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Response to the beheading

Don Stadler
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Waking up this morning the news was about the poor clueless 'businessman' whose beheading was shown on the internet.
Since I read the story I've been thinking of what form a proper punishment should be for this inhuman act. At first I thought a public hanging (available on the internet) was indicated, but I've reconsidered.
Give them a trial or a tribunal, or whatever. When guilt is established put them down like mad dogs. Privately.
Ashok Mash
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As I once posted before, punish them by administering some painful method of torture until they repent and attempts suicide, and then make them donate their body parts to people in need around the world, under local anaesthesia � they should see and know each part they are donating. Thats my view.


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Don Stadler
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Nah. That gives them too much importance, in my view. They have denied their own humanity with this act, so treat them with the same dispatch and mercy we would any other mad dog.
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Ashok Mash:
.. they should see and know each part they are donating. Thats my view.

I meant to say, all their body parts, killing them in the process. There are too many good people suffering around the world, and this will help them good ones and eliminate the nasty ones.
John Smith
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I wonder if Amma would approve.
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
I wonder if Amma would approve.

I don't this she would; but that was my personal opinion.
[ May 12, 2004: Message edited by: Ashok Mash ]
Joe King
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I wouldn't kill them - its not much of a punishment is it? Its not like they can suffer it they're dead. Instead, chuck them in a prison... maybe run by some specially selected "defence contracters".
On the subject of coalition run prisons, how long before one has cameras installed and becomes the subject of the latest reality-tv show? :roll:
Don Stadler
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Originally posted by Joe King:
I wouldn't kill them - its not much of a punishment is it? Its not like they can suffer it they're dead. Instead, chuck them in a prison... maybe run by some specially selected "defence contracters".
On the subject of coalition run prisons, how long before one has cameras installed and becomes the subject of the latest reality-tv show? :roll:

Exactly, Joe. Putting them down is more merciful for everyone involved - as well as the mad dogs themselves.....
Jeroen Wenting
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Islam believes strongly in "an eye for an eye".
Therefore public execution by beheading would be in order.
I fully agree that that is not punishment enough though for these animals.
Therefore the ancient punishment of "hanging, drawing and quartering" might be more appropriate.
The main problem may be to find executioners who can do the deed without throwing up and killing themselves afterwards, but maybe Allah will provide...
The punishment involves slow strangulation until the criminal ALMOST passes out, then cutting out his/her intestines (without anesthesia of course) and throwing those onto a fire.
Good executioners can do this without killing the criminal, leaving them alive for the last part of the punishment in which they are beheaded (after their limbs have been removed for good measure).
Traditionally the various body parts would then be paraded around the country by town cryers who would also tell what the crimes were for which the execution was ordained.
Last performed in Britain in the 1700s, it is believed to have been quite effective in that it prevented the criminal from ever doing it again.


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John Smith
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The punishment involves slow strangulation until the criminal ALMOST passes out, then cutting out his/her intestines (without anesthesia of course) and throwing those onto a fire.
How nice. Should we shout "God bless America!" while we are administering the punishment?
Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
The punishment involves slow strangulation until the criminal ALMOST passes out, then cutting out his/her intestines (without anesthesia of course) and throwing those onto a fire...

Wouldn�t that be first world stooping to the level of terrorists just for revenge? Wouldn�t that be giving them a reason to and more importantly a chance to compete with the first world at least in one aspect of war � which side can be most cruel! Bit like Unreal Tournament, let the frag fest begin!
Jeffrey Hunter
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Watching the endless reports on Fox News last night, I heard alot of talk about justice. Certainly this idea of justice has its place, but we are at war with an unconventional enemy, and the thought of bringing these individuals to court, offering them a trial, an attorney, and all the other rights due an accused...no way. I believe our government's duty at this point is to increase the heat with such overwhelming ferocity that our military effectively kills, incapacitates or otherwise puts down these animals until they no longer have the ability to wage organized terror against our citizens. The pack that executed Nick Berg is just another festering puss-sack representing a symptom of the bigger disease.
I understand that it is a very political war, hence the reason our military is not obliterating the mosques, or holy cities where some of these animals have burrowed themselves. But maybe this strategy has outlived its effectiveness. Tip-toeing around, carefully avoiding controversy with the Islamic culture seems to be costing the lives of more and more soldiers.
I'm no warmonger, and much less a politician, but I believe Berg's execution requires a new, more aggressive strategy. At the very least, we should not be negotiating with the likes of Al-Sadr, or any other enemy combatant.
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
The punishment involves slow strangulation until the criminal ALMOST passes out, then cutting out his/her intestines (without anesthesia of course) and throwing those onto a fire.
How nice. Should we shout "God bless America!" while we are administering the punishment?

