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Battlefield brutality punishment?

suttichart.denpruektham
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6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?
ararmer1919
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6/9/2014 7:50:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

Aside from the fact that the guardian has a pretty "anti US military" philosophy, I'd like to point out that it did not provide a single instance where a US soldier, proven to have intentionally killed an innocent civilian was lightly punished for this crime. Now of course acts like this do happen, they named off three instances which is a pretty small number if you ask me, however when these rare acts occurs they ARE punished accordingly and brutally. I have seen It first hand so don't try and tell me they don't. The article also tried to make it sound like the random killings of civilians was "the norm". This is an utter lie. Their star whiteness, the maji guy or however his name was spelled, was IMHO a deserting pr*** who refused to deploy. This guy is a scumbag and his opinion can get shoved up his arse. All this "veterans against the war" blokes are scumbags. He recalled a time when a car approached a checkpoint and didn't stop so the guards opened fire. Sounds horrible right? Well what he doesn't tell you is the standard operating procedures that you MUST follow while on checkpoint duty or ECP. All vehicles approaching HAVE TO STOP. There are signs everywhere telling you this. Soldiers yelling it at you, and all other manners of communicating to the drivers that they MUST STOP. The reason for this is because we have a coward enemy who hides aiming innocent civilians and does things like, load his car full of explosives and blows up checkpoints. So when this vehicle failed to stop, the soldiers did what they had to do. First off the driver was a moron for not stopping, second off if the driver wasn't stoping what do you think is going through those soldiers heads? "Oh s*** it's a VBIED (vehicle borne improvised explosive device) and were all going to die. I guarantee you that YOU would have fired as well. He says that several other civilians were killed in the following engagement but fails to tell you who it was that exactly killed them.

In short the reason incidents like this happen is because of the bas**** coward enemy that we are fighting and if your pissed off about dead civilians then maybe you should do the intelligent thing and take it up with the jihadist.
neutral
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6/9/2014 9:59:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

The answer to your question is both yes and no.

#1 - There are cases of egregious violence at the hands of US Soldiers that have gone unreported. It is the sad fact of war, wherein a split second decision ... some are clearly made for poor reasons and some for correct reasons.

#2 - When the reasoning for the violence is clearly wrong, it is still devilishly hard to get a conviction. In a situation wherein armed combatants are exchanging gun fire the burden is to prove that that Soldier engaged in a clear case of wrongful death. That is a very hard burden to met when two sides are exchanging gun fire. In cases like Haditha, you can see that, even though innocent civilians were killed, the exigent circumstances of combat (bombs being dropped on a house left and right in thick combat) that Soldier entering ahouse they just to fire from ... can be faulted for for shooting first without realizing they were civilians they killed. It is horrific, and the death of civilians does make counter-insurgency hard.

Absent combat, Haditha was not an insurgency, it was more akin to Stalingrad at that moment, the same thing would have been murder.

However, the opposite, Mahmudiyah rape and killing did result in a conviction.

In convicted, the Soldiers do face incredibly harsh punishment. Getting those convictions is damned hard. Remember though, the decision to pursue a case rests with the combatant commander and not with the victims. That, especially in counter insurgency, is a sticking point.

Police forces do not get to deice whether a botched raid get examined or not. Military forces do.

In a permissive environment, that later makes sense. As rule of law returns it does not. It is a Yes and No answer, and it highlights some of the difficult transition points during insurgency and why transition to police forces is critical.
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/9/2014 10:34:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 7:50:27 AM, ararmer1919 wrote:
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

Aside from the fact that the guardian has a pretty "anti US military" philosophy, I'd like to point out that it did not provide a single instance where a US soldier, proven to have intentionally killed an innocent civilian was lightly punished for this crime. Now of course acts like this do happen, they named off three instances which is a pretty small number if you ask me, however when these rare acts occurs they ARE punished accordingly and brutally. I have seen It first hand so don't try and tell me they don't. The article also tried to make it sound like the random killings of civilians was "the norm". This is an utter lie. Their star whiteness, the maji guy or however his name was spelled, was IMHO a deserting pr*** who refused to deploy. This guy is a scumbag and his opinion can get shoved up his arse. All this "veterans against the war" blokes are scumbags. He recalled a time when a car approached a checkpoint and didn't stop so the guards opened fire. Sounds horrible right? Well what he doesn't tell you is the standard operating procedures that you MUST follow while on checkpoint duty or ECP. All vehicles approaching HAVE TO STOP. There are signs everywhere telling you this. Soldiers yelling it at you, and all other manners of communicating to the drivers that they MUST STOP. The reason for this is because we have a coward enemy who hides aiming innocent civilians and does things like, load his car full of explosives and blows up checkpoints. So when this vehicle failed to stop, the soldiers did what they had to do. First off the driver was a moron for not stopping, second off if the driver wasn't stoping what do you think is going through those soldiers heads? "Oh s*** it's a VBIED (vehicle borne improvised explosive device) and were all going to die. I guarantee you that YOU would have fired as well. He says that several other civilians were killed in the following engagement but fails to tell you who it was that exactly killed them.

In short the reason incidents like this happen is because of the bas**** coward enemy that we are fighting and if your pissed off about dead civilians then maybe you should do the intelligent thing and take it up with the jihadist.

