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Thread: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    Sorry, but that's not an excuse and there are those that HAVE been in combat that judge this as wrong so are you going to tell them they can't judge because they disagree with you as well?

    As far as news goes, when a thug on the street kills somebody it barely gets a blurb in the news if at all. However, a police officer does something wrong and it's all over the news. Why? Because people expect more out of our police officers than they do thugs. Exactly how people view the military. That's why this is news and the other was only mentioned slightly in the media.

    The media makes it's money off of Scandals, Sex, and wars. So if you have a problem with coverage I suggest you take it up with them.
    You're right, it's not an excuse. It's an explanation.
    ”People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” --- Ben Franklin

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    Sterotypes are mostly based on truths.

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    You're right, it's not an excuse. It's an explanation.
    I'm sorry, but the whole "You've never been in combat so you can't judge" thing is stupid. If that were the case, men should never be able to judge against abortion as they have never known what it's like to be pregnant.

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    So to be consistent, you wouldn't care if the Taliban did that to dead U.S. troops? Afterall, their dead and won't mind right?
    Absolutely incorrect analogy.

    The question would be whether or not he'd be fine with the Taliban being upset about Taliban members did this to dead U.S. Troops. No where in James post did he suggest that the Taliban has to be okay with the fact some of our soldiers did this. He is saying he doesn't significantly care. The analogy you use is assuming he's saying something different. That's not being consistent, that's actually entirely non-related.

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Absolutely incorrect analogy.

    The question would be whether or not he'd be fine with the Taliban being upset about Taliban members did this to dead U.S. Troops. No where in James post did he suggest that the Taliban has to be okay with the fact some of our soldiers did this. He is saying he doesn't significantly care. The analogy you use is assuming he's saying something different. That's not being consistent, that's actually entirely non-related.
    You're right to correctly rephrase it would be "You wouldn't have a problem with it?".

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    Sorry, but that's not an excuse and there are those that HAVE been in combat that judge this as wrong so are you going to tell them they can't judge because they disagree with you as well?

    As far as news goes, when a thug on the street kills somebody it barely gets a blurb in the news if at all. However, a police officer does something wrong and it's all over the news. Why? Because people expect more out of our police officers than they do thugs. Exactly how people view the military. That's why this is news and the other was only mentioned slightly in the media.

    The media makes it's money off of Scandals, Sex, and wars. So if you have a problem with coverage I suggest you take it up with them.
    I have a problem with war, period.

    I especially have a problem with occupying countries for more than a decade, and sending hundreds of thousands of troops into a warzone that will traumatize them and change them for life. My problem is with a government that is so cavaliar with the lives of our soldiers that they would put them into this situation when neither country is in now a position to pose a serious threat to our nation.

    Once we have sent our soldiers into the belly of the beast, ordered them to kill and maim to do their duty, kept them in hostile zones for years on end, taught them to dehumanize those who are trying to kill them, I have a problem that a few photos with dead enemies turns the government and others into a hypocritical "OMG this is so terrible" blamefest without stopping to think that it is war, filthy, dirty, bloody, stench of death war that has forced these soldiers to become completely desensitized to the carnage around them in order to stay sane.

    So yeah, I have a problem with it, and with clueless people shaking fingers at photos of death but not giving a single cogent thought as to how and why the dead people actually got dead in the first place. They got dead because the government went to war with them, and sent soldiers to kill them.

    If you don't have a problem with war, fine. I do. But I'm not going to judge soldiers for doing what they have been trained to do, which is kill people. And if I'm not going to judge soldiers for killing people, I'm sure as hell not going to judge them for taking pictures of war, as has been done in every war since the invention of the camera.

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Once again, there's a difference between explaining and understanding behavior, and excusing or condoning it.

    When the story of the Marines pissing on dead Taliban came out, I thought morally it was dead wrong. With this? I wouldn't go so far to say that it's wrong, but it is kinda messed up. That is me exercising my moral judgment, and I don't believe this kind of behavior is condonable (sp?) or excusable or justifiable if we're to talk about troops behaving honorably.

    HOWEVER...while I don't think what these guys did was right, it's also important to understand why brutalization and dehumanization happens in war. It is important to understand the psychological conditions under which this behavior takes place, and to understand why exactly it happens. That is not excusing or condoning the behavior - it is attempting to understand it.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 04-18-12 at 06:19 PM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    As noted by several who know, this stuff is not unique. Only a minority of soldiers do it, but it has always happened.

