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Dragonjack

Who thinks that the Waffen SS is a bad organizatio

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Dragonjack

The Waffen SS (Know as the Schutzstaffel as its branch) was an elite force and it is the Fuhrer's elite force aswell. What i've searched about this powerful and loyal fighting force out on Nazi Germany is that there were quite popular during its years in 1933. Even though many of the SS men were really loyal to Hitler and its what I called it "Years of loyalty service" and of course they were indeed evil as what the Americans and British says to them. Soviets? Yeah I suppose so. But they were pretty pissed off about what the Nazis did to the Soviets.

 

About the Jewish people were sent in auschwitz. I have to say many of the victims were conducted by the Waffen SS or the Wehrmacht and to be shoot aganist the walls which was very..."bad" I mean they were innocent Jewish people honestly. confused.gif The Nazis even bloody sended them to concentration camps aswell which is very much more worst than just killing them on sight or walls. Over 5.7 milllion to 6.0 million Jews were killed in World War II.

 

I know some of you will aware like this for example "f*ck da Nazis" and sh*t. But really? Some Waffen SS men lost there loyatly between the 1940s and many of them walked away from that "Evil stuff'" and even the Wehrmacht aswell. Don't get me wrong these men were quite different when they got out from Nazi Germany and focus on the war instead of killing innocent Jews in there time. I've seen many WW2 videos on Youtube and some were indeed sad to see of there faces in a battle.

 

This is actually the first time i've ever written this honestly and its pretty interesting to see alot of historic stuff aswell. So what are your opinions on this? Was the Waffen SS Bad? Or Good? EDIT* I couldn't get the title abit longer and is it okay? If you mods can fix it?

 

- Dragonjack

Edited by Dragonjack

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El Dildo

I'm not sure what exactly we're supposed to debate here.

 

the Waffen were just another branch of the German military like the Army Rangers in the US.

they were ordered to kill people so they killed people.

 

Hitler was bad. the Nazi's were bad.

the Waffen existed before Hitler and before the Nazi party. so are they bad or were they just following orders? it's irrelevant; they were soldiers in a war fighting on their side.

 

I'm afraid this isn't really a debate/discussion that fits with the spirit of this forum.

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Dingdongs

The Waffen SS was the militarized unit of the SS. In terms of complicity in murdering Jews/other ethnic minorities, they were involved... especially on the eastern front... but they were not the black suited SS guards that were gassing people at camps or in vans. Waffen SS were fighting battles, essentially they were out of the Wehrmacht's chain of command and under direct command of Hitler/Himmler (the latter who was a complete failure and screwed the Waffen big time).

 

In short, were they as bad as the regular SS? No. Were they bad? Yeah.

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Der_Don
the Waffen existed before Hitler and before the Nazi party.

Not true at all. The SS was created by the Nazis, the Waffen SS was created as an armed wing of the SS. Those two organisations did not exist prior to Hitler's "Machtergreifung".

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El Dildo

my fault.

the unit itself was commissioned by the Nazi's once they took power.

 

but the Waffen were handpicked soldiers from the ranks of the current German military, they weren't Hitler Youth or anything. the division was born of the traditional army with the inclusion of a death-oath to the Führer, but they weren't specially trained and their officers were not necessarily members of the Nazi party. portions of the first Waffen divisions were comprised of German police.

 

this is irrelevant though.

the topic is about whether the Waffen were good or bad... which I'm not sure is such a good topic. the Waffen wasn't full of Hitler clones or something, it was just a branch of the military who followed the orders they received from the leaders of their country.

 

war is hell and sh*t happens.

war is waged by pessimistic old men, fought by ignorant young boys.

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TenEightyOne

OP's question is quite hard to answer.

 

If you look at countries like Britain, Germany, France and more... they were full of hugely pro-white prejudice at that time in history. Britain didn't disagree with Hitler's relocation of Jews and actually helped in part. The atmosphere of the time made it easier to persuade the people (as Hitler did with the German people) that his plan was the best way forward for Germany's survival in the 'modern' world.

 

Remember, the Great War was as recent to people in the thirties as the first Gulf War is to us now. The difference of course is that the Great War killed millions of people and destroyed large areas of frontline. In a society that knew little about 'other' cultures people like Hitler and his supporters were able to spread their ideas insidiously through the population. Not everyone agreed, of course, but over time the penalties for disgreement became more and more harsh.