To be honest, I don't really know that's why I said "correct me if I am wrong". However the US did have reputation of taking action against its own troops quite lightly - especially when it is a serious war crime (that is punishable in very long prison term or death ) which dated back to Vietnam and WWII, something I always found fascinating about. I see very little reason why the US govt would go to such length to protect their lowly grunt instead of defending their own reputation in war.

May be a more correct question would be do the civilian authority have absolute control over the military section of the government service or do they have some sort of "military interest organization" who can pressure their civilian counterpart to protect their own boys.
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/9/2014 10:51:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 9:59:41 AM, neutral wrote:
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

The answer to your question is both yes and no.

#1 - There are cases of egregious violence at the hands of US Soldiers that have gone unreported. It is the sad fact of war, wherein a split second decision ... some are clearly made for poor reasons and some for correct reasons.

#2 - When the reasoning for the violence is clearly wrong, it is still devilishly hard to get a conviction. In a situation wherein armed combatants are exchanging gun fire the burden is to prove that that Soldier engaged in a clear case of wrongful death. That is a very hard burden to met when two sides are exchanging gun fire. In cases like Haditha, you can see that, even though innocent civilians were killed, the exigent circumstances of combat (bombs being dropped on a house left and right in thick combat) that Soldier entering ahouse they just to fire from ... can be faulted for for shooting first without realizing they were civilians they killed. It is horrific, and the death of civilians does make counter-insurgency hard.

Absent combat, Haditha was not an insurgency, it was more akin to Stalingrad at that moment, the same thing would have been murder.

However, the opposite, Mahmudiyah rape and killing did result in a conviction.

In convicted, the Soldiers do face incredibly harsh punishment. Getting those convictions is damned hard. Remember though, the decision to pursue a case rests with the combatant commander and not with the victims. That, especially in counter insurgency, is a sticking point.

Police forces do not get to deice whether a botched raid get examined or not. Military forces do.

In a permissive environment, that later makes sense. As rule of law returns it does not. It is a Yes and No answer, and it highlights some of the difficult transition points during insurgency and why transition to police forces is critical.

The principle of command responsibility would allow the very officer to be punished, if evidence indicated that he allow or even failed to prevent his unit from committing casual violence or even collateral damage - at least to my knowledge anyway.

I think it wasn't too hard to convict a a solider and even officer in war case, if his collateral casualties are reported by the local though the press (again I don't really know so correct me if I am wrong).

I can somewhat understand and sympathize with their situation on the battlefield - personally I wouldn't consider such a evil in modern insurgency combat. Evil is just a word anyway, under the skin, it's simple pain.

However the we need law in order to govern and failing to enforce law even on your own people, especially on your own people - is the first step in losing control over foreign population and need to be focus. As I said in the post earlier, I wonder if the solider do have any sort of system to protect themselves from civilian prosecution. Bureaucratic support, intra-unit relations etc.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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6/9/2014 11:01:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

Aside from the lack of sources and clear anti-war bias exhibited by the guardian, the simple answer would be this;
The US government represents US citizens not foreign nationals. The US government is designed to protect and defend the life, liberty, and property of US citizens, not foreign nationals, so the government has little interest in punishing the soldiers beyond dishonorable discharge. The US government is also the only remaining world superpower, so there is little pressure from foreign governments to punish said soldiers.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/9/2014 11:12:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 11:01:01 AM, DanT wrote:
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

Aside from the lack of sources and clear anti-war bias exhibited by the guardian, the simple answer would be this;
The US government represents US citizens not foreign nationals. The US government is designed to protect and defend the life, liberty, and property of US citizens, not foreign nationals, so the government has little interest in punishing the soldiers beyond dishonorable discharge. The US government is also the only remaining world superpower, so there is little pressure from foreign governments to punish said soldiers.

This the third reply I made in this same post but well...

Those soldiers already agree to put their life in danger or even sacrifice it to protect American interest and putting them in jail is an obvious way to winning the war in the middle east and so I see little reason why shouldn't I been doing that if I am the president.

Hell, may be I would even get more vote in the next election!
DanT
Posts: 5,693
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6/9/2014 11:19:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 11:12:04 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 11:01:01 AM, DanT wrote:
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

Aside from the lack of sources and clear anti-war bias exhibited by the guardian, the simple answer would be this;
The US government represents US citizens not foreign nationals. The US government is designed to protect and defend the life, liberty, and property of US citizens, not foreign nationals, so the government has little interest in punishing the soldiers beyond dishonorable discharge. The US government is also the only remaining world superpower, so there is little pressure from foreign governments to punish said soldiers.

This the third reply I made in this same post but well...

Those soldiers already agree to put their life in danger or even sacrifice it to protect American interest and putting them in jail is an obvious way to winning the war in the middle east and so I see little reason why shouldn't I been doing that if I am the president.

Hell, may be I would even get more vote in the next election!

