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Old 11-22-2011, 05:46 PM   #51
Aikironin21
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Re: To help or not to help

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Great post from both Jon Reading and George Ledyard...as well as a few others too!

Where to start? Not sure, but a few thoughts come to mind based on my experiences, military of course.

In my community, a smaller subset of the military, we talk about sheeps and wolves. Overly simplified of course, but I think for the most part this is true. You can divide most people into two categories, sheeps and wolves. I was on a subway train once and a lady got her arm stuck in the door. I am a wolf, I had to get up, walk past several abled body males that could help that were standing there not doing anything processing her plight. They were sheep.

Wolves take action, sheep follow the herd. I think we are training to be wolves in budo. That doesn't mean we aimlessly prey on the weak and helpless as you might think, but wolves are out there, watching, acting on their own accord, making things happen. Sheep, well they follow the herd and keep their head down and eat grass. Staying in the herd is safety for them. A small border collie is all that is needed to keep them in check. They don't question the herd or their situation, they keep there head down and eat.

So, I think the first question you have to ask yourself is are you a sheep or are you a wolf? That is, do you determine your own actions or do you rely on the herd for safety..
In the military application, wolves and sheep are the focus. In the civilian world, we strive to be the sheepdog. Not quite wolves but definitely not defenseless sheep unaware. The sheepdog is ever vigilant and watches over the flock. In the case of civilian life, the size of your flock or herd varies. When I am on the job, I am watching the wolf packs and protecting them from each other. When I am out with my family, they are my primary concern. I will always stop and help someone change a tire, or pull them out of the mud, when on my own, or maybe with my wife even, who is also an officer. When I have the kids though, sorry folks, I can't take the chance of a set-up with those who can't protect themselves. My wife can say, "I don't think we should stop this time, or don't get out of the car honey." I respect her intuition. Being a sheepdog means not taking the flock into dangerous territory.

I think Aikido is more the sheepdog mentality. You have the option to try and fight off wolves, or steer the flock as to avoid them. The decisions you make determine how long your career will be. Yes there is a lot to be said about getting a wolf to watch the sheep, if you can keep that wolf from eating the sheep. The wolf will be very capable of fighting other wolves one on one, but what of the flock while the wolf is preoccupied?

A sheep dog must always be able to determine when a sheep has wandered off, and keep it near. If it wanders too far, and the sheepdog has to make a decision to protect the one or the remaining herd, the one is SOL. It is the same in human terms when dealing with a fellow man who has strayed too far from safety and is being devoured. The sheep dog may not want to leave the safety of the flock because of what he has there to protect. I like a quote from Mel Gibson in the movie "The Patriot". He said, "I'm a father, I don't have the luxury of principles." We can agree, we would do what we can to help someone in distress. It doesn't make you bad person, or warrior to weigh all your obligations before stepping in harms way to help a stranger. The military model doesn't really cross over, into civilian life. Neither does the LEO model. By being professionals, we have already made a contract to intercede with what ever we encounter in the course of our duties. Once we are in the civilian realm, our internal call to duty drives us to intercede. That's why we have stories of people who survived in Iraq or Afghanistan, only to be cut down or shot in the parking lot of a pub or bar.

One of the first things I learned on the job was, "Even a coward can kill" Most often it is a coward who has a weapon and will use it out of fear, whether he created the circumstances or not. Here in The US there is an ever growing segment of young men, who sincerely believe, they can say whatever they want and not have any repercussions for doing so. These are the guys who will carry a knife or gun to protect themselves, when their mouth over runs their ability to back it up.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:55 PM   #52
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: To help or not to help

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In the civilian world, we strive to be the sheepdog. Not quite wolves but definitely not defenseless sheep unaware. The sheepdog is ever vigilant and watches over the flock.
But not for the benefit of the flock but owner's.

