US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5943
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Angua » Fri May 11, 2012 9:35 am UTC

First of all, I think I've seen this on the forums somewhere before. If someone could find the thread, I'd be happy for them to be merged, but my forum search-fu is failing me. (It may have been the FBI one teaching that mainstream Muslims are violent, rather than the military, but I can't find that either).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18030105

Apparently this course was taught for an entire year before someone who was on it complained about the content (good for them!).

The course taught officers there was no such thing as moderate Islam and that they should consider the religion their enemy.

It advocated "total war" against all the world's Muslims, including possible nuclear attacks on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the wiping out civilian populations.

The Pentagon has confirmed the course material found on their website is authentic.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ghostbear » Fri May 11, 2012 9:51 am UTC

Shit like this probably explains why we keep having incidents of soldiers disrespecting corpses or killing civilians. The person that instituted this needs to be sacked at the very least.

User avatar
Qaanol
The Cheshirest Catamount
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Qaanol » Fri May 11, 2012 9:54 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Shit like this probably explains why we keep having incidents of soldiers disrespecting corpses or killing civilians. The person that instituted this needs to be sacked at the very least.

A US government official who implemented a program advocating war on a single religion? Sounds like high treason against the Constitution.
wee free kings

User avatar
Gears
Bulletproof
Posts: 1593
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:31 am UTC
Location: Japan

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Gears » Fri May 11, 2012 12:02 pm UTC

Mind blowing. I make sure to bring up that we're fighting radical islamists and not Islam every time someone tries to say this.
General_Norris wrote:I notice a lack of counter-arguments and a lot of fisting.

User avatar
Dr. Diaphanous
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:38 pm UTC
Location: UK

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dr. Diaphanous » Fri May 11, 2012 1:44 pm UTC

WTF? What about the Muslims in the US military? (This article says there are at least 3,409 Muslims in the active-duty military as of 2008, possibly many more).

I suppose it's too much to ask for the US military not to be a dick constantly?
"God works in mysterious and breathtakingly cruel ways."

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Zamfir » Fri May 11, 2012 2:06 pm UTC

Gears wrote:Mind blowing. I make sure to bring up that we're fighting radical islamists and not Islam every time someone tries to say this.

How much better it that, though? For example, would you consider all radical islamists as the enemy? What about radical islamists who support the US, like the government of Saudi-Arabia? Or radical islamists who at least have never hurt Americans, even if they are not allies either?

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ghostbear » Fri May 11, 2012 2:34 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Shit like this probably explains why we keep having incidents of soldiers disrespecting corpses or killing civilians. The person that instituted this needs to be sacked at the very least.

A US government official who implemented a program advocating war on a single religion? Sounds like high treason against the Constitution.

I wasn't even thinking along those lines, so much as the fact that it's wholly inappropriate on.. just about every level, and has the nice cherry on top of making the military worse at its actual goals. Either of those would make it infuriating, it has both, and the added aspect of not meshing well with the establishment clause that you brought up.

Zamfir wrote:
Gears wrote:Mind blowing. I make sure to bring up that we're fighting radical islamists and not Islam every time someone tries to say this.

How much better it that, though? For example, would you consider all radical islamists as the enemy? What about radical islamists who support the US, like the government of Saudi-Arabia? Or radical islamists who at least have never hurt Americans, even if they are not allies either?

Yeah, the "radical islamist" isn't the reason we're fighting them -- it's just a trait that many of them share, incidental to the top level reasons that they are fighting the US.

Dystopiq
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dystopiq » Fri May 11, 2012 2:41 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Shit like this probably explains why we keep having incidents of soldiers disrespecting corpses or killing civilians. The person that instituted this needs to be sacked at the very least.

Except that the course in question was taught to Officers, not enlisted personnel, the ones who have been responsible for those atrocities ( Peeing on dead bodies, massacre of 16 at an Afghan village, etc). Also, these questionable courses (and others that may exist) aren't responsible for the atrocities. Human beings were. Humans who apparently have no regard for others. It's like blaming rapes on attractive clothing, and not the rapists. You know who murders innocent people? Murderers. Crazy, I know. And yes, I'm a soldier.