 

So, to the OP's question... it's hard to say that the Waffen SS was a force for good, it was conceived by evil and controlled by evil. Was every member of the Waffen SS a bad or evil person? Some undoubtedly were, others undoubtedly were not - it's hard to say no when the penalty for disobedience is a single pistol round to the forehead.

 

I think that rather than concentrate on this small views of history it's best when considering the dreadful shame brought to the world by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s to look at how a closed European society as a whole allowed this to happen. Only that way can we ensure that it can never happen again.

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Dragonjack

So that's it for an non-debate of my? Well that's okay and sorry for not making it much more understable for you guys in this thread. TenEightyOne's post I had to really agree on that to be honest and about the good and bad kind of thing wasn't exactly I had in mind to write that. I guess they were indeed evil then..maybe there is no such thing as "Good vs Evil" in my opinion. Oh and thanks for posting in here aswell.

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Dingdongs

 

it was just a branch of the military who followed the orders they received from the leaders of their country.

They weren't a branch of the military though. They were a branch of the SS - the weaponized, military branch of the SS. They were outside of the formal chain of command and that's why they can be looked at in a different light than just "soldiers following orders".

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TenEightyOne
it was just a branch of the military who followed the orders they received from the leaders of their country.

They weren't a branch of the military though. They were a branch of the SS - the weaponized, military branch of the SS. They were outside of the formal chain of command and that's why they can be looked at in a different light than just "soldiers following orders".

Nonetheless, their activities were determined by the Nazi leadership, and by Heinrich Himmler in particular.

 

Arguably those activities were more often linked to the particular "absolute" goals of the party rather than specifically tactical "Wermacht"-type assignments, but they were still in one of the most rigorous chains of command in the organisation.

 

I see what you're saying though... it's a good point!

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Doc Rikowski

They were responsible for thousands of civilian murders in occupied Italy.

Not "collateral damages". Murders.

They wiped out entire villages by killing in cold blood all unarmed men, women and children.

So yes, they were bad (is this even open for debate? suicidal.gif ) and thank god we don't have to deal with a bunch of assassins like those ever again (hopefully).

Edited by docrikowski

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Dingdongs
Nonetheless, their activities were determined by the Nazi leadership, and by Heinrich Himmler in particular.

 

Arguably those activities were more often linked to the particular "absolute" goals of the party rather than specifically tactical "Wermacht"-type assignments, but they were still in one of the most rigorous chains of command in the organisation.

 

I see what you're saying though... it's a good point!

Exactly, their actions were determined by THE NAZI PARTY leadership. Not by the Werhmacht leadership. What I meant was what you just said, they were not in the military chain of command. They did not take orders from German High Command... so the excuse some give that the Waffen SS were just a bunch of good men drafted into war following orders is ridiculous. These were trained killers. Were they as bad as the black suited SS? Nah. Were they good ol' soldiers fighting for the fatherland? Not quite.

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coin-god

By the end of the war, many Waffen-SS conscripts were serving involuntary. Since Germany was running out of manpower. In Berlin you could have 16 years old boys winch were part of the Waffen-SS.

Most of this people didn't commit war crimes, and weren't part of the Nazi ideology.

And the Waffen-SS was one of the most multicultural forces on earth. Many weren't Germans. You had Frenches and Spaniards fighting in Berlin.

 

Most pre-1943 conscripts were, according to written History.

Edited by goin-god

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Dragonjack
By the end of the war, many Waffen-SS conscripts were serving involuntary. Since Germany was running out of manpower. In Berlin you could have 16 years old boys winch were part of the Waffen-SS.

Most of this people didn't commit war crimes, and weren't part of the Nazi ideology.

And the Waffen-SS was one of the most multicultural forces on earth. Many weren't Germans. You had Frenches and Spaniards fighting in Berlin.

 

Most pre-1943 conscripts were, according to written History.

I've never heard such history about that. Well you mentioned about 16-year old boys? My friends mum friend tolded me about those young kids were fighting off the soviets back when the entire German army retreated back to Berlin. Which was really amazing really in my opinion.

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zombrex2311

They were probably the best military organization back in 30s.

 

-In future, keep posts to subforum rules please.-

Edited by sivispacem

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coin-god

They are going to air a Documentary on History Channel about why and how the Nazis committed war crimes. From what I've seen, focusing on the men in charge of doing them. And how they were most dragged on, voluntarily, to do so.

