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Thread: Backroom Errata

  1. #1

    Default Backroom Errata

    So I was skimming into coalition transgressions during the occupation of Iraq, and ended up looking at Fallujah, 2004. One incident that caught my eye was a war crimes accusation by a correspondent that a Marine had executed a wounded, unarmed Iraqi on the ground.

    On one hand, this op-ed suggests that this was a regrettable event but not a crime because the soldier made a rapid, though poor, decision under the pressure of the moment.

    On the other, the embedded correspondent described the scene thus:

    Code:
    Platoon takes fire from mosque. Platoon assaults and takes mosque, killing 10 and wounding 5. Dead are bagged and wounded processed for extraction to the rear. Platoon moves on for the day. 
    Night passes. In the morning, the platoon is informed that fire is coming from the same mosque. Platoon backtracks and investigates the mosque. 
    Dead are all still there, and the same wounded as well - but one of the five is now dead, and some of the rest have fresh, bleeding, wounds. 
    One of the Marines voices suspicion that one of the wounded is feigning death. Marine walks up to the insurgent, shoots him once, and walks away.
    For the relevant footage of the incident, watch the last minute of the Part 1 in this link. Tell me how you see it (@spmetla), because to the untrained eye what that looks like is exactly how one would imagine a war crime against POWs transpiring. Measured, deliberate, and not an "instinctual" act in the heat of combat.

    Ultimately a military investigation found no wrongdoing to pursue in the incident (apparently the same soldier shot 2 other of the wounded there as well).

    Sources tell NBC News the decision was based on the fact the Marines had been warned that the enemy would feign death and booby-trap bodies as a tactic to lure Marines to their deaths. The sources said the corporal apparently feared for his life when he fired the shots.
    Does that really hold up if these guys were known to have been incapacitated and secured previously, by the same unit in the same building? At the very least, where were the MPs or medics to take them away the day before?

    But the investigation is not over. At least one other Marine remains under investigation for shooting the fourth unarmed insurgent in that same mosque.
    I can't find anything for that investigation, but damn. 5 men captured, all dead on site within a day.

    I recall from one WW2 documentary the rationalization of a German infantryman for killing a Soviet soldier during Barbarossa. German forces were advancing, and the subject came upon a Russian, whom he ordered to raise his hands. The Russian, paralyzed with fear, made no response, so after a period the German shot him and moved forward. As described that seems understandable; it could be risky to personally disarm an enemy combatant and to guard them while waiting for backup, or lead them to the rear alone. The Fallujah incident is more difficult to understand.
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  2. #2
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    That case even got attention here. Nobody was eager to take a position. I am not very eager to do that either, glad I don't have to

  3. #3
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    It's a war crime, plain and simple. There's absolutely no ambiguity.

    Of course his life was in danger, he was a soldier in a war. That isn't a blank check to shoot unarmed people, combatants or civilians.

  4. #4
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Ya technically it is really as simple as that, I still find it hard though, I have never been in situations like that I don't find it all that straightforward
    Last edited by Fragony; 09-10-2017 at 15:11.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Without further information, I suspect the investigation found no wrong-doing because the soldiers who shot the captured insurgents were technically following ROE for the battle to "check" dead bodies or apparently dead bodies.

    In other words, if you assume that there were numerous incidents like this one during the battle, and the letter of doctrine allowed it, then this group of soldiers could absolutely not be court-martialed without implicating dozens or hundreds of others, potentially up to the staff. Price of justice too high to pay this time.
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  6. #6
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Without further information, I suspect the investigation found no wrong-doing because the soldiers who shot the captured insurgents were technically following ROE for the battle to "check" dead bodies or apparently dead bodies.

    In other words, if you assume that there were numerous incidents like this one during the battle, and the letter of doctrine allowed it, then this group of soldiers could absolutely not be court-martialed without implicating dozens or hundreds of others, potentially up to the staff. Price of justice too high to pay this time.
    Probably a fair assessment of the mind of the decision makers in this instance. People feigning casualty status in order to conduct an attack from surprise tend to make ALL of the opposing soldiers leery of any questionable circumstance and leave them prone to committing war crimes. That has happened to US forces in the past, where fear/frustration become pervasive and encourage behavior that is out of line.
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  7. #7
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Without further information, I suspect the investigation found no wrong-doing because the soldiers who shot the captured insurgents were technically following ROE for the battle to "check" dead bodies or apparently dead bodies.

