Debate and Discussion

The Iraq/Afgan war. Was it justifiable?
cartoonprofessor at 4:51PM, Oct. 8, 2009
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Excellent points by Ozone and MeHighLow (some others too).

Saying that the US invaded Afghanistan as ‘revenge’ shows how powerfully the media controls public thinking. Anyone who had been watching current affairs at the time could see the lie.

The US (by this I mean coorporations mainly based in the US, not the people who did not vote in the administration) had been trying for years to get pipelines through Afghanistan. The main controlling power at the time, the Taliban eventually decided for various reasons to deny these pipelines. Trust me, if they had accepted the pipeline (and various other interferences, they would be still firmly cemented into power, with full, US govt support, regardless of ‘human rights abuses).

Of course war is about profit, always has been and always will be. ’They' get away with it because the vast majority of people are only interested in mainstream news. When ‘something’ happens to justify a war, 99% of the public have no idea of the real history behind the event and so do not question the seemingly righteous decisions made to go to war.

An excellent example of this is the trade war between the US and Japan pre Pearl Harbour.

The quote below is from a speech called “War Is A Racket”…

A speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.


“WAR is a racket. It always has been

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ”inside“ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

To read his entire speech, go to : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4377.htm
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
ParkerFarker at 6:13AM, April 6, 2010
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I know this thread is a while old and I was gonna make another thread but we don't need two threads on this so I'll just necropost.

Now I am in no way knowledgeable on this subject, but I just saw on the news a horrifying video of some American helicopter gunners killing, murdering 14 innocent Iraqi civilians. For anyone who've played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you'll know the Chopper Gunner killstreak reward; it looked liked that. Well the video starts out with the helicopter's crosshair on a man on a mobile phone surrounded by about 10 other people. He is the target because he is carrying a camera case that could be some weapon of mass destruction. Instead of waiting for him to be away from anyone else, the gunner asks for permission to fire, and he is cleared to fire. He opens up on all of the people, blowing them to bits. One man stumbles off and he, although not the target, is shot at too. A few minutes later a van turns up, an ambulance. The gunner, again, asks for permission to fire, to which he is cleared. The ambulance drivers are, too, blown to bits. I then see some footage of two little girls being carried from the scene, injured.

This video really fucking pissed me off. These cowboys were acting as if this was Call of Duty. They just had no morals. No care for life. How can that be justified? How can anything that leads to that be justified? It can't.

“We are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.” - Blackadder
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:39PM
Orin J Master at 11:50AM, April 6, 2010
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lemme head this off at the pass, the video he's talking about is here: http://collateralmurder.org/ obviously, this is a HIGHLY biased site, but if you ignore the running commentary you get a pretty good idea of the situation.

listen to the gunner. he's convinced that everyone's armed and there's a RPG ready to shoot at him at every corner. these aren't bloodthirsty people. they're scared. terrified at being in the war, terrified at the possibility they'll die, and most of all terrified of some enemy they can't see, understand, or see any way to actually defeat. none of these men should have been cleared for active duty. they were emotionally incapable of using the level of judgment required for it.

the problem is that the US military has long been designed as a lightning strike system that hits hard and leaves before the opponent can strike back, and it's pretty much useless for handling civil wars, where there's no noticeable difference between “foe” and “Ally” and they're simply plugging away like it's okay. the soldiers have had the mental shock of being in combat situations that they were entirely untrained for (prolonged engagements. soldiers are very well trained for short tours, but this has gone on for the better part of a decade without noticeable progress on the ground) and haven't gotten suitable time off the combat zone to let themselves get back to a stable emotional state.

the result? jumpy, paranoid soldiers that will take entirely unreasonable shots because of shadows in a 8' monitor and fear-borne delusions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
ParkerFarker at 6:07PM, April 6, 2010
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Then why are these soldiers still in Iraq?

“We are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.” - Blackadder
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:39PM
ozoneocean at 1:03AM, April 7, 2010
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Orin J Master
listen to the gunner. he's convinced that everyone's armed and there's a RPG ready to shoot at him at every corner.
For other soldiers in other situations, but not an Apache gunner.
No, that IS basically a video game siltation- The gunner and pilot can be hovering nice and safely way up in the sky, out of range and out of sight, blasting away with perfect accuracy using their 30mm bushmaster cannon and those nice heavy tank busting depleted uranium rounds.

That weapon was designed to kill tanks. It's actually against the Geneva convention to use such weapons on people, there's only slight leeway there and blasting away like a video-game sniper is well outside of that.
The Apache's only purpose is an anti-tank helicopter. It's an out-dated old relic of the cold war, designed for hunting and killing Soviet armour, with it's tank-busting missiles and main gun. A main gun with rounds too heavy and too fast for flesh. So heavy and large that it has a very small capacity for them. Certainly not enough to be a proper anti-personnel weapon even if that was how it was supposed to be used.

