Game On in Iraq: Iranian Quds and Militias Suffer a, um, Setback

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Paladin, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    pretty weird that so many soldiers had possible TBI but no other injuries! I think the army is grabbing anybody within a 200 meter radius of the impact area or something!

    side note as I was typing that it reminded me of an AF bomb loading fact. Every now & then a loading/handling crew would drop a bomb - it happens when you load and unload thousands of bombs during an exercise or actual mission. But you would be amazed at how many people working on the flight line see it happen and their first reaction is to stick their fingers in their ears! :lol:
    Suffice it to say if you are that close to a 500 pound tritonal bomb and it explodes, hearing loss is the least of your worries! :shep:
  2. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    No doubt it's a leftist plot.
  3. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    no it's just the army knowing if they don't screen for TBI and people later start showing symptoms, whoever was in charge and didn't follow proper medical protocol might be in trouble. Basically it's a CYA move. But whatever gets the injured proper treatment is okay by me.
  4. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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  5. Ten Lubak

    Ten Lubak Salty Dog

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    No way
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  6. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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  7. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Since this has been gnawing at me for a bit now, let me just weigh-in on this particular aspect. What, exactly, would oldfella have gained by saying he refused to fight because it was an illegal war?

    Sure, he would have had the moral high-ground, but that's literally it. He most certainly would have been court-marshaled, which means not only would he have been tossed out of the US military, he'd have also had to serve time in Leavenworth, a military prison which has a reputation for being rather harsh on inmates. After release, he would have been stripped of his military benefits (which are substantial), possibly denied the right to vote, and absolutely been unable to find a job that paid him a decent wage. And for what? He wouldn't have stopped the invasion of Iraq, he probably wouldn't have even saved the life of one Iraqi civilian. He absolutely would have given up the ability to provide for his family, as well as his own well-being in his later years.

    It is easy to say that you'd report any wrong-doing when you've got nothing on the line. But it is entirely different when literally everything you have is on the line if you come forward and make a complaint. I say this as a whistleblower. From '03 - '05, I worked for a company that supplied equipment to the US military. I caught them knowingly shipping sub-standard parts to the military. At that point, I had a choice. I could either keep my mouth shut, and keep my job, or I could report them to the Feds.

    I was lucky, the job paid shit wages (and had no real benefits), and I had no one to support, other than myself. The worst that could have happened to me is that I wound up in another shit job, paying the same shit wages, with the same shit benefits (if any). So, I reported them. Had I been making a decent wage, had decent benefits, and had a family to support, I might have opted differently. You can't eat a clear conscience. You can't pay a doctor's bill with one, either.

    It's easy to say you'd opt to be honorable when you're not starving, it's quite another thing to be forced to choose between honor and starvation when you're starving. Or know that the end result of you being honorable is starvation.
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  8. spot261

    spot261 I don't want the game to end

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    He would probably have gained nothing, but what he lost or gained wasn't the point.

    We've seen the worst blight of human history come about because individuals applied the kind of reasoning you describe in vast numbers and no, in the first instance Hitler's war machine wasn't involuntary. Even later the main motivator for the vast majority of troops would have been what they stood to lose rather than fanaticism.

    I get the point about having children to feed, etc, but I have indeed walked away from at least one position on the basis of lesser moral principles and would do so again with the full blessing of my family, so I reject the idea I have no comparable experience set. It is indeed difficult to take a moral high ground when you have a family to feed, but how far exactly does that extend where in a modern, stable society you are making the claim the state gives you a genuine choice between killing innocent people or feeding your kids?

    As for being put in jail, the US has no right to put a conscientious objector in jail or bring criminal charges, even if they are active military personnel. Perhaps the issue isn't just about what was happening in the Middle East but also at home?
  9. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    There were a handful of US military people who refused to participate in the Iraq invasion. Those who didn’t flee the country were, in fact, jailed. What on earth makes you think that a country which is going to ignore international law when it comes to invading a foreign country is going to adhere to any that protects a conscientious objector?
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  10. spot261

    spot261 I don't want the game to end

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    Realistically I did not.

    Which is all the more reason for people to take a stand.

    We talk about Trump, Brexit, the rise of the Far Right, but let's not forget that the lessons of WW2 extend beyond the political sphere and into very real questions about the culpability of the individual.
  11. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Socialist

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    Let's not pretend that @oldfella1962 had any interest in acting morally, even if his government made that easy to do. He clearly doesn't give a shit.
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  12. spot261

    spot261 I don't want the game to end

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    That's why my comments were targeted at him, instead of others who have served, because it doesn't seem to have registered yet with him that the Iraq invasion was a BAD THING and that should be taken into consideration when boasting about it. He quite explicitly states he doesn't even ask himself the question and sees that as a point of pride.

