We can win the war in Vietnam!

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Aresen
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Aresen » 20 Oct 2015, 13:15

Hugh Akston wrote:Long piece in the NYT magazine
Above all, our government would have lied to us.
It is so cute when journalists are still surprised by this.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by JasonL » 20 Oct 2015, 14:31

Aresen wrote:
Hugh Akston wrote:Long piece in the NYT magazine
Above all, our government would have lied to us.
It is so cute when journalists are still surprised by this.
The calculus goes like number of times they lie less number of instances we can say it's basically Republican fault divided by first black president cubed. The result is the percentage of lies you have to act surprised about.

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 20 Oct 2015, 19:00

Mark Bowden's response in Vanity Fair
Seymour Hersh arrived late to the game, bringing with him an unmatched reputation for investigative coups—from My Lai to Abu Ghraib—and a scrappy anti-establishment attitude. His two sources told him a different tale. But for his to be true, every one of my sources was lying. And not just my sources, but those for Bergen, Schmidle, and others, too. Also the two SEALs who have told their own versions of the raid. All of them had to be in on the lie.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Andrew » 20 Oct 2015, 22:54

Hugh Akston wrote:Mark Bowden's response in Vanity Fair
Seymour Hersh arrived late to the game, bringing with him an unmatched reputation for investigative coups—from My Lai to Abu Ghraib—and a scrappy anti-establishment attitude. His two sources told him a different tale. But for his to be true, every one of my sources was lying. And not just my sources, but those for Bergen, Schmidle, and others, too. Also the two SEALs who have told their own versions of the raid. All of them had to be in on the lie.
Well, he does drop an awful lot of names and makes himself sound very connected and important. And he even heard it from the horse's mouth, and of course Obama would never lie or conceal anything. I guess that's that.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Dangerman » 21 Oct 2015, 10:20

"All of these people would have had to be lying!"

Most of those people lie for a living.

That being said, I'm not sure how much weight I'm prepared to put on the shaky counter-narrative.

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by lunchstealer » 21 Oct 2015, 13:04

Dangerman wrote:"All of these people would have had to be lying!"

Most of those people lie for a living.

That being said, I'm not sure how much weight I'm prepared to put on the shaky counter-narrative.
Also, how many would have to be lying, vs repeating the lie that they were told? I mean, obscuring sources is a big deal within intelligence agencies, so they probably put a fair amount of effort into creating plausible alternative methods of learning. If someone within ISI were giving that kind of info to the CIA et al, it would probably only take maybe 10 people at most to put together the fake op to find him, with most involved believing that the methodology is legit and working. I can think up pretty easy ways to fake up most of the evidence that the main narrative said they used to track him if they could work backwards from the location.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 21 Oct 2015, 13:09

The problem is that there is very little practical middle ground on this between naive credulity in an administration/military-intelligence complex that has made an olympic sport out of lying to the public, and building tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories on the flimsy foundation of narrative inconsistencies.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by lunchstealer » 21 Oct 2015, 13:32

Yeah, I assume that some of it is bullshit. I also assume that I MIGHT know in 50 years when it's declassified, but in the near term there's no way to know what theories/narratives have what level of truth to them, so agnosticism is the word of the day.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Aresen » 21 Oct 2015, 13:49

The only part of the administration's narrative that I am damn sure is a lie is that the Pakistan government knew nothing about where OBL was.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 05 Nov 2015, 11:27

Some updates on the MSF hospital bombing:

Apparently there were about 65 Taliban fighters being treated in the hospital when the US attacked. Which, I mean, it's Doctors Without Borders, so yeah.
Taliban members accounted for about half of the hospital's 130 patients on the Wednesday before the deadly bombing, which killed at least 30 people. Two Taliban members appeared to have had higher rank, the report said.

The report also revealed that the next day, the hospital received an inquiry from a "US Government official in Washington, D.C." asking if the hospital or any other of the organization's locations had a large number of Taliban "holed up" and asked about the safety of the staff.
“The view from inside the hospital is that this attack was conducted with a purpose to kill and destroy,” said Christopher Stokes, MSF's general director. “But we don’t know why. We neither have the view from the cockpit, nor the knowledge of what happened within the U.S. and Afghan military chains of command.”

“Some public reports are circulating that the attack on our hospital could be justified because we were treating Taliban,” said Stokes.
“Wounded combatants are patients under international law, and must be free from attack and treated without discrimination. Medical staff should never be punished or attacked for providing treatment to wounded combatants.”

“MSF’s no-weapons policy was respected and hospital staff were in full control of the facility prior to and at the time of the airstrikes," added Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of MSF.
Also the US shot people from a circling warplane as they ran away.
Thursday's report added: "Patients burned in their beds, medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs, and others were shot by the circling AC-130 gunship while fleeing the burning building."

