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War Brutality (Warning Disturbing photographs)

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Hello, I know you are all aware of the controversy with the Koran book burning and the presumed Muslim outrage from that. I have heard that that is not the actual reason for the current outrage in Afghanistan, the one that resulted in the deaths of 20+/- people. I have recently been made aware of this article from Rolling Stone. According to the article, the Pentagon has been trying to suppress these photographs (rumored to number into the thousands), but it is now surfacing. Here is the Rolling Stone article:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/photos/the-kill-team-photos-20110327

EDIT: here is the full story by Rolling Stone:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-kill-team-20110327

and here is a reaction piece by an Afghani civilian:

http://afghancentral.blogspot.com/2011/03/kill-teams-in-afghanistan-truth.html

If these stories are false I apologize, but I currently have no reason to doubt their validity. If this is old news I apologize for the redundancy. Hopefully this adds some much needed perspective into these people's lives.

Thank you for your time, and good premises.

-Ethan

Edited by SeantheDonConsidine
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Killing an unarmed 15 year old in front of his family for fun falls under the Objectivist ideal of total war? I guess "war is hell" is an excuse to totally abandon all priciples and behave like a literal animal then.

The story is probably half bullshit but come on. I agree with total war theory but this doesnt even resemble any part of it. Lets not make excuses for barbarism, how far can we take that? Dont bother burning the Koran, just burn a muslim, remember September 11th, yay!

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Do not overlook the fact that there are enemies of the United States that would be glad to see this information be made as public as possible, whether it happens to be true or false. If you are the DoD, of course you are going to suppress it. Suppression is not an admission (or confirmation) of guilt, it's simply the right thing to do in either case (for morale, public support, etc.). DoD's job is to wage war and win.

Edit: If you are inclined to disagree with me, or vote me down, I think you should read about Information Warfare. There are many places to start, but if you want to jump into the thick of things, read John Stockwell.

Edited by Sirius1
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JayR assuming the incident with the 14 year old boy did in fact occur I would not be surprised in the least. That is not an excuse or any sort of equivocation it is just a fact of war. Saying "war is hell" is really easy but understanding what that means is another thing all together.

Ever talk to a Vet, I mean get right down into their most vivid and disturbing memories? About how they would get hungry on the battlefield because of the smell of burning human flesh, or about how some of them went through firefights with huge hard on’s in spite of (because of actually) their fear? Ever talk about how when a human body has been very close to the site of a large explosion when the bones have been pulverized by the shock wave that picking up your friend is like picking up a flesh coloured bag of jello with bits and chunks of other stuff inside of it?

The brutal fact is that war is barbarity in its purest form.

One commander I know, the first kill that his troops made in Afghanistan was dragged kilometres back to their strongpoint so that everyone in the company could see a real live dead body. Call it cruel, call it abusing the dead but he swore he's do it again because from that act he was able to gauge how his men would react when the time came for them to be on the trigger. He also discovered which of them he could task with picking up the body parts of children after an IED attack and which, if he tasked them, would probably not be of use to anyone for some time later.

I’m the one who isn’t making any excuses. You want these men, when confronted with what is to most civilized human beings the most terrifying and disturbing events and actions to behave like you do sitting in front of your playstation playing Call Of Duty. Well that just isn’t going to happen.

We are not about to start nailing babies to telephone poles like the Serbs and Muslims in Bosnia were fond of doing. We western soldiers are for the most part the most professional soldiers in history. We do our best, but there are times when manipulating some dead scumbags jawbone to make him say “Allah sucks big hairy donkey dicks” is the best thing for you, your sanity and the sanity of the troops around you, Geneva convention, regulations and everyday run of the mill civility be damned.

