Sunday, November 27, 2005

War Games

Troops Who Burned Taliban Face Discipline says the yahoo news headlines. Now that is an interesting thought. Imagine a soldier who has burnt a dead Taliban man being court martialled.

Enquiry Officer (EO): So, how many Taliban men did you cremate?
Soldier: None Sir!
EO: Bad boy!!!, tell the truth or I will confiscate all your matchboxes.
Soldier: Ten sir!
EO: Ok, now for that voluntary admission you do 100 sit ups and no Playboy magazines for one whole week.

Is that how they plan to “discipline” offenders in the US army? Not that I have any hate or love for the Taliban or the US troops, but the reporter who wrote this headline must have had his tongue firmly in cheek to describe the severity of punishment that awaits US troops who cremated dead Taliban militants.

A military spokesperson in this article is quoted as saying that the offending troops will not be prosecuted ( just disciplined) because their action were motivated by “hygiene reasons”.

Now that is even more interesting. Now getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth and burning a Taliban militant will be considered as good hygiene. Bad breath? Burn a militant. Body odor? Burn another militant. And so on and so forth till you are absolutely hygienic and smelling wonderful.

I must admit this headline woke me up from my Sunday hibernation mode to instant alert mode.

“The U.S.-led coalition's operational commander, Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, said broadcasts about the burned remains, while "designed to incite fleeing Taliban to fight," violated military policy.

This is a very strange war tactic indeed. You have the enemy fleeing and victory in sight and you goad them to come back for more? Consider this “scene”.

Sergeant Tim: The Taliban is fleeing Sir!
Kamiya: Oh nooooooooo!!!! How can they do this to me? Come back you cowards and fight like a man!!!
Sergeant Tim: er..general, they have vanished.
Kamiya (recovering composure): “Ok it’s time for my pet Foolhardy Strategy No. 457 that will make the enemy fight like a man. Call the video cameraman!!”

Kamiya to video camera man: “ Burning Scene No 658940,Lights,Camera, Action!!!!”

The shot is canned and sent for broadcast.

Flushed with the succes of his strategy, Kamiya has since resigned and has opened the School of Creative Military Tactics in POK.


-Poison- said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
-Poison- said...

let the brutes do what they want them. the taliban are no angels.

arvin said...

well well well... are you turning into a political blogger now?

as to all the whining about cremation - to me it sounds like "its ok to kill them, but dont hurt their religious sentiments" pretty dumb, don't you agree? if someone doesn't deserve to live, they dont deserve a "decent burial" either.

and yes, i do believe its morally justified to *kill off* the taliban who are still fighting. if they need to be incited/lured into engagements for that, so be it.

america-bashing is ok, it's fashionable and everyone's doing it and all that, but try to find bigger issues.

silverine said...

@poison:I have no empathy for either the taliban or the US.
@arvin: Thanks but 'no thanks' for the "advice" but since this is my blog I will stick to isues that I think are big.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the Taliban was a creation of the US to counter the Russian occupation in Afghanistan.Much like our very own Bhindranwale. The US has created it's own enemies. What goes around comes around.

Shrutz said...

attagirl, Silverine! :)

Matter of Choice said...

ahem...very interesting take on the subject, and sarcastic as only you can be :).

i have often wondered on whats the best way to fight terrorists be it indian or foreign. My interest was created after several conversations with my friends who serve in the army in kashmir and north east. Unfortunately (they say) war against terror will always have a few innocent victims and a few other not so innocent victims who because of the exruciatingly slow judicial system have to be given instant justice. But it does tarnish the credibility of a government (especially democratic government) when it uses the same dastradly techniques to fight terrorists using the rather stupid excuse that terrorists started it first.

I was also surprised when my army friends freely admitted that terrorism is a social/economic problem which they are not equipped to deal with. The acknowledgement is a begining, hopefully it will be followed up with more concrete action.

i am a supporter of us intervention in afghanistan (though not in Iraq). that place was going crazy and someone needed to clean it up...u cant have a terrorist organization ruling an entire country!!. Having said that, US army is not helping its reputation by the way it works. they shuld note that the same people whom they liberated (i believe majority of the afghans were happy to be rid of talibans) can turn around and bite back (and afghan bite is very painful..ask the russians!) if u start brutalizing the population or trivilaizing their culture/religion with such brutal acts

GREAT POST...luvvvved it


naveen said...

u r rit poison,just like iraqius,talibans 2 r brutal criminals. remember wht they did 2 those buddist statues??? it is actually our hatred against US tht v r feeling sympathetic 2 these pests!!! And,the US needs some new issues everyday.rit????

Ganja Turtle said...

