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Old 07-06-2003, 03:18 PM   #1
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They should be punished!

[Q]Much has been written about how Iraqis complicated the task of rebuilding their country by looting it after Saddam Hussein's regime fell. In the case of the international airport outside Baghdad, however, the theft and vandalism were conducted largely by victorious American troops, according to U.S. officials, Iraqi Airways staff members and other airport workers. The troops, they say, stole duty-free items, needlessly shot up the airport and trashed five serviceable Boeing airplanes. "I don't want to detract from all the great work that's going into getting the airport running again," says Lieut. John Welsh, the Army civil-affairs officer charged with bringing the airport back into operation. "But you've got to ask, If this could have been avoided, did we shoot ourselves in the foot here?"[/Q]

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...463062,00.html

Having read the entire article in disbelief, I would love to see the soldiers prosecuted under the UCMJ. I would also love to see the commanders of the unit as well as any soldier that was there and did nothing to stop it prosecuted.

One of my jobs in the service after the first Gulf War was to nail people for looting ect.

Under the UCMJ Article 103 says:

[Q]“(a) All persons subject to this chapter shall secure all public property taken from the enemy for the service of the United States, and shall give notice and turn over to the proper authority without delay all captured or abandoned property in their possession, custody, or control.

(b) Any person subject to this chapter who—

(1) fails to carry out the duties prescribed in subsection (a);
(2) buys, sells, trades, or in any way deals in or disposes of captured or abandoned property, whereby he receives or expects any profit, benefit, or advantage to himself or another directly or in-directly connected with himself; or

(3) engages in looting or pillaging; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” [/Q]

There are legal grounds to punish those involved. The area in BOLD is the most serious of the offences listed, and is punishable by a minimum of the following:

[Q]1) Failing to secure public property taken from the enemy; failing to secure, give notice and turn over, selling, or otherwise wrongfully dealing in or disposing of captured or abandoned property:

(a) of a value of $500.00 or less. Bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.
(b) of a value of more than $500.00 or any firearm or explosive. Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 5 years.

(2) Looting or pillaging. Any punishment, other than death, that a court-martial may direct . See R.C.M. 1003[/Q]

Now you may think I am harsh to say that I want the observers prosecuted as well, however under articles 92 and 134 of the UCMJ. Both of these articles detail that it is a soldiers' responsibility to report and make known that a violation of the UCMJ has occured. The punishment for prosecution under this article is:

[Q]Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 3 years. [/Q]


Why am I fired up about this? These rules were drilled into our heads in Boot Camp. Soldiers are trained and are supposed to behave in accordance with their training. The vandalism here, if it is as bad as TIME is reporting, is going to cost us money.

Enough of my ranting.



Sorry for boring you with this.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...463062,00.html
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Old 07-06-2003, 04:14 PM   #2
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Dread,

I read articles from time to time like this.

Most of the time I won’t post them.

We have 19, 20-year-old boys over there, 150,000? Things like this happen. I want to believe it is an aberration.

More complicated we have 60 %? of the Iraqi population unemployed and facing off against 19 year old baby face kids begging for jobs.

You have stated it before, we need to turn this over to truly multi-national force or the targeted killings of our young soldiers will continue to escalate. The capture/ killing of Saddam will only slow this down a bit.


I am sorry I am not responding more directly to the soldiers’ criminal behavior. I think they sould be punished. I m affraid there are more incidents like this. I don't want to hijack this thread, are these soldier's trained to be occupiers, peace keepers?


I have been aware of this incident for several weeks among other disturbing news. If one only watches the certain news channels they may believe the all good or all evil arguments
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Old 07-06-2003, 04:52 PM   #3
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Originally posted by deep
I am sorry I am not responding more directly to the soldiers’ criminal behavior. I think they sould be punished. I m affraid there are more incidents like this. I don't want to hijack this thread, are these soldier's trained to be occupiers, peace keepers?
It does not matter if they were trained to be peacekeepers or occupiers. It is clearly stated in the UCMJ that soldiers are not to loot and vandalize. This training, begins in boot camp and does not require that they receive special training in this area.

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Old 07-06-2003, 05:31 PM   #4
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You're right Dread. This stuff is *not* cool and should be punished. This is disastrous for our reputation in Iraq. Yes, deep, the situation in Iraq is complex with unemployment and such. But there's no excuse for law-breaking on the part of people who were taught that they were not to do this .
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Old 07-06-2003, 05:48 PM   #5
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Originally posted by verte76
But there's no excuse for law-breaking on the part of people who were taught that they were not to do this .
This was not after the WAR portion of the operation was being conducted. This was during the war, post-war problems aside.

Verte...excuses are not tolerable I agree!

