# OT: Iraqi prisoner abuse; something else to consider...it's LONG!!

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As the many posts on this newsgroup regarding the subject have confirmed, there has been enormous coverage of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, mostly at the hands of a segment of guards from one National Guard unit that certainly had leadership and discipline problems.

However, we tend to forget that the military, like our nation's police departments, and other public service organizations, are a slice of the American population. Let's try a little simple math. First, take the total number of US troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom during the time these abuses occurred. Then run that up against the number of servicemen and women involved in the Iraqi prisoner abuse. You can do your own math so I can't be accused of skewing the numbers but you will find the percentage to be miniscule. Now take the total population of the United States and bounce it up against all the violent crimes committed against persons nationwide during the same timeframe. Again, you do the math yourself but I think you already know what you'll find??.the percentage is SUBSTANTIALLY higher. You see, the military, in spite of a couple shitheads and such, holds itself to an astronomically higher standard and is much better than the society from which its members are drawn.

Yes, we all know all about the prisoner abuse; how could we not since it has led off almost every TV news broadcast for the last couple weeks. And, of course, some of our honorable Congressmen and women have almost wrestled each other for the television reporters microphones so they can make their pronouncements of shock, outrage and disgust. However, I'm about to show you another side of our military; a side that gets little in the way of publicity or positive pronouncements from our good Congressmen and women, or most anyone else, for that matter. Please read the item below, from the Marine Corps webpage and come away with a different perspective......................

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.(May 6, 2004) -- Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh received the Navy Cross Medal from the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, during an awards ceremony Thursday at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Training Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Three other Marines received medals for valor at the same ceremony.

Chontosh, 29, from Rochester, N.Y. , received the Naval Service's second highest award for extraordinary heroism while serving as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom March 25, 2003.

While leading his platoon north on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advance directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.

When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.

When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.

"They are the reflection of the Marine Corps type who's service to the Marine Corps and country is held above their own safety and lives," said Gen. Hagee, commenting on the four Marines who received medals during the ceremony. "I'm proud to be here awarding the second highest and third highest awards for bravery to these great Marines."

"These four Marines are a reflection of every Marine and sailor in this great battalion," said Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada.

Semper fi??.Bill

"The world would be a much simpler place if every one could pick and choose their obligations, but we can't and we shouldn't." Major Charles W. Whittlesey

• posted

I don't think anyone is saying the the whole of the American Armed Forces are bad. The offenders are off course a very tiny number of bad apples in an good organisation and no one is disputing that.

However, you should consider a few things

i) Firstly, you should compare the number of offenders with the number of miltary personal who run the prisons (not the total armed forces) and then decide whether the percentage is acceptable. I say this, because it is these people who should be trained to observe and uphold the Geneva Convention.

ii) There is generalisation on both sides. It is common to hear western opinion that all moslems are rag-heads and terrorist in training. This is of course just as absurd - there are a very small number of terrorists and the majority are innocent people. I often visit a model helicopter forum but of late it has become sickening. Huge dicussions about nuking the whole of the Arab Nations with total disrespect or care about any innocents that will suffer. Anyone who tries to bring any sanity to the table is flamed and branded a commie.

Regards,

Nigel Heather

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Only for POWs. These people weren;t POWs, but criminals.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Bill Woodier) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@mb-m18.aol.com:

OOHH-RAAH! They ought to make movies about these guys instead of that lameass shit that came out of the last "conflict". The Three Kings which made out guys look like crooks and the idiot thing with the women helicopter pilot. Absurd stupid trash that just runs down the whole military. I guess it was to much to expect Hollywood to give us some heros. Can't have that though wouldn't be PC. Piss on 'em.

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I don't know for certain myself, but I'd like to know how you know these guys were terrorists and not POWs.

Remember that terrorists, Iraqi Armed Forces and Iraqi people are not identical subsets.

I would have though that most of the Iraqi people captured would have been from the Armed Forces, infantry, mechanised, tank crews etc.

Cheers,

Nigel

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I agree.

Pete.

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I do not condone the actions of those few guards and I hope that they = are fully punished to the extent of the law, as well as their commanders who obviously exercised no leadership or control.

Still where is the outrage on the world stage and media over the 4 US civilians killed, burned and hung from a bridge? Or for the slaughter of Nick Berg? That is where the true outrage should be. I saw the whole = video and it is sickening. Those who perpetrated that are not human, hell they = are less than animals and should be exterminated like the vermin they are. = The difficult part will be protecting the vast majority of innocent Muslims while locating and eradicating the terrorists without posing undue risks = to our troops and those of our allies.Our humanity is seen as a weakness by those we are fighting and we must strike a balance between that humanity = and the need for information that will protect our troops and prevent = another

9/11 type event.It is war,try to minimize the loss of innocent life but, = the lives of our side are more important till the fighting is over and peace restored. FEW Hub
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"Nigel" wrote

If they weren't wearing uniforms or identifying emblems such as armbands, if they did not carry weapons openly, or if they are not part of an organization with a defined and responsible chain of command, then they violate the laws of war and do not receive POW status under the existing conventions. That is what the term "unlawful enemy combatant" is all about. (And which our media typically dilutes by dropping the unlawful. . .)

KL

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The Leftmedia wouldn't consciously do that, would they?

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Actually, most of those guys just went home before the fighting got to them. The greatest part of the fighting was done by the Saddam Fedayeen.

The Coalition captured very few POWs, comparatively speaking, during OIF.

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The only acceptable percentage is zero. That's why the perpetrators are going to be prosecuted.

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"Al Superczynski" wrote

I don't think it's deliberate at all. Most people are just too stupid to realize that words have specific meanings, and are shocked to learn that there are people alive today who (can) actually choose particular words because of their meaning. To the media - like just about everyone else - the concept that adding, subtracting, or recombining words in existing text could affect the meaning is incomprehensible. Besides, when the population has a _median_ vocabulary of about 500 words, the frequent use of a phrase like "unlawful enemy combatant" is likely to cause an epidemic of cerebral hemorrhages.

On the other hand it could be intentional, based on the premise that: a) The Bush administration is "hung up on this good vs. evil stuff" and uses pejorative words like "unlawful" for purely political purposes, and b) Everyone knows Al Gore should be President(*). Could be, but I'd still bet on sloth/ignorance. I've never lost money yet.

KL

(*) I'm actually surprised that most Democratic politicians and media pundits haven't taken a cue from Cato the Elder to simply end every sound bite with "Ceterum censeo Bush esse delendam".

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I agree. It's so ingrained that they don't even realize they're doing it.

I think you may have missed my sarcasm.

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Surprisingly most of the DC stations use the term unlawful enemy combatants when they don't simply use detainees when referring to Gitmo.

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They're not part of any organization, or chain of command. Most of them are just Iraqi citizens picked up off the streets, or dragged out of their homes, in a huge fishing expedition. Round up a few thousand. A couple of them are bound to be quilty. Abuse the hell out them, and you're bound to get a few confessions. Ahhh, sweet justice. It makes a fellow proud to be American!

Actually that term is reserved for unlawful enemy combatants. Most of these people were not captured in combat, and haven't been charged with any crimes. They are "suspects". That is why we're finally releasing half of them. They haven't done anything wrong, other than being Iraqis. I can't help but suspect that most of them won't be too favorably disposed towards us, after the way they were treated. We are making the current security situation much worse than it already is. And people defend this mind boggling stupidity. Amazing. PT

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Wow. I *am* surprised by that!

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Who was it that said "no one ever lost money by betting on the stupidity of the American public".

Bill Shuey

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