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Old 11-22-2011, 05:59 PM   #53
Aikironin21
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Re: To help or not to help

Your flock is usually those who depend on you. Like your family and employer! They may not always be present, but they will always impacted by the results of your actions leading to injury to yourself.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:51 PM   #54
graham christian
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Re: To help or not to help

Wolves and sheep? Not a very good analogy.Wolves don't just take action, they follow what the leader tells them. I wish some military were more like them for only the wisest get the rule the pack.

Roger, time to rethink your views I think. The one thing warriors do have in common is selflessness.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:00 PM   #55
graham christian
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Re: To help or not to help

Just thought though, aikidoka as animals? Mmmm. There was the shihan who followed the way of the goldfish. It could turn quite shaolin. You could even float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

Then again you could look at how animals help or don't help and decide which you are most likein Aikido.

Or you could simply say Aikido is how to help. Woof, woof, that's my dog.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:18 PM   #56
Aikironin21
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Re: To help or not to help

The wolf, sheep, sheep dog analogy is used in our training in Corrections here in California. It's not so much the characteristics but the mindset of each. The sheep are unaware and passive, the wolves are aggressive and take advantage of any lapse in awareness, and the sheepdog is constantly aware of his surroundings but not to the point where he is attacking anything that comes his way.This analogy is coupled with the OODA loop/ goofy loop and color coded conditions of combat or Cooper's color code.

So yeah military types and some LEO types are like wolves as are criminal gangs and individual criminals who would be lone wolves. Sheep are the unsuspecting public easy to take advantage of, and sheepdogs are specific LEOs and general public who have a sense of looking out for the rest and try to maintain a certain level of awareness, that is somewhere between wondering who is knocking on your door and paranoia.

I think this type of training should be incorporated into every martial art. Physical training, is of no use if you are sacked before you even know to get your guard up. Being aware is great condition to maintain. If you can learn to be relaxed and have fun, while still being aware of who and what are around you, you are that much more ahead in the game.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:10 PM   #57
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Re: To help or not to help

In terms of hooved and hunting critters I guess I'm a llama - the cranky, spitting companion of the sheep - though I think of myself as a badger.....

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Old 11-22-2011, 10:46 PM   #58
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Re: To help or not to help

Larry Robinson. Good stuff. I like your analogy of the sheepdog. Spot on.

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Old 11-22-2011, 10:56 PM   #59
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Re: To help or not to help

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Wolves and sheep? Not a very good analogy.Wolves don't just take action, they follow what the leader tells them. I wish some military were more like them for only the wisest get the rule the pack.

Roger, time to rethink your views I think. The one thing warriors do have in common is selflessness.

Regards.G.
It is much more complex than for sure. Group think is on of the biggest problems we have today in the military. We need a culture that is less about following and doing what is popular and more about doing what is right, which is some times the hard thing to do.

What I have always found interesting is how closely current codified military values are with the values of bud. Selflessness, courage, candor...stuff like that.

There is always a balance between leading and following. Thetr have been many, many situation in which I was in charge I was the law and the enforcer...judge and jury and what did determined the outcome of the situation. It was not about following or taking orders at all. This requires you to have a very strong character to make the right and moral decisions.

Very interesting subject. I apologize for steering it off course, however I think when it gets down to helping or not helping at the core you have to make a decision to act or not act. Our choices or better what informs us to make choices is our past experiences and training. as budoka, I think we tend to look much harder (or should) at the things that go into such acts or non acts.

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:20 PM   #60
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Re: To help or not to help

the problem with sheep/wolf analogies are they tend to over simplify things for sue and the dynamics are much more complex. However it does help generate thought and discussion which I think is the point of making these analogies. Larry why I think we do't talk about sheepdogs.....

One military guys can't relate on a base level. They are not the cool thing. And as you state, they are there to protect the flock. Both in LEO and Military alot of times it is not only about protecting, but also about hunting. So you need a predator trait to relate to that goes after the bad guys. Sheep dogs don't really do this.

However I agree, that a sheepdog is much more applicable to a civilian process where we are simplu concerned with protecting and taking action when necessary to keep the flock inline and alert the shappard when there is trouble.

