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Bowe Bergdahl and cover-up

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Old
06-06-2014, 05:19 PM
  #76
Johnnywhite
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
From Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, i.e. the horse's mouth in 2001 in an interview with BBC Pashto: "But the current situation in Afghanistan is related to a bigger cause - that is the destruction of America."
After the invasion of Afghanistan, now read the rest & get some context.

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06-06-2014, 05:30 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by WarriorOfGandhi View Post
what's the point of charging them with anything when you don't need to give them a trial to hold and interrogate them?
I guess I just don't give a **** about these Taliban guys because if we wanted to do something with them we would have. Otherwise it's just an ongoing expense for nothing. So we may as well use them for something positive, than an American won't be left to rot in a Taliban gulag. 10 years ago all of America could have agreed on that.

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06-06-2014, 05:35 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
From Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, i.e. the horse's mouth in 2001 in an interview with BBC Pashto: "But the current situation in Afghanistan is related to a bigger cause - that is the destruction of America."
Yeah shocking that the leader of Afghanistan would talk about the destruction of the nation that invaded his country.

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06-06-2014, 06:26 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Finlandia WOAT View Post
There absolutely is a difference.

The Taliban want to establish a government in Afghanistan that is set up according to Islamic law- as in, their twisted basterd interpretation of it.

Al Quada feels that there is currently a global culture war going on- the West vs. Islam. As such, they view themselves as warriors of Islam, fighting the ever encroaching Western culture that threatens to consume and destroy Islamic identity.

In other words, one group views American soldiers as an annoyance only so long as they are in Afghanistan. The other views the very existence of America and American (Western) culture as an inimical threat to Islam.

Further, these guys have been in prison for the past 14 years. If they rejoin, it will NOT be in a position of authority. It will be as grunts. 5 more grunts doesn't make a difference. To steal a quote from Troy, these aren't Taliban super ninjas.

It was a PoW exchange, and while I agree that it is right to question whether Obama broke the law (which he technically did) or whether the risk was worth it, to say that it unequivocally was not and that this is another scandal for Obama (not you specifically, right wing talking points are this sentences' target) is incorrect.
I think this point is pretty important. They're has-beens.

The Taliban of 2014 personnel wise is very different form the Taliban that ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001.

I remember reading somewhere about several ex-Taliban commanders who became alienated/disillusioned/killed(by Taliban) with the post-invasion Taliban.

So there's no certainty here - these 5 (or some of them) may end up playing a role in the Taliban again, they may not. And if they do end up playing a role - I'd question how big it is.


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06-06-2014, 06:58 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Finlandia WOAT View Post
There absolutely is a difference.

The Taliban want to establish a government in Afghanistan that is set up according to Islamic law- as in, their twisted basterd interpretation of it.

Al Quada feels that there is currently a global culture war going on- the West vs. Islam. As such, they view themselves as warriors of Islam, fighting the ever encroaching Western culture that threatens to consume and destroy Islamic identity.

In other words, one group views American soldiers as an annoyance only so long as they are in Afghanistan. The other views the very existence of America and American (Western) culture as an inimical threat to Islam.

Further, these guys have been in prison for the past 14 years. If they rejoin, it will NOT be in a position of authority. It will be as grunts. 5 more grunts doesn't make a difference. To steal a quote from Troy, these aren't Taliban super ninjas.

It was a PoW exchange, and while I agree that it is right to question whether Obama broke the law (which he technically did) or whether the risk was worth it, to say that it unequivocally was not and that this is another scandal for Obama (not you specifically, right wing talking points are this sentences' target) is incorrect.
The neat separation of Taliban and Al Qaeda is a fantasy that forms the backbone of the efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

After all you can't make peace with the fellows who took down the Towers but if we re-imagine the Taliban as some sort of legitimate nationalist movement (and ignore the massacres vs civilians or their blatant disregard for even the most basic human rights) separate from the foreign extremists who fought side-by-side with them for all those years, I suppose it's easier to arrive at a "negotiated settlement".