So you're right- this military in involved in a war it's not meant for and using tools in ways they weren't designed to be. Crushing ants with sledgehammers.
—————————–

In the end though, what the video really shows is that there are no “good guys” among combatants. The good guys are the volunteers who try and take care of the wounded, the aid workers, the journalists and the civilians trying to cope in the midst of the horrible wars some idiots brought to these countries. Those people are heroes.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
imshard at 4:11PM, April 7, 2010
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I could go into technical details about the extensive retrofits for the Apaches and tactics and the massive rules of engagement. I could even mention the fact that most of the videos of this event are edited not to show the men carrying RPGS and Kalashnikov rifles. Unfortunately those arguments don't register with persons carrying a bias as I've seen in this thread.

It really does bug me when I hear folks discuss my country's soldiers as though they were all sociopath walking human rights violations with severe mental handicaps. I don't subscribe to the overly supportive “they're all heroes” mumbo-jumbo crap. No I reserve that term for acts of bravery and selflessness. I openly criticize the real blunders and violations (ala abu-ghraib). I know these are just men after all and not all of them are saints just as not all of them are demons.

p.s.

Someone
The good guys are the volunteers who try and take care of the wounded, the aid workers, the journalists and the civilians trying to cope in the midst of the horrible wars some idiots brought to these countries. Those people are heroes.

For once I couldn't agree more Ozone. Though I would add that policing is only one mission that soldiers fill. Most humanitarian work in Afghanistan and Iraq is performed by US and other Coalition forces. I lost three friends in the travesty that started as the “war on terror”. One of them was a medic that was blown up while she was assisting in an Iraqi maternity ward.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
alwinbot at 6:19PM, April 8, 2010
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War is a gruesome almost exaggerated abomination of human nature. War can never be justified/nor forgiven.

There is no reason in the world to ever take an innocent person's life, let alone start a war that could endanger hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
Orin J Master at 6:39PM, April 8, 2010
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imshard
I could go into technical details about the extensive retrofits for the Apaches and tactics and the massive rules of engagement. I could even mention the fact that most of the videos of this event are edited not to show the men carrying RPGS and Kalashnikov rifles. Unfortunately those arguments don't register with persons carrying a bias as I've seen in this thread.

the general argument is that most of the rifles and RPGs in the film ar in fact camera equipment. and let's face it, grainy footage on a-what is it, 10“ screen?- taken hundreds of yards off has a fair capability of playing tricks on you one way or another. moreso if you're actively looking for something.

besides, even if it were an RPG, those things only reach out around 750 feet or so. an apache is going to be somewhere around 1000-1500 feet away as part of military procedure.

the arguments you're posing, while interesting debate, are straw dogs. they have nothing to do with the incident in the footage.

unrelated: ”Your" country? gee, i'm sorry, i forgot the place was owned by secret nobility and not a republic of the common man.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
ozoneocean at 10:30PM, April 8, 2010
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imshard
It really does bug me when I hear folks discuss my country's soldiers as though they were all sociopath walking human rights violations with severe mental handicaps.
I don't know if anyone here does that…?
Unlike Vietnam, Korea or WW2 these wars are NOW and people we know and talk to, even on this site, are currently serving over there or HAVE served. So I don't know about you or anyone else, but when I talk about soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm never meaning to generalise about how “bad” they are or whatever. The reality is that they don't have much of a choice and it's a very damaging situation for them, even if they don't realise it.

Several years ago at the very beginning of the Iraq invasion a US soldier contacted me asking me to design a tattoo for him. His request went something like: “I'm stuck in Iraq right now…”

“Stuck” being the operative word. Poor bastard. I wasn't taking commissions or working for free at the time, but I did that gratis for him anyway. Even though I was strongly against that invasion, I wasn't against the poor people caught up in it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Product Placement at 10:39PM, April 9, 2010
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Hey, this thread is back.

There's been allot of heat about that video where I live but I just watched the video for the first time. I couldn't help but to feel a bit sickened while watching this but I'll admit that it's pretty much thanks to the detailed background story that the video provided, along with along with all the visual aids. There was no way to tell what the guys where holding on to or that there were children in the wan. Then again there was no way of telling that these guys where holding guns either and their “casual strolling down the street” attitude didn't raise any flags in my mind, apart from the time when one of the guys popped around the corner to watch the helicopter. I'll admit that it must have looked pretty suspicious to the pilots and you could hear how nervous the guy became when he saw that.

Still the soldiers did jump the gun a bit there and what really made me cringe was their attitude when killing these people.

What caught my attention the most is how many Icelanders seem to be involved in making this tape. For the past couple of months Wikileaks has been campaigning their cause in my country like crazy and it seems to be working. They've been getting tons of recruits, even among people I know. They're actually considering moving their base of operation to Iceland and have convinced the government to open up discussion about passing new laws related to freedom of speech and journalist protection. Apparently they plan to make Iceland some sort of utopian information paradise for their operation where no law can touch them. The reason behind this interest of theirs is because the local government has been entertaining the idea of joining the EU. Wikileaks sees this as an opportunity to influence EU because if these laws are in effect here when it joins EU, they will have to consider them as well.
They talk about this in detail in this hour long presentation video.

I find this interesting but I'm very wary of it at the same time. I just don't think a whole country should blindly listen to two guys who walk(fly) in for a visit and start preaching about how great they can make the place in a record time. Feels like I'm listening to the Monorail guy from the Simpson.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM

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