    In other words, if you assume that there were numerous incidents like this one during the battle, and the letter of doctrine allowed it, then this group of soldiers could absolutely not be court-martialed without implicating dozens or hundreds of others, potentially up to the staff. Price of justice too high to pay this time.
    When I went through basic training (Ft. Benning 2002-3) I was taught that up to the point of search and capture it was fine to to engage uniformed or identified enemies with force. Once take into care and custody after search then Soldiers are obligated to safeguard said prisoner.

    This incident in particular now that I re-read it a bit older and wiser I see this as being a warcrime. When I first read this I was gearing up for my first deployment to Iraq and was not too sympathetic in attitude. That being said given the heat of the moment after combat not all people come down from that high quickly. It is difficult to switch into caring for someone that moments before in a different situation was trying to kill you.
    One of the odd things about war and one of the attractions to it for many young men is that it simplifies things to us versus them. The value of live of those that aren't with 'us' degrades substantially, especially if we assume that the innocents are such and actually suppor our enemies.

    It's one of the reasons that prisoners need to be safeguarded and sped to the rear; because the capturing Soldiers generally don't want to care for their enemy, especially from one that will more likely than not offer no kindness as stipulated in the Geneva Conventions.

    This incident in particular though, If I were forced to decide in my current position and rank as an officer I would prosecute the Marine if he were mine. The prisoners were in our care and needed to be safeguarded.
    When I was enlisted though and shared the mentality of those on the line I would side with the Marine in his callous and deadly attitude toward the enemy and the civilians that support him (actively or passively). The US military had told civilians to evacuate because they would attack which is one of the reasons that civilians were treated harshly in that battle, because they were assumed to support the enemy even if it was passively.

    War is hell and the man's death is tragic. It shames me now that that such incidents happen but at the same time I can understand the Marines' actions. At the end of the day though debating how just the man's death is or not is tragic due to the war and situation in general, there's no clear cut answers when it comes to killing. We try to regulate war through uniforms, conventions, weapons bans but it is still killing on a massive scale to help ones side.
    One of the tragedies (and strategies) of all insurgencies is that due to the lack of a uniformed enemy the formal military or police will always be extremely doubtful of the innocence of any civilian which results in a lot of civilians being killed by association with the enemy without regard of the civilian's circumstance.

    Even though I would try the marine and see this as a warcrime I still don't mind the verdict too much which is not too comforting for my own analysis of my consistency in such moral dilemmas or how callus I've become to the plight of such civilians in the crossfire.
    Last edited by spmetla; 09-11-2017 at 10:47.

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  8. #8
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    It's a war crime, plain and simple. There's absolutely no ambiguity.

    Of course his life was in danger, he was a soldier in a war. That isn't a blank check to shoot unarmed people, combatants or civilians.
    Nothing was said about the Soviet soldier being armed or unarmed. That is if you meant this very episode.
    Last edited by Gilrandir; 09-11-2017 at 17:04.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Nothing was said about the Soviet soldier being armed or unarmed. That is if you meant this very episode.


    Soviet soldiers hiding in a mosque in Iraq in 2004?
    Do you come from a parallel universe?


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  10. #10
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post


    Soviet soldiers hiding in a mosque in Iraq in 2004?
    Do you come from a parallel universe?
    #1

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    .....
    I recall from one WW2 documentary the rationalization of a German infantryman for killing a Soviet soldier during Barbarossa. German forces were advancing, and the subject came upon a Russian, whom he ordered to raise his hands. The Russian, paralyzed with fear, made no response, so after a period the German shot him and moved forward. As described that seems understandable; it could be risky to personally disarm an enemy combatant and to guard them while waiting for backup, or lead them to the rear alone. The Fallujah incident is more difficult to understand.
    # 3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    It's a war crime, plain and simple. There's absolutely no ambiguity.

    Of course his life was in danger, he was a soldier in a war. That isn't a blank check to shoot unarmed people, combatants or civilians.
    Mine:
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Nothing was said about the Soviet soldier being armed or unarmed. That is if you meant this very episode.
    Conclusion: try to be more reasonable before lashing about like you did. In your defense: you don't normally. A bad day?
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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  11. #11
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    SOPs for a warzone are invariably written by lawyers who have never been in a situation where they are in danger.

    We bomb entire cities to the bedrock and that's fine and one soldier is a war criminal?

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    #1



    # 3


    Mine:


    Conclusion: try to be more reasonable before lashing about like you did. In your defense: you don't normally. A bad day?
    To respond to the issue, I don't recall what the interviewee specified, or if he specified it at all, or if he did and lied, or if he misremembered...

    To speak abstractly then, if two opposing, armed enemy soldiers encounter each other alone, one demands surrender, and the other does not respond physically or verbally, it is understandable for the first to 'neutralize' the second. And the Geneva standards don't seem to extend protection over such a case.

