Choboman wrote:Making generalised statements about what American soldiers are like, or how they think, based on a very limited number of anecdotal observations, is just bad logic. Yes, there are some "bad people" in the US Army. If you look hard enough you'll find "bad people" [for any definition of bad that you care for] in ANY large group - Muslims, Brazilians, Verizon employees, etc. This doesn't prove that there's an endemic problem with the military culture. Since 2002, there have been (on average) well over 150K soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen deployed each year in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a large percentage of those interacting with the local population and dealing with conflicts on a regular basis. I think that it's amazing that we haven't had more scandals and breakdowns in discipline than we've had.
This isn't just an American problem. All militaries throughout history have had to deal with these kinds of issues during protracted conflict. Especially in conflicts where the enemy is not easily distinguished from the local population. We didn't hear about atrocities in earlier generations because of the limitations in media technology and restrictions on the press, but what information I've seen leads me to believe that things were much worse 20, 50 or 100 years ago than they are now. The US military still has lots of room for improvement, but they're not the universally racist baby-killers that some of you seem to suggest.
Exactly the point I'm trying to make, some in this thread must have an anti military state of mind if they're so quick to blame the military as a whole rather than the individuals responsible. They're grown men and in the end they made the choice. No one forced them to do anything. We have a few incidents and all of a sudden we're all to blame. According to some of you I somehow contributed, or my leaders somehow contributed. You can have the perfect military, with perfect discipline, and perfectly well behaved soldiers, but there will always be those who want to do the opposite. With that being said, what evidence is there to prove that this course somehow contributed to war atrocities in some shape, war, or form? I can just as easily blame civilian culture and their love of all things violent or gory, but I won't
LaserGuy wrote:The officer may not be directly responsible for the actions of their subordinates, but they are responsible for discipling those subordinates if they do something wrong, are they not? If an officer witnesses some of his subordinates peeing on corpses or murdering civilians or whatever and does nothing about it, does that not make him/her complicit in the atrocities?
Thank you for stating the obvious. Officers weren't present for most of the atrocities, and more than likely would of stopped it if they would have been present.