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  • Prisoners of War?

    Already the Allied troops are playing into Saddam’s hands as it is obvious that most of the so called POWS are just hapless Iraqi males who looked or acted suss around the troops and are now being herded off into the cages.

    The British Army in particular seemed to have learned nothing from their experiences in Belfast, Derry, south Armagh etc. Last night the Royal Marines were shown on TV breaking into a house by kicking the door in then running in and dragging two men along the floor who had their hands over their heads. Their womenfolk were screaming in the background. One of the Marines then slapped them across the head. Why, because a local informer said they were in the Baath party! More likely a neighbor paying off an old score.

    In another instance on the outskirts of Basra men in civilian clothing were being taken away for questioning, I saw one made to kneel while a hood was placed over his head. No doubt the others were treated the same. Can you imagine the shame, humiliation and anger of these men? Their wives and children or families left behind in Basra perhaps with no idea now as to what has happened to them?

    I have seen very few men been taken prisoners that were in military uniform. As there is no way to be able to decide who is whom in all of this and most Iraqi men are not in the armed forces anyway (like in any other country) then these wholesale ‘arrests’ are going to backfire in the future on the US and Britain.

    Like this is 'winning hearts and minds’? More like stocking up the fires of hate for years to come.
    http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

  • #2
    Re: Prisoners of War?

    Originally posted by Wolfe Tone
    Already the Allied troops are playing into Saddam’s hands as it is obvious that most of the so called POWS are just hapless Iraqi males who looked or acted suss around the troops and are now being herded off into the cages.

    The British Army in particular seemed to have learned nothing from their experiences in Belfast, Derry, south Armagh etc. Last night the Royal Marines were shown on TV breaking into a house by kicking the door in then running in and dragging two men along the floor who had their hands over their heads. Their womenfolk were screaming in the background. One of the Marines then slapped them across the head. Why, because a local informer said they were in the Baath party! More likely a neighbor paying off an old score.

    In another instance on the outskirts of Basra men in civilian clothing were being taken away for questioning, I saw one made to kneel while a hood was placed over his head. No doubt the others were treated the same. Can you imagine the shame, humiliation and anger of these men? Their wives and children or families left behind in Basra perhaps with no idea now as to what has happened to them?

    I have seen very few men been taken prisoners that were in military uniform. As there is no way to be able to decide who is whom in all of this and most Iraqi men are not in the armed forces anyway (like in any other country) then these wholesale ‘arrests’ are going to backfire in the future on the US and Britain.

    Like this is 'winning hearts and minds’? More like stocking up the fires of hate for years to come.

    Saddam's troops are fighting in civilian clothing.
    Most Iraqis have greeted the coalition forces with open arms so the friendly approach seems to be working.
    "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

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    • #3
      I think a war is going on. Many times it comes down to taking prisoners or just blowing away a block with artillery. Doesn't look pretty on the old TV but this is what happens in war.
      "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

      Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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      • #4
        Re: Re: Prisoners of War?

        Originally posted by kid kool



        Saddam's troops are fighting in civilian clothing.
        Most Iraqis have greeted the coalition forces with open arms so the friendly approach seems to be working.
        I don't know about open arm's greeting. Most Iraqis believe the Coalition force is there to occupy Iraq and steal it's oil. They have spent decades under intense political oppression, and still fear the security apparatus of the Iraqi Regime. So you will not see people tossing flowers and cheering our troops for now. I believe the Iraqis are prepared to give us a chance as long as we treat them in a humane, dignified manner. Beyond Saddam Hussein, the people of Iraq are just as Patriotic as Americans. They don't want to be treated as helpless people with their hands out. So our troops and politicians need to make it clear we are just helping them out, not saving them.

        I agree Wolfe_Tone, the British military does appear to be very harsh on the Iraqi people. The Marines in Najaf are performing the same task, but you have the soldiers first asking for permission to search, and taking into consideration what the personal needs of the owner. In one case, the Marines were prepared to give a farmer back his AK-47, until they caught him in several lies about weapon possession.

