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#217630 - 03/24/12 01:18 AM Responsibility
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
The army is, yet again, ready to sacrifice one of their enlisted to cover up their awesome incompetence. Evidently, all the information is yet to be revealed and will undoubtedly take several years. A decorated staff sergeant went bonkers and killed a bunch of people, in a village; man, woman and child. The man who did the deed doesn't remember doing it. this is a man who had a physical brain injury for which he was not given treatment, not given a promised increase in grade along with some other problems. He has done 4 tours - and half his foot shot off. He was told he would not do another tour and then was There is more but that pretty much covers it.

I remember when they threw the enlisted torturers to the wolves. Not one single officer, independent contractor, etc was EVER charged. They didn't even bother to claim they were not under orders, Only that they followed said orders. In this case we have a man with brain damage (not right), was lied to, etc. and they just might kill him. I served. I personally watched the jerks in charge sacrifice kids to their ego time after time. I personally watched them screw up, time after time, and then blame the enlisted. I am sure its going to happen again. My problem is that, eventually, they will lose their enlisted's loyalty and then we will see REALLY problems! We now claim to have the best military money can buy (professional). I have watched the generals give testimony and I would not buy a car from a one of them! I have listened to their crap about Afghanistan, for over 10 years, and do not believe a word of it.

This is a personal observation. I am sure many disagree. I would simply point out that the only real victory this nation has had, since WW2, was an island in the Caribbean under Reagan. Constant warfare, for over 50 years and that's what we have to show for all that blood and treasure. Should cause even true believers to have a little question?

My title was "responsibility". My question is when is our military stop blaming everything on their enlisted and start actually making the idiots in charge responsible for the results of their actions. I am, incidentally, not talking about a bad entry in their jacket but prison time, just like the enlisted that follow their orders, or the results of really bad decisions that costs lives. We live in a strange world. We have decided to let the criminals who took down our entire economy skate, we have a military that consistently lets their officer class skate. however, the righteous of this nation seem terribly overwrought about them dangerous 'lawbreakers' (ALL immigrants, teenagers with marijuana seeds, queers, the brain damaged, enlisted that follow orders - you know) Just a thought.......

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#217636 - 03/24/12 04:41 AM Re: Responsibility [Re: jgw]
Scoutgal Offline
Administrator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 26169
Loc: CA USA
I am guessing that the rules have changed about the figurative Captain being ultimately responsible for his ship and crew. rolleyes It's all CYA and Pass the Buck, nowadays.
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#217653 - 03/24/12 10:40 AM Re: Responsibility [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 12049
I could quibble about the details, but I agree with the thrust of your commentary, jgw. Abu Ghraib has never sat well with me, but the response was more endemic within the Bush administration. The tone was set at the top, and sloshed down through the ranks, and we all know where (and on whom) that lands. I was hopeful that the tone and response had changed after the Walter Reed debacle - and there senior leaders did fall, and the system has changed (more than most people realize). But, I have to concede, there is responsibility to be spread, and the culture of passing the buck remains - not particularly in the military, but in the military as an element of the larger society. Indeed, the entire economic crisis of the last decade is the result of all of the actors avoiding responsibility for their contributions. I could argue it goes back to Nixon, and it was certainly writ large in Reagan's time, but it is even more pervasive than that. I'm not sure what the solution is, because we'll certainly see lots of blaming others, but I think we can all recognize the truth of the root problem.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#217658 - 03/24/12 11:17 AM Re: Responsibility [Re: NW Ponderer]
Phil Hoskins Offline
Administrator
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Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 20687
Loc: West Hollywood, CA
Odd that all the railing against bureaucracy and government never targets the biggest one of all -- the military.

Human nature does not get suspended when one puts on a uniform. It may get regulated better than in the general population, but eventually humans at all levels of the structure will be humans.