Aside from the horrible grammar, I don't really follow your logic. Can you please elaborate on how putting unruly soldiers in jail as opposed to dishonorably discharging them would help us win the war?
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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6/9/2014 11:41:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 11:19:19 AM, DanT wrote:
At 6/9/2014 11:12:04 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 11:01:01 AM, DanT wrote:
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

Aside from the lack of sources and clear anti-war bias exhibited by the guardian, the simple answer would be this;
The US government represents US citizens not foreign nationals. The US government is designed to protect and defend the life, liberty, and property of US citizens, not foreign nationals, so the government has little interest in punishing the soldiers beyond dishonorable discharge. The US government is also the only remaining world superpower, so there is little pressure from foreign governments to punish said soldiers.

This the third reply I made in this same post but well...

Those soldiers already agree to put their life in danger or even sacrifice it to protect American interest and putting them in jail is an obvious way to winning the war in the middle east and so I see little reason why shouldn't I been doing that if I am the president.

Hell, may be I would even get more vote in the next election!

Aside from the horrible grammar, I don't really follow your logic. Can you please elaborate on how putting unruly soldiers in jail as opposed to dishonorably discharging them would help us win the war?

English is not my original language so don't expect mush.

If you want to govern a foreign people, you need to make them trust in your ability to at least keep them safe. Now I don't know how mush of what written in the Guardian is true (probably not mush) but if there is a widespread believe that the. That's obviously a bad way to start a relationship with your native collaborators.

Putting those solder on a harsher punishment will not only discourage them from committing violence so causally (if they ever did so) but also send the massage to the locals that the US government is serious about keeping them safe. It's basic administrative technique.

Beside, I see no reason why American public would be sympathized with those solders. They broke their military discipline, broke the law, and put an entire counterinsurgency operation at risk. That's why taking a stronger stance against them sound politically rewarding, at least to me, and don't know why no one ever done so this far.
DanT
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6/9/2014 2:11:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 11:41:36 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 11:19:19 AM, DanT wrote:
At 6/9/2014 11:12:04 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 11:01:01 AM, DanT wrote:
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

Aside from the lack of sources and clear anti-war bias exhibited by the guardian, the simple answer would be this;
The US government represents US citizens not foreign nationals. The US government is designed to protect and defend the life, liberty, and property of US citizens, not foreign nationals, so the government has little interest in punishing the soldiers beyond dishonorable discharge. The US government is also the only remaining world superpower, so there is little pressure from foreign governments to punish said soldiers.

This the third reply I made in this same post but well...

Those soldiers already agree to put their life in danger or even sacrifice it to protect American interest and putting them in jail is an obvious way to winning the war in the middle east and so I see little reason why shouldn't I been doing that if I am the president.

Hell, may be I would even get more vote in the next election!

Aside from the horrible grammar, I don't really follow your logic. Can you please elaborate on how putting unruly soldiers in jail as opposed to dishonorably discharging them would help us win the war?

English is not my original language so don't expect mush.

If you want to govern a foreign people, you need to make them trust in your ability to at least keep them safe.

But America does not want to govern a foreign people. We want to protect our local people, and by relation our allies. If that means toppling hostile regimes, than that is what we have to do, but toppling hostile regimes is not the same as conquest.

Now I don't know how mush of what written in the Guardian is true (probably not mush) but if there is a widespread believe that the. That's obviously a bad way to start a relationship with your native collaborators.

But the natives who collaborate with our armed forces don't know the fate of the soldiers. Dishonorably discharging them will have the same effect as imprisonment or execution, because they are removed from the scene and kicked out of the military. As far as the Natives know, they were imprisoned.

Putting those solder on a harsher punishment will not only discourage them from committing violence so causally (if they ever did so) but also send the massage to the locals that the US government is serious about keeping them safe. It's basic administrative technique.

Increasing the severity of the punishment does not deter people from committing a crime. When a soldier is dishonorably discharged they lose all military benefits, which is already a huge deterrent. Increasing the punishment with jail time would hardly make an impact on those who are already willing to risk losing their military benefits. Furthermore, being dishonorably discharged will make it hard for the soldier to find future work in the private sector, because it shows up as a felony conviction on background checks.

The soldiers willing to risk these penalties do so because either they think they won't get caught, or because they aren't thinking about the consequences of their actions. Either way, increasing the penalties will do nothing to deter such people.

Beside, I see no reason why American public would be sympathized with those solders. They broke their military discipline, broke the law, and put an entire counterinsurgency operation at risk. That's why taking a stronger stance against them sound politically rewarding, at least to me, and don't know why no one ever done so this far.

Probably the same reason we acquitted the British soldiers who fired upon American colonists during the Boston Massacre. You cannot blame a soldier for such actions, when he has been shipped across the sea to garrison a hostile land.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
neutral
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6/9/2014 2:59:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 10:51:35 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:

The principle of command responsibility would allow the very officer to be punished, if evidence indicated that he allow or even failed to prevent his unit from committing casual violence or even collateral damage - at least to my knowledge anyway.

Well, collateral damage is assessed. You cannot avoid it in urban combat. casual violence on the other hand? You have to bear in mind that insurgency is not just a bunch of guys wait to blow you up. There are times it turns into a very real shooting war with full scale pitched battles. It is during these battles when most of the atrocities occur, and its damned tough to prevent them due to the split second nature of the decisions that have to be made.