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ormurinn » Fri May 11, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Yeah, the "radical islamist" isn't the reason we're fighting them -- it's just a trait that many of them share, incidental to the top level reasons that they are fighting the US.


I agree with 99% of what you've said, but I think you're wrong here. Fanatical Islamism isn't incidental to a great many Shahid - it is their top-level reason. If you meant to imply that the people at the very top of certain organisations have ulterior motives, you're unquestionably correct, and the Taleban in Afghanistan have national independence/self defence as a potentially higher-order reason to fight american occupation than religion.

Overall though, for groups like Boko Haram and others, Islamism is their prome motivator.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5943
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Angua » Fri May 11, 2012 3:54 pm UTC

Dystopiq wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Shit like this probably explains why we keep having incidents of soldiers disrespecting corpses or killing civilians. The person that instituted this needs to be sacked at the very least.

Except that the course in question was taught to Officers, not enlisted personnel, the ones who have been responsible for those atrocities ( Peeing on dead bodies, massacre of 16 at an Afghan village, etc). Also, these questionable courses (and others that may exist) aren't responsible for the atrocities. Human beings were. Humans who apparently have no regard for others. It's like blaming rapes on attractive clothing, and not the rapists. You know who murders innocent people? Murderers. Crazy, I know. And yes, I'm a soldier.

Yes, but courses like this legitimise that sort of culture and behaviour. If the officers don't really see a problem with it, then who is going to make sure that the soldiers learn to respect civilians of different cultures?

Spoiler:
Rapists are not only to blame for rapes - the culture that allows them to think that they are entitled to it 'because she was wearing slutty clothing', especially when you realise that most rapes aren't done in back alleys. The culture that means that most discussions on consent turn into 'well how drunk does she need to be for it to be rape, because if she's not unconcious then she should have said no harder'.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

Dystopiq
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dystopiq » Fri May 11, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Dystopiq wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Shit like this probably explains why we keep having incidents of soldiers disrespecting corpses or killing civilians. The person that instituted this needs to be sacked at the very least.

Except that the course in question was taught to Officers, not enlisted personnel, the ones who have been responsible for those atrocities ( Peeing on dead bodies, massacre of 16 at an Afghan village, etc). Also, these questionable courses (and others that may exist) aren't responsible for the atrocities. Human beings were. Humans who apparently have no regard for others. It's like blaming rapes on attractive clothing, and not the rapists. You know who murders innocent people? Murderers. Crazy, I know. And yes, I'm a soldier.

Yes, but courses like this legitimise that sort of culture and behaviour. If the officers don't really see a problem with it, then who is going to make sure that the soldiers learn to respect civilians of different cultures?

Spoiler:
Rapists are not only to blame for rapes - the culture that allows them to think that they are entitled to it 'because she was wearing slutty clothing', especially when you realise that most rapes aren't done in back alleys. The culture that means that most discussions on consent turn into 'well how drunk does she need to be for it to be rape, because if she's not unconcious then she should have said no harder'.


Except that the Military (At least in the Army) does teach us to be extremely respectful to civilians of other cultures/countries( Afghans in this case). I can't tell you how many briefings, classes, and /or PP presentations we soldiers have had to attend ( yes, they attended them because it's mandatory for everyone) covering topics such as being respectful to civilians, Islamic religion ( and not a biased Islam-is-evil class), preventing civilian casualties and so on. Countless. I don't know what it is with some civilians but they seem to think we're all taken into a dark room and brain washed into thinking Islam is evil, kill people who worship Islam, etc. I got news for you. That's not the reality. Yes, I agree that the Officer course is stupid. It's a remnant of an earlier time in the military where our strategy and thinking was very, err, questionable, but we've gotten away from that. You might argue otherwise considering the recent incidents we've had, but in the end those soldiers acted on their own and they're the ones responsible.

As for the rape analogy, I'm simply being black and white about it. Yes, alcohol can facilitate it but in the end the rapist did the raping, not the bottle of alcohol. Unless it was possessed rapist bottle. Then we have a huge problem.
Last edited by Dystopiq on Fri May 11, 2012 4:19 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ghostbear » Fri May 11, 2012 4:17 pm UTC

Dystopiq wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Shit like this probably explains why we keep having incidents of soldiers disrespecting corpses or killing civilians. The person that instituted this needs to be sacked at the very least.