Specially the holocaust.

 

 

Sorry for Spanish.

 

Some interesting quotes from the preview:

The Nazi party wasn't a normal Political organization as we know them. It was a cult. (I can agree with this)

You got brainwashed.

They thought they were saving the Human race, by removing people whose genes were inferior and degrading Human evolution.

 

And in another preview you see a dramatization of an SS member saying:

"It is a weakness to feel repulsion from dead people, so you only need to be around more dead people until it becomes an habit"

 

 

This documentary might give you an idea of what this people were thinking at the time. If it is aired where you are.

 

Edited by goin-god

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Dragonjack

 

They are going to air a Documentary on History Channel about why and how the Nazis committed war crimes. From what I've seen, focusing on the men in charge of doing them. And how they were most dragged on, voluntarily, to do so.

Specially the holocaust.

 

 

Sorry for Spanish.

 

Some interesting quotes from the preview:

The Nazi party wasn't a normal Political organization as we know them. It was a cult. (I can agree with this)

You got brainwashed.

They thought they were saving the Human race, by removing people whose genes were inferior and degrading Human evolution.

 

And in another preview you see a dramatization of an SS member saying:

"It is a weakness to feel repulsion from dead people, so you only need to be around more dead people until it becomes an habit"

 

 

This documentary might give you an idea of what this people were thinking at the time. If it is aired where you are.

 

I have to agree with the cult part you were saying in your post. Yeah they are very alienate those SS troops and also very loyal to Hitler, but seriously? Hitler was pretty good with his people in Germany from what I hear in some historical books and T.V just like that video for example but its not about those troops. About the video. It seems they were controlled by Hitler? Or was it just the SS troops doing there duty perhaps? I mean, I really can't see the SS troops were bad or just simply good. In my opinion, I think they were just doing there duty in World War II and some of there loyalty was entirely unbroken at all. Now for the wehrmacht, Gosh they are far more worst y'know...sad.gif EDIT* I found this in wikipedia. "My Honor is Loyalty"

Edited by Dragonjack

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lil weasel

Any 'Good' soldier follows orders without concern for anything other than "He Has His Orders."

The idea that a soldier can think for himself as to whether his order is legal is not for the individual to decide. It wasn’t until the Nurnberg Trials that somehow this standard was corrupted.

It is still a contention among the ranks: To be shot in the field for disobeying an order or to suffer a career crippling Courts Martial. (William L. Calley)

 

And, why is the killing of Jews the only deaths mentioned. What about the Political Dissident, Gypsy, Homosexual and some foreign nationals also in camps?

And, It’s not like the first time a minority or sect was ‘put down’. (Ottoman Turkey, Russia, i.e. Catholics in general.)

 

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coin-god

 

I have to agree with the cult part you were saying in your post. Yeah they are very alienate those SS troops and also very loyal to Hitler, but seriously? Hitler was pretty good with his people in Germany from what I hear in some historical books and T.V just like that video for example but its not about those troops. About the video. It seems they were controlled by Hitler? Or was it just the SS troops doing there duty perhaps? I mean, I really can't see the SS troops were bad or just simply good. In my opinion, I think they were just doing there duty in World War II  and some of there loyalty was entirely unbroken at all. Now for the wehrmacht, Gosh they are far more worst y'know...sad.gif EDIT* I found this in wikipedia. "My Honor is Loyalty"

You got it completely wrong. The Wehrmacht was the German Armed Forces. They were the the average soldier who only cared about their country, safety and getting home by Christmas in one piece. They did have some bad apples, like many other countries did. Some of them even had to commit crimes against their will or they would get killed for treason/insubordination.

You can't tell me the Waffen-SS were not bad and just "following orders" and then proceed to bash the actual German army in

World War 2. Which was the Wehrmacht. People who had little to do with Politics.

 

"My Honor is Loyalty" reefers to how loyal the SS troops were to Hitler and Himmler. Since Hitler wasn't in charge of the SS, Himmler was. But you know, Hitler was the Führer anyways.

The Waffen-SS committed more war crimes than the Wehrmacht. Because at the beginning of the war most Waffen-SS were members of the Nazi Party and most believed in the Nazi ideology of superiority.