The reality of course is that the bulk of the Taliban strength was never found in Afghanistan but in Pakistan and that the Taliban never would have taken off if not for religiously-motivated funding from the Arab world and sections of Pakistani intelligence. Those efforts of course don't exist in isolation as religion is not national in outlook, religion is universal. The thousands of Arabs and Central Asians and the smaller numbers of Westerners who have fought in Afghanistan on the Taliban's side over the last 14+ years did not do so in isolation from the Taliban. The Taliban through the money from the Arabs, through the permanent mingling with foreign islamists were integrated into the global support network of radical Islam much like similar "local" groups in other countries.

Reducing the Taliban to a neat "Afghanistan-only" phenomenon is merely a convenient construct to come to terms with the failure to defeat them and to accept leaving the country with them certain to be a power player in the country.


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Old
06-06-2014, 07:02 PM
  #81
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Regardless, I'd rather an American face American justice rather than being left to the Taliban. Maybe things are different in Ireland.

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06-06-2014, 09:54 PM
  #82
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To me, this has nothing to do with left vs right. Either would put a positive spin (or at least try to) on a story that really leaves egg on the face of the nation.

Bush and Jessica Lynch was an absolute fiasco - Hollywood-esque. That story changed every week.

Obama's doing the same with Bergdahl - my contention is that he was lied to by the Army, and that he was already negotiating a release when he learned Bergdahl was a despicable person.

I'm just criticizing Obama on the people he surrounds himself with. I think he's handling this the way any President would.

Still, I think the Army should bear the brunt of the criticism by a) not redeploying Bergdahl when they learned he was upset b) lying about how he was captured and c) forcing Soldiers to sign non-disclosure agreements, which is not Army protocol

In 2007, I was a rifle platoon leader with 10th Mountain in South Baghdad when one of our units was ambushed and two Soldiers were kidnapped.

Not a single Soldier was asked or forced to sign a gag order, nor were the specifics of the attack kept secret. CNN had the whole story within days.

I personally led two straight weeks of daily 18-20 hour search operations, and my sister platoon lost two Soldiers in the search.

The Army sucks at lying. If I was a betting man, I'd say Bergdahl was given overnight guard duty at an Entry Control Point of his COP, and walked out on his own. Paktika is Haqqani territory but generally anti-Taliban.

He knew what he was doing.

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06-06-2014, 09:58 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
The neat separation of Taliban and Al Qaeda is a fantasy that forms the backbone of the efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

After all you can't make peace with the fellows who took down the Towers but if we re-imagine the Taliban as some sort of legitimate nationalist movement (and ignore the massacres vs civilians or their blatant disregard for even the most basic human rights) separate from the foreign extremists who fought side-by-side with them for all those years, I suppose it's easier to arrive at a "negotiated settlement".

The reality of course is that the bulk of the Taliban strength was never found in Afghanistan but in Pakistan and that the Taliban never would have taken off if not for religiously-motivated funding from the Arab world and sections of Pakistani intelligence. Those efforts of course don't exist in isolation as religion is not national in outlook, religion is universal. The thousands of Arabs and Central Asians and the smaller numbers of Westerners who have fought in Afghanistan on the Taliban's side over the last 14+ years did not do so in isolation from the Taliban. The Taliban through the money from the Arabs, through the permanent mingling with foreign islamists were integrated into the global support network of radical Islam much like similar "local" groups in other countries.
I agree with this; but it is kind of beside the point. The Taliban and al Quada want two totally different goals. Part of this means that Taliban fighters are unlikely to participate in global acts of terror on the scale that al Quada operatives do.

The Taliban want to establish an Islamic state. Al Quada wants to remove all Western influence from Islamic countries (not just the Middle East, but Africa and the Pacific as well).

If the U.S. is pulling out of Afghanistan, then giving the Taliban 5 past their prime has-beens who have spent the last decade being sleep deprived and tortured is kind of a moot point (besides the fact that I suspect that they will be borderline useless to the good ole' fight), since they are soon to be reduced to a minor annoyance that is not the U.S's direct problem.

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06-06-2014, 10:10 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Sharpshooter1 View Post
What evidence do you have that the Army is lying.

Would it have been political folly to leave a captured member of the US Forces to die in enemy hands?
It's folly when a 5-for-1 swap is essentially 6-for-None.

There is nothing to back up any theory that Bergdahl followed the Code of Conduct and resisted. There are, however, mounting pieces of evidence that Bergdahl could have very well aided and collaborated with the Taliban.

