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Thread: John Kerry On

  1. #1
    BigBank_Hank's Avatar Move It On Over
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    Kerry is calling far Secretary Rumsfeld head for the Iraqi prison situation. Here is a direct quote from Senator Kerry about what he did in Vietnam.


    There are all kinds of atrocities and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50-caliber machine guns which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search-and-destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare.

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    i haven't heard this particular quote from Kerry so i don't know what context the snippet came from, but saying that it seems to be about what his orders were in vietnam, and not what he chose to do off his own back. If a group of soldiers attack a villiage under orders (doesn't matter which conflict) are those soldiers responsible for that attack or are the leaders that give the orders ?
    Should Kerry have refused to carry out his orders would he be branded a traitor, just as people that are refusing to go to iraq be it for the first time or for a second tour of duty (in at least one case) ?
    The statement seems to be more about distaste rather than pride for some of the things he had to do under order.
    I can't imagine that Rumsfeld actually ordered the abuse of the prisoners, but in the world of politics if something like this can be glued to the back of your opponent then it's fair game.....the buck stops with the people at the top.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    what's your point, hank?

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    Originally posted by vidcc@11 May 2004 - 17:56
    If a group of soldiers attack a villiage under orders (doesn't matter which conflict) are those soldiers responsible for that attack or are the leaders that give the orders ?
    Both.

    "Just following Orders" has not been a valid defence since Nuremburg.

    This is the main reason the UK government will not prosecute the soldiers that in effect committed Mutiny in Iraq (one of the few "offences" that still carries the Death Penalty, especially in a Combat Situation).

    The soldiers would state that they were illegal orders, and the court would probably back them up on that...leaving the Government in deep(er) crap.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Originally posted by Rat Faced@11 May 2004 - 11:18

    The soldiers would state that they were illegal orders, and the court would probably back them up on that...leaving the Government in deep(er) crap.
    the trick is knowing the full facts before you follow (or don't) those orders. As a soldier you don't always have that luxury until after the event. It takes a very special kind of courage to refuse a direct order, so you had better be sure you believe in your viewpoint before making that choice.

    I can't really comment with any certainty on the circumstances of Kerry's case because i wasn't there with him.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    BigBank_Hank's Avatar Move It On Over
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    So the soldiers that were in Iraq should also be excused because they were just carrying out orders? No of course not. But what they did is a lot less serious than what the man that's running to be the commander and chief. At least they didn't burn the jail down.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    That sounds like the Nazi's excuses that didn't work. John Kerry should confess all his crimes and turn him self in to the Vietnamese government to stand trial for crimes against the Vietnamese people.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    Originally posted by BigBank_Hank@11 May 2004 - 19:26
    So the soldiers that were in Iraq should also be excused because they were just carrying out orders? No of course not. But what they did is a lot less serious than what the man that's running to be the commander and chief. At least they didn't burn the jail down.
    So the soldiers that were in Iraq should also be excused because they were just carrying out orders? No of course not.
    The other runner is the current "Commander in Chief"

    The difference is that one has come out and puts his hand up saying "Its Wrong, and im guilty of it myself"....

    The other says "We didnt Know", when its bloody obvious to everyone the administration did know, and did sod all until the public knew too. He then went on Arabic TV and didnt appologise, until he was back in the Whitehouse, the Whitehouse pointed out he hadnt and did it for him.

    Basically a Chickenhwk in power verses a Vet wannabe in power.

    Maybe you should look at what the candidates want to achieve at home rather than abroad, neither party has a Brilliant White Rep on Foreign Policy....although i'd argue strongly that the Democratic Presidents in general (with obvious exceptions...and neither candidate is in their league) have more respect from the world at large.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    Hank

    I think Kerry is simply highlighting the inherent brutality of war. War brutalises all that participate in it and life becomes cheap as those around you die. He is demonstrating a better understanding of the dynamics of war than those of Bush and Rumsfeld. Powell (someone else with experience) is on record trying to warn Bush of these dangers and was effectively ignored by the Administration.

    Vietnam is a case in point. Enormous quanties of munitions dropped without regard for civilian life, use of chemicals (including napalm) and wanton killing of women and children.

    Whilst a few lowly individuals carried the can for attrocities like My Lei, I am unaware of any senior officers or polticians who did likewise (despite a number of illegal activities like bombing Cambodia and Laos). In Nuremburg they brought the senior Nazis and those directly under them to trial. They did not seek out every pilot that dropped bombs on Coventry or London, or simple privates that mis-treated a few POWs. They wanted the authors of the policy in 1946, not the scribes.

    There is a tendancy for those in power to refuse to accept responsibilty for the actions of those below them. This is true not just in warfare but in all walks of life including business - just look at the jostling for escape at Enron.

    However, I do accept that it is right to pursue those who have criminally ignored orders to treat prisoners well. In this instance, if the superiors can show that this was their will and that they took steps to enforce it, then it is only right and proper that only the individuals that acted wrongly pay the penalty. This is what is encumbant on the US administration, to show that their express will was thwarted rather than obeyed.

    I do find it ironic though, that Bush and Cheney have clean hands over Vietnam because they dodged the draft. There is something wryly amusing there

    I haven't seen much of Kerry on TV, but the little I have seen suggests that he could do with a better team. He could, with a little sparkle, get a lot of mileage out of all this.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Originally posted by BigBank_Hank@11 May 2004 - 12:26
    So the soldiers that were in Iraq should also be excused because they were just carrying out orders? No of course not. But what they did is a lot less serious than what the man that's running to be the commander and chief. At least they didn't burn the jail down.
    No the soldiers in iraq have no excuse.It doesn't even matter what these prisoners where there for..they were unarmed and captive, they have human rights bestowed upon them and those rights were broken. but in the vien of your original post the point is that the soldiers may not have been given orders from above, but nobody from above stopped it happening. It's not even a case of them knowing about what was going on, if they didn't know...they should have, that's what being in command is about. A commander that can't control his troops is a bad commander and has no place being in that position of authority.

    itís an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

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