Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rick Perry on the Desecration of Bodies: Not a Criminal Thing

I think it's time we face facts and ask ourselves if we really are as bad as some people say we are, and by we I mean Americans.

Of course, the actions of a few dumbass marines is not representative of an entire people, but sometimes I have my doubts.  Four marines are being investigated on criminal charges for desecrating the bodies of their enemies.  The asshats apparently videotaped it, and thought that it'd never get out I guess.

Now, the descration of the fallen is nothing new.  We know it goes on, and has probably since the dawn of man.  But that doesn't make it okay, even if the enemy is horrifying.  Although I can understand why a person would do it, there really is zero excuse for it if you call yourself a civilized human being.  If you're someone who has lost someone in a war, how would you feel if you saw a video of your loved one's corpse being pissed on by your enemy?  My guess is you'd probably feel fairly shitty.

I think it's a good thing these guys are going to be brought up on criminal charges, and Rick Perry saying that such a concept is "over the top," goes to show what a shit head he is.  Perry must not understand that any and all misconduct at the hands of our troops are used to bolster the ranks of terrorist organizations.  Not to mention, it also makes us look like a bunch of douchebags.

Yeah, we fight for freedom, and liberty, justice, and all that jazz, but deep down we're just as shitty as the next group of human beings.  The best part is that some of you will likely disagree with me.  An argument I can see coming is "those douchebag, lowlife terrorists deserve that.  They're subhuman, and they got what was coming to them!"

Well, isn't it funny that the terrorists likely think the exact same thing about you?  I know, I know.  "Well we're right Jack!  We stand for liberty and justice!  They stand for opression!"  That may very well be, but nothing excuses such sickening behavior.  My guess is that the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves at such talk. 

People don't want to seem to believe it, but in light of shit like Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and now this, we have to face the fact that when the chips are down, many of us are little better than our enemies.  How many of you enjoyed watching US troops being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu?  Ah, but that's different.  It's okay to sacrifice everything that makes you a decent human being so long as such horrors are being committed against someone designated as our enemy.

57 comments:

D Charles QC said...

I guess if Taliban drag a naked body of a fallen US soldier and piss on it that Perry would consider that no big deal and not condemn it eh? Somehow I do not think so.

You are correct that abuse in times of conflict has happened since the concept of conflict hit mankind in the first place. Those that are caught in the act are seen as barbarians, those that lose the battle are usually ultra sensitive to such abuse and the winners after an ugly brutal battle simply want to let off steam (well in most cases).

If anything ticks me off it is a certain element within your country that pushes that American Exceptionalism a bit too far. Somehow Americans do not abuse, should not be allowed to face international tribunals and that is because they are the "world's policeman". That fails because, as any military, they are human and will and have abused, they should be allowed to face tribunals and inspection bodies because they are a part of this planet like any other nation and especially if they want to be the world's policeman then they must prove beyond doubt that they are subject to even more controls.

Do not get me wrong, I respect the US military, have cousins who migrated and their children are serving as we speak and one of my best friends is a Colonel and Surgeion in the US Marines and just volunteers endlessly as he is a trauma specialist and a "that's what I do...." type of guy.

We all need to be honest, with ourselves as much as others....

Jack Camwell said...

Exactly my point, Damien. If the reverse happened, every American would be up in arms denouncing the defilers of the dead.

Every American SHOULD be denouncing the defilers of the dead, and even moreso because the defilers in this case are supposed to represent the values of Western civilization as a free, civilized society.

Instead, they act like a bunch of shit heads. "Barbarian," is the right word for it.

Well put, Damien.

Jersey McJones said...

Jack, I have to give you credit - you often write posts that are so thought-provoking, I need a few hours to digest them before I can comment.

I can't find anything to disagree with here. All I can say is this:

Imagine if none of those guys were in the service in the first place. Imagine how much better their lives would be. Now, they're lives are now in tatters. They did something stupid, and they should pay for that, and granted they may have had rather unpleasant civilian lives anyway, they don't deserve too harsh a punishment.

They chose to serve, but they did not choose for what they served. They did as they were asked, and then reacted to that. They didn't, all on their own, hop on a plane together just to go on a trip through a war zone urinating on dead people. (I bet there's a market somewhere out there for that, though)

So, anyways... I think we should have appropriate mercy on them. Oh, and... their OFFICERS should be investigated as well. I'm sick of modern officers having zero accountability for their command!

JMJ

KP said...

Great article Jack and I appreciate the posts by Damien and JMJ.

Jersey, my observations are that the NAVY goes after the bigs. They seem to hold the individuals responsible. As well, all the way up to Captains and Admirals.

Maybe I am more sensitive to those stories because my bro was in F-14's during the tailhook sacandals, taught leadership at war college and served as a Cap on the supercarrier Aby Baby (USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). It seems to me this branch of the military gets it.

Harrison said...

Agreed... bad idea to piss on someone's grave.

Someone from our side took a picture and thought it was a bad idea, too.

Silverfiddle said...

Hey Sir Charles, only a dumbass would make such a comment. Do you know how many court martials we perform because of stuff like this?

A country that punishes its own doesn't need an international tribunal, as if the International House of Rape and Scandal known as the UN has any moral authority anyway.

Who would sit in judgment? Bashar Assad and Fidel Castro? What an ignorant comment.

Also, Gitmo is open to inspection by any foreign or international body that wants access, and it is spilling over with liberal pro-bono moron lawyers, so get your facts straight.

Put these examples of Euro-hypocrisy in your peace pipe and smoke it:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Europe+criticized+over+Guantanamo+doublespeak/5976919/story.html

http://reprieve.org.uk/press/2011_12_19_rendition_on_the_record/

I hope to hell we pull back to our own borders if nothing else just to hear Euros like you scream like girls next time a Slobo Milosevic goes on a bloody rampage.

Personally, I wouldn't piss on people like you if you were on fire.

Marine piss was too good for those goat rapers. It was probably the only bath any of them had ever had.

And finally, if you've never been in danger or almost been killed by someone, you don't know what kind of stress and anger that can cause. So if you haven't been there, careful with the judgments.

Jack Camwell said...