Except that the course in question was taught to Officers, not enlisted personnel, the ones who have been responsible for those atrocities ( Peeing on dead bodies, massacre of 16 at an Afghan village, etc). Also, these questionable courses (and others that may exist) aren't responsible for the atrocities. Human beings were. Humans who apparently have no regard for others. It's like blaming rapes on attractive clothing, and not the rapists. You know who murders innocent people? Murderers. Crazy, I know. And yes, I'm a soldier.

Officers are the people commanding the grunts. They're the ones setting the culture of what is and is not acceptable. They're the ones that decide how tight of a ship to keep. They're the ones that decide to, or not to, make a big fuss when they see soldiers acting irresponsibly. The attitude of officers has a huge influence on soldiers.

Ormurinn wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Yeah, the "radical islamist" isn't the reason we're fighting them -- it's just a trait that many of them share, incidental to the top level reasons that they are fighting the US.

I agree with 99% of what you've said, but I think you're wrong here. Fanatical Islamism isn't incidental to a great many Shahid - it is their top-level reason. If you meant to imply that the people at the very top of certain organisations have ulterior motives, you're unquestionably correct, and the Taleban in Afghanistan have national independence/self defence as a potentially higher-order reason to fight american occupation than religion.

Overall though, for groups like Boko Haram and others, Islamism is their prome motivator.

That's why I used "top level". We're essentially fighting them because of their actions. Their radical interpretation of islam might have caused them to decide on those actions, but it's the actions that we care about. It might be their motivation, but we don't fight people for their motivations.

User avatar
Kulantan
Posts: 999
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 9:24 pm UTC
Location: Somewhere witty

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Kulantan » Fri May 11, 2012 4:21 pm UTC

Dystopiq wrote:It's a remnant of an earlier time in the military where our strategy and thinking was very, err, questionable, but we've gotten away from that.

Forgive the scepticism about having gotten away from that culture when this came to light a mere month ago.

Also, I hate to tell you this, but I can't tell you how many classes, lectures and workshops of "drugs are bad" I sat through in high school without it changing the drug culture at my school.
TEAM SHIVAHN
Pretty much the best team ever

phlip wrote:(Scholars believe it is lost to time exactly which search engine Columbus preferred... though they are reasonably sure that he was an avid user of Apple Maps.)

Blog.

Dystopiq
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dystopiq » Fri May 11, 2012 4:34 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote:
Dystopiq wrote:It's a remnant of an earlier time in the military where our strategy and thinking was very, err, questionable, but we've gotten away from that.

Forgive the scepticism about having gotten away from that culture when this came to light a mere month ago.

Also, I hate to tell you this, but I can't tell you how many classes, lectures and workshops of "drugs are bad" I sat through in high school without it changing the drug culture at my school.



Which brings me back to individual responsibility. Let's blame the officers, not the scumbags who committed the atrocities. That makes perfect sense. Leaders can't be held responsible for everything their subordinates do. Humans have free will and at times will act on their own of their own volition. You can tell them what's right and what's wrong, but in the end they make that decision on their own. Why did they pee on corpses, why did that Staff Sergeant kill innocent civilians outside of Kandahar? I don't know, but let's not point the finger at the higher ups. Sometimes people are just wrong in the head. People want to believe that there's someone whispering in their ears telling them to commit those acts because it's easier than accepting that the son/daughter/loved one committed those acts on their own of their own accord. Also, I can't prove to you that we've gotten away from it. Only way to know is to serve and see it for yourself.

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5943
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Angua » Fri May 11, 2012 4:40 pm UTC

You do realise that people can be more inclined to do bad things if they have the right cultural influences? No one is saying that the people who do bad things are any less to blame, just that the culture contributes as well.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

Dystopiq
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dystopiq » Fri May 11, 2012 4:43 pm UTC

Angua wrote:You do realise that people can be more inclined to do bad things if they have the right cultural influences? No one is saying that the people who do bad things are any less to blame, just that the culture contributes as well.

So who do we blame? American Culture?

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5943
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Angua » Fri May 11, 2012 4:47 pm UTC

Partially, yes.