Jeroen is from the Netherlands.


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Don Stadler
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I'm no warmonger, and much less a politician, but I believe Berg's execution requires a new, more aggressive strategy. At the very least, we should not be negotiating with the likes of Al-Sadr, or any other enemy combatant.

I'm not so sure. A more agressive strategy against the Al-Queda elements in Iraq, yes. I don't disagree that we shouldn't negociate with A-Sadr while he is shooting. But if he lays down his arms, submits to the investigation of the murder of the other cleric, and takes part in the election? Well if he loses that is one thing, but what if he is part of the Iraqi government?
I for one make distinctions between 'opponents' based on who and what they are. Al-Sadr is distinct from the Sunni insurrectioninsts in Fallujah. Both of them are distinct from Al-Queda. We should deal with each seperately.
Kishore Dandu
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Here is the link to a Indian news site which is speculating about connection between Daniel Perl's death and Berg's.
I think US soldiers should be more aggressive protecting the Iraqi borders so that outsiders will not infiltrate.


Kishore
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Warren Dew
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    2
Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:
Berg's execution

It's to be noted that Daniel Pearl was apparently also executed this way two years ago, so the method is nothing new for Al Qaeda linked terrorists. The difference was only that Berg's execution was videotaped and is being used for propaganda purposes by Al Qaeda. Should our reactions be different because of that?
There are strong signs that in Iraq, the militant fringes are losing popular support. In Fallujah, the city elders were basically neutral between the militants and the U.S. forces. In Najaf, there are starting to be popular protests against Al-Sadr's occupation. The peaceful bulk of the Iraqi population seems to be coming around to the view that the U.S. plan makes sense and is a reasonable one.
There is no place for terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda in a peaceful Iraq. So, they release this video to try to repolarize things. They are trying to tell the Iraqis that are still able to do things to "Americans" - no doubt why they had Berg say he was American on the film - and they are trying to get the U.S. to overreact, to try to turn the situation back into a black and white "us versus them" where there is no place for moderate Iraqis.
I would say, don't give them what they want. The very fact that Al Qaeda has to resort to such tricks shows that they are on the ropes, that our existing strategy is working and does not need to be changed.
[ May 12, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
Michael Ernest
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The intent of an act like this is to enrage people and to keep them enraged.
This is how terrorism works. This is how fights that never end get grist for their mill. Outrage begets hateful act begets more outrage. If that's the shape of the war to come, then the only question is who is better at it.
The US? Not. We sponsor a military of deliverance and liberation, not occupation -- that's our message to the world and it's our message to ourselves. Whether or not people find it credible, this is how we justify our presence beyond our own borders. Yes we're protecting US interests, but we also feel we're making more room for democratic government and free markets in the world. And we think those things are good.
What we don't do is slash and burn enemy cultures and leave wreckage behind. If we did, I'd be surprised if Mogadishu was anything more than a pile of cinders by now. We focus on restoring power to what we think is a better local governing power. And we move on. We don't destroy for the sheer purpose of imposing our will. Again, that's our message to the world and ourselves. I believe you'd find far more profound dissent in the US than there already is to the war effort if we truly saw ourselves as global thugs.
The pictures of Iraqi prisoners being tortured cotradicted that US image to the world. We're just as savage and brutal as the next. You can do all the damage control you want -- it's those pictures that will reign in the hearts of many people who already thought Goliath had a heavy hand and a mean streak. We just gave the world a reason to forget Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan altogether, even though the scale and depth of the abuses by our soldiers in Iraq don't appear to be the same.
So is this all it takes to make us want to become what people think we really are? The beheading of one businessman, and now it's ok if we torture Iraqis, abandon the precepts of due process, and burn it all down? When does that ever end? Why did we want a piece of it in the first place?


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Alan Labout
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If there were real justice in the world it would be possible to hook these two elements up: the Iraqi terrorists who behead American contractors....and the American soldiers who stack naked Iraqi prisoners on top of each other and make them masturbate themselves. Politics aside, I'm sure these two folks would have quite a bit in common to talk about.
Kishore Dandu
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Originally posted by Alan Labout:
If there were real justice in the world it would be possible to hook these two elements up: the Iraqi terrorists who behead American contractors....and the American soldiers who stack naked Iraqi prisoners on top of each other and make them masturbate themselves. Politics aside, I'm sure these two folks would have quite a bit in common to talk about.