That's surprising coming from you Silver. You always tout how much more civilized Western civilization is than the rest of the world, yet you seem to be okay with our troops displaying barbaric behavior and acting without honor.

And if you're going to hurl insults, hurl them at me, not my readers.

D Charles QC said...

I am also suprised at Silver's comments (not the insults), just the comments.

Basically Silver has condoned the desicration of corpes and thus we can assume correctly that he would not mind at all if they were Taliban spurting over US servicemen or women.

Usuall Silver is pretty subject-minded when it comes to accountability and responsibility. I am certain if he thought long enough that he would be aware that international law is as legally binding as those that sign and chose to comply with them. Targetting the UN (which I personally do not think is structured well at all) is most certainly a waste of breadth - it always comes down to the nations that agree and to how much they agree. International Tribunals actually have proven to be very effective. Heads of States and Generals are now accountable when they cross lines and monitoring systems have dissuaded most of the developing world from investing into most WMD (use of gas, phosphorus and to a lesser degree landmines and cluster weapons). Having said that, no justice or arbitration system on the planet has ever worked when it has limited exclusivity. The US plays no part in the International Tribunals as it considers they would not get a fair hearing (we would say that they consider themselves better than others). They, along with five other nations, hold the bulk of the world's cluster and gas munitions and though they say they no longer use, they do not destroy them - in case they do - we assume.

War is a difficult subject to manage, control, police and judge - no question there. Gitmo is a sujbect - that Silver mentioned, and I did not - but is also very public. Renditions, crossing borders without permission, Drones, targetting US citizens overseas and many more subjects including the legacies of invasion need to be clarified to make those areas accountable so that there is no grey muddle of maybe or maybe not or worse - let's just not discuss it (which bites you in the arse later like illegal immunizing in Central America for experimenting, etc).

Oh, Silver - up yours, your posting was neither very smart, logical and frankly beneath you.

Silverfiddle said...

Coming from you, Sir Charles, that is a compliment.

Your false equivalency is sickening. The renditions, etc, was done with complete complicity of the scolding European nation that act so high-minded, so stuff it.

I did not say the marines actions were ok. My problem is with people who treat it as a new holocaust and then go on to condemn the US and demand international tribunals.

Again, if you've never almost been killed, you don't know the rage and rush of emotions that follow, so again, check yourself before passing such broad-brush judgments on others.

If Europeans still had balls and could take care of things like Bosnia, the US wouldn't need to go crashing around all over the world subjecting itself to snooty condescension from sanctimonious people like you.

War is hard to manage, but I'm telling my politicians how we can simple it up: Stop getting involved. Let the murderous idiots run rampant. Eventually China and others will step in, and then you will see what brutality looks like.

beamish said...

Silverfiddle is correct, insomuch as 1) the American people actually heard about our troops pissing on dead Trashcanistanis and 2) those troops will face military tribunals for their conduct.

Bonus points for the "ooh that's horrible crowd": Tell us which article of the UCMJ or the Geneva Conventions or even the military justice laws of your own country forbid pissing on a dead body.

None whatsoever, right?

How about, as Rick Perry mentioned in the SC debate, beheading civilian journalists or dragging government contractors out of their cars, beating them to death, stringing their bodies up on a bridge and setting them on fire?

Hmmm. Those are actual war crimes.

Pissing on a dead Trashcanistani?

Distasteful, but not illegal.

Conduct unbecoming charges, at the most, if they're officers. Time out and sit in the corner for a bit. Whoopity doo.

Jack Camwell said...

So are you a legal positivist, Beamish? So long as the law doesn't say it's wrong, it's not wrong?

Of course what the terrorists have done is abhorrent and should be prosecuted, but it seems like you're trying to employ the "what we're doing is not as bad as them," argument to defend their behavior.

My whole point is that it seems fairly dangerous that we're falling to this attitude that as long as our barbaric behavior isn't "as bad as them," then it's somehow okay.

Or that, because they did bad things to us we're allowed to do bad things to them.

Should the Germans have all been put into concentration camps after WWII?

I mean, if you are okay with degrading your own humanity by degrading that of others, then by all means go right ahead. Just don't kid yourself about it.

beamish said...

So are you a legal positivist, Beamish? So long as the law doesn't say it's wrong, it's not wrong?

Of course not. That's not what I said or am saying at all.

You're wanting to make it a crime to offend people's sensibilities. Does that make you an Orwellian thoughtcrime cop?

Of course what the terrorists have done is abhorrent and should be prosecuted, but it seems like you're trying to employ the "what we're doing is not as bad as them," argument to defend their behavior.

What is it about bleeding heart leftists that makes them all, to a man, lack reading comprehension skills?

Show me where I "defended" pissing on dead Trashcanistanis? Was it where I said it was "distasteful?"

beamish said...

Should the Germans have all been put into concentration camps after WWII?

Of course not. It's fairly useless to imprison the corpses of those executed after the Nuremberg trials.

You know, those responsible?

I mean, if you are okay with degrading your own humanity by degrading that of others, then by all means go right ahead. Just don't kid yourself about it.

All kidding aside, I find the lack of capacity for rational thought among leftists to be particularly bizarre.

But I'd rather ridicule than kill you for it.

Jack Camwell said...

You think I'm a leftist? You must not have read much of what I've written. It's also a bit disconcerting that you associate holding people to a high moral standard as being "leftist."

You assumed that my questions were rhetorical. They were not. They were legitimate questions asked to see how you feel on those issues, because I was looking for more explanation to what you wrote.

Pissing on the corpse of the fallen is not merely something that "offends people's sensibilities." The principle question I asked was how would you feel if someone pissed on the corpse of your loved one?

Sure, it's not a crime, but it's beyond distasteful.

And insulting my reading comprehension skills rather than addressing my statements in a mature manner gets you nowhere. I said that it "seemed like" you were making a particular argument. Like you assuming that I'm a bleeding heart because I believe in things like honor and dignity, I assumed that was the argument you were trying to make.

If insulting me is how you operate, then you're little different than the fool liberals who resort to insults and snide remarks in place of reasoned debate.

If you're going to make claims for everyone to read, don't get pissy when someone asks you to explain yourself.

Honestly, ridicule is meaningless when you're wrong.

beamish said...

