Why don't they fight back?


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manwithoutahome
May 11, 2004, 04:50 PM
In relation to the American hostages in Iraq.

Most Americans and others know that they will be killed, and they allow the insurgents (insurgents may very well be outsiders coming in to "fight") to make them parade in front of a camera and then allow them to cut their heads off?

Unless the hostage was doped up or something, I would be on tape kicking, screaming, biting, etc..

Let them release the tape showing that at least one American fought before they shot him (or her).

Lunge for an AK or something, just don't sit there.

Oh course, I'm not in that situation, and I don't know the whole story, but I would think that they would at least put up a fight knowing full well they are going to be tortured (true torture, not humiliated) and murdered.

M.

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GTKrockeTT
May 11, 2004, 04:56 PM
most hostages have not been killed, and sitting on this side of the fence without knowing firsthand exactly what their experience/nightmare is, makes it difficult for us to judge or question the hostages' actions.

case in point, had the truck driver that had escaped, fought, he may not have had the opportunity to ever talk/see his wife again.

Swamprabbit
May 11, 2004, 04:59 PM
I really don't know. I've thought about this some myself and wondered what has happened, prior to the filming, to make the victim so docile.

Of course no-one really knows how he/she would react in that scenario but I would like to think that I would be able to carry a secret homing device for a cruise missle or something. I just would hate to go away and leave those happy fellas, that killed me, behind. I would really want to share some BBQ with them in the afterlife.:fire:

Cosmoline
May 11, 2004, 05:01 PM
My sense is that the vast majority of these kidnappings are taken care of quietly and with no bloodshed. Most of the kidnappers want $$, whatever their political claims are. So I suspect contractors have been told to simply keep quiet and wait for arrangements to be made.

OTOH, there have been plenty of extrajudicial killings by private citizens and their guards. So I suspect many have indeed fought off attempted kidnappings. I suspect the temptation to kill any Iraqi who got too close would be very strong.

ID_shooting
May 11, 2004, 05:12 PM
Cant say what the cilvilian training is, but my POW training was two sided.

1. Obey, they will follow the rules and you will survive. That is the official doctrine.

2. Resist, fight, kill, take as many of the f***ers out with you as you can. Instruction from one of my old Vietnam patch wearing 1SGs

In the line units I was in, we figured long ago that none of us would ever be prisoners. They may drag my dead body around the streets, but only after they found the grenade in my hands.

Zundfolge
May 11, 2004, 05:17 PM
Most hostages believe they have a chance to survive if they keep their head down and their mouth shut ... this has been born out over the years (in general its a rare occasion when hostages are killed).


If you think they are going to release the video of you fighting and then being killed guess again. That tape will be recorded over with the next captive of a compliant nature (remember, they say Americans are weak and cowardly ... prove them wrong and your death will be for nothing).

Ktulu
May 11, 2004, 05:23 PM
That's a tough question with no easy answer.

GT has a point but I think that's exactly the attitude that gets your head chopped off. You want to see your family and friends again, you want to make love to your wife again, and you want to watch your children grow up and have children of their own. So, you bide you time until an opportunity arises that you can exploit. If you get lucky, great, if you don’t you get used by evil men to further their evil cause. In reality, every incident like this makes it more and more unlikely that you will survive let alone have a chance to escape.

My mind is made up...I will not allow myself to be captured. I will let no one unjustly take/detain me against my will. It might save my life or it might get me killed but I will not be taken advantage of by those people. Of course this is very easy for me to say sitting at my computer, relatively, safe in beautiful Michigan.

I assume this guy was unarmed and taken completely unaware.

Shovelhead
May 11, 2004, 05:25 PM
It might be the same as the passangers on the first two aircraft that hit the WTC & the one that hit the Pentagon.
Probably thought "Go along for the ride, waste a few hours and nobody gets hurt" same as most previous incidents.

After the first 3 were flown into buildings, the passengers on the fouth airliner headed for DC found out that this was NOT a routine hijacking, and decided to "resist".