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Zip, I agree. And the article Maximus posted puts it in perspective, as I suspected its not as it seems. I just took your first post as unnecessarily cold to the fact that those men (even if they were just a few) killed an innocent boy for fun. I wont argue that the things soldiers go through dont stretch the limits of their ability to remain sane. Be it manipulating a scumbags jawbone, or pissing in the mouth of a dead viet cong for the camera, the ability to detatch to save your sanity is required, Im sure. The article was about a small group of men who planned and excecuted a murder of a young farmer just for fun, which leads me to believe that they werent seeing enough action in the normal events of the day. A conclusion that leads me further to believe that perhaps they werent getting the same stimulus in their day to day activities that "Call of Duty" had prepared them for. I dont play video games, no time. Even under total war, (which Congress would never have the balls to go for) a human being has the right to his own life.

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Please explain.

A large part of being a soldier is killing people for a living. I think if this fact isn't put in the proper frame of mind soldiers will have a hard time. Consider that the the military is supposed to be filled with nice, kind, domesticated, self-sacrificial men and women. In reality not only is this unrealistic, but can only end in disaster. They need a different view of what it means to be a soldier or the institution needs to be rid of altogether.

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If these stories are false I apologize, but I currently have no reason to doubt their validity. If this is old news I apologize for the redundancy. Hopefully this adds some much needed perspective into these people's lives.

Thank you for your time, and good premises.

-Ethan

Here's a premise: No amount of perspective is going to change the absolute truth that dragging innocent civilian employees out of a UN building and beheading them in the street is the act of mindless savages.

I don't care whether they are claiming to be doing this over a religious offense or war crimes. The only actual reason anyone will do anything like that for is that they're unreasoning savages.

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If there were any evidence to believe the innocent civilian teenager those men dragged out of his families field and killed was involved in those types of activities Id be the first to piss on his grave. Murdering an innocent person for any reason is the act of unreasoning savages.

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Consider that the the military is supposed to be filled with nice, kind, domesticated, self-sacrificial men and women. In reality not only is this unrealistic, but can only end in disaster. They need a different view of what it means to be a soldier or the institution needs to be rid of altogether.

As a citizen, those soldiers are acting on my behalf. Given the ridiculous choice, Id rather my tax dollars be spent on soldiers handing out lolipops than slaughtering innocent civilians because theyre bored. Of course Im being pragmatic, Id rather my tax dollars be spent on annihilating legitamate enemy targets swiftly and in devastating fashion. Too bad I dont get to choose, nor does congress as it seems.

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Killing an unarmed 15 year old in front of his family for fun falls under the Objectivist ideal of total war? I guess "war is hell" is an excuse to totally abandon all priciples and behave like a literal animal then.

I agree.

It is precisely in the time of human conflict that moral principles are the most crucial. Harshness of war is no excuse for acting like a barbarian yourself.

By the way would this be the proper time to bring up the Objectivist ideal of total war? Where the deaths of civilians are the responsibility of the people they support even if only tacitly,

If and only if the action was required for proper self defense. War is NOT a moral blank card.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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I don't know what makes someone want to be a soldier. Most people I speak to at my University who are in ROTC say they are doing it out of greed (financial reasons basically).

I always wondered though if there was some sort of urge to engage in warfare that they wanted to satisfy. This is a perfectly legitimate urge in any other business, we would prefer engineers who wanted to be engineers. So I think that we would want soldiers who wanted to do what soldiers did. Now I know soldiers do more than kill people, but I am saying that that is a huge part of it. Its like math to an engineer.

I think that this is fine, the only problem is that we need to deal with it. An analogy is sexuality. If people repress their sexuality, all sorts of weird things can happen because they can't introspect about their desires without feeling guilty. I am sure everyone is familiar of the tale where the puritan ends up to be more of a pervert than any given deviant. I think the same is with soldiers, if we tell them all this altruistic and repressive non-sense, we are only going to end up with mentally ill people.

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We aren't engaged in total war with anyone. This is the problem. People knock Sherman for being a war criminal, which is arguably true. But if he hadn't done what he did in the south Grant would have waited millions of more lives in pointless pitched battles involving only soldiers. Total war is bad, but it ends quickly. Protracted wars with no clear goals against undefined enemies are not total war at all.