    It's one thing to be proud of how well you did your job, another to have had nearly twenty years to reflect on the reasons that job existed and not realise that no matter how well you did it the job itself was wrong.
  13. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    Sorry spot but I disagree with your reasoning. If others served & supported the same general mission that I did how do their feelings (pride, regret, sadness, etc) about it give them a pass? :shrug:
    If anything feeling regret would make them a hypocrite! They know it's not "morally right" yet they continue to serve! And like The Night Funky mentioned I didn't see spot261 anywhere on my paycheck!

    And Rick you are right up to a point: I really don't give a shit...about what you think in this matter. I didn't see your name on the check either.

    And spot unlike you I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed , I don't have a college degree and can't just walk away and get another position. It was a tremendous struggle for me to master my craft by the time the war started. The U.S. doesn't have a competing military- a minor league - that I could join and take a pay cut. I'd be the worst husband & father in the world if I threw my career away. Sorry I can't save the world but I can damn sure save my family. Yes, my family is my #1 priority! That's the mission I undertook when I got married and said "I do" - that's the oath I took. Then I took another oath to enlist and rinsed & repeated every four years - and I'm still serving and working with soldiers but I just don't wear a uniform anymore.

    Bottom line whether I beat myself up over my choices or celebrate them, I am no more morally bankrupt than the military members who did the same job but have regrets or feel conflicted.
    X amount of innocent people suffered regardless. If I punch you in the face and laugh or punch you in the face and cry your outcome is the same.
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  14. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Socialist

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    And this is the nub of your problem. You admit to not being so sharp, but also insist on making subtle judgements about moral philosophy.
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  15. K.

    K. Sober

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    Perhaps, but I think @oldfella1962 has stumbled onto a relevant aspect: One might well question the material difference between American soldiers who fight for their corporate masters with a bad or a good conscience. But that should be an indictment of the sentimental apologist, not a defense of the cynic.
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  16. K.

    K. Sober

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    So a crime isn't a crime if it pays? The only crimes are charitable?
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  17. spot261

    spot261 I don't want the game to end

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    I believe you are a great deal cleverer than you either realise or let on, and I'm far from being the best and brightest, but it doesn't matter either way.

    My name may not have been on the check, but that's a terrible argument when you think it through. I wasn't on the payroll of the US army so have no "official" standing and thus have no valid opinion.

    I also wasn't on the payroll in 1945. Neither were you.

    Can I not condemn the Nazis if I'm not a 1940s era German soldier? Can you?

    What, in your view, would be a reasonable point at which a soldier could legitimately refuse to follow an order, despite it being their job to do so?

    No one can expect an individual soldier to bear responsibility for the big picture, that would be absurd, but the fact that you "don't care" what people think is what stands out for some of us. It appears that what you are saying is you see no problem with simply following orders without ever questioning why or being willing to consider the impact of those orders, or in other words You'd have killed any one of us without question if ordered to do so.

    I don't doubt there were German troops who came home extremely proud of fighting for Hitler, or worse for doing some unspeakable things during the course of the war. By your logic their pride would be justified because they had a job to do and did it well, regardless of what that job was or how it impacted others. Likewise there will be many who realised after the fact how they had been misled and taken to a place no one had any right to take them.

    It's not a question of giving someone else a "pass", it's the observation that you present your time in "the sandbox" as being something that will impress people and led you some sort of mystique. Others, like Anc, who were there take a very different tack and acknowledge that there's a wide gulf between being proud of your performance and failing to place that in a wider context.

    For most of us (as in the human race, not just WF) the Iraq War was a crime, both morally and in terms of international law. The US Army does not qualify as a legitimate authority in that regard because without legal justification they had no place launching an invasion. Likewise Congress cannot be a legitimate authority when they are ordering something which is a crime, nor can the POTUS, the Senate, or anyone else. The defence "I was following orders" is no defence at all because if the order to invade was a criminal act (which it was), the same applies to every single order which cascaded down in the process of making that happen. Organised crime doesn't become acceptable because the organisation happens to be the US government.

    Smaller countries frequently earn the mantle of "rogue state" for that very reason if the perpetrators cannot be brought to justice by the international community and their officials become seen as legitimate targets for assassination, which you yourself have defended recently on the basis that "he was a threat to me and mine". You and your leaders were a threat to "me and mine" for a lot of innocent people and the US gets away by virtue of simply being too big to hold to account, not due to some special qualities which make it the land of the free. Would an Iraqi killing you tomorrow be get the same leeway because you once fought against his people? Certainly those defending themselves against you got labelled terrorists.

    Do you not begin to see why so many of us resent the US and her tendency to act in her own interest but call it "aid" when almost anyone else would be branded criminals or terrorists for the same (or even lesser) behaviours?
  18. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    when I say "not so sharp" I am generally comparing myself to others in my technical/career field. This wouldn't have anything to do with my aptitude in the area of philosophical reasoning. You can be weak in one area yet strong in others - it's not "all or nothing" when it comes to mental abilities, as you hopefully already realize. Does that clear things up?
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  19. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    it's a moot point - you may consider general U.S military actions a "crime" but the U.S. justice system does not. The U.S. taxpayers apparently do not because my paycheck never bounced. That said they have a prosecution in place for actual "war crimes" and obviously I violated none of those or I would be in prison.
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  20. K.

