Unfair use of force in Iraq?

newnew
Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Under international law military forces must: "exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and the legitimate objective to be achieved," and "minimize damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life."



Seeing the incredible death-tolls on the iraqi side compared to losses of US and UK soldiers makes me wonder if the US and the UK is using its military and technological advantages in an unfair way.

Seems to me that the US&UK would rather blow up entire Iraqi military positions rather than to engage them and risk american and british lives. This effectively denies any iraqi soldiers the opportunity to defect or put down their arms.



The numbers of dead iraqi soldiers are now well passed a 1000, while UK&US casualties are about 50.



With these death-tolls there is going to be many fatherless families in Iraq after the war. This will set it mark on the iraqi people. We know from Palestine that the people who become suicide bombers are likely to have lost family members in the conflict.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 186
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I'm actually surprised that they've gone in on the ground as fast as they have. In Gulf War - Episode 1, they bombed from the air for a month, IIRC, before going in with ground troops, and the ground war was over in about two days I think.
  • Reply 2 of 186
    I would be greatly surprised if the number of Iraqi military casualties was anywhere near as low as 1000 at this point. We know that there are 4000 POWs. That would suggest that 80% of those who are engaging US forces [thereby excluding the deserters and injured] are surrendering and 20% are killed. That doesn't seem to jive with what we know at all. We've engaged units that cumulatively have around 50,000 or so soldiers. Just look at the 51st division which had 8000 alone. Now that would mean something on the scale of 90% of Iraqis are deserting or injured. Or that an awful lot of Iraqi soldiers are dying but know one knows how many. Or maybe there are just tons of injuries. I tend to suspect that at least 5000 and maybe 10,000 are already dead. But just speculation on my part.
  • Reply 3 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally posted by New

    Under international law military forces must: "exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and the legitimate objective to be achieved," and "minimize damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life."



    Seeing the incredible death-tolls on the iraqi side compared to losses of US and UK soldiers makes me wonder if the US and the UK is using its military and technological advantages in an unfair way.

    Seems to me that the US&UK would rather blow up entire Iraqi military positions rather than to engage them and risk american and british lives. This effectively denies any iraqi soldiers the opportunity to defect or put down their arms.



    The numbers of dead iraqi soldiers are now well passed a 1000, while UK&US casualties are about 50.



    With these death-tolls there is going to be many fatherless families in Iraq after the war. This will set it mark on the iraqi people. We know from Palestine that the people who become suicide bombers are likely to have lost family members in the conflict.




    Actually, they are showing amazing restraint... you may say that have lots of casualties, thats because most of them are not good shots and are not good soldiers, there are some good ones however. remember, if we were not showing restraing, the casulties would be a lot higher, and you would have even less Iraqi pows.
  • Reply 4 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    I'm actually surprised that they've gone in on the ground as fast as they have. In Gulf War - Episode 1, they bombed from the air for a month, IIRC, before going in with ground troops, and the ground war was over in about two days I think.



    Maybe that's part of the explanation behind the firece resistence this time. The people of Baghdad probably know better than anyone the effects of the bombing 12 years ago. Imagine being "liberated" by the guys who killed your father...
  • Reply 5 of 186
    are you actually being serious here? this is not a football game where you would like both sides to be evenly matched to make things more interesting for the fans. the objective is to kill or disable as many of the other side as to take away their ability to effectively wage war.
  • Reply 6 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by The General

    Actually, they are showing amazing restraint... you may say that have lots of casualties, thats because most of them are not good shots and are not good soldiers, there are some good ones however. remember, if we were not showing restraing, the casulties would be a lot higher, and you would have even less Iraqi pows.



    Good shots? You think this is a rifle-contest? Most don't get a chance to shoot before they are blown-up by an abrams tank 4 km away, or a laser-guided bomb from an invisible planes.
  • Reply 7 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally posted by New

    Good shots? You think this is a rifle-contest? Most don't get a chance to shoot before they are blown-up by an abrams tank 4 km away, or a laser-guided bomb from an invisible planes.



    "hey! we're going to shoot you now so get ready."
  • Reply 8 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by running with scissors

    are you actually being serious here? this is not a football game where you would like both sides to be evenly matched to make things more interesting for the fans. the objective is to kill or disable as many of the other side as to take away their ability to effectively wage war.



