[Reader-list] SAS soldier talks about training Afghan soldiers

Boud Roukema boud_roukema at camk.edu.pl
Wed Sep 26 17:58:42 IST 2001

On Wed, 26 Sep 2001, Menso Heus wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 25, 2001 at 02:55:51PM +0200, Boud Roukema wrote:
> > On Tue, 25 Sep 2001, Menso Heus wrote:
> > 
> > > SAS soldier speaks up on training the Afghans: apparently these guys 
> > ...
> > > The lucky ones died instantly. The unlucky ones were chopped to 
> > > pieces in the aftermath. In the Hindu Kush, don't expect to 
> > > appeal to the Geneva convention."
> > 
> > Well, it could be true (I don't see why Afghans should be less
> > competent at killing than people in other societies), but the
> > conclusion is ambiguous, and risks leading to absurd implications!
> The way I take the line about the Geneva convention is the soldiers
> view (could be any soldier) saying "This is all nice, all these 
> conventions, but when you're actually out there, don't think anybody
> actually cares about them."

We're supposed to be polite and not flame here. I'll try. After
all, the equivalent of the Geneva convention applies in mailing lists. ;-)

All you do here is provide an "artistic" method of proof by assertion.
Here's an example of the assertion that 

** Pink elephants live in the clouds. **

The way I take the line about the pink elephants is the pilot's view
(could be any pilot) saying "This is all nice, all these claims that
clouds are just made of water vapour, but when you're actually out
there facing the pink elephants, don't think anybody actually cares
about these water vapour theories."


> Last night I zapped across Turner Classics Movie Channel (tv) where
> I just happened to hear a quote that I think is appropriate. It was 

Well, I said in my previous post that I consider Hollywood/Bollywood
to be a bad place to learn about real life or practical ethics. It's
fiction! It's also full of necessary illusions for the manufacturing
of consent:


Are you trying to manufacture our consent for human rights violations?

> an old war movie and one soldier was explaining to, what seemed to 
> be a prisoner,  about the Geneva convention. 
> Prisoner: "I don't understand this convention thing"
> Soldier: "It is sort of a gentleman agreement"

Prisoner (murder suspect): I don't understand this law-against-murder thing.
Police officer: It is sort of a gentleman agreement.

> Prisoner shrugs, then: "If we'd all be gentlemen there'd be no war." 
Prisoner shrugs, then: "If we'd all be gentlemen there'd be no murder." 

What can we conclude from this? That this law-against-murder thing is
silly, and that lynch mob revenge (or "hero revenge") against
suspected murderers is OK?

Are lynch mobs really better than having policemen arrest suspects
within some legal framework, with prisoners having the right to visits
by a doctor and lawyer of their choosing, a right to visits by family,
and the right to a fair trial according to international legal norms?

OK, as I said, Hollywood/Bollywood says that revenge murder by "good guys"
against "bad guys" is much better than the legal system. But are you
seriously saying that you agree with this?

Of course we should combat the root causes of war and murder, but in
the short term, legal frameworks are a necessary way to limit the
cycle of violence. Even anarchists agree that anarchism is "no rulers,
not no rules".

And the fact is that it's usually grass-roots groups that spend decades
struggling for laws which limit cycles of violence, not just "gentlemen".

It's often the "gentlemen" that start the wars. It's the people at the
bottom - plus a tiny minority of "gentlemen" from the coordinator
class - who insisted on the Geneva conventions.

Are you aware how horrible war is? Do you really want to make the
US media's desire for war into reality? Do you want this war to be
as horrible as possible? Do you really want Hollywood/Bollywood to
be the motivation for stepping up the cycle of violence in 
Central/West/South Asia and having it spread through the region?
Do you really want an islamic fundamentalist revolution in Pakistan?
Do you really want an islamic fundamentalist nuclear power?

World-wide pressure *against* the USA war (whether the war is against
Afghanistan, Florida, or Israel, all countries/states suspected of
harbouring the WTC bombers' supporters) is strong and a very big
anti-war movement is building up - in fact, the anti-global-capitalism
movement is taking on the anti-terrorism/anti-war theme as a major


[Since some members want full text, not just web references, I'm
posting this in the following message as "Albert: peace prospects".]

And, of course:

Better join the movement, not oppose it!

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