You seem to think that you can only blame one thing at a time, or that all things are equally to blame if they have any portion of it. It doesn't work that way. You can also fix more than one part of the problem at a time.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Роберт » Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm UTC

Dystopiq wrote:Which brings me back to individual responsibility. Let's blame the officers, not the scumbags who committed the atrocities. That makes perfect sense. Leaders can't be held responsible for everything their subordinates do. Humans have free will and at times will act on their own of their own volition. You can tell them what's right and what's wrong, but in the end they make that decision on their own. Why did they pee on corpses, why did that Staff Sergeant kill innocent civilians outside of Kandahar? I don't know, but let's not point the finger at the higher ups. Sometimes people are just wrong in the head. People want to believe that there's someone whispering in their ears telling them to commit those acts because it's easier than accepting that the son/daughter/loved one committed those acts on their own of their own accord. Also, I can't prove to you that we've gotten away from it. Only way to know is to serve and see it for yourself.

Yes, let's only blame individuals who commit atrocities, regardless of what [Godwin] set up. [Godwin] didn't kill all those Jews, did he?
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

Dystopiq
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dystopiq » Fri May 11, 2012 4:58 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Partially, yes.

You seem to think that you can only blame one thing at a time, or that all things are equally to blame if they have any portion of it. It doesn't work that way. You can also fix more than one part of the problem at a time.


American culture isn't going to be fixed. Removing the controversial course isn't solving anything major, but it does need to be removed. In the end there will always be people who commit war crimes, and people who just want any reason to hate something. It's a people issue, which the Army ( I won't say all branches) acknowledges and is trying to remedy at the moment. As to how that class came to be, I have no idea. Sometimes things slip through the cracks, but I don't believe for one second that that course was a contributing factor to any recent incidents we've had.

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5943
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Angua » Fri May 11, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

American culture is changing all the time, from being more accepting of women in high powered jobs (though we still have sexism), more accepting of racial equality (though we still have racism) and others. Fixing the culture alongside looking at individual incidents is the only way to treat the whole, rather than just symptoms. There's a reason why things like affirmative action allowing places for minorities was a good thing for changing the culture, not just patching up the problem, because it allowed people to see that minorities could be just as good as everyone else, which is how we make the culture more accepting of that from the start.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

Dystopiq
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dystopiq » Fri May 11, 2012 5:17 pm UTC

Angua wrote:American culture is changing all the time, from being more accepting of women in high powered jobs (though we still have sexism), more accepting of racial equality (though we still have racism) and others. Fixing the culture alongside looking at individual incidents is the only way to treat the whole, rather than just symptoms. There's a reason why things like affirmative action allowing places for minorities was a good thing for changing the culture, not just patching up the problem, because it allowed people to see that minorities could be just as good as everyone else, which is how we make the culture more accepting of that from the start.


I agree with this, but how do we fix people? human nature? No matter how much positive teaching, guiding, or leading we do there will always be that one person to commit those things. We can eliminate almost all contributing factors but in the end someone is going to do something stupid. So do we just accept that as a constant or is that a variable that changes on the given factors? Do we all come together and declare that those things will always happen regardless of the environment? From what I've seen personally, we're trying very hard to end it, but someone ends up crossing the line, regardless of what we do or how the leaders lead. So how do we know that something (the anti-islam course in this case) was a contributing factor to the recent events and not that "glitch" in human nature acting on it's own? (Sorry for all the questions)

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5943
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Angua » Fri May 11, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

When you have courses like this, it is obvious that there is still that sort of attitude around. The very existence of this course, and the fact that it went on for a year before someone complained about it shows that culture is still very much present.

You still punish the individual incidences as and when they happen. Cultural changes are very slow, but the only way they happen is by people calling out prejudices as they happen. Like how racism is slowly going away - it's hard to get rid of it in one go, but now we have a culture where it is acceptable to call people out on things. You still get people who complain about people who are too PC, but it's slowly working.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

User avatar
LaserGuy
Posts: 4585
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby LaserGuy » Fri May 11, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Gears wrote:Mind blowing. I make sure to bring up that we're fighting radical islamists and not Islam every time someone tries to say this.