The Rules Have Changed.
There Are No Rules.

Bog
May 11, 2004, 05:47 PM
The Rules Have Changed.
There are no Rules.

Mm. I have to go along with this. One of the overwhelming things I see in this conflict is that Our Side, as a rule, has an overwhelming regard for human life. The Other Side(s) do not. They see no distinction between a soldier and a noncombatant, and half the time don't even see anything wrong in killing 10 of their own to get 1 of ours.

Which, of course, puts Our Side at a massive disadvantage. Zundfolge's comment about one's performance being taped over by the next compliant victim has the ring of horrible truth about it, as well. Next time I watch video of something like this, I'll be looking at the tape quality to try to guess how many times the tape has been used. This whole thing has got me grinding my teeth pretty much constantly, might as well lose a bit more enamel while I'm at it :(

With regards to this conflict as a whole, I think that our love of life is possibly our greatest "weakness" as far as They are concerned. If I found myself in a hostage situation like this, though? I guess I'd probably be figuring on getting killed in the end anyway, even if I play along. So the Devil take it - might as well go down while I'm spitting out someone else's ear.

Or at least, that how I hope I'd react. I'd really rather not find out.

pittspilot
May 11, 2004, 05:51 PM
I believe that Italian showed some spine before he was shot.

I think it is such a tough call to decide when to go from being compliant to fighting your heart out that I would not be hard on someone who apparently did not fight.

For instance we have no idea if the killers had pulled off this scene on a couple of previous occassions. If they had enacted this a few times, then the hostage may have thought that this was not going to happen. Or the killers may have told him that it was just an act. It is afterall tough to come to grips with the idea that you are about to get your head cut off.

Autolite
May 11, 2004, 08:55 PM
I think it's a combination of the previously mentioned reasons. Remain passive and you'll survive, our will to live, etc. But I think that pittspilot hit the nail on the head. I believe that most people, being human, simply cannot grasp the reality of what is happening in such a dire situation. The same question, "why don't they fight", has been asked with reference to the Jews of Nazi Germany ...

Ktulu
May 11, 2004, 09:38 PM
The Rules Have Changed.

No! The rules have not changed. They have always been the same. Give in and you hand your life over to your captors. It's up to them if you live or die and how you live or die. Choose to fight and you're the master of your life whether you loose it or not.

Don Gwinn
May 11, 2004, 10:37 PM
I'm sure they told him whatever they had to tell him in order to get compliance. That may have been threats, but it may also have been "Look, you identify yourself, we threaten a lot, and when they give us a concession, we let you go. We've done this before, you have to trust us."

pittspilot
May 11, 2004, 10:50 PM
I determined to watch the video.

They had him tied up, so he could not have fought that well in any event. Even knowing it is coming, it is hard to take that level of barbarity. People normally are not used to it, and are almost never ready for it.

LynnMassGuy
May 11, 2004, 11:10 PM
Maybe for the sake of other hostages in captivity.

Bigjake
May 11, 2004, 11:19 PM
swamp rabbit called it with the homming beacon thinger-

"We may not all end up at the same place but we'll start together!"

quote from the alamo (the good john wayne version where davy crockett actualy had a pair!:fire: )

lwaldron
May 11, 2004, 11:24 PM
Here at the news station, I saw the video. I watched it a few times, slowed it down, watched a few more times, listened to those savages yelling "Allahu Akhbar" to drown out Berg's screams.
It sickened me, and filled me with killing rage.
This, I guarantee you, will provoke no outrage amongst the rags. You won't hear any of the rags apologizing for this. They're all dancing with joy.
Sometimes I'm ashamed to be an American. I know we'll do absolutely nothing about this. None of the savages in this video will ever suffer any consequences for doing this.
I wish I could vote for someone who would say, "Yes, this is a war. And I will fight it like one."

nemesis
May 12, 2004, 12:39 AM
I will not walk quietly to the gas chambers. If I am a hostage, I am already dead. I will not hope for compassion from my captors. I will choose the time of my death, not them. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

one45auto
May 12, 2004, 12:52 AM
That is why if I were to accept a civilian contracting position in Iraq I'd demand that I be allowed to carry whatever weapons I felt necessary, and if they wouldn't let me carry then I'd turn down the job no matter how much it paid. I'd have a rifle, a primary, and a BUG, not to mention a good razor-sharp (thank you, John Juranitch!) boot knife strapped to each calf.