It's like John Walker Lindh. He ceased being John the innocent American when he took up arms against his country, thus becoming an enemy combatant.

Bergdahl was not captured. He voluntarily walked into enemy hands, renounced his loyalty to the Army and likely assisted the Taliban in their operations either through intelligence or on the ground.

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06-06-2014, 10:15 PM
  #85
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It's folly when a 5-for-1 swap is essentially 6-for-None.

There is nothing to back up any theory that Bergdahl followed the Code of Conduct and resisted. There are, however, mounting pieces of evidence that Bergdahl could have very well aided and collaborated with the Taliban.

It's like John Walker Lindh. He ceased being John the innocent American when he took up arms against his country, thus becoming an enemy combatant.

Bergdahl was not captured. He voluntarily walked into enemy hands, renounced his loyalty to the Army and likely assisted the Taliban in their operations either through intelligence or on the ground.
This doesn't address the "political folly" of not making the swap (in which case the same people who are currently riding his nuts would just do the same for "leaving a soldier behind" - exhibit A: Old Angry Man McCain). Obama gets criticized by the people who hate him no matter what he does. You could claim it's simply "folly" for him to make this swap, but "political folly" is irrelevant.

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06-06-2014, 10:20 PM
  #86
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The Taliban want their country back. Al Qaeda promised the Taliban that they would fight to make the rest of the world like Afghanistan, and the Taliban said sure, go right ahead.

The Taliban NEVER had global domination or subjugation as a pillar of their grand strategy. They just wanted their whole country to be run like the way they ran Kandahar in 2000.

Taliban reconciliation is very real and very discernible. They want the Americans gone so they can become gangsters again. Only this time, the Afghan Army - fledling or not - is still in control of the entire country and are already planning anti-Taliban operations at the division and brigade levels.

Mullah Omar wants a province in the south (Helmand or Kandahar) where he can run it like Gotti ran NYC in the 1980s. The Taliban that have returned from hiding in Pakistan want two things - control of the opium and Sharia law.

Karzai told them to go **** themselves on both, so half will give up their Taliban memberships while the rest live for 1-2 more years until they're schwacked by a Hellfire or an NDS night raid.

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06-06-2014, 10:29 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
This doesn't address the "political folly" of not making the swap (in which case the same people who are currently riding his nuts would just do the same for "leaving a soldier behind" - exhibit A: Old Angry Man McCain). Obama gets criticized by the people who hate him no matter what he does. You could claim it's simply "folly" for him to make this swap, but "political folly" is irrelevant.

It's a gamble. Obama hedged his bets that the American people will overlook the traitor/5 terrorists simple because he's home safe after 5 years of (voluntary) captivity.

They're not. It's only been a week and the White House is under attack worse than Benghazi, and thats before any formal committee has been appointed to reveal the facts.

Unless you know something I don't, I don't see ANYTHING positive come from this regardless of what the idiots on Fox say.

Play Devils advocate - say it's discovered that Bergdahl assisted the Taliban in operations and he is jailed for being a traitor,

How do you sell America on the "we gave a mommy and daddy their boy back" to the public when he's doing 60 to life in Leavenworth?

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06-06-2014, 10:38 PM
  #88
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People should realize that it's unacceptable to capture people in another country and hold them without trial for over a decade.
This is what blows my mind. Either try them or release them.

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06-06-2014, 10:44 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by GWOW View Post
It's a gamble. Obama hedged his bets that the American people will overlook the traitor/5 terrorists simple because he's home safe after 5 years of (voluntary) captivity.

They're not. It's only been a week and the White House is under attack worse than Benghazi, and thats before any formal committee has been appointed to reveal the facts.

Unless you know something I don't, I don't see ANYTHING positive come from this regardless of what the idiots on Fox say.

Play Devils advocate - say it's discovered that Bergdahl assisted the Taliban in operations and he is jailed for being a traitor,

How do you sell America on the "we gave a mommy and daddy their boy back" to the public when he's doing 60 to life in Leavenworth?


Well then I expect the same outcome, the 20 angriest percent of the country will lose their **** over this for the next year and a half, and everyone else will quickly move on with their lives because the Obama outrage committee has cried wolf far too many times.

