tormenting each other is the same as forcing prisioners to have sex with each other, be beaten or do other things that violate their religious values. Here's a quote from the diary of one of the men involved "They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. The next day the medics came in and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake I.V. in his arm [to suggest he died under medical care] and took him away." Some of the abuses are frat style stuff, others are more serious.

Art Eatman
May 8, 2007, 10:08 AM
Not a THR subject...

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