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I blame the troops.

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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    I'm not talking about war crimes caused through 'ill discipline', everyone pretty much blames the troops who commit war crimes when they weren't instructed to, e.g. soldiers who massacre civilians in Iraq. I'm talking about instances where soldiers are instructed to kill civilians/commit war crimes and go along and do it anyway yet aren't held responsible because they 'were just following orders'.
    There are plenty of times when soldiers are held accountable and I think it goes without saying that they should be held accountable.

    lolwut? This doesn't explain anything. They aren't responsible because of 'scare tactics'? Bribery of politicians has nothing to do with the troops. I'm aware if a soldier who is instructed to commit war crimes doesn't go along with it and defects will face ramifications, the Libyan pilots who were instructed to bomb civilians would have been tortured to death but still fled to Malta instead. This is an example of a soldier acting responsibly.
    Monarchies like Henry VIII and even today's Saudi royalty are essentially military dictatorships because they wouldn't exist/be in power without the support of the military. This also means soldiers are responsible for the propping up of dictatorships.
    I agree that in certain nations certain members of the millitary should be held accountable but it really depends on the different actions and the different people and just how far and how many can be held accountable.

    What I'm curious about is the following from the OP:

    "Every single oppressive dictatorship which exists today (Saudi Arabia, central Asia, North Korea) and which has existed throughout history (Henry VIII, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet) is because thousands of armed men were willing to do whatever their government told them. "


    Then you say

    "Even today you get people saying 'support our troops' and 'help our heroes'. When will we get over this infantile notion that troops are inherently good and heroic? "

    So from the first point you are talking about agressive armies following orders, and then from the second point you switch and are referring to....what....all armies? Please clarify.
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    (Original post by thunder_chunky)
    There are plenty of times when soldiers are held accountable and I think it goes without saying that they should be held accountable.
    I agree, but generally excuses are made and the blame is given to politicians instead.

    I agree that in certain nations certain members of the millitary should be held accountable but it really depends on the different actions and the different people and just how far and how many can be held accountable.
    What about when Saddam Hussein randomly decided launch a war of aggression against Iran? What about other illicit/immoral invasions which needlessly create conflict with no good resulting from it? Do you excuse those troops? Germany WW1 is another example and obviously WW2.

    What I'm curious about is the following from the OP:

    "Every single oppressive dictatorship which exists today (Saudi Arabia, central Asia, North Korea) and which has existed throughout history (Henry VIII, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet) is because thousands of armed men were willing to do whatever their government told them. "


    Then you say

    "Even today you get people saying 'support our troops' and 'help our heroes'. When will we get over this infantile notion that troops are inherently good and heroic? "

    So from the first point you are talking about agressive armies following orders, and then from the second point you switch and are referring to....what....all armies? Please clarify.
    Both of these statements are factually true and refer to the infantile blanket praise of troops/armed forces when this is in fact what we should be avoiding. We should praise individuals who carry out admiral feats but condemn individuals who engage in war crimes and unnecessary acts of aggression, whether this is under government dictat (too much submissiveness to authority) or lack of discipline.
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    Can I just point out that the Nuremberg Defence ("we were only following orders") hasn't been a legal defence against war crimes since, well Nuremberg.

    Nuremberg Principle IV specifically deals with issues relating to this and during my time as an evil, child killing, cattle raping puppet of 'the man' we were made well aware of moral and ethical considerations that even we, the little people, had to bare in mind and the fact we as individuals would be answerable for any action (or inaction) which we had direct influence over.
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    If your paralyzed mother told you to kill people and you went with a gun and massacred a whole load of people, who is the threat to society, you or your paralyzed mother? It isn't your paralyzed mother because she's completely powerless to do anything like that.
    So the government is paralysed? I'm sorry, I'm not following your logic here.

    Because there is none, obviously.
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    (Original post by bornfishy)
    So the government is paralysed? I'm sorry, I'm not following your logic here.

    Because there is none, obviously.
    Instead of ad hominem-ing to compensate for your lack of argument why don't you employ some thought? The government is powerless without its armed wing (military). The metaphor should make more sense now.
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    (Original post by bornfishy)

    Still, I applaud your student naivety.
    Negged for patronising ad hominem

    EDIT: :eek: someone beat me to criticising you for the ad hominem! I will make up for my slowness with this:

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    (Original post by LtCommanderData)



    Negged for patronising ad hominem

    EDIT: :eek: someone beat me to criticising you for the ad hominem! I will make up for my slowness with this:

    Really? You argue your point with negative rep? I can only imagine how you get your point across when you're not posting pictures on the internet.

