Comments: What part of "isolated incident" do you not understand?

"this problem is widespread and will blow sky high in the coming days."

You mean as the BBC fabricates more stories?

Posted by Jay G. (a.k.a. Guy) at May 5, 2004 12:25 PM

Isolated incident? You are either in denial or are mentally deficient. this problem is widespread and will blow sky high in the coming days. Otherwise, why would your hero Bush be on Arab TV, today? Twice?

Posted by Harvey at May 5, 2004 01:13 PM

It's called "damage control."

It's called keeping rumor from running rampant.

What do you think, that at Parris Island, Marines have a course called "Humiliating Prisoners 101?"

C'mon. Think about this clearly.

Posted by mhking at May 5, 2004 01:27 PM

Great post. Very well-put. :)

Posted by songstress7 at May 5, 2004 06:21 PM

Look, Kerry confessed to committing the same kinds of atrocities that he accused other servicemen of in 1971. Kerry is a confessed war criminal and the Democratic candidate for the Presidency. So pardon me if I don't buy all the hoopla the Dems are making of this issue.

Yes, the Iraqi prison issue is bad. It should be noted that it is also OLD NEWS. The Army got a complaint on Jan 13th, and by the end of the month, BG Karpinsky, the commanding officer had already been releived of command, and the rest of the soldiers involved were under investigation. Criminal proceeding have already been started on all of these soldiers by the time it made the news.

Posted by Ben at May 8, 2004 04:56 AM

Isolated incident, or another Somalia?

I viscerally recall seeing a grinning, tattooed and bestial-looking Canadian Special Forces member saying to a videocamera that they couldn't leave Somalia because "We ain't killed enough niggers yet."

Aside from the obvious moral lapse, saying such things on tape clearly shows a lack of situational awareness.

(Newsworld retrospective)(Washington Post)

Two eerie paragraphs from the latter source seem prophetic.

The commission's report, titled "Dishonoured Legacy," included recommendations that the military police and justice system be placed under independent command and that an inspector general be established to investigate military operations.

"Our recommendations are concerned with ensuring that Canadian military personnel will never again be sent on hastily formed, ill-conceived missions that lack clear objectives," Letourneau said.

The problem was in part due to the hard core of Aryan Nations members in the Canadian Airborne, which if tolerable at all, certainly disqualified them for deployment to Somalia in any sort of "hearts and minds" role.

And history repeats itself...

Lynndie England, 21, a rail worker's daughter, comes from a trailer park in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, which locals proudly call "a backwoods world".
She faces a court martial, but at home she is toasted as a hero.


The story further states this:

In Fort Ashby, in the isolated Appalachian mountains 260km west of Washington, the poor, barely-educated and almost all-white population talk openly about an active Ku Klux Klan presence.

In the war on terror, we recruit our own domestic terrorists. What depressing irony.

I don't play the race card very often at all - but when it's a clear and obvious factor in a FUBAR - and furthermore, one that SHOULD have been known to be a potential issue in choice of unit assignments, I don't feel it should be ignored, either.

Frankly, I don't see how the contrary could be argued rationally even by a white supremacist, granted, for the sake of argument, that the word "rational" can even be used in such a context.

Oh, I'm not arguing from a bleeding-heart perspective here; it's purely pragmatic. Foreseeable cultural conflicts matter, especially when trying to generate useful intelligence. Even if being "sensitive" compromised immediate results, the long-term value of demonstrating the palpable difference between civilized and Saddam would be worth it, and would generate leads in the long term.

Aside from that, having people there who could not and would not read social cues was in itself a lost opportunity - perhaps unavoidable, but there it 'tis.

And finally, whether or not there's an obligation to obey the Geneva convention, it would have been very wise and politically opportune to not just obey it, but in fact fully adhere to Constitutional requirements for the treatment of US citizens, seeing as part of the role there is in fact building institutions - part of that has to come by example.

Aside from that, that's a modus many of the Reserve forces know in their sleep, so it would have made pragmatic sense as well. I personally think the social impact of miranda warnings, for example, would have outweighed any downside.

But nobody asked me, so of course the current situation was inevitable. [tongue firmly in cheek.]

Posted by Bob King at May 9, 2004 12:13 PM
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