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Author Topic: What makes people do this?  (Read 2289 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ben
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« on: May 08, 2004, 01:22:08 AM »


http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/05/07/abuse.timeline.ap/index.html

What makes people become so violent and cruel to do something like this? I'm not going to bring up who is responsible here, and what should be done to those who carried out such evil crimes. But I am sincerely wondering what in the heck makes people do this! Is it just the environment? Hate? Satan?
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Jennifer
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2004, 02:25:39 AM »

These kinds of things are very common in wartime which is one reason why we should avoid going to war at all costs.  War brings out the worst in people.  

People do very odd things in groups.  There have been some very interesting studies about group behavior and how people do things in groups that they would never do as individuals.  

Plus we have to remember that these are kids.  When you put a bunch of 18 years old together and give them power something bad is bound to happen.  Then to add to the mix the fact that the military attracts certain kinds of people.  I know someone from Korea who workd with our soldiers for years.  He has a very low opinion of the average American GI.  He thinks that they're mostly kids who didn't have any other options.  In his country, everyone has to serve so that's his comparison.  According to this there are lots of incidents involving US soldiers in Korea and Japan.  Rapes, attacks, etc.  

I think we also can't downplay the environment they're in.  

My fear about all of this is that they're going to make scapegoats out of these idiot kids.  I don't believe this could have happened without a subtle approval of the higher-ups.  

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Linus7
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2004, 08:23:59 AM »

Quote
Jennifer: Then to add to the mix the fact that the military attracts certain kinds of people.  I know someone from Korea who workd with our soldiers for years.  He has a very low opinion of the average American GI.

What are you saying here?

What "certain kinds of people" does our military attract?

I think we have the finest military in the world. Our young men and women are as good, if not better, than any anywhere.

I need to quit posting right now, because, frankly, my blood is boiling.



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Brendan03
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2004, 08:42:02 AM »

I think that they are under tremendous stress due to the fact that the administration low-balled the number of troops in the war plan (to make it more politically saleable), resulting in requiring the troops who were sent to have extended tours of duty.  You can only take that much stress for so long, IMO.  No excuse for the barbaric behavior we have seen in these pictures, but it is the reality of the context that the administration has put them in.
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B
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2004, 08:46:23 AM »

I think that they are under tremendous stress due to the fact that the administration low-balled the number of troops in the war plan (to make it more politically saleable), resulting in requiring the troops who were sent to have extended tours of duty.  You can only take that much stress for so long, IMO.  No excuse for the barbaric behavior we have seen in these pictures, but it is the reality of the context that the administration has put them in.

It's hard to "high-ball" the number of troops in any case if we don't have them thanks to a decade or so of cutting the ranks.
But I agree - no excuse here no matter who is to blame.

Demetri
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Linus7
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2004, 08:51:36 AM »

I think that they are under tremendous stress due to the fact that the administration low-balled the number of troops in the war plan (to make it more politically saleable), resulting in requiring the troops who were sent to have extended tours of duty.  You can only take that much stress for so long, IMO.  No excuse for the barbaric behavior we have seen in these pictures, but it is the reality of the context that the administration has put them in.

Did "the administration" decide on the number of troops, or did the military planners do that?

As I understand it - and I could be wrong - the military made those sorts of decisions.

I don't think what happened at Abu Ghraib can be blamed on Bush, as much as some would like to blame it on him.
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2004, 08:53:26 AM »

the military attracts certain kinds of people.  

Do you mean the "kind of people" who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend in armed combat (should it come to that) the rights, lives and privileges of comfortable lawyers and others of the privileged class, who return the favor by looking down their elitist noses at the working class saps who are of such a lowly "kind of person" that they are stupid enough to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the aforementioned . . . uh . . . "kinds of persons?"

This unjustified, unfounded snobbery, so prevalent among our surprisingly under-educated professional and graduate-school-educated classes, makes me sick to my stomach.
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Linus7
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2004, 08:53:59 AM »

It's hard to "high-ball" the number of troops in any case if we don't have them thanks to a decade or so of cutting the ranks.
But I agree - no excuse here no matter who is to blame.

Demetri

You're right about that.

We spent that same decade cutting our intelligence services, too.
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2004, 08:55:07 AM »

Do you mean the "kind of people" who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend in armed combat (should it come to that) the rights, lives and privileges of comfortable lawyers and others of the privileged class, who return the favor by looking down their elitist noses at the working class saps who are of such a lowly "kind of person" that they are stupid enough to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the aforementioned . . . uh . . . "kinds of persons?"

This unjustified, unfounded snobbery, so prevalent among our surprisingly under-educated professional and graduate-school-educated classes, makes me sick to my stomach.

AMEN!

