Originally Posted by Botnst
"Heh-heh" condemns our military based on atrocities, implying that illegal behavior is part of the military toolbox. I pointed-out that our military answers to a criminal justice system for violations of the UCMJ, which itself recognizes the Geneva Conventions. Thus, misbehavior is not part of the military culture but is an aberration. Having thus been afforded the opportunity of an expanded education, a reasonable person might reconsider the blanket assumption and condemnation.
In fairness, one might consider turning that critical eye on the folks we are busy hunting and killing. I haven't seen any evidence of "Heh-heh" bothering with an objective evaluation of the murdering bastard Islamists, and in truth, haven't seen much evidence of that by anybody else on OT.
I agree we set our own standards and, until recently your description was pretty accurate. The Gonzales-Bush-Cheney-Rummy-Rice Agenda to make the lines of what is and is not acceptable blurry is constantly being justified by the logic you showed - diverting attention from how we meet our standards to examining others' standards. Had we not instigated the "from the top" change in standards and public rhetoric about how the Geneva Conventions don't apply or are quaint, we might have fewer of these incidents and we would surely appear to have our goals on the high road. Instead we appear to be sliding down to meet the standards of our enemies, and when called out on it, try at all levels of interactions - here on the internet and in speeches from the White House - to get the attention on "them" to make us look better. A bad situation to find America in at this stage of our history as I see it.
Be my guest and ask "heh, heh" any and all questions about the savage behavior exhibited by those we label "terrorists" that you have already noted. It is a worthwhile subject. It becomes a red herring when it is dragged out in a discussion about Americans failing to meet our standards of conduct. That is my point. Our, American, expectations for Americans in the service our country, America, is up to us to identify, train our soldiers to meet, and then respond accordingly when or if they are accused of failing to meet those expectations. We justify them to ourselves and each other based on what we find acceptable in our view of how we want to be treated by others, and how we want to be perceived by ourselves, as well as others. The standards of others represent them to the world, and if they have none, or very poor standards, there is no point associating or contrasting their standards with ours in the context of an accusation against our soldiers. It doesn't make the potential situation, that an American soldier may have failed to meet his country's standards for ethical and humane conduct as a soldier in a foreign land, any better to note other people in that land hack of heads of captured Americans, Brits, Italians, and others, while video taping the event and then post it to the internet and are not pursued as animals and made to pay for their actions, by their own countrymen.
I would be happy if the rest of the Muslims and residents of the Middle East were out policing their own. But they aren't. Why not is a good subject to discuss as it is, the way I see things, a major difference in their outlook on life and mine. Understanding that difference should be a higher priority of the Gonzales-Bush-Cheney-Rummy-Rice Agenda than it apparently is, since we have made no progress in learning how to effectively deal with this portion of the world's population. Jim