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Old 03-17-2012   #81
jmm99
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Default Just reviewing

JMA (Untitled, #89):

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I mean does a sane person commit rape and murder? The death penalty should be obligatory in such cases.
JMM ("...does a sane person commit rape and murder?", #90):

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Yes.
JMA (Untitled, #92)

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Don't agree
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Old 03-17-2012   #82
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Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
Charles Dickens had it correct when he wrote in 1838 in the book 'Oliver Twist':

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"If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is an ass - an idiot".
Note: 'ass' in the British sense being a donkey.
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Old 03-17-2012   #83
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Default Imagine if this happened in the USA

I wonder how Americans would respond if the circumstances in this incident were replicated in the USA?

An Afghan service man, a a trusted veteran on a training course, walks out of a military base, commits murders and then walks back inside the base to surrender. Incidentally I'm sure the laws in place would mean court proceedings in the USA. Now imagine if the Afghan-USA visiting forces agreement means the suspect is flown back to Kabul for any prosecution.

Someone here may know of incidents involving off-base serious criminality by US personnel who appeared before a local court. My memory only has the low-flying training flight in the Italian Alps where cable way wires were cut and a gondola fell, killing those aboard. The US pilots did not face Italian justice.
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Old 03-17-2012   #84
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The only one I can think of is the 1995 gang rape of a Japanese girl on Okinawa by four Marines.

In this case, widespread Japanese outrage apparently led to the Marines being handed over to Japanese courts for justice.

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After the incident became known, public outrage erupted, especially over the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement, which gives the U.S. the right of extraterritoriality (exemption from jurisdiction of local law). While the crime was committed off of a U.S. military base, the U.S. initially took the men into custody, but later handed them over to Japanese law enforcement to be tried.

According to the Status of Forces Agreement, article xvii (5) (c): "The custody of an accused member of the United States armed forces or the civilian component over whom Japan is to exercise jurisdiction shall, if he is in the hands of the United States, remain with the United States until he is charged." The suspects were on base restriction until the Japanese officials charged them with the crime. The outrage over the attack caused the largest anti-American demonstrations in Okinawa since the treaty was signed in 1960; there was particular acrimony with regard to the African-American ethnicity of the assailants. As a consequence of the protests regarding jurisprudence, the U.S. made concessions and agreed to consider handing suspects over to the Japanese before an indictment if the severity of the alleged crime indicated it. This agreement was hashed out at an emergency meeting between U.S. President Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. The people of Okinawa also placed a full-page ad in the New York Times decrying the rape and other aspects of the U.S. bases in Okinawa. In 1996, the United States and Japan signed a bilateral agreement to reduce the amount of land on Okinawa covered by U.S. bases by 21 percent—the U.S. military had previously occupied 19 percent of the island.

Gill pleaded guilty to the rape, and the other two men pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentences for the men, 10 years each. The judge—there were no juries in Japan at this point—gave Gill and Harp seven years; Ledet received six and a half years. Their families also paid "reparation money" to the family of the victim, a common practice in Japan.

The three men served prison terms in Japanese prisons and were released in 2003 and then given dishonorable discharges from the military. After release, Rodrico Harp decried prison conditions in Japan and said that the electronics assembly prison labor he was forced to do amounted to slave labor.[2]

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Old 03-17-2012   #85
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Default A much better ass reference than Dickens

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"Fighting donkey" (HT to OP)

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Old 03-18-2012   #86
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Default SOFA and couch...

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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I wonder how Americans would respond if the circumstances in this incident were replicated in the USA?
With 330M different response...

Ranging from shooting the miscreant outright to giving him money and a medal and a ticket home...

In most nations where US Troops are stationed, there is a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which delineates in excruciating detail who will try or get custody of whom for what. Tequila mentioned one where the accused was turned over to local jurisdiction, there have been others in Japan (and Okinawa) and in Korea. There have been more in all those Nations where the US retained custody for one reason or another. Much depends on how the accusation is couched and the potential penalty foreseen by the local US Judge Advocate.

Much also depends on the whims of the US Congress -- if they get fired up and go into the "protect US citizens..." mode, they can influence both the US Armed Forces and Foreign governments. Some times they do that, sometimes they do not.