    K. Sober

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    Not generally true, but in those cases in which the US justice system believes the military is not committing crimes, they do so on the basis of a morality that you reject. YOU believe the actions are wrong.
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  21. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    "No one can expect an individual soldier to bear responsibility for the big picture, that would be absurd, but the fact that you "don't care" what people think is what stands out for some of us." - spot261

    Don't misunderstand me, I care what some specific people think - I just don't care what "everybody" thinks because "everybody" has an opinion
    which they are entitled to.

    I do not try to "impress" anybody about serving. Yes I talk about it and my experience does lend itself to more credibility in many cases but not all. There is no mystique about it because a lot of people did much more demanding things, like Anc for example. Anc is much more intelligent & educated than I am and his field of study would carry more weight in a "big picture" discussion no doubt about it. But he was there doing a different task but supporting the same overall mission. That's the point I think you're missing - he presents himself better so if he personally killed hundreds (not saying he did) and didn't talk about it then that makes it more palatable? I'm just trying to figure out your thought process.
  22. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    If YOU were a U.S. soldier and believed the specific actions you took were wrong (or even that the whole she-bang was wrong) then it would behoove you to quit I guess. Apparently thousands of U.S. soldiers (myself included) did not strongly object, because only a small fraction chose to quit.
  23. K.

    K. Sober

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    That is literally the opposite of your position only a few posts up.
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  24. Tuttle

    Tuttle Listen kid, we're all in it together.

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    I like Oldfellaforge much better than I liked Daytonforge, though I confess I still skim past it, well, most of it anyway.
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  25. spot261

    spot261 I don't want the game to end

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    More that Anc seems to look back on the events with some degree of thoughtfulness, he acknowledges what happened and what his role was and he's clearly given it some thought since. Whether he feels the war was justified is another matter entirely but if he does it's because he's reasoned it out and drawn that conclusion.

    You seem not to do that, you seem to treat the fact that it was your job as being enough and from the perspective of people like Rick and myself who have, on a smaller scale, been civilians living amongst or close to ongoing conflicts between an army and a paramilitary that's scary as fuck. We (or at least I, shouldn't presume to speak for others) see this affable, likeable and jovial person who sees no problem with the fact that in not dissimilar circumstances he had no problem being the armed occupier who would shoot someone for no reason other than it being what paid the bills and someone told him to.

    As I have mentioned before, one of the most prominent memories of my own childhood was being in Warrington town centre when an IRA bomb exploded and the terror of being helpless and small amongst adults who were equally terrified and helpless. Iraq represents that times a thousand so forgive me if I don't celebrate the invasion or the even worse evils it led to in the form of ISIS. I've had the smallest, tiniest taste of what those people have experienced and that was more than enough.

    I don't know exactly where Rick lives but there are entirely realistic scenarios where had life gone just a little differently I'd have been a soldier patrolling Belfast and he'd be someone it was my job to shoot. If US/UK relations had gone differently over the past 50 years it's not inconceivable that you'd have been invading us and not Iraq and it would have been your job to shoot me for defending my home.

    You stated upthread:

    and doubtless you did nothing that violated your militaries policies, but US law had and still has no jurisdiction in Iraq which is not itself based upon a crime committed by the nation itself. There are absolutely people who committed outright murder in Iraq walking free, wearing medals and in a least one case sharing drinks with the President. US law shouldn't really being in the equation where the US had no right being, much less when it so clearly political biased.

    And thus some of us view the US with a skepticism you find distasteful. Perhaps trying to see it from an outside perspective might explain why we don't buy the party line so readily.
  26. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    not at all. If you don't want to fight, who needs you? Get the fuck out and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. That said if you join the military and are genuinely shocked that the job might involve killing, you're a dumb fuck - so either way who needs you?
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  27. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    and I respect your decision! You're the master of your own time-management domain after all.
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  28. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    "More that Anc seems to look back on the events with some degree of thoughtfulness, he acknowledges what happened and what his role was and he's clearly given it some thought since. Whether he feels the war was justified is another matter entirely but if he does it's because he's reasoned it out and drawn that conclusion." - spot261

    well good for Anc! Give the man a round of applause! His "reasoning it out" will no doubt bring people back from the dead. Just the very thought of that noble deed has enriched my life and given me a new perspective.
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  29. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Whereas you were "just following orders." In a post-draft era, that's interesting.
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  30. T.R

    T.R Don't Care

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    Seriously, this entire back and forth has been ridiculous. I don't know why you keep humoring that moron.
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