A marked departure from the usual concerns that haunt pretty women of Bangalore...yeah,add "funny" to that list...A bit confused actually...Whats the big deal about burning a dead body? Actually doublechecked to make sure it wasnt a live soldier or something...Is it my chauvinist slant? Is it my insensitive and barren heart? Is is my Hindu custom accustomed mind? Or is it utter lack of knowledge - is there something vulgar in Islam about burning bodies or the like? Does the religion forbid its forbidden to eat pork or something?

Burning dead bodies is surely preferable to letting them rot under the Afghan sun...Given the current economic conditions in Afghanistan, surely morgues wouldnt be on their priority list.

Make no mistake, I fully agree that the US is screwing up big time everywhere - right from home-trying to privatize their social security - to away in distant lands - going to war over imaginary WMDs...whats new about something that has been happening from Vietnam to Panama to Afghanistan interspersed by brief bouts of sanity.

Just dont understand why it so terribly offends your die in war - some are buried, some are brought back, some are burnt; men die at sea - and are laid to rest in the depths. Men die alone in icy heights, in trapped are deliberately put to death by enemies with poison gas, firethrowers,bombs, knives...isnt it death or its intent that should offend sensibilities more than the manner of death? More than the manner of treating the dead?

If it was done to incite the Taliban, surely there are worse things - America takes the cake with their recent prison revelations where they have done far worse things with people, with the Quran etc...why so particular about burning a dead body?

Maybe a coupla beers overlooking the backwaters will clear up my minds...suggest you try the same and lets take anotehr shot at this! ;-)

-Poison- said...

just wanted to post this dialogue from the movie 'swordfish'

GABRIEL - "Terrorist states, Stanley. Someone must take their war to them. They bomb a church, we bomb ten. They hijack a plane, we take out an airport. They execute American tourists, we tactically nuke an entire city.We must make terrorism so horrific that it becomes unthinkable to attack Americans."

A mellow voice shatters against terror. Treat it methodically with an iron glove with poisoned spikes.

silverine said...

@kornkob: This post is about the word 'discipline' in the headline. I am neither pro or anti Taliban or the US :)
@shrutz: High five gal :))
@matterofchoice"that terrorism is a social / economic problem which they are not equipped to deal with"
You said it!! And the US is not helping it's cause in the Afghanistan by alienating the Afghans.I was actually amused by the word 'discipline' in the headline and the stupid answers the US army have given to defend the allegations.Thanks for this comment. You have taken a wholesome look at the whole issue:)
@navin,Ganja Turtle and Poison: As I said earlier, I am merely pointing out to the gaffes of the US army PR while defending the allegations:))

Ganja Turtle said...

Disagree quite clearly with what poison & gang (sounds quite sinister,no?;-) have to say about the US/Taliban etc...but when you can watch the slow golden perspiration of a beer, why argue about world politics...until it bites u!;-) Esp on somebody elses blog...going for a last bite of the weekend before it disappears entirely.

silverine said...

@ganjaturtle: enjoy the beer and the rest of the weekend :)

Anonymous said...

There has never been a good war or a bad peace - Ben Franklin
War is always bad, immaterial of who does it. Burning a human body, whether alive or dead shows that civilization has reached its nadir. I think cannibals are better, atleast they kill for food. I agree with your views completely.


Sujit said...

great news.. early in morning...!! Lots of things go behind the scene to cover up the entire attack on afghanistan and iraq.

Leon said...

Hmm.. Hmm.. Since you mention in a comment that "this post is about the word 'discipline' in the headline.. I agree with you.. Once it has been deemed that it was wrong to have done so.. 'discipline' is certainly too meek a punishment.

As for whether the cremation itself was wrong.. I'll pass.. for reasons that I'll discuss with you later maybe..

PS: Didn't get to chat this weekend too.. Just realized that it's past 11 pm for you.

Shan said...

Once upon a time, I had my sympathies for Taliban. But
after there doings to our Maniyappan, they deserved more than this...duh... Rutheless Bas***** they are!

Even though you say you have no empathy towards the US or Taliban, your post has a soft corner towards the Taliban, which you cant deny.... I wish the US had been more brutal to them and packaged the entire taliban team to hell instead of leaving a few behind.

Lost in trance... said...

alls fair in war...not sure abt love tho...

silverine said...

@meesamadhavan:Thank you.
@Sujit:The Taliban have been brutal but the US troops should not lose the support they got for getting rid of the Taliban by hurting the religious sentiments of the Afghans.
@Leon: That's exactly what I have been trying to point out :) Hope to catch ya in YM soon.
@Shan: Welcome to blogging :) I have absolutely no soft corner for the Taliban.The US should not squander Afghan support by acts of stupidity that they are indulging in right now.
@lost in trance: True :)

Densel Mayor said...