Hello there!!!
On a basic sense, there is no killing that took place in the Iraqi prison; I think it has more todo with some lessIQ military personnel.
Where as the beheading is a death to a human being, how can you compare and make similarities between these two different set of people??
I am basically disgusted with the above post...........
Alan Labout
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:

Hello there!!!
On a basic sense, there is no killing that took place in the Iraqi prison; I think it has more todo with some lessIQ military personnel.
Where as the beheading is a death to a human being, how can you compare and make similarities between these two different set of people??
I am basically disgusted with the above post...........

Whether these two incidents were actions or reactions remains to be seen. But regardless of their similarities or differences, both types of actions only contribute to an escalation of violence and evil that at some point is going to get out of hand. What disgusts me is the series of posts at the beginning of this thread which only seek to escalate an already violent and hopeless situation. Quartering an Iraqi hostage-taker is not going to cause fewer innocent Americans to be killed. If anything it will cause more.
[ May 12, 2004: Message edited by: Alan Labout ]
Nick George
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Originally posted by Don Stadler:

Give them a trial or a tribunal, or whatever. When guilt is established...

While we're at it, why bother with the trial to begin with?
[ May 12, 2004: Message edited by: Joseph George ]

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Nick George
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I am astounded at how moronic these Al Queda types can be. Here we have the whole world furious at the United States, and internal support for the war waning. They just needed to leave well enough alone, and things would have just kept getting worse for the Americans. However, they got the brilliant idea of committing an unmitigatedly horrible act, just the thing to reinflame America to the cause. Dumbest thing they could have done
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[Personal comment deleted -JM]
[ May 12, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]

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R K Singh
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It should be condemn. They must brought to justice.
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
The punishment involves slow strangulation until the criminal ALMOST passes out, then cutting out his/her intestines (without anesthesia of course) and throwing those onto a fire.

Will this be recorded ??
Which site will display link for this video ??
Executors will cover their face with black cloth or white ??
[ May 13, 2004: Message edited by: R K Singh ]

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Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:


Jeroen is from the Netherlands.


The penalty was last administered in Britain. AFAIK we never used it, instead using time honoured sentences like beheading.
But then we never had the huge empire to get our ideas from that the Brits had

I don't advocate such things per se, but as you know terrorists understand only violence and consider non-violent responses to their actions to be a sign of weakness.
Therefore the most graphic show of our displeasure with their actions may well be the only effective deterrent to those actions.
KR Campbell
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:


I don't advocate such things per se, but as you know terrorists understand only violence and consider non-violent responses to their actions to be a sign of weakness.
Therefore the most graphic show of our displeasure with their actions may well be the only effective deterrent to those actions.


There are a large number of people throughout the world who believe that the Western lifestyle is an abomination and that America particularly is the den of Satan. Few of them are terrorists. By responding to terrorism in kind you only convince them that they are right and push the less balanced individuals towards action. The terrorists have the luxury of being misguided individuals, democratic nations do not.

How do you know that violence is the only language that terrorists understand? You cannot wipe out terrorism, but by responding with restraint, dignity and justice wouldn't you stand a much better chance of creating a climate where the communities in which terrorists have to exist will disapprove of their actions and make it harder for them to carry on their trade? *You* cannot change a terrorist's mind, but maybe his father, his mother, his brothers or his friends can create a more positive climate. Win *their* respect by behaving with dignity. Forget this generation of terrorists, think about how you want their children, nephews, nieces and cousins to grow up. Seeing them as martyrs or as nutjobs?

I see no evidence that Iraq is now less fertile ground for terrorism or that America, indeed any of us, is safer than when Bush started.

Enough with the bloodthirsty talk! I'm not religious but 'blessed are the peacemakers' sounds good to me.
Don Stadler
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Originally posted by Joseph George:


While we're at it, why bother with the trial to begin with?



To be sure that we have the right parties before proceeding? Even a mad dog gets an exam to be sure it has hydrophobia.....
Joe King
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Talking of bizarre punishments in the British Empire, how about crushing by elephant.

The big problem with all of the "lets get a nasty revenge" ideas is that they just dont work. If the coalition catch these killers and do something nasty to them, there'll just be another 3 or 4 jump up in their place. This is the real paradox of these kinds of conflicts - if an aggressor is attacked then they get stronger, and if they are left alone they get stronger.

