Gen Dannatt: Majority of Our Opponents Are Not Bad People

#1
Thought this deserved a mention - even though the mainstream media have conveniently ignored it (apart from Channel 4):

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-2954807462900788105

'Our opponents in the main are Iraqi Nationalists and are most concerned with their own needs: jobs, money, security, hope. And the majority therefore, I would suggest, are not bad people.'

Perhaps that's why there is such a growing gulf between the nation and the army? Because most of us already figured this out on day one?
 
#2
I think the gulf is more to do with the fact that while the the majority are not bad people, those that are need to be ground into the dust for everyone's sake, and the nation finds that hard to stomach.

The sad fact is that it has become trendy to think that there are no bad people, as all such behaviour must have a legitimate grevence behind it. At the same time they also believe there can be no good people, as all good action must be rooted in self-interest. There are no bad people, but there are no good people either. The net result is a moral equivalance that in this case puts our troops (and foreign policy) at the same level as those in Iraq who get their kicks driving car bombs into bus stops.
 
#3
If even the head of the British Army has quit the bullshit, maybe it's time you lot did too?

You're really only fooling yourself, you know.
 
#5
The net result is a moral equivalance that in this case puts our troops (and foreign policy) at the same level as those in Iraq who get their kicks driving car bombs into bus stops.
It could be well argued that Shock & Awe was a series of car bombs plus.
Added to which had we not invaded the place to begin with there wouldn't be car bombs going off now would there?

"Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return."
W.H. Auden.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#6
It's always a joy to be reminded that all the worlds' problems could be solved if only all politicians and soldiers started reading the New Statesman. I curse my hitherto meaningless existence in which, I freely admit, I have oppressed a wide variety of helpless indigenous natives in their sylvan, vegan Edens. How could I have been so wrong-headed? :D
 
#7
urbanite said:
If even the head of the British Army has quit the bullshit, maybe it's time you lot did too?

You're really only fooling yourself, you know.
I saw General Wesley Clark (Gen Petraeus' former boss) on The Daily Show recently. Asked about Iraq he laughed and said (words to the effect of): 'What would we do if someone dressed in a space suit busted down our door at 3am and roughed-up our women? That's right. We'd shoot them. That's the American way.'

This idea that Iraqis - a proud, highly educated people - shouldn't respond to foreign occupying troops - which even Alan Greenspan (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve) now says are there only to nick the oil - in the normal manner is simply racism. And stupidity. And a form of reality denial bordering on mental illness. They may be Muslims and A-rabs and have brown skins they're still normal people.

And if someone there to nick their national wealth busts down their door and roughs up their women they won't like it. And they'll respond like a red blooded American (or Brit).

What are they supposed to do? Grovel in the dust?
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#8
Ah but Annakey, I think you might well agree that the premise: 'If we leave them alone, they'll leave us alone' has been shown to be false on a number of occasions over the course of recorded human history.

BTW, from what I could see when I was in Iraq, the US wasn't looking to steal Iraq's oil per se but just to ensure that they could carry on buying it.
 
#9
annakey said:
urbanite said:
If even the head of the British Army has quit the bullshit, maybe it's time you lot did too?

You're really only fooling yourself, you know.
I saw General Wesley Clark (Gen Petraeus' former boss) on The Daily Show recently. Asked about Iraq he laughed and said (words to the effect of): 'What would we do if someone dressed in a space suit busted down our door at 3am and roughed-up our women? That's right. We'd shoot them. That's the American way.'

This idea that Iraqis - a proud, highly educated people - shouldn't respond to foreign occupying troops - which even Alan Greenspan (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve) now says are there only to nick the oil - in the normal manner is simply racism. And stupidity. And a form of reality denial bordering on mental illness. They may be Muslims and A-rabs and have brown skins they're still normal people.

And if someone there to nick their national wealth busts down their door and roughs up their women they won't like it. And they'll respond like a red blooded American (or Brit).

What are they supposed to do? Grovel in the dust?
Nice to hear that Wesley Clarke is still speaking with integrity - I'm sure US media are doing their best to ignore him too.

If the military started believing people they were bombing were 'normal' people they probably would find it hard to live with themselves - the racism (that is on display on this board so often) is a necessary part of being able to carry out their inhumane orders. And then they turn it all round and pretend to themselves (they're not fooling many others, after all) that it is the people whose country they have invaded, whose relatives they have murdered, whose lives they have destroyed, who are the 'extremists'. They are 'subhuman' and not like 'us'.
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#10
urbanite said:
annakey said:
urbanite said:
If even the head of the British Army has quit the bullshit, maybe it's time you lot did too?

You're really only fooling yourself, you know.
I saw General Wesley Clark (Gen Petraeus' former boss) on The Daily Show recently. Asked about Iraq he laughed and said (words to the effect of): 'What would we do if someone dressed in a space suit busted down our door at 3am and roughed-up our women? That's right. We'd shoot them. That's the American way.'