In those nations where troops are serving but no SOFA exists, the US retains jurisdiction. Thus it did in Iraq for almost all our time there and IIRC, one of the sticking points in our continued presence there was a failure to arrive at a compromise for the SOFA. There is no SOFA with Afghanistan to my knowledge -- nor, I suspect is there likely to be one...

The ICJ of course, is based on the premise that signatory nations have the responsibility and right to conduct their own investigations and / or trials...

Most Nations do pretty much the same thing. IIRC, the accusations of Forces mistreatment of Iraqis in Basra resulted in trials in the UK as it appears will this one (LINK). I seem to recall a Spaniard and some Danes who also went home for trials...

Power rules, rightly or wrongly...

Added: Oops. Omitted two links:

LINK.

LINK.

Last edited by Ken White; 03-18-2012 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 03-18-2012   #87
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Random thoughts on this.

The future snake eater posts remind me of a closing argument a prosecutor used in a murder case I read about in the paper. There was no doubt about the defendant's guilt, but the complicating factor was he had escaped before being sent to the penitentiary. He was on the run for many years and during that time had led an exemplary, even admirable life. The defense case (as best as I can remember) was what you would have expected, "This is a fine man, already reformed and no threat to society, what good would it do to send him to jail?". The prosecution responded with "How many free murders do you get in your life?". The jury convicted. Future snake eater apparently thinks 16 is a good number.

(shortened)
Looking at the comments in this case from an ex-Platoon Commander about his ex-Platoon Sergeant of some years I understand where he is coming from.

I had the same platoon sergeant on constant operations for more than two years. One only understands the bond that develops (where this relationship is successful) when one looks back over the years (in my case 35 odd years).

He was a good man, in fact an outstanding balanced soldier and I believe we got the platoon commander/platoon sergeant relationship just about right. We still speak on a regular basis.

All that said if some years after we operated together it turned out (hypothetically) that he had snapped and done something terrible I would have stood right by him in his time of need (even though I knew he was heading for the highjump.)

If I were still serving I would have to be more circumspect in what I (as a serving officer) said publicly but if out of the service I would not be so constrained.

My heart would bleed for him... and if he needed it I would give him the shirt off my back.
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Old 03-18-2012   #88
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I am neither Afghan nor American so I don't really have the right to comment on this thread. However, I'll pass a few words across.

This doesn't play well with the World's 1.3 billion Muslims - especially those who have similar social and economic standing as the Afghan people.

On the one hand, many Americans attempt to humanise an individual who is responsible for the deaths of 16 civilians (children included). While on the other, they believe that the US has the right to act as judge, jury and executioner in dispensing swift justice (via drones) to "terrorist suspects".

This individual will have the benefit of a long drawn out process in the US legal system. Many Afghans killed by US forces did not.

At times like this, the US has too really take a close look at itself and ask itself some pretty hard questions. The USG has killed infinitely more people this decade than say, the Chinese government. And no matter the justification for the killings, those numbers don't look good.

To what end is this endless cycle of killing, photo-ops and huge expenditure on aid? Has it improved US standing in the World? No. Has it improved your strategic position? No. What has it done to the reputation of the US Military (outside of America)? It has diminished it.

The US really needs to learn how to do more with less.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-18-2012 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Correction for author from next post
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Old 03-18-2012   #89
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I am neither Afghan nor American so I don't really have the right to comment on this thread. However, I'll pass a few words across.
You have as much right to comment as anybody else and the words you have passed on are well considered.
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Old 03-18-2012   #90
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Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Mike,
.....
I hope that future snake eater does not mean he is referring to the game Metal Gear Solid. The snake eater is known for having killed a lot of people. Seems someone is really into games. Hope there's a way of discerning between fact and fiction with those geeks

I would guess (no personal knowledge of individual referenced) that as snake eater is a common euphemism for US Army Special Forces, perhaps he is an aspiring candidate, looking to join SF.

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Old 03-18-2012   #91
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I would guess (no personal knowledge of individual referenced) that as snake eater is a common euphemism for US Army Special Forces, perhaps he is an aspiring candidate, looking to join SF.