I thought the spelling was 'sergeant' ;)

silverine said...

@densel: You just reminded me of my English teacher Mrs. Nair. Thanks for the correction. Have caried it our Sir ;)

Leon said...

Tsk.. Tsk.. Mrs. Nair must feel insulted.. Two mistakes in the paragraph containing her name.. It's "carried" and "out".. lol.

Have a fun Monday :p..

jedi said...

Hail Taliban..;)Hilarious work.

Geo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

human rights are for humans... not terrorists.. I was half ready to relinquish my nationality, when instead of taking advantage of the quake in pakistan, the idiotic indian army went over the border to help those on the other side...

next day, the terrorists gun down 5 in kashmir,

A head for an eye. Period.

Vinod/Kakka said...

Great post!

Terrorism in Afganistan due to economic or social problems? I do not think so. It was a religous issue of booting out godless people. And also a nationalistic one.
Kashmir: After the Afganistan flare up ended, the Punjab one started. After that ended, the Kashmir one started. Once the Afganistan II and Iraq started, Kashmir quitened down a bit. Statemanship of Mush and Singh??
In poor countries where there is both a famine and a civil war, ever wonder where the arms come from?

Geo said...

Bomb the Bush!!

silverine said...

@leon: grrrrrr did you have to point it out ? :))
@Jedi: Thank you :)
@Injinuity: Have you ever wondered who arms terrorists worldwide? It is in the interest of the western world to keep the arms sale brisk. I think puthiya viplavam has summed it up very neatly.
@Puthia Viplavam: I though no one would notice the inference to POK:) I dont think I can improve on your summary :)
@Geo: But who will bell the cat? ;)

Dr. Pissed said...

I am not hygenic, but i try. Its just that I cant find myself a militant to burn!

I'll just make Lemon Juice!

Sujith said...

:-)) reminds me of one comedy clip i saw lately, in which the jehadi militants are made to read from the teleprinter in front of the camera while broadcasting. u were there recently? :p

Geo said...


what abt divide and conquer strategy? (like the one in 5.some1 i.e., CTD - cooperate to dominate)

like u cracking the verbal... and me trying to add 2 and 2...:_D

in case we manage to bell it....may be u can go for the first year classes... i will go for the second... (i heard first year is tuffer)

what say?

Camphor said...

I'm rather glad they make such a mess of thier PR - imagien what the world would be forced to doubt if their PR actually did its job!

Sachin Dev T said...

I guess most of the people here failed to see the lighter vein in which u posted.whatever,I had a hearty guffaw gal.High Five ;-)
Do I understand even U are after the elusive chesire CAT ?? Another Hearty Guffaw..make that two.

silverine said...

@dr pissed: Yeah citric acid is a great cleanser :))
@Jithu; Can you forward me the clip if you still have it? :)
@Geo: Good strategy ;) Divide and fool :))
@Camphor: Usually the PR people do a good job of covering up the vilest of deeds.
@Sachin: Yes !!!! It was a humorous take on the news. Thank you and no, I am not trying to bell the CAT! :))

Vivek Panda said...

you're a blog-wiz. keep writing .... i enjoy every bit of it !!

Jiby said...

just loved this one from you... feel sorry for the us soldiers and the afghan & iraq people who are caught up in other people's ideological and religious war. the countries who dont want to take up democracy or are intent on ruining it deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth! I EXPECT to read more posts from you in this nature.

Domesticated Bachelor said...

Like Choamsky said - The Chickens have come to roost!
Quite right!

Hows you doing? Me was busy setting down after my relocation. Back now:-) *HUGS* Missed ya!

Anonymous said...

afterall who is not cruel in this world..?? in our own ways we all are.. but with our silly justifications of 'blood for blood' we shudnt be denyin a person an honourable death and so i dont think the soldiers were right in burning them.. well if we dwell too much into the matter, i guess, those soldiers wudnt ve thought that this incident wud become such an issue of rights violation..

but i guess "discipline" was the right word isnt it..? u cant court martial a soldier for burning a dead body.. so the only choice was to discipline him.. was that wrong? there a better word?

any way nice to see that ve changed to the "social gear".. good luck..

SNM said...

Check this out :)

silverine said...

@Vivek:Thank you :)
@Jiby:I was lucky to bump into this article on Yahoo and was immediately struck by the headline.Sadly it is democracies like the US and UK that arms these fanatics :( I hope I get more such articles to comment on in the future. This felt good writing :)
@Joker: Hey welcome to Bangalore. Hope you get a house before you get kicked out of the Guest House :))
@Lash:I can't comment on the deeper issues here. I am no political blogger.But I was stuck by the stupid reasons the US army gave to defend its soldiers.