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:21 PM   #61
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Re: To help or not to help

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In terms of hooved and hunting critters I guess I'm a llama - the cranky, spitting companion of the sheep - though I think of myself as a badger.....
Badgers are cool! And without them we would not have dachshunds! karma is awesome isn't it!

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Old 11-23-2011, 06:01 AM   #62
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Re: To help or not to help

Yes agreed.

Its important to make a distinction between a sheepdog (herding and protecting) and a hunting dog.

IMHO, its important to know what type of dog you are.

And yes, by the way, I know, accept, and appreciate being compared to a dog. We need to be our own best friend.

To help or not to help? Always help!

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:25 AM   #63
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Re: To help or not to help

I heard a military guy on TV comparing terrorists to wolves, and inferring that civilians are the sheep, although he didn't ever call them sheep or sheeple. In that sense "wolves" are those who prey on the weak. You can also shift that analogy so that the wolves are those who are aggressive and in control, but not necessarily evil.

Last edited by genin : 11-23-2011 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:16 AM   #64
graham christian
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Re: To help or not to help

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The wolf, sheep, sheep dog analogy is used in our training in Corrections here in California. It's not so much the characteristics but the mindset of each. The sheep are unaware and passive, the wolves are aggressive and take advantage of any lapse in awareness, and the sheepdog is constantly aware of his surroundings but not to the point where he is attacking anything that comes his way.This analogy is coupled with the OODA loop/ goofy loop and color coded conditions of combat or Cooper's color code.

So yeah military types and some LEO types are like wolves as are criminal gangs and individual criminals who would be lone wolves. Sheep are the unsuspecting public easy to take advantage of, and sheepdogs are specific LEOs and general public who have a sense of looking out for the rest and try to maintain a certain level of awareness, that is somewhere between wondering who is knocking on your door and paranoia.

I think this type of training should be incorporated into every martial art. Physical training, is of no use if you are sacked before you even know to get your guard up. Being aware is great condition to maintain. If you can learn to be relaxed and have fun, while still being aware of who and what are around you, you are that much more ahead in the game.
I get it. O.K. See where your coming from giving the view of awareness and alertness. Plus the intention to look after and protect.

Poor old wolves, always seen as pure aggressive creatures. I think the red indians understood them better.

Anyway, the way you put it I concede, not a bad analogy.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:25 AM   #65
graham christian
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Re: To help or not to help

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It is much more complex than for sure. Group think is on of the biggest problems we have today in the military. We need a culture that is less about following and doing what is popular and more about doing what is right, which is some times the hard thing to do.

What I have always found interesting is how closely current codified military values are with the values of bud. Selflessness, courage, candor...stuff like that.

There is always a balance between leading and following. Thetr have been many, many situation in which I was in charge I was the law and the enforcer...judge and jury and what did determined the outcome of the situation. It was not about following or taking orders at all. This requires you to have a very strong character to make the right and moral decisions.

Very interesting subject. I apologize for steering it off course, however I think when it gets down to helping or not helping at the core you have to make a decision to act or not act. Our choices or better what informs us to make choices is our past experiences and training. as budoka, I think we tend to look much harder (or should) at the things that go into such acts or non acts.
Good points. You find yourself in such positions and at that point you are as you say judge and jury so hopefully wise. Funny thing is that in the military it's generally all about following orders. Thus the ones following the orders are sheep and yet if they are courageous in action you could say they are like lions.

Looking into such things instead of blindly following is indeed what we should do in order to learn more I agree. What is help? is a good question all of it's own.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:31 AM   #66
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Re: To help or not to help

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Poor old wolves, always seen as pure aggressive creatures. I think the red indians understood them better.