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06-06-2014, 11:39 PM
  #90
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I guess I just don't give a **** about these Taliban guys because if we wanted to do something with them we would have. Otherwise it's just an ongoing expense for nothing. So we may as well use them for something positive, than an American won't be left to rot in a Taliban gulag. 10 years ago all of America could have agreed on that.
honestly, I don't think anyone gives a shit about them. Military intelligence certainly doesn't, since they've doubtless already pumped them for all the information they can provide. Obama doesn't, since he's willing to give them up. Republicans don't, because they're just the details of their newest attack on the administration. The Taliban itself probably doesn't, because they've been in prison for a decade and don't have much to offer besides recruitment potential, which I'm guessing the Taliban already has in spades.

this swap reminds me of that trade a few years ago where the Lightning gave Kolzig, a few scrubs, and a pick to the Leafs for a minor league guy. It seemed like a big deal because of the volume on one side but it turned into a giant pile of nothing for both teams.

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06-07-2014, 08:57 AM
  #91
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This is what blows my mind. Either try them or release them.
what blows my mind is that people don't get that we aren't acting like police here.

These people in Gitmo, right or wrong, are being treated like enemy combatants, not criminals under civil law.

calling for trials is silly. The only reason they were not shot on sight (which is what you do to the enemy in a war) is we wanted to get information from them. The reason Gitmo has become a gulag is we can't figure out what to do with them once we have water boarded all the info we can get out of them.

I would think by now we would have some "Escape from New York" type of implantable device that we could attach to some vital structure that would allow us to track them and if they act up to remotely detonate the device… then we could just let them go...

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06-07-2014, 09:04 AM
  #92
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what blows my mind is that people don't get that we aren't acting like police here.

These people in Gitmo, right or wrong, are being treated like enemy combatants, not criminals under civil law.

calling for trials is silly. The only reason they were not shot on sight (which is what you do to the enemy in a war) is we wanted to get information from them. The reason Gitmo has become a gulag is we can't figure out what to do with them once we have water boarded all the info we can get out of them.

I would think by now we would have some "Escape from New York" type of implantable device that we could attach to some vital structure that would allow us to track them and if they act up to remotely detonate the device… then we could just let them go...
Seriously, what? The only two options in war are to shoot on sight (regardless of whether they are trying to surrunder or not), or take them prisoner and hold them indefinitely without ever bringing them to any kind of trial? What kind of nonsense are you spouting?

Bush classified them as "enemy combatants" specifically so he wouldn't have to observe any kind of rules with regard to the treatment of POWs or civilian prisoners. A deliberate gray area that allowed him to do whatever the hell he wanted with them. That's reprehensible, and it's reprehensible that you're defending it.

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06-07-2014, 09:15 AM
  #93
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Seriously, what? The only two options in war are to shoot on sight (regardless of whether they are trying to surrunder or not), or take them prisoner and hold them indefinitely without ever bringing them to any kind of trial? What kind of nonsense are you spouting?

Bush classified them as "enemy combatants" specifically so he wouldn't have to observe any kind of rules with regard to the treatment of POWs or civilian prisoners. A deliberate gray area that allowed him to do whatever the hell he wanted with them. That's reprehensible, and it's reprehensible that you're defending it.
um, yeah, in war you either kill the enemy, or capture them and hold them as prisoner until the end of hostilities(or, in this case, as has been done in many other wars, until a prisoner swap is arranged)… you don't try rank and file soldiers captured in combat.. that would be stupid…

the way these people are being treated is effectively as spies… combatants who don't put on a uniform to declare themselves as military aren't afforded the protections of the Geneva convention… you may not like it, but thats the way it works...

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06-07-2014, 09:36 AM
  #94
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From what I understand he walked out of his unit and left a note saying how he hated being an american. Then apparently 6 soldiers died trying to find him. So if that is true he was never a POW but in fact a deserter which is a pretty big crime in the military. I am not a big fan of the military by any stretch of the imagination either. We'll probably never know the real story or why until Obama leaves.

In the mean time yay for more drone strikes helping us make peace in the middle east. Nothing like a thunderbolt from Zues blowing up wedding caravans and children to get more people to love us.