You think I'm a leftist? You must not have read much of what I've written. It's also a bit disconcerting that you associate holding people to a high moral standard as being "leftist."

No, I associate calls for criminalizing thoughts under the rubric of "higher morality" with leftism, lefty.

You assumed that my questions were rhetorical. They were not. They were legitimate questions asked to see how you feel on those issues, because I was looking for more explanation to what you wrote.

Pissing on the corpse of the fallen is not merely something that "offends people's sensibilities." The principle question I asked was how would you feel if someone pissed on the corpse of your loved one?


Oh, I'd be moved to clamor for legislation to make sure no public restroom toilet forced you to face Mecca while taking a shit so no Shiite Muslim adherent of Ayatollah Khomeini would be emotionally traumatized in the making of this point, I'm sure.

How would I feel if someone pissed on the corpse of one of my loved ones?

I think I'd probably ask that someone if they were trying to insult me, or the corpse.

There's great liberty in being in control of oneself, wouldn't you agree?

beamish said...

Honestly, ridicule is meaningless when you're wrong.

And oh so hilarious when I'm right.

Of course, since you're going to criminalize laughter...

Jack Camwell said...

Who's talking about criminalizing thoughts? I'm talking about criminalizing actions. They didn't "think" about pissing on those corpses, they actually did it.

It's not even about morality, it's about being a decent human being and not being a complete shit head. Those guys pissing on the corpses? Complete shit heads.

Question: Do you think laws are based on something *other* than a moral standard?

From your answer to my question, I gleaned that you either deflected it, because you would most assuredly be upset if someone pissed on the corpse of your loved one, or you were implying that you wouldn't care.

If you wouldn't care, then you're probably one of the few people that feel that way. It's not like there's zero historical precedent for the descration of the dead being perceived as dishonorable, so I'm not just making it up.

Desecrating a corpse goes beyond "being offensive."

Oh, so about that whole "higher moral code," thing, is the entire military a big leftist regime? There's laws in the UCMJ about sodomy, adultery, and offensive things like racial slurs. But that's all just leftist moral codes, right?

beamish said...

Here's a pop quiz for you:

Which is more morally offensive...

a) Some (ahem) "artist" pissing on a crucifix in a jar and taking a picture of it

b) There being no market for pictures of crucifixes in piss so the "artist" (ahem) getting you tax dollars to fund a government grant for it

Jack Camwell said...

Surely you're smart enough to recognize that there's a difference between desecrating an object and desecrating a human object.

And do you really think that anyone reading this is buying your bullshit spin on what I've written?

I am in no way, shape or form, arguing against freedom of speech or expression. And frankly, arguing that this issue has anything to do with freedom of speech is asinine.

beamish said...

Who's talking about criminalizing thoughts? I'm talking about criminalizing actions. They didn't "think" about pissing on those corpses, they actually did it.

And now those soldiers are winning Academy awards. I see.

It's not even about morality, it's about being a decent human being and not being a complete shit head. Those guys pissing on the corpses? Complete shit heads.

I agree. Should we tattoo "shithead" on their faces?

From your answer to my question, I gleaned that you either deflected it, because you would most assuredly be upset if someone pissed on the corpse of your loved one, or you were implying that you wouldn't care.

If you wouldn't care, then you're probably one of the few people that feel that way. It's not like there's zero historical precedent for the descration of the dead being perceived as dishonorable, so I'm not just making it up.


You forgot the 3rd possibility... No matter how I'd feel (and I'd be shocked and angered), I see no way I could have my pissed on loved one's corpse "unpissed" on.

You were saying something about insults and reasoned debate, yes?

Desecrating a corpse goes beyond "being offensive."

To who? The corpse?

Oh, so about that whole "higher moral code," thing, is the entire military a big leftist regime? There's laws in the UCMJ about sodomy, adultery, and offensive things like racial slurs. But that's all just leftist moral codes, right?

Life sucks in a centrally planned behavioral system, huh?

beamish said...

Surely you're smart enough to recognize that there's a difference between desecrating an object and desecrating a human object.

I'll be upset if my tax dollars continue to fund those jerks on welfare long after they're dishonorably discharged. But what can I do? Shoot them?

And do you really think that anyone reading this is buying your bullshit spin on what I've written?

My magic 8-ball says "most definitely."

I am in no way, shape or form, arguing against freedom of speech or expression. And frankly, arguing that this issue has anything to do with freedom of speech is asinine.

No, you're arguing for "hate crimes" legislation. To make a criminal act "more super-duper criminal" because your outrage button got stuck.

Jack Camwell said...

It's just that your logic is painfully flawed.

You accused me of being a leftist because I believe in a "higher moral code," as you put it, or that people should be punished for it.

But there are laws in the UCMJ that are not present in the rest of society. A soldier can be punished for adultery. Are you going to tell me that somehow an aversion to adultery is "leftist"? That is clearly a law based off of a conservative religious viewpoint.

Does punishing a murderer unmurder the victim? Would you not demand justice?

You answered your own question about who would be insulted by pissing on a corpse. "Shocked and angered," I think is how you put it.

Jack Camwell said...

Interesting that you classified this as a hate crime, because hate crimes are punishable under the UCMJ.

Oh, and I suppose we should just let military members do whatever they want in lieu of punishing them, right?

beamish said...

It's just that your logic is painfully flawed.

Because it's much more logical to deploy the trusty argumentum ad populum fallacy to make sure everyone is extra crispy outraged, rather than say, just outraged?

You accused me of being a leftist because I believe in a "higher moral code," as you put it, or that people should be punished for it.

Uh-huh.

But there are laws in the UCMJ that are not present in the rest of society. A soldier can be punished for adultery. Are you going to tell me that somehow an aversion to adultery is "leftist"?

No. Being opposed to adultery and thus never engaging in adultery is rightist.

Punishing the consensual behavior of two adulterers acting in concert with each other because you can't bear the strain of the broken conformity with what offends you is leftist.

That is clearly a law based off of a conservative religious viewpoint.

Yet no one outside totalitarian regimes or rights restricting, behavior governing organizations (like the military) are stoning adulterers, figuratively or literally.

Does punishing a murderer unmurder the victim? Would you not demand justice?