Now I'm no Rambo by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I have any delusions about being a bad @ss, but you can bet your bottom dollar that unless I was severely incapacitated by the first shot they wouldn't be taking me without a fight. I might die in the attempt, but I'd be doing everything in my power to take a few of the b@st@rds with me.

joab
May 12, 2004, 01:08 AM
These guys are masters at manipulation they will either break your will or in Pearl's case befriend you laughing and joking with you until they come from behind to kill you.
I have just watched the video of Nick Berg, watching closly he seems to be nervous but not really afraid. His shriek were more than from terror, they seem to me to be from total surprise. I believe he felt that he was not in any real imminent danger.
Perhaps they told him to cooperate with their little propaganda film and all would be well, or perhaps they acted out his execution so many times that he was getting bored with it.

Either way these animals should die slow and soon
I have no respect for Fox or any other media that released this tape. This was private last moments that we have no right to view. And his family had every right not to see but now will have this image burned into their memory for the rest of their lives

.I want MY America back and this just ain't it.

BHPshooter
May 12, 2004, 01:22 AM
Resist, fight, kill, take as many of the f***ers out with you as you can.

That's my motto. I don't care how tricky the bastards are -- if they've got you against your will, they are your enemy. Kill them.

Seeing this ???? over and over pisses me off to no end. Oh how I wish I could get into the Marines to go kill some of these scumbags.

Wes

MikeJ
May 12, 2004, 11:35 AM
I don't believe Mr. Berg thought he was going to die based on his demeanor prior to his death and reaction upon being thrown to the ground. As to why people don't fight, I would like to offer a theory that I believe is true in many instances. When someone is convinced that they are going to die by someone else's hand and feel completely helpless in preventing it there could possibly be the attitude that they want to maintain a sense of dignity and stoicism in the face of it rather than show fear. I've never been there fortunately and certainly can't predict how I would act but there have been many people that have gone to their executions without kicking and screaming. Just a thought.

Cameron Lamont
May 12, 2004, 11:54 AM
When your hands and feet are tied and there are six guys attempting to cut off your head... I don't see how it is possible to do anything except scream.

Cosmoline
May 12, 2004, 02:01 PM
Of course by that point it is too late. The real opportunity comes when the kidnapping is attempted. That's your chance to send Akbar to hell, but of course it's only going to work if you're allowed to carry and have guards backing you up.

I'd also want an Alaska style moose guard on my truck, so if needed I can stomp down on the gas and simply plow through anyone in the way.

Leatherneck
May 12, 2004, 02:17 PM
I believe it was Rudyard Kipling who emphasized the need, when fighting in the middle East, to always reserve one round for the end. Avoid capture at all costs. :scrutiny:

TC
TFL Survivor

manwithoutahome
May 12, 2004, 02:20 PM
When he was sitting in the chair, his hands were in front of him, even with your feet tied, you can make a jump and rip out someones neck with teeth IMHO.

As for not knowing that you're in danger, you'd have to have your head in the sand.

For one thing, remember the four contractors? That would be foremost in my mind. Remember Daniel Pearl? Same MO with the video camara and everything.

I've noticed that anytime they start to video tape something, it ends in murder.

I don't know, I wasn't there, but I think that I would have tried something.

M.

MikeJ
May 12, 2004, 02:53 PM
I'm thinking of "Silence of the Lambs" right now. I wonder why?:uhoh:

Diggler
May 12, 2004, 03:10 PM
...but I will not be taken advantage of by those people. Of course this is very easy for me to say sitting at my computer, relatively, safe in beautiful Michigan.My brother lives in Michigan, and from what I understand the state is a magnet for Islamic fundamentalists.