.
Oh Graham, you may take some flack for that description, I haven't seen that used since watching the Lone Ranger, you are showing your age

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Old 11-23-2011, 09:00 AM   #67
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Re: To help or not to help

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Oh Graham, you may take some flack for that description, I haven't seen that used since watching the Lone Ranger, you are showing your age
Just say feather, not dot. They'll know what you mean.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:32 AM   #68
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Re: To help or not to help

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Good points. You find yourself in such positions and at that point you are as you say judge and jury so hopefully wise. Funny thing is that in the military it's generally all about following orders. Thus the ones following the orders are sheep and yet if they are courageous in action you could say they are like lions.

Looking into such things instead of blindly following is indeed what we should do in order to learn more I agree. What is help? is a good question all of it's own.

Regards.G.
It is generally NOT all about following orders. No more than anyone else in society has to follow orders. The nature of my "orders" in many cases are very, very broad such as "go forth and secure the area" and then I must do whatever I do within the context of the law to make things happen. It is not so much about micromanagement or mindless compliance. I have always tried to instill in my subordinates the ability to make decisions and choices within very broad guidance.

It really works much like successful businesses or companies. You empower your subordinates to make decisions and take action that they determine is correct. Of course you have constraints of laws, rules, treaties, money, diplomacy that must be understood.

Following orders...well certainly privates that have a few months in the military don't make many big decisions and do alot of following orders, but still make decisions that are appropriate for their pay grade.

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Old 11-23-2011, 11:26 AM   #69
graham christian
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Re: To help or not to help

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Oh Graham, you may take some flack for that description, I haven't seen that used since watching the Lone Ranger, you are showing your age
Not sure what you mean there. Lone ranger? My comments not connected to that. Were there wolves in it?

I could show my age by mentioning mutley though.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:44 AM   #70
graham christian
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Re: To help or not to help

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It is generally NOT all about following orders. No more than anyone else in society has to follow orders. The nature of my "orders" in many cases are very, very broad such as "go forth and secure the area" and then I must do whatever I do within the context of the law to make things happen. It is not so much about micromanagement or mindless compliance. I have always tried to instill in my subordinates the ability to make decisions and choices within very broad guidance.

It really works much like successful businesses or companies. You empower your subordinates to make decisions and take action that they determine is correct. Of course you have constraints of laws, rules, treaties, money, diplomacy that must be understood.

Following orders...well certainly privates that have a few months in the military don't make many big decisions and do alot of following orders, but still make decisions that are appropriate for their pay grade.
Seems reasonable the way you put it. Maybe your used to a good unit or maybe that's more widespread than I realize. But the structure is one of command and thus orders. What happens if someone disobeys a direct order?

There are many examples of what I talk about here form the first world war and the trenches, wow, what a mess. To what I view on the news in the middle east, soldiers firing on civilians and many who don't want to but are under orders.

In the police force for example a good friend of mine was sent years ago because of his size and capability up north to help deal with the minors strike in the Thatcher years. The things they were ordered to do took him a little while to recover from.

The fact is that when someone in charge isn't so wise then the subordinates generally have to follow the orders for that is all part and parcel of command structure, without which it breaks down. Ther'es not many who would stand up to and go against bad orders.

Once again it comes down to those in charge in such structures. Wiser people in charge then things pan out as you describe. Arrogant control freaks in charge, mmm, trouble and sheep.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:52 AM   #71
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Re: To help or not to help

He's telling you we don't say "red Indian" anymore. We say "native American." Get with the program. :+)

And wolves aren't aggressive, at least not in the hunting context. It's a category error, like referring to wild animals as "gentle." Anybody who says something like that is not only clueless, but is blowing a particularly dangerous variety of smoke.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:25 PM   #72
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Re: To help or not to help

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He's telling you we don't say "red Indian" anymore. We say "native American." Get with the program. :+)

And wolves aren't aggressive, at least not in the hunting context. It's a category error, like referring to wild animals as "gentle." Anybody who says something like that is not only clueless, but is blowing a particularly dangerous variety of smoke.
Oh, political correctness. Duhhh. Yeah, wolves make great pets. All animals are aggressive at times but there again so are humans.

You ever seen a good documentary on wolves? The leader is never the macho bullying one. It's very interesting. Same with elephants on the whole.

