Mudcat Café message #1180649 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69413   Message #1180649
Posted By: Jim McCallan
07-May-04 - 05:50 PM
Thread Name: BS: Militarism & the US culture of violence
Subject: RE: BS: Militarism & the US culture of violence
"I'm sure you understand why I wouldn't want to open up a debate on Northern Ireland in this thread."

Absolutely, GUEST, and it was not really my intention to open one, for just as it is well nigh impossible to prove a negative, it is hard to offer tangible proof for my contention, also.
I accept that.

At the start of this 'war', however, most of the British media described our presence in Iraq as being the 'perfect peacekeeping force', "honed", indeed, on the streets of Northern Ireland.
Tabloid expressionism, and paradoxes notwithstanding (as you mention in your post..., and indeed, as I have covered also), I could see what they were inferring from that; that we essentially are more 'street-wise' than the US army.

I thought it was a reasonably fair point to make, as one does not get 'street-wise' by sitting by the fireside, as it were.
The Telegraph, here in the UK ran a story a while back, in which "a senior Army officer," speaking on condition of anonymity, remarked, "My view and the view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing."
He continued... "When U.S. troops are attacked with mortars in Baghdad, they use mortar-locating radar to find the firing point and then attack the general area with artillery, even though the area they are attacking may be in the middle of a densely populated residential area. They may well kill the terrorists in the barrage but they will also kill and maim innocent civilians. That has been their response on a number of occasions. It is trite, but American troops do shoot first and ask questions later. They are very concerned about taking casualties and have even trained their guns on British troops, which has led to some confrontations between soldiers."

American troops are trained to respond to and neutralize threats, GUEST. They are trained to fight a 'hot war'. Unfortunately for everyone involved, they are not adequately trained to exercise restraint and build connections with the peoples they occupy.

The Guardian reported in June 2003, "U.S. military officials have complained that they have received little or no training for peacekeeping. Most U.S. military police are reservists, given just one day of instruction on dealing with civilians."

One Day, GUEST

An American mother who travelled to Iraq in February in order to visit her son, wrote afterward that the most disturbing about the whole scenario was "how isolated the soldiers are over there. They're not interacting with the Iraqi people that much. The U.S. troops view things in very simplistic terms. It seems hard for them to reconcile subtleties between who supports what and who doesn't, in Iraq. It's easier for their soldiers to group all Iraqis as the bad guys. As far as they are concerned, Iraq is bandit country and everybody is out to kill them."

I wonder do many here remember the CNN video of American Marines shooting an Iraqi man... and cheering? In the following interview with one of the soldiers, the soldier said: "Man, those guys are dead now, you know? But it was, it was a good feeling ... And afterwards, uh, you're like, hell yeah, that was awesome! Let's, let's do it again."

I can only put forth a point of view, GUEST. It is in no way scientific.
I'll wait for the snuff movies to surface, and we'll see where we go from there.

Jim