Tankersteve
Hey Steve,
I was being just a smiggin sarcastic having been in and around SOF since 79.

Considering his support for people that perform head shots on (unarmed) children, I would not even consider him an aspiring candidate in administration doing travel vouchers !
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Old 03-18-2012   #92
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Default Troops Still Embrace 'Infidel' Label

Is this actually true? If it is then I don't know what else the West can do in Afghanistan.

Public diplomacy isn't a job for the Military (or for 19 year privates).

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In the wake of the recent setbacks in Afghanistan, American commanders are working overtime trying to instill sensitivity among U.S. troops toward their Afghan counterparts and their Islamic culture.
But many American servicemembers already wear their feelings on their sleeves -- sometimes literally -- choosing a powerful term to represent the way they believe they’re perceived by the Muslim world: “Infidel.”
There are infidel hats, infidel T-shirts and infidel uniform patches -- an entire genre of morale wear that emerged from the ashes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Now that a decade has passed, the movement is booming. Type “Infidel Strong” into Google and page after page of military gear sites pop up, peddling what has become an ersatz symbol of patriotism.
It started as a humorous tactic for poking fun at intolerant Islamists ignorant of American ideals.
Clayton Montgomery, owner of a well-known online vendor called Mil-Spec Monkey and designer of some infidel patches, said his most popular item has been his “Pork-Eating Crusader” patch, which includes a translation into Arabic.
“Everybody sort of hates occupying forces anyway, so it’s kind of embracing that,” he told Military.com “If you are going to hate us anyway, we might as well pretend to be the great white devil.”
Continued Montgomery: “Originally, when we made the patch, we thought it would be this small thing, the equivalent of an ‘I’m with stupid’ T-shirt. We didn’t think we would sell many, but the demand was there,” Montgomery said, describing how his company has sold about 10,000 of the patches.
http://www.military.com/news/article...2887570&rank=1

I think I have an advantage over most Americans, I grew up in a religiously divided country (Nigeria).
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Old 03-18-2012   #93
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A bit late for sensitivity training

The American phenomenon with patches and Zippo lighters cannot be explained. I still wear my POW/MIA and 99% patches on my leather jacket. Oddly enough, few today have even the slightest clue what those two patches are all about.

This about sums up what most young Americans know about the things they buy and proudly (ignorantly) display
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Old 03-18-2012   #94
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Default Learning to Hate

KingJaja:

BLUF: Yes, it's true within the limits of my experience (focused on our "twenty-somethings" young men whom I've sent to Iraq and Astan and who have come back).

As you know I come from Middle America; in fact, from something of an isolate in Middle America itself. Locally, we have something of a military tradition, with our people having enlisted in all service branches for the last 150 years. The most visible local military unit is our National Guard Engineer-Combat Battalion; and, for my home town and environs, its Sapper Company. I've written about that in a number of posts.

The young man quoted below is from here and the Sapper Company. His dad is a Vietnam vet - U.S. Navy, in country, Danang; his older brother is a Marine with multiple tours, and another is also National Guard. The family lives nearby me (the father has been a friend for 35 years).

"Bodi" sustained multiple IED concussions in Astan. This take is from an NPR interview (made because of the documentary, Where Soldiers Come From):

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SIMON: Bodi, let me turn to you for your part of the story. As we see in the film, you wind up doing some of the most dangerous work there for U.S. servicemen and women in Afghanistan, and that's you become drivers and gunners who were looking for roadside bombs. You ran into some IEDs...

BEAUDOIN: Yeah.

SIMON: ...and tell us what that's like.

BEAUDOIN: Well, getting blown up is you get so filled with adrenaline that, you know, at first you really don't you don't feel anything, you just get a that, oh, here we go mode, you know, that lifesaving mode. So it's like anticipating getting punched in the face the whole time driving out there. And I mean that's our job. All of us knew on every mission that at any time, any of us had the possibility of getting blown up. So I think we did pretty well. I mean we found, the majority of the IEDs we found. I think we only got blown up like I think it was under 10 times and we found like 60 or 70 IEDs.

You know, for me what hurt me the most are RPGs, which is a rocket propelled grenade, more than the IEDs that hurt. Those are more scary.

