Friday, May 04, 2007

Bush's Noble Cause?

War is incapable of bringing peace and a study on battlefield ethics casts doubts as to whether it can deliver the President's promised freedom and democracy. It appears many of America's over 150,ooo ambassadors may behave less than civilized.

Using the statistics below over 75,000 soldiers in Iraq believe noncombatants don't deserve respect or dignity, 50,000 have insulted or cursed Iraqi citizens, and 15,000 mistreated civilians or damaged property when it wasn't necessary. It appears our soldiers have the freedom to mistreat the people who would be free.

In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.

Findings included:
_Sixty-two percent of soldiers and 66 percent of Marines said that they knew someone seriously injured or killed, or that a member of their team had become a casualty.

_The 2006 adjusted rate of suicides per 100,000 soldiers was 17.3 soldiers, lower than the 19.9 rate reported in 2005.

_Only 47 percent of the soldiers and 38 percent of Marines said noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect.

_About a third of troops said they had insulted or cursed at civilians in their presence.

_About 10 percent of soldiers and Marines reported mistreating civilians or damaging property when it was not necessary. Mistreatment includes hitting or kicking a civilian.

_Forty-four percent of Marines and 41 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or Marine.

_Thirty-nine percent of Marines and 36 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to gather important information from insurgents.

The study team also found that long and repeated deployments were increasing troop mental health problems.

Welcome to President Bush's International Stanford Prison Experiment.

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