This idea that Iraqis - a proud, highly educated people - shouldn't respond to foreign occupying troops - which even Alan Greenspan (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve) now says are there only to nick the oil - in the normal manner is simply racism. And stupidity. And a form of reality denial bordering on mental illness. They may be Muslims and A-rabs and have brown skins they're still normal people.

And if someone there to nick their national wealth busts down their door and roughs up their women they won't like it. And they'll respond like a red blooded American (or Brit).

What are they supposed to do? Grovel in the dust?
Nice to hear that Wesley Clarke is still speaking with integrity - I'm sure US media are doing their best to ignore him too.

If the military started believing people they were bombing were 'normal' people they probably would find it hard to live with themselves - the racism (that is on display on this board so often) is a necessary part of being able to carry out their inhumane orders. And then they turn it all round and pretend to themselves (they're not fooling many others, after all) that it is the people whose country they have invaded, whose relatives they have murdered, whose lives they have destroyed, who are the 'extremists'. They are 'subhuman' and not like 'us'.
Ingroup-Outgroup stereotyping taken to its natural extreme in the case of warfare. This cognitive laziness is apparent everywhere and all the time, and is often far less functional than allowing you to stay alive, so it’s no real surprise it is found exhibited by soldiers, is it?
 
#11
Asked about Iraq he laughed and said (words to the effect of): 'What would we do if someone dressed in a space suit busted down our door at 3am and roughed-up our women? That's right. We'd shoot them. That's the American way.'
They wouldn't drive a truck bomb into Central Park though would they?
 
#12
parapauk said:
Asked about Iraq he laughed and said (words to the effect of): 'What would we do if someone dressed in a space suit busted down our door at 3am and roughed-up our women? That's right. We'd shoot them. That's the American way.'
They wouldn't drive a truck bomb into Central Park though would they?
who are 'they'? people who have had their relatives murdered and country destroyed? well yes, they might well want to do that now - blame them?
 
#14
urbanite said:
Thought this deserved a mention - even though the mainstream media have conveniently ignored it (apart from Channel 4):

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-2954807462900788105

'Our opponents in the main are Iraqi Nationalists and are most concerned with their own needs: jobs, money, security, hope. And the majority therefore, I would suggest, are not bad people.'

Perhaps that's why there is such a growing gulf between the nation and the army? Because most of us already figured this out on day one?
The more that General Dannatt speaks the more I like him.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#15
urbanite said:
If the military started believing people they were bombing were 'normal' people they probably would find it hard to live with themselves - the racism (that is on display on this board so often) is a necessary part of being able to carry out their inhumane orders. And then they turn it all round and pretend to themselves (they're not fooling many others, after all) that it is the people whose country they have invaded, whose relatives they have murdered, whose lives they have destroyed, who are the 'extremists'. They are 'subhuman' and not like 'us'.
Having had a quick look through your other posts on this site, Urbanite, I'm fascinated by the contempt in which you hold the military. There are certainly a handful of out and out racists who post on this site, but the great majority here are more or less ordinary working class men and women with more or less ordinary working class attitudes. I'm going to take a wild guess and speculate that you are politically of the left, but you give the impression of having a deep unease about the way that working people really think and feel. Do you honestly believe that members of the forces make a conscious choice to dislike the people who spend their days trying to kill them? I'm afraid that you are guilty, at the very least, of stereotyping soldiers in the same way that, you claim, we stereotype Iraqis and Afghanis.
 
#16
cpunk said:
Ah but Annakey, I think you might well agree that the premise: 'If we leave them alone, they'll leave us alone' has been shown to be false on a number of occasions over the course of recorded human history.
I agree. And... Are you talking antique Scud missiles raining down on... um... Cyprus? Gosh! Scary!

BTW, from what I could see when I was in Iraq, the US wasn't looking to steal Iraq's oil per se but just to ensure that they could carry on buying it.
I agree with that too. Continuity of supply. Greenspan didn't use the word 'nick' - that was my hyperbole (for which I apologise). His precise words:

I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article2461214.ece
So:

- Go to war largely about oil

- Subvert the UN

- Kill lots of Iraqis

- Break down their doors dressed in space suits

- Manhandle their women

- Torture them at Abu Ghraib

- Then complain when they shoot at you


Great isn't it?
 
#17
urbanite said:
annakey said:
urbanite said:
If even the head of the British Army has quit the bullshit, maybe it's time you lot did too?

You're really only fooling yourself, you know.
I saw General Wesley Clark (Gen Petraeus' former boss) on The Daily Show recently. Asked about Iraq he laughed and said (words to the effect of): 'What would we do if someone dressed in a space suit busted down our door at 3am and roughed-up our women? That's right. We'd shoot them. That's the American way.'

This idea that Iraqis - a proud, highly educated people - shouldn't respond to foreign occupying troops - which even Alan Greenspan (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve) now says are there only to nick the oil - in the normal manner is simply racism. And stupidity. And a form of reality denial bordering on mental illness. They may be Muslims and A-rabs and have brown skins they're still normal people.