Of course not. We should give Olympic gold medals to murderers, and Academy awards to corpse desecrators.

::rolls eyes::

You answered your own question about who would be insulted by pissing on a corpse. "Shocked and angered," I think is how you put it.

And look what I did with my shock and anger over soldiers pissing on Trashcanistanis. I want my tax dollars to stop funding them. I want them dishonorably charged from the military, their benefits cancelled, their names forever associated with disgrace and when they can't find a job in the private sector, denied government relief.

Am I outraged enough, or do I need to turn them over to the Taliban for beheading?

beamish said...

Interesting that you classified this as a hate crime, because hate crimes are punishable under the UCMJ.

And more strict, organizational behavior governing rules in the UCMJ are more libertarian and thus more right-wing how?

Oh, and I suppose we should just let military members do whatever they want in lieu of punishing them, right?

Of course. We're too damned lenient with our giving soldiers that piss on corpses guest spots on the View.

::rolls eyes::

You were saying something about making rational arguments instead of insults?

Jack Camwell said...

"And look what I did with my shock and anger over soldiers pissing on Trashcanistanis. I want my tax dollars to stop funding them. I want them dishonorably charged from the military, their benefits cancelled, their names forever associated with disgrace and when they can't find a job in the private sector, denied government relief."

Then what in the hell are you even arguing with me for? If you believe that they should be punished for what they did, because what they did was abhorrent, then you and I are in complete agreement. Do you think that I think they should be sentenced to prison for it? A little stint in the brig probably wouldn't hurt, but jesus, all I'm advocating is that they are indeed punished accordingly.

Their behavior, I think, warrants courts martial and investigation. This is an offense that does not fall under NJP. Whatever the judge decides to sentence them with is obviously up to the judge.

Beamish, what's all this sentiment about banning gay marriage? Is that leftist moralist crap, or rightist moralist crap? And that's not trying to restrict people's rights or behavior?

You dodged the question I asked. You know that laws reflect morality, so saying that we shouldn't punish someone for not following a moral standard is contradictory, unless you think that all laws are broken and should not exist.

Jack Camwell said...

How have I insulted you? I've just been following your logic to its conclusions.

Make all the snide, smart ass remarks you want. You've offered little real dissection of anything I've said.

And behavior control? Please. What is law if not behavior control?

beamish said...

Beamish, what's all this sentiment about banning gay marriage?Is that leftist moralist crap, or rightist moralist crap? And that's not trying to restrict people's rights or behavior?

Gay men can marry women. Gay women can marry men. How's that a ban on gay marriage?

Oh, you want to change the definition of marriage...

beamish said...

How have I insulted you? I've just been following your logic to its conclusions.

Are you even aware of what logic is?

And behavior control? Please. What is law if not behavior control?

And yet it always sanctions behavior after the fact, as a warning to the rest.

Some control, huh?

Jack Camwell said...

Splitting hairs now are we? Okay. Instead of calling it "gay marriage," lets call it "legally recognized same-sex unions." I seriously doubt you convinced anyone of your veracity with such a ploy.

I grow tired of debating with you, because you're debating in split hairs and half-truths. One moment you say that pissing on a corpse is akin to pissing on a cross in artistic expression and thus should not be punishable, and then the next moment you say that it's right for them to be punished.

On one hand you seem to imply that we can't "legislate morality," but then you refuse to acknowledge that all law has some moral basis, as if murder and theft are somehow not moral issues.

And then instead of tighetning your logic, you simply accuse me of not understanding what logic is. You said "punishing them will not unpiss on those corpses," and the logic conclusion one can glean from that is that since punishing a person cannot undo the offense, it's pointless to punish someone.

This is going nowhere, so I'm going to urge other readers to chime in on this.

beamish said...

Splitting hairs now are we? Okay. Instead of calling it "gay marriage," lets call it "legally recognized same-sex unions." I seriously doubt you convinced anyone of your veracity with such a ploy.

You recognize the requirement of your definition of "gay marriage" to commit a fallacy of bifircation on the definition of marriage. Good, where getting somewhere.

I grow tired of debating with you, because you're debating in split hairs and half-truths. One moment you say that pissing on a corpse is akin to pissing on a cross in artistic expression and thus should not be punishable, and then the next moment you say that it's right for them to be punished.

And here I thought I was arguing that pissing on corpses and / or crucifixes should not be rewarded or funded by government.

The corpse desecration probably qualifies as "conduct unbecoming" by UCMJ standards, and definitely violates US civilian law.

You might even be able to make a case for Geneva Conventions violations on the handling of bodies, if the Taliban or al Qaeda were parties to the Geneva Conventions.

Geneva Convention IV
Article 16, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken … to protect [the killed] against … ill-treatment.”

Additional Protocol I
Article 34(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “The remains of persons who have died for reasons related to occupation or in detention resulting from occupation or hostilities … shall be respected”.

Additional Protocol II
Article 4 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides:
1. All persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take part in hostilities, whether or not their liberty has been restricted, are entitled to respect for their person [and] honour …
2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the following acts against the persons referred to in paragraph I are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever:

(e) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment …
Source(s):


But, as far as I know, the GCs do not afford legal protections to non-signatory parties. Let the country that backs the Taliban or al-Qaeda plead their case...

On one hand you seem to imply that we can't "legislate morality," but then you refuse to acknowledge that all law has some moral basis, as if murder and theft are somehow not moral issues.

You're beating the bejeezus out of that strawman. Of course law has a moral component. You're arguing for the law to go beyond itself, to essentially add adjectives to the mix. Higher morality. Top floor morality. Off in space morality. Tripping on mescaline and seeing God looks like Gary Oldman in a tutu morality.

So how do we sanction against that, to compensate and recompense and soothe your uber-outrage? Make a donation to the Taliban's favorite charity?

And then instead of tighetning your logic, you simply accuse me of not understanding what logic is. You said "punishing them will not unpiss on those corpses," and the logic conclusion one can glean from that is that since punishing a person cannot undo the offense, it's pointless to punish someone.

Except for that bothersome detail you're dancing around like a cheerleader with pom-poms that the soldiers are being investigated and presumably will be punished.

But hey, fuck givin' them a trial. Clearly we need to sodomize them all with a grain auger, right?

