View Full Version : Why do we charge soldiers with cowardice?
December 30th, 2003, 12:23 PM
This article (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=519&e=1&u=/ap/20031230/ap_on_re_us/iraq_cowardice_charge_1) really got me mad...since when was cowardice punishable by death? I mean, if I saw a man ripped in half by gun fire, I think I would want to go home, too! Some country we live in, when wanting to go home is a criminal offense.
December 30th, 2003, 12:57 PM
yeah a penalty would be fucked up but that guy is a pussy.....his job is to deal with that stuff.
December 30th, 2003, 01:09 PM
come on, man...have you ever stood in front of a man and watched his head blown to bits for no reason? I sure haven't. Oh sure, we see unrealistic crap like that in movies and video games, but I highly doubt it compares to the real thing. We cannot sit and judge these soldiers who observe terrble bloody warfare while we sit on our arses and call them cowards. It's ridiculous.
December 30th, 2003, 01:25 PM
OK, I have to rant on this one. The United States has a "professional" military, meaning that ALL branches are voluntary. You choose to go in and you choose what job you want to do. If you are opposed to seeing what happens in war don't enlist. And if you do enlist then you do NOT go into the Special Forces as an interrogator; go in as a cook or pencil pusher. It is a war in Iraq and people, soldiers and innocents, die sometimes horrifically. If someone cannot take that and refuses to do anything then they put at risk the lives of many other people.
There are probably 20+ pages to this story that you did not read about because someone at Yahoo news only wants to post what THEY think is relevant. Mainly that is what's wrong with the media today only one side to the story not the other two sides. I read that story and I want to know what the rest of the story is before I make judgment. I'm pissed at Yahoo for not putting the whole scenario online so you can see the whole picture.
And, before it is asked YES I was in the military. I saw people die and being in a combat situation is NOT cool regardless of what your little Xbox, PS2 or movies tell you. You get scared but you use that fear and turn it into energy to keep yourself and your friends that are counting on you alive. All that echoed in my head when I was getting shot at was my father’s voice before I left “If you die over there, I’ll KILL you!”
Cowardice and desertion have been a charge punishable by death since the Roman army and before. So it’s not just the USA. And the answer to your other question is Yeah it is some country we live in, if it wasn’t millions of people everyday wouldn’t try every means necessary to get here. But that is a rant for another day.
December 30th, 2003, 02:25 PM
yeah, Yahoo posts the most idiotic stories sometimes...one time their top story was 'Gwyneth Paltrow is going to have a baby'...come ON...
December 30th, 2003, 02:26 PM
ronin is right......that guy decided his own path
December 31st, 2003, 01:17 AM
Thinking you can handle the responsibilities and graphic scenes of war are a lot different then actually handling and seeing them. Even seeing pictures of dead people are a lot different then seeing them in real life. And for the goverment to punish someone by death is just wrong. I didn't think we were as barbaric as that. Just to further my point: If you got a job to do some concept work and they asked you to do a painting. Well, you don't know how to paint. So do they a) Gas to you death, or b) fire your sorry ass? (b) is the correct answer. So, if having a goverment job is just like any other job then why aren't the punishments the same? I thought the goverment wasn't over the people? I thought the goverment wasn't "over" the common people. I bet the guy that is accusing "cowardice" couldn't handle seeing a mangled corpse that was ripped to kibbles and bits by a M16.
December 31st, 2003, 02:02 AM
Seriously... this guy was almost killed for getting traumatised... i would have hope things would have changed since ww2, but it appears it hasn't. The world has gotten more PC and we expect more things from or governments, but can't you remember russia when things like this happened? They would just instantly kill their own men who backed down. Germany would throw their traitors in with the jews in the concentration camps.... I dunno. I believe america was pretty much the same with this type of stuff before ww2... but as a country we are asking "why" more often. We have access to media reports hours after things happen.
I personally think he shouldn't be taken out of the military, but given a new duty away from the lines. If he is 32 years i'm sure he is pretty well learned in his field and could serve as some type of instructor or whatnot.
December 31st, 2003, 08:50 PM
On the other hand, do you want an army full of people who will run away in battle?
January 1st, 2004, 04:55 PM
but can't you remember russia when things like this happened? They would just instantly kill their own men who backed down. Germany would throw their traitors in with the jews in the concentration camps....
Davi's right, it's been goin' on a long time. "Enemy at the Gates" recreated a quite sobering scene of Germans mowing down hundreds of their own men that were running from (what basically was ) a suicide run.
It seems unfair, but forces have been punishing their 'yellow-bellies' long long before USA or Russia ever existed... maybe they know something I dont? :confused:
Hell, 14,000 years ago punishment rituals were exacted on tribesmen who ran from a good mammoth hunt.