And, as the father of a disabled vet, I THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2004, 09:47:01 AM »

]I think we have the finest military in the world. Our young men and women are as good, if not better, than any anywhere.

I need to quit posting right now, because, frankly, my blood is boiling.]

So is mine!

As the VERY PROUD uncle of an Army captain who just returned safely with all his men intact after 12+ months in Iraq where they travelled over a million miles delivering 1.5 million gallons of fuel to our troops  and were directly attacked 38 TIMES I find the comment disgusting to say the least.

[This unjustified, unfounded snobbery, so prevalent among our surprisingly under-educated professional and graduate-school-educated classes, makes me sick to my stomach.]


Unfortunately it is the same attitude of to many of our leaders (both now and previous) who think with thier Harvard type diplomas they are exempt from what they send others to do.

I think Jennifer owes an apology to all the men and women who are fighting for their country thoughout the world.

What Jennifer refers to as 'stupidity' most of us call patriotism, bravery, and love of freedom and democracy!



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Jennifer
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2004, 10:39:02 AM »

Is there an icon for "eyes rolling to the ceiling?"  

"Unfortunately it is the same attitude of to many of our leaders (both now and previous) who think with thier Harvard type diplomas they are exempt from what they send others to do."

Gee, that sounds like a criticism of George Bush.  Although his degree is from Yale.  

I'm not apologizing.  I think it's fairly obvious that there's a problem in the US military.  

"What Jennifer refers to as 'stupidity' most of us call patriotism, bravery, and love of freedom and democracy!"

Don't make me gag.  This kind of idiocy is what is responsible for the tragedy in Iraq.  

And yes I do think that people who sign up for the military today are not making the most 'rational' choice.  Note I never wrote "stupidity."  

I also think it's incredibly silly to "support the troops" with words but to risk their lives needlessly.  I'd bring them home.  That's "supporting the troops."  

If I were a soldier, I'd prefer action to platitudes.  

I read responses like the ones above and I can't help but worry that we've made some fundamental break with the founding father's ideals for our country.  What would they think of blind national?  

I read an article about that football player recently killed in Afghanistan which shed some insight into why a blind patriotism isn't really American.  
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Orthodoc
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2004, 10:46:25 AM »

[I read responses like the ones above and I can't help but worry that we've made some fundamental break with the founding father's ideals for our country.  What would they think of blind national? ]

And when I read responses like yours Jennifer I just want to throw up and say an extra prayer for this country and its future.

Orthodoc

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Jennifer
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2004, 11:14:19 AM »

[I read responses like the ones above and I can't help but worry that we've made some fundamental break with the founding father's ideals for our country.  What would they think of blind national? ]

And when I read responses like yours Jennifer I just want to throw up and say an extra prayer for this country and its future.

Orthodoc

When I read hysterical responses like yours, I want to throw up and say a prayer for the future of this country.  

I also want to say a prayer for the young men and women in our military who are likely to be sacrificed at your "altar of patriotism."  

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Jennifer
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2004, 11:44:10 AM »

This reminds me of a story my father likes to tell about how he wanted to join the Navy in the early 1960's.  His uncle, a WWII veteran who'd seen heavy combat in Italy, sat him down and talked sense into him.  My great uncle told him that it was nuts to volunteer for military and that if "they needed him, they'd come get him."  

I have another great uncle who gets almost ballistic when he reads mindless patriotic comments like those above.  He's also a WWII veteran.  He was a medic in Italy and saw things that you and I can't even begin to imagine.  A lot of his fellow medics suffered severe emotional problems after the war but no one tells that story.  John Wayne's version of the war is much more exciting.  

But countries continue to promote nationalism because it's convenient.  Even supposedly democratic countries like ours.  

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Anastasios
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2004, 12:30:29 PM »

Even though this is in the free-for-all category, it has quickly degenerated into a thread about personal opinions and attacks.

Jennifer could have expressed her concerns in a more sober way that would not have offended almost everyone else on the thread, and perhaps by so doing she would have made a valid point.  Instead, her inflammatory words caused this to blow up, and when she saw the aftermath, instead of trying to explain herself better, she "rolls her eyes."  What is needed is more tact and a more sober writing style.

This is a friendly community where the posters generally like each other and many of us are friends in the "real world."  My fellow administrators and I are not going to sit back and watch our generally friendly atmosphere devolve any longer into such a combative environment.  I am not solely blaming Jennifer here, by the way.  Some people in other threads deliberately provoke her.  At any rate, here's my admonition to all: if you are going to post on this forum you need to be friendly, polite, sober, and charitable, and you need to take this forum as a community and not some fake computer world where you can act with whatever rudeness and bluntness you wish.

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I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
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