Which is worse?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Oklahoma, May 10, 2004.

  1. Oklahoma

    Oklahoma Member

    1. A government invades a country, and has its troops beating people up to see if they can get "information" out of them. Soldiers break into people's houses regularly, and at random, to try to catch insurgents and terrorists. The leader of the country that did the invading is perfectly aware of the situation, and is not ashamed to say so when asked.

    2. A government invades a country, and has its troops beating people up to see if they can get "information" out of them. Soldiers break into people's houses regularly, and at random, to try to catch insurgents and terrorists. The leader of the country that did the invading is aware of the situation, but when asked, lies about it and claims he/she had no idea and is disgusted.

    3. A government invades a country, and has its troops beating people up to see if they can get "information" out of them. Soldiers break into people's houses regularly, and at random, to try to catch insurgents and terrorists. The leader of the country that did the invading is not aware of the situation, and may or may not care.
  2. minjeig

    minjeig Member

    im torn between #1 and #2, but i think i'd say that #1 is worse. at least with #2 the president is sending the message that it's not ok, even if he doesn't believe it. he's not endorsing it to other people.
  3. I’ll give you a personal opinion of what is worse.

    Being at the mall and when a person from another country drives a gas tanker in the lobby and explode it killing all of your friends and leaving you alive with burns all over your body and then finding out Sadam had paid his family $25,000 for the deed.

    A person from another country gave a terrorist a nerve agent and the information how to use it so he could use it to kill everyone in your city.

    If a person from another country would take over an airplane you are riding on and fly it into a large business building killing you and your family and thousands of other innocent persons.

    It a person from another country blew up an embassy’s killing hundreds of innocent civilians.

    If a person from another country blew up a Navy Ship and killed your father, brother or sister on the ship.

    If an evil person wanting to keep political power blew up a schoolhouse and police station in your neighborhood to do so.

    A leader of Iraq had taken over the governments of the entire collection of Gulf States and blackmailed the world.

    It’s not a tidy world!

  4. DoggoD

    DoggoD Member

    its hard to dissagree with that Changeyourlatitude. The simple fact is that there are better ways to go about this. The reason I vote is that I am under the impression that the people I vote for would know of these better ways. Unfortunatly this time I was decieved.
  5. DarkLunacy

    DarkLunacy Senior Member

    Again brought back to a Kurt quote "Kill the greater and lesser of two evils"

    Latitude are you basiclly saying better them than you? I think 3 is the worst because the leader headed this war and should know and offer swift fucking punishment about knowing. Which they wont. They'll tell the truth about not knowing and then say "investigations pending" followed by a long and legnthy process to investigate one of many incidents and going after people instead of problems.
  6. Balbus

    Balbus Members

    If people from another country gave money so a terrorist organisation could blow up people.

    Oh but wait that was US citizens, yep those Irish Americans who donated money to the IRA knowing it would be spent in killing the ‘English’. Or there is the man pardoned by Bush senior even when he was known to have been involved in the blowing up of a Cuban airline killing 70 innocent people.

    If people taught others how to torture and terrorise innocent people.

    Oh but that was the US government that has been training people how to do such things for years both at the School of the Americas and in the field.

  7. Dark

    Don’t be so dark. The world is a scary place but the American government didn’t make it that way. It is the nature of man, evil exists in all of us, deny that and lie to yourself.

    My guess on the torture case in Iraq is the top American leadership hinted, “Stand on those guy and get some information to locate the remaining bad guys” and when applied by soldiers it got out of hand.

    Now I feel personally if a soldier surrendered during battle leave him alone and let the new government decide when it is safe to return him to society. But if a “freedom fighter” in civilian clothing is caught trying to kill school children or blow up a police station I would have no problem standing him on a box with a hood on his head wired for sound. I wouldn’t have electricity on the wires but I would want to know where his friends that think like him are. The act would be criminal but what he attempted to do would let me sleep at night soundly.