It also detailed operations in the hospital in the days leading up to the bombing, and said staff had noticed that more Taliban fighters were arriving for treatment.

"In the week starting September 28, [the majority of the wounded fighters] shifted to primarily wounded Taliban combatants," according to the report.
On Oct. 1, the group "received a question from a U.S. government official in Washington, D.C., asking whether the hospital or any other of MSF's locations had a large number of Taliban 'holed up'," the report said. "MSF also expressed that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures as a condition to our ability to continue working."

The charity does not ask which armed group patients belong to as a matter of policy. Fighters are also prohibited from bringing weapons into the hospital, according to MSF.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Jennifer » 05 Nov 2015, 13:48

Apparently there were about 65 Taliban fighters being treated in the hospital when the US attacked.
So I guess the US and whatever noble allies we have no longer subscribe to old-school rules of war that deemed clearly labeled medical facilities and personnel, even those of the enemy, off-limits? Or do we still pay lip service to that rule, but invoke the "It's not a war crime when we do it" exemption?
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Sandy » 05 Nov 2015, 13:51

"What's the difference between an MSF hospital and a Taliban hideout?"
"I don't know, man, I just fly the drone."
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Aresen » 05 Nov 2015, 14:23

Sandy wrote:"What's the difference between an MSF hospital and a Taliban hideout?"
The Taliban fighters don't wear masks?
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 05 Nov 2015, 14:31

They amputate limbs but not heads?
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by nicole » 06 Nov 2015, 10:28

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Aresen » 06 Nov 2015, 10:45

"It's just Greenwald. What can you expect from a terrerist sympathizer who hates America?"
/fox news mode
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 06 Nov 2015, 11:06

When you’re lucky enough as a government and military to have hordes of journalists so subservient and nationalistic that they do and say this – to exonerate you fully – before knowing any facts, why would you ever feel the need to submit to someone else’s investigation?
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Mo » 25 Nov 2015, 20:03

You know, in some ways we targeted the hospital intentionally would have reflected on the Army better than this version of the truth.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Painboy » 27 Nov 2015, 14:30

Mo wrote:You know, in some ways we targeted the hospital intentionally would have reflected on the Army better than this version of the truth.
That all sounds about right from my experiences. The one problem with precision weapons is that if you fire it at the wrong target it will still most likely hit, giving little leeway to correct your mistake.

When I first joined the military I was surprised how much time training was simply to prevent fratricide. In the fog of war with so many moving pieces it's very easy to start shooting at your own guys. It's one of those things most popular media tends to ignore about combat.

For something like this incident, which relied on a lot of precise information to be passed down a lengthy chain, something can very easily go wrong, as it obviously did.

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 27 Nov 2015, 16:09

If one were to make a list of media inaccuracies about war, surely one of the items near the top of the list would be medieval combat scenes where both armies are wearing the same drab cloaks and armor without distinguishing colors. If you tried that with real humans hopped up on fear and adrenaline they'd wind up running spears through guys on their own side.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Mo » 27 Nov 2015, 20:53

What's infuriating is that when their system didn't identify a building, they just picked a random ass big building to fire upon, even after their targeting system eventually locked onto the right building. They didn't get a mission brief or a list of don't shoot buildings. The just decide to shoot at a random large building, which strikes me as a dishonorable discharge level offense at best.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Painboy » 28 Nov 2015, 03:48

Mo wrote:What's infuriating is that when their system didn't identify a building, they just picked a random ass big building to fire upon, even after their targeting system eventually locked onto the right building. They didn't get a mission brief or a list of don't shoot buildings. The just decide to shoot at a random large building, which strikes me as a dishonorable discharge level offense at best.
To me it kind of sounds like the "1000 hour pilot" problem. The crew may have done so many of these that they probably got lazy or complacent about certain procedures and started just making assumptions with little thought that they might be doing something wrong.

Whatever punishment happens to the crew is going to be small potatoes to the psychological damage that their going to have. People often get PTSD just shooting at the enemy. These guys blew up part of a hospital. Unless their straight up sociopaths they are going to be carrying that for the rest of their lives.

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Mo » 28 Nov 2015, 09:21

To be clear I think the person most responsible and that should get it the worst is the mission commander that sent them out without briefing them. If their target was a reasonable sized building, it would have been there two hours later.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 19 Jan 2016, 15:56

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Aresen » 19 Jan 2016, 22:37

From the few dates offered, this appears to pre-date the Soviet invasion. I'm not going to blame the Russians for the Taliban (nor the American funding the resistance to the Soviets), but neither probably helped the situation.
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