The only real hope for peace was for the coalition to pursue non-military tactics - the "hearts and minds" tactics of getting the Iraqis on their side. Unfortunately this hasn't worked. After military operations in places like Panama and Puerto Rico, it seemed to come as a huge surprise that the Iraqi people didn't welcome the American army with open arms. After all, the US was liberating them from an evil dictator. The problem is that the middle east has been a breading ground for hate and mistrust for far too long - its going to take a large amount to convince people there that the west is not an enemy (particularly because of the frequent US support for Israel). The other problem is religion - the people with religious power are incredibly anti-western, and there's no army in existence that can fight religious belief. For both of these reasons, the coalition needed to be incredibly careful about how it handled Iraq. While it maintained the position of a high moral ground, there was little for the extremist propaganda to run with, but the prison torture episode has changed all that. Unfortunately the people who tortured the prisoners have done more damage to the US than any mortar or grenade attack - now the propaganda battle is being lost.

If the propaganda turns against the coalition, then it doesn't matter how much good the coalition does - the Iraqi people will only remember the scenes from the prison. What happens in the next few weeks could well be more important than the military part of the invasion. Especially important will be the American reaction to the beheading. Obviously the US cant ignore it, but it has to handle it very carefully. The beheading was a bit like an aggressive person giving someone else a slap in the face in the hope of a fight. The US can either do a quick brutal revenge, which while having a certain sense of justice could well cause the overall situation in Iraq to get worse, or it can try to do things in a calm legal-appearing manner. Its going to be hard in the face of provocation like the beheading, but the alternative is just not viable - we have to leave Iraq more stable and less aggressive than we found it - otherwise the entire war (and all the deaths caused) will have been for nothing.
Ashok Mash
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Good post, Joe.
Jason Menard
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JK: Unfortunately the people who tortured the prisoners...

While the acts perpetrated against those prisoners were certainly humiliating for them, and I suspect designed with their culture in mind, they were not torture.
Joe King
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

While the acts perpetrated against those prisoners were certainly humiliating for them, and I suspect designed with their culture in mind, they were not torture.


How about standing someone up, putting a hood over their head and wiring them up and telling them that they are about to be electrocuted? That seems pretty much like torture to me. Also depriving prisoners of food and light seems like torture, as does beating prisoners so much that some have died.

Wikipedia defines torture as being

Torture is the infliction of severe physical or psychological pain as a means of cruelty, intimidation, punishment or for the extraction of a confession or information.

By this definition, the humiliation of the prisoners by the guards could be seen as torture.

There is also the UN Convention against torture which says (emphasis mine)

torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity

In the context of this document, the UK is more guilty then the US - the UK signed this convention, but the US didnt.
Jason Menard
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By the definition above, just about anything that makes a prisoner uncomfortable is torture; sleep deprivation for example. Let's not go overboard and apply the definition where it doesn't fit.
[ May 13, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Joe King:
Also depriving prisoners of food and light seems like torture


Incase you have not realized it yet, these are prisoners and the objective of holding them captive is to punish them for their behaviour and to interrogate them for information on other offenders

I can imagine a prison run by liberals-- Feed the prisioners food from 5 star hotel and provide them room service in their cells. This way the liberals will believe in "winning the hearts and minds" of the prisoners. Then provide the prisoners 5 hours outdoor time everyday where they can go and do whatever they like, this will again show that liberals believe in "winning hearts and minds". And finally, expense all of the prisoners wants to the common tax paying citizen. :roll:
[ May 13, 2004: Message edited by: Paul McKenna ]

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Sadanand Murthy
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:


Hello there!!!

On a basic sense, there is no killing that took place in the Iraqi prison; I think it has more todo with some lessIQ military personnel.

Where as the beheading is a death to a human being, how can you compare and make similarities between these two different set of people??

I am basically disgusted with the above post...........


Oh yes there have been. Some Iraqi prisoners have been beaten to death. This is already under investigation. There is actually a picture of at least one such dead Iraqi. At this point of time no one is sure whether these were innocent civilians or terrorists or somewhere in between.

Is beating an Iraqi to death a more humane way of killing someone than beheading an American civilian? I can't say that it is. Is it more brutal than the other? I can't say that it is.

Even before all this came out, about 2 years ago Afghan prisoners were being abused and treated as animals. Human Rights group has documented such cases where Afghan prisoners were locked up in metal cages and US soldiers were throwing rocks/stones and bottles at them and laughing.

Please do not take this post as a justification for what happened to Berg. There is no justification for that; just as there is no justification to torturing the Iraqi or Afghan prisoners. There are rotten apples in the US military cart; there are only rotten apples in the terrorist cart.

And I don't believe IQ has anything to do with one's humanity.


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Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
Incase you have not realized it yet, these are prisoners and the objective of holding them captive is to punish them for their behaviour and to interrogate them for information on other offenders


And whats that punishment fo? For being Iraqis? Or just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time? Because they looks like the armed insurgents, or is because they had eyebrows joining in the middle?

