Saluting with misty eyes
I have been hearing about this "unlawful" or "illegal" coalition for over a year... mostly be people who are opposing the war, yet have not seen anyone offer to show proof that it was. If you can do so, I would be willing to check it out and more consider your viewpoint. It is very doubtful that it would change my thoughts on the situation, however I am willing to look at evidence on both sides.
Also, using your own definition, are these (and again I will say it) Terrorists not looking to coerce the people of the world and to intimidate the people they are opposing? Certainly be-heading a civilian is the use of violence by an organized group with the intention of intimidating the other civilians who are there (NONE of whom are in a combat capacity), and to coerce the American people to react against their government for the political reason of getting the Americans out of Iraq before the job is finished? No, it isn't THEIR society they are attempting to influence, but OURS.
Quite possibly the kidnapping of Japanese newspaper reporters and the threat of burning them alive to get the Japanese troops out falls into that line of thought.
Or how about killing Iraqi women who are lining up for work at a government office. Isn't that being done to intimidate the Iraqi people? By giving us a definition, you have proven my point.
As for the prisoners, the actions taken against them were not to intimidate or coerce a society, or a government for ideological or political reasons. If you believe that the guards acted alone without any orders from a higher authority, then it was a bunch of people being stupid and drunk with their own power having "fun" (and I use that term to show how stupid it is)... No political or ideological changes there.They hated us then, they hate us now.
If you believe, as the defendants would have you believe, that it was ordered from the chain of command to extract information, then- again- no ideological or political points to be made. Using your own definition, then, the acts against the prisoners, regardless of how tasteless and... well, I an not permitted to use the words that come to mind, however I am sure you get the idea... anyhow, those acts were not terrorism.
As for the Iraqis not asking for the war... The people of Finland, Hungary, and Romania did not want war during War II, however each was required to make good for $300,000,000 each to the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, it is part of the political "game" and the cost of war. Also, It has been reported that the Iraqis will be given up to 100 years to repay the war debt. Considering the ONLY country to have ever fully repaid their war debt to the US is Finland, from War One, I don't see that they will ever pay anything.
Again, with Lt. Calley: I have absolutely no clue as to how that fits into your statement about accountability occurring ONLY after the offence being uncovered, or about how "long" it takes before the military reacts to a situation. He was charged and sent to Court September of 69... the first news reporter sniffed out the assault on Son My (the villiage where the assault took place) in November.
With the Prison "cover-up", the military sent a general (I don't recall his name at the moment, however he was the first Phillipino to make it to the rank of General) to the prison to check things out, and he was back in the United States with a full report that he gave to the Senate AND the House committees. A full scale investigation that allows for the type of detail that this general had for his testimony before both committees takes more than the few weeks between the media splashing it all over the airwaves and the legislative branch being able to get the papers together to have the hearings. He was "in-country" starting the investigation BEFORE the media got wind of it. It seems to me that the facts in these cases at least bear out my thoughts in this part of the discussion.
I will concede the article on Hugh Thompson due to the fact that my computer refuses to load the page, for some reason, and I am not going to debate a case when I am not able to see the case the opposition is presenting.
Also, I can tell you from experience (I was a material witness in a summary court) a court-martial takes just as long as a "regular" civilian trial to get together, and to allow each side to gather and form their respective cases. I was providing depositions and evidence to the lawyers a full three months before court in a simple motorcycle theft. The first court-martial is being held next week in the prison case. These Courts-martial were in motion before the media got wind of it.
Punishment and accountability is not noble, unless the accused cops to the crime and accepts whatever recourse without argument. The actions are not noble, only the fact that the accused knows he/she is guilty, and is willing to accept the responsibility for his/her actions. IN all of the cases discussed in this thread, from My Lai to Aberdeen, to Tailhook, to Iraq, NONE of the punishments, or accused being held accountable was noble, as they were forced to do so.
I will join you in your prayers for the soldiers who chose not to participate andwho chose to do what they could to end the abuse. As for the press, I feel that there are certain things that shuld not be reported, as they make it more difficult for the Americans who are left behind who are required to interact with the Iraqi citzens on a daily basis. It puts their lives at risk, because many of them are going to feel as many protesters at home do, that this is the norm of behavior rather than the very poor exception, and it puts American lives at risk... and there is nothing more going to happen that wasn't going to happen without it being reported.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again... http://www.cmlb.net/ringo