    OP - I get the metaphor now you've explained it. The first time around, you said you blame the troops, not the politicians who are essentially powerless. So you can see why I didn't make the connection between a paralysed mother and a government without troops. Because the point I was responding to was clearly about you not blaming a government with troops.
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    It's not circular logic it at all. Our armed men are there for defense. There are bad men around who use force against us if we did not have armed men to defend us. Thus, we will always need armed men to protect us from those who are bad men, or who would twist other men to their ill deeds. In it's most simplistic terms.


    My friend you deserve a PHD in theology for arguing that what you said was not a circular logic.:banghead: In fact I declare you Archbishop/High Priest/Imam/Rabbi depending on your faith.
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    (Original post by bkeevin)
    My friend you deserve a PHD in theology for arguing that what you said was not a circular logic.:banghead: In fact I declare you Archbishop/High Priest/Imam/Rabbi depending on your faith.
    Obviously you are an idiot. Good day.
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    (Original post by bkeevin)
    I agree your stance is better. You only use circular logic. We need armed men because others have armed men. Others need armed men because we have armed men. We can't be bad but by the same logic others are bad!!! Genuis
    That's you're problem right there.

    Once a upon time thousands of years ago, someone realized that with force you could take any property/land you wanted. So, what did they do? They rounded up a couple of family members then used forces to remove said person from that property/land. Then, others realized they could stop this with rounding up their own people. So, now you have two forces. After constant battles, they won their land back. Then, after both were satisfied they decided to call it quits and not invade each others lands. Then, one decided there was no reason to uphold this treaty so secretly started planning another battle then they snuck up on them unexpected and killed them and won the land back. Fast forward to 2012 and this is still happening but at a bigger scale. India vs Pakistan, Russia vs Georgia, Somalia vs Somaliland, South Sudan vs North Sudan etc etc. People realized that you couldn't trust countries intentions hence better to be prepared than lose land.

    The end.
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    I think you need to take a good read of Machiavelli's The Prince. If countries were to abolish armed forces - indeed, even if every country in the world were to do so, what's to stop independent groups becoming mercenaries? What's to stop the actual armed thugs--not the soldiers, mind you--from placing themselves in the position previously occupied by professional men willing to lay down their lives for their country?

    I don't think you've thought this out. A system like you dream of will never exist and can never exist. There will always be a way to attack another nation, even if it weren't through armed forces. And what of the problems that having mercenaries would create rather than soldiers? Thought of the fundamental difference? Whereas a country's soldiers has signed up for what he believes to be his land, his home, and is willing to get himself killed for it, a mercenary is not the same. They do it for the coin, and for whatever doesn't threaten their lives too much. Machiavelli addresses this quite aptly; "if any one supports his state by the arms of mercenaries, he will never stand firm or sure, as they are disunited, ambitious, without discipline, faithless, bold amongst friends, cowardly amongst enemies... in peace you are despoiled by them, and in war by the enemy". Read Chapter XII. I won't bother quoting everything he says which invalidates your argument.

    Simply put, OP, if all armed forces of every country were to be abolished, each country then becomes vulnerable. There is no such thing as safety in mutual vulnerability, because mutual vulnerability will never exist. People will only see a lucrative market in which a demand for mercenaries is high, because honestly: if there's nothing to stop an enemy, why would they wait for you to find a way to even the fight? From every stand point, a country will simply see having mercenaries as an advantage. And then we'd have war again, except this time will all the weaknesses and uselessness of men working for the highest bidder.

    Your proposal is like saying that we should be in anarchy because the government can't solve all our problems. The world works not by finding the perfect solution. It works by finding the solution with the least problems.
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    (Original post by bornfishy)
    Really? You argue your point with negative rep?
    No. In fact, I specifically told you why I negged you to make it clear that it wasn't because of your opinion or the fact that you were expressing it. I thought you were being rude and not engaging with the point at hand with a serious argument, instead choosing to ridicule the person with whom you were debating. In fact, if I agreed with you, I would feel like negging you for undermining those of us with this point of view through the manner of your post. As it happens, I think I agree with the underlying sentiment of the OP, but I also agree with a point I think you're trying to make which is that the OP hasn't expressed himself that clearly and that problems with his argument have arisen as a result.


    I can only imagine how you get your point across when you're not posting pictures on the internet.
    Man, it's tough. I normally just try to make my opponent feel stupid. It doesn't change any minds, and tends to piss some people off (which, I'll admit, has damaged my reputation around these parts), but it makes me feel clever!
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    (Original post by Willez)
    I think you need to take a good read of Machiavelli's The Prince. If countries were to abolish armed forces - indeed, even if every country in the world were to do so, what's to stop independent groups becoming mercenaries? What's to stop the actual armed thugs--not the soldiers, mind you--from placing themselves in the position previously occupied by professional men willing to lay down their lives for their country?