I remember hearing of someone who was arrested for smuggling cigarettes from North Carolina to Michigan, and using the procedes from the black market sales to donate to al-Qaeda.

They're closer than you think, just biding their time.

joab
May 12, 2004, 08:26 PM
Leatherneck,
I believe this is the verse you were refering to
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Griff
May 12, 2004, 10:05 PM
Ironic to see so many people (who would train with and carry a deadly weapon in order to take responsibility for their own self-protection) that have decided to "hope for the best" when faced with impossible odds.
I must be reading something wrong.

Ky Larry
May 12, 2004, 10:21 PM
Why are there still two bricks stacked on top of each other in Iraq? Why are there any adult Iraqi males left alive? Why is the U.S. military still in Iraq if they are not allowed to win the war? Haven't we learned anything from history?

joab
May 12, 2004, 11:04 PM
Ironic to see so many people (who would train with and carry a deadly weapon in order to take responsibility for their own self-protection) that have decided to "hope for the best" when faced with impossible odds Outside of the military where are there any training facilities to teach you how to be helplessly tortured into submission, yet still hold on to the slim chance that you may survive the ecounter, and if you don't then to die in a manner that doesn't offend the armchair warriors back home that think you should have done something differently.

Maybe some of you more vocal macho men could share your hostage experience with us.

This was not a soldier or one of the "mercenaries" that we have been hearing about this was a idealistic kid who thought he could go to Iraq and drop off a resume

Denko
May 12, 2004, 11:59 PM
I read an article today that said there was an 11 hour gap on the video camera's clock.My guess is this was rehearsed many times and the victim probably thought it was another dry run.None of us know what happened to that man in those 11 hours.I worked in an institution with a no hostage policy for 20 yrs.I had plenty of time to think about what I would do when TSHTF.I always figured I would not be a hostage! The truth is none of us truly knows until the time comes for us to act.

Griff
May 13, 2004, 09:25 AM
joab, I feel bad for the "idealistic kid" and his family, first and foremost. It’s a damn shame that he died.

Secondly, I know for a fact that before any military personnel, contractor, or other civilian worker is allowed into such an area they are given a signed briefing and thoroughly understand the dangers they may face. It's called a "Force Protection / Antiterrorism Briefing", provided by the Battalion S2 (Security shop) or civilian equivalent. This is part of my job. (No, I’m not in Baghdad. I’m in Germany.)

We don’t do such briefings only once, either. (for example, upon entry into the theatre of operations or occasions of suspicious contact) We’re required to do updates with the most current information that the protective posture and tactical/logistical environment may allow. (Weekly, at minimum, Daily, at best.) Do you honestly think that Mr. Berg thought he was in Kansas?

You sign up with a contractor to do a job that pays 100k or more per year, in some cases tax-free, you take your chances. We make sure that they’re not blind chances, though. Don’t make it sound like guys like Mr. Berg are naive children.


My beef is with those of you back home that have options that my family, myself, and my friends don't have here. By your statements it appears that despite having taken steps to turn those options into skills, many have pre-decided not to apply them in less-than-ideal situations. I'm left with the impression that many won't fight unless they're sure that they can win. If such is the case, then you've planned to fail. Bad tactics.

But, as I said, perhaps I misunderstood something. Regardless, I wish you all the best.

Jon Coppenbarger
May 13, 2004, 01:25 PM
Do no tgo if you can not be armed!
You might not be able to be armed while you aer on base or at work as a contractor but if you go off base you should be able to have a weapon.
I would hope so or why be a sitting duck!

alot of people that aer being swipped are letting themselfs get it done to them. Now thats not counting the ones that are getting ambushed in convoys that aer supossed to be protected.

If they just snatch you off the street or stop your car or that guy that let himself be arrested by the iraqi police. come on now.

