+1. I find it sickening that those who have never spent a day in the field question the tactics used by our armed forces. It's like second guessing your brain surgeon. You simply are not qualified to voice an opinion. You may be entitled
to one, but that's all it is, an opinion. Whatever we may have done to these dirt bags pales
by comparison to what these guys will do to anyone, women, children, ANYONE, if they think it can help them. We may not sleep well after doing what needs to be done, but some folks should be a little less critical and quite a bit more thankful for those willing to carry out the task.
Oh and Jim, Patton WAS an asshole, just my kind of asshole.
Sounds like what you and cmitch and ArmyRover are looking for is when we make their tactics pale by comparison. THEN we will really be the top dog, right?
The discussion here has again been diluted to try to make your flawed solution appear reasonable. You dilute the discussion from a very specific set of acts being perpetrated in the name of the United States of America, by government agencies with the explicit authorization of the executive branch in safe havens off our shores but away from the field of combat, to encompassing siding with the daily decision making crises of the soldier in the field of combat, or not, which is not
connected to the original issue and should not be connected in the context of this discussion.
I have spoken a number of times in favor of giving the soldier in the field the benefit of the doubt. I acknowledge the conditions we put them in by sending them to places like Iraq without proper planning , with no clear mission, no clear enemy, no end in sight, and then ask them to expose themselves daily to the potential to be blown to bits or beheaded by a unidentifiable foe are unquestionably unreasonable, and the instinct of each of them to survive such circumstances will force the rest of us to accept some questionable (from the safety of our seats in front of computer screens and tv sets) calls they make as a result.
You are correct - those not there, like me, don't have a valid perspective to be voicing criticism of those who are there living this nightmare. We should also make sure we don't dilute their sacrifice by whitewashing the acts of others not in those same circumstances who are making much more deliberate and considered decisions to act like savages. Extending the acknowledgment of the combat soldiers' much more dire and desperate acts of self preservation where it does not apply , such as to the deliberate and considered tactics of those torturing human beings held as enemy combatants by our government in locations safely outside the battlefield, lessens the respect for the combat soldier's actual circumstances. The situations are not the same and they therefore deserve appropriately different measures of acceptability.
I don't subscribe to giving the agent of torture, like the "dentist" in Marathon Man, or those who would authorize him to carry out torture any benefits of any doubts I acknowledge accrue to the combat soldier in the field making countless serious decisions in the face of direct, life threatening danger. Such acts by agents administering torture at secure facilities around the world in the name of the United States are not the result of life or death decisions being flashed in front of them for real, in real time. These are decisions made studying the captives in situations to learn how best to break them using all means of torture methods that Hollywood or Al-Qaeda have popularized, and then some, over periods of months or years. Water boarding is nothing more than a poster child in this discussion of torture tactics.
The same with holding these guys for years and years. If they are suspected of something specific enough to hold them for years, try them. If they are guilty, shoot them. If they are not guilty, ship them back to where they came from and let them go. Holding them without charges and denying them a trial in a reasonable period of time, is just un-American. We don't do that to mass murders, child molesters, rapists or any other kind of criminal in America, no matter how horrid their crime.
What you are defending is YOUR CHOICE to take the easy way out, plain and simple and you do it by diluting the argument for understanding the combat soldier's situation. Be more barbaric than the enemy, which is the enemy's present tactic, to justify a policy of illegal intervention in other nation's internal affairs is a goal you apparently set for America. Sink to the lowest possible level of humanity because you believe that is the most effective way to deal with the problem your short sighted policies have created, and continue to create that must then be confronted by this nation. I don't share the perspective, the logic or the goal.
Edit: Oh yeah, but Patton was not setting national policy, he was carrying out his mission, assigned to him by his civilian bosses. He subsequently made no moves to take over the government of the United States and impose his outlook as our foreign policy. I would have thought you students of his legacy would have realized Patton was never running the State Department or the Pentagon for that matter and earned his reputation for being a great general by being a great general, not talking about it.