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Old 07-06-2003, 05:52 PM   #6
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UCMJ = Uniform Code of Military Justice

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ucmj.htm
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Old 07-06-2003, 05:53 PM   #7
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Oh, OK, my brain is mush. It was during the war. They're still not supposed to do like this. That's right, no excuses!
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Old 07-07-2003, 06:45 AM   #8
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IMO, our military is meant to be all "braun" and no "brain." The kind of people recruited to be in the military are, generally, people who aren't smart enough to get into college. That is a generalization, as not to say that everyone in the military is unintelligent (the screenwriting professor I worked with is a Marines veteran), but I'm hoping that people are getting my point here.

The military should emphasize more professionalism than it actually does. Afghanistan had the Special Forces units complaining that their delicate work was often undone by general military units going in and treating civilians like criminals--i.e., busting into houses, pointing guns and threatening, etc. I think the current leadership should be ashamed of itself, because it is incidents like these that have made foreign nations grow to distrust and hate us.

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Old 07-07-2003, 07:41 AM   #9
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Originally posted by melon
IMO, our military is meant to be all "braun" and no "brain." The kind of people recruited to be in the military are, generally, people who aren't smart enough to get into college. That is a generalization, as not to say that everyone in the military is unintelligent (the screenwriting professor I worked with is a Marines veteran), but I'm hoping that people are getting my point here.
I understand your point, and I agree with you up to a point. My expereince was that there were many, many intelligent people. Some were book smart, and some possessed street smarts. The people with common sense smart were the most respected in the platoon.

Still, you do not believe that most soldiers do not have the smarts enough to not looect?????


Quote:
Originally posted by melon
The military should emphasize more professionalism than it actually does. Afghanistan had the Special Forces units complaining that their delicate work was often undone by general military units going in and treating civilians like criminals--i.e., busting into houses, pointing guns and threatening, etc. I think the current leadership should be ashamed of itself, because it is incidents like these that have made foreign nations grow to distrust and hate us.
Melonn
Maybe the problem is with the general infantry units. Maybe the people with different smarts, move into different areas or jobs in the service. I served with many, very intelligent people. The examples you listed above definitely demonstrate a difference between Special Forces and general units. However, Special Forces receive training in this area that the general population of soldier does not. They were doing a kick ass job until some other units came through.

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Old 07-07-2003, 10:33 AM   #10
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The soldiers who did this should definitely be prosecuted. It's not acceptable and if they hope to maintain any credibility as "liberators" and "peace-keepers", the US military would do well to send a message by maintaining law and order within their own ranks.
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Old 07-07-2003, 03:11 PM   #11
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Melon,

"IMO, our military is meant to be all "braun" and no "brain." The kind of people recruited to be in the military are, generally, people who aren't smart enough to get into college."

Thats total rubbish. All "braun" and no "brain". I don't even think I would lable the Iraqi military like that. Perhaps the Iranian military which used human wave tactics to defeat Iraqi forces in certain battles during the Iran/Iraq war.

"The military should emphasize more professionalism than it actually does."

The current US Military is the most professional fighting force in the history of the planet.

Typically, "Braun" does not win battles, brain power does. That is part of the reason why essentially two US divisions were able to defeat 30 Iraqi divisions with relative ease during the latest war.

The US military is the most professional and respected organization in the USA. The USA defeats its enemy's with the information it collects about the battlefield and the precision targeting of enemy forces and movement of its own forces based on that information. To many people have a hollywood version of the military either from the Civil War or the Vietnam War where a group of soldiers marches or runs together into a hail of enemy fire. Please, the difference with the conscript Iranian military and their human wave tactics, is light years.

Another thing is that the vast majority of people who don't go to college for what ever the reason, are smart enough to get into college. Most Americans adults, 70% to 80%, do not have a 4 year degree. Although most enlisted military personal do not have a 4 year degree, many do. All US military officers have at least a 4 year degree. In addition nearly all field grade Officers have a Masters Degree or more.

I'd put the education level, and intelligence, of the members of the US military up against any other organization or business in the country or the world.

There are of course bad apples in every organization.

"the theft and vandalism were conducted largely by victorious American troops, according to U.S. officials, Iraqi Airways staff members and other airport workers."

But I'd like to see some evidence that what is alleged above is in fact true.
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Old 07-07-2003, 04:31 PM   #12
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For the record, the Marine who was put in charge of the Baghdad Museum investigation has a Master's degree in Classics. That's Latin and Greek. For the record I flubbed freshman Latin.
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Old 07-09-2003, 02:37 PM   #13
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If there were American soldiers who looted goods they have to be punished. Not only to show the new born democracy in Iraq that ther law is there for anybody (not only for the loosers) but also to show that this is not a normal behaviour inside the troops.
I'm sure most men in the army are honest men who do what they do because of their ideals. The US military should try to get rid of these black spots (like the ones mentioned in the article) as soon as possible.

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