    Well, its also about sparing precious american lives. But it is a problem if this objective leads to an unnecessary amount of killed iraqis. They're not bugs like in starship troopers you know.
  • Reply 9 of 186
    What about the Iraqi military's unfair tactics of changing into civilian clothes or arranging their forces in or near civilian buildings?



    It must be hugely frustrating for the coaliton soldiers knowing that they have to be very careful when choosing their targets whilst the enemy shows no such restraint. The U.S. may have the latest kit but they need all the help they can get when dealing with the tactics employed against them.
  • Reply 10 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally posted by New

    Good shots? You think this is a rifle-contest? Most don't get a chance to shoot before they are blown-up by an abrams tank 4 km away, or a laser-guided bomb from an invisible planes.



    No, I never said it was a rifle contest. People like you need to calm down, ya cant talk about the truth and handle it in a well manner, then dont bother.. stop with the "booo hooo, they dont get a chance to shoot!" what do you want us to do? yell "Ok, you guys get to shoot first?!"

  • Reply 11 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Happy Camper

    What about the Iraqi military's unfair tactics of changing into civilian clothes or arranging their forces in or near civilian buildings?



    It must be hugely frustrating for the coaliton soldiers knowing that they have to be very careful when choosing their targets whilst the enemy shows no such restraint. The U.S. may have the latest kit but they need all the help they can get when dealing with the tactics employed against them.




    True, but if employing such a tactic is the only way the iraqis can get within firing-range of american troops, then in many ways this is a situation the "coalition" has brought upon itself.



    What I am mainly objecting to here is the illusion of a "clean-war". How easy it is to accept when non of your own get killed. This is why I think every american supporting the war should see the pictures of dead GIs from Al-Jazeera.

    And it is important to remember that every Iraqi Solider is also a father, a brother, son or uncle to someone. Every one of them has a unique history and a dream for the future. I think they could have gotten rid of Saddam themselves when time was ready.



    Do you think the Iraqis will accept an installed democracy built on the killing of thousands of their men?
  • Reply 12 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by The General

    what do you want us to do? yell "Ok, you guys get to shoot first?!"



    I want you to stay home, and stop making a mess of every damn place on earth you feel you have an interest in.
  • Reply 13 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally posted by New

    Well, its also about sparing precious american lives. But it is a problem if this objective leads to an unnecessary amount of killed iraqis. They're not bugs like in starship troopers you know.



    They were pretty damn big and nasty buggers though...







    Just as the Afganis were to the "superior" Soviet Army...



    The victors in battle are the ones still left standing. And the Iraqi Fedayeen fighters seem to be of the same mettle...



    This just from CNN..."U.S. intelligence indicates "major column" of Iraqi Republican Guard troops with 1,000 vehicles heading south from Baghdad toward U.S. forces near Najaf, sources tell CNN's Walter Rodgers, embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division. Full story soon."



    Here come the bugs...
  • Reply 14 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Funny, on BBC they are only about 70 to 120, already being bombed from the air.
  • Reply 15 of 186
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by New

    Well, its also about sparing precious american lives.



    Amen.



    Quote:

    But it is a problem if this objective leads to an unnecessary amount of killed iraqis.



    What is "unnecessary"?

    In my mind that means whatever it takes to win sparing as many American lives as possible. To me, our soldiers are more important than theirs. Civilian deaths are different but soldiers die, that's their job. If they are in the Iraqi military then they are going to die or surrender, those are their options.



    They can try to surrender, which gives them a great chance at living or they can fight and guarantee their own death. That's the job of a soldier, don't get confused.



    What the hell is this "fairness" bullshit? Do you realize how horribly bloody and destructive "fair" wars are? What is "fair" anyway?



    If we start napalming or nuking Baghdad I'll listen to you, but right now you seem to be missing the point entirely. But then again your motivation is anti-US first, think later.



    Quote:

    They're not bugs like in starship troopers you know.



    Seems like the only one who looks at them in that sort of the light are the people who think they are brainless drones intent on fighting to the death against an enemy they can't understand. Read: a large chunk of the anti-war movement.
  • Reply 16 of 186
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by New

    Originally posted by The General

    what do you want us to do? yell "Ok, you guys get to shoot first?!"

