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Forums > Social Discussion > The difference between American war attitude and the British

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BEZERKER
BEZERKER

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Member Since: 29th Apr 2001
Total posts: 237
Posted:The British speech (Lt.Col Tim Collins)

"If you are ferocious in battle, remember to be magnanimous in victory. We go to liberate, not to conquer. We are entering Iraq to free a people, and the only flag that will be flown in that ancient land is their own.

Don't treat them as refugees, for they are in their own country. If there are casualties of war, then remember, when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day. Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly and mark their graves. You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest, for your deeds will follow you down history. Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birth of Abraham. Tread lightly there."


The US speech (Vice Admiral Timothy Keating)

"When the president says 'Go', look out - it's Hammer time" (followed by "We Will Rock You" at high volume)


Made me laugh (and cry).


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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:personal opinion, from what I have seen from live reporting on different news channels and from how soldiers have behaved. I do not know anyone in the US military, but from what I have seen, it doesn't bode well...
how many british soldiers do you know ray?

This post is slightly pointless in that it is about the stereotypical attitude, just as there are masses of soldiers, so there will be masses of exceptions...

The US government claims that they are liberating Iraq and bringing it a western style democracy... presumably that involves improving the conditions for everyone, even prisoners, bringing life up to US standards... treating Iraqi prisoners in the same way as they would treat prisoners in the US should be a start...


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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:quote: This post is slightly pointless in that it is about the stereotypical attitude, just as there are masses of soldiers, so there will be masses of exceptions...
In one of my Sociology studies we discussed racism and prejudice at length, and some interesting facts came out.

To one who is already biased against a group, any member of that group who doesn't fit their preconceived notions is labeled as "an exception to the rule." Essentially, KoB, it feels like you're saying that while some - by some I mean a small minority - of the US soldiers are actually humane and respectful, the majority are meat-headed zealous killing machines.

You yourself say "stereotypical" - a stereotype is defined as a preconceived notion about a group, where the prejudiced thinker refuses to accept that the group can manifest any qualities outside of that preconception (in layman's terms, anyone within that group will be exactly like any other member of that group, and that way is how you see them).

This sort of thing is what I have a problem with in these threads - someone will post one example (I hesitate to use the word "fact" because in several cases here they've been proven incorrect or only opinions presented as fact) and it will polarize their supporters into a frenzy of agreement and vehement bashing of the opposing viewpoint. I've seen it on both sides, not targeting any specific group here.

I refuse to make up my mind based on an example of ONE soldier from each team, whose *selection* was almost certainly based on the opinion of the writer in order to validate his own beliefs.


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poiaholic22
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Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 531
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Raymund P.:

Poiaholic, the whole domineer of your post suggested an "In your face" attitude. I mean it was like you were trying to say that because of these 3 or 4 individuals actions I was lying when I said that the US Military is tough morals.

So yes I did take offence to it.

Ohh and I take it I am lying when I say that the first link/article that you posted said

quote: One picture showed three naked men in the park with soldiers walking behind them. The soldiers were in a shaded area and it was not possible to clearly see their uniforms.

in the third paragraph? Ray what can I say that will make you understand that my position is neutral and that I am not here to insult, disrespect or even try to piss you off.Maybe the past says otherwise but I never enter this board with a mentality of "who can I piss off today?".

Anyhoo, your demeanor comes across as the men and women of the armed forces do no wrong.I posted those links as a way of saying no one person or group is perfect.We all have bad apples.

I also never said you were lying I simply pointed out that chronologically the Norwegian report came out first and according to Amnesty International's translation those soldiers were identified as being US soldiers.

Also if this all goes back to the pushing your buttons theory, you're gonna have to try a lot harder.


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Poiaholic, the men and women of the US Armed Forces do wrong from time to time. What can I say, we are human.

I dont see you posting about all the drug users in the world, I mean it is agaist the law in some places. Nobody seems to care, but when a Soldier messes up or does something questionable, the whole world goes crazy.


My word, talk about holding double standerds!!


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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poiaholic22
member

Member Since: 22nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 531
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Raymund P.:

Poiaholic, the men and women of the US Armed Forces do wrong from time to time. What can I say, we are human.Alas we agree.

I'm sure if you think back to the economics of pot thread you'd remember I chimed in quite regularly.This wasn't about that.If you want to talk about drug users then feel free to start a new topic and I will gladly share my feelings and thoughts about drug abuse.


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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:Hehehe, Dio my friend, i agree with you entirely. Psychology student speaking.
Guess what my last study was on- stereotypes!
from what i have studied in depth, stereotypes can be vastly inaccurate, but also can be representatve of the majority (in a US more people voted for Gore, but Bush still got elected type way). Another thing is that stereotypes are there (and do not necessarily contain prejudice), but we dont have to chose them by any means unless under a lot of pressure... we are sufficiently capable to step back and re-asses the situation if we want to...
However once we have an opinion and are unwilling to change it, we will overlook and under-rate the importance of facts. And that is one of the reasons why I like arguing in these forums- to keep meself on me toes (or make sure others do). It is similar to Ray's pressing buttons theory (ask ray) but not quite as meddlesome!


