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Anyone here every worked in a large corporation?  I worked at a major cruise line for three years before getting sick of the cube farm and going into business for myself.  In those three years, I learned about accountability, boundaries, and how much I could get away with, and I learned it all from our CEO, though indirectly.  

I learned this every time anyone in a department I worked in got in trouble or when an infraction was ignored with a wink and a nod.  How did my supervisor know when to give someone hell?  Our manager told her.  How did he know?  His VP told him.  How'd the VP know?  The CEO/President told him.  From the top, a culture was promulgated that demanded a certain type of conduct and made other types of conduct unacceptable.  Additionally, there were systems in place that found deviations from proper conduct, ranging from accounting to listening to phone calls.  All of this ensured that our president/CEO's standards and culture were adhered to on all levels.  This also meant that if a behavior that might be frowned upon was tolerated, we knew it was fine all the way from the top down.  I think any large organization is the same way.

Now that's a corporation.  You get to quit if things suck, orders aren't quite as mandatory, and the chain of command isn't as clearly defined as in the military.  There are the same checks in place to prevent people from deviating from the culture.  The problem must therefore be the culture, and right up the chain of command to the Commander-in-Chief.  He's the one that devalued the lives of Iraqis and worked to legalize torture, and passed that along to Rummy, who told the generals, who took it all the way down to the privates, who murdered innocents in Haditha.  Also on the news today were reports of two new murders, one a rampage in March that left 11 dead, and another in which a single individual, completely innocent of anything, was abducted by soldiers and murdered, all because they couldn't find the suspected insurgent they were looking for.  And all of this is just what we know about.  Why is this happening?  Because a culture of impunity and disregard for Iraqi lives has been created.

So having a class that teaches "core warrior values" like, don't slaughter innocent civilians, is probably a waste of time.

It's interesting to note the difference between the war in Bosnia and the war in Iraq in this aspect.  I can recall only a single case of a US soldier committing a crime against the civilian population, a soldier who raped and killed a young girl, and who was promptly caught and prosecuted.  There were a number of civilian military contractors who were involved with sex slavery, and the same company was hired for the Iraq occupation.

Originally posted to gitaiba on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 06:24 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)
    I agree with what you are saying but I would really appreciate it if you would quote some of your sources and put tags with evidence in your diary after some of the points that you make. It will make it so much easier for us to know that you have evidence to back up what you are saying.
  •  Your missing the whole point (0+ / 0-)

    Those Marines are a result of Chain of Command breakdown.From Basic to AIT and predepolyment you all ready know not to kill noncombatants.The Chain of Command is broke.To reteach now is just to keep Americans off the back of Rumsfeld.Its his policies that are broke.Its going to take years to get the U.S. Military back in form.One thing I want to know is if those Marines were on Prozac or drugs like them.We have one out of four of our troops coming home with PTSD.What I have learned from VA is they are not treating the troops just giving meds to them And Redoplying them.That's no excuse for the Marines who killed.But that does mean the upper Ranks need to be charged.

  •  What should be taught in these classes (0+ / 0-)

    You can have classes for months and years, and it's not going to stop incidents during war of young men and women, under the most incredible, intolerable level of stresses snapping. It happens. It's almost inevitable in combat. In that blind rage, no class is going to make them stop. Why didn't it happen so much in Bosnia? Bosnia didn't involve ground combat.

    What the classes can stop is the cover up. Classes can teach the officers that if this happens under their watch, any attempt to cover up the actions will be dealt with swiftly and seriously. That's what they should be pounding in.

    Lying can never save us from another lie - Vaclav Havel

    by Muwarr90 on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 06:52:36 PM PDT

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a Viet Nam veteran-purple heart.  Soldiers need to know what is not permitted-if it's not made clear there is a certain percentage of people (larger than you might expect but far from everyone) who will do terrible things and not just in the heat of combat.
      Don't scoff at that training of ethical behavior-atrocious behavior will still occur but much less often.
      What chills me is to hear from our "leadership" that torture is being re-defined.  This definitely sends a message all the way down the chain of command.
      We so desperately need to win some elections and get some humanists in.

  •  You haven't been paying (0+ / 0-)

    attention to South Korea, Okinawa and other bases.  There have been problems with them for 50 years.  People at corporations go home, they go on vacation.  When they do things the press doesn't usually advertise where there work (unless it is the post office).  As a member of the military it is a 24/7 occupation.

    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

    by deathsinger on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 07:19:35 PM PDT

  •  You are so right (0+ / 0-)

    it's the excuse de jour.  Whoever screwed up "hadn't had the proper training."

    Come on, we all know not to kill unarmed women and children ... right?

    Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

    by philgoblue on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 08:26:05 PM PDT

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