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What should be done about torture in Iraq

  • Apologize for the actions of a few and court martial the responsible parties

    Votes: 48 60.0%
  • Court martial but do not apologize

    Votes: 6 7.5%
  • Tell all to stick it up where sun does not shine since we still have better human rights record than

    Votes: 26 32.5%

  • Total voters
    80
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Discussion Starter #1
Almost all have shown strong reaction to the scandalous actions of a few soldiers in Iraq. What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here is how I see it

What did soldiers did is completely unacceptable. They violated international laws as well as military conduct rules. They HAVE to be court martialed and they need to throw the book at them to set an example for future. That being said, I think politicians should try not to get too involved. This is a military issue and should be dealt with by the military. If they fail, then the civilian leadership needs to take action by making example of the commanding officers. That also being said, I am getting ticked off at the europeans as well as most every other people around the world for trying to equate us with the scum of the earth. These people, with the exception of a few, are much worse than us when it comes torture. What also is in play is that this is part of 'war against terrorism' and these soldiers are seeing their comrades getting killled every day. Although none of this excuses their behaviour, it is a factor in why this may have happened. There will always be rotten eggs in the bunch but it is hypocrisy for the world to equate us with scum. We are there to help these guys out and spending billions of dollars and human lives and no one is thankful for anything. Even though I do not agree with him, sometimes I say screw em all and be an isolationist like Pat Buchanan says.
 

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Re: Here is how I see it

keremoner said:
I think politicians should try not to get too involved. This is a military issue and should be dealt with by the military.
Well yes, it certainly IS a military issue. But it's really MUCH bigger than that now that these horrific images have been repeatedly exposed on worldwide TV and print media. What must the average person think of the US now?

World opinion right now is that all of America is just as bad as Saddam was. Of course, we in this country know that is not true. As you said, there can be a bad apple in any group, but without a public apology to the world, we are nothing better than "Saddam, part two." And as bad as he was, at least Saddam was an Iraqi in Iraq... we're perceived as big bully, foreign occupiers trying to steal Arab oil out from under them... and now we're also sadists and butchers as well.

This war has not gone well at all. It's very scary what may come next.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Re: Here is how I see it

Blackura said:


Well yes, it certainly IS a military issue. But it's really MUCH bigger than that now that these horrific images have been repeatedly exposed on worldwide TV and print media. What must the average person think of the US now?

World opinion right now is that all of America is just as bad as Saddam was. Of course, we in this country know that is not true. As you said, there can be a bad apple in any group, but without a public apology to the world, we are nothing better than "Saddam, part two." And as bad as he was, at least Saddam was an Iraqi in Iraq... we're perceived as big bully, foreign occupiers trying to steal Arab oil out from under them... and now we're also sadists and butchers as well.

This war has not gone well at all. It's very scary what may come next.
Since we are the only super power now, there is no scenario under which we will be regarded highly by most of the world. Face it, we are the ones everyone love to hate despite our good deeds around the globe.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Here is how I see it

keremoner said:


Since we are the only super power now, there is no scenario under which we will be regarded highly by most of the world. Face it, we are the ones everyone love to hate despite our good deeds around the globe.
That much is true, definitely. Well said, Keremoner.

The actions of these guys is horrible and they need to be punished harshly. There's no question about it. We have the excellent record we do because we don't allow these kinds of things to happen, and we can't start now. We're better than that.

But does anyone really believe that these actions of these few guys represent the policies of the entire administration? 100,000 troops all over there for the purpose of torturing Iraqis? Maybe the military flew a few to DC so the President could personally torture them. With all due respect, give me a break. Any time you get 100,000 people involved in something, some of them are going to be bad people. It's terrible, but it doesn't mean that the administration, the people, the military, or the other troops approve of it.

Bush giving the interviews to the Arab networks was a good idea. We can't let a few REALLY bad apples ruin the good work we're doing over there. This is an open society with many rights, but along with rights come responsibility and (if necessary) punishment for violating others' rights. We have to show that to the Iraqis.

They need to be punished harshly, including jail time. Not just because of the moral implications of what they did (although that's certainly a good enough reason) but also because inciting anger among the Iraqi people is going to cost more American lives.