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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
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Posted:Touche, KoB

One thing that might be nice to clarify though - there is a difference between generalizing and stereotyping.

Generalization occurs when you say "X group has a high percentage of X quality." It's based in facts and can be subject to change if you find evidence to the contrary.

Stereotyping occurs when those qualities are ascribed to group X without question. When you automatically expect someone to fit a particular persuasion because of the group they belong to. Judging a book by its cover, if you will.

It would be one thing to say "American soldiers demonstrate a high percentage of gung-ho attitudes." It's quite another to say "American soldiers are gung-ho."

Calling this "The American/British War Attitude" is a fallacy for that very reason.

I happily await your response


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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Here's what I saw: I saw that the American leadership was positively gleeful about the war. Adm. Keating's remarks were horribly inappropriate, but they represent the attitude that I saw quite well. Between the "deck of cards" and the joking about Saddam's "Love Shack" and the infamous quote by one U.S. Soldier in the New York Times ("We've had a good day. We killed a lot of people."), it bespeaks sheer glee. It turned my stomach because it was the same sort of enjoyment that I see maladjusted children get out of torturing insects.

War is a solemn business! You're not supposed to be happy to go to war. It's supposed to be a last resort. The victors are supposed to be humble. They aren't supposed to strut and swagger like the people in Washington are doing right now.

I can't speak to the British leadership's attitude because it was overpowered by the bluster of our own leaders here, but I hope they were more reserved about this than our leaders.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:Very true Dio,
this is where we get into philosophical territory... all cats have four legs so is something that has four legs always a cat?

I think stereotyping is a bit more implicit than that, it is more like "x person belongs to this group so X person is most likely to be..." rather than "x person belongs to this group so they are..."
Generalising and stereotyping are very similar animals, stereotyping is ascribing the most likely scenario basing itself on the most salient aspects of a group's behaviour whereas generalising is a wider variant basing itself on a majority behaviour, thus the general and the stereotype can be different from each other.


I agree, perhaps the name of this topic should be changed to the "most openly expressed and publicised difference in the attitudes expressed by the americans and the british"...


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:WTF, you sit here and talk about things like you dont do them?!?!


You steriotype military members, without any thought of who they are.

You are generalising the leaders because you dont know them, but you think you do because you dont like what one person says.


Damn get the stick out of your ass and climb down from your sky high horse and step into the real world.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:who got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

Ray, there is no way in hell we could ever get to know any leader any better if it is not from what they say and what we read about them.
As for the military, it is their acts that show them up. It is by the most salient of their behaviours that they will be judged (see "tread lightly speech" & you know they know that, or at least the british soldiers do...). I'm sure a lot of them (quite possibly the vast majority) have wives/husbands and children at home and are very nice people, or maybe they're blood sucking vampires, I wouldn't know because I dont know all of them, do you? (if ya do you must get around a hell of a lot...!) thus anything we say is generalising and quite often stereotyping and I think you'll find you also do it quite often yourself...

We all generalise, we all stereotype, it is in our nature as human beings. Hell, its even in the nature of this post!

I think you must have got your wires crossed somewhere. Dio&I moved onto discussing stereotypes and generalising from an abstract point of view. where did you see me write that I didn't ever generalise or stereotype? I do, but try not to.

in fact to quote me earlier on...
quote: once we have an opinion and are unwilling to change it, we will overlook and under-rate the importance of facts. And that is one of the reasons why I like arguing in these forums- to keep meself on me toes (or make sure others do) giddy up, that stick is starting to feel good! (hmmm, maybe not)


Ben

Oh, and I'm sure Mr Bush is a very nice person, really, you just have to get to know him better... And I'm sure he cares a lot about the Iraqi people too.

dio- looking back on my posts, you're right, perhaps the "meat-headed zealous killing machines" are the vast minority, but for many they are effectively the "stereotypical US soldier" because they seem to make the most noise and get the most publicity (take the "possible" US soldiers who stripped the Iraqi looters... take the soldiers who shot that family at a control post). In terms of behaviour, the negative stands out the most and so far, it might just be chance, but I haven't read of any out-of-order behaviour on the British side...


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Kittytheravequeen
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Location: down the bottom of the garden,...
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Total posts: 285
Posted:oh lighten up ray it was only a bit of a joke, im sure no one ment to offend u, but by arguing bout it so much your making it into this huge issue which it isnt

i'll draw you a picture ill draw it with a twist ill draw it with a razorblade ill draw it on my wrist and if i do it right a red fountain will appear washing away my sorrow washing away my fear

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Insatiable fire-faerie (Angie)
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Location: Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland,U.K
Member Since: 30th Sep 2001
Total posts: 150
Posted:Phew Some big egos in here,

I think im going to find me a nice quiet place to go and chill out, after reading that lot!!!