How much better it that, though? For example, would you consider all radical islamists as the enemy? What about radical islamists who support the US, like the government of Saudi-Arabia? Or radical islamists who at least have never hurt Americans, even if they are not allies either?


Well, Saudi Arabia is a little more complicated than that. The Al Saud support the US and spend a huge amount of money to support the Wahhabi movement and the Muslim Brotherhood. The US government ignores the fact that the Saudis are funding their enemies because they need to keep the oil and money flowing. Also because, if the US actually tried to do something about Saudi Arabia, there's a half decent chance that the government would collapse and the fundamentalists would seize power. It's more of a lesser of two evils sort of thing.

Dystopiq wrote:Which brings me back to individual responsibility. Let's blame the officers, not the scumbags who committed the atrocities. That makes perfect sense. Leaders can't be held responsible for everything their subordinates do. Humans have free will and at times will act on their own of their own volition. You can tell them what's right and what's wrong, but in the end they make that decision on their own. Why did they pee on corpses, why did that Staff Sergeant kill innocent civilians outside of Kandahar? I don't know, but let's not point the finger at the higher ups. Sometimes people are just wrong in the head. People want to believe that there's someone whispering in their ears telling them to commit those acts because it's easier than accepting that the son/daughter/loved one committed those acts on their own of their own accord. Also, I can't prove to you that we've gotten away from it. Only way to know is to serve and see it for yourself.


The officer may not be directly responsible for the actions of their subordinates, but they are responsible for discipling those subordinates if they do something wrong, are they not? If an officer witnesses some of his subordinates peeing on corpses or murdering civilians or whatever and does nothing about it, does that not make him/her complicit in the atrocities?

Bharrata
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Bharrata » Fri May 11, 2012 5:39 pm UTC

I think it's just more evidence that the people at the top levels of government still don't understand or don't wish to understand what most academics know: the actual religion of Islam is not the problem, rather it is extreme poverty, oppression and illiteracy which all are helping to breed hostile, contradictory attitudes. I wonder how many of the officer courses teach in-depth Middle Eastern 19th/20th century history that has no Western slant...

Jonesthe Spy
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Jonesthe Spy » Fri May 11, 2012 6:03 pm UTC

This post had objectionable content.
There are enough other places where you can insult people -- Zamfir

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ghostbear » Fri May 11, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

Dystopiq wrote:Removing the controversial course isn't solving anything major, but it does need to be removed. In the end there will always be people who commit war crimes, and people who just want any reason to hate something. It's a people issue, which the Army ( I won't say all branches) acknowledges and is trying to remedy at the moment.

I think what you're missing about my original statement is that, while you can't stop a specific individual from losing it and doing these despicable things, you can create a culture where it is more likely, or a culture where it is less likely. Militaries keep a very tight discipline for many reasons, but one of those is as an attempt dissuade soldiers from those sorts of actions. An officer that runs a tight ship, vs an officer that runs a poorly disciplined unit, are going to have very different rates for their soldiers committing certain infractions or crimes. The way courses like this impact the situation is through the attitude it sets the officers up for. An officer that thinks they're at total war with the people -- not just the soldiers, but everyone that shares their religion -- is going to have far less concern for whether or not one of their units kills a few civilians on the side. They're not going to discipline people for being rougher than they should, for making threats, and so on. If the people who are more inclined to commit war crimes see all of this, they're going to decide that they can get away with it.

Choboman
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:54 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Choboman » Fri May 11, 2012 6:34 pm UTC

Making generalised statements about what American soldiers are like, or how they think, based on a very limited number of anecdotal observations, is just bad logic. Yes, there are some "bad people" in the US Army. If you look hard enough you'll find "bad people" [for any definition of bad that you care for] in ANY large group - Muslims, Brazilians, Verizon employees, etc. This doesn't prove that there's an endemic problem with the military culture. Since 2002, there have been (on average) well over 150K soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen deployed each year in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a large percentage of those interacting with the local population and dealing with conflicts on a regular basis. I think that it's amazing that we haven't had more scandals and breakdowns in discipline than we've had.