An apology would be a little much, though, because we need to show strength. Those guys screwed up big time. They need to be punished and the Iraqis need to know they're being punished (maybe televise their trial over there). But an apology would make it look like that's how the whole country is and it simply isn't true. To make it look like we were admitting so would make the problem even worse and maybe cost more lives that this already will.

We need to punish them because it's the right thing to do.

But who cares what people think? Like Keremoner said, they're going to hate us no matter what (not the Iraqis, most of them aren't going to really mind seeing the people who tortured them be tortured themselves, not that that means we should allow it, but the people who already have their freedom because hundreds of thousands of American troops died to give it to them (read: France).

It was terrible. We need to punish them severely. But for people to think that the actions of a few American troops (not even properly trained ones, at that) represents the country of 280+ million people (or its president) is simply foolish.

Punish them. Make an example of them. The rest of the force needs to know that this kind of behavior is not acceptable (and show that to the Iraqis). Then move on.

The next sin is going to be to use this as a political tool, but that's another conversation.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I liken the world despising us despite our good deeds to african americans despising republicans despite their good deeds (like civil rights legislation, giving minorities high profile positions in the administration, no child left behind legislation,........)
 

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I would have voted for another option if it was available:

Apologize for the actions of a few and court martial the responsible parties AND seriously question our current policies and whether those responsible for those policies made sound decisions.

Not apologizing = not acknowledging that anything done was wrong in my book (even with court martials).
 

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WOW, I wonder how many of you actually understand Military Justice (UCMJ), Orders, Superior-v-subordinate, torture-v-inappropriate actions, etc...

I would be willing to bet that very few that have commented truely understand what happened over there. After 21 years in the military (4 as an enlisted MP) I can not even make much comment on the actions over there since I was not present. Let the smoke clear and see whose career comes to a close. As far as an appology, it is not necessary at this point. What would the appology be for? Pictures? A group of Iraqis that are saying they were "tortured" in that prison? Do we believe these people? Oh yeah, these were the same freaking towel heads that were shooting up my fellow service members just months ago. Appology, I dont think so. OTOH, it is just my opinion.
 

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We consistently claim to be morally superior to the rest of the world, that is why actions like this are so troubling. We've put ourselves on a higher plane, so when we fail to live up to it you can expect the rest of the world to (rightfully so) gleefully call us on it. No different then the self-righteous jackass in your workplace.

While these are possibly "bad apples", I sincerely believe that any failure of an employee reflects a failure of management - this situation is no different. It doesn't mean heads should for sure roll at the top, but it does indicate a failure.

What's even more concerning is the seeming effort to cover this up. Even (supposedly) from Bush himself.
 

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imraw said:
WOW, I wonder how many of you actually understand Military Justice (UCMJ), Orders, Superior-v-subordinate, torture-v-inappropriate actions, etc...

I would be willing to bet that very few that have commented truely understand what happened over there. After 21 years in the military (4 as an enlisted MP) I can not even make much comment on the actions over there since I was not present. Let the smoke clear and see whose career comes to a close. As far as an appology, it is not necessary at this point. What would the appology be for? Pictures? A group of Iraqis that are saying they were "tortured" in that prison? Do we believe these people? Oh yeah, these were the same freaking towel heads that were shooting up my fellow service members just months ago. Appology, I dont think so. OTOH, it is just my opinion.
While I respect your opinion I'm not comfortable with the racial slur, please refrain.

We as the american people have every right to question what's going on here, and loudly.
 

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It seems that everyone (me included) thinks the members of the U.S. Military that "tortured" the Iraqis needed to be tried, convicted, and punished. But what is reasonable punishment. Since this happened in Iraq should we follow standard Islamic punishment? Should be female soldiers be stoned to death as Islamic women are for minor infractions of Koranic Law? Should the Officers in charge of that prison be beheaded with a great sword as is common in Saudi Arabia? Maybe beheading is too harsh and they simply should have their hands hacked off. As embarassing to the U.S. as this is, and as "humiliating" to the Iraqi prisoners as it was for being forced to play "naked twister", don't you think it might be time for a REALITY CHECK!!!!