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(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM)

UNIDENTIFIED SOLIDER #1: Holy (bleep)

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER #2: What?

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER #1: Whoa. RPGs. Look out. Look out.
...
SIMON: Bodi, at one point in the film you say, you're serving in Afghanistan taught you to hate people - and you list them.

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(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
SIMON: You list quite a few groups. And I wonder what is it like to see yourself saying that now.

BEAUDOIN: At the time I was blown up I think around seven or eight times and I wasn't able to go out anymore with the guys, which really, really upset me. I always thought this was, you know, I don't want them to go out with[out] me. I worry, I would just worry about them. So I was so mad at the time.

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(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM)

BEAUDOIN: I've learned to hate the people of Afghanistan and the country of Afghanistan. That's true. I hate everybody here. I hate everything about it. I hate the way they smell, the way they look, the way they talk, the way they dress, the way they think. I don't like them. I'm a racist American now because of this war and that is a true statement.
I obviously don't feel that way anymore. I look back at that and I can understand why I said that. You know, I was so jaded because of how many times that I was, that I got blown up.

SIMON: Well, help us understand that, because it's the determination of the army doctors that you were in so many explosions there's some effect.

BEAUDOIN: Yeah. That is...

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(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
BEAUDOIN: ...kind of on me also. I never wanted to not stop going out even though I got blown up so many times, so I would kind of bend the truth. Tell them that, you know, I feel fine, I feel fine, let me keep going out. And they have what's called a TBI test which is traumatic brain injury test - and I kind of cheated and memorized it. And there's is saying that they ask you a few words and you have to repeat them. And the few words are elbow, apple, carpet, saddle, bubble. And I will always remember that saying. And I could have sat out way earlier on the explosions, but I didn't want to because I wanted to go out with my boys. I'd rather get me blown up than my buddies.
All of this is one of the factors that has caused my Worldview - which you all know.

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 03-18-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 03-18-2012   #95
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A bit late for sensitivity training

The American phenomenon with patches and Zippo lighters cannot be explained. I still wear my POW/MIA and 99% patches on my leather jacket. Oddly enough, few today have even the slightest clue what those two patches are all about.
Stan, not only don't they understand the patches but very few people even no what a Zippo lighter is
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Old 03-18-2012   #96
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As you know I come from Middle America; in fact, from something of an isolate in Middle America itself.
As someone who hails from an area within which the question “Are you Christian or Catholic?” is heard from time–to–time, I rarely overthink statements related to religion made by my fellow Americans.
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Old 03-18-2012   #97
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Default No fricking thing about religion in my post

ganulv: Read and attempt to comprehend what is written; rather than Shoot, Ready, Aim.

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Old 03-18-2012   #98
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All of this is one of the factors that has caused my Worldview - which you all know.

Regards

Mike
Remind me to tell you what happened when my 3rd X's parents saw my NRA life member lapel pin at dinner

First impressions are overrated

It will take several beers... several !
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Old 03-18-2012   #99
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Default Con|text, the stuff which comes with the text.

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ganulv: Read and attempt to comprehend what is written; rather than Shoot, Ready, Aim.
I comprehend perfectly well that the post to which you replied was very much about religion. The discussion takes place as part of a thread until an administrator decides to knot it off.
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Old 03-18-2012   #100
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Default The Finish Is Not Guaranteed

Here is my dad's Zippo:

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Sent in twice by him for new internals (the last time in 1974).

So, we remember the artifacts of wars; but more so, we must remember the wars themselves and the men who fought them.

Zippo was able to guarantee repair of the Zippo's internals. The men who return from wars do not have that nicety; and, have to make their own repairs over perhaps decades - at least, two decades for my dad.

In the meantime, they do not have to be basket cases - a condition reserved for some of their far less fortunate brothers. They can have very successful professional and personal lives (without harming anyone, including their families - as with my dad). The internal demons are well concealed to all but those living with them. Those demons can break loose (for no apparent, rational reason), resulting in attempted suicide or attempted murder - and going from attempt to actual is just a trigger squeeze away.

This isn't theoretical to me. It's simply a personal, experienced set of facts. That being said, you all are entitled to whatever opinions you want to express.

Just saying

Mike
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