Commanders have to produce Soldiers brave and rough enough to get into literal eath matches and win. Its a LOT to ask them to then turn around and say, "Heh you killed too widely in the heat of battle," and punish his Soldiers.

Outside that though? The Military does convict those who cross the line.

http://www.theguardian.com...

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

Are there more instances that do not get reported? Undoubtedly. We will hear about this in the further as Soldiers return home and deal with the PTSD etc. and exorcise their demons.

The real way to prevent, or greatly reduce this? Free Press.


I think it wasn't too hard to convict a a solider and even officer in war case, if his collateral casualties are reported by the local though the press (again I don't really know so correct me if I am wrong).

Haditha and Nisour Square say otherwise. And that is even with the press involved.


I can somewhat understand and sympathize with their situation on the battlefield - personally I wouldn't consider such a evil in modern insurgency combat. Evil is just a word anyway, under the skin, it's simple pain.

However the we need law in order to govern and failing to enforce law even on your own people, especially on your own people - is the first step in losing control over foreign population and need to be focus. As I said in the post earlier, I wonder if the solider do have any sort of system to protect themselves from civilian prosecution. Bureaucratic support, intra-unit relations etc.

I agree with you completely. The biggest difference is that Soldiers and Police ... well, they are different. Soldiers duty is victory. Period. He will shoot his way in and plant the flag. The method of forcible taking ground is, necessarily, violent. Police are there to protect and serve. If we failed in anything in our counter-insurgency it was not getting enough police, not training them properly, not equipping and paying them properly, not ensuring they were not corrupt, and doing it all way too slow.

Citizens need police for Law and Order. You need Soldiers for your enemies.

The rules are different, and you are correct that failure to follow them has enormous consequences.

I cannot find it now, but 60 minutes once did an piece about Mai Lai with the 'survivors' of the massacre. The US Soldiers who committed the crime were ... reduced to stupefied tears for what they did during that massacre. Leaders need to retain honor in war, but not every leader we send off to war is a good leader.

http://books.google.it...

http://www.armytimes.com...

http://www.newyorker.com...

I won't say all Soldiers are bad, but neither are all of them good. There is clearly room for improvement.
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/10/2014 12:28:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Beside, I see no reason why American public would be sympathized with those solders. They broke their military discipline, broke the law, and put an entire counterinsurgency operation at risk. That's why taking a stronger stance against them sound politically rewarding, at least to me, and don't know why no one ever done so this far.

Probably the same reason we acquitted the British soldiers who fired upon American colonists during the Boston Massacre. You cannot blame a soldier for such actions, when he has been shipped across the sea to garrison a hostile land.

When you put it that way I think I can understand it a bit...

I would still found it quite beneficial though if such cases are done and promote with certain degree of publicity. It's always a mystery to me that the US govt isn't even pretend to take a stronger stance against their failing solider.
suttichart.denpruektham
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6/10/2014 12:39:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 2:59:57 PM, neutral wrote:
At 6/9/2014 10:51:35 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:

The principle of command responsibility would allow the very officer to be punished, if evidence indicated that he allow or even failed to prevent his unit from committing casual violence or even collateral damage - at least to my knowledge anyway.

Well, collateral damage is assessed. You cannot avoid it in urban combat. casual violence on the other hand? You have to bear in mind that insurgency is not just a bunch of guys wait to blow you up. There are times it turns into a very real shooting war with full scale pitched battles. It is during these battles when most of the atrocities occur, and its damned tough to prevent them due to the split second nature of the decisions that have to be made.

Commanders have to produce Soldiers brave and rough enough to get into literal eath matches and win. Its a LOT to ask them to then turn around and say, "Heh you killed too widely in the heat of battle," and punish his Soldiers.

Outside that though? The Military does convict those who cross the line.

http://www.theguardian.com...

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

Are there more instances that do not get reported? Undoubtedly. We will hear about this in the further as Soldiers return home and deal with the PTSD etc. and exorcise their demons.

The real way to prevent, or greatly reduce this? Free Press.


I think it wasn't too hard to convict a a solider and even officer in war case, if his collateral casualties are reported by the local though the press (again I don't really know so correct me if I am wrong).

Haditha and Nisour Square say otherwise. And that is even with the press involved.


I can somewhat understand and sympathize with their situation on the battlefield - personally I wouldn't consider such a evil in modern insurgency combat. Evil is just a word anyway, under the skin, it's simple pain.

However the we need law in order to govern and failing to enforce law even on your own people, especially on your own people - is the first step in losing control over foreign population and need to be focus. As I said in the post earlier, I wonder if the solider do have any sort of system to protect themselves from civilian prosecution. Bureaucratic support, intra-unit relations etc.

I agree with you completely. The biggest difference is that Soldiers and Police ... well, they are different. Soldiers duty is victory. Period. He will shoot his way in and plant the flag. The method of forcible taking ground is, necessarily, violent. Police are there to protect and serve. If we failed in anything in our counter-insurgency it was not getting enough police, not training them properly, not equipping and paying them properly, not ensuring they were not corrupt, and doing it all way too slow.

Citizens need police for Law and Order. You need Soldiers for your enemies.

The rules are different, and you are correct that failure to follow them has enormous consequences.