Well, interrogation to avail information about the enemy is accepted norm at wartimes, and we all have heard horror stories of brutal interrogation skills from many armies in the past. We all would agree and condemn the cruelty of Saddam�s forces, North Korean secret police or Vietnamese army! Those images from the Iraq prison are one such case and those who caused that (I don�t know if it was planned/supervised/ordered or just lack of training and supervision) deserves just the same treatment as they gave to people in their prisons, IMHO.

Or may be Army personal behind this deserve more punishment because their actions are now totally undermining a huge effort by America and coalition forces, and could be disastrous for the millions in the region.
Sadanand Murthy
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:


Incase you have not realized it yet, these are prisoners and the objective of holding them captive is to punish them for their behaviour and to interrogate them for information on other offenders

I can imagine a prison run by liberals-- Feed the prisioners food from 5 star hotel and provide them room service in their cells. This way the liberals will believe in "winning the hearts and minds" of the prisoners. Then provide the prisoners 5 hours outdoor time everyday where they can go and do whatever they like, this will again show that liberals believe in "winning hearts and minds". And finally, expense all of the prisoners wants to the common tax paying citizen. :roll:

[ May 13, 2004: Message edited by: Paul McKenna ]


Not all that are/were held were terrorists. Raping, forcing them to perform homosexual acts (and trying to condone it by saying "they probably are used to such acts anyway); forcing the women prisoners to expose themselves - I'm sorry; no matter how much anyone excuses these, it is torture in my mind with the sole aim of treating them as subhumans & animals.

And one other thing - whilst we are all trying to excuse the US MPs & MI folks by saying this is war, they are POWs etc etc. what if these terrorists come up with the same excuse? Hey they are also in a war! As far as they are concerned, the people they have are POWs! So why shouldn't they abuse their prisoners :roll:

If this war was for occupation, then the US military can win it in no time flat. But this is not a war for occupation & that changes everything. That changes how the war is fought, it changes how the prisoners are treated, it changes how the Iraqi civilians are treated, it changes how the CPA conducts itself. If they want a stable & democratic Iraq, then their culture, their traditions, their mosques will have to be respected ; and their hearts and minds will have to be won. And I don't see that happening in the near term (where near term = 3-5 years).

Edited to remove names.
[ May 13, 2004: Message edited by: Sadanand Murthy ]
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Ashok Mash:
....


I dont have a problem with punishing those soliders who have crossed the lines of decency into the realm of indecency. But I do have a problem with the claim that "food and sleep depravation" are also "torture". Infact, if I were a military interrogator I would allow beating for the extraction of information.

Physical force has its merits and demerits. Excessive physical force may not be required, but some amount of it does have its merits. It may seem inhumane to the casual observer, but if valuable information can be obtained which in turn could result in the saving of soliders lives, I'd be all for it.

Also let us not kid ourselves that the Iraqi militias are humane in treating their POWs.
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
Incase you have not realized it yet, these are prisoners and the objective of holding them captive is to punish them for their behaviour and to interrogate them for information on other offenders.


I beg your pardon, performing sexual acts or to make prisoners perform sexual act is punishment and interrogation ??

Let's not go overboard and apply the definition where it doesn't fit.

Obviously, who said that Iraquis are human ?

But its not that we are discussing something which is not meant for this thread.
Sadanand Murthy
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:


Infact, if I were a military interrogator I would allow beating for the extraction of information.

Physical force has its merits and demerits. Excessive physical force may not be required, but some amount of it does have its merits. It may seem inhumane to the casual observer, but if valuable information can be obtained which in turn could result in the saving of soliders lives, I'd be all for it.

Also let us not kid ourselves that the Iraqi militias are humane in treating their POWs.


So, what kind of beating should be allowed? How far should one go in the beating technique? Should jamming rifle butts in the prisoner's crotch be allowed? What about hitting the prisoner with a rifle butt till his or her spine breaks? How can anyone know how much beating a prisoner can take before he/she dies from it? What about monitoring his/her internal organs to make sure that he/she doesn't die from internal hemorrhage?

Should US/CPA abandon the Geneva convention? If we do can we, then, express any indignation at the the Iraqi insurgents who use mosques & schools as their bases & invoke Geneva Convention to level such buildings?
[ May 13, 2004: Message edited by: Sadanand Murthy ]
Jason Menard
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People are demonstrating why these threads are bad ideas. There is far too much naming of names, use of the word "you", and derisive sarcasm for this thread to remain open much longer. Keep the arguments to the issues, keep it civil, keep it "nice", or it's likely this thread will be closed.
 
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subject: Response to the beheading