January 2nd, 2004, 03:15 AM
mlessard, if you can create a device that is capable of judging a soldier's character and forseeing their cowardice I think the militaries of the universe would reward you greatly.
My argument is this:
The tribesman that runs from a hunt has thwarted the strategy, leaving a Mammoth capable of crushing the remaining 4 hunters.
Today stratagies can still be dependent down to a single person.
I'm not one to judge punishement, nor do I want to try.
But what happens when you're working on a HUGE project and you back out at 'crunch-time' without a notice? You become blacklisted because people can't rely on you.
January 2nd, 2004, 03:24 AM
But until that time, us civilians have to keep our noses out of government affairs, yo ;)
We can't really tell the government not to do such things as this, because it would basically go against what they have set forth from history. If you think about it, anyone who goes to the military can recieve valuable information, an education, housing and food for years, and money. When your country calls upon a soldier, they expect them to FIGHT or do whatever else job. If they don't, think of all that wasted time, energy, etc, going into that soldier to fight. That's just ridiculous and quite stupid to allow them to do that, basically stealing from the government.
Also RONIN brings a good point up that the army is something you enlist for.
(EDIT: But isn't it in times of that you can get drafted..? Sorry, I'm too young, and I have missed out on me being drafted or my family.:EDIT)
January 2nd, 2004, 03:29 PM
Enemy At The Gates and the Stalingrad portion of Call Of Duty were rather horrendous stretches of the truth. Read books on the subject, and they suddenly become almost offensive.
"All's Quiet On The Eastern Front" was fairly accurate. But Stalingrad wasn't a "charge or we shoot you" massacre. It was just a drawn out battle that was reinforced by both sides, perpetuating the sort of combat that was later called a meat grinder.
Give the Russians some credit.
January 2nd, 2004, 05:58 PM
Vaarok, do you mean "All Quiet on the Western Front" or eastern? I enjoyed the west side version, is there an opposite to it? :)
January 3rd, 2004, 04:08 PM
Yeah, I read that article, or a similar one. It only said that he had a "panic attack". That can be quite a number of things, from just running away to going temporarily insane. I want to know what he actually did.
Either way, This offence has been punishable by death for a long time and should still be in some cases. Think of a soldier as a machine. You set him up for a task and if he breaks down and cannot perform that task, which happens to be dependant on all members involved, then he is useless. If this puts all other members into immediate danger? If it was a robot you would pick it up, curse profusely, smash it in frustration and throw it away. Human life has more value than that, but there is a limit to the value.
But it all depends on what the "panic attack" was. He didn't get the death sentence, but it is there. If somebody does something totally cowardly, endangers all members, shoots another soldier in his panic (it could happen), then doesn't that deserve a strict punishment?
January 3rd, 2004, 04:09 PM
Oh, and he shouldn't be used as an instructor either. Imagine going to teach some recruits and knowing that they think they're being trained by "the chickenshit".
Then again that could be his punishment.
January 5th, 2004, 07:52 PM
let's keep in mind here that this guy didn't just join the special forces thinking "heehee this'll be cool". He was a veteran of 5 years the article said, and had a stella record. the fact that they may well dishonourably discharge him with that sort of service record for a panic attack seems kinda... futile?
January 7th, 2004, 08:17 PM
If you join any military branch - 'hello' - you may have a very serious chance of going - excuse me - ordered by the Commander In Chief to go into battle , reguardless if you know the reasons why or not - fact is you were ordered to do so . And if you show you cannot perform your duties as seen fit you will be dealt with accordingly . Remember - the military is a completely different way of living & breathing than us civilians do .
Death & war , as harsh and morbid as it is , especially amist the rumble of pink mist & flesh debries scattered before your eyes is a part of being a soilder . They drill this over & over in boot camp - reguardless of why you are there - its' either them or you . This soilder saw a shreaded body - yes its' tragic , yes its' horrific but say he was in charge of platoon going into battle , and he freaks - he not only jepordize himself but the men ( and women ) he is directing . From giving away a locked position or screwing up an ambush ...etc.
Especially in Special Forces , for someone to wig out - being the human thing to do - no one likes to see or be able to handle a bullet ridden body - but in the military you are not a 'person' you are a soilder sworn by honor & code that has been the back bone for hundreds of years . It runs deeper than flesh & blood - it is a spiritual drive of excellence .
I am not saying I am for or against the troubles that scroun this weary planet - just offering a little more indepth explaination as to why the military operates / deals with situations as they do . However we civilians feel - remember there are two sides to every story .