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    SOPs for a warzone are invariably written by lawyers who have never been in a situation where they are in danger.

    We bomb entire cities to the bedrock and that's fine and one soldier is a war criminal?

    I think that's the concern I identified. To try an individual is manageable (affordable), but if the organization bears culpability, that's ruinous to pursue to its logical conclusion.
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  13. #13
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I think that's the concern I identified. To try an individual is manageable (affordable), but if the organization bears culpability, that's ruinous to pursue to its logical conclusion.
    We need specify are we talking about moral issues or legal practicality here.

    From legal point of view, it doesn't really matter. Some countries, most notably USA, but also other powerful countries like Russia and China can do what they want with impunity. The international institutions are set up in such a way that they could never be held legally responsible, and even if they were by some miracle, it would be impossible to enforce such a ruling. Go back a few decades, every single American president was a war criminal. Who's gonna come over and arrest an American president?

    A multipolar world might at least bring some semblance of equality as multiple centers of power would keep each other in check. On the other hand, it could go horribly wrong, see WW1.

    So, I'm not very interested in legal issues, because of those reasons. I find moral aspects more important, and with those in mind, the marine involved was guilty. There was even no draft for the Iraqi war. He volunteered for service. If he sincerely didn't expect to be put in a situation where his life might be in danger than he had no grasp of reality.

  14. #14
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    #1



    # 3


    Mine:


    Conclusion: try to be more reasonable before lashing about like you did. In your defense: you don't normally. A bad day?
    Likely Husar was playing off the natural "mistake" in confusing the two in order to generate humor. I admit to having chuckled.
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  15. #15
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    A multipolar world might at least bring some semblance of equality as multiple centers of power would keep each other in check. On the other hand, it could go horribly wrong, see WW1.
    For some reason, this only seems to balance when there are 5 clear powers. The development of more or the reduction from 5 seems to cause problems. Not quite sure how that seems to work out that way.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  16. #16
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    So, I'm not very interested in legal issues, because of those reasons. I find moral aspects more important, and with those in mind, the marine involved was guilty. There was even no draft for the Iraqi war. He volunteered for service. If he sincerely didn't expect to be put in a situation where his life might be in danger than he had no grasp of reality.
    If you say he commited a warcrime, basta, yo seem to be not interested in morality at all. Just musing, I think it really becomes a warcrime when it's an order, a stressed grunt shold be able to be trialed for manslaughter or murder, but only an officer for warcrimes

  17. #17

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    We need specify are we talking about moral issues or legal practicality here.

    From legal point of view, it doesn't really matter. Some countries, most notably USA, but also other powerful countries like Russia and China can do what they want with impunity. The international institutions are set up in such a way that they could never be held legally responsible, and even if they were by some miracle, it would be impossible to enforce such a ruling. Go back a few decades, every single American president was a war criminal. Who's gonna come over and arrest an American president?

    A multipolar world might at least bring some semblance of equality as multiple centers of power would keep each other in check. On the other hand, it could go horribly wrong, see WW1.

    So, I'm not very interested in legal issues, because of those reasons. I find moral aspects more important, and with those in mind, the marine involved was guilty. There was even no draft for the Iraqi war. He volunteered for service. If he sincerely didn't expect to be put in a situation where his life might be in danger than he had no grasp of reality.
    The moral issue is the same as the legal one in my original question to the thread, since the matter struck me as war-crimey and I'm asking how you all judge the legality.

    My subsequent thoughts are speculating on why the official investigation came to a different conclusion.

    That is, if successful courts-martial of the Marine and his comrade sets a precedent over the incident, then there isn't much to justify why that precedent shouldn't be pursued in likely similar incidents throughout the battle involving many other Marines and soldiers. Indeed, if it turns out the operating procedure developed for the battle was especially prone to encourage or demand actions that would frequently be criminal, you could move up to high-ranking officers, and eventually even the civilian leadership, who developed and approved these procedures.

    Justice is easy to apply to 'isolated' cases, but if you take strict legalism to its logical conclusion the whole institution implodes - for example, as in your example of trying the POTUS for war crimes.
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  18. #18
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Conclusion: try to be more reasonable before lashing about like you did. In your defense: you don't normally. A bad day?
    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Likely Husar was playing off the natural "mistake" in confusing the two in order to generate humor. I admit to having chuckled.
    Not quite, it seemed like a side note from Montmorency, an inaccurate recollection with the note that it was not quite comparable to the actual topic, so I forgot about it. I retract the different dimension comment but maintain the point that you/Gilrandir always want(s) to make every topic about Russia.