As Irving said, it's difficult to say whether the Waffen-SS could be excused with "just following orders", since they were outside of the formal chain of command.

Edited by goin-god

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Dragonjack

 

Any 'Good' soldier follows orders without concern for anything other than "He Has His Orders."

The idea that a soldier can think for himself as to whether his order is legal is not for the individual to decide. It wasn’t until the Nurnberg Trials that somehow this standard was corrupted.

It is still a contention among the ranks: To be shot in the field for disobeying an order or to suffer a career crippling Courts Martial. (William L. Calley)

 

And, why is the killing of Jews the only deaths mentioned. What about the Political Dissident, Gypsy, Homosexual and some foreign nationals also in camps?

And, It’s not like the first time a minority or sect was ‘put down’. (Ottoman Turkey, Russia, i.e. Catholics in general.)

About the Homosexuality in Nazi Germany and yes they were indeed victims of the Holocust. But it is unclear weather or not if they survived in the Holocust though. "Between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, of whom some 50,000 were officially sentenced. Most of these men served time in regular prisons, and an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of those sentenced were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps. It is unclear how many of the 5,000 to 15,000 eventually perished in the camps, but leading scholar Ruediger Lautman believes that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%. Homosexuals in the camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner by their captors" Who knows if the victims survived in the Holocust and I reckon they could be very well alive in this world in my opinion.

 

 

Gypsy's were also a target by the Nazis aswell and I think you already knew about this in all respect.

"In 1936, the Nazis centralized all police power in Germany under Heinrich Himmler, SS chief and chief of the German police. Consequently, police policy toward Roma was also centralized. In Berlin, Himmler established the Reich Central Office for the Suppression of the Gypsy Nuisance. This agency took over and extended bureaucratic measures to systematically persecute Roma" Its a scare to the gypsy people honestly. confused.gif

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lil weasel

 

As Irving said, it's difficult to say whether the Waffen-SS could be excused with "just following orders", since they were outside of the formal chain of command.

Seems you all don't know much about the way a para-military ARMED combat force works, whether it be militia, police, or a Security Service (read bodyguards). Especially during a 'period of armed hostilites'.

We used to wonder how Herr Hitler got the German Peoples to go along with his 'war' until we saw President Bush in his "WMD war." Which turned out to pretty much a match to Herr Hitler's attack on Poland.

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sivispacem
We used to wonder how Herr Hitler got the German Peoples to go along with his 'war' until we saw President Bush in his "WMD war." Which turned out to pretty much a match to Herr Hitler's attack on Poland.

Care to expand on this, because at first glance it reads as the juvenile rambling of an ill-educated teenager and I really want to understand what you are getting at. Are you really, genuinely comparing the circumstances of Hitler's rise to power, use of paramilitary organisations to seize ultimate control and engage in an ideologically driven societal purge burried under subliminal fearmongering and intentional state incursion into daily life to that of early to late noughties America? Because if you are, that is terrifying, baffling and hilarious in equal measures.

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TenEightyOne

 

We used to wonder how Herr Hitler got the German Peoples to go along with his 'war' until we saw President Bush in his "WMD war." Which turned out to pretty much a match to Herr Hitler's attack on Poland.

Care to expand on this, because at first glance it reads as the juvenile rambling of an ill-educated teenager and I really want to understand what you are getting at. Are you really, genuinely comparing the circumstances of Hitler's rise to power, use of paramilitary organisations to seize ultimate control and engage in an ideologically driven societal purge burried under subliminal fearmongering and intentional state incursion into daily life to that of early to late noughties America? Because if you are, that is terrifying, baffling and hilarious in equal measures.

Oooh.... I love a challenge biggrin.gif

 

"...Use of paramilitary organisations to seize ultimate control and engage in an ideologically driven societal purge burried under subliminal fearmongering and intentional state incursion into daily life to that of early to late noughties America?..."

 

One could look at use of "Private Subcontractors" in paramilitary roles in Iraq and Afghanistan who were used to perform sub-military operations. For state incursion into daily life one can start (at the very least) with the anti-Communist McCarthy era and go on through the death of the Cold War into the "War Against Terror".

 

Following that insane media campaign it seems that some Americans (and, to be fair, some Brits) still believe that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeeda, for example, or that Iraq really had WMDs.

 

If you make the people frightened of something (Jews, Communists, Terrorist, Muslims, UFOs) then you make them depend on the state for protection and support - that's a fact that's been demonstrated again and again in different countries in different times, the US and the UK in particular are past-masters at using this tool. Look at how supposed-anti-Terrorism laws have been used to power incursions into free speech and private communication at every level. The resultant desensitivity of the mass population then makes it easier to enforce more and more anti-privacy (really anti-freedom) laws. Interestingly, in the UK we've lived through a genuine period of genuine terrorist activity that blew up family cars on driveways, destroyed police and army posts, destroyed band busses on motorways, killed whole families at religious services, performed double-taps on doorsteps, blinded children in shopping centres... and somehow we got through it without the need for the invidious percolation of legislation into our privacy.

 

I'm not for a moment saying that we can compare the action of those two goverments to the National Socialist actions of the early 1930s up until the end of the 1940s, we can't. I just wanted to try to demonstrate that some of the core values (and only some!) were not so dissimilar.

 

"...terrifying, baffling and hilarious in equal measures...

 

The first two, definitely. The last... not for me.

Edited by TenEightyOne

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sivispacem

 

One could look at use of "Private Subcontractors" in paramilitary roles in Iraq and Afghanistan who were used to perform sub-military operations.

PMCs don't really perform the role of paramilitaries because the laws of war dictate they cannot be used offensively. Despite the furore around their role in recent conflicts, they have not been used offensively and there are and have been great restrictions on what they've been able to do on operation. Complaints about excessive use of force by PMC organisations don't stem from offensive operations, they stem from excessive force used in defensive ones. They've glorified security guards, albeit very heavily armed, ex-military ones. Compare and contrast with the roles of paramilitary organisations in the suppression of dissent, orchestration of political violence et al in Nazi Germany- or even in the Cold War. By no means take this as an attempt to defend the actions some PMC organisations have been involved in, but the reality of the vast majority of what they do is very far removed from the numerous conspiracy theories or fictional representations of them. I spent a good 18 months working for an organisation that were, in technical terms, a PMC (as much as any privately-held company whose services include providing manned and/or potentially armed security services for individuals overseas can be argued to be one, though what I worked in was substantially isolated from that aspect of their business) and the core business was based around providing generally unarmed security detail for wealthy individuals in non-dangerous areas. Armed operations in general only make up a very small part of what PMCs do- armed paramilitary operations are basically unheard of.

 

For state incursion into daily life one can start (at the very least) with the anti-Communist McCarthy era and go on through the death of the Cold War into the "War Against Terror".

Are you really comparing McCarthyism or more modern, relatively minor, erosion of civil liberties to mass-assassinations, show trials, extra-judicial executions, state-sponsored and state-enforced terrorism and forced disappearances? True, the SS/Nazi administration weren't the real masters of this trade- the post-war Stasi had one in seven East Germans on their payroll- but I really don't think modern circumstances are comparable in terms of severity.

 

Following that insane media campaign it seems that some Americans (and, to be fair, some Brits) still believe that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeeda, for example, or that Iraq really had WMDs.

It's highly probable- nay, almost certain- that Saddam Hussein did, or at least believed he did, have weapons of mass destruction. Absence of evidence does not constitute evidence of absence. There have been several finds of decayed chemical weapons, most notably in 2004 when a partially decayed 155mm Sarin-filled artillery shell was used as an IED in an ambush on American troops. There's been a great deal of academic discussion around the presence of WMDs and associated programmes, a number of which have been conclusively proven to exist? Remember Scott Ritter, the UNSCOM monitor who came out as saying Hussein was not developing weapons of mass destruction? He said this in 1998 (with the disbanding of UNSCOM and the ending of monitoring operations in Iraq):

 

“I think the danger right now is that without effective inspections, without effective monitoring, Iraq can in a very short period of time measure in months, reconstitute chemical and biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program”

Before the outbreak of the war in 2003, Iraq had already broken several UNSC resolutions in relation to their development of long-range ballistic missiles- I think at the last count I made it was something like two resolutions on seven or eight counts each. From an analyst's perspective, and with some understanding of how intertwined the ballistic missile and non-conventional-weapon programmes were during the Iran-Iraq War and in the run-up to Desert Storm, I think it would be very rash to assume that some progress had not been made on the unconventional weapon front as well.

 

I'm not denying that numerous claims that were made at the time were patently false. But extending that to the theory that Iraq was not developing or engaging in research party to chemical and biological weapons is not supported by a single report on the issue, up to and including the Butler Report which is in my view the seminal work on the issue. Butler's conclusion was that despite the absence of physical evidence, there was no concrete guarantee that clandestine projects did not exist and there was in fact a good deal of circumstantial evidence to suggest they did.

 

Look at how supposed-anti-Terrorism laws have been used to power incursions into free speech and private communication at every level.

I question the extent to which this takes place in reality. Plenty of people use various pieces of legislation as examples but as examples they're often flawed by the assessor's lack of understanding of the legislative process, it's reach and implications. One only need look at the truly idiotic amount of hot air expelled over complete non-issues like some of the anti-piracy legislation, or the National Defence Authorization Act, or various other examples, to see that commonly-held opinions amongst armchair critics and semi-celebrity cause-hunters really don't tally up with the independent assessments made by subject matter experts on the issues. And while I'll concede that Western governments have been doing questionable things, particularly in the past, in relation to freedom of speech in areas they have geopolitical or legislative reach, the reality of the situation is just as far, if not further, from the mass-media driven diatribes and semi-educated hyperbole than it is the ignorant assumption that everything is just gravy.

 

and somehow we got through it without the need for the invidious percolation of legislation into our privacy.

It's this comment that really leads me to question the validity and substance of this argument. Are you genuinely suggesting that, now most of the archives are open, including those with previously secret/top secret information, albeit in redacted form, the activities of the police, security services and intelligence apparatus in the current climate are more[/]i oppressive than the campaign of state-sanctioned extra-judicial killing, kidnapping, foreign operations, invasive surveillance and forced disappearances which were in place during The Troubles in particular? Funny, then, in light of the fact that according to the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which finally put the three branches of the UK's security apparatus on the public statute and made them accountable to parliament, that the capability for direct, covert action was stricken from the record and never reimplemented, then- unlike that of, for instance, the CIA. Sadly, outside of the intelligence and to a lesser extent Cold-War era British and Irish historian circles there's a great deal of public ignorance about things like this, despite the great number of very impressive works written on the subject. Gordon Corera's "The Art of Betrayal - Life and Death in the British Secret Service" is a good starting point, though it's covered in the likes of "The Defence of The Realm" and Richard Aldrich's (rather mediocre I must say) "GCHQ"

 

I'm not for a moment saying that we can compare the action of those two goverments to the National Socialist actions of the early 1930s up until the end of the 1940s, we can't.

Um...that's kind of what your first line implies?

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TenEightyOne

Well, the "I love a challenge" bit was in partial jest, my closing line should have made it clearer that I felt there was no comparison in terms of severity.

 

When you say "Are you really comparing McCarthyism or more modern, relatively minor, erosion of civil liberties to mass-assassinations, show trials, extra-judicial executions, state-sponsored and state-enforced terrorism and forced disappearances?" you could be talking about PMCs.

 

Show trials? Lots of. The hideous extra-judicial Guantanemo exhibitions are a good example.

 

Mass assasinations? Lots of. The US has made no secret of the fact that it does what is necessary to protect its people from the threats it perceives, its methods have always reached far beyond its own borders.

 

Extra-judicial executions? Lots of - see above.

 

State-sponsored and state-enforced terrorism? Given that the definition of terrorism is in the eye of the beholder it's my opinion that a large portion of the world would say... lots of.

 

I think it's naive of you to swallow the official line on PMCs, in my time they were known as 'mercenaries' - little has changed except the name. PMCs are involved in paramilitary incursions and have been, as admitted by the USSoS, involved in the 'sourcing' of prisoners for extra-ordinary rendition. That means, as you'll know, "armed kidnapping". That's no passive act.

 

The Butler Report? I suspect you mean the Butler Review... although I'm nitpicking... it was considered a whitewash by the apolitical scientific community. Much of the evidence was based on the same erroneous and "sexed up" dossier that had formed the basis for the initial WMD claims... no independent review was ever held. The fact that Ann Taylor was on the advisory panel is good evidence of this, she'd handled the movement of the original plagiarised dossier through the Labour machine. I've never met anyone other than one of Prescott's advisers of the time who considered the Butler Review to be anything other than a prime example of cabinet arse-covering.

 

I'd prefer to consider the views of the UN Weapons Inspectorate (who strangely weren't involved in much of the Butler Review) who found no evidence of the chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein was supposed to possess. There's no doubt that he would have liked them but there's no evidence that he was ever able to achieve succesful production.

 

Sarin in an IED? That's quite an old chestnut. Donald Rumsfeld himself (a man who would have loved to announce the discovery of Sarin in an IED) said on record in the White House that there was no evidence for sarin in the IED other than a potentially contaminated field test. The weapon was assembled from a shell taken from an ageing Iraqi weapons stockpile... but other IEDs assembled by the same group from the same stockpile did not contain any sarin. It's generally accepted now that the story was grossly distorted by a channel called Fox whose right-wing tabloid views are legendary.

 

Still, I must again add the caveat that the overall intentions of the governments involved are much more honourable than those of the Nazi party.

Edited by TenEightyOne

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sivispacem

 

Show trials? Lots of. The hideous extra-judicial Guantanemo exhibitions are a good example.

Not quite sure what you're objecting to here? The absence of trial in Guantanamo, or the trials that have taken place? If it's the former, then it's hardly "show-trials", more like "absence of trials". You and I are both in agreement that Guantanamo is no solution at all for the problem and is extremely detrimental to international views of the United States. But exactly what is improper about the due process being observed for placing people on trial who have been incarcerated there? Are you questioning the legitimacy and validity of the convictions of the eight or so individuals who have been tried who were held there? Whilst I'm uncertain, personally, as to why the US feels it appropriate to treat detainees as civilians (under civilian law) under some circumstances and as illegal combatants (under the Geneva Convention) in others, I don't think that the "show trials" analogy makes much sense- unless you can provide some decent evidence suggesting that it was the case?

 

 

Mass assasinations? Lots of. The US has made no secret of the fact that it does what is necessary to protect its people from the threats it perceives, its methods have always reached far beyond its own borders.

Ahh, but the distinction here is that the killings are happening outside of the borders of the United States. Nations (or more accurately their governments and associated apparatus) hold a monopoly on violence inside their borders but lose legitimacy if they abuse that to target dissenters or other individuals outside of the due criminal process. But aside from issues arising from the violation of sovereignty, which don't really seem to be much of an issue in Pakistan where the government has effectively condoned the use of UACVs, and the indiscriminate killing of civilians (again, not an issue if you can reasonably argue that you target is a combatant, even if an illegal one), there isn't a great deal restricting the ability for nation states to conduct sanctioned military actions against perceived threats in foreign nations who've given their consent for it. The whole issue comes down to consent- and as much noise as Pakistan makes about UACV strikes, they're letting the US house and operate them from bases inside Pakistan's territorial borders so it's obvious they've given covert support for it.

 

 

Given that the definition of terrorism is in the eye of the beholder

I've debated this several times- in practical terms, the definition of "terrorism" is actually quite restrictive. In the two primary accepted definitions, including the one in use with the United Nations Security Council, direct or indirect sovereign state actions cannot be terrorism (thus putting play to those innumerate allegations against Western powers of being "terrorist states") as state sponsoring of violent non-state actors is covered in different definitions. The term "terrorism" is very widely misused, to put it bluntly. Remember the old adage "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"? Not possible if you understand the accepted definitions of terrorism.

 

 

I think it's naive of you to swallow the official line on PMCs, in my time they were known as 'mercenaries' - little has changed except the name. PMCs are involved in paramilitary incursions and have been, as admitted by the USSoS, involved in the 'sourcing' of prisoners for extra-ordinary rendition. That means, as you'll know, "armed kidnapping". That's no passive act.

I don't think it's naive to state accepted fact. The implications of your statements is that PMCs are primarily (or at least very heavily) involved in military-style operations and all statistical and factual evidence suggests that is simply not the case. There have been innumerate reports by various bodies, ranging from human rights organisations to governments to the United Nations itself, and not one of them has ever said or even implied that the engaging in illegal (yes, because mercenaries are illegal under Section 1 of the Geneva Convention) on large scales. The 2007 UN report said that private contractors were engaged in "military duties" but aside from in direct reference to activities undertaken by Blackwater (now Xe) stopped short of alleging that they'd breached the Geneva Convention. Again, I feel I must stress that I certainly don't find everything (or even very much) of what has been done by PMCs in recent years particularly savoury, but this idea that they're running out of control or on the orders of shady pay-masters, knocking over villages and towns for oil conglomerates and conducting assassinations for shady organisations is pure Hollywood fiction. Statistically, the vast majority of time spent in even the most active organisations is in training, intelligence analysis and unarmed security. Even in organisations like Blackwater, armed details only represented about 10% of the business.

 

 

The Butler Report? I suspect you mean the Butler Review

Actually, both "Butler Report" and "Butler Review" are equally acceptable, with the full title being "Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction: Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors". According to it's own title, it is both a report and a review, and therefore either can be used, with the document in its entirety being the "report", and the "review" constituting of the document minus annexes and sources.

 

 

it was considered a whitewash by the apolitical scientific community. Much of the evidence was based on the same erroneous and "sexed up" dossier that had formed the basis for the initial WMD claims... no independent review was ever held. The fact that Ann Taylor was on the advisory panel is good evidence of this, she'd handled the movement of the original plagiarised dossier through the Labour machine. I've never met anyone other than one of Prescott's advisers of the time who considered the Butler Review to be anything other than a prime example of cabinet arse-covering.

Was it? It certainly wasn't considered a whitewash amongst the intelligence community, both in government and out of it. One of the primary points of examination was the "sexed-up" dossier, and Lord Butler was extremely clear on the lack of proper evidential basis for a large quantity of the claims made. Having read the document a good many times (in fact it constituted as required reading for both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees), I can say with a great deal of confidence that the idea of it being a "whitewash" is pure nonsense. I can only assume you haven't read it, as it's very critical of the apparent disconnect between the outputs of the intelligence community (that is, speculative work of assessment and estimate, and always caveated as the released, redacted documents verify) and the outputs from the political trenches- where it appeared as if all the careful phrasing and caveats were removed, and speculative estimates were dressed up as concrete facts. I get the impression that all critics of such reports want to read is a single line summary saying who was wrong and why, but the reality of the situation is invariably more nuanced. The intelligence community- the only other "real" player along with the Labour government- came out of the report somewhat vindicated, even though they'd failed in their basic tasks of collection- because the catastrophe of the September Dossier was purely a political work only loosely based on the intelligence estimates that the government received.

 

 

There's no doubt that he would have liked them but there's no evidence that he was ever able to achieve succesful production.

Ever? Presumably excluding the tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Iranians he personally sanctioned the killing of using Sarin, VX and Sulphur Mustard between 1980 and 1991?

 

 

Sarin in an IED? That's quite an old chestnut.

It does appear to be factually true, despite your apparent (though unclear) claims to the contrary. Observe various sources:

 

Washington Post

Clinical Neurotoxicology

MSNBC

BBC

The Guardian

 

I'm not sure whether you're disagreeing with the incident ever existing, or whether your just objecting to my reference to it, even though I made it quite clear that the munition had nothing to do with recent chemical weapon developments. The simple fact of the matter that along with the (by various reports) 100-500 tonnes of other chemical weapon precursors, unfilled munitions and associated detritus, there's enough evidence to suggest that even if no programme was ongoing, the previous one had not been fully disbanded. And that's quite aside from the numerous other violations in relation to ballistic missile technology, as I pointed out earlier.

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Dingdongs

 

Show trials? Lots of. The hideous extra-judicial Guantanemo exhibitions are a good example.

 

I think we should stop complaining about Guantanamo as if it is some evil place. There is something like a 4 to 1 prisoner to doctor ratio there, they have free care 24/7, they get pretty much any kind of food they want, time for prayer every day, etc. It ain't a bad time down in Guantanamo. More importantly, torture NEVER was employed at Guantanamo. Those were in CIA black sites, so I think this political demon the far left created out of Guantanamo is, well, overstated and ridiculous.

 

 

Seems you all don't know much about the way a para-military ARMED combat force works, whether it be militia, police, or a Security Service (read bodyguards). Especially during a 'period of armed hostilites'.

We used to wonder how Herr Hitler got the German Peoples to go along with his 'war' until we saw President Bush in his "WMD war." Which turned out to pretty much a match to Herr Hitler's attack on Poland.

 

 

Seems you're just spewing nonsense as usual. The Waffen-SS was not under the military chain of command and, for example, a Heer General would have no authority over a Waffen-SS unit.

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