This is going nowhere, so I'm going to urge other readers to chime in on this.

'Tween you and me, what are the Vegas odds that people are going to surgically remove your higher moral indignation and insults and find, as I have, that logic and your position have nothing to do with each other?

beamish said...

You said "punishing them will not unpiss on those corpses,"

No, I said "No matter how I'd feel (and I'd be shocked and angered), I see no way I could have my pissed on loved one's corpse "unpissed" on."

That statement had nothing to do with punishments to be considered.

You're not real handy with logic or rational debate, are ya lefty?

D Charles QC said...

I see the conversation has been rather .... in depth.

All I want to do is make a point which Jack has done correctly in repsonse to Silverfiddle.

There are laws and standards and then there are avoiding or ignoring them. The worst thing is the last two (of course).

What I think is necessary, and this is my gripe about the US, is that they do not actually play fair or participate in ensuring that the standards are across the board and universal so that we can difine what is acceptable and not. Most countries oblige, some do not and of those they are mostly rogue states and , well to be honest - the US and Israel. Both these nations consider themselves somehow beyond the scope of standards and clammer for the 'we are the exception' excuse.

I am not blasting the standards of the US, the behaviour and if you read my first email, I even have friends and distant relatives within the military there. My point is the difficulties and the lack of standardization when it comes to behaviour, clarification of legislation and standards to basically say this is acceptable, this is unaccaptable, when does it cross the line of International Justice and when is it being ignored and thus a scandal should be made. When it comes to the US, it is in fact difficult. Also, and Silverfiddle forgets this, we are not talking about events within the domain of the US - we are talking about within the rather difficult legally defined regions of cross-boarder conflict zones that often have no treaty, agreements or classification in regards to - JURISDICTION.

We know that the event is covered regarding this "pissing" event, we know about the condemnation of say the Abou Gharab event, the rape of the girl in Japan etc. These in themselves are not the issue, the point I am making is that until the US actually plays ball instead of bringing it and claiming always captaincy and referee status - there is never going to be total respect.

Jack Camwell said...

Beamish, at what point did I say they should not be given a trial? In fact, my entire argument laid out in the article is that they SHOULD be tried for what they did and punished accordingly.

Seriously, did you even read the article?

And what adjectives did I suggest be added to the law? "Higher morality," was something you said, not me.

WHat you've done with all this is assert that I'm trying to make a particular argument and defeat me on that argument. But the truth is that your assertion is completely false. Actually, I don't think I even mentioned law in my article, because the article was less about the letter of the law and more about Rick Santorum's attitude towards the situation.

So if you agree that these marines should be charged and tried for what they've done, exactly why the fuck are you even arguing with me? If that's your position, then you and I are in total agreement.

Please tell me where I said that these guys should be given extra punishment or whatever for what they've done. You've agreed that their actions were abhorent, and you've agreed that their prosecution is just because the violated the GC and the UCMJ.

SO why have you asserted that I've said ANYTHING different from that?

Where, in anything that I've said, did I mention that the law needs to have some sort of extra super-high morality to it than what it currently has?

Spolier alert: I never said that. You wrongly asserted that I did.

beamish said...

Beamish, at what point did I say they should not be given a trial? In fact, my entire argument laid out in the article is that they SHOULD be tried for what they did and punished accordingly.

And they are being tried. Who's argued that they shouldn't be tried?

Seriously, did you even read the article?

It sure "seems" like I did. ;)

And what adjectives did I suggest be added to the law? "Higher morality," was something you said, not me.

"...yet you seem to be okay with our troops displaying barbaric behavior and acting without honor." (to SilverFiddle)

"Pissing on the corpse of the fallen is not merely something that "offends people's sensibilities." (to me)

"...it seems like you're trying to employ the "what we're doing is not as bad as them," argument to defend their behavior." (to me)

"Desecrating a corpse goes beyond "being offensive." (to me)

Holier-than-thou higher moral standard much? Apparently it's not up to your chest-thumpingly solid righteous preening seal of approval for Americans to merely have offended sensibilities about soldiers pissing on corpses, or being outraged about it, or disgusted by it, or repulsed by it.

Oh no, in the Camwellian Church of the Holy Insipidness, let's subject everyone expressing a desire to see terrorists who behead journalists held to a moral standard, any moral standard, to extra derision and scorn for not being sufficiently outraged about corpses getting pissed on by Americans.

Because we're more human than most, apparently.

Where, in anything that I've said, did I mention that the law needs to have some sort of extra super-high morality to it than what it currently has?

In the fact that you can't take yes for an answer, and let us still be outraged or even more outraged about far more barbaric acts than pissing on a dead terrorist.

Maybe the soldiers should have beheaded them alive while filming it, so you'll stop crying about it.

Spolier alert: I never said that. You wrongly asserted that I did.

You implied it directly, several times, with your sneering derision about both Silverfiddle and I not being sufficiently outraged, wanting to know how I'd feel if it were a terrorist I loved that was pissed on or whatever.

Next time bring your A game, lefty.

Jack Camwell said...

So, saying that our servicemen and women should act with honor is somehow wrong? Expecting that they live up to the values of decency that they're suppposedly fighting for is somehow a lefty thing?

Honestly, I don't see where Silver thinks you're a good debator. You've done nothing but willfully misconstrue basically everything I've said here.

ANd how the hell does someone imply something directly? Aren't implications inherently indirect? You can't even make a simple non-contradictory statement.

Your thinking is not clear, your logic unsound, and your style condescending and foolish.

You can't sit here and tell me that I'm somehow wrong for being outraged at this incident when you expressed anger and outrage as well. Oh wait, in the world of beamish, even your contradictions are somehow logical.

But you're right beamish. At the end of the day, it's wrong for me and my "lefty" friends to be sickened at what our fellow members of western civilization have done to defile the dead.

And yes, beamish, I'm totally saying that we shouldn't be outraged at the barbarity the terrorists have shown.

Next time bring a game that doesn't consist of Alice in Wonderland logic.

Jack Camwell said...

And just to reiterate:

If the Geneva Convention says that corpses must be handled properly, as *you posted above*, and if you think that these guys SHOULD be prosecuted under the UCMJ on the grounds of conduct unbecoming, exactly how am I holding these guys to a higher moral standard?