If someone other that a usgi personel stops me then I start shooting.
its hard to explain but if you have a couple iraqi police show up at your door without us military folks shoot first.

Would you let someone just walk up to you in a dark parking lot here, you might not shoot but you sure as hell are going to tell them to stop before they get close to you.

There should be no way anyone should get close enough to grab you without a fight even in this country and over there man thats crazy.

Blackhawk 6
May 13, 2004, 03:13 PM
1. Obey, they will follow the rules and you will survive. That is the official doctrine.

I am not sure who provided your training but they must have missed Article III of the Code of Conduct:

If I am capture, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

Your 1SG had it right.

Mostly Harmless
May 13, 2004, 03:47 PM
You sign up with a contractor to do a job that pays 100k or more per year, in some cases tax-free, you take your chances. We make sure that they’re not blind chances, though. Don’t make it sound like guys like Mr. Berg are naive children.

Just because you tell them doesn't mean they understand.

How many times do you tell a child that fire is hot and how many children burn themselves because they just don't comprehend how hot? Adults can be just as naive as children, no matter how well you explain things to them.

He might well have thought that the dangers were similar but a little worse than those in most US inner cities.

He might have believed that the majority of the Iraqi people would be friendly and, as per CNN, the violence was in the hands of a few "insurgents".

He might have felt that as a civilian engaged in reconstruction he'd be safe.

He might have known all the dangers and still decided to take his chances. At 25 I too believed I was immortal and invulnerable. And I have the scars to prove that I was somewhat mistaken in the latter.

I've had my run-ins with Islamic fundamentalists in the past. It was bloody. About 6 months ago a friend was discussing a job offer she'd received to go to Kuwait. She would have been taking a team with her and wanted me and my partner to go along (my partner's former USMC and I lived in the MidEast for several years, plus we know her business). Had this come off we'd have also been in Baghdad and Kabul.

It took a couple of evenings and a lot of beer before we convinced her that it was an assignment that only someone with a deathwish would consider for more than about 5 minutes.

Us: "Will we be armed"
Her: "Officially no."
Us: "You've gotta be joking! That's tantamount to suicide!!"

bill2
May 13, 2004, 04:50 PM
Us: "Will we be armed"
Her: "Officially no."
Us: "You've gotta be joking! That's tantamount to suicide!!"
_______________________________

There was article recently online, by Mark Bowden I think (who wrote Blackhawk down) who went into Iraq with a private security firm to see what it was like. He said that once they got across the border from Jordan into Iraq, the bought guns since the official US policy was that no private citizens could bring in their own weapons. Makes it tough to defend youself. I don't know what I would do in this situation. I have 4 yrs in the Army in the 70's, but no combat time. I do think most people would not resist and hope for the best. I like to think that I would fight, but I don't really know, at least until it happens.

What's interesting to me is the media's choice to show the Iraq prisoner pictures over and over, but just gloss over what really happened to this poor guy. they don't want to show pictures that would piss off Americans against Arabs, but they have no qualms showing pictures to make American look bad. This kind of bias just has to go - it's wrong and leaves Americans with the wrong impression of what's happening over there. I don't like what those guards did, but it is minor compared to what Sadam did to his own people, and Al Queda did in cutting this guy's head off.

Shawn1
May 13, 2004, 05:18 PM
Its my understanding that under the rules of the Geneva Convention that if you are a POW that you are not permitted to kill the guards and captors in an effort to escape. Could be wrong but I remember that from infantry training.

Quartus
May 13, 2004, 05:36 PM
Its my understanding that under the rules of the Geneva Convention that if you are a POW that you are not permitted to kill the guards and captors in an effort to escape. Could be wrong but I remember that from infantry training.




I don't remember anything like that, and it sure conflictd with:

If I am capture, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.



Even if true, why would any captive care?

Shawn1
May 13, 2004, 05:50 PM
I agree with you, I just could have sworn my drill sergeant saying that and me sitting there in disbelief. If I were a captive I certainly would resist by all means available.