  8. Balbus

    Balbus Members

    But if a "freedom fighter" in civilian clothing is caught trying to kill school children or blow up a police station I would have no problem standing him on a box with a hood on his head wired for sound. I wouldn’t have electricity on the wires but I would want to know where his friends that think like him are. The act would be criminal but what he attempted to do would let me sleep at night soundly.


    The only problem is that the US has supported many groups that it termed ‘freedom fighters’ but which others called ‘terrorists’. At other times armies of occupation have been fought against by what we later called ‘the resistance’ but which they called ‘saboteurs’ and ‘terrorists’.

    The problem is circumstance. Are you saying that if a person in the French resistance had killed a French nazi collaborator and that person happened to be a policeman you would have then been happy for the resistance fighter to be tortured by the SS for information.

    Well I presume your answer is no, and the circumstances are different they were the Nazi’s and you are Americans. So just how far do you stand by this statement?

    As to not having electricity in the wires, the thought of what happens can be a tool but what happens if the person calls your bluff, torture is all about being in control, if they then don’t use real electricity the next time the interrogator losses control. There are CIA interrogation manuals that will explain just that.

  9. I could hardly associate the French resistance with the wholesale killing of children and police taking place in Iraq.

    I get your message loud and clear. But are you saying?

    “If it were your home country and the Homeland Defense Department had announced they have firm substantiated intelligence that four mass killing will take place in the next 24 hours. Then a citizen or visitor to your country was caught in the act of committing the first attempted mass killings, within an hour an elementary school was blown up. Would you serve him steak and lobster or ENCOURAGE HIM TO TALK?”

  10. showmet

    showmet olen tomppeli

    I'm not sure what's the most frightening thing about that statement - that you condone the use of coercion and torture or that you do so despite being clear that it is, in your own words, "criminal".

    The fact is we are either talking about POWs or we are talking about suspected criminals being detained pending trial - it's a grey area. But either way, they deserve protections from the kind of criminal acts you seem to condone. There are good reasons why these safeguards are in place in international law. If you remove strict adherence to the safeguards which protect suspects and detainess you open the system to precisely the kind of abuses we have been seeing in the news so much recently. You encourage a culture in which soldiers or prison guards feel free to trample over the safeguards protecting the "innocent till proven guilty". These are things we in the West have fought very hard to put in place. Once you start doing that, you are no better than a tinpot dictator torturing "suspects" on a whim with impunity. You don't seem to understand the importance of the legal rights which protect detainees and POWs. They are of crucial importance - they distinguish "us" from "them". ("Them" being backwards regimes like Saddam's.)

    Don't be so ready to throw civilisation out of the window.
  11. I totally admire your respect for the law of human rights.

    What if the wholesale killing of thousands would take place again and again? What about their human rights?

    What if your brother or sister, mother or father were within the victims of the second bomber? What about their rights?

    What about the thousands of lives the remaining two people could take as you respect “ONE” puke of humanity’s rights?

    You caught him with the mass killing weapon, a trial isn’t necessary to place firmly in your mind his and his comrades intentions. I would do the “scare tactic” to save innocent bloodshed fuck the law and his nuts.

    PS. I am w***ing as I write this. I’m too dim to fill in the blanks?

  12. showmet

    showmet olen tomppeli

    Confusion of two issues. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    The atrocities which may or not have been committed by those suspects detained should have no relation to the person's treatment other than in sober, calm and reflective appraisal by those who are properly skilled, qualified, and most importantly accountable. What you're talking about is "an eye for an eye", in which the troops / guards are judge, jury and - sometimes - executioner. Our hard-won legal safeguards protect the innocent-until-proven-guilty from rash summary judgements. Because it is an environment in which rash judgements are made - vigilantism - which is so open to mistakes and abuse. As we have seen. You sound very keen to trample over proper judicial process, indicating that you misunderstand its crucial importance in making "us" better than the regime that has been toppled in Iraq. Lose that and you lose any claim you may have had to moral authority.