The only way to guarantee against this kind of incident and the larger one of misplaced blame and responsibility is to reduce the size and use of the military. That, somehow, never is an option.
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#217663 - 03/24/12 11:33 AM Re: Responsibility [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 36340
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
The only way to guarantee against this kind of incident and the larger one of misplaced blame and responsibility is to reduce the size and use of the military. That, somehow, never is an option.

I think a better way to prevent these types of incidences is to recognize the emotional toll having such a job has on individuals and be proactive in helping the employee remain as normal as possible - even if it means cutting their career short for the greater good of the whole.
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#217678 - 03/24/12 01:00 PM Re: Responsibility [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 12049
I think we are focusing in the wrong direction. Only a poor craftsman blames his tools for poor performance. We have developed the habit of blaming others for the poor performance of our government - when we are responsible for putting them there.

I wrote a lengthy explanation of how poor policy choices have brought us to this pass regarding the military - which was eaten when my mobile device crashed. The gist is that we have, since the 1970's, pursued a policy of isolating the military from the rest of society - beginning with elimination of the draft so that military service lost its universality. Then BRAC (the Base Realignment and Closure Commission) which closed numerous bases in population centers (such as the Presidio of San Francisco and Fort Ord), moving them to more remote and isolated bases. This was counteracted for a time with the integration of the National Guard and Reserves in the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (and even our airports and borders), but was accelerated again when the next round of BRAC closings moved reserve centers to those remote and isolated bases - out of sight. The result is that the general population has very little experience with what being in the military means, and those in the military become more and more isolated from the "outside world." It is a bit easier for those in the military to understand the outside world, because they come from there - thus the unremarkable and unlamented death of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - but the longer they remain in isolation, and the longer their experiences are so remote from those of the general population, the harder the transition back to "the outside world" becomes. (I have spent a good deal of my time lately helping those damaged by the process move through that transition process.) But this is merely a symptom of the problem. An example of how broken we have allowed our tools to become.

Not only are our leaders completely unfamiliar with what military service means, but they are consistently pursuing policies they don't understand the implications of. We continue to elect feckless leaders. We have created an unaccountable class of Congresspeople. We allow the parties to put completely unqualified people into Congress - and then reappoint 98% of them every election season, without considering their performance. We accept the failures and put no responsibility on the parties to police themselves (David Vitter was reelected after his "dalliances" came to light, and Newt Gingrich, who was essentially fired for gross incompetence and a complete lack of an ethical compass, is considered a "viable" presidential candidate?). So long as we continue to allow the parties to put forth ideologues and apparatchiks as candidates and accept business as usual, we are to blame for our current mess. Seriously, objectively, can any of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates be considered qualified for the highest office in the land? How low have our standards fallen?

WE have to take responsibility for our own failings, and remove the log from our own eyes.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#217681 - 03/24/12 01:11 PM Re: Responsibility [Re: NW Ponderer]
Joe Keegan Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/25/05
Posts: 8707
ThumbsUp Write your Congressman.

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#217687 - 03/24/12 01:24 PM Re: Responsibility [Re: NW Ponderer]
Ken Condon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/13/07
Posts: 3003
Loc: Eugene, OR
Time magazine had an excellent article on this idea you are expressing NWP last November. Itís worth a read:
Quote:
The U.S. military and American society are drifting apart. Itís tough inside the civilian world to discern the drift. But troops in all the military services sense it, smell it ó and talk about it. So do their superiors. We have a professional military of volunteers that has been stoically at war for more than a decade. But as the wars have droned on, the troops waging them are increasingly an Army apart.


An Army Apart
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The past is always tense, the future perfect.

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#217689 - 03/24/12 01:26 PM Re: Responsibility [Re: Ken Condon]
Joe Keegan Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/25/05
Posts: 8707
mercenaries?

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#217693 - 03/24/12 01:40 PM Re: Responsibility [Re: Joe Keegan]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 12049
Originally Posted By: Joe Keegan
ThumbsUp Write your Congressman.
Yes, Joe, but pay attention to how he/she responds, then hold them accountable to those answers. wink
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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