WonderNine
May 13, 2004, 06:33 PM
I believe it was Rudyard Kipling who emphasized the need, when fighting in the middle East, to always reserve one round for the end. Avoid capture at all costs.

I believe the saying goes, "If you find yourself on the Afghan plains, roll over on your rifle and blow out your brains."

Diggler
May 13, 2004, 06:54 PM
Its my understanding that under the rules of the Geneva Convention that if you are a POW that you are not permitted to kill the guards and captors in an effort to escape. Could be wrong but I remember that from infantry training.ROTFLMAO

"Gee, I'd REALLY like to escape from my al-Qaida captors, but I better check my rule book first!"

Are al-Qaida members even subject to the Geneva Convention?

Browns Fan
May 13, 2004, 07:32 PM
I was listening to the Sean Hannity Show and he played (after giving a warning for moms with kids and such) the tape of Mr Berg's murder. I was in my car at the time so I pulled over becauseI knew it may have a dramatic effect on me. I'm glad I did, because it was horrific; I felt so helpless that I couldnt do anything about it and at the same time I was shaking with rage that anyone would not only do such a thing, but make a show of it. I dont mind admitting that it drove me to tears. The poor guy screamed horribly for about 30 seconds, I couldnt imagine seeing it.

Shawn1
May 14, 2004, 12:17 AM
Hey Diggler, like I said, I would not care about the Geneva convention for a minute, Im just repeating what I couldve sworn one of my drill sergeants said.

Ktulu
May 14, 2004, 09:48 AM
Diggler, Dearborn Michigan (immediately west of Detroit) has a large population of people of Middle Eastern descent. Just about every gas station and party store in the metro Detroit area are owned by middle eastern born Americans. The overwhelming majority of them are peaceful Americans trying to live the American dream just like you and me.

I'm more concerned about retaliation violence then anything else. If there is an attack here, somewhere else in the states, or more Bergs, I fear many innocent people could suffer the backlash.

Ktulu
May 14, 2004, 10:09 AM
Maybe some of you more vocal macho men could share your hostage experience with us.

Joab, didn't your mother tell you not to go with strangers? What is especially true for women and children still holds true for grown men. Don't let someone take you away. Nothing good can come of it.

That's all the experience I need.

Diggler
May 14, 2004, 10:11 AM
The overwhelming majority of them are peaceful Americans trying to live the American dream just like you and me.I understand that. It's the underwhelming minority that you have to watch out for. Nowhere did I say that most of them were extremists. I would guess that the big reason that the area is such a magnet is that there is a large population of decent Arab-descent folk there that extremists can blend in with and carry out their plotting.

Ktulu
May 14, 2004, 10:42 AM
Nowhere did I say that most of them were extremists.

It was not my intention to insinuate that you did. I was merely illustrating my experience. Maybe they are all extremists and really good at hiding it, but I doubt it. :scrutiny:

Yes, you're right. Terrorists can blend in here very well and with the crazy tax on cigarettes, among other things, there is plenty of opportunity to raise funds.

Griff
May 14, 2004, 02:00 PM
Mostly Harmless-

My point is that a list of maybes will get you killed. Our information is as black and white as possible; what an individual choses to do with it is up to them.
More directly, it would appear that your questions have been answered by a very unfortunate outcome. Now we have an opportunity to learn from anothers' mistakes. Please don't waste it.

RustyHammer
May 14, 2004, 03:41 PM
Taken alive?

Richardson
May 14, 2004, 03:53 PM
We don't know:

- If he was drugged before the beheading.
- If he hadn't been conditioned into compliance (repeatedly being forced to do it, each time with punishment or reward for how well he performed).
- If he saw the camera.
- Anything that they did leading up to the video-taping.

Richardson

joab
May 14, 2004, 06:45 PM
Joab, didn't your mother tell you not to go with strangers? What is especially true for women and children still holds true for grown men. Don't let someone take you away. Nothing good can come of it.
No offense but that is the single most non responsive and ridiculous response that I have ever had to one of my posts.

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