"You've got red on you!" Shaun of the Dead

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Kittytheravequeen
member
Location: down the bottom of the garden,...
Member Since: 8th Oct 2002
Total posts: 285
Posted:can i come with you??!

i'll draw you a picture ill draw it with a twist ill draw it with a razorblade ill draw it on my wrist and if i do it right a red fountain will appear washing away my sorrow washing away my fear

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bluecat
bluecat

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Posted:slightly off topic here...

and apologies ray if this seems to be anti-you again... just that noone else seems to be taking that particular side of things. so don't take offence at what is just a POV


in 2000 when george bush was given power i decided not to visit the u.s. during his tenure because i could not reconcile myself to the fact that an entire nation of supposedly freedom-loving people could accept what to me seemed a rigged election result(please do not argue this point unless you feel it reallyreally necessary, i have done quite a lot of research into the election and have a hefty folder on it). none of the u.s.' actions with regards to home and foreign issues have made me change my mind, least of all this war.

my point is this: [QUOTE] ]You never blindly follow an order, especially if it is wrong. The idea of blindly following an order is a terrible steriotype. A broad generalisation of what it takes to be in the military. [/QUOTE


you are missing one point. the one order you have blindly followed is the decision to go to war. i understand you have a choice in that you can leave the military if you disagree with the decisions taken by your CIC (no military should be foolish enough to conscript anymore) but i question how much time you and our colleagues spent on this decision. If so much time is spent teaching moral values in your training then i also question that training if no more than a few of your company left when war was declared.

to tie this in with my first(and so far seemingly irrelevant) point; how can a decision taken by an undemocratically elected government be the will of your people? how can it be morally right? and by this i do not mean how can the decision be right, but how can it be right to fight for this government?

i admit i have not read every war topic(no broadband) so may have missed this elsewhere but that does not mean it is irrelevant to this one.

yours peacefully(and to keep to topic, i agree the british quote is much more appropriate and feel if the entire war had been fought with this ethos there would be a much happier iraqi people today, not a population crying out for the expulsion if the coalition 'invaders')


Rob


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:BlueCat, you're kinda falling into the groove that takes all the credibility away from those who were against this war - using your personal greivances against the validity of the presidential election as a basis for anti-war argument.

Some stuff to keep in mind - the election was close, and majority may have voted for Gore nationwide but the candidates went into the election knowing we operated on an electoral system. Then, after Bush won the districts in Florida, people began b****ing about how the voting system was "hard ot understand," or "racially biased" because a certain county had a high minority population that didn't understand the way a punch card works. Throw an angry Jesse Jackson into the mix (that guy takes like 30 seconds TOPS to reach a news camera whenever he feels he can make a point) and you've got a volatile situation. After recounting, and more recounting, debates on whether a dent or a scratch could be used to determine the "true will" of the voter, and a lot of controversy, Bush did in fact win.

I actually think Bush deserved to win simply because of the incredibly unethical behavior exhibited by Gore voters and their so-called "Nader Traders," a process that is absolutely shady and amounts to nothing more than rigging the election. Those people disgust me.

Anyway, back on original point - saying the war (or more specifically, the soldiers' lack of disobedience) was wrong because you don't think Bush is a valid president really detracts from the message you're trying to convey. The exact same mistake was made by Michael Moore at the Academy Awards when he decided to air all his dirty laundry on stage instead of just sticking to the message.

We elected him, for better or worse, like it or not. That's over and done with. People seemed pretty happy with him during the Afghanistan action, if I recall correctly...


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Okay... let me break things down so that everybodey can understand.


The military has what is called a chain of command.


In this particuler chain of command I am very very very very very low on it.

The decisions I make on a day to day basis are rather unimportant in the grand scheme.

The call is made to go to war, I have nothing to do with that call.

Nobody sends me a coded message saying "LCpl Berry, do you want to go to war?"

I have followed no order to go to war. Hell I got sent to Guam when Sep 11 happend, and I have been babysitting the N Koreans since the war in Iraq started.


So please tell me again that I am blindly following an order to go to war.

Sorry your barking up the wrong tree.

(Edit, my time ran out hehe)

Okay, no you cant leave the military just because you disagree with the order to go to war. You can however request to be sent to a unit that will not be going to combat. IE training, special duties yadda yadda yadda.

Bush was elected, case and point. It doesnt matter who agrees with it or doesnt, he was elected. Thus meaning the MAJORITY of the people, whatever circle they may be, chose him.

The US is not a true Democracy, in a true democracy every single choice made by the government would be actually made by the people, because a sencess or vote would be taken. This does not happen in any country ergo no country is a true democracy.