This isn't just an American problem. All militaries throughout history have had to deal with these kinds of issues during protracted conflict. Especially in conflicts where the enemy is not easily distinguished from the local population. We didn't hear about atrocities in earlier generations because of the limitations in media technology and restrictions on the press, but what information I've seen leads me to believe that things were much worse 20, 50 or 100 years ago than they are now. The US military still has lots of room for improvement, but they're not the universally racist baby-killers that some of you seem to suggest.

Bharrata
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Bharrata » Fri May 11, 2012 7:01 pm UTC

Choboman wrote:The US military still has lots of room for improvement, but they're not the universally racist baby-killers that some of you seem to suggest.


Can you point to anyone implying the US military is universally composed of racist baby-killers?


Based on the course in question it does seem the US military was teaching its officers to be prejudicial - a practice that would be the polar opposite of what one would expect if the military were concerned about winning "the hearts and minds" of the population it is occupying/policing.

IcedT
Posts: 867
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby IcedT » Fri May 11, 2012 10:14 pm UTC

What does seem rather surprising is that all those commanders, captains and colonels must have sat through the course and not felt the need to tell someone that something rather weird was going on.

This is the part of the article that should really get people thinking. Not only was someone in the academy crazy enough to want to teach this stuff, someone was crazy enough to approve it, and many high-ranking officers were crazy enough to go through the course without raising objections. We won't know how far this goes until the investigation is underway, but there's obviously a problem here. I mean, look at this shit:

It advocated "total war" against all the world's Muslims, including possible nuclear attacks on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the wiping out civilian populations.
Nuking Mecca and Medina? What the fucking fuckedy fark fock FUCK, guys?

User avatar
Qaanol
The Cheshirest Catamount
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Qaanol » Fri May 11, 2012 10:38 pm UTC

IcedT wrote:
It advocated "total war" against all the world's Muslims, including possible nuclear attacks on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the wiping out civilian populations.
Nuking Mecca and Medina? What the fucking fuckedy fark fock FUCK, guys?

Word. I mean, Islam has three holy cities, but the course only called for nuking two of them?


/wry
wee free kings

IcedT
Posts: 867
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby IcedT » Fri May 11, 2012 10:49 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:
IcedT wrote:
It advocated "total war" against all the world's Muslims, including possible nuclear attacks on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the wiping out civilian populations.
Nuking Mecca and Medina? What the fucking fuckedy fark fock FUCK, guys?

Word. I mean, Islam has three holy cities, but the course only called for nuking two of them?


/wry

Well Jerusalem's holy to Christians and Jews too, and if you mercilessly kill hundreds of thousands of Christian or Jewish civilians with weapons of mass destruction you'd be committing genocide. Not like if you did the same thing to Muslims.

/wry

Bharrata
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Bharrata » Fri May 11, 2012 10:50 pm UTC

I'm willing to believe that no babies would be harmed by the dropping of nukes on those cities.

IcedT
Posts: 867
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby IcedT » Fri May 11, 2012 10:52 pm UTC

Bharrata wrote:I'm willing to believe that no babies would be harmed by the dropping of nukes on those cities.

And why shouldn't you be? Everybody knows Arabs reproduce via spores.

Dystopiq
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Dystopiq » Sat May 12, 2012 4:53 am UTC

Choboman wrote:Making generalised statements about what American soldiers are like, or how they think, based on a very limited number of anecdotal observations, is just bad logic. Yes, there are some "bad people" in the US Army. If you look hard enough you'll find "bad people" [for any definition of bad that you care for] in ANY large group - Muslims, Brazilians, Verizon employees, etc. This doesn't prove that there's an endemic problem with the military culture. Since 2002, there have been (on average) well over 150K soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen deployed each year in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a large percentage of those interacting with the local population and dealing with conflicts on a regular basis. I think that it's amazing that we haven't had more scandals and breakdowns in discipline than we've had.

This isn't just an American problem. All militaries throughout history have had to deal with these kinds of issues during protracted conflict. Especially in conflicts where the enemy is not easily distinguished from the local population. We didn't hear about atrocities in earlier generations because of the limitations in media technology and restrictions on the press, but what information I've seen leads me to believe that things were much worse 20, 50 or 100 years ago than they are now. The US military still has lots of room for improvement, but they're not the universally racist baby-killers that some of you seem to suggest.