I cannot find it now, but 60 minutes once did an piece about Mai Lai with the 'survivors' of the massacre. The US Soldiers who committed the crime were ... reduced to stupefied tears for what they did during that massacre. Leaders need to retain honor in war, but not every leader we send off to war is a good leader.

http://books.google.it...

http://www.armytimes.com...

http://www.newyorker.com...

I won't say all Soldiers are bad, but neither are all of them good. There is clearly room for improvement.

Mai Lai is actually the kind of case I've in mind when I started this post , I remained confused as to why the government and the American public had gone to such length to protect this failing soldiers - even though it would put even stronger burden on the already strained US-Vietnam relations and put the operation at even more risk.

If you fall as Lucifer fell, you fall in flame - that's how the law work. I can understand that they are not that evil, and I am not sure if I could resist doing it if I was in there position but the government is not there to gently comfort this people. They are there to rule and in order to rule, you need a law. Broken the law is always the top priority of insurgent organization and I can't believe that Johnson wasn't tough enough protect it,
neutral
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6/10/2014 10:11:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/10/2014 12:39:12 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:


Mai Lai is actually the kind of case I've in mind when I started this post , I remained confused as to why the government and the American public had gone to such length to protect this failing soldiers - even though it would put even stronger burden on the already strained US-Vietnam relations and put the operation at even more risk.

If you fall as Lucifer fell, you fall in flame - that's how the law work. I can understand that they are not that evil, and I am not sure if I could resist doing it if I was in there position but the government is not there to gently comfort this people. They are there to rule and in order to rule, you need a law. Broken the law is always the top priority of insurgent organization and I can't believe that Johnson wasn't tough enough protect it,

There are a couple of reasons, and it is certainly not specific to the US.

#1 - We ask our Soldiers to do very violent things. Things that, outside the context of battle, are clearly criminal. They are necessary when we go to war, however. There are rules that govern this conduct, even under those conditions.

a. No Nation really wants to highlight the brutality of battle. Even when its right, it ... horrible.

b. There benefit of the doubt in these cases will always go to the Soldier (regardless of which side they are on). There is a vast gray area here that subjective to human subjectivity, and when the use of violence is prolific and acceptable, the case must be egregious before it warrants attention as 'illegal'.

Should if be any other way for Soldiers in battle?

#2 - It is not specific to the US. In fact, one of the reasons the US seeks excepts in SOFA agreements is precisely because war isn't fought totally on the battlefield. Enemy force, particularly in this information age, will use legal system and false accusations as a smear.

Please bear in mind that, at the same time US Soldiers mistakenly killed civilians in Haditha - in the midst of a raging battle - our enemy was pulling people off the streets for torture, rape, murder - using power tools to drill into the joints and appendages of their hapless victims, electrocutions, etc. They were setting off car bombs deliberately attacking civilians. They were openly assassinating elders who called for calm rather than insightment of further violence.

To apply standards to one side in that battle and not the other?

That is what the US seeks to avoid. Simply put, we will not allow the most advanced and capable military force in the world to be bobbled by something as cheap as false accusations.
HardAssJack
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7/28/2014 11:39:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/10/2014 10:11:31 AM, neutral wrote:
At 6/10/2014 12:39:12 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:

Please bear in mind that, at the same time US Soldiers mistakenly killed civilians in Haditha - in the midst of a raging battle - our enemy was pulling people off the streets for torture, rape, murder - using power tools to drill into the joints and appendages of their hapless victims, electrocutions, etc.

This is totally true!
Iraqi prisoners has confessed under US army interrogation to have taken part in the brutal torture of enemies of the regime
wrichcirw
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7/29/2014 1:42:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

I just stumbled upon this thread. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

IMHO the battlefield is brutal, period. That brutality is ostensibly "appropriately" confined to people who wear uniforms is an extremely inhumane sentiment and denies the basic humanity of people in uniform.

I read John Hersey's book "Hiroshima" while in high school. When you see how civilians fared in the aftermath of the atom bombs, how they were utterly clueless as to the kind of weapon that was unleashed upon them, how limbs, muscle, and flesh to the bone were literally peeled away by doctors from otherwise healthy people in the coming days due to unknown consequences of radiation exposure, you have to ask yourself : 1) "Is this a crime?" 2) "who is guilty?", and 3) "If it was a crime, why was no one punished for it?"

In the end, war is brutal. If there are "crimes" committed in warfare, it is arbitrary to define exactly what is a crime, and who defines it tends to be the winners of the war.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
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7/30/2014 3:46:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 1:42:38 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/8/2014 12:13:21 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com...

As far as I knew (correct me if I am wrong) there are not mush of a case where US troops have been heavily punished for casual violence or battlefield brutality. In most of the case, the troops in question will often been pull out or face discharge but not many had been serving jail term or death penalty for such crime. I wonder why is that.

It's within the interest of the US government that their troops are well disciplined and well behave especially in counterinsurgency mission where hearth and mind of the people is a key element. Solider who failed to do so would jeopardize the entire strategic mission of the government and should face more rather than less punishment from the court isn't it?

I just stumbled upon this thread. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

IMHO the battlefield is brutal, period. That brutality is ostensibly "appropriately" confined to people who wear uniforms is an extremely inhumane sentiment and denies the basic humanity of people in uniform.

