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Author Topic: U.S. Troops Captured?
Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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Am I late to this? Chow anyone?
Farmer: U.S. Troops in Iraq Taken Captive
quote:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A farmer claiming to have witnessed an attack on a U.S. military checkpoint said Sunday that insurgents swarmed the scene, killing the driver of a Humvee before taking two of his comrades captive. The U.S. military has only said the soldiers are missing.


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As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Booby-trapped bodies of missing GI's recovered

quote:
The U.S. military recovered the bodies Tuesday of two missing soldiers from an area it said was rigged with explosives. An Iraqi official said the Americans were tortured and killed in a "barbaric" way.
Before I say what I'm about to say, let me make it clear that I respect and sympathize with these men and their families, and I abhor that they were kidnapped and, apparently, tortured and murdered. Were I a religious man, I would pray to God for their souls.

But it is much harder to get outraged about it when we refuse to ban the use of torture ourselves. When we've abused prisoners at Abu Gharib, and our leaders refuse to accept responsibility for it, putting it all on a few grunts on the site. When we've reportedly abused prisoners at Gitmo, and remanded others to countries to be tortured there. When our Vice-President lobbies hard against the bill that would ban mistreatment of prisoners, and the President threatens to use his first ever veto on it; and when it passes by an overwhelming margin (I believe the Senate vote was 90-9) making any veto unlikely to stick, signs it, but attatches a "signing statement" saying basically that he's free to ignore it if he feels like it.

When US soliders were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, I was appalled. That's the sort of thing barbarians do....not civilized people like we're supposed to be.

I can't feel the same outrage here.

Mind you, I am not by any stretch of the imagination saying that I think if our treatment of prisoners throughout this conflict had been 100% correct, this torture would not have happened (though I do feel the revelations of the abuses at Abu Gharib, in particular, have strengthened the insurgency). But we have only ourselves to blame if the rest of the world fails to be too upset at the treatment of our captured men and women.

John McCain wrote that when he was mistreated in captivity by the Viet Cong, the knowledge that our own troops were treating prisoners humanely was a source of strength to him. We may still be treating our captives far better than the insurgents and terrorists treat theirs. But the fact that our leadership apparently is complacent about the abuses we have committed, to the point of insisting it's their right to conintue should they find it necessary, is surrendering an awfully big piece of the moral high ground.

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First of Two
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Yes, because nekkid pictures and a koran with torn pages = disembowelment.

You sicken me. And considering the source, that's pretty damned bad.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Steve
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Yes, because nekkid pictures and a koran with torn pages = disembowelment.

You sicken me. And considering the source, that's pretty damned bad.

Before losing your lunch, you might want to actually read the post in question. He specifically said, "We may still be treating our captives far better than the insurgents and terrorists treat theirs", so no equality was implied.

Oh, and if you think the torn Koran and naked pictures were the worst forms of torture used by the US, you might also want to occasionally read a paper.

But I have to disagree with EQT. I don't see how American actions, terrible as they are, make this any less outrageous.

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Echinodermata Q. Taft:
John McCain wrote that when he was mistreated in captivity by the Viet Cong, the knowledge that our own troops were treating prisoners humanely was a source of strength to him. We may still be treating our captives far better than the insurgents and terrorists treat theirs.

Still?

Don't you know that while McCain was in captivity, people with views comparable to yours were trying to convince the world that we threw our prisoners out of helicopters and had them tortured in tiger cages?

Securing humane treatment for prisoners is always a challenge, and we should always do better. But your claim that we are less careful about human rights in Iraq than we were in Vietnam flies in the face of knowledge concerning the latter.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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EQT didn't say we were less careful now with human rights than in Vietnam.

But we are complacent about it, and the lack of outrage about Abu Gharib among my countrymen makes me sad.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
But I have to disagree with EQT. I don't see how American actions, terrible as they are, make this any less outrageous.

I don't understand -- no, I reject -- the reasoning that attempts to justify the actions of one side by saying the other side did something just as bad, or that they did something 1000 times worse. It's juvenile and ethically unsound. It's beneath us, or it should be -- which I believe was ultimately John McCain's point, too.

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Fusca 1976
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
Don't you know that while McCain was in captivity, people with views comparable to yours were trying to convince the world that we threw our prisoners out of helicopters and had them tortured in tiger cages?

Not quite exactly.

That your South Vietnamese allies were doing that, and that you refused to interfere with that, because it was their "internal affairs".