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JayR assuming the incident with the 14 year old boy did in fact occur I would not be surprised in the least. That is not an excuse or any sort of equivocation it is just a fact of war. Saying "war is hell" is really easy but understanding what that means is another thing all together.

Ever talk to a Vet, I mean get right down into their most vivid and disturbing memories? About how they would get hungry on the battlefield because of the smell of burning human flesh, or about how some of them went through firefights with huge hard on’s in spite of (because of actually) their fear? Ever talk about how when a human body has been very close to the site of a large explosion when the bones have been pulverized by the shock wave that picking up your friend is like picking up a flesh coloured bag of jello with bits and chunks of other stuff inside of it?

The brutal fact is that war is barbarity in its purest form.

One commander I know, the first kill that his troops made in Afghanistan was dragged kilometres back to their strongpoint so that everyone in the company could see a real live dead body. Call it cruel, call it abusing the dead but he swore he's do it again because from that act he was able to gauge how his men would react when the time came for them to be on the trigger. He also discovered which of them he could task with picking up the body parts of children after an IED attack and which, if he tasked them, would probably not be of use to anyone for some time later.

I’m the one who isn’t making any excuses. You want these men, when confronted with what is to most civilized human beings the most terrifying and disturbing events and actions to behave like you do sitting in front of your playstation playing Call Of Duty. Well that just isn’t going to happen.

We are not about to start nailing babies to telephone poles like the Serbs and Muslims in Bosnia were fond of doing. We western soldiers are for the most part the most professional soldiers in history. We do our best, but there are times when manipulating some dead scumbags jawbone to make him say “Allah sucks big hairy donkey dicks” is the best thing for you, your sanity and the sanity of the troops around you, Geneva convention, regulations and everyday run of the mill civility be damned.

Well said Zip.

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Well said or not, I dont see what it has to do with killing innocent people. Part of being objective is the ability to look at things from other peoples perspectives, the family of the murdered boy is probably not blamimg their government for getting them into this mess.

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Well said or not, I dont see what it has to do with killing innocent people.

Innocent or not has nothing to do with it in a kill-or-be-killed war zone. Nevermind the fact that our opponents don't wear uniforms to distinguish themselves from civilians, nor do they shy from using civilian buildings as bases of operation (hospitals, churches, schools), or using civilians to assist in the war effort by providing information, ammunition, etc. They know our conventional rules of war and use it against us. Are you ignoring these realities of modern war because they are grotesque? Who do you want to live, Johnny the Marine or the foreign boy that might shoot him if given the chance?

Part of being objective is the ability to look at things from other peoples perspectives,

It would be more correct to say that being objective requires looking at the evidence presented. By saying "other peoples perspectives" you are opening the door for any number of logical fallacies, the most obvious being relativist fallacy.

the family of the murdered boy is probably not blamimg their government for getting them into this mess.

They're probably blaming the Great Satan. They should be blaming themselves. Get out of a war zone if you value your life. Do not provide safe harbor for aggressors if you value your life.

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Well said or not, I dont see what it has to do with killing innocent people. Part of being objective is the ability to look at things from other peoples perspectives, the family of the murdered boy is probably not blamimg their government for getting them into this mess.

Jay, for what it is worth I agree. Killing innocent people is the shittiest part of war, be it an accident or the act of a couple of borderline sociopaths but it has also been a part of warfare since the battlefield became, wherever the army was, and not some open piece of ground suitable for the maneuver of cavalry and vantage points for the guns.

If the men who are claimed to have murdered the kid did what is claimed then they will certainly be punished, and i have no problem with that. As for posing with the dead and taking trophies are we to remove these men from the battlefield for offending kinder, gentler sensibilities? The dead man doesn't care and the soldiers obviously didn't. No ones rights were violated. Is it repulsive? Sure. Are you going to volunteer to do the job instead of them?

What was it that Robert E Lee said... “It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it.”

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