        I would advise the troops to go easy at first. However, I'm certain they have adopted their tactics for a reason. The Britsh have done alot to bring humanitarian aid into Iraq. And I understand the principles of CQC, which include rapidly establishing domination and control. Yet, yelling at men, and man-handling them when they are no longer immediate threats is not the greatest ideal for winning the hearts and minds battle.

        Then again, so isn't destroying people's home..........
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Chuck
          I think a war is going on. Many times it comes down to taking prisoners or just blowing away a block with artillery. Doesn't look pretty on the old TV but this is what happens in war.
          Here I will realy assume my French position

          1) The TV war show just gives crued facts more or less , the public touched is the important target

          2) If this war was endorsed by the UN under UN banner, those humiliation won't be seen the same. It won't be a US/UK agressive an invadind war to pick up Iraq ressources as some arabian and muslim opinion could ressent it ( just or unjust it does'nt care it is just a human feeling).

          3) Sorry for my US/UK readers, but if us (europe and US/UK like countries) in Judeo-christian culture have an idea about what could be a democracy. For orher nation muslim like, the true democracy could the follow of the Chariah. In Israel democracy is like ours plus respect of some rules of the dodecalog book more harder for more rigorous jews. In New Caledonia the democracy is not the one imported by French colonialist, it is the old rules of tribe ( it still exist and this is a cultural problem, private property is not a rule of the tribal custom)

          4) If it was UN which intervene telling Saddamget out, other public opinion could have the insurance of an more objective follow up of the after war actions.

          5) As it a pure US/Bush action helped by UK, public opinion could see this intervention, like a group of texas rangers coming in a town to throw away desperados, an impose the federal laws, problem is if saddam is a pure desperado, Iraq is not a US like country, as I pinpoint it before the idea of what a good political regime could be is not the one "BUSH the second" want to impose, and ROW can see that as an agression and and humiliating action againt arbians and muslims.

          6) add now that due to possible sucide attack against troops, orders have been told to avoid contact with civilian, this will not help

          To conclude, even if Bush is right on some of its goal. This war, not covered by the blue UN flag is NECESSERALY not well perceived by the arabian and muslim public opinion
          Last edited by jlbetin; 31 Mar 03, 17:23.
          The Best weapon ever:a good Joke. The Best shield ever: Humour
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          • #6
            Key members within the United Nations, particularly France and Russia is going to loose big because of this war. France had all, but signed on the dotted line to start drilling for oil in Iraq. Those contracts were worth at least $20 billion dollars to the French. Russia is in the same boat. Iraq owed them $650 million dollars. The new Iraqi government could legitimately argue it doesn't have to pay back the Russians because it knowingly sold arms to a dictator in violation of Iraq's constitution.

            What really ticked the French off was the fact they're contracts would not be honored by the Iraqi government. Instead, Iraqi opposition leaders began meeting with American and British oil company representatives earlier this year. In effect, the United States, and United Kingdom have undermined the French economy, which is going to pose a challenge for Chirac's Administration come next election.

            I'm not sure UN endorsement would help us much with the Arab people in the Middle East. Governments might not have spoken out against the invasion, but the people would. The UN flag can't calm the hatred Arabs have for the United States. Iraq has little to do with the problem. Our support and relationship with Israel is the central source of the dispute. If you listen to the Arab media, this war is being sold as Israeli-American effort. Protestors chant "down with Israel." So I doubt many Arabs care about Saddam.

            At one time, Saddam Hussein was hailed as hero by many in the Middle East for the way he stood up against the United States and world. Then came along Bin Laden, and that all changed. Most governments don't want Saddam around. Radical Islam scorns men like Saddam Hussein. He attacked a brother, dealt with west, and perverted Islam with his moderate policies.