    I don't think you've thought this out. A system like you dream of will never exist and can never exist. There will always be a way to attack another nation, even if it weren't through armed forces. And what of the problems that having mercenaries would create rather than soldiers? Thought of the fundamental difference? Whereas a country's soldiers has signed up for what he believes to be his land, his home, and is willing to get himself killed for it, a mercenary is not the same. They do it for the coin, and for whatever doesn't threaten their lives too much. Machiavelli addresses this quite aptly; "if any one supports his state by the arms of mercenaries, he will never stand firm or sure, as they are disunited, ambitious, without discipline, faithless, bold amongst friends, cowardly amongst enemies... in peace you are despoiled by them, and in war by the enemy". Read Chapter XII. I won't bother quoting everything he says which invalidates your argument.

    Simply put, OP, if all armed forces of every country were to be abolished, each country then becomes vulnerable. There is no such thing as safety in mutual vulnerability, because mutual vulnerability will never exist. People will only see a lucrative market in which a demand for mercenaries is high, because honestly: if there's nothing to stop an enemy, why would they wait for you to find a way to even the fight? From every stand point, a country will simply see having mercenaries as an advantage. And then we'd have war again, except this time will all the weaknesses and uselessness of men working for the highest bidder.

    Your proposal is like saying that we should be in anarchy because the government can't solve all our problems. The world works not by finding the perfect solution. It works by finding the solution with the least problems.
    I'm not advocating de-armed states. You could simply have an armed border force, air force and navy which is tasked with defending the country. They'd have a lot more resources on hand because they wouldn't be going to war all over the world. An intelligence service would be able to judge if Britain was being attacked as well beforehand.
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    It's not circular logic it at all. Our armed men are there for defense. There are bad men around who use force against us if we did not have armed men to defend us. Thus, we will always need armed men to protect us from those who are bad men, or who would twist other men to their ill deeds. In it's most simplistic terms.
    You can't be serious. :confused:
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    Every single oppressive dictatorship which exists today (Saudi Arabia, central Asia, North Korea) and which has existed throughout history (Henry VIII, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet) is because thousands of armed men were willing to do whatever their government told them. Even today you get people saying 'support our troops' and 'help our heroes'. When will we get over this infantile notion that troops are inherently good and heroic? They cause wars, bloodshed, blow things up, kill civilians, destroy homes and infrastructure.

    The only reason we need armed groups of people is to protect us from other armed groups of people which just goes to show stupid armies are. Why are there so many men who are willing to kill and die just because their government told them to? Just look at Syria, Libya, Iraq where armies massacre civilians en masse because their government told them to.
    It doesn't matter what kind of government you have, it's the same kind of guys who join up. It doesn't matter if you're running a paradise or a hell, soldiering is just in some people's nature and it's just what they do.

    You should stop blaming the victims, it comes across as very class prejudiced.
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    (Original post by Harrifer)
    It doesn't matter what kind of government you have, it's the same kind of guys who join up. It doesn't matter if you're running a paradise or a hell, soldiering is just in some people's nature and it's just what they do.

    You should stop blaming the victims, it comes across as very class prejudiced.
    It certainly does matter what government is in place. I have more respect for a police officer in Britain who does his job properly than a Saudi religious police officer who does his job properly. The reason is because the laws they are enforcing matter.
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    (Original post by lifeisgood.)
    You can't be serious. :confused:
    Why not?

    There are bad people in the world, those who would take from us with the use of force. Therefore we must have armd men to protect us. OUr armed men do not nessecitate others, they are there to protect us, because there will always be those wishing to do us harm.
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    Every single oppressive dictatorship which exists today (Saudi Arabia, central Asia, North Korea) and which has existed throughout history (Henry VIII, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet) is because thousands of armed men were willing to do whatever their government told them. Even today you get people saying 'support our troops' and 'help our heroes'. When will we get over this infantile notion that troops are inherently good and heroic? They cause wars, bloodshed, blow things up, kill civilians, destroy homes and infrastructure.

    The only reason we need armed groups of people is to protect us from other armed groups of people which just goes to show stupid armies are. Why are there so many men who are willing to kill and die just because their government told them to? Just look at Syria, Libya, Iraq where armies massacre civilians en masse because their government told them to.
    The people who run war almost never go to the front line
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    Depends on the situation. If some soldiers are torturing some little Iraqi kid, then of course they are to blame.

    The Invasion of Iraq however, was not the soldiers blame, it was the Politicians.
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    (Original post by Cannotbelieveit)
    Depends on the situation. If some soldiers are torturing some little Iraqi kid, then of course they are to blame.

    The Invasion of Iraq however, was not the soldiers blame, it was the Politicians.
    Completely agree with this.

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