    You are no better than your enemy if you commit the same abuses as him. You may believe your cause to be just, and your mind may be clear on the matter of guilt - but you may be wrong. That's why it's not a soldier's place to make those judgements. That's why us civilised people unequivocally condemn this torture. In all instances, without exception.
  13. Show

    Go back to my last post and tell me were you the interrogator in each instance what action would you take?

    I'm not talking about the abuses of general prisoners; I'm speaking of those who were placed in custody in the act of killing innocents.

    I understand blanket abuse treatment of general population prisoners to be wrong. I'm talking about if you could change the future of death for thousands of people verses sitting on your hands worshiping the law.

  14. showmet

    showmet olen tomppeli

    Nup, I think you're missing the point I made - there's a principle at stake. Start waiving the principle in certain cases and you end up with general abuse of the system. Strict adherence to our hard-won values is of paramount importance, because of the few instances when you may make the wrong decision. Doesn't matter a jot what your assumptions or presumptions are. All detainees deserve full protection from the possibility of abuse. This is to protect them from clouded, emotive on-the-spot decisions, which are notoriously unreliable.

    You simply cannot remove due process from the equation at any point and still expect to command moral authority or respect.

    And situations are never likely to be as clear-cut as the example you propose. If they *seem* that clear-cut, you've probably made a mistake... either way, it's *never* a soldier's place to overstep the rights of those they detain. They cannot and must not be given that authority - our legal safeguards are clear on that for very good reasons. Don't trample and trash the foundations of our liberty.
  15. This line of thought is clearly why the United States elected NOT to be part of the WORLD COURT.

    Your conclusions are a recipe for suicide of a nation to a weaker force demonstrating the ability and resolve to destroy you with your rules and pure evil. What you state would leave Israel, for example in court battles as thousands of citizens are killed.

    Soldiers will always decide the fate of an enemy. When the lawyers and liberal congress get involved in the pure reality of war “one on one” of you or I die in war the enemy will pay.

    It was evident in Viet Nam, very evident; you play by one rule and the enemy another. The soldiers equalize the reality back to the middle from the far left of intellectual thought to reality.

    The same will occur in Iraq, it’s only common sense.

    I presented to you, your family and law on the scales of justice and you can’t reckon a response. Soldiers have the same problem and people are trying to kill them. In the reality of your family being of less value than the rule of law reality strikes a soldier and he will always say NO! His family is his fellow soldiers who die and are wounded. To him, to have one of his fellow soldiers go to jail for justifiable methods to save others will always result in one outcome. Take no prisoners! Just KILL THEM! If they can be no use why protect those who kill your brother? IT IS ONLY COMMON SENSE AND I DON’T KNOW HOW IT COULD BE PLAINER THAN THAT! It just can’t be rationalized any differently! You just can’t fight a war with an enemy which cuts off your head when they catch you and you give them three hot’s and a cot and room service! Soldiers will always move it back to reality!

  16. LuciferSam

    LuciferSam Member

    But then we can't claim to be any better than our opponents. If you want war and violence to just recycle itself than that may work. Look at how opposing radical nuts Sharon and the Palestinian militants are one-upping each other in the violence in Israel/Palestine, it's headed nowhere good fast. Being just as brutal as the enemy may be, or even worse, is not going to win anyone's minds over, especially if you're claiming to be the "just" or "right" side. We need to progress from simple and dated Hammurabi's codes like "an eye for an eye." We're smarter than that, or at least we should be. We claim to be liberators, bringers of freedom, etc. We should at least act like it.
  17. Put yourself on the battlefield. You get caught...beheaded! They get caught three meals a cot and AC, Cable TV and Red Cross visits.

    Level playing field or NO prisons!

  18. showmet

    showmet olen tomppeli

    So you're also advocating that Israel's extremely questionable policies - those which involve the casual slaughter of innocent Palestinians - should also be overlooked along with our torture of Iraqi detainees? Right on!