I read John Hersey's book "Hiroshima" while in high school. When you see how civilians fared in the aftermath of the atom bombs, how they were utterly clueless as to the kind of weapon that was unleashed upon them, how limbs, muscle, and flesh to the bone were literally peeled away by doctors from otherwise healthy people in the coming days due to unknown consequences of radiation exposure, you have to ask yourself : 1) "Is this a crime?" 2) "who is guilty?", and 3) "If it was a crime, why was no one punished for it?"

In the end, war is brutal. If there are "crimes" committed in warfare, it is arbitrary to define exactly what is a crime, and who defines it tends to be the winners of the war.

It has been done anyway and I understood it necessity. Battlefield is a horrible, it requires immense will power and discipline just to maintain your sanity. That's why we need a trained solider at the first place.

Most important of all, it was the USA who first create this system of judgement and implement it at the first place. I only saw fit for your military to live up to its own standard.
wrichcirw
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7/30/2014 11:22:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 10:34:47 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 7:50:27 AM, ararmer1919 wrote:

May be a more correct question would be do the civilian authority have absolute control over the military section of the government service or do they have some sort of "military interest organization" who can pressure their civilian counterpart to protect their own boys.

Probably the best way to think about this question is political interest. In the end, politicians cater to their constituency, and military members, their families, and their friends all vote. Victims of military brutality and their associates (all of whom are foreigners) do not vote. When it comes down to it, it's really that simple.

Most important of all, it was the USA who first create this system of judgement and implement it at the first place. I only saw fit for your military to live up to its own standard.

This goes back to the war crimes tribunals. The clear standard there was that only the enemy would be tried for war crimes, and only the victor would be able to determine who the enemy is.

"I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side."

- US General Curtis LeMay, commander of the 1945 Tokyo fire bombing operation.
http://williamblum.org...

Exponentially more civilians were killed in the fire bombing than were killed by the a-bombs...indeed the firebombing was more akin to an extermination campaign than destroying military targets. This goes back to a point I made in another thread...is it just the soldier who is violent? Or the person that orders the soldier? Or the person that builds the gun for the soldier? Or the person who feeds the soldier at their restaurant? etc...
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
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7/30/2014 12:41:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 11:22:04 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/9/2014 10:34:47 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 7:50:27 AM, ararmer1919 wrote:

May be a more correct question would be do the civilian authority have absolute control over the military section of the government service or do they have some sort of "military interest organization" who can pressure their civilian counterpart to protect their own boys.

Probably the best way to think about this question is political interest. In the end, politicians cater to their constituency, and military members, their families, and their friends all vote. Victims of military brutality and their associates (all of whom are foreigners) do not vote. When it comes down to it, it's really that simple.

Yeah, that's probably it. But it's only healthy to be doing that when you are just finished conquering the world, not when you reign over it. The Mongol made this same mistake 1000 years ago, and it caused them their empire (eventually anyway). The military are a volunteer (or not, in some cases) livestock to be slaughtered in the interest of the state. While I would be sad (and I genuinely do) to see any of them, from any country, get killed in a man-made conflict, I would not hesitate to liquidate their lives as a head of the state and will do so without hesitation for even a simplest reason of political interest. That's their job, and we need that job done that's why we hired them in the first place.

Most important of all, it was the USA who first create this system of judgement and implement it at the first place. I only saw fit for your military to live up to its own standard.

This goes back to the war crimes tribunals. The clear standard there was that only the enemy would be tried for war crimes, and only the victor would be able to determine who the enemy is.

"I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side."

- US General Curtis LeMay, commander of the 1945 Tokyo fire bombing operation.
http://williamblum.org...

Exponentially more civilians were killed in the fire bombing than were killed by the a-bombs...indeed the firebombing was more akin to an extermination campaign than destroying military targets. This goes back to a point I made in another thread...is it just the soldier who is violent? Or the person that orders the soldier? Or the person that builds the gun for the soldier? Or the person who feeds the soldier at their restaurant? etc...

True, and don't forgot Dressden... WWII in general and the Pacific War in particular was such a horrible conflict. The German are dragged in to the war they didn't need with the leader who fail to foresaw its consequence. The Japanese are command by a visionaries but were unable to contain its own people zeal for nationalism and were forced to enter the war they didn't want - and couldn't win.

But in this specific case I am more concern of the invention of the command responsibility concept. The whole affair is an outrage to me, how can someone be hold responsible for a crime he didn't cause? didn't even intended to? There wasn't even the law that "required" action to be taken at the first place, it's strange that the allies can just magically create an accusation and punish someone out of thin air. However in the end, I found that it wasn't. It is effective in curbing battlefield violence in our time anyway. And for that reason, it would be the good sign for the US military would set its own example.
wrichcirw
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7/30/2014 6:00:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 12:41:13 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 7/30/2014 11:22:04 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/9/2014 10:34:47 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 7:50:27 AM, ararmer1919 wrote:

May be a more correct question would be do the civilian authority have absolute control over the military section of the government service or do they have some sort of "military interest organization" who can pressure their civilian counterpart to protect their own boys.