            The UN lacks the will or initiative to influence events in the Middle East. I get the sense they feel we'll always be there. They have no reason to get involved simply because the US and UK play the big dogs.

            I don't see your point about the forms of democracies. Maybe you could expand on that.

            The United States doesn't have to import any form of government. The Iraqi constitution is democratic and parallels Western philosphy. Saddam never dismissed it. He just never obeyed it.

            I'm not one to stand in the way of other's hapiness. There is a difference between feeling right, and doing what is right. War is bad and thus anyone who wages it is unjustified. The US is seen as a country going out to pick a fight on the peace-loving government of Iraq. Many European governments try to project their position as being the one that saves lives. Yet, waiting for a threat to materialize is like waiting for the bullet to hit you before returning fire. The world can accept risks because most don't have to lift a finger. The US doesn't enjoy such a luxury. If Saddam gets stupid, we would get the call. Chirac would be waiting until WMDs are used. Russia would say it must conserve ammo for killing Chechyans. China would say, leave us alone. Germany would hide behind it's constitution.

            It would be American, British, and Australian soldiers on the line fighting a war on someone else's term. Chirac would jump in the day after 5,000 American soldiers, and 15,000 civilians died. All because they wanted to wait.

            I'm not going to dismiss your position jlbetin. Once France did commit, it's soldiers would fight hard, and it's people would be committed. However, I don't think it's wise to always wait until the threat materializes. The world wanted the US to launch an indefinite containment operation that would be weakly supported by the international community, and completely out of touch with reality. Saddam is one of those threats that if he is dangerous enough to warrant the kind of containment required, he is dangerous enough to warrant remove.
            "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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            • #7
              Re: Re: Prisoners of War?

              Originally posted by kid kool


              Saddam's troops are fighting in civilian clothing.
              Most Iraqis have greeted the coalition forces with open arms so the friendly approach seems to be working.
              I agree with Deltapooh here. From what I have seen on TV so far and from what most reporters are saying, the Iraqis have been so far very, very cautious. Although they don't necessarily spit on Americans, there are no open arms here either.

              I have realized that yes, the Iraqis hate Saddam, but the U.S. is still the invader of their native land, isn't it? It might explain that in spite of their hate of Saddam, Saddam is still one of them and the Americans have invaded their land so that's why some of them are putting up a fight.

              So it will take a lot of time before the Iraqis open themselves to Americans and it might never happen since now the Coalition soldiers are getting pretty much wary of Iraqis because of these suicide-bombing threats. More and more incidents where U.S. or British soldiers will kill innocent citizens suspected of bad intentions will increase because of this climate (see for example the women killed in An-Najaf). For every Iraqi shot dead by a nervous-trigger Coalition soldier, 100 more Iraqis side against the Coalition.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jlbetin


                2) If this war was endorsed by the UN under UN banner, those humiliation won't be seen the same. It won't be a US/UK agressive an invadind war to pick up Iraq ressources as some arabian and muslim opinion could ressent it ( just or unjust it does'nt care it is just a human feeling).
                I would agree with this statement except for one thing.

                Most Arabs "on the street" would still feel that this was a US/UK aggression on Iraq if the UN had endorsed the operation. The rest of the world would be feeling differently because the attack would have had the aquiescence of the UN.
                Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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                • #9
                  Re: Re: Re: Prisoners of War?

                  Originally posted by Tzar


                  I agree with Deltapooh here. From what I have seen on TV so far and from what most reporters are saying, the Iraqis have been so far very, very cautious. Although they don't necessarily spit on Americans, there are no open arms here either.

                  Iraqis have welcomed coalition troops in the towns they have entered.

                  The places where they have not been as welcomed is in the larger cities because fighting is going on there. You can't very well give a friendly greeting to troops when there is a battle raging with Saddam's paramilitary forces still suppressing the local populations at the time of the coalition's arrival.
                  "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

                  Comment

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