Luís Henrique

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Feijoada:
Not quite exactly.

That your South Vietnamese allies were doing that, and that you refused to interfere with that, because it was their "internal affairs".

The claim of the anti-war left, documented in my links, was that we forced prisoners out of our own in-flight helicopters, and that the South Vietnamese torturers were doing what we had taught them.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve:
But I have to disagree with EQT. I don't see how American actions, terrible as they are, make this any less outrageous.

I don't understand -- no, I reject -- the reasoning that attempts to justify the actions of one side by saying the other side did something just as bad, or that they did something 1000 times worse. It's juvenile and ethically unsound. It's beneath us, or it should be -- which I believe was ultimately John McCain's point, too.
I believe that was EQT's point. When our troops are tortured, to respond, "we only tortured them a little" or "it wasn't really torture" or "we don't torture, we just ship them to places that do" is ridiculous. Our response should be, "We don't torture." (and be telling the truth).

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Fusca 1976
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
The claim of the anti-war left, documented in my links, was that we through the prisoners out of our own in-flight helicopters, and that the South Vietnamese torturers were doing what we had taught them.

Well, that last part is quite credible, since that certainly happened in Latin America (Dan Mitrione).

Luís Henrique

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
I don't understand -- no, I reject -- the reasoning that attempts to justify the actions of one side by saying the other side did something just as bad, or that they did something 1000 times worse. It's juvenile and ethically unsound.

I don't know why you have trouble with understanding here, since Echinodermata Q. Taft explained it beautifully:

quote:
I do feel the revelations of the abuses at Abu Gharib, in particular, have strengthened the insurgency
We are fighting a war here that is going to be won either by the legitimately elected government of Iraq, or by the Sunni minority mass grave filler crowd. While coverup won't do, and the best way to address abuse publicity is to reduce abuses, failing to always keep disgraceful incidents in proper perspectives is damaging to prospects for the future most Iraqis desire -- and for exactly the reason EQT suggested. Insurgent recruiters likely say that Abu Gharib under the Americans is unchanged from under Saddam, or worse. Let's not allow them to say that even many Americans agree.

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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That you would be satisfied with being not as bad as Saddam is offensive, Steve.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Yes, because nekkid pictures and a koran with torn pages = disembowelment.

You sicken me. And considering the source, that's pretty damned bad.

And if you're not appalled that you are a citizen of a country where the ruling administration has fought the congress for its right to torture people, then you disgust me.

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Hope for the future! http://www.runobama.com

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
I don't understand -- no, I reject -- the reasoning that attempts to justify the actions of one side by saying the other side did something just as bad, or that they did something 1000 times worse. It's juvenile and ethically unsound.

I don't know why you have trouble with understanding here, since Echinodermata Q. Taft explained it beautifully:

quote:
I do feel the revelations of the abuses at Abu Gharib, in particular, have strengthened the insurgency
We are fighting a war here that is going to be won either by the legitimately elected government of Iraq, or by the Sunni minority mass grave filler crowd. While coverup won't do, and the best way to address abuse publicity is to reduce abuses, failing to always keep disgraceful incidents in proper perspectives is damaging to prospects for the future most Iraqis desire -- and for exactly the reason EQT suggested. Insurgent recruiters likely say that Abu Gharib under the Americans is unchanged from under Saddam, or worse. Let's not allow them to say that even many Americans agree.

I don't fail to understand anything, and don't you dare to impugn my loyalty, let alone John McCain's. If I believed that Abu Ghraib was unchanged from Saddam's time -- which I don't -- you'd damn well better believe I'd say so. My father served in WWII, and my mom's only brother gave up his life in that war, for my right to do exactly that.

As AnglRdr said: being "not as bad as Saddam" is not good enough.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Crap.

Considering the hatred and discontent I am spreading on a couple other threads... and my present polar opposite position to AnglRdr in most things... I have to admit that I am wholly with her on this one.

While I can look at Abu Graib and say, "That wasn't so bad," I shouldn't have to. We SHOULD have taken the higher road and NOT done things like that in the first place.

In this war, we should be abso-frocking-lute angels, and WAaaaayyyy above reproach. Dammit - we aren't.

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Roy012
Xboxing Day


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Frankly, I felt that some of the detail that some news organizations went into with regard to the condition of the bodies and the presumed cause of death was highly unnecessary.

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"Excuse me, homes, but could you tell me how to get back to the interstate?"

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