Bad is we seem to think this was, it wasn't the Black Hole of Calcutta or My Lai, it wasn't Buchenwald, Auschwitz, or the Malmedy Massacre, it wasn't the Bataan Death March, and it sure as hell wasn't the Hanoi Hilton. As a nation we should be ashamed at what was done and make sure it doesn't happen again. Let's apply appropriate military justice and then get on with the business of winning this war on terror.
 

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Why do you guys keep putting torture in quotes? Is this some sort of sarcasm? Do you think what happened wasn't torture?
 

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Two thumbs up Allen!!! As I mentioned earlier, if you do not understand the system of Military Justice, then do not speak on it. "Torture" in quotes? Yes it is in quotes because there has been no proof of "torture", just some pictures.

Hey Neide, thank you for respecting peoples opinions. That is what makes this a great country. However, I do not think the word "towel head" is a racial slur. I can think of many others that are, so I chose not to use them. Once again, my right to express myself LOUDLY!!! I think after serving 21 years in the military (and still serving) and voting in every election since I turned 18 gives me the right to call a towel head a towel head. I am not a racist, I just can not stand extremist muslims. They would not have been in prison if they had not done something to be there (ie..shooting at my fellow service members, roadside bombs, etc) But then again, that is my opinion. I am sure that you will have another one after you read this.

That my friends, is a reality check!!! This is still the greatest country on the face of the earth, and to exercise our right to let others in the world know that from time to time is a great thing. Believe me, the people that were in charge will take charge, and military justice will be applied appropriately. I am sure it will not take the 25 years of TORTURE (notice no quotes) they suffered under Saddam to come to a resolution. Sometimes you bleeding hearts make me sick.
 

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While I do not use the term "towelhead", I do agree with IMRAW to a large degree. Might have something to do with 20+ years military myself

It is easy to sit back, and look at the "facts" that are published in the news, then scream court martial. Fact is, our news tends to be incomplete and biased. I do not know the details, and while I agree the evidence looks bad, I've not seen enough to ruin the lives of ALL the soldiers involved. If there is enough evidence that comes out later, maybe......

I can tell you, first hand, when you personally know someone that lost their lives due to radical extremism, it is easy to hold a very harsh view that could lead to a harsh reaction. Would I have done what a "few" soldiers did, I hope not.......but then I am not there getting shot at, abused in the streets, etc.

Bottom line, give them the benefit of the doubt until you've walked a mile in their shoes. If we got as upset when one of our own was "tortured" (I'm talking beheaded/hung, not taken a picture of....), maybe we be finishing up what went to Iraq to accomplish.
 

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keremoner said:
Nevermind neide. He is an apologist who thinks we are too arrogant, like good liberals think.
Keremoner, I almost count on you to discount me (and others) with the "liberal" tag. I'd be dissapointed if you didn't. It keeps you from actually addressing issues, doesn't it?
 

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mcclendons said:
While I do not use the term "towelhead", I do agree with IMRAW to a large degree. Might have something to do with 20+ years military myself

It is easy to sit back, and look at the "facts" that are published in the news, then scream court martial. Fact is, our news tends to be incomplete and biased. I do not know the details, and while I agree the evidence looks bad, I've not seen enough to ruin the lives of ALL the soldiers involved. If there is enough evidence that comes out later, maybe......

I can tell you, first hand, when you personally know someone that lost their lives due to radical extremism, it is easy to hold a very harsh view that could lead to a harsh reaction. Would I have done what a "few" soldiers did, I hope not.......but then I am not there getting shot at, abused in the streets, etc.

Bottom line, give them the benefit of the doubt until you've walked a mile in their shoes. If we got as upset when one of our own was "tortured" (I'm talking beheaded/hung, not taken a picture of....), maybe we be finishing up what went to Iraq to accomplish.
I do sincerely hope that those involved get a fair trial, and a fair outcome is had. I don't think we should a lynch mob after them, at all. My real concern is that the guys at the bottom of the totem pole, who may or may not have done these things, are going to take ALL OF the blame. I doubt we'll ever really know who up the chain was involved, and I doubt they will truly take responsibility for their actions and decisions. I hope they do, but I doubt it. Problem is, we'll never really know for sure.

Part of me is still hoping that these pictures were somebodies idea of a joke, and that the whole thing was staged so a soldier could send a funny photo to his buddies. I doubt that is the case, however.
 
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