It's clear that I'm holding them to the standard of the law.

beamish said...

If the Geneva Convention says that corpses must be handled properly, as *you posted above*, and if you think that these guys SHOULD be prosecuted under the UCMJ on the grounds of conduct unbecoming, exactly how am I holding these guys to a higher moral standard?

>>ANd how the hell does someone imply something directly? Aren't implications inherently indirect?<<

Have you not consistenly stated, via your post and the ensuing discussion from it that SilverFiddle, myself, and "many of us" are "little better than our enemies" for our own estimations of the moral character of our miltary vs. that of our enemies contrary to yours not an implication that you presume to hold a higher moral standard as an American than SilverFiddle and me?

Is not your "My guess is that the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves at such talk" so much wrapping your dialectical materialist turd in an American flag candy wrapper and trying to pass it off as a candy bar?

Really? Which Founding Father? The ones that kept slaves or the ones that removed Native Americans from their lands?

It's clear that I'm holding them to the standard of the law.

And we're not? It seems you are telling us that dead terrorists in fact are worth a bath of Marine piss, as SilverFiddle and I deny vehemently.

Silverfiddle said...

The only part of this thread that didn't make sense was when Sir Charles inserted his vapid comments about the US and Israel being above the law.

Charles: We have a Uniform Code of Military Justice, and we prosecute misbehavior under it. In some cases, like rapes and murders in civilized countries like Japan or Germany, we will turn the offender over to the host government because we have confidence in their judicial system.

In those countries where the justice system is capricious and opaque, we punish offenders under the UCMJ.

You should study up on this and swear off reading lefty anti-American propaganda.

Silverfiddle said...

I can't speak for Beamish, but what gets me is every time something like this happens everybody screams like little girls and makes broad moralistic pronouncements.

Leftist America haters (not you, Jack) take this and run with it, condemning America as Pol Pot and Hitler's third reich all rolled up into one. It sickens me and it pisses me off.

Shit happens. And when it does we pushing the guilty.

D Charles QC said...

The problem with your argument there Silver is that "any" becomes "none".

Apart from the mindless insert of the word "lefty" (the great excuse), when one does wish to make a comment or criticism about an American policy or habit - it immediately becomes a do-or-die situation, aka it must be comparing America to Pol Pot. Apart from such rediculous anaologies, I simply pointed out that the US (and Israel) are the two countries that try and apear to be part of the world and yet at the same time claim some form of indemnity/apartness when it comes down to the crunch.

I said no more nor did I say less and I stand by my view. Every country has its own form of military justice - that America has it as well is not only logical but obvious. Having said that, which is forgotten by Silver, is that almost all countries also abide by International Codes and Justice to various levels - except - you get it - the US and Israel. Some countries sign and ignore it, some do not sign and refuse to be part of it, but then they also deny being either a major player, significantly superior, are already in conflict with nor claim to be the world's policemen.

That was the point, it is prudent and to many in the word, it is an issue when it comes to international judication, a sore point to international bodies AND relevant to the thread (also missed here by Silver).

Lastly, and still to the point, the subject is desecration, the image of America in regards to the event that took place and how should it be dealt with. The image for America is important, thus how they respond was important and especially in the light of how America has in the past simply put themselves "beyond justice". That it is being dealt with, in my mind correctly, is good for America BUT responses by potential future Presidential Candidates bodes badly for America. The rest of the world is most certainly watching, and comments from Perry, or the "there never was a Palestine comment by Gingrich simply adds to the fear that the US will soon make a step backwards.

Jack Camwell said...

Silver, I think you and Beamish have incorrectly assumed that I am saying America is terrible, or that it's like Nazi Germany.

What is apparent is that there are many Americans who seem to be afraid to face painful facts.

Prisoners in Abu Ghraib were severely mistreated, and what happened there violated the Geneva Convention and the UCMJ.

We have a video tape of soldiers desecrating the bodies of fallen human beings, which is a violation of the Geneva Convention, and can be construed as a hatecrime or conduct unbecoming, as beamish pointed out.

So why defend these assholes? Why get super upset when I call them assholes? That's what they are. They're assholes. Are the just as bad as the terrorists who behead people and shit? Of course not. But stop pretending that just because they're risking their lives means they're allowed to be assholes and break the rules/laws.

What's the point of even having the Geneva convention if we have dipshits like Rick Santorum saying that punishing them is over the top? Maybe we should just renounce the Geneva convention altogether?

I find it endlessly retarded that criticizing America has become synonymous with being a lefty. You know, when you complain about the financial crisis, and talk about how our rights are infringed upon by the Patriot Act, and say what a travesty it is that abortion is legal, you're doing the same God damned thing. You're saying that America sucks, that those things are making America suck.

So why are you different? Why aren't you a lefty? Because in your mind you're correct, and everyone else is wrong?

You know what? This whole PLANET sucks. Not just America. This fucking thing we call Earth sucks a giant asshole. America is not perfect. In fact, there are a lot of things about America that are seriously fucked up. You and I might disagree about what is and is not fucked up, but you're not going to sit here and seriously tell me that we have no problems that are worth griping about.

Now I'm going to say this one more god damn time, and if beamish feels the need to continue the argument, then he can plain go fuck himself. I don't give a shit what that asshat asserts, at NO FUCKING POINT, did I ever say that we're just as bad as the terrorist, or that pissing on corpses is just as bad as some of the horrors the terrorists have committed.

Yes, I said many Americans are *little better* than the terrorists, but I did not equate them. You're a Christian, yes Silver? Jesus said turn the other cheek, did he not? So by his teachings, no act of barbarity or brutality in retaliation is ever justified.

Human beings are awful fucking creatures, capable of unspeakable barbarity and cruelty. Last I checked, Americans are human beings just like everyone else.

Silverfiddle said...

It's the Ron Paulesque moral equivalency that pisses me off, Jack.

Yeah, we fight for freedom, and liberty, justice, and all that jazz, but deep down we're just as shitty as the next group of human beings.

Well, isn't it funny that the terrorists likely think the exact same thing about you? I know, I know. "Well we're right Jack! We stand for liberty and justice! They stand for opression!"



