A question of attitude

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by OldRedCap, Jun 6, 2006.

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  1. The Carling ad using Dam Busters got me thinking.
    We were quite happy to train and motivate young men to go and drop bombs from a great height over German cities. There was absolutely no suggestion that those below had done anything wrong other than belong to a particular ethnic group or nation.
    We send young soldiers into Iraq and young SO19 policemen into situations where we tell them very clearly that there are baddies who wish to kill them and possibly tens of dozens more. If there is the slightest suggestion that the squaddy or the copper has been a bit premature, we crucify them. Even if nfa'd he has had the stress of waiting for that.
    So, where is the morality that allows - indeed, makes - the man 50,000 feet up to kill with abandon whilst the few yards of real danger limits their actions?
    When I was regularly on a daily basis dealing with soldiers who had just killed someone, I gave them every crack of the whip and consideration I could so that they got a fair deal when their actions were discussed in the soft office surroundings of the top brass. Now I am older, if I had to go back to those days and that work, I think I would not be able to perform as I have too many doubts about the system that made him shoot. Especially when the politicians will write off his sacrifice and stress for their own gratification and ends.
    Is it me or the world that is fcuked up?
  2. The world is fked up. Collateral damage though regretable is a fact of war, only those who have been in a life or death situation are in any position to judge. It is the aggressor and the terrorist who are ultimately responsible for the loss of innocent lives, not those fighting them and trying to do their best under impossible circumstances.

    If we had fought WW2 with the politicians we had now.... we would have lost.
  3. ORC,

    I agree with what you're saying however the difference now is that bombing the sh1t out of German cities was accepted due to the fact we were at war with that country. Politicians actually supporting the troops-never happen as it's a vote loser...

    We're not at war with Iraq and heaven forbid if anyone suggested that we were fighting a war/holy crusade against Muslims!!!
  4. Ah the 'morality of altitude' debate. Psychologically it's quite simple, you can't see the people you're bombing from x thousand feet so you don't consider them. Indeed you are targeting buildings, installations and roads, your target is the structure not the people in it. If the aircrew in WWII raids such as Dresden had been able to see what was going on on the ground then it may have affected them rather more than it did (not to say that it didn't affect them at all).

    With regard to crucifying those that make a mistake, I agree that the pilot whose bomb goes astray, levels a house and kills a family will face very few repercussions, whereas the soldier/policemen who shoots the wrong person is often hung out to dry.
  5. We are at war against Islamic terror although they can never be charged with the indiscriminate killing of women and children because they DELIBERATELY target them.

    The sooner we find out what they hold dear (Religious sites etc) and level a few of them in reprisal, the better. A 10 Meg airburst should do the trick.
  6. Imagine if the Falklands invasion had occurred today. Our PM would have given them straight back to put history right and to quench that nasty Mr Galtieri's bad mood.

    Anybody know the state of play over Gibraltrar?
  7. I was not - for once - having a go at fly boys. Anyone who unloads munitions over a city will know damned well what is down there. Even a sergeant pilot. I would assume that photo recce planes followed up to see what had been hit and that would have told the bomber crews that the surgical excision of a few brick factories in the midst of a lot of brick houses was not a precise and exact art. There were also the raids where fire storms had started and the whole damn target was lit up like a Viking funeral. To be able to switch off moral considerations which, I suggest, were stronger then than now must have been some trick. Which I doubt.
    This has added precisely the square root of f/all to my point I'm afraid but I did not want to leave the impression that I was off on one of my low-level type rants!
  8. Apologies, my last statement was rather misleading! In essence I was saying that the bomber pilot should be held accountable in the same way that the soldier/policeman is if he makes that error, unfortunately they are not.

    This 'morality' comes from being detached from the affair, it would be ludicrous to suggest that Bomber crews are not affected by their actions or that they are insensitive to the plight of their victims, but they will always have a greater detachment from the results of their actions than the man on the ground.
  9. Disregarding the obvious fcuk-wittage of that statement...

    The firebombing of Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden etc. wasn't the deliberate targeting of CIVPOP?

    Welcome to the world of ethical dilemmas everyone. This has the potential to be a very long thread.
  10. WWII didnt need the TV coverage, the damage to the UK could be seen in the newspaper the next day. The country was at war, the effects of that war was seen by everyone in some way or other. The problem with Ieaq and Afghanistan is that its a war in a far off land, that hasnt affected the way people live in in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, etc. Other than higher fuel costs what do the new "wartime" population see, sweet FA.

    WWII, was seen as sacrifice for country and for the free world. People were seen to be struggling through hardship etc to support the war effort. The RAF was bombing the cr@p out of the nasty nazis. The Army was waiting to get back at gerry, the navy was fighting to keep the shores safe and the sea lanes open. It didnt matter to the public that some bombs went astray, that civilians were killed in German cities. All that mattered was that we were still fighting.

    The public see nothing now other than what the news services provide. The governments dont offer much news and the public dont understand or even want to understand what the fight is about. They see the bad side of things that happen, they see troops headbutting some one or reports of massacres. They get these images in their heads about military bad..... peace good. Troops out now. Its all boll0x, but its not going to change anytime soon.

    As long as that attitude remains, the guys on the front line will be measured by whats "acceptable" at home. Nothing else. I spent 12 years in HM Forces, Ive been out now for 17 years. I have nothing but respect and pride in the forces. I just wish the joe public would look at history a little bit and see why these men and women are the finest that the country has to offer.

    It just p1sses me off.... rant over.