    So... the torture you seek to justify here was an "equalisation to reality"? I'd suggest you're seriously mistaken here. It was an example of power corrupting. It was an example of those who purport to hold the moral high ground becoming as bad as those they disdain.

    No, that's a total misrepresentation. You presented a black-and-white scenario when the issues are always far more complex. Complex enough and so open to mistakes and abuses that we require calm, considered, qualified and accountable people to make these kinds of decisions - they cannot be made by emotionally charged, poorly trained troops. Leave it up to troops and you get mistakes, you get vigilantism, you get abuse, you get torture. We have rules which prevent the vigilantism you seem to hold so dear. We have haebeas corpus, the right to fair trial, the right to humane treatment. These are the fundamental freedoms which underpin our liberty. Remove them and you start on a road towards despotism.

    The mistake here is the claim of "justifiable methods" - I've explained the reason why we have rules which prevent the execution of summary justice. If you're suggesting that soldiers rely so heavily on breaking the rules which underpin liberty (you'd know more about this than me, having military experience) that they are prepared to undertake further breaches in order to continue an adherence to such barbaric and despotic vigilantism, then there exists a far sicker state of affairs in the military than I had ever thought. I don't know if the depressing state of affairs you imply is true, in which soldiers have so very little discipline and regard for their responsibilities that they are prepared to execute summary justice, and to act with thoughtlessness, barbarity and an entire lack of consideration for the importance of their role. I suspect not. I certainly hope not.

    I for one hope that most military personnel have more professionalism and more of a love of the foundations of liberty than that. And I suspect this is largely the case. I suspect they're not all in favour of torture and murder. I suspect some treat their role with responsibility, professionalism, respect and dignity. I suspect some adhere to international conventions (such as Geneva) on the responsibilities of the military. I suspect and hope that most military personnel would despise and utterly condemn the torture of Iraqi prisoners.

    This is pure rabid hyperbole. You fundamentally misunderstand the principles of liberty upon which the USA was founded. Do you have such little regard for the basis of the freedoms you enjoy every day? Unless you are prepared to treat everyone with respect and dignity and afford the privelege of due process to even the most heinous criminal, then you cannot ever make the claim to love liberty and justice. In other words, you have no right to condemn human rights abuses in any country if you are openly condoning them yourself. The government of the USA and Britain understands this, that's why these actions have been officially condemned. Unfortunately you don't seem to understand it, and continue to justify torture. This makes you no better than your foe.

    Torture should never be "normality". By seeking to justify this torture you are trampling upon the ideals which underpin our liberty. You are suggesting that it's OK to employ the techniques of despotic regimes. I'd take strong issue with your standpoint on this subject. That's not the way we do things in the civilised world, my friend. Please join us. :)
  19. showmet

    showmet olen tomppeli

    This is a truly despicable attitude. You are demonstrating that you expect the actions of your government to uphold no standards, to behave exactly like Saddam's regime. You really don't understand America, do you?!
  20. LuciferSam

    LuciferSam Member

    Hey well I probably wouldn't agree with their decision to behead me :) But I don't wish the same thing upon them. They may well be extremist nutjobs but they're still human and entitled to their rights. Beheading them to reciprocate their brutal methods ain't gonna accomplish anything. Again, we should stick to our principles, or become no better than they.

    Also what better way is there to feed the propaganda campaigns of the Islamic militants than to cruelly abuse and/or kill prisoners as we please, and destroy our own moral standing as we claim we're here to help the local people and liberate them. The headline "GREAT SATAN TORTURES AND KILLS OUR CAPTIVE BROTHERS!" would rile the Arab masses (that aren't necessarily extremist nutjobs) - and not to mention world opinion - and turn them against us much quicker than "GREAT SATAN GIVES OUR CAPTIVES BROTHERS ROOM & BOARD!"

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