Yeah, we're exceptional, just like Greece...

It is precisely because of comments like this that George Bush was 100% wrong in try to "save" people. We need to get out and go home. One "Oh shit" wipes out a thousand "atta-boys" even among patriotic Americans.

Europeans are still pissed about the Iraq invasion because it broke up the multi-billion dollar black market deals Europe had with Saddam to subvert the no fly zones and economic sanctions they publicly supported.

With friends like that, who needs enemies. It really is blood for oil for Europeans, and they don't give a damn because it's not their blood.

Which brings me to Sir Charles...

This is telling:

almost all countries also abide by International Codes and Justice to various levels - except - you get it - the US and Israel. Some countries sign and ignore it, some do not sign and refuse to be part of it, but then they also deny being either a major player, significantly superior, are already in conflict with nor claim to be the world's policemen.

Therein lies the heart of Europweenie duplicity. If you sign an agreement and then wipe your ass with it that's OK; but refusing to sign on principle is just unacceptable.

Thank you Charles for your honesty. What exactly is the US in violation of?

One awesome reason to see Ron Paul elected would be for him to tell Europe Sayonara, and keep your own global sea routes open.

The only problem with this would be when the inevitable catastrophe happened, causing the Euros to run to us, pissing down their legs because they don't know how to defend themselves and they've blown through all the bribe money.

Silverfiddle said...

And one more thing Jack,

I address you separately because there is a big distinction between you and Charlie.

You are right that on one level we are all flawed human beings, with no one inherently more valuable or better than anyone else.

But when someone extrapolates that out and says our military is no better than the Taliban or say Gaddafi's regime, it strays into the kind of America hatred that makes Europeans and OWS types giddy with schadenfreud-laden glee. That's when they march out the US as international criminal bullshit that Charlie is spouting.

There's nothing like criticizing the US while lounging under our security umbrella, the one that allowed Europe to convert its militaries into glorified jobs programs incapable of stopping bloody predations in their own back yard.

I know that you do not hate America Jack, but you are drawing equivalencies and it pisses people off who have been to these places and seen people die.

We build schools, the Taliban blows them up and cut off little girls hands for going to them. That's a pretty stark distinction.

I appreciate your long rant, but if we subscribe to it, it results in a big fat FUCK IT, let the world burn.

If that's what you meant than just say and save the space.

Jack Camwell said...

A very reasoned response. I'm sorry for being so curt in my response.

Deep down, in our heart of hearts, I think Americans are just as bad as anyone else. But you have to understand that where some people consider only one's actions when determining the goodness of a person, I also consider what's in a person's heart. I can't possibly know a man's heart, but there are plenty of Americans whose actions have demonstrated that they also have black hearts.

Just because we're American doesn't mean we're not capable of awful behavior. Clearly. Trail of Tears, racial slavery, Jim Crow, segregation.

Now, do I think that all those things negate all the good America has done? Absolutely not. But does that then mean that I'm just going to ignore all the bad shit just because we do some good stuff? Absolutely not.

Loving America is like loving your own children. You want what's best for them, yes? Most parents want their children to grow up to be upstanding citizens with good, moral character. So what do we do when our kids don't live up to our standards of what we believe to be "good"? We punish them. We admonish them. We let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.

If we didn't, then the kids would start getting worse and grow up to be shit heads. Just because we admonish our children doesn't mean we love them less. In fact, it means we truly love them, because we're willing to push them to live up to a high moral standard.

If my son were to be caught stealing, I wouldn't say "well, you've been really good up to this point, so that's okay." I'd be incredibly disappointed in him, and I'd let him know it. A person can be a saint up until he commits a crime, and everything before that doesn't excuse the crime. Ever.

So what difference does it make how much good we've done? None of that excuses the behavior of these men. Nothing that anyone ever does to harm America excuses this behavior.

Don't be the parent that gets defensive when someone says their kid is being a little shit, because you have it in your mind that your child can do no wrong. An outside opinion is always worth a look.

D Charles QC said...

Silver, my point was clear enough but it appears to be flying more than three hand-widths over your head.

You even put boldface on the area but missed it. What it says is that there are those nations that do sign and agree, those that do not AND some inbetween. It is not wiping thier collective arses with such agreements - they make it very clear how they stand! America does not.

What pisses me off is that you make a comment (and I am not the only one saying it and at high levels and within the legal industry) and immediately there is someone claiming that we are comparing America and their soldiers to the Taliban. Well, let us make this as clear as can be, hell no. As I said right from my very first post (actually the first one on this thread) that "I respect the US military". It is the British, America and allied military that saved this world and made the standards. There are times that those standards are ignorned, confused or abused, but by any description it is still way above and way more professional than most countries including those from some other "developed" nations. Hell, I come from the Island fortress of Gibraltar that houses British forces and has been a bastion of Royal Navy modern history.

My comments are on the legal standing and status of US operations outside US territory and how the US ignores and considers itself above internationally accepted charters and tribunals. Plain and simple, if you want to get all shity and ultra-patriotic to a point of blindness - then do me one favour Silver - actually put some logic into any rebuff, so far you failed.

Jack Camwell said...

Edit: Curt was not the right word. Bristly is a bit better.

Silverfiddle said...

So what difference does it make how much good we've done? None of that excuses the behavior of these men.

Agreed.

Charles: So just what charters and tribunals do you believe the US is in violation of or is ignoring? Are you including Kyoto? The agreement everybody sanctimoniously signed and then studiously ignored?

And you refer to "international jurisdiction." Just what the hell is that, outside of a treaty we signed?

Start marching out the international law crap and you're on shaky ground unless you cite specific treaties the parties involved have ratified.

I do think the problem would be solved, from our point of view, by no longer fighting other people's battles for them.

For the record, Jack, I am much more towards Ron Paul's take on things than the mainline GOP.

Japan, Australia and a few other countries deal with us as adult to adult and the cooperation is mutually beneficial. I say to hell with the rest of them.

Jack Camwell said...

If my message was "fuck it, let the world burn," then I can assure you that I wouldn't be blogging, and talking about how we need to work to be a better people.

D Charles QC said...