Probably the best way to think about this question is political interest. In the end, politicians cater to their constituency, and military members, their families, and their friends all vote. Victims of military brutality and their associates (all of whom are foreigners) do not vote. When it comes down to it, it's really that simple.

Yeah, that's probably it. But it's only healthy to be doing that when you are just finished conquering the world, not when you reign over it. The Mongol made this same mistake 1000 years ago, and it caused them their empire (eventually anyway). The military are a volunteer (or not, in some cases) livestock to be slaughtered in the interest of the state. While I would be sad (and I genuinely do) to see any of them, from any country, get killed in a man-made conflict, I would not hesitate to liquidate their lives as a head of the state and will do so without hesitation for even a simplest reason of political interest. That's their job, and we need that job done that's why we hired them in the first place.

When it comes to political interests, there's also the countervailing interest that a politician's constituency will hold a politician accountable for needless lives thrown away. Every soldier's life lost is filled by someone else from the constituency, and after a while this will wear thin.

But in this specific case I am more concern of the invention of the command responsibility concept. The whole affair is an outrage to me, how can someone be hold responsible for a crime he didn't cause? didn't even intended to? There wasn't even the law that "required" action to be taken at the first place, it's strange that the allies can just magically create an accusation and punish someone out of thin air. However in the end, I found that it wasn't. It is effective in curbing battlefield violence in our time anyway. And for that reason, it would be the good sign for the US military would set its own example.

You're going to have to clear up your language here. I really cannot make out what you are saying.

Regarding "curbing battlefield violence", really, most commanders could care less about violence inflicted upon the enemy, as long as violence is minimized against our own forces.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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7/31/2014 3:52:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/30/2014 6:00:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/30/2014 12:41:13 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 7/30/2014 11:22:04 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/9/2014 10:34:47 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 6/9/2014 7:50:27 AM, ararmer1919 wrote:

May be a more correct question would be do the civilian authority have absolute control over the military section of the government service or do they have some sort of "military interest organization" who can pressure their civilian counterpart to protect their own boys.

Probably the best way to think about this question is political interest. In the end, politicians cater to their constituency, and military members, their families, and their friends all vote. Victims of military brutality and their associates (all of whom are foreigners) do not vote. When it comes down to it, it's really that simple.

Yeah, that's probably it. But it's only healthy to be doing that when you are just finished conquering the world, not when you reign over it. The Mongol made this same mistake 1000 years ago, and it caused them their empire (eventually anyway). The military are a volunteer (or not, in some cases) livestock to be slaughtered in the interest of the state. While I would be sad (and I genuinely do) to see any of them, from any country, get killed in a man-made conflict, I would not hesitate to liquidate their lives as a head of the state and will do so without hesitation for even a simplest reason of political interest. That's their job, and we need that job done that's why we hired them in the first place.

When it comes to political interests, there's also the countervailing interest that a politician's constituency will hold a politician accountable for needless lives thrown away. Every soldier's life lost is filled by someone else from the constituency, and after a while this will wear thin.

But in this specific case I am more concern of the invention of the command responsibility concept. The whole affair is an outrage to me, how can someone be hold responsible for a crime he didn't cause? didn't even intended to? There wasn't even the law that "required" action to be taken at the first place, it's strange that the allies can just magically create an accusation and punish someone out of thin air. However in the end, I found that it wasn't. It is effective in curbing battlefield violence in our time anyway. And for that reason, it would be the good sign for the US military would set its own example.

You're going to have to clear up your language here. I really cannot make out what you are saying.

Regarding "curbing battlefield violence", really, most commanders could care less about violence inflicted upon the enemy, as long as violence is minimized against our own forces.

I mostly felt that the trial on this guy is unfair..
http://en.wikipedia.org...

and the concept of crime in general ins an outrage, especially when apply post-action.
wrichcirw
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7/31/2014 11:35:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/31/2014 3:52:44 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 7/30/2014 6:00:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

Regarding "curbing battlefield violence", really, most commanders could care less about violence inflicted upon the enemy, as long as violence is minimized against our own forces.

I mostly felt that the trial on this guy is unfair..
http://en.wikipedia.org...

and the concept of crime in general ins an outrage, especially when apply post-action.

1) All crimes are recognized and justice meted "post-action".

2) I don't know this case in intricate detail, but IMHO the precedence is sound. Commanders are indeed responsible for the actions of their subordinates, and while they may not be found guilty of murder if a subordinate committed murder, they would most certainly be guilty of failing to enforce discipline if that soldier was not disciplined...and given the act of murder, you would then be able to set up the commander as colluding to commit murder.

My understanding is that Yamashita knew of the Manila Massacre sometime after the fact while he had command responsibility and did nothing to discipline people under his command who participated in the act. IMHO that is enough to find a commander derelict, and given the scope of such an atrocity a hanging was probably proper.

3) If you're going to compare this to Ernest Medina, this goes back to the point I made about exactly who is a combatant. In Medina's case, he shot unarmed civilians because he thought they were hiding weapons to be used after their surrender, and in the Vietnam war there were numerous such cases. I believe the same is true of Iraq as well.

This shares a close parallel to a possible justification of the US firebombing campaign against Japan, because arms production in Japan was decentralized, rendering entire cities military targets instead of just industrial facilities.