The US populous chooses who they best think will do what they wish.

Is this alwasy the case, no it isnt.


BTW Mark Moore is a F%^&* twit and yes I have read
his book Stupid White Men, though I agree with some of his ideas I am severly fouled by what he did that the Awards. To blame servicemembers for the choice of the government is bull shit. What I would give to put his ass on the front lines and watch him piss his pants when rounds started comming in.

KOB, you dont need to know everyone, but if you knew even a handfull then I could see you justifying your steriotypical views.

I do alot of stereotyping, I do, but you wont see me acting as if I dont.

I do know military members from atleast 4 different countries. So I do get around a bit.

The soldiers that killed the family because the refused to stop at the check point? Ya that soldier I give high praise too. He did is F-in job people!

Just a few days prior to that a guy drove a car into a check point and blew the hole thing up!

Personally I would have killed the lot of em too if I was in the same situation. Kill or be killed. The signs were clearly written and they didnt heed. Warnings were given but not heeded, thus they paid dearly for their actions.

Trust me the British soldiers do things, but who makes a better scapegoat? Everybody there is human, everybody there makes mistakes and everybody there does things wrong. It is impossible to be human otherwise.


I am sure that alot of the US military members have families as well... but like I said before, who makes the better scapegoat?


Yes kitty it is all a big joke. I feel attacked and then it becomes a joke. For a year now I have been attacked. My government attacked, by both inside and out. So how should I react to your joke? Happy and giddy that your expressing the right that my friends have died to grant?
(And yes I do have friends that I wont see again
welcome to life) I know your not American but I assume that you have similer freedoms of speech. Why dont you walk up to Buckingham Palace (sp) and start throwing eggs during the changing of the guard? I am sure they will think it one big joke too!


Now that I have said my little rant I am sure you all will want to say that he is nothing but a war mongering egotistical prick. Well prick I may be but as for the rest I am not. I feel war is a nessisary evil and my ego never came into things. Pride in oneself and ones country have nothing to do with ego.

[ 14. May 2003, 17:34: Message edited by: Raymund P. ]


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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King Of Bongo
King Of Bongo

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Posted:Dear ray, where did anyone say you were a p###k?
I for one, do not consider you so, misguided yes( ).

You seem to have said your little bit and I respect you for that.

However I would like to say that you still missed my point entirely. Please re-read the messages between dio&I and you will see that we are both talking about things from a much broader perspective than just "I do this", it is from a far more general point of view. I'm sorry if you did not get this!

Bush was elected, maybe other people shouldn't be so apathetic next time elections come around.

Ray, please quit talking about anyone non-military as a second rate citizen- putting michael moore (not mark) on the front line would be a particularly stupid thing to do and if the idea of it seems funny to you and is your one consolation then go ahead- you're criticism of kitty is very hypocritical. Praising someone for having killed a bunch of innocent civilians is even more despicable. It was a tragedy and the guy should not get a pat on the back for it. You're opinions don't bode well for me if they are representative of the US military in any way (which of course they are in a small way). Show some respect instead of implying they deserved to die.

PS In the same petty and bickering nature as your criticism of my discussion about stereotyping: quote: Everybody there is human, everybody there makes mistakes and everybody there does things wrong. It is impossible to be human otherwise. - you sit there and act like you aren't one...!


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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)
Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Posted:Did I say Mark?? Opps, I know a Mark Moore, he is actually a good guy, my bust *laughs at his own stupidity*

Look nobody is second rate or second class.

How was what I said to Kitty hypocritical? All I said was that I didnt take it as a joke and I bet if she tried a "joke" on the wrong peopel they would be offended as well.

(damn I need to start using spell checkers and what not, lesson #1 dont try to type while angry, you will always screw up hahah)

I do honestly hope that people are wiser when they come to vote, hell I hope more people do vote.

Those civilians were not innocent, they knew that they were doing things wrong and they paid the price. I never said what he did was good, I just said that he did his job and I would have done the same. In a world where its you or me, I'll take me. What if that family had a bomb in their car? Tell me that.

I make mistakes hehe I have made a few that could have cost me dearly, but you know, you learn and move on.

We all make mistakes, I am no hipocryte to say that.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:Article on UK Soldiers

All I want to say by this is: It happens on both sides. We are all capable of the same atrocities, as well as the same dignities. War is going to be hell no matter who is involved in it.


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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Narr
Narr

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Posted:hey dio i was just gonna post info on that story but you beat me to it. intersesting that you chose "The Sun" tabloid to extract the article from!?!

she who sees from up high smiles

Patrick badger king: *they better hope there's never a jihad on stupidity*

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Dio
Dio

HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:Caught that did ya?

Figured I'd offer an equally-credible counterstory to the "US troops parade Iraqis around naked" controversy.


What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

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