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06-07-2014, 09:39 AM
  #95
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um, yeah, in war you either kill the enemy, or capture them and hold them as prisoner until the end of hostilities(or, in this case, as has been done in many other wars, until a prisoner swap is arranged)… you don't try rank and file soldiers captured in combat.. that would be stupid…

the way these people are being treated is effectively as spies… combatants who don't put on a uniform to declare themselves as military aren't afforded the protections of the Geneva convention… you may not like it, but thats the way it works...
Okay, first, sorry to jump on you for that last post.

Second, I have to disagree with your last paragraph. Seems like kind of an arbitrary line... they weren't wearing uniforms therefore we can lock them away for decades without the protections of the Geneva Convention? They're the Taliban, they don't wear uniforms. The whole "enemy combatants" designation, plain and simple, was a way for Bush to weasel out of treating them the way a civilized country should treat its prisoners of war. WE invaded THEIR country*, they fought back (in the way they always fight, without uniforms), and then we threw them in a hole for 13 years and came up with the bull **** designation of "enemy combatants" so that we'd be able to torture them. Once again, reprehensible behavior and it has cost the U.S. immeasurable credibility throughout the world.




* Yes, many of them were probably horrible people.

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06-07-2014, 09:50 AM
  #96
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Okay, first, sorry to jump on you for that last post.

Second, I have to disagree with your last paragraph. Seems like kind of an arbitrary line... they weren't wearing uniforms therefore we can lock them away for decades without the protections of the Geneva Convention? They're the Taliban, they don't wear uniforms. The whole "enemy combatants" designation, plain and simple, was a way for Bush to weasel out of treating them the way a civilized country should treat its prisoners of war. WE invaded THEIR country*, they fought back (in the way they always fight, without uniforms), and then we threw them in a hole for 13 years and came up with the bull **** designation of "enemy combatants" so that we'd be able to torture them. Once again, reprehensible behavior and it has cost the U.S. immeasurable credibility throughout the world.




* Yes, many of them were probably horrible people.
It is definitely a grey area and a tough call, but that's the crux of the problem... in classic wars, you knew who your enemy was because they wore a uniform. It allowed you to try to limit/minimize civilian casualties. Which is why being a soldier wearing civilian clothes is an offense that is punishable by summary execution. The Taliban don't wear a uniform because they want to blend in with the civilian population, and that's just not right. So to me treating them like espionage agents is as close as we can get to choosing the right way to handle them

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06-07-2014, 10:03 AM
  #97
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I doubt that's the reason they don't wear uniforms. They don't wear uniforms because they are basically tribesmen and not an established military force. We invaded their country and then expected them to play by our rules (only to then make up our own rules once we'd captured them).

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06-07-2014, 10:13 AM
  #98
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I doubt that's the reason they don't wear uniforms. They don't wear uniforms because they are basically tribesmen and not an established military force. We invaded their country and then expected them to play by our rules (only to then make up our own rules once we'd captured them).
Well, if they didn't want their country invaded, they shouldn't have given AQ a place to set up shop. You are trying to make the Taliban sound like the Poles in WWII or something...they are in no way shape or form just bystanders caught in the middle of a batlle between others. If that was the case they could have stepped aside and let us root out AQ or better yet helped us find them and then we could be on our way..

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06-07-2014, 10:18 AM
  #99
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Well, if they didn't want their country invaded, they shouldn't have given AQ a place to set up shop. You are trying to make the Taliban sound like the Poles in WWII or something...they are in no way shape or form just bystanders caught in the middle of a batlle between others. If that was the case they could have stepped aside and let us root out AQ or better yet helped us find them and then we could be on our way..
No, they were horrible people and led a brutal regime, and they got invaded for good reason. But then it's disingenuous of us to then say "Oh look, you're not wearing any uniforms. Rules of the Geneva Convention don't apply to you, so we're going to make up our own rules." As I said before, the U.S. has lost so much credibility over this that it's alarming. Who takes the U.S. seriously any more when the U.S. scolds Putin, or to some extent even Assad?

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06-07-2014, 12:06 PM
  #100
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Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
No, they were horrible people and led a brutal regime, and they got invaded for good reason. But then it's disingenuous of us to then say "Oh look, you're not wearing any uniforms. Rules of the Geneva Convention don't apply to you, so we're going to make up our own rules." As I said before, the U.S. has lost so much credibility over this that it's alarming. Who takes the U.S. seriously any more when the U.S. scolds Putin, or to some extent even Assad?
Spot on.

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