Silver,

I am talking about international jurispudence - in otherwords treaties that make countries accountable to one another. Remember two things. There are multiple treaties that are signed either between countries or amongst countries - bilater and multilateral. Secondly, no treaty is of any value unless it is signed and ratified (the latter means that the country's governing body or parliament agrees to that signature).

My comments are about the judicial accountability and that is clearly defined internationally in three areas. The Geneva Conventions (we all know about it), the Vienna Conventions (though less so) and thirdly what is known as the International Arbitration and Courts.

Since you mentioned Kyoto, I should point out that in the same year was the Chemical Weapons Convention agreed - however it was not only not signed by the United States but it was almost scuttled by the efforts of Ambassador Bolton. That Convention, as previously agreed and in fact sponsored by Bush/Gorbochov, was to ban the production and stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and also to allow identification of stocks and if suspected, allow for international inspection. The US said that it retained the right to claim that it no longer has "active chemical weapons" and that inspection would be a breach of its soverignty (though it is happy to inspect Iran's nuclear sites....).

Earlier that same year was the Ottawa Land Mines Convention - basically banning anti-personal landmines and its production. Though it was a flop for other reasons (badly written as I understood it), the US categorically refused to sign it.


The IAET Convention of 1957 that established the IAEA was signed and at one point chaired by the US but in fact the element that requires inspection of US nuclear facilities has been systematically ignored and even threatening of taking away funds and support if imposed.

Then there is the Treaty of Rome and the International Criminal Court. The United States and Israel (and later Sudan) chose to "unsign" their participation.

The UNHCR has a judicial element as well but it is divided into two areas of self-jurisdiction, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. Of course the US is not a member of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The International War-Crimes Tribunal is something different and is open to criticism and dispute, however, the US rejects it simply on the ground of sovereignty and is happy to extradite criminals to it as long as they are not US nationals.

Silver, my point has been and always will be that the US does not consider itself to be a player in the world, it considers itself to be above others. It is not an attack on Americans but countless US Administrations that simply believe that because the US is "the most powerful nation" that it merits special status.

Do not get me wrong, the reality of the world is harsh politics and that nations can and do get away with what they can. Notwithstanding that, at least in the past the Soviet Union and China would just say it, not pretend to be something more moral and yet actually do likewise.

beamish said...

You know what? This whole PLANET sucks. Not just America. This fucking thing we call Earth sucks a giant asshole.

As I point out earlier... Holier-than-thou much?

Silverfiddle actually does speak for me here:

But when someone extrapolates that out and says our military is no better than the Taliban or say Gaddafi's regime, it strays into the kind of America hatred that makes Europeans and OWS types giddy with schadenfreud-laden glee. That's when they march out the US as international criminal bullshit that Charlie is spouting.

D Charles QC said...

Except, Beamish, nobody did say that the US is like the Taliban and thus, considering Silverfiddle speaks for you, you also got it wrong.

Silverfiddle said...

Now we're getting somewhere, Charles. Every action you mention is legal.

The US is singular in the world because it has the only military in the world that can project power globally at multiple locations simultaneously.

Many of those treaties, because of what I previously mentioned, are directed mostly at the US, if I remember the pro and con arguments correctly. At any rate, the choice to enter any treaty is a matter of national sovereignty. I glad to see you acknowledge that.

The US is special because we are the only ones willing and able to wade into the world's blood mosh pits when people shout "do something!"

If Europe would field militaries that were not a pathetic joke*, the US could stay home more and would not need "special status."

* - Great Britain and France stand heads and shoulders above the rest, and there are good brave individuals serving, but overall military spending is too low to take care of your own business.

D Charles QC said...

Silver,

I would say a big yes and a big no to many of your comments here.

The entire subject of treaties is based on agreeing or not agreeing to sign, let alone ratifying them. Who is to say that one nation does not chose to join that it is either bad or good based on that decision? Having said that, Korea, Burma and Iran refuse to join and sign many treaties and are condemned outright for it.

I respect the US for a multitude of reasons (let alone I also holiday there and have made some good friends in the process - San Diego if we are to be honest). The issue for me is how one advertises and promotes oneself and then faces, or in the case of the US, not faces up to that image presented.

Also, I do not support your notion that because the US is the "only one with the capacity to fight conflicts at that level" that it is special. That is like saying the rich guy in the street is more important and special than the poorer quieter guy. Being "special" is a responsibility and when excercising that responsibility they get special treatment as a result - not because they demand it. That is why, and with all respect to you, your presentation of how the US is special is exactly what pisses off the rest of the world - the image that the US is the big guy on the block and because of that he can and gets what he wants and you better dare not say no or your "insurance" runs out. I am not saying that is the wishes or the intentions of the US but you have confirmed to me that this sort of belief exists and is promulgated.

Silverfiddle said...

That is why, and with all respect to you, your presentation of how the US is special is exactly what pisses off the rest of the world - the image that the US is the big guy on the block and because of that he can and gets what he wants and you better dare not say no or your "insurance" runs out.

Well, war is hell, and bad stuff happens, innocent people get killed... In any war, damnable things will happen.

If the whining pussies are pissed off, let them build their own militaries and fight their own battles and become their own big man on the block.

If you're cowering in a puddle of your own piss in the face of evil, you lost any moral authority to criticize those who fight it.

D Charles QC said...

Silver, your answer is basically a confirmation of the entire point I made - we are big and tough and thus we must be special and you damn well better do so.

Personally I think America is better than that, it appears you do not.

I rest my case.

Silverfiddle said...

Quite a gross mischaracterization to rest one's case on. You are dripping the resentment of a weakling, ashamed he can't do his own dirty work. You speak for Europe.

If you want to empower us to go get bad guys and yes, police the sea lanes and so forth, you can't then turn around and convict us of international meddling.

Again, this would all be solved by us staying out of it and letting the UN and the EU handle it.

Somehow Americans do not abuse, should not be allowed to face international tribunals and that is because they are the "world's policeman". That fails because, as any military, they are human and will and have abused, they should be allowed to face tribunals and inspection bodies because they are a part of this planet like any other nation and especially if they want to be the world's policeman then they must prove beyond doubt that they are subject to even more controls.

Not so fast...

Just what international tribunal should we face?