    It seemed quite odd to assume Sarmatian was commenting on the Russian part without explicitly saying so in the first place.
    Last edited by Husar; 09-13-2017 at 14:40.


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  19. #19
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    I retract the different dimension comment but maintain the point that you/Gilrandir always want(s) to make every topic about Russia.
    Like your insulting remark could be justified by the alleged shortcomings of the person it was aimed at ("perhaps this time I misfired, but he is like that anyway")? I understand your chain of reasoning and hail your retraction, but a simple apology would suit better.

    As for my purported desire to always talk about Russia:
    I don't DESIRE to, I prefer to talk of things I know better, that of things I know worse. In the latter case I keep silent.

    As for the post in question, it was about a SOVIET soldier, not a RUSSIAN one, so you misfired again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    It seemed quite odd to assume Sarmatian was commenting on the Russian part without explicitly saying so in the first place.
    So odd that it seems he comes from Dagobar system?
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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  20. #20
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Like your insulting remark could be justified by the alleged shortcomings of the person it was aimed at ("perhaps this time I misfired, but he is like that anyway")?
    Quite a few people might think it would be cool to be able to travel between dimensions, but okay, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, I don't even remember whether that was the intenion.


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  21. #21
    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Quite a few people might think it would be cool to be able to travel between dimensions, but okay, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings,


    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    I don't even remember whether that was the intenion.
    See what happens with your memory when you shuttle there and back again between the Earth and Tatooin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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  22. #22
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    If you say he commited a warcrime, basta, yo seem to be not interested in morality at all. Just musing, I think it really becomes a warcrime when it's an order, a stressed grunt shold be able to be trialed for manslaughter or murder, but only an officer for warcrimes
    Soldiers are responsible for their own actions. Officers are responsible for the actions they order of others AND their own actions.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    This Current Affairs outfit is regularly producing good material:

    here is a certain species of argument that is frequently raised in response to attempts to restrain the influence and power of corporations and the wealthy. It is, roughly: you will fail, therefore you should accept things as they are and not try to tamper with them. If you try to, say, issue some sort of new tax, you will be told that the wealthy will take their money offshore, with the implication that you should therefore not issue the tax.

    Of course, it doesn’t necessarily imply that at all: the argument is a non sequitur, because “X alone won’t work” doesn’t necessarily mean “X shouldn’t be done,” it might just mean “X shouldn’t be done without also doing Y.” If the argument is “corporations will simply get around this new regulation,” that isn’t necessarily reason not to pass the regulation, it might just be reason to figure out ways to make sure you can enforce it effectively.
    The funny thing about these “it won’t work” arguments is that they often make the case for revolutionary socialism just as well as they make the case for inaction. [...] The people who make these arguments want us to reach the conclusion “Don’t even bother…” but if we examine them carefully, we can see that they can equally well mean “Don’t even bother… doing anything short of totally changing the economic system.”
    ...conservative arguments almost never change. They tend to be variations on three themes: perversity, futility, and jeopardy. Perversity arguments are of the sort that say “this is immoral and goes against God’s will/tradition/the state/etc.” (Think culturally conservative arguments against homosexuality.) Jeopardy arguments suggest that some proposed change would jeopardize what we already have (“you’ll hurt the people you’re trying to help”). And futility arguments contend that it’s pointless to try to act, because you won’t succeed (futility and jeopardy are often used in conjunction: you’ll fail, and you’ll make things worse). The perversity, futility, jeopardy framework is very useful, because it allows us to recognize that conservative arguments are often formed prior to any examination of the facts: whatever the change is, we will be told that it is futile and will only make us worse off. That’s why there’s good reason to be skeptical of them. They may be correct, but it’s also frequently true that the speaker doesn’t really care whether they’re correct, because being a conservative means constantly saying that some proposed change will do no good, is an abomination, and will actually hurt the people you’re trying to help.
    Note that Schoen might be right that refusing to criticize Wall Street makes “economic sense” for the party: if you criticize the rich, they are unlikely to donate to your cause. But Schoen is also telling us that we are essentially held hostage by Wall Street: if you tick them off, they’ll move their money to the other side, and then you’ll lose. It’s an admission that the United States is in no way democratic: it doesn’t matter what people want, it matters what Wall Street wants, because they have the money, and so the people have to please them. This is true regardless of whether the criticisms of Wall Street have merit; Schoen doesn’t really refute the charges that are made. Instead, his posture is pragmatic: it doesn’t matter whether you’re right, it matters that they have money and you don’t. Schoen decries the Democratic embrace of “stifling” regulations, meaning a refusal to let Wall Street do as it pleases without consequence.
    The pattern of Schoen’s rhetoric is familiar: Resistance is futile. Wall Street is in charge, and you cannot tick them off. As I say, that may actually be true, and I’m not concerned to debate it here. But it’s amusing that people like Schoen think their arguments are somehow an endorsement of Wall Street, rather than an explanation of just how pernicious its stranglehold on political and economic life is.
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  24. #24
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Old news my friend.