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------





    Quote:

    Originally posted by New

    I want you to stay home, and stop making a mess of every damn place on earth you feel you have an interest in.



    Way to not answer the question.



    What is your problem with the way the war is being fought? The US/UK are not purposely sacrificing enough of their soldiers for your liking? Sorry, it's war, and the point is kill enough that the other side surrenders. As is clear from the number of soldiers defecting and surrendering, and by the ploy of fake surrenders, it is clear that the message from the US about how to surrender reached the Iraqis. So, given that the know if they lay down their arms, hold up a white flag and surrender, they will be spared, if they are still fighting, then they have an expectation of being killed. Even following strict rules of warfare, the best way to fight a war isn't to push your own men out into needlessly higher risk engagements, when you have the ability to reduce the risk.

    Edit:typo
  • Reply 17 of 186
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Happy Camper

    What about the Iraqi military's unfair tactics of changing into civilian clothes or arranging their forces in or near civilian buildings?



    It must be hugely frustrating for the coaliton soldiers knowing that they have to be very careful when choosing their targets whilst the enemy shows no such restraint. The U.S. may have the latest kit but they need all the help they can get when dealing with the tactics employed against them.




    You know New will support those tactics. Anything that leads to dead Americans is A-OK and excusable. And if the tactics also lead to a few dead Iraqi citizens because of the confusion, all the better, because it will be bad PR for the US.
  • Reply 18 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    What is "unnecessary"?

    In my mind that means whatever it takes to win sparing as many American lives as possible. To me, our soldiers are more important than theirs. Civilian deaths are different but soldiers die, that's their job. If they are in the Iraqi military then they are going to die or surrender, those are their options.



    They can try to surrender, which gives them a great chance at living or they can fight and guarantee their own death. That's the job of a soldier, don't get confused.




    No, the job of a soldier is to defend your homeland. They are doing it. You are not.



    Quote:

    What the hell is this "fairness" bullshit? Do you realize how horribly bloody and destructive "fair" wars are? What is "fair" anyway?



    Fair is the opposite of unfair, as in unfair warfare, banned by international law.



    Quote:

    If we start napalming or nuking Baghdad I'll listen to you, but right now you seem to be missing the point entirely. But then again your motivation is anti-US first, think later.



    Not to many years ago the US did just that. Now you have gotten smarter. Smarter bombs and smarter PR people. My motivation is pro-peace. I think about constantly. Like I've said before I love the US.

    For the last 50 years, the US has been the main agressor in the world. Soviet follows right behind, but they are no more. China and some other states are at a distant third.



    Quote:

    Seems like the only one who looks at them in that sort of the light are the people who think they are brainless drones intent on fighting to the death against an enemy they can't understand. Read: a large chunk of the anti-war movement.



    I don't claim all of them to be smart, but I never heard an anti-war activist call the arabs "sand-niggers"...
  • Reply 19 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tulkas

    You know New will support those tactics. Anything that leads to dead Americans is A-OK and excusable. And if the tactics also lead to a few dead Iraqi citizens because of the confusion, all the better, because it will be bad PR for the US.



    I don't support any tactics, I don't support the war at all. But if I where an iraqi forced or compelled to fight, I'd use the best tactics available as well. Any millitary would. The US does as well.

    The difference being nobody forced the US to fight.



    What I am objecting to is the reduction of over a 100 000 iraqi troops to "thugs" worth killing without a blink of an eye, while the object is to liberate their families.
  • Reply 20 of 186
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    Quote:

    Unfair use of force



    Captain: "Ok private, you are going to be issued your new weapons"



    Private: "What's that Sir?"



    Captain: "Let's see here, let me check the list..... ah yes, a stick"



    Private: "A stick Sir?!?"



    Captain: "Yes, a stick"



    Private: "But why Sir?"



    Captain: "Well, seems some military dropout has taken up arms against us. In this case it's a stick. In order to keep things fair we can't have you shooting him or anything when you two meet, so you get a stick just like his. Now turn over that pistol and start whacking things with that stick."





    hmm, i'm going to go with that's not what they had in mind.
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