The subject of wolves reminds me of one of Nialls blogs, different cultures see them differently.

I did like lone wolf mcquade though and lone wolf and cub.

Anyway, what's a wild animal? No second thoughts, don't go there.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:42 PM   #73
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Re: To help or not to help

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Its important to make a distinction between a sheepdog (herding and protecting) and a hunting dog.
And lets us never forget the lap dog and the attack dog!

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:56 PM   #74
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Re: To help or not to help

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Seems reasonable the way you put it. Maybe your used to a good unit or maybe that's more widespread than I realize. But the structure is one of command and thus orders. What happens if someone disobeys a direct order?

There are many examples of what I talk about here form the first world war and the trenches, wow, what a mess. To what I view on the news in the middle east, soldiers firing on civilians and many who don't want to but are under orders.

In the police force for example a good friend of mine was sent years ago because of his size and capability up north to help deal with the minors strike in the Thatcher years. The things they were ordered to do took him a little while to recover from.

The fact is that when someone in charge isn't so wise then the subordinates generally have to follow the orders for that is all part and parcel of command structure, without which it breaks down. Ther'es not many who would stand up to and go against bad orders.

Once again it comes down to those in charge in such structures. Wiser people in charge then things pan out as you describe. Arrogant control freaks in charge, mmm, trouble and sheep.

Regards.G.
Sure those things happen and we tend to hear about the things that go bad in the news and not so much about the things that go right.

WWI was essentially a mess because of changes in technology. Barbed wire, machine guns, and tanks to be specific. These three things essentially forced a change in tactics which not one military was really prepared to deal with, so yes, you had some very bad decision making going on that led to the trench warfare quagmire that developed.

Can you give me a specific instance in which soldiers have been given lawful orders to fire on peaceful citizens? In fact, all Soldiers under the Geneva Convention are bound to disobey such unlawful orders under severe penalty.

Have you ever been in the Military? You don't seem to understand Military Law and the Geneva Convention. It is important to understand these things.

Are there breakdowns in the system? yes of course, Abu Ghrab is a good example.

Do we all military and civilian have to obey "orders" and laws that we don't agree with? Yes. I don't like paying taxes to a State I am not even living in. I don't like the speed limits on some of the roads I drive on. I don't like the way my Grocery Store ques lines. I don't like many of the decisons my elected officials make. I see very little difference really in the rights and responsibilities that ANY citizen has in most of the free world.

I think a whole TV Series as done on bosses that make stupid decisions...what is that show? Office. How is this any different than the dumb decisions that a Military leader makes over a civilian boss? Sure the consequences may be different and stakes may be higher in many instances, but non of us are really above having to listen to the stupid rules that someone imposes on us that has power over us.

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Old 11-23-2011, 04:59 PM   #75
Abasan
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Re: To help or not to help

Wow the thread has sure drifted a lot.. Anyway for Mr Leavitt's benefit and anybody else that cares, soldiers do follow a lot of 'lawful' orders that end up killing a lot of innocent civilians. I have a bunch load of pictures of children dead from those orders. They call em collateral damage and spokesman always 'regret' the incident afterwards. And yes American soldiers have been involved. I won't get into the Israeli's story because they don't follow the geneva convention but well it's pretty well documented what they do civilians.

I chose not to post the pics because they are pretty graphic. You could see some in paknationalist.com, those came from American drones. But one of the most damning scenes was contributed in wikileaks, a video with Audio of the helicopter strike on civilians. The pilots were pretty revved up as they killed a couple of journalist along with a dozen or so other civilians including 2 children from a civ ambulance. This was confirmed by their own army on the ground that did the cleanup. But that's ok... Children are not children unless they are American children right?

Don't get me wrong, i've nothing against Americans in general. But the world views it differently when there are double standards. Just like the 99% rile against the elites of corporate America, so does a bunch load of middle east commoners hate how the west and the Israelis have permeated their lives with violence. Payback? For what exactly? More like genocide.

And ... Flame on!

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