Exactly the point I'm trying to make, some in this thread must have an anti military state of mind if they're so quick to blame the military as a whole rather than the individuals responsible. They're grown men and in the end they made the choice. No one forced them to do anything. We have a few incidents and all of a sudden we're all to blame. According to some of you I somehow contributed, or my leaders somehow contributed. You can have the perfect military, with perfect discipline, and perfectly well behaved soldiers, but there will always be those who want to do the opposite. With that being said, what evidence is there to prove that this course somehow contributed to war atrocities in some shape, war, or form? I can just as easily blame civilian culture and their love of all things violent or gory, but I won't

LaserGuy wrote:The officer may not be directly responsible for the actions of their subordinates, but they are responsible for discipling those subordinates if they do something wrong, are they not? If an officer witnesses some of his subordinates peeing on corpses or murdering civilians or whatever and does nothing about it, does that not make him/her complicit in the atrocities?


Thank you for stating the obvious. Officers weren't present for most of the atrocities, and more than likely would of stopped it if they would have been present.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat May 12, 2012 5:44 am UTC

Dystopiq wrote:Exactly the point I'm trying to make, some in this thread must have an anti military state of mind if they're so quick to blame the military as a whole rather than the individuals responsible.

Choboman was challenged to back this claim up. Neither one of you has delivered.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5943
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Angua » Sat May 12, 2012 7:38 am UTC

Dystopiq wrote:We have a few incidents and all of a sudden we're all to blame. According to some of you I somehow contributed, or my leaders somehow contributed
If you can't get past the fact that you think we're blaming you personally for something someone else is done, then that's your problem. When the military covers up rape (like by having women who report it get declared mentally unfit and dishonourably discharged) then there is a culture of rape going on in the military, where the rapists know they can get away with it within the system. It doesn't mean that I think every single soldier is a rapist, or that there isn't a rape culture rampant in the civilian world as well, but rape in the military is a more specific problem due to it's higher prevalence and the fact that people use it as the reason that women shouldn't be allowed in the marines. The idea of how these cultures work is making sure that you get aware of these things - if someone makes a joke about 'ragheads' then is it really ok to let them slide on that? Obviously you need to pick your battles, but if no one ever picks that one then it will never stop being ok.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ormurinn » Sat May 12, 2012 9:11 am UTC

Angua wrote:if someone makes a joke about 'ragheads' then is it really ok to let them slide on that?


Yes.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

User avatar
Qaanol
The Cheshirest Catamount
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Qaanol » Sat May 12, 2012 9:26 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:
Angua wrote:if someone makes a joke about 'ragheads' then is it really ok to let them slide on that?


Yes.

ITT: Ormurinn is part of the problem.
wee free kings

User avatar
Ormurinn
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Location: Suth Eoferwicscire

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ormurinn » Sat May 12, 2012 10:04 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:ITT: Ormurinn is part of the problem.


I'm not a member of the U.S millitary. I just think that people who do one of the most dangerous and difficult jobs in the world, under incredible pressure, deserve more than to be browbeaten over a joke.

Being insulting to noncombatants is unprofessional, sure. Making a joke in your downtime? EVERYONE has bigger fish to fry than that.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: US military teaching 'total war' on Islam

Postby Ghostbear » Sat May 12, 2012 10:23 am UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I'm not a member of the U.S millitary. I just think that people who do one of the most dangerous and difficult jobs in the world, under incredible pressure, deserve more than to be browbeaten over a joke.

It doesn't matter how difficult or dangerous their job is. If someone's actions are counter to them succeeding at their tasks, then letting them get away with those actions is detrimental to all of those soldiers. If their actions are counter to what civilian's dictate is unacceptable then they need to cease those actions immediately.

It doesn't matter if you're part of the military or not, if you want to let them get away with unprofessional activities that work against not only themselves but against the people they are serving, solely because their job is difficult, then you are, in fact, part of the problem. We can respect our soldiers while still expecting them to represent us properly.

Ormurinn wrote:Being insulting to noncombatants is unprofessional, sure. Making a joke in your downtime? EVERYONE has bigger fish to fry than that.

If we only resolved ourselves to fixing our biggest problem at all times, we wouldn't solve any problems at all.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests