NationStates Jolt Archive


How Soldiers Really Think

Novoga
24-11-2005, 05:49
I recently read an excellent post on a blog that I go to often, I suggest all opposed or for the Iraq war read it.

" Why Joe's Hate the Media and Other Wandering Thoughts on Iraqistan."
http://candle_in_the_dark.blogspot.com/2005/11/why-joes-hate-media-and-other.html#comments

Enjoy
Marrakech II
24-11-2005, 05:57
That article is dead on. If you want a real war mind set than that is it. Thanks for posting.
Rotovia-
24-11-2005, 05:57
Very confronting. I think I might keep checking in
Rotovia-
24-11-2005, 05:58
That article is dead on. If you want a real war mind set than that is it. Thanks for posting.
That's what I though, It's very much down the middle and brutally honest
Osutoria-Hangarii
24-11-2005, 06:03
Yeah, I read a letter from a Marine in Iraq who mentions that the grunts hate the embedded journalists. Sounds about right to me.
Good Lifes
24-11-2005, 08:16
Well written, but one thing bothers me. A doctor that participates in combat? The medics go out and get shot at but when did they become gun toting? Is this a change that has taken place in the last 30 years that I missed?
Mannatopia
24-11-2005, 08:19
Well written, but one thing bothers me. A doctor that participates in combat? The medics go out and get shot at but when did they become gun toting? Is this a change that has taken place in the last 30 years that I missed?
My guess would be, that since medics are protected under the Geneva Convention and are not supposed to carry arms that the Bush administration i just not calling them medics. You know, like calling prisoners in Guantanimo Bay "Enemy Combatants" instead of POWs, so that we don't have to follow the Geneva Convention.
Jirfog
24-11-2005, 08:25
Honestly, I don't care how they think. All that matters to me is how they act. It is my solemn belief that if you pick up a gun, the first person you should use it on is yourself.
Neu Leonstein
24-11-2005, 08:27
And he lost me right here:
Man 's inhumanity to man is something we don't think about, he just tried to kill someone or set off a car bomb that killed no soldiers but 10 children, some men deserve inhumanity. No matter what you hear in the media there are scumbags here that don't care how many of their own people they kill as long as 1 American is wounded.

He crossed the line right here...if they are scumbags that don't deserve humanity, then there is no difference anymore between you and them.
That the US Army is apparently either unwilling or unable to make that clear to their employees is the major failure that underlies all the bad stories we hear from time to time.
Liverbreath
24-11-2005, 08:44
Well written, but one thing bothers me. A doctor that participates in combat? The medics go out and get shot at but when did they become gun toting? Is this a change that has taken place in the last 30 years that I missed?

I can't speak for other units, but I went in in 1983 and did my time in a Ranger Battalion and the 82nd Abn Div. We had one medic attached to each squad and they were always armed.
Mannatopia
24-11-2005, 09:35
I can't speak for other units, but I went in in 1983 and did my time in a Ranger Battalion and the 82nd Abn Div. We had one medic attached to each squad and they were always armed.
Just curious, were you ever deployed in combat? I am just asking because it may be possible that in combat situations, the rules for medics are different, and they decide to follow the Geneva Convention then. I could be wrong, and that is why I am asking. Even if you weren't deployed in combat, I could still be wrong, after all, I am not in the armed services, and therefore do not have first hand experience with this.
Liverbreath
24-11-2005, 10:23
Just curious, were you ever deployed in combat? I am just asking because it may be possible that in combat situations, the rules for medics are different, and they decide to follow the Geneva Convention then. I could be wrong, and that is why I am asking. Even if you weren't deployed in combat, I could still be wrong, after all, I am not in the armed services, and therefore do not have first hand experience with this.

Yes, Grenada, Panama, and Gulf one. I honestly don't know what the Geneva Conventions say as far as medics go, but where I was a medic was another guy in your squad. They didn't have the bullseye painted on their head gear and no red and white arm bands begging someone to shoot them. They carried their rifles and a .45 or 9mm, both in the field and when deployed. I also never met anyone from any army, either NATO or WARSAW pact that paid even the slightest attention to the Geneva Conventions. I always just assumed that was something strictly for press, politicians, and diplomats because it sure didn't have anything to do with us.
Mannatopia
24-11-2005, 10:32
Yes, Grenada, Panama, and Gulf one. I honestly don't know what the Geneva Conventions say as far as medics go, but where I was a medic was another guy in your squad. They didn't have the bullseye painted on their head gear and no red and white arm bands begging someone to shoot them. They carried their rifles and a .45 or 9mm, both in the field and when deployed. I also never met anyone from any army, either NATO or WARSAW pact that paid even the slightest attention to the Geneva Conventions. I always just assumed that was something strictly for press, politicians, and diplomats because it sure didn't have anything to do with us.
The fact that they were not wearing the red and white arm bands is what would allow them to carry arm. Without them, they are not afforded protection under the Geneva Convention, and therefore they damn well better be armed. As for NATO not following the Convention, yes we have. Look at all of the Iraqis who surrendered in Gulf War 1, they were treated properly as per the Geneva Convention. Also, I doubt that you were trained to go out and intentionally kill civilians (of course accidents may happen, but that's one reason why "War is Hell"). The individual soldier may not know that he is following the Geneva Convention, just that he is following his orders and training, it is the commanders above who make sure that the training and orders follow the convention.

Also, I would like to thank you for your service to this nation (not that you need my thanks, but here it is anyways).
Daistallia 2104
24-11-2005, 18:12
Thanks for posting that. It's spot on from all I know.
Liverbreath
24-11-2005, 18:59
The fact that they were not wearing the red and white arm bands is what would allow them to carry arm. Without them, they are not afforded protection under the Geneva Convention, and therefore they damn well better be armed. As for NATO not following the Convention, yes we have. Look at all of the Iraqis who surrendered in Gulf War 1, they were treated properly as per the Geneva Convention. Also, I doubt that you were trained to go out and intentionally kill civilians (of course accidents may happen, but that's one reason why "War is Hell"). The individual soldier may not know that he is following the Geneva Convention, just that he is following his orders and training, it is the commanders above who make sure that the training and orders follow the convention.


You are right about the treatment of prisoners. My partner (law enforcment) after Gulf one was an MP. She had told me that their advanced training after basic had large amounts of classroom hours devoted to the Geneva Accords and other treaties. I don't know why I didn't think of that until you mentioned all the surrendering in Gulf one, other than the fact that during my time, I almost never had any contact with units that did not directly support my operations. The rules were entirely different for us as our mission was usually, "show of force", "securing insertion points" (airports usually), or "blocking actions" well behind enemy lines. We had no abilities for handling prisoners, and without a direct decree from the commander in chief, no right to take them. When your unit is designed to be intentionally inserted into a situation where it is surrounded, luxuries such as rules simply do not exist. Extreme violence is most often a part of the operations orders.
Mannatopia
24-11-2005, 19:13
You are right about the treatment of prisoners. My partner (law enforcment) after Gulf one was an MP. She had told me that their advanced training after basic had large amounts of classroom hours devoted to the Geneva Accords and other treaties. I don't know why I didn't think of that until you mentioned all the surrendering in Gulf one, other than the fact that during my time, I almost never had any contact with units that did not directly support my operations. The rules were entirely different for us as our mission was usually, "show of force", "securing insertion points" (airports usually), or "blocking actions" well behind enemy lines. We had no abilities for handling prisoners, and without a direct decree from the commander in chief, no right to take them. When your unit is designed to be intentionally inserted into a situation where it is surrounded, luxuries such as rules simply do not exist. Extreme violence is most often a part of the operations orders.
You also were fighting enemies that thought they could beat you and didn't surrender. They were wrong.:D
Revasser
24-11-2005, 19:58
Very confronting and interesting. He bitches and whines a lot for someone who seems so concerned with "being a man", though. And that article kind of makes me feel guilty about supporting the soldiers, since they apparently don't want that support. According to him, at least.
Sharkswithlaserpewpew
24-11-2005, 20:21
Honestly, to quote the guy, what did you expect when you join up for the USA army?

And as a guy who joined up for the canadian army, in a pouge role or whatever he called it, what difference is there when a bomb blows up your convoy when your driving truck as opposed to being on the "front lines" and getting blown up?
Beer and Guns
24-11-2005, 21:03
And he lost me right here:


He crossed the line right here...if they are scumbags that don't deserve humanity, then there is no difference anymore between you and them.
That the US Army is apparently either unwilling or unable to make that clear to their employees is the major failure that underlies all the bad stories we hear from time to time.

You need to walk a while in that mans shoes .
Sharkswithlaserpewpew
24-11-2005, 22:03
You need to walk a while in that mans shoes .


I wonder why it takes a war like this to understand that foreigners dont want help from the US?
Neu Leonstein
25-11-2005, 00:32
You need to walk a while in that mans shoes .
And even then I'm fairly confident that I will have enough dignity not to touch people's intestines spread all over the street after a bomb attack.

Is there Political Training in the US Military's Basic Training? What does it entail?
Liverbreath
25-11-2005, 00:59
And even then I'm fairly confident that I will have enough dignity not to touch people's intestines spread all over the street after a bomb attack.

Is there Political Training in the US Military's Basic Training? What does it entail?

I must admit I never saw anyone want to touch human remains. In fact, I distinctly remember one very heated argument over a refusal to do so. It will regardless of who you are, cause you to stare long and hard at what you see the first time you see it. It goes very much against everything most of us have been taught since birth, so that is where reality sets in for many, and not before.

Political training? The only thing I was ever told was all politics stop here. It was absolutely forbidden. In all my time in the military I only knew the political beliefs of one person.
Neu Leonstein
25-11-2005, 01:11
I must admit I never saw anyone want to touch human remains.
It just said it in the article, so I was somewhat disturbed...those bits belonged to a person once, and I would think we'd owe it to that person to treat their remains with a little dignity, if only for the sake of their families.