    I agree too with those who note that this is what happens to otherwise normal men once folks start getting killed or wounded. Call it coping, or disrespect, or sick, it happens. My big issue with these wars is that this generation of soldiers has been exposed to more combat tours and time away from home than any since the Civil War. Combat tours of 12 months and longer is crazy. To then do four of them absurd. Its a pretty bad environment in which to expect folks won't tilt a little.

    And for the scumbag that gave the pictures to the Press. Piss on that one. That he had concerns about a breakdown in discipline is just an excuse for the grudge he had to get even on, or the blood money he got for selling the pics. I spent 7 years with the 82nd. They need to take that punk's wings away.

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    And no, I wouldn't really have a problem with the Taliban not being upset if they're people occasionally did something like this as well. Again, it's war. War, in and of itself, requires a dehumanizing of the enemy to a certain extent to even be able to mentally deal with what you're doing in such a situation. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be upset that they're people did it to our boys, especially if it happened routinely, just as I don't expect them to not be upset that we're doing it. You care more about your own, that's human nature. That's part of why I wish this stuff wouldn't get out, becuase it does give "bulliten board material" to the enemy.

    I also think there's a difference between say, televising this kind of action and celebrating it, and treating it as a sad and unfortunate situation where individuals are disciplined internally and it's viewed as a rather uncommon reality of war.

    It's not so much that this kind of action is "right"...it's not. It's that this kind of action is somewhat expected to crop up in a small percentage of the military population and is understandable and, in light of everything they face and everything facing them, it's a lot less big of a deal than it's made out to be due to our soft, contextless, civilians spongy minds.

    In many ways this, like so many things, reminds me of a sports analogy. Listening to a former local player here talking about the bounty programs and the Greg Wiliams audio and the outrage and he just kind of laughed. Yeah, the actual paying for specific injury and such...bad. But talk about ripping guys heads off, killing guys, burying them, etc etc. Telling them to test a guys cutting because they got a leg injury they were recovering from, or test a guys toughness after they've been out with a rib injury or concussion, it wasn't new or unusual. Filthy language, trash talking, derogatory things said about the other team. It isn't unusual in the locker room or on the field. And deep down, people aren't stupid...they have an inkling that its true. But they don't think about it. They love the benefit they get out of it, watching football every sunday. So when news comes out where some of the dark dirty secrets of the world on the inside comes to the light of day everyone acts all offended and shocked and disgusted by it so they can feel all moral and high and mighty....but come the first game on the first sunday they'll be right there at the TV watching with excitement lying to themselves that the same stuff they acted all on their high horse about just a few months back isn't still basically happening before every game they watch.

    Uncivilized things happen in War because war is an uncivilized thing. Civilized folks are going to act absolutely disgusted by it often, and understandably so, but the reality is that if they were honestly faced with the realization of losing out on the beneifts of that which fosters those uncivilized things or being done with the uncivilized behavior....they'd willfully blind themselves all over again.

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    I'm sorry, but the whole "You've never been in combat so you can't judge" thing is stupid. If that were the case, men should never be able to judge against abortion as they have never known what it's like to be pregnant.
    I completely agree. If a soldier suffers from PTSD, returns home, and starts beating on his wife, the psychological trauma might be an explanation for his behavior, but it's still morally wrong. I think it's fine to judge, as long as you also make an attempt to understand.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    re: Photos show U.S. GIs posing with dead Afghans[W:1146]

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    HOWEVER...while I don't think what these guys did was right, it's also important to understand why brutalization and dehumanization happens in war. It is important to understand the psychological conditions under which this behavior takes place, and to understand why exactly it happens. That is not excusing or condoning the behavior - it is attempting to understand it.
    I am forever shocked and amazed how in the wake of 9/11, or the Iraq war, or other such things we have people streaming onto the television and forums and places like this telling us how we have to "understand" how they feel, to "sympathize" with what they've gone through, and "see it through their eyes" rather than just having the gutteral reaction of "**** them, kill'em all". However, when it comes to our soldiers...any attempt what so ever to "understand" or "sympathize" or "see things through their eyes" is "excusing" and "justifying" them it seems.

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