And if someone there to nick their national wealth busts down their door and roughs up their women they won't like it. And they'll respond like a red blooded American (or Brit).

What are they supposed to do? Grovel in the dust?
Nice to hear that Wesley Clarke is still speaking with integrity - I'm sure US media are doing their best to ignore him too.

If the military started believing people they were bombing were 'normal' people they probably would find it hard to live with themselves - the racism (that is on display on this board so often) is a necessary part of being able to carry out their inhumane orders. And then they turn it all round and pretend to themselves (they're not fooling many others, after all) that it is the people whose country they have invaded, whose relatives they have murdered, whose lives they have destroyed, who are the 'extremists'. They are 'subhuman' and not like 'us'.
Spoken like a true Marxist class warrior, if ever I heard one! Clearly Urbanite you either have absolutely no contact with, or accurate information on how the British Army operate.

Doubtless your information is drawn exclusively from sources which you have selected due to their output fitting with your own perception of reality.

Those who are not aware prior to deployment receive training to inform them of the situation and, once on the ground can see for themselves what the reality of life is in Iraq.

As ever, any and all good work done by the Army in Iraq (or Afghanistan) receives little coverage in the mainstream media and none in those sections of the media who are hostile to the coalition deployment.

If their (and your) interests in the Iraqi population were genuine, and not political, you would be more interested in what the real situation on the ground in Iraq is, how it has changed, whether the situation is returning to normality on any level and whether services (electrical, education etc) have improved.

However, as alluded above, your interest in the Iraqi people is peripheral and exists purely because you disagree with the operation on a political level. To a certain extent, the continued suffering of the Iraqi people benefits those who, politically speaking, oppose the Americans in Iraq. They can point a finger and say how the situation is terrible etc. (And that is not to say it has been well handled - lack of planning for the immediate aftermath of the Iraq invasion was appalling and is directly to blame for the insurgent campaign gaining the momentum it has been able to).

What most disgusts me though, is the your statement which, suggests that soldiers are both gullible fools and extremists. As ever, left wing rhetoric is reserved for those least deserving of it. Would I be correct if I assumed that when insurgent groups kidnap and behead innocent civilians (both Iraqi and foreign) that you do not condemn them? Indeed, I would offer the suggestion that you say nothing at all in those circumstances. Can't criticise the oppressed/freedom fighters now, can you!!

Despite that, there is an irony here. For all that I do not support your views, nor the way you express them, I do believe you should be allowed to have your say, as I should too. In the free world, that is the part of 'democracy' we refer to as 'freedom of speech'.

I wonder, if you and your ilk ran the country, would I and those whose views coincide with mine, (and therefore opposed yours) still have that freedom??
 
#18
parapauk said:
I think the gulf is more to do with the fact that while the the majority are not bad people, those that are need to be ground into the dust for everyone's sake, and the nation finds that hard to stomach.

The sad fact is that it has become trendy to think that there are no bad people, as all such behaviour must have a legitimate grevence behind it. At the same time they also believe there can be no good people, as all good action must be rooted in self-interest. There are no bad people, but there are no good people either. The net result is a moral equivalance that in this case puts our troops (and foreign policy) at the same level as those in Iraq who get their kicks driving car bombs into bus stops.
The man is clearly mad. All who raise a hand against the cause of righteousness are clearly limbs of Satan and it's our duty to send them back to the fires of hell... so my mum tells me anyway.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#19
annakey said:
So:

- Go to war largely about oil

- Subvert the UN

- Kill lots of Iraqis

- Break down their doors dressed in space suits

- Manhandle their women

- Torture them at Abu Ghraib

- Then complain when they shoot at you


Great isn't it?
OK but:

- The UN, who gives a sh1t apart from Clare Short and readers of the New Internationalist?

- We haven't killed nearly as many Iraqis as they've managed all on their little ownsomes.

- Not sure about the spacesuit situation.

- 'Their' women? Are you reducing the lovely ladies of Iraq to the status of mere chattels?

- Abu Ghraib: fair enough but, as with the killing, the Iraqis are doing a whole lot more torturing than we ever did.

- And I have never complained about Iraqis shooting at me and I don't know anyone who has.
 
#20
My feelings can be summed up thus:

"I would no more teach children military training than I would teach them arson, robbery, or assassination." Eugene V Debs (a great American)

It is quite staggering that after some estimates put the figure of Iraqi dead at 1.2million there are people on here who still think they are doing the 'right thing' and carry on demonising Iraqis themselves and have the cheek to talk about the actions of 'insurgents'. I would say it was arrogance but actually I think it is down to the brainwashing.

Just look at the deceitful army adverts - they couldn't possibly tell the truth so they show war as an 'adventure' and other ads show soldiers rushing off to help women and children. No sign of dead bodies, blood, maimed children, families under rubble after an airstrike - if the army, media, and politicians started telling the truth, war and imperialism would end overnight.

You all know what you would do if your own country was invaded - you certainly would NOT roll over.
 

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