Political training? The only thing I was ever told was all politics stop here. It was absolutely forbidden. In all my time in the military I only knew the political beliefs of one person.
That's interesting...the Bundeswehr has Political Training classes as part of Basic Training, where I assume they also explain things like the Geneva Convention and that kind of thing.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JAP/is_1_10/ai_73328196

Read this one (http://sicherheitspolitik.bundeswehr.de/12/9.php), it gives you a good idea what the Bundeswehr considers to be important...I'm wondering whether the whole underlying conception may be completely different from the US.
Freedom and responsibility have been and will also continue to be the political and moral benchmarks for the concept of Innere F├╝hrung and for the model of the citizen in uniform. They are the heart of the Bundeswehr's tradition and the basis for its integration in society. Even at the beginning of the 21st century, a soldier needs convincing values that provide guidance and orientation. He needs to know why he is being deployed and what he is meant to defend - human dignity, rights and freedom. The Bundeswehr is subject to the primacy of politics. It is bound by law and legislation and serves to safeguard the rights and freedom of our people and nation. It is an army in a democracy and for democracy.

EDIT: Found another good link...
http://www.eng.bmvg.de/C1256F1200608B1B/CurrentBaseLink/W2686BW2672INFOEN
Liverbreath
25-11-2005, 02:37
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JAP/is_1_10/ai_73328196

Read this one (http://sicherheitspolitik.bundeswehr.de/12/9.php), it gives you a good idea what the Bundeswehr considers to be important...I'm wondering whether the whole underlying conception may be completely different from the US.


EDIT: Found another good link...
http://www.eng.bmvg.de/C1256F1200608B1B/CurrentBaseLink/W2686BW2672INFOEN

I found your links absolutely interesting and can confirm that you are correct, our systems are entirely different in most every respect. There would be no way to even compare them, as we no longer have a conscripted service, which eliminates the special needs of intergration into society I would think. Reading the articles I got the impression that to a large degree it's purpose was in large part to prepare your society for incorporation into what amounts to a larger nation...IE European Union. Is this correct?

The US military as best as my limited capabilities can describe, is intentionally removed from intergration into society, as a tool for the civilian government, to project it's resolve and defend it's borders. Any utilization of the US Military (active duty) in civilian matters within US borders is hotly debated and largely considered the beginning of the end, even though it has of course been used in the past.

In principle I agree with the single minded and seperated military service, as I believe that attempts to broaden their scope within the political system will lead inevitably to their domination of it. I may be wrong, but if I am not, the consequeces could be devastating.
Myrmidonisia
25-11-2005, 02:49
And he lost me right here:


He crossed the line right here...if they are scumbags that don't deserve humanity, then there is no difference anymore between you and them.
That the US Army is apparently either unwilling or unable to make that clear to their employees is the major failure that underlies all the bad stories we hear from time to time.
I think this is what separates "them that have" from "them that haven't". Even with plenty of green ink in my logbook, I'm still in the "haven't" category. What the grunts go through every day is still pretty abstract to me, and certainly to you. I think it's a little rash for the "haven't"s to judge them.
Neu Leonstein
25-11-2005, 03:23
Reading the articles I got the impression that to a large degree it's purpose was in large part to prepare your society for incorporation into what amounts to a larger nation...IE European Union. Is this correct?
Hmmm, in modern days maybe - but the idea of the "Internal Leadership"-Doctrine came up straight when the Bundeswehr was first formed in the fifties.
I think it is primarily a mechanism to defeat the old Prussian tendency to see the military as the central piece of society. This time 'round they're trying to make sure that society is the central piece of the military.
When in Prussia or the 2nd and 3rd Empires the citizen was a soldier without uniform, then today the soldier is a citizen with uniform.

Any utilization of the US Military (active duty) in civilian matters within US borders is hotly debated and largely considered the beginning of the end, even though it has of course been used in the past.
The same is true for Germany though - the Bundeswehr cannot operate inside the borders of Germany for anything other than disaster relief. They were going to prepare an amendment that would allow the deployment of military forces in a city in the event of a terrorist attack, but I'm not sure whether it survived the coalition talks over the last few weeks.

I may be wrong, but if I am not, the consequeces could be devastating.
Indeed, we have seen what happened in Germany over the past 200 years or so.

What the grunts go through every day is still pretty abstract to me, and certainly to you.
Indeed, I wouldn't dispute that.

I think it's a little rash for the "haven't"s to judge them.
Here I disagree with you though - it is true that I know little about the necessities on the ground, or about the emotional impact.
I do know however that I am in a position that is relatively neutral on the outside. I can see clearly what could be considered "ethical behaviour" and what couldn't.
Of course soldiers on the ground go through all sorts of things, and often act in self-defence - but because of that, they also can lose sight of what is the "right" thing to do, and they should never consider themselves above advice from those who still have these guidelines.
Neu Leonstein
25-11-2005, 11:12
Bump

*tries to steer this thread into a direction more in line with the thread title out of real curiosity about the differences between attitudes between different countries regarding their armed forces*