In the end, one purpose of warfare is to maximize enemy casualties while minimizing friendly casualties. Sometimes the line is not clear as to who is the "enemy", and when that line is not clear, commanders will default to regarding "everyone who is not us" as an enemy, and will be justified for doing it.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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7/31/2014 11:56:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/31/2014 11:35:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/31/2014 3:52:44 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 7/30/2014 6:00:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

Regarding "curbing battlefield violence", really, most commanders could care less about violence inflicted upon the enemy, as long as violence is minimized against our own forces.

I mostly felt that the trial on this guy is unfair..
http://en.wikipedia.org...

and the concept of crime in general ins an outrage, especially when apply post-action.

1) All crimes are recognized and justice meted "post-action".

2) I don't know this case in intricate detail, but IMHO the precedence is sound. Commanders are indeed responsible for the actions of their subordinates, and while they may not be found guilty of murder if a subordinate committed murder, they would most certainly be guilty of failing to enforce discipline if that soldier was not disciplined...and given the act of murder, you would then be able to set up the commander as colluding to commit murder.

My understanding is that Yamashita knew of the Manila Massacre sometime after the fact while he had command responsibility and did nothing to discipline people under his command who participated in the act. IMHO that is enough to find a commander derelict, and given the scope of such an atrocity a hanging was probably proper.

3) If you're going to compare this to Ernest Medina, this goes back to the point I made about exactly who is a combatant. In Medina's case, he shot unarmed civilians because he thought they were hiding weapons to be used after their surrender, and in the Vietnam war there were numerous such cases. I believe the same is true of Iraq as well.

This shares a close parallel to a possible justification of the US firebombing campaign against Japan, because arms production in Japan was decentralized, rendering entire cities military targets instead of just industrial facilities.

In the end, one purpose of warfare is to maximize enemy casualties while minimizing friendly casualties. Sometimes the line is not clear as to who is the "enemy", and when that line is not clear, commanders will default to regarding "everyone who is not us" as an enemy, and will be justified for doing it.

That's exactly the case. It's war, and it's not uncommon for solider to be more caring toward their friendly rather than their enemy. Yamashita don't shoot his own troops for shooting a civilian in a hostile enemy territories, your government don't hang american troops for doing the same action, what make the former wrong and the latter right? Because they lose the war? That's probably's it, but it's not justice. War machine can only win against other war machine, to win the respect of the people, you need justice - and clever political manoeuvre.
wrichcirw
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7/31/2014 12:47:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/31/2014 11:56:08 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 7/31/2014 11:35:31 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/31/2014 3:52:44 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 7/30/2014 6:00:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

Regarding "curbing battlefield violence", really, most commanders could care less about violence inflicted upon the enemy, as long as violence is minimized against our own forces.

I mostly felt that the trial on this guy is unfair..
http://en.wikipedia.org...

and the concept of crime in general ins an outrage, especially when apply post-action.

1) All crimes are recognized and justice meted "post-action".

2) I don't know this case in intricate detail, but IMHO the precedence is sound. Commanders are indeed responsible for the actions of their subordinates, and while they may not be found guilty of murder if a subordinate committed murder, they would most certainly be guilty of failing to enforce discipline if that soldier was not disciplined...and given the act of murder, you would then be able to set up the commander as colluding to commit murder.

My understanding is that Yamashita knew of the Manila Massacre sometime after the fact while he had command responsibility and did nothing to discipline people under his command who participated in the act. IMHO that is enough to find a commander derelict, and given the scope of such an atrocity a hanging was probably proper.

3) If you're going to compare this to Ernest Medina, this goes back to the point I made about exactly who is a combatant. In Medina's case, he shot unarmed civilians because he thought they were hiding weapons to be used after their surrender, and in the Vietnam war there were numerous such cases. I believe the same is true of Iraq as well.

This shares a close parallel to a possible justification of the US firebombing campaign against Japan, because arms production in Japan was decentralized, rendering entire cities military targets instead of just industrial facilities.

In the end, one purpose of warfare is to maximize enemy casualties while minimizing friendly casualties. Sometimes the line is not clear as to who is the "enemy", and when that line is not clear, commanders will default to regarding "everyone who is not us" as an enemy, and will be justified for doing it.

That's exactly the case. It's war, and it's not uncommon for solider to be more caring toward their friendly rather than their enemy. Yamashita don't shoot his own troops for shooting a civilian in a hostile enemy territories, your government don't hang american troops for doing the same action, what make the former wrong and the latter right? Because they lose the war? That's probably's it, but it's not justice. War machine can only win against other war machine, to win the respect of the people, you need justice - and clever political manoeuvre.

That's most certainly a possible interpretation, and I simply don't know what Yamashita did in the aftermath of the massacre, nor do I know if Japanese soldiers were worried about possible counterinsurgencies in the Filipino populace that would have (somewhat) justified their actions...I would imagine they were though.

In the end, Yamashita was not American, and I don't even know of American soldiers being brought to international war crime trials. Almost all such cases are handled internally by the US military, from my understanding. Obviously we would want to minimize violations of the Geneva conventions, but it does seem as though we're not strictly held accountable to them.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?