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  25. #25

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Speaking of military crimes, here's a story about US Special Forces in Africa (Mali):

    The accusation is that a Green Beret uncovered an embezzlement plot by two members of Seal Team Six to siphon funds allocated for informants and collaborators, the SEALs offered him a cut, he refused, they killed him and claimed it an accident of the victim's drunkenness. Yet he hadn't been drinking...

    If true, these SEALs have disgraced their names before gods and men. AFAIK Military Justice is relatively diligent when it comes to rooting out and punishing violence in the ranks, so they will get to the bottom of things. Right?
    @spmetla
    Last edited by Montmorency; 11-14-2017 at 22:45.
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  26. #26
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Didn't the TV series of NCIS already have a story or two like that? Guess it's more realistic than I thought.


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  27. #27
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Speaking of military crimes, here's a story about US Special Forces in Africa (Mali):

    The accusation is that a Green Beret uncovered an embezzlement plot by two members of Seal Team Six to siphon funds allocated for informants and collaborators, the SEALs offered him a cut, he refused, they killed him and claimed it an accident of the victim's drunkenness. Yet he hadn't been drinking...

    If true, these SEALs have disgraced their names before gods and men. AFAIK Military Justice is relatively diligent when it comes to rooting out and punishing violence in the ranks, so they will get to the bottom of things. Right?
    @spmetla
    They have certainly disgraced themselves. Military Justice usually has trouble when it's between the different branches. The SEAL community would normally close ranks and protect their own or it will hang them out to dry to avoid any looking into their other activities. All the SOF branches enjoy their relative freedom from bureaucracy and will do what they must to avoid any additional oversight.

    The one 15-6 (investigation) I had to conduct on an SF Soldier proved inconclusive because they had already sent him out of the country as well as the female soldier he was having a relationship with and then wiped both their phones leaving me to conduct days of interviews of everybody but the Soldier and the female and ending with no actual evidence of their mutual acts of adultery.

    Them lining their own pockets wouldn't surprise me, there are a lot of 'cowboys' in the SOF community. Them killing to keep it a secret though is incredibly surprising. The little I've seen of the SEAL community makes me think far less of them than Army SF because they start out as SEALs as their first job in the military while SF guys had some other job in the Army before trying out for selection. Means that SEALs tend to think of themselves as better than everyone else because they've never had to do time as a regular soldier and have gotten to foster their elite mentality from the day they pass their selection.

    The SOF community does have a lot of dirty money connections though because they do have to work with tribal leaders, militias, smugglers and so on. Part of their effectiveness is their ability to essentially use their operational 'slush fund' more liberally without the receipts and inspections required for the rest of the military.

    For this particular case though, with all the press coverage the two SEALs will probably have justice meted out to them very quickly so that the rest of the SOF community their can go back to work without being under the microscope as well as to quickly repair the relationship between Army SF and SEALs which undoubtedly has suffered a catastrophic loss of rapport between the two communities.
    Last edited by spmetla; 11-15-2017 at 01:00.

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  28. #28

    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Who gets this? Without looking it up. Be honest, post your immediate impressions. Don't open the spoiler without getting your response down first please.

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    Capitalist workplace


    I find it incisive.

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    Last edited by Montmorency; 01-08-2018 at 04:12.
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  29. #29
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Who gets this? Without looking it up. Be honest, post your immediate impressions. Don't open the spoiler without getting your response down first please.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
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    Capitalist workplace


    I find it incisive.

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    Yeah, but a libertarian once wrote 600 pages about how we all signed the contract on the dotted line. Therefore, this scenario is by definition just and fair since there are absolutely no circumstances in which an individual could be coerced into submitting himself to an unjust system for sustenance...
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  30. #30
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backroom Errata

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Yeah, but a libertarian once wrote 600 pages about how we all signed the contract on the dotted line. Therefore, this scenario is by definition just and fair since there are absolutely no circumstances in which an individual could be coerced into submitting himself to an unjust system for sustenance...
    Indeed, time to remove the moocher net for the bottom feeders without a job, too!


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